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Best Way To Distribute Video Online?

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-assume-others-will-mirror dept.

Data Storage 227

CHAMELEON_D_H writes "For some time now, I've been working on a short, geek/nerd oriented animation. It's nearing completion, and I'm starting to look for a method to share it with anyone willing to spare a minute. There are dozens of video sharing and streaming sites out there, making my choice very difficult. Looking for the best possible video and audio quality, while still having vast OS and browser compatibility leaves me dumbfounded. Having a download link would be a great bonus. Youtube is the default and most common choice, but has mediocre video quality and resolution. DivX Web Player has astounding quality, but requires users to download DivX's plugin and forces me to find hosting or purchase more bandwidth, as they no longer serve videos via stage6. Do Slashdotters have any experience with sharing or uploading videos? Problems you've encountered? What do your eyes say about different streaming video sites?"

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Why Not Various Formats & Qualities? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880149)

My starving artist friend in NYC developed a short video on his mac and was faced with exactly this dilemma. So he sent out an e-mail with a link to the site where he was hosting a portal page. He simply said in the page that you could go watch the embedded YouTube video he had there if you didn't care about quality (and to be honest, his video really didn't require it) but then said that if you were a quality snob or if you couldn't make out the YouTube video, you could click the links.

At the bottom, he had a list of various Quicktime sizes. One was pretty much HD and he said that if you didn't have a large high quality display that you should just go for the medium version. He also pointed out you could download them by right clicking if (and his provider is horrendous) you got choppy video.

Nobody brought his site to his knees, 90% of the people probably just watched the YouTube video and everyone could watch it.

You could do a similar thing, hell you could even point out that you don't need to install QuickTime or a DIVX codec if you just watch from the portal page or visit YouTube.

Remember, you may be a quality snob but your audience isn't always so I would leave the choice to them. Is there something about your video that makes it look unbearable on YouTube? Is the animation and its features really that detailed and fine?

If it is, I have another idea. I don't know how this works but I buy my Cinematic Titanic dvds from EZ-Takes [eztakes.com] (also known as DVD Wagon) and it looks like they'll sell anything on there for a low price. You could contact a company that sells streaming video or DVD ISOs for low prices like $1 and then just not get anything for profit and use them as a cheap host for your audience. You might not see profits but you'll retain the rights to your video/audio and have a way someone can spend a dollar and get the highest quality possible from you. There's probably a more reliable company to do this through, I just know of EZ Takes.

Laugh in the face of melted servers (2, Informative)

Liath (950770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880713)

Spend a few bucks converting a high quality source to Flash Video format. THEN:

If you want to host it yourself, check out HaXeVideo [google.com] . Also, Red5 [osflash.org] is supposedly widely adopted.

If you're uncomfortable with open source, check out Wowza or FMS2 - both of these proprietary servers let 10 people watch your video at the same time, and come with plenty of examples. As long as your computer is connected to the internets & you know how to configure a router...

DivX is NO FORMAT! (5, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880959)

DivX is a CODEC (enCOder+DECoder) for the MPEG4 video format.
You can play DivX encoded videos with every MPEG4-compatible decoder.
Every other information is only deliberate disinformation by DivX Inc. to sell you their trash.

But why would you use such an outdated and non-free codec in the first place, when there are enough alternatives.
There are x264, XviD, Theora as video encoders,
Matroska and Ogg as containers,
Vorbis, MP3 and too many other formats and encoders to count for audio.

And nowadays eveybody who watches downloaded films has those on his disk anyway (except maybe for Theora and the Ogg DirectVideo demuxer).

Re:DivX is NO FORMAT! (1, Insightful)

Snaller (147050) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881627)

"But why would you use such an outdated and non-free codec in the first place, "

Because it is supported in hardware everywhere, there is tons of (user friendly) software for it and there is a great browser plugin in in for it.

"There are x264, XviD, Theora as video encoders,
Matroska and Ogg as containers,"

XVid is basically the same as Divx so that is fine, but the rest are weird non standard junk not supported in very much. That's something you reencode to avi as fast as possible if you can't get it in avi to start with.

"And nowadays eveybody who watches downloaded films has those on his disk anyway"

I doubt that, they avoid them to begin with. But presumably those who use hardware wouldn't go near it.

Re:DivX is NO FORMAT! (3, Informative)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881761)

DivX is not just a codec. DivX 4 through 6 do use the MPEG 4 Part II video spec (ASP) but what's important is that DivX defines additional constraints such as limiting the use of different bitstream features and data rates for CE device classes with varying capabilities to ensure a high quality playback experience on a very wide range of hardware. DivX Profiles (e.g. Mobile, Home Theater, 1080 HD) also constrain file format features and valid audio formats for the same reason.

This is why you can buy $50 devices that are certified to play all your DivX files smoothly so long as you've encoded them to the correct profile. Can you walk into a store and easily identify something on the shelf that you're absolutely certain will play any other combination of formats? I bet most people can't.

But why would you use such an outdated and non-free codec in the first place, when there are enough alternatives.

DivX Codec was just updated last month.

