Google Video Hosting - Free Video Streaming Host

One thing that prevents many people from posting video content on their website is the bandwidth and storage space required. Small websites with limited capacity can quickly overshoot that capacity if video content is added.

There is an alternative, however. Video can be hosted on a remote server thus shifting the overhead to that server. There are many streaming video host services which offer this remote video hosting, but one of the most popular is Google Video.

You can upload videos to Google Video and link to it from your own website. The video appears embedded in a webpage on your website, giving the viewer the impression that it is hosted on your own server.

The best part is that Google Video is a free streaming video host. All that is needed to take advantage of this service is a Google uploading account. This is a simple process and once completed you get access to a form which allows you to fill in details about the video such as genre, title, description and language. If the video file is bigger than 100 MB you need to install an uploading program from Google, otherwise you can simply use the upload form.

Google Video accepts a number of formats such as AVI, ASF, QuickTime, Windows Media but for best results they recommend MPEG4 or MPEG2 at 30 frames per second and a resolution of 640 x 480. Once the video file is uploaded it will be compressed to a Flash format.

Videos encoded with MPEG4 and MPEG2 are broadcast quality, but the files are much larger than other formats such as QuickTime or Windows Media. Uploading a 30 minute MPEG2 file could take several hours. Fortunately, uploads to Google Video can be resumed so if something happens to the data connection as you are uploading you do not have to start again from the beginning.

If you decide to upload AVI, ASF, QuickTime or Windows Media the transfer time will be much shorter, but the files will be re-encoded with Google's proprietary format. Some users report that this re-encoding process significantly reduces the quality of the video, so if possible, stick to Google's recommendation and use MPEG4 or MPEG2.

Once the file has been uploaded it must be verified to meet Google's policies against copyrighted, pornographic or racist material. It may take several days for the video to be verified.

Once the video has been verified it can be viewed on the Google Video website and you can also use the HTML code that is provided with every video, to embed the video in any webpage. Embedded files are streamed from the Google Video server so there is no bandwidth overhead for including this video content.

Google Video has a few competitors, the most notable being YouTube. This popular service operates much the same as Google Video, but at this time they have a limit of 100 MB and 10 minutes duration per video file.

This short format is not holding people back. YouTube hosts a huge variety of video subjects with many people using the format as a personal blog. Users can rate videos and have the chance to make a video reply to any clip.

Just like Google Video, YouTube video can be embedded in any webpage and so makes an ideal alternative to hosting video content from your own server.

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