Online video platform

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An online video platform (OVP), provided by a video hosting service, enables users to upload, convert, store and play back video content on the Internet, often via a structured, large-scale system that may generate revenue. Users generally will upload video content via the hosting service's website, mobile or desktop application, or other interface (API). The type of video content uploaded might be anything from shorts to full-length TV shows and movies. The video host stores the video on its server and offers users the ability to enable different types of embed codes or links that allow others to view the video content. The website, mainly used as the video hosting website, is usually called the video sharing website.

Contents

Purpose of video hosts (for users)

Description

Online video platforms can use a software as a service (SaaS) business model, a do it yourself (DIY) model or user-generated content (UGC) model. The OVP comes with an end-to-end tool set to upload, encode, manage, playback, style, deliver, distribute, download, publish and measure quality of service or audience engagement quality of experience of online video content for both video on demand and live delivery. This is usually manifested as a User Interface with log-in credentials. OVPs also include providing a custom video player or a third-party video player that can be embedded in a website. Modern online video platforms are often coupled up with embedded online video analytics providing video publishers with detailed insights into video performance: the total number of video views, impressions, and unique views; video watch time, stats on user location, visits, and behavior on the site. Video heat maps show how user engagement rate changes through the viewing process in order to measure audience interaction [1] and to create compelling video content. OVPs are related to the over-the-top content video industry, although there are many OVP providers that are also present in broadcast markets, serving video on demand set-top boxes.

OVP product models vary in scale and feature-set, ranging from ready-made web sites that individuals can use, to white label models that can be customized by enterprise clients or media/content aggregators and integrated with their traditional broadcast workflows. The former example is YouTube. The latter example is predominantly found in FTA (Free-To-Air) or pay-TV broadcasters who seek to provide an OTT service that extends the availability of their content on desktops or multiple mobility devices.

In general, the graphical user interface accessed by users of the OVP is sold as a service. Revenue is derived from monthly subscriptions based on the number of users it is licensed to and the complexity of the workflow. Some workflows require encryption of content with DRM and this increases the cost of using the service. Videos may be transcoded from their original source format or resolution to a mezzanine format (suitable for management and mass-delivery), either on-site or using cloud computing. The latter would be where platform as a service, is provided as an additional cost.

It is feasible, but rare, for large broadcasters to develop their own proprietary OVP. However, this can require complex development and maintenance costs and diverts attention to 'building' as opposed to distributing/curating content.

OVPs often cooperate with specialized third-party service providers, using what they call an application programming interface (API). These include cloud transcoders, recommendation engines, search engines, metadata libraries and analytics providers.

Video and content delivery protocols

The vast majority of OVPs use industry-standard HTTP streaming or HTTP progressive download protocols. With HTTP streaming, the de facto standard is to use adaptive streaming where multiple files of a video are created at different bit rates, but only one of these is sent to the end-user during playback, depending on available bandwidth or device CPU constraints. This can be switched dynamically and near-seamlessly at any time during the video viewing. The main protocols for adaptive HTTP streaming include Smooth Streaming (by Microsoft), HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) (by Apple) and Flash Video (by Adobe). Flash is still in use but is declining due to the popularity of HLS and Smooth Stream in mobile devices and desktops, respectively.[ citation needed ] Each is a proprietary protocol in its own right and due to this fragmentation, there have been efforts to create one standardized protocol known as MPEG-DASH.

There are many OVPs available on the Internet. [2] [3] [4]

Influence

In the 2010s, with the increasing prevalence of technology and the Internet in everyday life, video hosting services serve as a portal to different forms of entertainment (comedy, shows, games, or music), news, documentaries and educational videos. Content may be either both user-generated, amateur clips or commercial products. The entertainment industry uses this medium to release music and videos, movies and television shows directly to the public. Since many users do not have unlimited web space, either as a paid service, or through an ISP offering, video hosting services are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the explosion in popularity of blogs, internet forums and other interactive pages. The mass market for camera phones and smartphones has increased the supply of user-generated video. Traditional methods of personal video distribution, such as making a DVD to show to friends at home, are unsuited to the low resolution and high volume of camera phone clips. In contrast, current broadband Internet connections are well suited to serving the quality of video shot on mobile phones. Most people do not own web servers, and this has created demand for user-generated video content hosting. [5] [6]

Free video format support

Some websites prefer royalty-free video formats such as Theora (with Ogg) and VP8 (with WebM). In particular, the Wikipedia community advocates the Ogg format and some web sites now support searching specifically for WebM videos.

