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  1. #1

    Setting up a video streaming site - what's involved?

    Hi there,

    I am a newbie on this site and looking for some information with regards to setting up a video streaming website.

    I work voluntarily for a newly formed Community Interest Company who train and mentor underrepresented and disadvantaged communities to make short films.

    We are looking to develop and (hopefully) raise some funding for a website to show the films and works in progress which the community filmmakers have been making.

    I am looking to put together a realistic budget of the costs involved in doing this. I’ve read a few tutorials (inc the ones on this site) and have a theoretical understanding of what is needed to put ‘a video’ on a website, but as part of a larger operation, we need to budget for and be aware of the costs and time involved in making this a key part of the project.

    There seem to be two options. One is the HTTP streaming and the other is operating our own server. It would be great to get some advice about what the right option for us is.

    In the initial stages, I think we wouldn’t have enough video or traffic to merit our own server but as the organisation develops (this is the first project of many we hope) we would obviously like to be in a position to grow so need to have an option which won’t limit us.

    Basically, on a smaller scale, we would ideally be looking at having a site with the functionality of for example: www.channel4.com/fourdocs, so upload and viewing short films, a blog, forum etc. Obviously Channel 4 are in a better financial position and have much more traffic than us so….

    My main questions are:

    - is it worth us operating our own server?
    - is this an operation we can run ourselves as project managers or would be be better to contract in a web developer/specialist to set this up/run? (this question applies either way – for HTTP or server) At this stage, we don’t have any money which is why I am posting here, but if it is something we can secure funding for then we would be able to pay a specialist to help.
    - what are the costs we need to be considering to set something up from scratch? E.g web host, domain name (we already have this), time for encoding/uploading, bandwidth (I believe this is a very variable cost depending on how much traffic you have is that right?)
    - If we go to a video streaming ISP, are there any pitfalls we should specifically look out for? E.g having less control over functionality etc?

    Apologies if these are too many questions. We really are starting from scratch. Any guidance or pointing in the right direction would be much appreciated.

    Best wishes,

    Abi

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Quote
    Quote: abelho
    is it worth us operating our own server?
    Probably not. I would suggest starting small and working up if necessary. You can upgrade to your own server at any time.

    Quote
    Quote: abelho
    is this an operation we can run ourselves as project managers or would be be better to contract in a web developer/specialist to set this up/run?
    It's almost impossible to predict but I suggest you try to make a start yourselves and see how you go. You may find that you are so good and so motivated that you can learn everything you need, or you may find that it's beyond you. You won't lose anything by trying though.

    Quote
    Quote: abelho
    what are the costs we need to be considering to set something up from scratch?
    Again, extremely difficult to predict the actual costs but it seems like you do have the main areas covered. You may need to buy software and more hardware. Bandwidth is a variable cost but hopefully you can find something that gives you around 100GB per month to get started (you probably won't use anywhere near this so don't worry if you have to settle for a lot less initially).

    Quote
    Quote: abelho
    If we go to a video streaming ISP, are there any pitfalls we should specifically look out for? E.g having less control over functionality etc?
    Not that I can think of. I believe this could be a good option for you to get up and running.

    On the whole I think it's best to start small and work upwards if you can. This minimises your risks and means you're in a better state to make the big decisions when the time comes. I would recommend a modest website, HTTP streaming without the bells and whistles. See how the demand goes (most people expect more than they get) and take it from there.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  3. #3

    thanks

    Just a quick one to say an overdue thanks for the reply. It clarified some things for me.

    Cheers.

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