MetaCDN - StreamShark

How to Deploy Video on Demand (VOD)

Video Walkthrough

What is Video Content?

In the StreamShark system, video content means an input file that contains both audio and video streams. StramShark encodes, replicates and streams your video content, taking the hassle out of sharing high definition video content on the web. It does this by seamlessly encoding your multimedia to all popular formats and presentation layers:

  • Video - MP4, FLV, WebM, OGV.
  • Presentation - Flash, HTML5, Native/Custom (e.g. iPhone/iPad, Internet TV, etc).
  • Syndication - MediaRSS

In this document we will talk you through the different video encoding and delivery options available to you, giving you an understanding of when each format or presentation mode is the most appropriate.


What are my deployment options?

StreamShark can transcode your video content in a variety of different formats (containers and codecs), at a variety of different quality levels. We do this so your content can reach as many people as possible by ensuring your content plays back and looks great on all devices, platforms and connection qualities. In the table below, all possible output formats and quality levels are listed, as well as common targets for those output combinations.


(Click to view full size)

* Flash video encodes are considerably less efficient than other output options, and generally require a higher bitrate to match the same quality. We recommend using FLV as fallback for users with old versions of flash installed.

What are the best output options for me?

The containers and formats you select depend on the characteristics of the customers you are targeting. Some example scenarios are listed below:

  • "I want to target up to date browsers with the latest flash version installed, for high quality playback": Choose MP4
  • "I have users from large organisations / universities that has out of date browsers with an old flash version installed, which isn't changing any time soon": Choose FLV
  • "I care about open standards, royalty free video formats and standards compliant HTML markup" Choose WebM and OGV
  • "I want to make sure mobile users such as iPhone/iPad and Android phones/tablets have a great experience." Choose MP4

If you are unsure, a safe option is to select MP4 and WEBM as output options which provides broad coverage, catering for modern browsers, older browsers and mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android Phones and tablets. If you want further advice on formats, please reach out to StreamShark support by filing a ticket or emailing support.

How do I brand my video content?

You brand a video by associating it with a player template.  Templates are created and managed under the 'Manage->templates' section.  Every account has a 'default' template that cannot be changed.  You can update existing videos to use different templates at a later stage.

When creating a template, you can specify options like whether to make bitrates selectable, the scaling of the video and whether to stream over http (to allow playback of video through corporate firewalls).

The scale options available are:

'stretch to fit': fit to window by preserving the aspect ratio encoded in the file's metadata 
'half': half-size (preserves aspect ratio) 
'orig': use the dimensions encoded in the file; if the video is too big for the available space, the video is scaled preserving the aspect ratio 
'scale': scale the video to fill all available space; ignores the dimensions in the metadata


I'm submitted my video - now what happens?

Your video, once submitted, needs to be processed according to the container and quality settings you have selected above.  As soon as one of your selected container/quality format files have been processed and replicated, your Media will become active and the StreamShark URL can be used to view the media.  Your Media will not be viewable before this point.  By default, the system will email you when your media becomes active so there is no need to keep refreshing the portal to check progress.

You can see the current state of processing by viewing the media status and encoding status keywords.  These are revealed through the 'Manage' section of the dashboard, by clicking on the triangle at the right of the Media entry you wish to examine.  The table below shows a definition of the possible keywords and what they mean. 


Adaptive or manual bitrate selection for playback.

Using a mixture of media settings and custom playback templates (accessible via the 'template' section under the 'manage' menu), you can customise how your users will play back your video/audio content.

If you selected the automatic location option, our player can take advantage of the dynamic bitrate switching functionality offered by flash media servers.  By default, this is enabled for new templates.  Note that adaptive switching is disabled if you choose 'Use http streaming' for your template, or your locations are manually selected.

If you would like to allow the user to manually select their playback bitrate (for Video only), set the 'Auto Bitrate Selection' option to false when creating your playback template.

Media status table.

Status Description
INITIATING Media submitted into the system and has been queued for processing.
PENDING Media is being processed.
ACTIVE At least one of the media container/quality combinations has been encoded and replicated.  Media can now be accessed via the StreamShark URL
DEL_SCHED Media has been scheduled for deletion
DELETED All files associated with the media have been removed.  The reports remain accessible for ~7 days after deletion.
INACTIVE The Media files have become inacessible due to a transient back-end issue (all of our providers have gone down).
ERROR There was an unrecoverable error trying to process the Media (encoding failure etc)
REFRESH The user has refreshed an existing Media and it has been queued for processing.
DELETE_REPORTS Remove reports for the media object - this is the last stage before a Media disappears from the manage list.

Encoding status table.

Status Description
Processing Individual container/quality encodes have been queued for processing by the encoder
Failed The container/quality formats failed to encode, please retry.
 Completed All required container/quality formats have been encoded successfully.



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