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I have a client which I've been working with on a site built on Asp.Net MVC 2 (although I don't think that plays too much into this question) that helps with their workflow from outside vendors. One of the features is adding a video tutorial for their users (who are not technical, and will likely use the site once).

Originally they wanted to embed a player (YouTube or another similar site) from which the video would play. One of their programmers though convienced them to host the video on their own servers.

I can only really think of bandwidth as a concern. The video in mp4 format is 400mb, and while the site is low volume now, they are adding more of their customers to use it which is why we're continuing to expand its functionality.

So, what other criteria would should be considered when making this decision and what would push a decision one way or the other?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 16 '11 at 22:10

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Bandwidth = cost. – Oded Apr 16 '11 at 17:55
Yes, as I've said I considered that already. – Andy Apr 16 '11 at 18:28
No, you didn't say that. – Oded Apr 16 '11 at 18:29
@Oded. I said "I can only really think of bandwidth as a concern." To me that includes both cost and performance. – Andy Apr 17 '11 at 14:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's much easier to implement this by embedding YouTube. Not that it's hard to embed your own player, but still, nothing is simpler than upload to YouTube and embed.

If developers are paid by the hour, that would save the client some cash.

I also prefer to see YouTube embeds because

  • it's much more likely to work than some Random.J.Video.Player, including skipping ahead and rewinding
  • it's much more likely to not be very slow (e.g. when you get slashdotted and 500 people watch that video in parallel. Can your server handle that kind of load? Probably not).
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In addition to being easier to hook up to as enverpex notes, using a video platform typically provides some ehanced tools for the end user. Hosting video effectively is not horribly difficult, but providing:

  • stats -- how many people opened the player? Started the video? Ended the video?
  • Multi-device transcoding with quick response times due to being able to leverage massive resources.
  • Data-driven functionality like "show related videos"
  • Embed and other viral capabilities.

I've done a lot of video, and it makes much more sense to push that function off to a service if the application is public internet facing.

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"Show related videos" and "embed / viral" aren't concerns here, as the video is a tutorial on how to use the site (which users only go to after receiving an email). Your other points are good ones though and certainly apply. – Andy Apr 17 '11 at 14:16

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