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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    How to "Stream" a Video??

    I would like to start adding videos to my website, but I am paranoid about people stealing them!!!

    It seems the solution might be "streaming" the videos instead.

    So, what do I need in order to "stream" a video on my website?

    To me, "streaming" means "sending packets of data of my video" versus "letting Users download my entire video as a file". (I am not talking necessarily about "real-time streaming"...)

    My fear is that to do this will cost a bazillion dollars?!


    Debbie

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    Streaming will provide an element of protection against casual theft, but not against somebody determined to acquire your content. They can ultimately video capture the entire screen and snip out the video if they really wanted to.

    In light of this, it's best to 'watermark' your video with an overlaid graphic or url so that if it ends up elsewhere at least viewers are aware of the clips provenance.

    If you want to pursue true streaming, you can look at streaming e.g a h.264 video to a flash player via an rtmp server, which avoids caching of the file. This doesn't necessarily have to be expensive - amazon cloudfront CDN will serve a file over rtmp

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    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
    Streaming will provide an element of protection against casual theft, but not against somebody determined to acquire your content. They can ultimately video capture the entire screen and snip out the video if they really wanted to.

    In light of this, it's best to 'watermark' your video with an overlaid graphic or url so that if it ends up elsewhere at least viewers are aware of the clips provenance.

    If you want to pursue true streaming, you can look at streaming e.g a h.264 video to a flash player via an rtmp server, which avoids caching of the file. This doesn't necessarily have to be expensive - amazon cloudfront CDN will serve a file over rtmp
    Can you please get more into the mechanics of how you stream a video?

    What applications are required?

    What hardware?

    Does it change the amount of bandwidth I'd need?

    Is there a way to do it from my own Web Host?

    What kind of time and $$$ would you estimate is involved?

    Any open-source solutions out there?

    I'm looking at spending a couple - if not several - thousand on paying someone to make me some professional grade videos. And I'd be pretty pissed if someone stole them by simply downloading a file?!

    Thanks,


    Debbie

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    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I'd be pretty pissed if someone stole them by simply downloading a file?!
    Would they be likely to, though? What would they do with them? Sell them? But who'd buy them if they are available free on your site?

    As EastCoast says, you can just do a screen recording anyway, so it's easy to copy a video no matter how it's served up.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Would they be likely to, though?
    Yes!


    What would they do with them? Sell them? But who'd buy them if they are available free on your site?
    Start a competing site and claim to be the owners/creators of the content.


    As EastCoast says, you can just do a screen recording anyway, so it's easy to copy a video no matter how it's served up.
    The point is not making it too easy...

    There are videos on the Net that take one right-click, Save As and you own the video.

    And then there are site's like the Wall Street Journal where you really need to know what you are doing to get a copy...[/QUOTE]



    Debbie

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Can you please get more into the mechanics of how you stream a video?

    What applications are required?
    None if you use a CDN. You just upload the file in the correct format, copy the URL into your video player on your site.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    What hardware?
    Unless you are determined to self host the videos, and reckon you will have hundreds of simultaneous viewers, this isn't something you need to worry about.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Does it change the amount of bandwidth I'd need?
    Depends on how big the videos are and how many viewers you think you'll have. On a CDN you just pay per gigabyte used.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Is there a way to do it from my own Web Host?
    You need to install software so unless you have root access on a VPS or dedicated server, or the server has the software available already, the chances are no.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    What kind of time and $$$ would you estimate is involved?
    Amazon cloudfront is about $0.12 a gigagbyte, setting up a player and uploading videos is a few hours work. Setting up server software will likely be a few days work.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Any open-source solutions out there?
    Yes, red5.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I'm looking at spending a couple - if not several - thousand on paying someone to make me some professional grade videos. And I'd be pretty pissed if someone stole them by simply downloading a file?!
    Make sure the video includes plenty embedded provenance - an overlaid watermark graphic or url, and mention your site throughout the voiceover. Theft of copyrighted material is an unfortunate fact of life on the internet. There's a balance to be had between the exponentially rising curve of effort required to make copying more difficult for technical and determined internet users; and then on the other hand your own resources, technical capabilities, and what damage in reality a percentage of 'shrinkage' will cause you. In your case I'd take the easy steps I've stated and accept you don't have bulletproof protection, or not bother with the videos at all. If motivated global corporations can't protect their videos 100%, you're not going to bring anything new to the arena of copyright protection that they haven't already weighed up.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
    None if you use a CDN.
    I think Amazon is evil.