On some websites, users share entire films by breaking them up into segments that are about the size of the video length limit imposed by the site (e.g., 15-minutes). An emerging practice is for users to obfuscate the titles of feature-length films that they share by providing a title that is recognizable by humans but will not match on standard search engines. It is not even in all cases obvious to the user if a provided video is a copyright infringement.

For privacy reasons, the users' comments are usually ignored by websites of the Internet preservation, like it happens in Web Archive, or in Archive.today copy saving.

Mobile video hosting

A more recent application of the video hosting services is in the mobile web 2.0 arena, where video and other mobile content can be delivered to, and easily accessed by mobile devices. While some video-hosting services like DaCast and Ustream have developed means by which video can be watched on mobile devices, mobile-oriented web-based frontends for video hosting services that possess equal access and capability to desktop oriented web services have yet to be developed. A mobile live streaming software called Qik allows the users to upload videos from their cell phones to the internet. The videos will then be stored online and can be shared to various social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Videos will be stored on the servers and can be watched from both the mobile devices and the website.

History

Practical online video hosting and video streaming was made possible by advances in video compression, due to the impractically high bandwidth requirements of uncompressed video. Raw uncompressed digital video has a bit rate of 168  Mbit/s for SD video, and over 1  Gbit/s for full HD video. [7] The most important data compression algorithm that enabled practical video hosting and streaming is the discrete cosine transform (DCT), [8] a lossy compression technique first proposed by Nasir Ahmed in 1972. [9] The DCT algorithm is the basis for the first practical video coding format, H.261, in 1988. [10] It was followed by more popular DCT-based video coding formats, most notably the MPEG and H.26x video standards from 1991 onwards. [8] The modified discrete cosine transform (MDCT) is also the basis for the MP3 audio compression format introduced in 1994, [11] and later the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format in 1999. [12]

Video hosting sites

The first Internet video hosting site was ShareYourWorld.com. [13] Founded in 1997, it allowed users to upload clips or full videos in different file formats. However, Internet access bandwidth and video transcoding technology at the time were limited, so the site did not support video streaming like YouTube later did. [14] ShareYourWorld was founded by Chase Norlin, and it ran until 2001, when it closed due to budget and bandwidth problems.

Founded in October 2004, Pandora TV from South Korea is the first video sharing website in the world to attach advertisement to user-submitted video clips and to provide unlimited storage space for users to upload. It was founded in the Gangnam District of Seoul. [15] [16]

Video streaming platforms

YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Jawed Karim and Steve Chen in 2005. It was based on video transcoding technology, which enabled the video streaming of user-generated content from anywhere on the World Wide Web. This was made possible by implementing a Flash player based on MPEG-4 AVC video with AAC audio. This allowed any video coding format to be uploaded, and then transcoded into Flash-compatible AVC video that can be directly streamed from anywhere on the Web. The first YouTube video clip was Me at the zoo , uploaded by Karim in April 2005. [14]

YouTube subsequently became the most popular online video platform, and changed the way videos were hosted on the Web. [13] The success of YouTube led to a number of similar online video streaming platforms, from companies such as Netflix, Hulu and Crunchyroll.

See also

Related Research Articles

Adobe Flash is a deprecated multimedia software platform used for production of animations, rich Internet applications, desktop applications, mobile applications, mobile games, and embedded web browser video players. Flash displays text, vector graphics and raster graphics to provide animations, video games and applications. It allows streaming of audio and video, and can capture mouse, keyboard, microphone, and camera input. Related development platform Adobe AIR continues to be supported.

Streaming media Continuous multimedia operated & presented to users by a provider other than conventional broadcast media channels

Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider. The verb to stream refers to the process of delivering or obtaining media in this manner. Streaming refers to the delivery method of the medium, rather than the medium itself. Distinguishing delivery method from the media distributed applies specifically to telecommunications networks, as most of the delivery systems are either inherently streaming or inherently non-streaming. There are challenges with streaming content on the Internet. For example, users whose Internet connection lacks sufficient bandwidth may experience stops, lags, or slow buffering of the content. And users lacking compatible hardware or software systems may be unable to stream certain content.

