Streaming Video Hosting

The popularity of streaming video hosting is growing as technological advances improve the quality of both the picture and sound of these types of files. Anyone who has surfed the internet has probably stumbled across a web video. For some surfers, this type of media is an annoyance; others enjoy watching creative clips. Surfers may not be interested in such details as streaming media hosting methods, bandwidths, and file formats. But a novice website owner or designer who wants to develop a creative, innovative site that attracts both new and repeat visitors will want to learn as much as possible about the different options for including an informative and entertaining video. For example, an online store that sells rosebushes may include a short video clip demonstrating the proper way to prepare the soil, plant a rosebush, and care for it. A nonprofit group advocating teen driving safety might create an animated clip that will appeal to its target audience of sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds. The designers of both types of websites will need to make decisions regarding how these clips will be formatted and delivered to the end user.

At one time, and not that long ago, internet media consisted primarily of text and graphics. The user would enter an internet address and a web page would pop up on the computer screen that contained words and/or pictures. The user could take as much time as needed to read the information and look at the graphics or surf to another site without spending much time at all on the first one. Videos are becoming more popular, however, as website managers look for competitive advantages to entice visitors to the site. Additionally, innovative technology for streaming media hosting has improved the final viewing experience. Competition among hosting companies means that the quality of the video clip and the accompanying sound will continue to improve.

For now, there are three basic streaming video hosting methods. The least expensive and easiest to create uses HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) to create a downloadable file. When the user downloads this type of file, it is copied to a temporary folder on the user's hard drive. The entire file has to completely download before it can be opened and viewed by the internet surfer. Besides the low cost and simplicity, another benefit of the HTTP download is that the webmaster doesn't need dedicated software or special hosting mechanisms in place to add the video to the website. However, the downside of this method is that it takes time for a file to download and the larger the file, the more time it takes. By its very nature, a video file is going to take much longer to download than one that is made up primarily of graphics and text. The person who is waiting for the downloading to complete may get annoyed or frustrated if the file takes too long to transfer to the temporary folder. This frustration may lead to giving up on the file and an unhappy consumer. When this type of delay occurs, it's a good idea to remember the wise words of King Solomon: "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools" (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9). Patience is a virtue in all things, including slow internet downloads.

Another streaming video hosting method, which is considered true streaming, allows the internet surfer to watch the clip as it "streams" or plays on the website being viewed. No waiting is involved and the file is not saved to a temporary folder. This type of method allows webcasting. That means that events can be broadcast on the internet as they actually occur. The third method is a kind of hybrid which is sometimes called progressive downloading. As soon as a portion of the file has been received by the end user's computer, the video will begin to stream. The entire file does not have to be downloaded to the temporary folder before the internet surfer can view it. This last option is also relatively inexpensive and easy to set up.

The most expensive option, generally speaking, is the genuine streaming media hosting method. There are several different popular file formats that have become common and each one has pros and cons. Webmasters usually have a favorite or two and so do internet consumers. When selecting a file format, the webmaster will want to consider which file format might be preferred by the website's target audience. Though customer satisfaction can be ensured by creating a file for each format, this is not a realistic solution. But a file can be created for more than one format and technology allows the streaming video hosting to match files to the individual user's connection speed. That customer-friendly feature will help increase consumer satisfaction.

Webmasters and designers also need to think about the traffic load and bandwidth costs when considering streaming video hosting. The more traffic that a website receives, the more bandwidth that site requires. A webmaster may find that the current ISP (Internet Service Provider) provides the appropriate bandwidth for the traffic. For this reason, the website owner should check with the ISP before spending additional money for a service that may not be needed. If more bandwidth is needed, then the webmaster may need to find a specialized ISP. For extensive streaming media hosting, the website owner can contract with a network of server locations. However, this is a very expensive option and will most likely only be utilized by large corporations or national organizations. Each website owner and webmaster will need to take into consideration such factors as the purpose of streaming video, the website's target audience, the bandwidth required to handle the site's traffic, and the most appropriate and cost effective method of video hosting.

