Free Video Hosting
This website is a tutorial guide to hosting streaming video clips from your web site pages, from simple HTML code on a cheap web hosting server to dedicated streaming servers.
Introduction to VideoHosting:
What is "Streaming Video" or "Streaming Media"?
Streaming video is a series of moving pictures that are sent over the Internet in a compressed form that can be viewed by the end user while it is being delivered, instead of having to download the entire video file before it can be played.
"Streaming media" is steaming video with sound.
There are two main ways to stream video: Streaming servers (which is "true" video streaming), and HTTP streaming.
When you first create streaming video or streaming media, you must understand at least two concepts: streaming methods and file formats.
Why Should I Stream My Video?
This is really a matter of preference. There are many reasons why people stream their media. Some want to share instructional, informational, or music clips, while others simply want to share their home movies with the world. Whatever the reason, streaming media can add a nice touch to your web page.
Ways of Streaming Media
On the Internet, there are two basic ways one can view streaming media, by either "Progressive Downloading" or "Streaming".
The 'true' streaming option allows the end user to view the video in an almost constant stream as it is being downloaded. However true streaming video or media must be sent from a specialized streaming server. This can be rather expensive for many people.
There are advantages to streaming media though. For instance, the end user does not have to wait to begin viewing the video clip, and it allows for broadcasting current or live events (or web-casting).
If you use the downloading option, the whole file is downloaded and saved (ordinarily in a temporary file). The viewer can then open and view it. One advantage to this is that you have easier access to various parts of the file, but the biggest disadvantage would be having to wait for the entire file to be completely downloaded before it can be viewed. If it is a relatively small file, this should not be a real problem. Larger files, however, could possibly present one. Some people may not be willing to wait for your large file to download completely in order to view it.
There are two ways to make use of this downloading option: using a hyperlink, or embedding the file directly into your Web page.
Using a hyperlink to your downloadable video file is not necessarily the best way if you want to have more control over how your clip is viewed. However, it is the easiest.
A little more advanced option would be to use a special HTML code and embed the file directly into your web page. This is what we will mostly concentrate on in this tutorial.
Sending video files in this manner is known as "HTTP delivery" or "HTTP streaming". "HTTP" means simply Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. HTTP protocol is the same protocol that is used in delivering webpages. This is what makes it easy to incorporate video files into almost any webpage, and it's not necessary to have any special web hosting plan or specialized software. However, keep in mind, this is not true video streaming, but it is a cheap and suitable alternative.
Now, Which Method Should You Use?
This will, of course, depend on your circumstances, but usually most people make use of HTTP streaming because it is the easiest as well as the cheapest way to go.
There are a variety of file formats you can choose from when you begin to create your video streams. Some of the most common are: Windows Media, Macromedia Flash, RealMedia, Quicktime, and MPEG-4 video formats.
This is really a matter of personal preference because there are pros and cons to each form. However, there is something you should keep in mind when trying to decide what file format to use. In order to reach the maximum possible viewers, many users have their own personal preferences as to which formats they like to use, while others may use only one particular form. In a case like this, the best thing to do is to create separate files for each video format. Realistically, though, this isn't practical, so you must decide which formats to make available. Of course, the greater your understanding of what choices you have, the greater your ability to decide which will work best for you.
It is important that you understand both options of streaming media. That way, if you feel the need to upgrade to webhosting on a streaming server, you will already be equipped with the knowledge necessary to make such a decision.
In the next tutorial step, we will take a look at Streaming Servers.