Putting video on my website.

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Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:57 am

I want to put video on my website.

First off, I do not know what all of the good options are (I'm not interested in the bad options!). I know I could post video on You Tube or the like (what are good alternatives to You Tube?) and the embed that - what are the pros and cons to that approach?

Alternatively, I could host it myself - but what is the process for that? What tools do I need?

I did some quick google searching and found Flowplayer (http://flowplayer.org/index.html). From what I gather, I'm going to need something like this to host my own video.

Any help?
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Gerbil Khan
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:03 am

You'd better have a buttload of upload bandwidth if you plan to host streaming video yourself. You're probably better off just embedding YouTube clips... or looking for a good deal on a co-lo server if you're really serious about this.
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:06 am

Upload bandwidth or download bandwidth?

My server is hosted by http://www.speedspan.com/
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:12 am

flip-mode wrote:Upload bandwidth or download bandwidth?

My server is hosted by http://www.speedspan.com/

Ahh, OK. When you said you were thinking of hosting it yourself I thought you meant from a server on your own broadband connection. Sorry for the confusion.

But yes, you will need to look at your hosting plan -- is it capped, and if so how much outgoing bandwidth are you allowed to consume?
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:15 am

just brew it! wrote:Ahh, OK. When you said you were thinking of hosting it yourself I thought you meant from a server on your own broadband connection. Sorry for the confusion. But yes, you will need to look at your hosting plan -- is it capped, and if so how much outgoing bandwidth are you allowed to consume?

OK, any "rules of thumb" on what is necessary? FYI, I'm talking about a small number of videos that are no larger than 640x480. These are for the architecture firm I work for. They will probably only be viewed occasionally.
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:30 am

If your plan has a monthly data transfer cap, just take the size of the video files multiplied by the number of times they would likely be viewed. If it is within a factor of 2-3 of your cap, you may run into trouble if you have a particularly busy month.
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:34 am

OK, I'll check into that!
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:11 am

When I host videos I do it as a pseudo-streaming or progressive download (same thing) rather than true streaming. This should allow the user to begin watching the video before they have downloaded the whole thing. Additionally it should allow the user to skip ahead to any area of the video and begin play back there regardless of whether it has buffered there or not.

There are several ways to accomplish this, uploading to You Tube being the easiest. If you don't wish to go the YouTube route, there are several ways you can go. HTML5 is coming out and includes new features to deal with video. By encoding the video into h264 and Theora you should be able to reach most modern browsers with use of the Video tag. The disadvantage being that if they do not have HTML5 support in their browser they won't see the video. Also since the official codec of HTML5 hasn't been decided yet, you will have to keep several copies of the video around in different formats to ensure wide support.

Another option is to go the flash route. This is currently the recommended way as almost everyone already has flash. You can encode your videos to .flv and it should be straight forward to get playback out of them. I don't know if progressive download will work "out of the box" with this approach but it should be easy to get it working.

Also you can do it the way I do it. I had already encoded a large amount of video encoded with the h264 codec for use on my Ipod. In order to stream this I had to install a module in Apache (available for Lighttpd and Ngin as well). Its called the H264 Streaming Module and is available here http://h264.code-shop.com/trac/wiki. With this and properly encoded video you should be able to set up pseudo streaming flash video. This is obviously a more complicated way of doing things and I only mention it because it is a stepping stone to the "ideal" solution.

The "ideal" way of doing things in my view, would be to set up HTML 5 video with use of the video tag and set up flash to activate as a back up in case their browser dose not support HTML 5. This would hopefully allow you to show video the largest possible audience including any device with flash or HTML5 support. This is important because a lot of smart phones do not support flash but do support HTML5.

I have just given a brief overview of the subject. There are countless other ways of streaming video, but these ways seem to be the most common or have the largest advantages. If you have any questions about setting up one of these solutions let me know and I can try to give you more details.

Also there is the matter of a front end for your video. If you go the you-tube route I believe they provide you with one. If not I highly recommend JW player(http://www.longtailvideo.com/) It supports a wide range of formats and has a clean functional interface.
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:31 am

If you are looking for alternatives to youtube, I have used viddler for a while.
Nice customizable player to match the style of the site you have it on.
pretty simple and reliable.
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:33 am

Sironomous, thanks a bunch for that post... great stuff - much appreciated.

Decisions, decisions...

I would definitely like to do HTML 5 video and I believe that will be the clear choice once the standard is set, but until then... I'm beginning to lean toward You Tube and embed... this seems to be the simplest approach at this point. I'm still open to influence, but I have not heard anyone advise against that for any reason yet.

Thanks for the Viddler suggestion MTL. Do you know the pros / cons of Viddler / You Tube?
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:41 am

Generally the reasons people would advise against YouTube is if it was a business site, or if you wanted control over who saw your video. On a business site it looks a little unprofessional to have the YouTube logo bouncing around there. Also they could at some point in the future force you to watch ads and what not before you could watch the video. For a personal site this isn't much of a problem.

As for the control over who saw your video bit, when you host your own site you would be able to add password protection/user authentication of some kind to keep just anyone from watching the video. If its on YouTube you don't have control over that. Again this would only matter if you didn't want random people to see the video.

Additionally there are types of video YouTube won't host but I assume this won't be a problem for you.
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:44 am

Well I didn't like the limitations to the youtube player. You can make little changes, but it still seems to look like a big blob of youtube on the website.
However with viddler you can't upload hd without a business account.
I do like the easy upload of a watermark to videos ( saves time ), but I've heard some versions of IE have mentioned troubles with embedded viddler clips...
Just a few things off the top of my head.
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Re: Putting video on my website.

Postposted on Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:06 am

How about Vimeo? They don't have the time limit Youtube does, and they offer HD as well (I think you can even embed HD, but I haven't used it much)
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