There are x264, XviD, Theora as video encoders,
Matroska and Ogg as containers,
Vorbis, MP3 and too many other formats and encoders to count for audio.

x264 is a good codec, but good luck finding a low-cost DVD player that supports it. Xvid is a comparable video codec to DivX and provides compatible output options - i.e. leveraging the support DivX has built in low-cost CE devices. Theora has no CE support that I am aware of, and I don't think CE support of Ogg is either extensive or thoroughly tested by anyone. Vorbis as an audio format is only recently being supported even in PMP devices (sure, you can find a handful here and there).

If the only thing that's important to you is playback on your desktop then sure, do whatever you like. I like creating my media so that I can pass it to friends without worry, watch it on my TV with my $50 TV player or connected device, transfer it to my phone, etc.

Every other information is only deliberate disinformation by DivX Inc. to sell you their trash.

One of the greatest values of DivX is that an interoperable and largely open platform that has been created to bridge the gap from your desktop to the world of consumer electronics. Name any other high efficiency video format openly accessible to the general consumer that almost any software can export to that works on thousands of low cost devices from hundreds of manufacturers. Infact, name some other companies dedicated to making platforms that are so open and accessible who have actually been fairly successful in doing so?

Where is the love? :)

Re:DivX is NO FORMAT! (2, Insightful)

rtechie (244489) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881795)

But why would you use such an outdated and non-free codec in the first place, when there are enough alternatives.

Compatibility. Next to nothing uses Theora and Vorbis, and Matroska and Ogg are very obscure container formats that require codec packs to be installed AND only work on a handful of platforms. For example, Matroska only works properly on Windows.

Performance. H.264 and Divx/Xvid are relatively CPU intensive, especially H.264. So if you want to play your video on older hardware or handhelds, these codecs are right out. I still encode stuff in MPEG 1 for this reason.

Torrent. (4, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880987)

Nobody brought his site to his knees, 90% of the people probably just watched the YouTube video and everyone could watch it.

If the link points to a torrent, the site is even more likely to be able to withstand lots of users downloading the video.

That's what torrent where designed to begin with (before the format became also popular on sites like pirate bay) : to enable content provider to distribute huge files without killing too much bandwidth.

All the poster has to do is to send some way or another (using a plain HTTP link, or sending burned CD-R through snail-mail) the file to a small amount of friends who could all seed the file initially and everything will be ok.

Re:Torrent. (2, Informative)

thtrgremlin (1158085) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881223)

Why not just upload the torrent and get your friends to download it the same way. With the way bit torrent works, all your friends (or anyone else for that matter) will become seeders in no time if they just stay connected. Also, if you post the torrent here, I am sure there are a fair number of /.ers willing to seed it. Also, if by any stretch of the imagination you don't know about it already, Pick out the CC License of your choice [creativecommons.org] and at the end there are many sites listed that will host CC Licensed work for free, including the internet archive. Found some interesting info at Zimibo.com [zimbio.com] too.

Re:Torrent. (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881807)

Why not just upload the torrent and get your friends to download it the same way. With the way bit torrent works, all your friends (or anyone else for that matter) will become seeders in no time if they just stay connected.

Upload bandwith is the problem.
I don't know how it is where you live, but here the ADSL (assymetric DSL) lines are really incredibly assymetic : 5mbits download but only 500kbits upload.

So getting the first copy is going to be slow, specially if the friends uses clients who aren't able to correctly coordinate among them.
Because you'll going to have n friends pulling together the first copy over the smallish upload bandwith.

Note: some clients are designed to prefer downloading the rarest chunk first.
So in that situation each client will pull a different chunk from the author and the pull the rest from each other :
Client 1 pulls chunk A, because it's the first one.
Client 2 pulls chunk B, because chunk A exist in two locations (Seed and client 1), but chunk B exist only in one location
Client 3 pulls chunk C, because chunk A and B exist in two locations.
etc.

But that behaviour isn't mandated by the Torrent standard and there are simplier implementation which doesn't do that.
Client 1 arrives, and start pulling chunk A because it's the first.
Client 2 arrives, and start pulling chunk A too because it's the first. And pulls it from the seed because it's only place where it is available now.
etc.

Re:Why Not Various Formats & Qualities? (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881127)

while i have no experience in film production, and thus don't know what it's like from the perspective of the filmmakers, i know that the Democracy Player (currently known as Miro) used to be a great way to sample a wide variety of video content produced by independent filmmakers (and also not so independent ones).

Democracy player used the bittorrent protocol, i believe, so bandwidth was never a problem. the video quality was usually around that of VHS or standard def TV, but i think it varies depending on the channel you were watching.

so if you want something with better quality than YouTube, but without the bandwidth requirements of hosted downloads, you could try Democracy/Miro.

&fmt=18 (3, Informative)

Matteo522 (996602) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881631)

The secret to YouTube is adding &fmt=18 at the end of the URL.

My fiance just put up her first professional music video, and the quality is pretty good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op11TX0ELIg&fmt=18 [youtube.com] . The benefits of ease-of-distribution, in my opinion, far outweigh the loss in quality.

Plus, as you hit the high levels of quality, you shut out more and more people as the speed increases.