Video on demand Systems which allow users to select and watch video or listen to audio content on demand

Video on demand (VOD) is a media distribution system that allows users to access videos without a traditional video playback device and the constraints of a typical static broadcasting schedule. In the 20th century, broadcasting in the form of over-the-air programming was the most common form of media distribution. As Internet and IPTV technologies continued to develop in the 1990s, consumers began to gravitate towards non-traditional modes of content consumption, which culminated in the arrival of VOD on televisions and personal computers.

Transcoding is the direct digital-to-digital conversion of one encoding to another, such as for movie data files, audio files, or character encoding. This is usually done in cases where a target device does not support the format or has limited storage capacity that mandates a reduced file size, or to convert incompatible or obsolete data to a better-supported or modern format.

Streaming television Distribution of television content via the public internet

Streaming television is the digital distribution of television content, such as TV shows, as streaming video delivered over the Internet. Streaming TV stands in contrast to dedicated terrestrial television delivered by over-the-air aerial systems, cable television, and/or satellite television systems. The use of streaming online video and web television by consumers has seen a dramatic increase ever since the launch of online video platforms such as YouTube and Netflix.

Google Video Free video hosting service from Google

Google Video was a free video hosting service from Google, similar to YouTube, that allowed video clips to be hosted on Google servers and embedded on to other websites. This allowed websites to host much video remotely without running into bandwidth or storage-capacity issues.

YouTube Video-sharing service owned by Google

YouTube is an American online video-sharing platform headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries.

Blackbird is an integrated internet video platform, video editing software, covering non-linear editing and publishing for broadcast, web and mobile.

Internet video is the general field that deals with the transmission of digital video over the internet. Internet video exists in several formats, the most notable being MPEG-4 AVC, AVCHD, FLV, and MP4.

Twango

Twango was an online media sharing site that supported multiple file types such as photos, video, audio, and documents. Founded in 2004 by Jim Laurel, Philip Carmichael, Randy Kerr, Serena Glover and Michael Laurel in Redmond, Washington, it provided users a means of repurposing their media, including sharing, editing, organizing and categorizing. In addition, Twango saved all the original media and its metadata. Non-members were free to browse the site, however only members could upload media to the site. Sign up for a basic account was free, and provided 250 megabytes of upload bandwidth a month.

Orb was a freeware streaming software that enabled users to remotely access all their personal digital media files including pictures, music, videos and television. It could be used from any Internet-enabled device, including laptops, pocket PC, smartphones, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii video game consoles.

Web television is original episodic online video content produced for broadcast on the Internet via the World Wide Web. The phrase "web television" is also sometimes used to refer to Internet television in general, which includes Internet-transmission of programs produced for both online and traditional terrestrial, cable, or satellite broadcast.

Babelgum

Babelgum was a free-to-view Internet television platform supported by advertising. The project was set up in 2005 by Italian media and telecommunications entrepreneur Silvio Scaglia and scientist Erik Lumer, with the aim of developing interactive software for distributing TV shows and other forms of video over the Internet.

Tudou website

Tudou, Inc. is a Chinese video-sharing website headquartered in Shanghai, China, where users can upload, view and share video clips. Tudou went live on April 15, 2005 and by September 2007 served over 55 million videos each day.

TechSmith Corporation is a software company developing screenshooting, screencasting and video editing software, for Windows and macOS, and licensing them to corporations, educational institutions, government agencies and small businesses. The company was founded in Okemos, Michigan in 1987 by William Hamilton. In 1990 they created Snagit, their most popular and best-selling product. TechSmith is now helmed by William Hamilton's daughter, Wendy Hamilton.

Clesh is a cloud-based video editing platform designed for the consumers, prosumers, and online communities to integrate user generated content. The core technology is based on FORscene which is geared towards professionals working for example in broadcasting, news media, post production.

Pandora TV (판도라TV) is a video sharing website that hosts user-generated content. Founded in October 2004, Pandora TV is the first video sharing website in the world to attach advertisement to user-submitted video clips and to provide unlimited storage space for users to upload. The operating company, Pandora TV Co., Ltd., has its headquarters in the Seoul-Gangnam Building in Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

Video optimization refers to a set of technologies used by mobile service providers to improve consumer viewing experience by reducing video start times or re-buffering events. The process also aims to reduce the amount of network bandwidth consumed by video sessions.

Dacast

Dacast Inc. is an online video platform that allows businesses to broadcast and host video content as well as offer free or paid programming.

References

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