1) Intellectual Property – this can be very valuable and there are regular court cases where owners of this type of IP are trying to sue other people who they think have stolen their IP.

2) Internet Protocol – is the de facto standard for networking and is the most widely used of the network protocols that carry data and lie on top of physical networks and connections. Besides its Internet use it is also the main open network protocol that is supported by all major computer operating systems. IP, or specifically IPv4, describes the packet format for sending data using a 32-bit address to identify each of nearly 4.3 billion devices on a network with four eight-bit numbers separated by dots e.g. Each IP data packet contains a source and destination address as well as a payload of data. There is now IPv6 which brings, among many other enhancements, 128-bit addressing – allowing 2128 addresses, plenty for all the connected devices on planet Earth, and thus relieving IPv4’s address shortage.

Above IP are two transport layers. TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) provides reliable data delivery, efficient flow control, full duplex operation and multiplexing – simultaneous operation with many sources and destinations. It establishes a connection and detects corrupt or lost packets at the receiver and re-sends them. Thus TCP/IP, the most common form of IP, is used for general data transport but is relatively slow and not ideal for video.

The other transport layer is UDP (User Datagram Protocol) which uses a series of ‘ports’ to connect data to an application. Unlike the TCP, it adds no reliability, flow-control or error-recovery functions but it can detect and discard corrupt packets by using checksums. This simplicity means its headers contain fewer bytes and consume less network overhead than TCP, making it useful for streaming video and audio where continuous flow is more important than replacing corrupt packets.

There are other IP applications that live above these protocols such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Telnet for terminal sessions, Network File System (NFS), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and many more.

Video over IP – Watching video over the internet is commonplace. It represents a very large, and growing, part of internet traffic, and fits well with the rising population of Smart TVs. There are several suitable streaming protocols in use, including those offering variable bit rates such as HTTP Live Streaming from Apple, and HTTP Smooth Streaming from Microsoft. These offer a good chance of providing uninterrupted viewing, even when the internet connection gets a bit slow.

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