Hey guys, I know nothing about streaming video on my website and I am needing help getting streaming video on my site. I don't really want to use YouTube to do it. Currently I have flv progressive download but that's not the way i want to go at all. I would like to have windows media player if possible, but i can't find anything that will help me out. I've tried embedding the windows media player on the page, but that doesn't make it streaming, does it? Any help would be appreciated!
I'm pretty sure YouTube is also progressive or at least partially, maybe the newest stuff is all streaming. Are you anticipating a high volume of users? This would be the only reason to use streaming. Also I would reccomend sticking with Flash, it's the most compatible option.
Progressive costs you bandwidth in that if someone wants to see the middle of the video they have to load everything prior. With progressive you only know when someone accessed the file so you can't tweak video content to match the user interest and it's harder to add in pre-roll or post-roll.
With a streaming server off a CDN you only pay for what the user watches. Also with a streaming server the video can be queued to any point and will respond instantly. With a real streaming server you can get data on how much of your video was watched, when, by who, and what parts. The drawback? Streaming is expensive- plan to spend $1000/mo to maintain this server plus your bandwidth overages.
If you want real streaming make sure to use a real CDN- Vitalstream is good. I had complications/downtime with Limelight. Akamai is very expensive unless you have heavy heavy traffic like MSN or NBC.
For small websites or startups, progressive is perfectly acceptable.
Last edited by infinityspiral; 12-02-2007 at 09:07 PM.
Iím just a little curious as to why you feel that way about YouTube. Personally, rarely do I recommend using YouTube if there are other alternatives, but why do you feel that way?
Whether you choose .flv progressive or Windows Media will depend on the file format of your video. If you have created a .wmv (Windows) format, it will not play in a Flash player (without conversion, which is what YouTube does). If you create a .flv, it will not play in a Windows Media Player (without conversion).
Both formats can produce pretty high quality video. Most video will be progressively downloaded and not actually streamed. Are you sure you want the actual streaming? It is much more expensive and has nothing to do with quality of the video. YouTube will transcode the video to their final bit rate specs, about 250kbps or about half of what I recommend, starting at 500-600kbps for high quality video (hey what can I say, Iím a video producer!). The display on YouTube also stretches out the original 320 X 240 video over 424 X 318 pixels, further degrading the quality. So if you do choose to embed a YouTube video into your own page, check the size, to make sure youíre not stretching from the original (320 X 240).
And no, just embedding the player does not make the video ďstreamingĒ. But thatís not anything that money can not change!