Creating your own video channel – Part 1/4

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This is step 1 of 4 in the process of creating your own independent video channel.  As explained in the introduction of this series, this is much cheaper then you might think and getting it up and running is not as complex as it seems.  In this step, we concentrate on setting up the web space and the domain name.

Find a host for streaming video

The key is to find the right hosting company. They need to have good support, a well performing server, reasonable pricing and… a lot of webspace and bandwidth! Dreamhost is the best formula I have found so far.  It is not strictly speaking a streaming video provider, they offer hosting packages like all providers do, but they also allow you, or even encourage, to play streaming video and that is really something, because most providers do not allow that at this time of writing.  You pay only $11 a month for a whopping 500GB storage and 5,000GB bandwidth monthly.  That is right: 5 Terrabites per month! “What do those numbers mean?”, I hear you say. So, let me explain:

What is 500GB storage? At this time of writing, 500GB storage is approximately 3x the space on an average laptop hard drive.  Since you only upload compressed videos onto your server, you can upload about 30,000 to 50,000 videos on 500GB, which is probably  more then you will need for quite some time to come.

What is 5 Terrabytes bandwidth and what does it do for me? Bandwidth is the amount of traffic on your site (see also glossary).  Therefore, 5Terrabytes is a limitation on the amount of traffic allowed on your server per month. Limitations like that prevent the hosting provider from getting into trouble with bandwidth usage because in turn they have to pay for exceeded bandwidth usage as well. If you cross the limit set by the hosting provider, you have to pay extra.
I just mention this because some providers do not set any limits at all, in the hope you will not gobble it all up, and when you do, they throw you onto the street.  So, limitations are like a contract between both parties, it gives you some security.
5 Terrabytes is 5,000Gb or 5,000,000Mb which you have at your disposal monthly.  That is a lot of videos in theory, but: you have to keep in mind that your videos are watched more then a couple of times, so some calculations are in order here:
To use again the example from the introduction of this series: 100 videos of 10MB = 1Gb. That means that 5,000 visitors can see all those videos once in a month, since you have 5,000GB bandwidth monthly, amounting to is 5000x 1Gb.  That is quite a lot, isn’t it?

OK, now that you now what these abstract numbers mean, you can appreciate this offer from Dreamhost, all the more. Your account even includes a free domain registration.  I personally like to keep my domains with my own registrar account, but for most users, a domain included in the service makes it easier to set it all up with your web space.
For the record, I have an account with them myself and I’m very happy with the performance and the support.  They react timely to questions, the performance of the server is fine and they have a couple of very interesting applications that are easy to install.  More on that in Step 2.

In any case, don’t take my word for it, have a look around the site of Dreamhost and if you decide to open an account with them, use this link http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?433092 or click on any “Dreamhost” on this page, so that I get a small bonus to pay for this tutorial when you sign up with them.

If you need help with the sign up process, here is a video tutorial how to setup your webspace, including the domain name.  The best way to work with this is to open a new window with the Dreamhost site so that you can follow along and stop the video wherever appropriate.  This way you have a guiding hand, so to speak.

For those of you who have joined up for the newsletter, you find a special bonus in the members area that gives you either:

  • Your own unique IP address amounting to a discount of $48.00 (useful if you need a merchant account).
  • Add 30% extra webspace to your account equal to 150Gigabytes extra storage space on top of the default of 500GB.
  • Add 30% extra bandwidth, equal to 1,5 Terrabytes on top of the default 5Terrabytes.

Without an account such as this, you will not get very far. First of all, because most providers do not like you to have many videos on your site and secondly, most services are much more expensive.  The fact that Dreamhost offers this is simply because they want to position themselves in this market segment and I think that is a great idea.

Again, if you need help with the sign up process, here is a video tutorial how to setup your webspace, including the domain name.

If you do not want to set up a video channel yourself, we can arrange the whole process for you or do the parts you do not understand.  Drop us a comment in that case and we will discuss this further with you in private.

The next step, about installing a content managment system on Dreamhost.

If you want to be informed on our tutorials, join up for the newsletter.  It is free and you get a couple of interesting bonusses.

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3 thoughts on “Creating your own video channel – Part 1/4

  1. Hi Rudolf, firstly thanks for your tutorials. What is the disadvantage of using Youtube to host your videos and embed it on your webpage? I just wondered because it seems easier than having all that necessity for huge bandwidth and space. Of course there is a limit on video length – 15 minutes I think. Just wondering – Vic

    • Indeed a lot has changed in the meantime, Vic.
      Today, I would advocate to upload public videos to YouTube as most of the reasons against it have disappeared.
      But for private videos (subscription based views or PPC), I would use S3 Amazon because it has a wonderful feature to protect your media from unauthorized use.
      I devoted a full category on the subject: S3Amazon/CloudFront: http://www.miracletutorials.com/category/s3-amazon-cloudfront/

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