Timeline of online video
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|Time period||Key developments in online video|
|1974–1992||Development of practical video coding standards. The development of the discrete cosine transform (DCT) lossy compression method leads to the first practical video formats, H.261 and MPEG, initially used for online video conferencing.|
|1993–2004||Early days of the World Wide Web. Several container formats for streaming the first videos are released. Some sites, like Newgrounds, heavily rely on these container formats to display online video. Due to quality issues caused by low bandwidth and bad latency, very little streaming video existed on the World Wide Web until 2002 when VHS quality video with reliable lip sync became possible.|
|2005–2010||Mass-streaming services like YouTube and Netflix become massively popular for streaming online video. Broadband penetration increases, allowing significant fractions of the population to stream online video. Macromedia Flash is the most popular format for displaying online video, as it is used by YouTube and many other sites.|
|2011–2016||HTML5 starts to displace Flash. Livestreaming becomes increasingly popular, especially in the form of services like Twitch.tv. Many social media startups integrate the streaming of short segments of video, like Vine and Keek. These are, in turn, integrated into the most popular services like Instagram and Facebook.|
|Year||Month and date||Event type||Details|
|1974||January||Technology||The discrete cosine transform (DCT), a form of lossy compression, was first proposed in 1972 by Nasir Ahmed, who then developed the algorithm with T. Natarajan and K. R. Rao at the University of Texas in 1973. They first presented the DCT algorithm in January 1974. It is the most important data compression technique that later enabled practical video streaming.|
|1988||November||Technology||The H.261 video coding standard is revealed by the ITU-T. The adoption of discrete cosine transform (DCT) video compression made it the first practical video coding format, and it was used for online video conferencing. All MPEG video coding standards that followed (including MPEG-1, MPEG-2 Video, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and HEVC) have since used DCT video compression.|
|1993||May 22||Technology||Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, originally released in 1991, is the first film to be streamed on the Internet. Due to bandwidth limitations it is broadcast at 2 frames per second rather than the standard 24 frames per second. |
|1995||September 5||Technology||ESPN SportsZone streams a live radio broadcast of a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees to thousands of its subscribers worldwide using cutting-edge technology developed by a Seattle-based startup company named Real Networks – the first livestreaming event.|
|1995||Technology||Macromedia releases Shockwave Player for Netscape Navigator, which becomes the primary format of streaming media for the late 1990s and 2000s (until it is gradually supplanted by HTML5).|
|1998||Late||Technology||MPEG-4, a method of defining compression of audio and visual (AV) digital data, is introduced.|
|1999||Technology||Microsoft introduces streaming feature in Windows Media Player 6.4. It introduces the ASF file format, which allows storage of multiple video and audio tracks inside a single file. It also introduces Windows Media streaming protocols that support switching streams during broadcast. This technology is most commonly referred to as Multiple Bit Rate ASF, or simply MBR.|
|1999||June||Technology||Apple introduces a streaming media format in its QuickTime 4 application.|
|2002||October||Technology||Adaptive bit rate over HTTP is created by the DVD Forum at the WG1 Special Streaming group.|
|2003||May||Technology||The On2 TrueMotion VP6 codec is released.|
|2004||June||Products||MindGeek is founded as Too Much Media. Its name is changed to Manwin in 2010, and then MindGeek in October 2013. Its operations are primarily related to Internet pornography, but also include other online properties such as the comedy video website videobash.com and celebrity gossip site celebs.com.|
|2005||January 25||Products||Google Video launches.|
|2005||March 15||Companies||Dailymotion, a French video-sharing website, is founded.|
|2005||April 23||Companies||YouTube opens for video uploads, and the first YouTube video uploaded on April 23, 2005 is titled Me at the zoo. Between March and July 2006, YouTube grows from 30 to 100 million views of videos per day.|
|2006||May 14||Companies||Crunchyroll, an American website and international online community focused on video streaming East Asian media including anime, manga, drama, music, electronic entertainment, and auto racing content, is founded.|
