How to Watch Video Clips on the Web

You can watch anything from music videos to political debates on the Web, as long as you have the appropriate browser plug-ins and viewing software. With "streaming" video, you don't have to actually download the clip to view it; otherwise, you need to download the clip first.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet Access
  • AVI Players
  • MPEG Players
  • QuickTime Players


    • 1

      Visit the Web site that hosts the video clip you wish to view. The clip will probably have several different links according to viewing format'such as QuickTime or RealPlayer'and modem speed.

    • 2

      Select the link that matches your connection speed and offers a format that your software supports.

    • 3

      Try a different format if you cannot view the clip you chose and another is offered (not all sites offer a choice of formats and connection speeds).

    • 4

      Download and install the appropriate viewing software or plug-in if you cannot view the clip in any format. Many sites that host video clips also provide links to sites where you can download this software for free.

    • 5

      Note that technology in this area is advancing quickly. Update your player frequently to keep up.

Tips & Warnings

  • Newer PCs come equipped with the Windows Media Player. Macintoshes come with the QuickTime MoviePlayer. You can get the free, basic version for streaming video from the Web site.
  • If the clip is choppy or refuses to play, and you have the appropriate player software, try defragmenting your hard disk; also see if the site provides minimum requirements to view the video.
  • If possible and if you have enough memory, consider downloading the clip as a zipped file and saving it to your hard drive. The download time will be shorter, and you'll be able to watch the clip whenever you want.
  • If you get a message that you can't open the file, you probably don't have the appropriate player software (or the appropriate version of the player). Check the site to find out which player you should use, then download it.
  • Video quality is often poor on a 56 Kbps or slower connection.
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