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HKU Video Streaming Service

Video streaming means the delivery of video (and audio) contents over the network from a video server while the browser or some client program plays them at the user’s PC. Playing and delivering here go hand in hand as playing can occur without waiting for the delivery to finish. Because of its quick delivery, video streaming has found a wide application in web pages which incorporate multi-media contents (e.g. those in YouTube).

Web pages designed to support streaming video usually presuppose a streaming media server and storage for the streaming media. Information Technology Services pilots a video streaming service whereby departments can store their Adobe Flash streaming video files in a central repository and make use of a central streaming server to stream the media within their web pages, similar to what is depicted below:

Streaming Intro

Here is a highlight of our service provision:

Eligibility – HKU departments/centres/units can apply. The service is not for use by individual users.

Supported format of streaming media files – Adobe Flash media (Other video formats must be converted into Flash before they can be streamed. Refer to self-help procedure for Encoding, Uploading and Publishing Flash Video Files for HKU Video Streaming Service).

Storage size allocated – 3GB (see Note below)

Maximum video bit rate recommended – 1Mbps (see Note below)

How to use the video streaming service

  1. Apply for a video streaming account on the Flash media server by submitting CF43 (each department is entitled to have one such account).
  2. Upload prepared Flash video files to the server with SFTP.
  3. Prepare web page on web server.
  4. Embed prescribed code in web page linking the video files uploaded to the Flash media server.
  5. Clients accessing the web page will see Flash video streaming from the Flash media server.

Note: The video file size is a product of video length and quality (i.e. bit rate).  A 3GB video file amounts approximately to a 10-hour video at the bit rate of 600Kbps.  Although higher bit rate yields video of better quality, more network bandwidth is required for streaming.  To ensure that the shared bandwidth can be equitably used by all streams, we recommend that each video be encoded at no more than 1Mbps.

Related documents:
CF43 Reservation of Video Collaboration Device/Service & Application for Video Server Account
Procedures for Encoding, Uploading and Publishing Flash Video Files for HKU Video Streaming Service