If you are a content creator or a business owner who wants to host videos online and get them streamed, all you need is a video streaming server.
This server provides the needed bandwidth and storage to manage and publish your videos online. However, relying on a third-party service provider is always much easier and more cost-effective than building your own server, managing it, and bearing all the additional costs in case something goes wrong.
Today, we will discuss what a streaming server is, its features and benefits, and your options for hosting your video content.
What is a Video Streaming Server?
A video server allows you to host videos online using the RTSP system. RTSP, or Real Time Streaming Protocol system, delivers media by contacting the server directly for both on-demand videos and live streaming.
Once the videos are encoded and converted into different formats, the video streaming software or platform can transmit the media from the server to the user’s device.
How Does Video Streaming Server Work?
A video streaming server always needs the media or the video files it can deliver to the player. The process requires a server, the media, and the player; all three make the video streaming possible on a user’s device.
When viewers want to stream a media, they go to the platform and click the file to access it. This action carries a request to the video storage server, where the server fulfills the request, and the viewer can stream it on their device.
Many steps occur in between, such as sending the right format, right resolution, breaking down the file into several small pieces, etc. This entire process takes place so fast and smoothly that it’s not noticeable to viewers.
Many online video streaming platforms also use a powerful Video CDN that makes delivering the media file even faster and smoother to the viewer’s device.
7 Features of Video Streaming Servers
Different streaming servers provide various features; however, some elements are must-haves. Below, we have mentioned the important things you should always look for.
Look for this feature, especially if you are a business with large resource requirements. Scalability refers to the ability to provide additional resources when required. If, in the future, you need more bandwidth or storage space, you can check with your service provider and acquire the same.
#2 Video Quality
Good content is always prominent; however, the content quality also matters. Viewers are always inclined toward videos that are of high quality, such as HD and 4K. So, check with your service provider for the highest streaming quality.
#3 Adaptive Bitrate Streaming
Another major feature is the ability to adapt to network conditions. This feature is also known as ABR or adaptive bitrate streaming. ABR ensures that your video gets streamed regardless of the Internet quality of your viewers by adapting to the possible video quality.
#4 Video Transcoding
Transcoding is the feature that converts your video into various formats and resolutions so they can suit multiple devices and network conditions.
Always go with a streaming host that ensures you important security measures. While looking for the service, check for terms like AES encryption, DRM, SSL Certificate, HTTPS, etc. This would keep your videos from any unauthorized access and downloads.
#6 CDN Integration
Next is to look for a content delivery network, aka CDN. This is a network of servers that are distributed in various geographical locations. A CDN’s job is to ensure the fastest delivery of the users’ requests so the wait time can be minimized and there will be no buffering.
If you want your content to be a success, it’s important to measure its performance. With analytics, you receive critical insights about different aspects of your videos’ performance. As a result, you get to know your viewers’ behavior, how well they are engaged with your content, which videos are the most watched, and other important information.
3 Prominent Benefits of Video Streaming Server
There are many advantages of having your content streamed by a streaming server directly.
Fast Streaming: First and foremost, such streaming is instant without having to download the content.
Revenue Streams: Many video streaming services let content creators monetize their content. As a result, creators and businesses can earn using various revenue streams such as AVOD, TVOD or Pay Per View, SVOD, Donations, etc.
More User Engagement: Since streaming servers respond quickly and provide smooth streaming, they attract maximum user engagement. Such services also facilitate many interactive features such as chats, social media sharing, and more, all inspiring more people to join.
Signs That You Need A Streaming Server
A video streaming server is a boon to anyone wanting to host online video content. A server makes it possible to stream the content instantly and without buffering, which leads to credibility, improved brand image, and overall recognition.
You need a video streaming server if:
- You want to provide video content for entertainment or educational purposes
- You want to offer live-streaming services to your audience
- You want to run online events such as concerts
- You want to monetize your videos and earn from them
- You want to provide religious services or sermons to people virtually
4 Different Ways To Access A Video Streaming Server
When setting up a server to host your videos online for streaming purposes, there are a few ways by which you can achieve it. Let’s talk about the most common methods here-
#1 Building Your Own Streaming Server
This one gives you your own server, where you have to manage every single aspect of having a streaming server. You have to do the coding or hire a team of experts to build it for you. You need to have a dedicated team to handle any malfunctioning in the server.
Since it needs you to build a server from scratch and have a team around the clock, this is one of the most expensive options. The server might lack needed infrastructure, security features, updates, and maintenance, all of which lead to failures often.
Also, if you do not involve technologies like CDN and ABR, it might not provide the fastest streaming to your viewers. You might also not enable cloud-based storage, due to which the server would not be scalable.
#2 Using Third-Party Applications Or Platforms
Another way to access a streaming server is to rely on a third-party application such as Azure Media Services. With this, you would only be paying for the resources you would use instead of creating your own infrastructure. You get to access low-latency HLS streaming and some integrations. These providers are also more secure than having your own streaming server.
Third-party applications, however, have their downsides, such as requiring developments, not having an innovative interface, no option for getting additional services, etc.
#3 Opting For Video Content Management System
If you want something more user-friendly where you can easily manage a large amount of data and understand the functionality effortlessly, video CMS is the next option.
Hence, those wanting to have something more advanced than a standalone streaming server should opt for video CMS. The CMS system has top-notch security features, scalability, new-age technologies, and more. Some video CMSs also facilitate content creators to monetize their videos and earn from them.
#4 Using GUDSHO To Stream Videos
Among the best CMSs, GUDSHO is a video streaming platform for hosting premium content online. They use premium CDNs like Akamai to fulfill your viewers’ requests instantly. They also utilize ABR technology on the platform, which lets every viewer stream the videos regardless of their Internet quality.
With GUDSHO, you don’t have to worry about any technical difficulties since their customer support is 24/7. Here is the link to learn more about their services, pricing plans, and everything else.
Having a dedicated streaming server benefits content creators and businesses big time. The server lets the viewers instantly access the video content without any lagging issues. Owning your own streaming server might be the first thought, but it might not be convenient when implemented.
As someone who wants to host videos online, you should always consider a video streaming solution. For reference, you can always check GUDSHO, as they have the topmost security measures, all innovative features, multiple revenue streams, and whatnot.