Re:&fmt=18 (1)

Matteo522 (996602) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881665)

And, of course, by speed I meant time to download. Doh.

why not both? (4, Informative)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880167)

Hit up youtube to give it exposure and link to your webpage where you provide a torrent for the better quality files. Put some simple ads on that page and you're good to go.

Vimeo (4, Informative)

Peganthyrus (713645) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880193)

I mostly see things pop up on Vimeo when people don't want to post them on Youtube for quality reasons.

Re:Vimeo (1)

La Camiseta (59684) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880249)

I would second that, maybe post it on YouTube for the number of eyes that would see it, and then link to a Vimeo version of the video in higher resolution - you can post at up to HD resolution on Vimeo.

Re:Vimeo (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880409)

First and second Vimeo. It is Youtube with decent (very decent in fact) quality. No hassle with bandwidth issues. No problem regarding quality.

Re:Vimeo (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880539)

It's a shame that Vimeo is so slow compared to Youtube though.

What kind of quality does your animation need? (3, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880543)

Animation is *such* a broad space. Some kinds of animation don't need much resolution or bandwidth, e.g. South Park. Other kinds might want lots of pixels or at least wide format, but they're still fairly low bandwidth, e.g. cartoons with lots of things in them or landscapy shapes. But there are kinds of animation where you really do need more quality/bandwidth, e.g. you're starting with photo images and doing interesting things with lighting that you want to show off.

Depending on what you're doing, it may be that YouTube, or YouTube in full-screen mode, may be enough, or it may not, and Youtube's been talking about handling higher-resolution video as well.

Re:Vimeo (1)

MePhuq (941622) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880699)

YUP, vimeo is fast becoming the Apple of streaming video, while youtube is straightup Windows 98 First Edition, outside of an increase in file size acceptance, Youtube, licks. As far as speed, if your doing resource intensive things like any video, graphics work, Vimeo's speed shouldn't give you any more brain damage.

Re:Vimeo (1)

Shade of Pyrrhus (992978) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880765)

Vimeo does seem like it has good resolution, but remember that Youtube does have the "Watch in High Quality" link on videos that are uploaded correctly (640x480, mp3 audio).

The DeadlyPandas [deadlypandas.com] site has quick and easy info about properly encoding a video for YouTube using VirtualDub (skip the initial "game recording" stuff).

Re:Vimeo (1)

Underfoot (1344699) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881147)

Not many people realize this, but You Tube does offer a "higher-quality" [youtube.com] video than it streams to the masses who stumble upon it.

It is a setting in your account (if you have an account). They stream the "low-quality" by default to save bandwidth. The problem here is you can not upload a video and specify that everyone should watch it in the "high-quality" mode.

Re:Vimeo (1)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881537)

But a short time spent with google will help you find out how to embed the high-quality version.

Re:Vimeo (1)

Matteo522 (996602) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881693)

As I mentioned in a post above, you can embed and link to a high quality YouTube video by appending &fmt=18 to the end of the URL. For example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op11TX0ELIg&fmt=18 [youtube.com]

Re:Vimeo (2, Interesting)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881767)

This is the home for almost all of my videos. They won't take AMVs or mashups so I still have to upload those to YouTube. But anything original? Vimeo all the way.

SimpleCDN (5, Informative)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880209)

Flat fee per upload. Plus you get 15 credits just for registering.

http://simplecdn.com/ [simplecdn.com]

Their MirrorCDN option is also nice, depending on what you're doing. $.07/GB is less than half of what S3 charges for transfer rates.

Re:SimpleCDN (1)

JeremyBanks (1036532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881699)

Huh. That seems like a very good deal. Have you used them? Are there any catches we should know about?

Re:SimpleCDN (1)

JeremyBanks (1036532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881745)

The interface is horrendous.

Wow.

Re:SimpleCDN (1)

JeremyBanks (1036532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881773)

Their (S)FTP upload server isn't responding.

imeem.com has pretty darn good video (4, Informative)

illectro (697914) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880213)

imeem.com [imeem.com] supports 'Near DVD Quality' in their own words, and they just use s flash player. Most people use imeem for sharing mp3s but the video quality is pretty good too.

Re:imeem.com has pretty darn good video (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881151)

You slashdotted them! No response from their site, now.

Find a bunch of mirrors (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880225)

It's geek related, lots of people that have bandwidth to share on their Flash streaming servers. Set up a script that round-robins across a bunch of streaming servers. Just use a decent encoder and the quality will be good.

shout and scream and moon people in the video (0, Offtopic)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880231)

At that point, distribution will take care of itself, though there may be some fallout [unogateway.com] afterwards. But at least people will see your video....

Vimeo (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880245)

If you want some sort of "universally" available distribution your only real option is Flash. The best flash video site (which even supports HD) is Vimeo, and you would probably find it to be the highest recommended site among video pros.

An alternative is to encode into one of the standard formarts, MPEG-1 probably covers most ground and distribute using Vuze, but that requires your audience download Vuze (aka Azuerus).

Re:Vimeo (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880439)

Flash is hardly universal. It excludes those who have any 64 bit OS other than Windows.

