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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old September 14th, 2020, 11:14 PM   #1
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Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

Hi, Iím new to post a thread but have been following this forum for many years. I film dance & theatre shows and have been sticking to distribution via DVDs & USBs. The USBs are too fiddly and i think increasingly impractical, so during this Covid lull (I havenít shot anything since March!) Iím finally getting round to sorting out a reliable platform for clients to either buy digital downalods or where they can stream. I did read an earlier thread on this [i think it was called Ďdance show distribution] where someone explained their structure which was to have the dance school include a fee for filming that all parents paid and then simply provide a download link, thus bypassing the need for a pay-per-download/stream system, but like some other people that replied, i doubt my clients would go for this (although i am going to offer it as an option). I had a couple of questions iím hoping you may be able to share some wisdom on:

1. Which platform would you recommend for hosting digital downloads? I have looked at some of the ones that specialise in video (sprout, DPD) but they are not cheap, but they do seem to offer good speeds & a simple method for clients to purchase. They also seem to protect against more than one client using the same download link. I couldnít see a way to enable this on vimeo (i use this for promos) whilst still keeping my videos private (this is a key issue in terms of child protection. It also enables me to not get flagged for the music the dance shows use). The costs with such platforms look big because of how much storage Iíd need. I do about 50 shows a year, each about 2 hours, sometimes multiple performances, so at about 4gb per show, its close to 500gb per year.

2. Has anyone set up a facility where clients create an account that gives them access to footage they can stream? This to me seems the better option. I think most clients donít want the hassle of downloading a huge file size. It would be much better for them to have an account they can access on any device. This way I could continue to host the videos on vimeo. What i think Iíd need would be some members area where they pay for access to specific webpages, These would have to be pages that canít be shared, but only accessible via a login. Each year they could add the new show to their account, and in theory could watch this on most devices, bypassing any need for a huge download or a USB port.

Am I missing an easier option? The plan is to create a structure that ensures the longevity of the business through the transition away from DVDs. Any thoughts/wisdom greatly appreciated. Alan
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Old September 19th, 2020, 02:18 AM   #2
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

Hi, not sure if my initial post was too long, have had no replies.
What hosting platform would you recommend for digital downloads? Thanks, Alan
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Old September 19th, 2020, 03:26 PM   #3
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

I recommend Vimeo. That's what I use. It's still difficult to convince clients to have everyone pay a flat fee and give access to everyone. They all have their internal reasons for not doing it that way. Some want to be in control of orders, other want a commission, some don't want to be involve in the process, they want it complete separate...

On my order form I give the parents a choice. In some ways it's easier in other ways digital download can be a pain. The biggest problem, they write their email that I can't read well weeks later I'm dealing with people who haven't received their link because it went to the wrong email. At the beginning of this year before the pandemic I had a new client want all orders online. I built a shopping cart on my wordpress website. What a royal pain took me two weeks to figure things out. Payment goes through Paypal and they take $3 commision for the privilege of credit card payments. Then because of covid never used it.
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Old September 19th, 2020, 05:07 PM   #4
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

I am also looking in to this. I did read on here somewhere where some where having problem with Vimeo over copyright music ie from dance shows or someone preforming using backing tracks.

I am thinking of hosting my own server here at home as I can get fibre to building (home) and 1Gb down and 200-300mb up. I am tying to work out how to make the videos available for download or streaming and also getting the customer (the person who wants to watch the video to pay).

Along with the about idea I am hoping to have an option within my setup so I then can steam into my own server but also push it out to ie Facebook, You Tube and the alike. While I am pushing it out to other sites its been recorded on the server for downloading, streaming again or even for me to use to put on DVD or USB memory sticks.
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Old September 19th, 2020, 05:28 PM   #5
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

That's a lot of work, time and money running your own server and maintaining it. If anything breaks hardware, software, etc it's on you. You should also have an offsite backup otherwise due theft, fire, power surge, etc. This summer due to a storm, lost power for a week, internet for 1.5 weeks, if you had a home server you'd be down. That's why I pay Vimeo no worries and they've never taken down anything and I do lots of recitals that use pop music. On the other hand I uploaded a religious service for a client on youtube and it got flagged! It was a Jewish song that was sung and they played musical instruments themselves.
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Old September 19th, 2020, 10:37 PM   #6
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

Hi Peter, thanks for reply. I would prefer to use vimeo if possible. My issue with it was I couldnt see an option to keep videos private when selling them via vimeo. Are you able to do this? I use this for my promos and the private setting ensures i dont get flagged for copyrighted music. Also, when a client buys on vimeo, is it a one-time download or can they access it any time they log into Vimeo? Thanks, Alan

Last edited by Alan MacMillan; September 20th, 2020 at 01:14 AM.
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Old September 22nd, 2020, 10:36 PM   #7
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

Not sure if this is suitable, but during the lockdown here (grrrr) I made a website to market a video series I produced. I used EasyDigitalDownloads for purchase and delivery. On purchasing, the buyer gets access to the videos which I have on Google Drive...
Not suitable for streaming however...as far as I am aware...