    Any alternatives?


    Make sure the video includes plenty embedded provenance - an overlaid watermark graphic or url, and mention your site throughout the voiceover. Theft of copyrighted material is an unfortunate fact of life on the internet. There's a balance to be had between the exponentially rising curve of effort required to make copying more difficult for technical and determined internet users; and then on the other hand your own resources, technical capabilities, and what damage in reality a percentage of 'shrinkage' will cause you. In your case I'd take the easy steps I've stated and accept you don't have bulletproof protection, or not bother with the videos at all. If motivated global corporations can't protect their videos 100%, you're not going to bring anything new to the arena of copyright protection that they haven't already weighed up.
    So let's say I do a series of short (1-3 minutes) educations video on some topic (e.g. small business). And let's say I take your advice and mention "DoubleDee, Inc" (or whatever) throughout the vignettes and incorporate my company name and URL as well. (Since I would be using a professional videographer, this shouldn't be an issue.) And, let's also assume that my videos will cover topics that are fairly generic and thus possibly easier for someone to hi-jack (e.g. Starting a Small Business, Incorporating Your Business, Why Legal Contracts Matter, etc.)

    What *true* threats/risks am I exposing my business to with said online videos?

    Is it "free advertising" if people take/use/copy my content?

    Or could it bring my company to its knees?!


    And from a technical standpoint, how much more at risk am I placing myself by having Video Files (e.g. MPEG, FLV, etc) on my Virtual Private Server - which would be downloadable - versus using a Streaming Service with someone like Amazon Cloud?


    I want to believe that Videos and Podcasts could help take my online business to the "next level", but I don't want to shoot myself in the process...

    Thanks,


    Debbie

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    Host them on Youtube. Tons of companies do it and you can embed them directly into your page. It also gives you free publicity on YouTube. It's a lot easier than trying to set up a streaming host for yourself. You could also look into using something like Fliqz, but they can be costly (and you have to have a very very good reason not to go to Youtube).

    Also, back to the whole "you shouldn't try to stop people from stealing them because it's impossible": https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir...ownloadhelper/

    That let's me download any video I've loaded into my browser, regardless if it was streamed or not. It's just not worth trying to defeat all of these things. That's like preventing people from stealing your images. They're on their computer already, you can't let them view it without it being on their computer.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    Host them on Youtube. Tons of companies do it and you can embed them directly into your page. It also gives you free publicity on YouTube. It's a lot easier than trying to set up a streaming host for yourself. You could also look into using something like Fliqz, but they can be costly (and you have to have a very very good reason not to go to Youtube).
    Yeah, but to me it looks chintzy, and I don't want people going FROM debbie.com TO youtube.com to watch "my" videos?!

    Besides, what is there to "set up" if I just link to a video in my httpdocs folder?

    If I'm not streaming the video then there should be any set up except my HTML or whatever, right?



    Also, back to the whole "you shouldn't try to stop people from stealing them because it's impossible": https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir...ownloadhelper/

    That let's me download any video I've loaded into my browser, regardless if it was streamed or not. It's just not worth trying to defeat all of these things. That's like preventing people from stealing your images. They're on their computer already, you can't let them view it without it being on their computer.
    You make a good point, but I also know that on sites like the Wall Street Journal your nifty little add-on won't work... (I know because I myself have tried.)

    So what do Fortune 500 companies do to combat this?

    And why are they fighting the copying - assuming it is just content and commercials versus movies or music videos?

    I think it is a threat - plus theft - if someone "lifts" a series of instructional videos that I spent $10,000 on...

    Don't you?!


