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Using the HTTP protocol

You can use Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to stream content from an encoder to a Windows Media server, to distribute streams between computers running different versions of Windows Media Services or computers that are separated by a firewall, and to download dynamically-generated playlists from a Web server. HTTP is especially useful for clients that receive streaming content through a firewall because HTTP is usually set up to use port 80, which is not blocked by most firewalls.

HTTP protocol overview

You can use HTTP to deliver streams to all Windows Media Player versions and to other Windows Media servers. If a client uses HTTP to connect to the server, protocol rollover is not used.

Windows Media Services uses the WMS HTTP Server Control Protocol plug-in to control HTTP-based client connections. You must enable this plug-in for Windows Media Services to use HTTP to stream content to clients or to receive streams from Windows Media Encoder.

When you enable the WMS HTTP Server Control Protocol plug-in, it attempts to bind to port 80. If another service, such as Internet Information Services (IIS), is using port 80 on the same IP address, then you cannot enable the plug-in. For more information about HTTP streaming concurrently with other services, see Using HTTP streaming and other services on the same computer.

The HTTP protocol is also used when a server running Windows Media Services is streaming a dynamic playlist generated by an ASP page or Web script. For more information about dynamic playlists, see Using dynamic sources.

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