Recently, a client asked Rolled to recommend some video streaming service after Brightcove closed its doors to public uploads. I, Mike Robinson, stepped up to the challenge and immediately began watching videos of people singing, doing magic tricks and animals in funny outfits. Hey, we all have to take a bullet for the team sometime, right? Read on for my findings on alternative video streaming services!
I have reviewed four services, and drawn up tables comparing their supported formats and features. Each was to at least have good video quality and be Adobe Flash based, ruling out Google's YouTube and DivX offering Stage6, respectively. Use the table of contents below to quickly jump to each section.
- Comparing The Services
- Conclusion - Which is the best?
Vimeo comes from folks at Connected Ventures and is known as "Flickr for video". Vimeo is simple and appealing, offering good quality videos, a 500MB weekly upload limit and even HD content. As long as it fits within your weekly limit, you can upload videos of any length, and even upload them via e-mail!
Once you start uploading, you can change the settings for your video without disrupting the upload. Assign it to an album or channel, give it a title and description, change the privacy settings and more. Once your video is live people can download a copy of your video, if you allow them.
Overall, Vimeo is an excellent service with great quality.
Supported Formats: asf, asx, avi, divx, dv, dvx, m4v, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg, qt, wmv, 3g2, 3gp, 3ivx and 3vx
Revver offers a good quality service, with a simple and sleek flash player. There is a minimum duration limit of 4 seconds, 100MB file size limit but no maximum duration limit, you have very decent restrictions on your video sizes.
Revver also supports uploaders with money from ad revenue. Users can select to have pre-roll and inline or ending ads, which will pop-up a small section at the bottom of the screen containing a related advertisement. The ad revenue is split between the creator and Revver, giving users a chance to make a bit of spare cash.
If you're a video content creator, Revver is the one for you. A good quality, ad-supported, streaming service with little to no fuss.
Supported Formats: mov, mpeg, mpg, mp4, wmv, asf, avi
Viddler is an interesting service that, like Revver, offers creators a share of ad profits. While the interface is clean and the video quality is good, Viddler's frame specific comment feature can clutter up the timeline. Ads and comments are marked on the timeline to be displayed as that frame is played.
Uploaded videos can be up to 500MB in size, the largest of the services reviewed, with no duration limit.
If the timeline clutter from markers doesn't bother you, then Viddler provides good quality video with the opportunity to earn money from your content.
Supported Formats: avi, dv, mov, qt, mpg, mpg2, mpeg2, mpeg4, mp4, 3gp, 3g2, asf, wmv, flv
Veoh is a good quality service that can extend beyond the web. While Veoh's web videos are restricted to a 100MB file size or 20min duration, VeohTV takes those videos to the desktop and allows increased file sizes and durations. The VeohTV software also provides uploading tools which can pause and resume uploads, should you find yourself on a slow or dodgy connection.
The web player has a clean interface, and the good quality plus desktop viewing options can take your videos further.
Supported Formats: mpeg, mov, mp4, avi, wmv
Comparing The Services
So, how do they compare to each other? Below are two tables for formats and features, giving a quick overview of everything above for quick reference.
|Great (HD)||500MB (per week)||None||No||No||No|
|Great||100MB (per video)||Min. 4 secs||No||Yes||Yes|
|Good||500MB (per video)||None||No||Yes||Yes|
|Good||100MB (per video, for web)||20mins (for web)||No||No||No|
Conclusion - Which is the best?
From my research into these services, I draw the conclusion that Vimeo offers the best quality and cleanest interface. While Revver's and Viddler's ad-sharing options are appealing to individual content creators, businesses may find that they wish to have full control over ads supporting their embedded videos. Veoh's desktop services are great for long/large videos such as an online TV series.
If those features meet your requirements then by all means, go for Revver, Viddler or Veoh, but if you just need high-quality video streaming then Vimeo gets Rolled's seal of approval.