    Debbie

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    It is perfectly possible to lift Wall Street Journal (I'm not condoning it, I'm just saying it was probably a waste of time). Worst-case scenario you use a screen grabber that records volume to grab the video area. It's impossible to truly prevent it.

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    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    It is perfectly possible to lift Wall Street Journal (I'm not condoning it, I'm just saying it was probably a waste of time). Worst-case scenario you use a screen grabber that records volume to grab the video area. It's impossible to truly prevent it.
    So let's assume it is impossible to stop people stealing online videos.

    Okay.

    So as a result of that, what threats to my business do you see?

    If it were you, wouldn't you be afraid of your competition stealing videos that you paid top dollar for?

    Other than watermarks and what-not, how do you discourage or greatly reduce the threat?


    Debbie

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    If it were you, wouldn't you be afraid of your competition stealing videos that you paid top dollar for?
    Truly, sincerely, no, I wouldn't. Especially if it has watermarks etc. I really think you are making too big an issue of this. If your competition stoops to behavior like this, they are not long for this world. Those more likely to swipe your content are small, shady, two-bit operators who scurry around like rats in the unmentionable nether regions of the world who are kind of out of your view anyway. They are a different economy, so not really in competition with you as such. My 2c.
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    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Truly, sincerely, no, I wouldn't. Especially if it has watermarks etc. I really think you are making too big an issue of this.
    It's easier to be paranoid when it's your $$$...


    If your competition stoops to behavior like this, they are not long for this world.
    I disagree.

    The #1 threat to small businesses - short of running out of cash - is people stealing their "Intellectual Property". (That's what made America great!! And it is what Capitalism is all about... Run your competition into the ground however you can!)


    Those more likely to swipe your content are small, shady, two-bit operators who scurry around like rats in the unmentionable nether regions of the world who are kind of out of your view anyway.
    What great fiction book did you grab that quote from? (Or was it in some video that you stole from online?!)


    They are a different economy, so not really in competition with you as such. My 2c.
    Maybe so, but I just worry so much about trying to start a business based on MY IDEAS because they are SO HARD TO PROTECT - especially online.


    Debbie

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    The #1 threat to small businesses - short of running out of cash - is people stealing their "Intellectual Property".
    There are laws against it, you know. (Or do you live in the Wild West?)

    What great fiction book did you grab that quote from?
    I wrote it myself, and now I'm super terrified that you'll steal it and I will lose megabucks.

    I just worry so much about trying to start a business based on MY IDEAS
    There are no original ideas anyway, so I don't really buy that argument. (Hell, I can probably get it for free. )
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    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Well Debbie, when it comes to streaming video it will be over your head and it will be exepnsive to do it yourself. Thats why Youtube and others like it have become so big. It is not cheap to handle streaming video on your own. You need serious bandwidth just for a small videos, let alone larger higher quality videos. You'll need a bigger or more servers depending on the traffic as streaming requires more work from the server then HTML and static files.

    It really isn't something that we cah just say "do this and this", it gets very complicated.
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    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    Well Debbie, when it comes to streaming video it will be over your head and it will be exepnsive to do it yourself. Thats why Youtube and others like it have become so big. It is not cheap to handle streaming video on your own. You need serious bandwidth just for a small videos, let alone larger higher quality videos. You'll need a bigger or more servers depending on the traffic as streaming requires more work from the server then HTML and static files.

    It really isn't something that we cah just say "do this and this", it gets very complicated.
    Rewind for a second. (I get this sense people are using different meanings for the same term.) When I say "streaming video" I mean that I have the original Video FILE on a server somewhere and some Video Streaming Application dices that Video FILE up into Video DATA PACKETS and sends them one after the other to a User's browser. As such, there is no way to steal a Video by simply downloading it.

    Now if a User used "Video Capture Software", then I suppose that that software would assemble each Video DATA PACKET and ultimately create a Video FILE that the User would have then successfully stolen.

    Back to your comments...

    What are you saying is mega expensive and over-my-head?

    1.) Hosting a Video FILE on my website and letting people view it?

    2.) Showing a Streamed Video where the Video FILE is converted to Video DATA PACKETS and them "streamed" over the Internet to people?


