The problem of multimedia stream authentication has received significant attention by previous works and various solutions have been proposed. These solutions, however, have not been rigorously analyzed and contrasted to each other, and thus their relative suitability for different streaming environments is not clear. In this paper, we conduct comprehensive analysis and comparison among the main authentication schemes proposed in the literature. To perform this analysis, we propose five performance metrics: computation cost, communication overhead, receiver buffer size, delay, and tolerance to packet losses. We derive analytic formulas for these metrics for all schemes, and we numerically analyze these formulas. In addition, we implement all schemes in a simulator to study their performance in different environments. Our detailed analysis reveals the merits and shortcomings of each scheme and provides guidelines on choosing the most appropriate scheme for a given application. Our analysis also helps in designing new authentication schemes and/or improving existing ones.