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  1. #1

    Streaming Media Web Hosting

    Hi I needed some advise on choosing a hosting company, but have specific requirements. The idea is to create an online stream video thing like, youtube thing, but for a niech market. Actually i need to be a bit more like brightcove and fabchannel.

    I would have aprox

    3000 users a month
    Each user watching 3-6 files a month
    Each file being being 1hr long and and aprox 120mb to 170mb
    And their being 20GB worth of videos and would grow to about 100GB+ once we have filmed the remaining of the contents
    The streaming would be 300kbps for each file.

    I don't need the files to be generated on the fly, so don't need a streaming server things like RTPS. So our files will always be fixed size, may be providing the content in high and low quality ie a seperate file in high quality and a seperate file in low quality.

    From the above it seems that I may need a dedicated server.
    that has a hard disk space of 100GB
    That has an transfer limit of about 3000GB (And growing)

    Also what will happen if 50 people decide to watch a file at once, that would be 50x300kbps= 15Mbps
    I don't think many servers can handle that. Is there any advice this forum can give me??

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Bay Area
    If you use Progressive Flash video (Like youtube does), every decent server should be able to push 15+Mbit worth of video. No problem.

    This is how I would setup the machine:
    - 1Ip for apache, website
    - 1Ip for Lighttpd, just for serving the video files. Lighttpd is lightweight, and will be able to serve the videos without stressing the server.

    The biggest problem / cost will be the bandwidth. 2000-3000GB is being offered a lot, however upgrading to 4000+GB is usually quite expensive. If you take Softwayer as example, upgrading the bandwidth costs $100 per 1000GB. It depends on your budget if that is an option.

    Another way, and I would certainly prefer this, is splitting the website and video files over two servers. One server for just the website, keep it fast. The other server, which can be on cheaper bandwidth, for the video's. You could even choose to use an European server for the video's in that case, which would certainly lower the bandwidth fees.

  3. #3
    Thanks for that,
    Firstly have I done the calculations correctly? I.e would I need 3000GB bandwidth for what I am aiming to do?
    Also my current web hosting can provide me 10mbps for a dedicated server. Are there others that can do far more. I don't want a bottle neck when a swarm of users rush to view our content after we send out our mailing list. What would a good uplink be for a good web hosting, I am willing to pay that little extra for a better and reliable hosting company.
    I like the idea of distributing the load, and was considering for a second servers when I reach the 2000GB stage. I already have a reseller account for my website.
    Any advise on file sizes and file format, was thinking of flash progressive at 320x280 at 15fps. Can I go for higher quality then this? or is it not worth it? or is this too high. The contents are going to be educational, so clarity needs to be there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Bay Area
    6 files of 150MB average is about 0.9GB per user, so yeah, 3000 users would be approx 3000GB

    3000GB traffic per month is an average of 10Mbit. Which means that you probably will be using up to 20+Mbit in the peak hours, and only a few Mbit in the quiet hours. So 10Mbit will definitely not be enough if you are sure about the visitor numbers.

    A 100Mbit uplink is quite common. Servers that are connected at 10Mbit can usually be upgraded to 100Mbit for about $10. 100Mbit is enough for about 250-300 people watching the video at the same time.

    The video resolution depends on content. Usually 320x280 would be enough though. At 300Kbit it will probably be nice and clear, that is, if the video content is not of the movie-trailer type. In that last case (Lots of movement) you will be needing a higher bitrate to achieve crisp quality.
    15fps should be enough, although I usually encode at 25. But I don't think it's much of a difference. And that is something you can easily test out beforehand

  5. #5
    Thanks for all the help!!

    I have two last questions

    1) Can you recommend any hosting companies that do the 100Mb uplink, that allows me to install this Lighttpd webserver. And also allow videos to be put on their servers. know a lot of hosting companies don't allow MP3 websites

    2) Also do you think there would be issues if I used the new on2 codec for flash, it says a 30% decrease in file size. I know everyone would need to install this plug-in (flash player 8) if they don't have it (which I am ok with). I guess my question is have you tried it, and is it worth it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Bay Area
    Every serious host allows mp3 or video content. Simply because the file formate itself is not illegal. Plus, a host does not have access to your they would not even know.
    Just make sure you own the rights of the material, and it should be fine

    A few reputable companies are, and

    I havent worked with the ON2 codec yet, other than trying the demo. Its quite expensive ($250 I think), and my flash website isn't THAT popular So for now i'm just using ffmpeg

  7. #7
    Thanks Xandrios for all your help!!

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