Xvid is open source and available for just about any platform. So why not just host the avi on a web server and let people download or stream with the player of their choice?

Re:Vimeo (1)

B4light (1144317) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881037)

Run your internet browser in 32-bit, even Windows does that by default

Re:Vimeo (2, Insightful)

terjeber (856226) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881433)

It excludes those who have any 64 bit OS other than Windows.

Actually, no, it doesn't. Flash is available for most of these platforms. Flash is not available in a 64 bit version for 64 bit anything (including Windows) but neither are the majority of browsers on the market today unless you are an expert. If you are an expert you really should not have a problem at all running flash on your 64 bit computer. I run Flash on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, all of them (sorta) 64 bit OSs.

As it comes to universality, Flash has broader coverage than any other distribution mechanism in the real world today, and therefore Flash would be the appropriate choice for Web distribution.

personal experience... (4, Interesting)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880253)

I like blip.tv or vimeo. Both offer significantly higher quality than YouTube. The only hassle with blip is that you have to pay to get "premium" encoding, although the free version works just fine if you're patient enough to wait a few hours.

However, it may make more sense to host the file yourself (you can use something like Amazon's AWS to serve gigabytes of content for hardly anything) using any of a number of excellent embedded video viewers. This gives you absolute control over your media, which is a surprisingly valuable commodity. If your animation turns out to be popular, your site could see hundreds of thousands - or even millions - of visits. That can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars of revenue. On the other hand, if you upload your film to YouTube, you're going to hand over that advertising revenue to Google and walk away empty handed. Honestly, "social media" sites are a fool's game - You do all the hard work, someone else profits.

Re:personal experience... (1)

XPisthenewNT (629743) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881235)

Any suggestions for excellent embedded video viewer?

Any idea how widely compatible they are?

Thanks!

Re:personal experience... (1)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881667)

I'm a big fan of the various Wimpy tools... http://www.wimpyplayer.com/ [wimpyplayer.com] (I'm sure someone around here is going to start yelping about open source options, but I tried a handful and kept running into compatibility quirks). Their products cost between $20 and $40 (per site license, as I recall) and there are demo version of all of their tools on the site - you can try yourself before committing.

Vimeo is the best for HD (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880309)

Vimeo is your best bet, especially if your footage is HD.

Try the higher quality YouTube (4, Informative)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880319)

YouTube has a "high quality" video upload option. I've watched a few - most of them are pretty good. Might be suitable for your purposes, and of course, universally accessible. Check it out:

http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hlrm=en&answer=91450 [google.com]

Re:Try the higher quality YouTube (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24880487)

or just append &fmt=6 at the end of a youtube video (good for hotlinking)
you'll notice that the "watch in high quality" option will no longer be here :)

--
pieggi

Re:Try the higher quality YouTube (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881081)

What about 1920 x 1080 progressive at 59.94 fps?

Re:Try the higher quality YouTube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881407)

My experience with YouTube has been that almost all videos are available in "high quality" mode, but when you view them via Flash in your browser, you don't get that high quality.

However, you can force it to give you the high-quality version; I usually use youtube-dl with the "-b" flag to download MP4s of high-quality video, but I think you just need to append the right arguments to the URL to allow users to get high-quality in the browser.

+1 for Vimeo (1)

hlimethe3rd (879459) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880323)

Another vote for Vimeo. Good quality, decently ease to use/share/restrict.

Here's what I've seen done (4, Informative)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880345)

Put the crappy version up on Youtube. It lets people see what you're about and whether they'd like to have a better version.

Now here's the trick: in the video description area, include a link to a torrent tracker with the higher quality version. Seed it yourself to get the ball rolling, watch it take off from there.

I've seen people who make game videos do that sort of thing, like when it's show-off clips or game music videos and the like.

The advantage of doing it this way is you increase the stumble-on factor by being on Youtube and people can see your video in seconds. Those who care enough to demand the higher-quality version will have the torrent link and be very happy. All around, win-win. Now aside from using a p2p app and thus directly supporting the terrorists, you're all set.

Streaming does not allow high quality (5, Insightful)

xiando (770382) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880349)

I distribute video using BitTorrent because that allows me to distribute video in very high quality. It is also my preference when viewing Internet video. Why insist on making the users view video files in their web browser? I personally prefer to view videos using a video player (mplayer/xine/vlc/etc) and I even download videos from web video sites like youtube (youtube-dl) and view them this way. Streaming in good quality does not scale well, and it does not work well with many software combinations (different OS, web browsers, etc). Most users seem to know how to download a video file using BitTorrent, so why not use that standard? If you really want to allow users to stream videos then give them a low quality flash video (like YouTube) and offer them to download a high-quality MPEG4 ("divx")/DVD ISO video file. This would allow those who prefer to view videos in their browsers to do so while also allowing people like me to download and view the high-quality version at my leisure. I do not think high-quality web browser viewed streaming video is possible, so consider the next best thing, low quality streaming with the option of downloading a high quality version.

flowplayer on your own site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24880353)

http://www.purdueband.com/ [purdueband.com] is a great example of how well this works.

