Private Video Streaming – Options

Public video can easily be hosted and streamed on YouTube at no cost. But for those who want some restrictions on the video, YouTube has only limited options. Currently YouTube only allows sharing private videos with up to 50 YouTube accounts, via including their email addresses in the video manager. There are several other options, however, each with various tradeoffs.

Storage, Players, Access Control

There are three main components to private video streaming (besides creating and editing the video). These are:

  • Video storage (where the videos are kept),
  • Video players (how they can be played by those with access), and
  • Access control (the method for allowing only a set group of individuals to have access).

Video Storage Options

There are several options for video storage, though those options also impinge upon what players may be available and what kind of access control is possible. A partial list includes:

Video Players

The best approach is always Open Source, and there are at least two options:

Access Control

The first part of access control has to do with accounts, which generally have email addresses (and passwords). There are two issues:

  • One has to do with the address on the internet and whether it is password-protected (either with a single password or an account-based password).
  • The second issue is whether the actual video file itself is somehow obscured by the player or is easy to download.

The suggestion is to use WordPress (or if you must, some other third-party login system such as Twitter, Facebook, Google) in order to secure the page on which the video can be viewed.

Then use one of the video players above

Public Video Streaming WordPress Embed Codes

Just a recap, there is the standard Embed codes for WordPress Video (and more) and there is also the Smart YouTube plugin (which works with more than just YouTube video).

Privacy and Access Control on WordPress

Pages (with embedded video) can be labelled as public, password protected, or private. Only those users with proper security level (Admins and Editors) can see private pages, and password protected pages require a password. Use various plugins for more control such as limiting parts of a site to logged-in users only.

Video Format for Web Streaming

Video should be appropriately encoded, both allowing for fast start and small file size to increase speed and save on bandwidth. The useful Open Source tool Handbrake can be used if needed, with the following settings:

Handbrake Settings for Web Video

via Jeff McNeill


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