One thing has become apparent with the emergence of smart devices, internet networking, and new streaming media platforms and that’s this: users are in charge now. Streaming, potentially more than any other recent development, has enabled new degrees of control that viewers today experience when deciding how, where, and where to watch new or favorite movies, shows, and series. All of these on-demand video streaming platforms have a few things in common, one of which is a video streaming server.
What is a video-on-demand streaming server?
A VOD streaming server provides a customer with video content transferred over the Internet and other their connected computer, smartphone, tablet, or other wired gadgets.
This player allows users to stream content on their selected devices in almost the same way they would watch a movie in a cinema or watch a TV show — except with more flexibility, mobility, and playback features.
How does a VOD stream server work?
A copy of the whole video file is saved to the device’s hard drive anytime we download the said video file onto our devices. This means that, until it has been downloaded in its entirety, users can not access the file.
Naturally, this could lead many viewers to stop downloading if it takes too long and finds other entertainment sources.
However, when it comes to streaming on an on-demand streaming server, the file loads a little at a time, offering a real-time viewing experience and pleasing consumers without reducing video quality or causing delays in playback.
To stream videos on any website, companies will first need to create a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This distributes content across servers regardless of the geographical locations, seamlessly and without a hitch.
A VOD server offers a complex network environment in which video content can be distributed in various formats including such as Apple HLS or MPEG Dash.
What are the key features of VOD streaming servers?
VOD streaming servers have the following features that enhance the streaming experience:
● Modern Low Latency Protocols
Latency means that with extra time, parts of data are transferred from one spot. The lower the latency, the quicker the loading of content, which is why most enterprises choose low latency protocols to ensure the content plays as clearly as possible on all platforms and across bandwidths.
● Support for Legacy Systems
A legacy system refers to the outdated operating system or hardware platform on which a device operates. The top VOD server software is usually wholly supportive of legacy systems, which ensures that users don’t need to have the latest tech to access the platform — and this, in turn, promises, even more, reach for content creators and distributors.
● Multi-Device Support
This feature ensures that the content on a platform can be played on multiple devices at the same time or separately, and by thousands of users all at once, without a hitch.
VOD streaming servers can be scaled up to accommodate thousands of people streaming all at one go. This ensures that platforms can increase in size, scope, and reach without systems faltering.
● Latency, Speed, and Efficiency
VOD servers deliver videos at an optimum speed depending on the user’s internet strength, ensuring they’re able to watch the video without long loading times.
● Technical Support
Video-on-demand hosting providers ensure technical support is available whenever you need it.
With VOD streaming servers in place, viewers are able to watch their content wherever they are, which makes your content much easier to access and erases geographical boundaries.
VOD streaming servers are customizable to reflect the platform’s branding, which goes a long way in ensuring top-of-mind recall.
On-Premise vs On Cloud
The video-on-demand hosting also makes a difference to the user experience.
In the case of on-premise, VOD servers are deployed in-house, while in the case of on cloud, they’re hosted on a vendor-supplied cloud in most cases. The pros of on-premise hosting are that you have the servers in your physical space while that’s not the case for on-cloud However, on-premise hosting involves a lot of operational costs that cloud hosting doesn’t.
Video on demand server software that is hosted on-premise is in total control of the owner. In the case of on-cloud, the servers are dependent on the vendor that owns the cloud. That said, the former can be a bit of an operation burden, while the latter is more flexible in terms of access and control.
On-premise VOD server hosting is secure in that you have absolute control over it and there are lesser chances of hacking. However, on-cloud hosting vendors often have highly secure architecture supporting their cloud platforms so they guarantee security and privacy as well.
With on-premise hosting, it is relatively easier to comply with all the necessary government and industry regulations. When it comes to on-cloud hosting, it isn’t the responsibility of the server owner, but that of the cloud vendor, to ensure they’re meeting the regulatory mandates that apply to their industry.
● Cost comparison
On-premise hosting often comes with a lot of operational, maintenance, and hidden costs, as it needs a lot of equipment and technical expertise to set up. In comparison, on-cloud hosting is a lot more cost-efficient, often requiring only a subscription fee and no additional charges.
On-premise server systems can be accessed remotely but often requires third-party support. This increases the risk of security, privacy, and communication failures, which in turn affects compliance. By contrast, on-cloud hosting is much easier to access, as they’re built for mobility and flexibility and therefore have security systems equipped to deal with that.
Which one is the best for your VOD Business?
The choice between on-cloud and on-premise hosting completely depends on your business goals. When compared to cloud software, on-premise promises more flexibility, reliability, and security.
Hosted cloud software, by contrast, negates the need for maintaining and regularly updating systems. This, in turn, allows you to focus all your resources and time on reaching your core business goals.
The larger trend we see that day is of companies preferring on-cloud hosting but if your streaming needs are better fitted for on-premise hosting, then that’s a great choice, too.
How VPlayed helps to choose a better option for your business?
With VPlayed, you have the option of trying out both on-premise and on-cloud hosting for your VOD server software. The dual features ensure that you make the right decision for your business, whether that’s sticking with one type from the get-go, or switching as you scale up or your needs change. This is a flexibility that companies would do great to take advantage of.
This article considered the critical factors of on-premise versus cloud solutions to help content owners make the right choice. In the end, to choose between the two, organizations must look at the existing architecture and their goals to make specific decisions in the right direction.
The best VOD server, therefore, is further enhanced by choosing the right type of hosting that multiplies its success rate.