Multi-Upload in One Place (1)

micahfk (913465) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880359)

I personally have used TubeMogul [tubemogul.com] and found it to be a great resource to submit one video to many different sites all in a simple interface with great tracking as well for analysis later on.

Self fulfilling prophecy? (4, Informative)

Craptastic Weasel (770572) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880361)

Or you could post a question to Slashdot, in which your user name links to your site, and within that site is a link to the video.

I think this [noamr.info] is the video.

I know (or believe, rather) this wasn't your intention, but I am working on the coveted "Commander of the Obvious" award for most obvious solution. :)

x264 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24880405)

Use x264 to encode a high quality mp4 of your video, and then use JW FLV MEDIA PLAYER [jeroenwijering.com] to embed it on your site using flash. You can make it as high quality as you want.

Obvious answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24880421)

Youtu... nooo wait.

Bittorrent streaming now available (5, Interesting)

molo (94384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880517)

You can now stream over bittorrent. This works by prioritizing earlier segments in the file and combining the bittorrent client with the media player.

See here:

    http://trial.p2p-next.org/ [p2p-next.org]
    http://www.ghacks.net/2008/07/27/eztv-allows-bittorrent-streaming/ [ghacks.net]

-molo

Try your best to future-proof it (4, Informative)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880529)

I would upload one copy to a couple of streaming video sites like Youtube and Vimeo. Once you've done that, take your highest-res copy and any other material you want to share, and upload to archive.org. That way, if people want to watch on their own terms, the video is available in a huge digital library that tries to invest in digital permanence. Be clear about the licensing terms and leave your contact information.

Re:Try your best to future-proof it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881309)

I also use Internet Archive (archive.org). I can upload my video in one defacto standard format (*.wmv), they convert it to one or more (mpeg4), and people can download whichever they prefer. I specifically avoided Google and YouTube because of their proprietary codecs/ viewers.

HTH,

David Christensen
dpchrist@holgerdanske.com

blip.tv (1)

johny42 (1087173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880535)

I use blip.tv [blip.tv] . They offer very good video quality in a Flash player and will host the original video file on their site so you can provide a download link as well. The Flash player is also very customizable, so you can fit it into your site and you don't even have to link to or otherwise advertise them. See also the comparison on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

duh! (4, Funny)

jagdish (981925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880541)

Name it "xxx-porn" and spread it on the interwebs.

Youtube has ruined reputation of flash. (3, Informative)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880575)

Please don't accuse me of a flash advocate, but it's really not their fault. Youtube encodes video at a lower quality to save bandwidth.

Flash actually support multiple codecs. h.264 is the standard used today for many video encoding needs. h.264 is sometimes used with youtube and flash, but to what extend I don't recall.

So really flash is like any other player. The best way to send video over the internet is to first encode it into h.264

Re:Youtube has ruined reputation of flash. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24880755)

Ah, yes! The reputation of Flash. Such a highbrow platform, associated with such professional content as "Punch the Monkey" ads and so-called "websites" with zero HTML content.

Too bad Youtube shattered our image of Flash.

other way around (0)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881487)

Actually, it's Flash that ruined the reputation of YouTube. It's not about the video quality. It's about the security. And the browser has a lot to do with this, too, for failing to support video (it supports still pictures and animated GIFs, so why not video and audio, too, as a built-in integrated feature).

As for the encoding, show me a free open source H.264 encoder (even if it is a slow one that takes many times the play time to encode it), or a hardware encoder with free open source drivers that work in BSD and Linux (or at least one of them and can be adapted to the other).

Re:other way around (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881595)

As for the encoding, show me a free open source H.264 encoder

How about this one [videolan.org] ? It's included with vlc and mplayer by default, so you can use their transcoding capabilities to generate it from any other format that they support.

I recommend... (0, Troll)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880577)

...using an IP Address of some sort, and possibly a protocol on top of it. Totally your call on the last part, though.

Don't forget ownership! (2, Insightful)

sudnshok (136477) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880597)

I believe many of these video sharing sites claim rights to anything you post. You may want to keep that in mind when choosing (if that matters to you).

motionbox (1)

Aurien (1357861) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880635)

One good place to go is http://www.motionbox.com/ [motionbox.com] . They do have a pay option that give you more storage and a HD option for your video. You can upload 1280x720. It still uses flash player and has a download option. People viewing don't need to signup or subscribe to watch HD content. You can see an example of one of my videos at http://www.motionbox.com/videos/7c9adfb61d1fe2f4?quality=hd&type=progressive [motionbox.com]

Video hosting tip. (1)

8bitmachinegun (855479) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880637)

Hello. I work for one of a large stock video [thoughtequity.com] & rights management company. We deal with every codec/format that you can think of and after reading all the comments above I would suggest doing something like:

- Post the video on YouTube or Vimeo and include an ad or a slate sending people to a higher res version.

- Post a higher res version somewhere hosted. I'd reccomend using QuickTime, esp. the PhotoJPEG codec (great results, almost universal ability to view across QT versions and good file sizes with careful setting tweaking) and some sort of .wmv for the non-QuickTime crowd. Microsoft, I believe, has a free windows media encoder.