    If you are saying #1 is out-of-my-league I am skeptical, because I see small website do it all of the time (without using YouTube).

    Besides, think about it, YouTube is a modern phenomenon. 10 years ago people hosted videos on their websites and their was no YouTube. So how did they do it back then?!

    These videos I am looking on doing can't be that hard to serve up as either "files" or "streams" in my mind, because they will only be 1-3 minutes and I'm not looking for High-Def - just something that looks presentable.

    (Maybe a good videographer would have some ideas, but I suspect they are fairly ignorant on the IT side...)


    Debbie

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    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    These videos I am looking on doing can't be that hard to serve up as either "files" or "streams" in my mind, because they will only be 1-3 minutes and I'm not looking for High-Def - just something that looks presentable.
    If they are only going to be short and small...why bother with streaming them? One would stream to allow instant playing for larger video files but if they are already so small and short its pretty pointless.

    And no, streaming would not protect them from being downloaded and copied. For a video to be displayed all the necessary bits of data need to make it to the client's side. These bits are easily captured and reassembled into a complete file.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
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    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    If they are only going to be short and small...why bother with streaming them? One would stream to allow instant playing for larger video files but if they are already so small and short its pretty pointless.
    So what would I need to do so people could watch a Video File?

    Can't I just place that in my Document Root and link to it like a picture?

    (Again, I have no clue how to do videos online.)


    And no, streaming would not protect them from being downloaded and copied. For a video to be displayed all the necessary bits of data need to make it to the client's side. These bits are easily captured and reassembled into a complete file.
    Now, not to start any rumors here, but just out of curiosity, then how do porn sites prevent people from copying all of their movies?

    I mean, Ralph may be correct in that nobody would want to steal my "Debbie on Incorporating Your Business", but other content (e.g. porn) would definitely get stolen even if it was streamed.

    My point being, there certainly must be Technologies and Techniques that make it extremely difficult to capture videos online. Whether you are the Playboy Channel or NetFlicks or VH1 it would seem that they are ahead of the copyright infringers. (And I would think that the pron companies would be way ahead of the bad guys when it comes to protecting their content.)

    So, if there is anyone out there that runs a porn network, how do you/they protect their online videos??

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  19. #19
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    So what would I need to do so people could watch a Video File?

    Can't I just place that in my Document Root and link to it like a picture?

    (Again, I have no clue how to do videos online.)
    Sometimes, or use Flash/Silverlight to act as a middle-man.




    Now, not to start any rumors here,
    but just out of curiosity, then how do porn sites prevent people from copying all of their movies?...
    DRM and encryption, both of which must be supported by the server software, and client system along with the player (Flash/Silverlight) thus you won't see "porn" sites use HTML5 for video content. HTML5 has no DRM support.
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    Go to youtube.Use a google account to signup.Upload your video.After uploading click on the embed button and you will see a bunch of iframe code in a box copy it and paste in your website or forum.Enjoy streaming.

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    For screen capturing it, Jing is a free one. It let's you specify an area of your screen to record. Makes it a cinch to rip even the most well protected video. For not as well protected videos, you have programs like Video Download Helper, also free.

    Honestly, you are wasting your time. =p

    Like everyone else has said, watermark your video and stick it on YouTube. Tons of other companies do it that way and they do just fine. If you are really against using YouTube, a video hosting company like Fliqz is your next best bet. To properly stream video you need much better hardware than a typical web server runs on. Even for a few videos, it's prohibitively costly (even for the company I work for which pays 5-digits in server costs a month).

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    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    For screen capturing it, Jing is a free one. It let's you specify an area of your screen to record. Makes it a cinch to rip even the most well protected video. For not as well protected videos, you have programs like Video Download Helper, also free.
    Well, since they make Snag-It, they must be good!


    Honestly, you are wasting your time. =p
    Looks that way. (Guess I haven't caught up with the times...}


    Like everyone else has said, watermark your video and stick it on YouTube. Tons of other companies do it that way and they do just fine.
    So back to my question to Ralph... What is YouTube getting out of hosting my videos for me? Traffic for Advertising?

