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To build a video sharing site, what type of hosts is needed for the purpose? FFMPEG recommendations?

According to web search findings, I understand a web host that supports FFMPEG is required to enable such a web site. Has anybody had the experience working with a shared hosting provider that offers such a feature?

P.S.: I am on a tight budget so yes, I am only looking among those "cheap" providers.

3 Replies

Brent Laminack
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Brent Laminack Entrepreneur
Principal at OpenFace Systems, Inc.
You're going to be disappointed in any shared hosting provider. Their web servers really aren't tuned to do streaming well, and their bandwidth allocations are very spotty. You really should use a dedicated video hosting service that has bandwidth and services you need. Learn from the others that have gone before, such as this 5-years retrospective.
Russel Porosky
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Russel Porosky Entrepreneur • Advisor
Senior Project Lead & Web Developer at Intoria Internet Architects
You can use a cheaper hosting solution to host your video website, but the videos themselves will need to be streamed from a dedicated (and more expensive) service.

If you really want to roll your own, you'll need at least a good server to accept video uploads and transcode them to the different formats (there are probably at least 12 you'll need to worry about right now, and likely more). You'll also be paying for bandwidth in and out of this server, so budget for that. Streaming video is best delivered from a CDN built for the purpose, and that can be expensive (again, mainly bandwidth). You'll need a reliable, scalable storage solution (like S3) to store all 12 copies of each video.

You will need some sort of oversight to prevent copyrighted and illegal works from being made public. If you're delivering h.264, MP4, AAC, or MP3 streams, you'll have some licensing costs to pay to MPEGLA.

Unless you're planning on just hosting curated YouTube and Vimeo links, you won't be able to do this on the cheap.

Relevant experience: I've built this 3 times over the past decade for 3 different companies; it's never cheap, it's not quick, and there is always someone you forgot to pay a license fee to who will send you lawyer letters.
Scott Elrod
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Scott Elrod Entrepreneur • Advisor
mHealth technologist☁ex-COO/CIO@Cloud 9-tech for behavioral health■ex-CIO@AmeriDoc(now Teladoc) healing 1.5M patients
Webhostingtalk.com 's advanced search is probably what you need. You can compare the requirements FFMPEG (which many have) with price (searching for lowest), and then also by VPS vs dedicated, and lastly by region. My guess would be that your audience might be HK or mainland .cn. Those regions have different latency for video streaming, so a regionally close server would be better.
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