- Flash is also an option if you have access to a good encoder. I'd stay away from DivX.

Try unicornmedia (1)

caffeinatedOnline (926067) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880683)

Shameless plug, but check out http://www.unicornmedia.com./ [www.unicornmedia.com] They will take content, transcode it to near lossless h.264 quality, and host it on their site for free. As the content owner, you are given the opportunity to place ads, which you get a percentage from. They launch a new front end next month designed entirely in Flex, so as long as the client has Flash, it will play.

Infinovision is #1 (2, Interesting)

superpauldiddy (1357857) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880685)

It used to be Vimeo, but now it's Infinovision [infinovision.com] . Their player is nicer, it extracts thumbnails of the video and places them on the progress bar so you can preview and seek there. Also they don't have an upload size restriction, and support true seeking not just progressive downloading like Vimeo. It's super high quality, and you can brand the player with your own logo which is cool. They even built a Youtube-esque user submitted video content Joomla component called JVideo. Which uses their stuff so you can run your own Youtube site for free just by installing their stuff. You can basically just upload videos into their dashboard and pull out embed code at the bare minimum, or you can use their API to integrate it into your site too.

They don't have a public gallery like Vimeo does, you have to embed the stuff on your own sites or use their API. They're better suited for giving the illusion of you running your own video system though since they encourage you to brand the player.

LegalTorrents.com! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24880727)

I have had a really good experience via LegalTorrents.com. I released my feature-length film [legaltorrents.com] there and they're different in that you upload your content TO THEM and they seed it for you, in addition to letting it get seeded by the public.

The response by the community has been quite positive, and I find that I get several new downloads every day (and since I released two versions, 700MB and 3.4 GB, I think that number is pretty good). Almost 500 downloads in a little over a month! Accordingly, I find that a lot diversity in the country of origin for the downloaders, as I'm getting a good spread across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, as well as the Americas.

Good luck on finding a good place to host your streaming content, but if you're in the mood to release your work in downloadable-form under something like a Creative Commons license, I would certainly recommend LegalTorrents.com...

[Note: I don't work there--just an extremely happy user. I heard of them off of /., actually]

It seems like their "Animations" section might be a bit lacking, so you might have some luck! Send them an email:

http://beta.legaltorrents.com/animations

Re:LegalTorrents.com! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24880863)

ThePiratebay is even better.

stagehd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24880781)

http://www.stagehd.com uses the divx codec and has the same feel of stage6 though I have noticed that the site is a bit slower, but the quality is awesome. Allows uploads as well.

No Need for a Video Hosting Site (1)

blanu2 (1324201) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880787)

YouTube is a great place to find videos, so it's also a good place to promote your video with either a clip or a trailer.

However, you don't need YouTube to host your video. You can host it yourself very easily and inexpensively. If you care about quality or if your video is too long for a YouTube clip, then this is an even more attractive option.

Cross-platform, cross-browser support is very simple these days. Encode your video as a QuickTime MOV file using the H.264 codec. QuickTime Pro can do this for your easily and cheaply and does a good job with the encoding. If you want to do this with open source, you can do it with Handbrake or even just ffmpeg.

MOV/H.264 is playable by Flash 9 (fullscreen, with hardware-accelerated scaling), so it should play back in all the browsers on every OS. Just code up a simple web page with a download link and an open source Flash video player queue to play your video. If you encode it at a reasonable bitrate (QuickTime Pro has a good preset for this) then the bandwidth cost should be low.

If making the web page with the Flash player and download link and then uploading it to a server is too much trouble (and really, why should filmmakers have to bother with this) then the product I'm working on, Ringlight [ringlight.us] can help. It's a very small file-sharing application that you run on your desktop. Whenever you drop a movie file in your shared it automatically generates a web page for the file containing a thumbnail, download link, and embedded Flash video player (with fullscreen, of course). This is all hosted on the Ringlight website for you, so you can just send people the link to the page. When they go to download the video, it will download it directly from your computer, so you don't need to pay for bandwidth on a server. Users that download your video can volunteer to help you out scaling your bandwidth by becoming mirrors of the file, donating their own bandwidth. There is also an option to host your file on S3, which you can activate by just checking a box.

My service can help you if you want to scale up from peer-to-peer distribution all the way up to a massive audience and you don't want to bother with the details or pay for a server. However, if you already have a server and are willing to do a little website work then hosting it yourself may still be a preferable alternative to using a video hosting site since you can have total control over the quality and length of the video.

If you're OK with Flash and you have the bandwidth (1)

trjonescp (954259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880837)

then you can go with an open source flash player that can play an FLV video [wikipedia.org] . JW Player [jeroenwijering.com] is one that comes to mind, but I know there are other better ones that support h264 and even seeking (albeit in a hackish kind of way).