    Don't you think some day they'll pull the plug and charge everyone $200/year to host videos. (I mean if hosting video is SO EXPENSIVE as you keep saying, then why would a company do it for strangers for free?!)


    If you are really against using YouTube, a video hosting company like Fliqz is your next best bet.
    I just went to Fliqz, clicked on "Packages" and got this...
    Server Error in '/' Application.
    The resource cannot be found.
    Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly.

    Requested URL: /VBOSS/aspx/packages.aspx
    Guess Fliqz is out as an option!!


    To properly stream video you need much better hardware than a typical web server runs on. Even for a few videos, it's prohibitively costly (even for the company I work for which pays 5-digits in server costs a month).
    Wow!

    Has it always been that way?

    And since Fliqz is out in my mind, what would be the Pros and Cons of going with other You Tube-espque hosts?

    If I went with one of these...

    Vimeo
    Blip TV
    Fliqz
    Ooyala
    Brightcove
    Influxis
    Maxcast

    ...would I get the same service and results as YouTube??

    Thanks,


    Debbie

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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    Like everyone else has said, watermark your video and stick it on YouTube. Tons of other companies do it that way and they do just fine.
    Personally, I think it's a lazy option to just bung stuff on youtube, unless you have limited resources, or really need it as part of a wider social/search strategy. As has been pointed out, most corporate video doesn't appear on youtube, it shouldn't be used in every scenario any more than a facebook page should be used as a primary web presence for every company - the arguments stack up similarly, free, easy to set up, extra social traffic etc but it's an incomplete analysis that comes to the conclusion without really weighing up the downsides. Self hosting video really isn't that hard as an option.

    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    To properly stream video you need much better hardware than a typical web server runs on. Even for a few videos, it's prohibitively costly (even for the company I work for which pays 5-digits in server costs a month).
    You can host and stream a few videos on world-class hardware and networks for beer money depending on how many views you reckon you'll get - amazon cloudfront, rackspace cloud, influxis etc. Unless streaming is a primary high volume activity, owning your hardware doesn't provide ROI in comparison, it'd be a rare enterprise that would need to commit to that initially. A 5 minute high res clip costs about 1c per view on a typical CDN

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
    Personally, I think it's a lazy option to just bung stuff on youtube, unless you have limited resources, or really need it as part of a wider social/search strategy. As has been pointed out, most corporate video doesn't appear on youtube, it shouldn't be used in every scenario any more than a facebook page should be used as a primary web presence for every company - the arguments stack up similarly, free, easy to set up, extra social traffic etc but it's an incomplete analysis that comes to the conclusion without really weighing up the downsides.
    Glad to see a competing view. (I think Ralph started talking me into something that normally I would say is "tacky" at best?!)


    Self hosting video really isn't that hard as an option.
    So what would I need?

    I have a basic VPS with GoDaddy now.

    Could I use my existing Server/VPS, or would I need to off-load the video part?

    As far as videos, I would ideally like to have a modest library of 10-20 videos each about 1-3 minutes long, with a max likely under 8 minutes. The quality would be good, but no full-screen, hi-def silliness. The videos would be educational and likely just have a "talking head" whether me or someone else. Obviously I would have preferred *streaming* videos, but I'd be willing to just serve up video files.


    You can host and stream a few videos on world-class hardware and networks for beer money depending on how many views you reckon you'll get
    So take a stab at what you think it would cost me based on what I described.

    I have NO TRAFFIC on my site now. (Read less than 5 visitors a day)

    If I could get a couple hundred visitors a day I'd be elated. 1,000 visitors a day might be enough to actually amke some money?!


    amazon cloudfront, rackspace cloud, influxis etc.
    For a managed VPS, Rackspace charges like $1,000 per month.

    So what would they charge me to host and stream/serve out 5-10 videos for starters?!

    Thanks for a competing view!!!


    Debbie

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post

    So what would they charge me to host and stream/serve out 5-10 videos for starters?!
    Similar to amazon cloudfront, a few dollars a month will cover a handful of video and visitors. They don't do rtmp streaming last time I checked though, you'd be progressive download 'streaming' the files.


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