Video Hosting Provider

The use of Internet video hosting services is ever-increasing as people use video more to communicate and share experiences. These services give Internet users the opportunity to post videos online just as easily as they might post photos or blogs. Some services are paid while others are completely free. Without these services, many clips would go unseen or only be accessible to others in limited ways. As with any growing web industry, the world of hosting continues to expand with more and more options for Internet users. Making the choice to subscribe to the right host can be rather challenging, considering the large pool of options. However, there are particular features to look for that will point the typical Internet user in the right direction.

Many cell phones today are now equipped with not only a camera but also a video capturing feature. These clips are not of high quality but can be the perfect size for a video hosting provider. People often capture amazing things on their video phones at the spur of the moment. Cell phone cameras are easy to access, and most people carry a cell phone on them during the majority of the day. Whether it is a recording of a baby doing something cute or footage of a skateboarder doing an awesome trick, someone besides the cell phone owner is going to want to see the video. Unfortunately, others won't always have easy access to the clip. Sending clips from cell phone to cell phone can be expensive. The best alternative is to subscribe with a host.

Choosing the right video hosting services really depends on the purpose behind the need. Some businesses use videos to promote products or provide methods for using a product. Even though the business has a website, they lack the money to afford the appropriate bandwidth to support the videos on their own site. Instead, they can create a link to a host. On this site, customers can immediately view the videos. If a clip is promoting a particular product, many free hosting sites will not permit it. In this case, it may be necessary to subscribe to a paid host. These services do offer great benefits, especially concerning ownership and rights to the clip. Shoppers should always read the Terms of Use to find out these rights because ownership of the videos may be a stipulation of a free service.

Not every video hosting provider has a set price. The vast majority of these sites make money from advertising, so there is no need for them to charge for a subscription. The most popular sites are now household names and draw millions of viewers on a regular basis. They are even used by teachers who need a particular video but can't access one through any other means. Others use them for entertainment, communication, or important information. The biggest sites offer some larger clips in multiple parts, so viewers can watch longer postings in better quality. Many of these free sites stress the importance of community. After all, the postings are connecting people all over the world to one another. Today people can see things that they never dreamed of seeing one hundred years ago because they just didn't have the means to see them in person.

Video quality may not be an issue for some video hosting services shoppers. However, some may find this extremely important. An independent filmmaker, for example, may want to maintain a good frame rate and a clear picture in the posting of his newest movie. While a mom in Kansas, who just wants to show her family in Wisconsin a clip of her son's first homerun, may not be as concerned about how in focus her son's face is. The file size will affect the quality of the picture, and hosts do have MB limits. These can range anywhere from 25MB to over 2,000MB. Most sites will provide information on those limits.

Families who are shopping for a video hosting provider should be cautious with their children using these websites. "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right" (Proverbs 20:11). Not all videos are "G-rated." The best providers will monitor what postings are on their sites and flag or remove inappropriate postings. Before choosing the right provider, be sure to read the website's community guidelines or terms of use. This list should include violence, nudity, sexual content, hate speech, and other offensive materials. Be aware that not all inappropriate language is censored, so children should be monitored at all times while using these types of sites. The safest route approach would be to use a filter or one of many computer monitoring software technologies available.

The great news about shopping for the right video hosting services is that much of the comparison work is already done. Many online magazine and video gurus have already taken the time to research and test out up to forty online hosts. The next step is tracking down those reviews and comparisons and reading them. Look for review sites that are reputable, not just John Doe's blog. It's important for the shopper to note what features are important. Editing capabilities may top the list, while others may find that having the biggest potential audience is the most important feature. Because so many of these sites are free to use, it's not a huge loss if an Internet user picks a bad apple. However, reading up on these sites will save users plenty of time hopping from one video hosting provider to another because they are unsatisfied with the results. Take the time to get informed and save a little time being frustrated.

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