Renton
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Old September 25th, 2020, 05:57 AM   #8
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

I've been using the free WeTransfer service for a few years to transfer video files to clients, however they also provide a 'Pro' service that enables the transfer of files up to 20gb. The service costs £120 per year and you can email transfers to up to 50 people or send a link to unlimited numbers. You can also password protect although there is no streaming facility. the site link is https://wetransfer.com/pro

Roger
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Old September 25th, 2020, 12:51 PM   #9
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

I considered setting up my own server at home, I have 400/400 fiber (FIOS) and can get gigabit. But these are not static IP addresses like a 'real" server would have - you'd need to get a business plan for that which is more expensive. I believe there are some ways to use dynamic IP addresses with special nameservers but haven't looked very deeply into that. I'm sure there's some fine print in my ISP terms of service that forbid me from running a business site on my home plan anyway.

But more of a concern is that, as soon as you put something on the internet, it is going to constantly be attacked from all over the world. I would not want to let any of that traffic inside my home network. It would be like a full-time IT job just to keep everything secure.

I have several websites, which are for maps and not video, but they also involve a lot of data. For example:

https://online.boydsmaps.com/#17/40....longIsland2017

My sites are hosted by a small company here in the US, so probably not a good choice for you but I suspect you could find the same kind of place. Recently upgraded from a virtual private server to a cloud server which distributes the load across a cluster of computers and performs a lot better.

Their basic plans are pretty cheap, but it gets expensive as you add disk space. I'm paying about $90/month with 350gb of disk (about $15 of that is WHM and cPanel licenses, which are optional). I'm hosting three different sites there and will eventually migrate two other personal sites. It's a Linux server with full root access, so the possibilites are endless.

Anyway, I'm glad that I can just contact tech support when there's a problem. I ran my own servers 20 years ago and would rather not go back to that. And I really do get almost 100% uptime, which I supspect would be hard to achieve at home.

Of course, using your own server gets around YouTube and Vimeo restrictions, but the copyright issues would still exist and there are a lot of trolls out there. Not video, but at another site I moderate the owner had to get a lawyer to defend himself when a forum member posted a scan of a page from a 30 year old newspaper that no longer exists.
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Old September 25th, 2020, 06:42 PM   #10
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

You can get a small business Internet plan for not much more than most home services that will include static IPs and the ability to serve any kind of content you want. I pay AT&T for a fiber-to-the-home service that winds up costing about $30 a month more than their "family" service at the same speeds ($130 versus $100). Not too much to pay for the additional flexibility. They helped set up the DNS so I have authority over my own addresses and can run my own DNS server here. I don't want the hassle or have the bandwidth to stream video from home but do run my own email server and a couple of low-traffic, relatively static websites on a number of virtual Linux mini-servers. Granted it's mainly a hobby for me (I used to do this stuff professionally and mainly want to keep my hand in and my skills sharp), but the cost is not a big deal and something similar should be available from any of the major ISPs.
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Old September 25th, 2020, 06:55 PM   #11
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

you could use No-ip, myddns or dyn for mapping your dynamic ip address to a domain name. Which could save you money.

This is one reason I was thinking of setting up my own at home at the moment as there is very little work because of Covid-19.

The other thing would be if it does not work out it did not cost me anything. I have been hosting my own email and web server for about 17 years.
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Old September 26th, 2020, 06:04 AM   #12
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

Really depends on what you need I suppose. I had unlimited storage and over 70gb of files on a site from the same hosting company that only cost $7 per month ($84/year). It was fine for downloads, but not streaming. I actually just migrated that site to my cloud server yesterday and am not not renewing the old plan.

FWIW, I pay $80/month for 400/400 FIOS at home, would cost $20 more for gigabit. They gave me an unsolicited free two week trial of gigabit, and for my usage I couldn't even tell any difference. An extra $30/month for a business internet plan sounds like a lot to me, I'd rather give that to a hosting company that provides hardware and support so I don't need to.
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Old October 17th, 2020, 07:02 AM   #13
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

Hi, thanks for all the responses to my post. One benefit of Covid (perhaps the only one!) is that the lull in work allows me to explore options for this.

I have been exploring using vimeo on demand as it seemed to offer what i was looking for - the ability for clients to stream and/or download, but i am having difficulties getting it to work (it keeps asking me to upload a trailer and gets stuck at that point), I'm not sure if it is because the clips I am testing contain show music & may be being picked up for that by vimeo.
Has anyone had success using vimeo on demand for distributing dance shows?

I'm also exploring the option mentioned by Renton in his post - of using google-drive & easy digital downloads. I wanted to ask if anyone else has used google drive & if the download speeds are fine for large video files?

I'm not savvy enough with tech to set up my own server & don't really want the hassle of it. The whole thing seems more complex than it needs to be, or maybe it's me! I'm sure many of us must be in the same boat - looking for a user-friendly system of offering digital downloads / streaming of dance & theatre shows. Any advice greatly appreciated.
Alan
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Old October 17th, 2020, 11:04 AM   #14
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

Wordpress/Jetpack also has video hosting, I'm a subscriber but have not tried it myself. Wordpress sites are pretty easy to build, there are many templates available, lots of tutorials and there's a plug-in for just about anything. Might be worth checking out?

https://jetpack.com/features/design/video-hosting/
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Old October 17th, 2020, 09:43 PM   #15
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Re: Hosting platform for downloads / streaming

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan MacMillan View Post
i am having difficulties getting it to work (it keeps asking me to upload a trailer and gets stuck at that point), I'm not sure if it is because the clips I am testing contain show music & may be being picked up for that by vimeo
Alan
In my experience if I try to upload a video that uses a pop music song it won't upload like you describe. However if I film a wedding reception and there is pop music playing in the background and its a mix of the crowd noise, Vimeo will allow that. If you swap out the sound track for a royalty free song, you'll have your answer.
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