New DivX site coming (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880851)

Vreel [vreel.net] is entering beta very soon. They've liscensed the DivX web player and will offer videos up to 1 GB, or up to 8.5 GB if you sign up for a premium account. With support for h.264 encoding. Looks like it will incorporate all the best features of the sorely missed Stage6.

yahoo hosting and on2 video? (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880857)

Why not use Yahoo Hosting which has unlimited data and transfer [yahoo.com] ?
Couple that with On2 [on2.com] 's Flix encoder for making VP6 videos (makes Youtube look like a B&W TV with rabbit ears vs HDTV with a true 1080p source)

there's also a few other choices in terms of hosting that has unlimited data storage and unlimited bandwidth for a reasonable price per month...just use our good friend...google.

YourPerView does higher quality and longer videos (1)

doodlebumm (915920) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880875)

http://www.youperview.com/ [youperview.com] accepts longer and higher resolution (quality) videos, and you can make money from the video. Since it is a pay-per-view site, you can have a preview video that is available to all, but to view the complete video one must pay (and the price is set by the video producer, not the youperview site). The preview can be embedded into a web page, and you can send people to the youperview site to view the full video. As with any video, you probably want to tailor your video to play nicely, without taking lots of time to download so that one doesn't have to view lots of pauses as the large file buffers more to be viewed.

I know, I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24880899)

Leak it on ThePirateBay and then act shocked and attempt to sue them. It works wonders for Hollywood!

Google Video!! (1)

DogToy (96521) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880907)

You can upload video to video.google.com for free and you can use pretty high quality. There are even full length movies on google video that are supposedly public domain.

cheers,
-DT

Best way to have your vid seen (1)

ParanoiaBOTS (903635) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880935)

Set a release date, claim that you have been stifled by someone in the movie industry, and then "accidentally" leak it to the pirate bay a day or so later. Then there is always the method of naming it girl on girl xxx sex etc etc and putting it on piratebay

Ask Slashdot (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#24880947)

What's the best way to distribute HTML files online?

Dailymotion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881001)

Dailymotion has HD hosting. It is in many ways similar to youtube, but better quality.

$5/m unlimited hosting ... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881021)

I can get hosting with no transfer limits for $5 per month and there's plenty of ISPs to choose apart from the one I use.

How poor do you have to be to not be able to afford that?

Re:$5/m unlimited hosting ... (1)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881239)

That 5$ per month account would probably get disabled "excessive processor usage" as soon as 20-30 people start streaming a video.

Re:$5/m unlimited hosting ... (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881565)

Sorry, but if you put big videos (i mean, you want to be better than youtube...) on that webspace, you will be surprised by how quickly you can find out the limits of "unlimited"....

Who's hosting? (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881043)

Your question doesn't make it clear. Are you needing an existing service to actually host your content, or are you just looking for the best method of delivery for your own site? Just because YouTube quality is low doesn't mean you can't use the exact same technology (Flash FLV video) but at a higher bitrate and resolution. You can set up your own "YouTube" on your site in a matter of minutes. You just need a flash video player (there are tons of them out there for free) to point at the FLV files sitting on your site.

As others have pointed out, you also do not specify if you want something streaming, that someone can begin watching within seconds of clicking a link, or something that is downloaded and played offline. The latter offers the best possible quality, because the bitrate can greatly exceed the viewer's bandwidth.

How about high definition video? (0, Offtopic)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881059)

I've been discussing a project with a friend that would involve distributing standard definition and high definition videos to TV stations around the world. This would not be live streaming; it would be video files to download and integrate into various TV station local productions and broadcast. The TV stations would need to use these videos typically through their non-linear editing systems. Any idea which file format would be most usable by TV stations in these video formats: 480i59.94, 576i50, 720p50, 720p59.94, 1080i50, 1080i59.94?

dovetail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881097)

www.dovetail.tv is made for exactly this scenario. high-res, streaming, focus on indie producers.

i would think of veoh.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881135)

high resolution, automatic process, only downside, you might need to split files to play without the need of the veoh client to download, in rest, divx / mpeg 4, whatever you have is good to use if id streaming, you can embed files in web page through a flash player option, keeping same high quality output.

best of luck

simon

Here's some tips (2, Informative)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881215)

For streaming on site:

1.
Convert your movie to MP4 with AAC sound and use some free, open source flash video player like http://www.jeroenwijering.com/?item=JW_FLV_Player [jeroenwijering.com] for streaming.

2.
Use Vimeo. Very good quality.

3.

Offer Youtube clip and Vimeo and downloads on the same page.

Regarding bandwidth:

1. Offer the movie in 3-4 sizes
2. Use a torrent tracker (either on the server or something like PirateBay), it helps.

If you don't want to use bittorrent and he expects lots of simultaneous downloads, buy a dedicated server with a lot of bandwidth.

For example, FDCServers.net offers some servers with up to 15 TB (avg 50mbps) of download pretty much guaranteed, at about 150-170$.

Keep in mind though, if he wants quality bandwidth (not really needed in this case), 100 mbps link (33TB) usually goes for about 500$ a month.

 

Maybe you need a strategy.. (1)

houbou (1097327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881295)

I've not done much research on this, but maybe you can do a combination of things.

  1. Have a low-res sample on YouTube
  2. Provide info at the beginning of the clip about your mySpace and FaceBook account, etc...
  3. Have a mySpace and a Facebook account and whatever other site you can, and promote your movie
  4. On the sites you are promoting your movie, give people the link and/or instructions how how to get your movie via P2P.
  5. Make sure your movie is shared at least by you on these P2P networks.