|2006||October 1||Companies||Justin.tv, a live-streaming service that is the parent company of Twitch, is founded by Justin Kan.|
|2006||September 7||Products||Amazon introduces video on demand service Amazon Video.|
|2006||October 9||Mergers||Google acquires YouTube.|
|2006||October 31||Companies||LiveLeak, a UK-based video sharing website that lets users post and share videos (often of reality footage, politics, war, and other world events), is founded.|
|2006||December||Companies||Youku, one of China's top online video and streaming service platforms, is founded.|
|2007||January 15||Products||Netflix announces that it will launch streaming video.|
|2007||February||Technology||HTML5 specification introduces the video element for the purpose of playing videos. This allows embedding video to no longer necessitate a third-party plugin, as it can be played natively in the browser. HTML5 would later overtake Flash as the primary mechanism for broadcasting video.|
|2007||Early||Companies||PornHub, a pornographic video sharing website, is founded by the web developer Matt Keezer as a website within the company Interhub.|
|2007||September||Companies||Vevo is founded. It offers music videos from two of the "big three" major record labels, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.|
|2007||September 5||Technology||Microsoft introduces Microsoft Silverlight, an application framework for writing and running rich Internet applications, similar to Adobe Flash.|
|2008||February 25||Products||DivX announces that it will shut down Stage6, stating that it is unable to continue to provide the attention and resources required for its continued operation.|
|2008||March 10||Technology||Macromedia Flash moves to the H.264 encoding codec.|
|2008||March 12||Companies||Hulu, an online streaming service for TV/movies, launches for public access in the United States.|
|2009||January||Products||Google discontinues the ability to upload videos to Google Video.|
|2009||November||Technology||Apple first introduces HLS (HTTP Live Streaming), an HTTP-based adaptive bitrate streaming communications protocol.|
|2010||March||Acquisitions||PornHub is purchased by Fabian Thylmann as part of the Manwin conglomerate, now known as MindGeek.|
|2010||April 22||Companies||iQiyi, an online video platform based in Beijing, China launches.|
|2010||December||Companies||Viki, an international video website offering TV shows, movies, and other premium content, is founded and gets Series A round funding.|
|2011||January||Technology||Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP – which enables high quality streaming of media content over the Internet delivered from conventional HTTP web servers – becomes a draft international standard. The MPEG-DASH standard is published as ISO/IEC 23009-1:2012 in April, 2012.|
|2011||April||Companies||Vudu announces the launch of its online streaming service.|
|2011||May||Acquisitions||Manwin/MindGeek acquires the pornographic video sharing website YouPorn.|
|2011||June 6||Companies||Justin.tv spins off its gaming division as Twitch.tv, which officially launches in public beta.|
|2011||July||Companies||Keek – a free online social networking service that allows its users to upload video status updates, which are called "keeks" – launches.|
|2012||January 29||Companies||Megaupload (and Megavideo) are shut down by the FBI.|
|2012||June||Companies||Vine, a short-form video sharing service where users can share six-second-long looping video clips, is founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll.|
|2012||December||Companies||Snapchat adds the ability to send video snaps in addition to photos.|
|2013||June 13||Product||Instagram launches video sharing.|
|2015||January 27||Products||YouTube drops Flash for HTML5 video as default.|
|2015||March||Companies||Periscope, a live video streaming app for iOS and Android developed by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein is launched (and acquired by Twitter before its launch).|
|2015||May||Companies||Meerkat, a mobile app that enables users to broadcast live video streaming through their mobile device, releases its app for both iOS and Android.|
|2016||January||Companies||Facebook launches livestreaming to everyone with Facebook Live.|
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- Ahmed, Nasir; Natarajan, T.; Rao, K. R. (January 1974), "Discrete Cosine Transform", IEEE Transactions on Computers, C-23 (1): 90–93, doi:10.1109/T-C.1974.223784
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H.261, which (in its first version) was ratified in November 1988.
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- Google Video Search Live
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