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Does anyone serve their own video?

     
8:48 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've been looking at a lot of so called tutorials and blog posts about serving video.
Most say, you are mad to serve them yourself ... use youtube or vimeo and embed them.
The reasons they state are bandwidth, storage, blah, blah ... these people then generally say there is a great wordpress plugin to add youtube etc etc :) :)

ideally I like to do things myself, also lets assume ... bandwidth is not an issue (i'm not looking at going viral, these are niche videos), server storage space is not an issue and also formatting videos in various different sizes and formats is also not an issue.

i'm thinking that i'll serve them on the page with html5 video, possibly using video.js as a video player (not committed to that in anyway, except that it is out there and open source)

however the issue is which 'size' to serve, i assume different sizes for different screen sizes, from large screens to phones.

is the solution, browser sniffing server side and generating the html with the correct size of video to send to the page?

i'm looking for pointers really ... if someone could outline how i should be thinking about this, it woulkd be great, thanks!
11:17 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have been serving video on my sites since 1999 (in various formats over the years).

I currently use Mp4/H264 for everything, the same file for all devices.

Responsive HTML5 takes care of the rest, no javascript or sniffing.

It works fine for my purposes.

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11:22 pm on Nov 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

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One important consideration is not so much bandwidth but latency. YouTube and Vimeo serve videos from a CDN. For users geographically close to your server, this won't be an issue, but it might lead to more and slower buffering for others.
9:34 am on Nov 22, 2017 (gmt 0)

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thank you for your replies, very helpful.

... i think most users would be in the uk, the same location as the server, so i'm hope latency won't be a problem.
at worst, i could get a cheap server or vps in the usa and serve from there to users in the usa
2:23 am on Jan 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I only have one site were video is served as part of the content and for me, it made sense to use YouTube to host the video and embed the video into my pages using the YouTube embed code. I felt that by doing this I was increasing my potential audience. Website users will see the video as expected, but it will also be discovered by users from related videos, YouTube suggestions and playlists.

Mack.
3:45 am on Jan 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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for me, it made sense to use YouTube

That's fine, but the OP asked about doing it yourself.

Video data rate and dimensions are the main concerns.

And the webserver may need the correct MIME type added.

The rest is basic webmaster technique, HTML5 and CSS.

No third party required.

8. Rights you licence

8.1 When you upload or post Content to YouTube, you grant:

A. to YouTube, a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable licence (with right to sub-licence) to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform that Content in connection with the provision of the Service and otherwise in connection with the provision of the Service and YouTube's business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels;

B. to each user of the Service, a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free licence to access your Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display and perform such Content to the extent permitted

Source: [youtube.com...]

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4:58 am on Jan 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone serve their own video?
I did for a while. I had a page with a half dozen MP4s. Went OK until a few forums hot-linked to them and kicked my bandwidth above limits which I was stuck paying for.

Switched to YouTube, but I format the presentation to appear organic to my site.
8:05 am on Jan 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That's fine, but the OP asked about doing it yourself.

Well, the OP was asking if anyone does serve their own video. There are pros and cons for sides, I can only offer my 2c.

Hotlinking is a big issue, there are things you can do to mitigate the effects but it ends up being yet another task.

Mack.
9:09 am on Jan 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I felt that by doing this I was increasing my potential audience

What I would fear is a dilution of my potential audience, as YouTube videos tend to rank well in the search results and may well start competing with my own pages.
3:34 pm on Jan 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You make a good point. In my case, the videos were the main content so it was all about getting as many eyeballs as possible to see them. I did include a URL where a person could visit the site if they wished, but the main goal is the site was really to get people to view the videos.

If the videos were intended to get people to visit a different kind of content then I would have probably played it slightly differently.

Mack.
4:31 pm on Jan 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have done that before for some customers. One particularly use to get a lot of traffic. I just remembered that we had to set up different formats (mp4, ogg, flash, webm, etc) for each video. They ended up switching to youtube videos for SEO purposes. But we did not have any complains about serving videos from their host.
8:24 pm on Jan 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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YouTube videos tend to rank well

That can be useful, depending on your purpose.

The trade-off is that you agree to licence your work to one of the richest corporations on the planet, for free.

The decision should be made on its merits.

Hotlinking is a big issue

I would say it was a minor issue.

It is easily defeated by serving alternate (bandwidth-friendly) content.

we had to set up different formats (mp4, ogg, flash, webm, etc) for each video

In the old days it was QuickTime, RealPlayer or Windows Media Player, users needed a range of plugins.

Then the Flash plugin dominated for a while, but the rise of handheld devices (particularly the iPhone) killed that off.

Then the HTML5 video element allowed a variety of formats in the markup (as you reference) due to the lack of standardised browser support.

Currently all major browsers and devices support mp4.

This being the web, that will probably change again sooner or later.

So it goes.

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