What do you think?

Might as well forget it now (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881337)

Now that we are going back to capped/pay per byte internet it wont be practical to distribute over the net.

Of course that is part of their plan. Make it too expensive to 'pirate' a movie so you buy it from them instead.

Quicktime (1)

tomaasz (5800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881387)

For our animated short films (http://cattleshow.net) we use Quicktime and host the files ourselves.

I can definitely recommend Quicktime - everyone knows it and either already has it or knows where to get it, you get great quality and compatibility, decent encoding/conversion tools.

And you can do it like Apple does with movie trailers (http://www.apple.com/trailers) - three quality settings + one to three HD quality settings for download. Use bittorrent. If you use Amazon S3 for HTTP delivery you get bittorrent support for free (I think it's only matter of adding the .torrent extension to the link).

Mod this up people, it's an awesome little secret. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881393)

One thing I REALLY, R-E-A-L-L-Y like about Blip.tv, beyond their generous file size limits, easy embedability (is that a word?), widescreen support, etc., is the fact that if you encode your video to the right FLV flash specs, they will NOT transcode it again. I consider this to be a great little known secret actually.

Almost every other site will not only re-encode your video, but they'll do it to terrible specs. So, if you encode to a 1 mbs FLV file at 640x480 straight from your highest-res master source, you'll not only get a nice clean video, but you can upload to Blip.tv, and they will literally serve up the file you uploaded as is. To be honest, I'm not even sure Vimeo can compete with that.

Try it if you don't believe me...

Viddler.com? (1)

chicocarlucci (1345953) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881395)

I don't know why anyone hasn't mentioned viddler [viddler.com] yet. It seems to have pretty decent resolution. ( i haven't put it to the test so I don't know). However it also has the added benefit of users being able to embed comments at _specific points_ in your video. That's pretty neat. Especially if you want those comments. e

Test the waters and then host (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881459)

Upload it to YouTUBE, and if it gets popular buy some real hosting ( http://nearlyfreespeech.net/ [nearlyfreespeech.net] is pay-for-use with good load scaling) and put some Google ads on it and pull the YouTUBE version. If it's truly popular you'll make a small profit.

I'm not sure of the best way to put it on your page. I'd just use SUPER to stuff it into an MP4, which will then either download or be automatically streamed via Quicktime (I have to applaud Apple for that piece of cleverness).

Youtube is best for exposure - for quality... (1)

DrBuzzo (913503) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881461)

Youtube is far from perfect. The quality is only so-so but the thing is that it is great for exposure. Everyone knows how to use it, it's very simple, the traffic it gets is enormous, it even works with many DVR's, cell phones and stuff like that. It is THE video hosting service in the same way eBay is THE online auction site.

Therefore, I'd really recommend that you use Youtube at least for a preview or a sample of it. You can add a link or insert a link at the end for where it is avaliable at higher quality.

Now.. for higher quality, the next question is "How high quality" - really you can't beat a direct download of the file as an AVI or MOV or something, because that always had advantages over embeded players. For a codec, something simple like MPEG-4 ASP (Divx/XVID) and MP3 audio will make sure everyone can view it. You could do it as a direct download from a paid hosting server. Just biting the bullet and pay a few bucks is worth it. or if it's really big use a torrent (if it's HD quality or something)

If you want something that is youtube simple and just will do embedded stuff then you http://www.vimeo.com/ [vimeo.com] works pretty well and allows for HD quality video.

But don't forget if you want a broad target audience, don't assume that the average non-geek is going to have bit torrent, the latest codec pack and a good broadband connection.

nh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24881509)

Not to be a M$ shill, but the Silverlight Video streaming actually looks pretty good and they are offering free 10GB hosting on their CDN. There is a 10 min, 1.4 Mbps limit so that's a drag, but it's still pretty decent.

http://streaming.live.com/

Sample Site using Silverlight Video Streaming
(doesn't look like this site has the free limits)
http://www.t5m.com/

The best way? (0, Redundant)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881591)

Encode your video in DIVX format, name the file Batman_The_Dark_Knight_0day_DVD_rip.avi, and stick the torrent on TPB.

You'll be famous. I promise.

Don't limit yourself! (1)

charlesmingus (907076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881669)

I work for a cable station (I'm sorry) and this is something of a dilemma for us since we've eventually gotten the ok to start seeding our video content off-site. Our goal in this was purely promotional, we weren't looking for any return other then better exposure and maybe some better search rankings.

If exposure is your only goal I would recommend going overboard and using a service like HeySpread (www.heyspread.com), which uploads to all the big players in one shot. If you don't want to spend a little money there you can go to each site yourself individually, go through the steps on each site.

Point is, once it's on a free video site, it might as well be on all of them. If you're looking for returns on your videos, you might want to look into the advertising rev-share on youtube, or revver.

Coral Content Distribution Network (1)

eljondo (1357915) | more than 6 years ago | (#24881711)

Why don't you just give a CoralCDN [coralcdn.org] link to your video's URL?
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