This system is based on HTTP and incorporates media streaming and a communications protocol. It was first implemented by Apple when they established their software systems QuickTime X and iPhone.
How the runs continuously on-line system is to convert the data stream into a number of small files in HTTP function. Each file is then downloaded, which in turn charges a small segment of the data stream.
When the stream is played, the customer can choose a particular stream from a variety of alternative streams containing the same data, but that was encoded at different data rates. In this way, the webcasting session is able to adapt to the current rate of data transmission. When the streaming session begins, the system downloads a playlist that contains the data of the various sub-streams that are available.
Image Source: Google
Since the data requests require only standard HTTP transactions, HTTP Live Streaming is able to traverse the firewall or proxy server that allow the standard HTTP traffic to travel through.
HTTP – also known as hypertext transfer protocol, is an application level protocol. There are two main versions, namely. HTTP / 1.0 that uses a separate connection for each document, and HTTP / 1.1 is able to reuse the same connection to download, for example, images of the previous page. Therefore, HTTP / 1.1 may be faster of the two versions since time is taken to set up such connections.