A   S t r e a m i n g   M e d i a   P r i m e r :  
H O W   D O   I   P U T   M Y   S T R E A M I N G   M E D I A   O N  T H E  W E B ?
What do streaming host providers have to offer?
  quantify what you will need from 
A streaming service or an ISP that hosts streaming media is a very attractive choice for the hob 
a host and do your due diligence in 
byist or small business you get to do the creative part and leave most of the technicalities (and 
capital expenditures) to experts. For industrial strength, global implementations, there are enter 
investigating hosting companies. 
prise focused co locations that maintain streaming server farms and dedicated bandwidth. Like 
Ask for a free evaluation to test their 
top notch Web hosting co locations, they provide security, dedicated or shared servers, load bal 
service and talk to your friends in the 
ancing, edge caching, e commerce transaction capabilities, metrics, and reporting. Some special 
industry of their experiences  make 
ized streaming host providers also offer encoding and Web casting services. 
sure you have weighed the factors 
How do the costs compare?
of service, availability, speed, 
Several popular consumer focused ISPs host streaming content at very reasonable prices we've 
reliability, support, and quality. 
seen advertisements for as low as $9.95 per month. The costs to set up a streaming server in 
house can range from $3,500 for hardware and software (really a consumer solution) up to 
 Gene Shin
Streaming Media.com
53
$25,000 or more for an adequate corporate system, and into the hundreds of thousands of 
dollars for an enterprise level, live Web casting facility. Commercial quality hosting costs are 
likely to be thousands of dollars per month, but before you make the capital investment to do it 
in house, remember that streaming technology is rapidly advancing. Be sure to do the math to determine the 
scope of your hosting needs and investigate potential providers with care. Ask direct questions about set up 
fees, surcharges (apparent and hidden), length of contract, upgrade/downgrade fees, and reporting costs. And 
don't forget that this is an emerging industry everything is negotiable!
S H O U L D   YO U   S E R V E   YO U R   S T R E A M S   I N   H O U S E   O R   O U T S O U R C E ?
FOR ENTHUSIASTS:
FOR CORPORATE IT DEPARTMENTS:
FOR CORPORATE IT DEPARTMENTS:
If you are a hobbyist or have a very small 
You probably do not want to set up 
It may make sense to set up in house 
business, and you want to stream a few, 
in house streaming capabilities if:
streaming capabilities if:
short clips, the easiest option is to outsource. 
   
You lack a well developed internal network 
   
You already have a signifi cant internal 
Check with your ISP in addition to offering 
and a high speed (T1+) Internet 
network and high speed (T1+) Internet 
Web hosting, they may provide streaming 
connection with excess bandwidth 
connectivity with signifi cant surplus 
media hosting services ,as well. There are 
   
Management wants existing IT staff to 
bandwidth available on Internet uplink 
also some, primarily consumer targeted, 
focus on core competencies and/or progress 
   
Staff has experience in web hosting, video 
businesses offering streaming services for 
on mission critical tasks cannot be derailed 
streaming, and video conversion 
free or for very low monthly rates check 
by a new initiative and/or existing IT staff 
   
Network management ensures effective 
out iClips, SpotLife, StreamCode, and 
has signifi cant project backlog
bandwidth utilization 
QuickStream, to name just a few.
   
Staff has little or no experience with 
   
Organization already owns video editing 
If you're an intrepid  stream it yourselfer,  
Web hosting, video streaming, or 
suite and editing/conversion tools 
you may want to set up your own server.  
video conversion  
   
Data center has adequate existing server 
To stream media yourself requires a combi 
   
No network management function is 
resources available to provide video 
nation of hardware, software, and band 
in place to ensure availability, performance, 
streaming service 
width here are some minimum basics:
and bandwidth utilization 
   
   
Number of concurrent video streams is 
500MHz processor 
for a streaming system 
expected to be fairly consistent 
   
128K RAM 
   
No access to video editing suite and 
   
Bandwidth usage during peak video 
   
Video capture card 
editing/conversion tools 
demand will be signifi cantly less than 
   
Minimum 7200rpm hard drive
   
No
existing server resources available 
available surplus bandwidth 
   
Minimum connection 128K DSL 
to provide video streaming service 
   
Preference is to incur capital expenses 
   
Video editing software 
   
Number of concurrent video streams 
(servers, tools, software, etc.) to avoid 
(e.g., Adobe Premiere)
is likely to vary signifi cantly 
recurring charges; organization willing 
   
Encoding and server software (e.g.,  
   
Bandwidth usage during peak video demand 
to make long term investments for 
Windows Media, RealMedia, QuickTime)
is likely to exceed surplus bandwidth or 
lower costs  
compete/degrade performance of mission 
To serve a small number of streams from 
   
Organization is willing to spend time and 
critical applications 
your home or offi ce, you will need at least 
money to purchase equipment/software/ 
128K DSL speeds. Cable modems will suffi ce, 
   
Monthly cost with no capital or up front 
tools, and to build infrastructure 
expenditures for equipment or software 
   
IT department has existing excess staff 
namic Media
although the amount of traffi c on the network 
is preferred; organization willing to 
to implement, manage, and monitor the 
y
is unpredictable and may degrade the quality 
of the streams you provide. You defi nitely won t 
pay higher monthly costs to reduce 
streaming media solution. 
be supporting a live Webcast using a cable 
short term risk  
   
Organization has a clear vision of media 
modem, because you need a reliable, dedicated 
   
Very short timeline to implement; desire 
streaming strategy 
connection that does not fl uctuate connection 
is to begin streaming in days 
   
Organization is unsure of the role 
obe D
rates. By doing it yourself, you are limited to 
the backbone carrier of your ISP where your 
of streaming media
d
streams may suffer from network congestion 
   
Company wishes to pilot a streaming 
A
or limited bandwidth availability due to 
media program, and may bring it 
the ISP's network. 
in house after pilot is successful 
36
53    Do It Yourself vs. Outsourcing,  by Gene Shin, http://www.streamingmedia.com/tutorials/view.asp?tutorial_id=51
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