What's the best way to deliver streaming videos of lectures to students?
July 5, 2006 7:03 PM   Subscribe

What's the most reliable, simplest, and cheapest way for my company to deliver streaming videos of lectures to students?

We're looking to convert videos into digital video files, convert them to .flv, add some simple titles, and then post them somewhere to be streamed. What's the quickest workflow? Do we need to use a hosting company like VitalStream, or can we host the videos on our own server? Which solution would be cheaper? How does the red 5 open source media server compare with the Flash Media Server? Can .flv handle 30-45 minute videos without a problem? How much time & effort would it take to convert that digital video file into a streamable flv with some titles? Thanks!!
posted by pantufla to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Might want to look up a company called Brightcove.
posted by Riemann at 9:59 PM on July 5, 2006

Just encode in DivX or whatever and then upload to youtube/Google video, who will do all the converting and hosting for you?
posted by Orange Goblin at 12:02 AM on July 6, 2006

Since you're using flv, you might want to look into Macromedia Breeze. It has some nice video conferencing features that are useful in an educdational context.

The cheapest option would be to avoid streaming and just drop the videos on a server somewhere and let people view them or download them. You could build your own interface or use a CMS.

What format are your files in now? If they're AVIs (or if you can get them into that format) then Camtasia Studio has a nice feature that lets you produce your vids as a web-based (FLV-based) presentation complete with a table of contents that allows your viewers to skip to relevant points int he video. That app would also give you the ability to add titles, call outs, and do some simple editing and transitions.
posted by wheat at 8:10 AM on July 6, 2006

Response by poster: thanks for all your responses! It seems like just converting the vids to .flv and putting them on your own server isn't a workable approach.
posted by pantufla at 1:53 PM on July 6, 2006

I agree that "streaming" is not the way to go with content that has been pre-recorded. It's much easier to just podcast it (where it can also be downloaded or watched online). Libsyn.com has very affordable plans with unlimited bandwidth.
posted by JamesMessick at 7:34 PM on July 6, 2006

Possibly relevent.
posted by gsteff at 1:53 PM on July 7, 2006

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