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You may wish to consider an ISP that specializes in streaming video, not so much for the quality, but for the bandwidth usage issue.
With or without a a video plug-in, the quality will be in how the video was shot and optimized, not in the host. That being said, some hosts may curtail your bandwidth by ratcheting down the amount allocated to you thus causing your video to either load slowly or not look as you may want it to.
The benefit of having a streaming host is the user can FF though the video without having to download parts in between.
The following (using a Webmasterworld vid) is valid (in HTML 4 strict) :)
Has anybody had any experience with Viddler? I would be interested to know anyone's thoughts (if that's a permissible question here--as I said, I a newbie--so I don't know if mentioning specific hosts is allowed.
Thanks to those who have responded. I really appreciate it.
Also, IIRC, streaming technologies can include a dynamic throttling component that varies the quality (bandwidth) of the stream based on the performance of the connection between server and client.
Another thing to be aware of is content distribution networks. It doesn't sound like you're a candidate, but it's worth knowing about.
I have about 400 2-3 minute segments hosted on a basic Windows VPS account and they perform quite well. Migrating from swf to flv improved things alot.