The Complete Guide to Video Hosting Servers

Roughly 80 percent of US consumers watch streaming videos regularly. And the percentage is even higher with younger audiences.

If you’re not offering video content on your site, a big part of your target market will probably never see your content.

Video streaming uses a lot more bandwidth than plain text though. What’s the best way to deliver it without spending a fortune on hosting?

Let’s look at the benefits of a video hosting server and why you should consider hosting your own content.

The Benefits of Using a Dedicated Video Hosting Server

You’ve got two choices for hosting video. You can use a platform like YouTube or you can use a dedicated server of your own.

While YouTube can be an easy way to get started, there are several advantages to having a server of your own.

No Restrictions on Content

When you host your video on a site like YouTube, you’re subject to their policies and rules. They won’t allow some topics on their platform, they could restrict the length of your video, and they could remove your video from their site if they don’t “like” it for any reason.

Hosting your own video means you have complete control. You can make your own choices about what goes into your videos.

Avoids Arbitrary Policy Changes

Video platforms like YouTube can change their rules arbitrarily as well. A video that’s acceptable under today’s terms and conditions could run afoul of a rule change in the future.

You could spend months or even years building an audience and one policy change could lead to your video getting delisted and all those viewers disappearing. In many cases, you have no recourse if this happens.

You Become the Profitable Party

When you host your video on a site like YouTube, they run ads alongside or during your video, they place related videos beside it and generally do everything they can to keep viewers on their site.

They’re the ones profiting while you put in the hard work of creating videos.

By hosting your videos on your own server, you can decide how you want to monetize them. You can promote your own products or services, generate leads, or even run ads for other companies if you want.

However you decide to monetize, those profits go into your pocket instead of into the wallet of the video platform company.

SEO Benefits for Your Website

When you host your video on your own server, your website gets all the SEO benefits and the traffic that comes with it.

If your video is on a video platform, the platform gets all the benefits.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Your Server

There are several important factors to consider when choosing a dedicated server to host your video.

So first, what is a dedicated server, anyway? It’s essentially a computer running in your hosting service’s datacenter that delivers your content to visitors. Being “dedicated” means you have complete control over the server and all its resources are yours to use.

Metered vs Unmetered Bandwidth

The most important factor to look for when choosing a video hosting server is unmetered bandwidth.

Unmetered means there’s no limit to the amount of data your server can transfer. Viewers could stream your video non-stop, 24/7, and you would still pay the same monthly fee.

With metered bandwidth, you’ll pay overage charges once you go past a certain limit. Needless to say, streaming video can use a lot of bandwidth so having an unmetered server is critical.

Maple Hosting’s unmetered dedicated server plans give you unlimited bandwidth so you don’t need to worry about overage fees.

Resolution of Streaming Video

The resolution of your video has a bearing on how much bandwidth you need for your server. The higher resolution the video, the more bandwidth it needs to stream the same amount of time.

For example, 4K video needs more bandwidth than 1080p video, which in turn needs more than 720p.

Number of Concurrent Viewers

The other factor that comes into play when choosing your server is the maximum number of concurrent viewers you could have watching your video.

There are two components of a server’s internet connection that affect streaming – bandwidth and port size. Bandwidth is the total amount of data you can transfer each month (unlimited in the case of an unmetered server) and the port determines how much data can get delivered at once.

If you have more viewers watching your video at the same time, you need a larger port to maintain the stream.

Think of the port like a highway. The same number of cars can travel between two points on a two-lane highway as on a four-lane highway but two lanes will get backed up if there are enough cars, slowing down traffic and making the commute take longer.

A larger port is akin to a highway with more lanes.

For instance, too many viewers using a 1 Gbps port will cause congestion and poor performance, and no one wants that. Use our dedicated server recommendation wizard to ensure you choose a server with a port size that matches your needs.

How to Calculate Streaming Bandwidth Requirements

To determine the port size you need for your server, use this equation:

Port = Concurrent users X Stream rate

The stream rate depends on the resolution of the video that you’re delivering:

  • Mid-range (640×360) = 800 to 1200 kilobits per second (kps)
  • High-resolution (960×540) = 1200 to 1500 kps
  • 720p HD (1280 x 720) = 3000 kps
  • 1080p HD (1920 x 1080) = 4300 to 5800 kps
  • 4K (3840 x 2160) = 8000 to 16000 kps

Let’s say you’re streaming 1080p video to 500 people at once. This is the calculation for the required port size:

500 (users) X 5800 (stream rate) = 2,900,000 or 2.9 Gbps

In this case, you would need a 3Gbps port to maintain your streaming performance at peak load.

Keep in mind that the number of users in the calculation is concurrent users. If you have 500 users over a 24 hour period but no more than 50 at any given time, 50 is the number to use in the calculation.

Maple Hosting offers customizable dedicated server plans so you can choose the port size that suits your needs.

How to Set Up a Video Hosting Server

You can get your video hosting server up and running with a few simple steps:

  1. First, order your dedicated server. If you’re not sure what resources you need, use our server recommendation wizard to find out.
  2. When you’re customizing your new dedicated server, be sure to choose “Ant Media Streaming Engine” under “Control Panel”. The Ant Media Streaming Engine provides adaptive, ultra-low latency streaming using WebRTC technology with 0.5 seconds latency.
  3. Once your new server gets delivered, you’ll be ready to upload your videos and start delivering content to your viewers.

Where to Get the Best Deals on Unmetered Dedicated Servers

Choosing the right video hosting server is important but the service and support behind it are just as much of a factor in delivering a good experience to your viewers. It doesn’t matter how fast your video streams if your server is down.

Maple Hosting offers the best dedicated server hosting for video and other high-bandwidth applications. We offer an industry-leading 100% uptime guarantee that ensures your server stays up and running.

Our dedicated server recommendation wizard will help you find the right server or contact us to discuss your needs and we’ll get you set up with the perfect solution.

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