Video hosting at the University of Melbourne

As part of the LMS review project we are currently reviewing video management system requirements for the University.

When it comes to hosting videos online at the University, the choice of delivery platform depends on factors such as intended audience, privacy requirements, copyright, size of video, length of time required online and budget.

  • Off-air film and television broadcasts or licensed education videos intended for the LMS - use the Kanopy streaming service
  • Videos where the user owns copyright (ie self generated or commissioned) and intended for public display - use YouTube, Vimeo or MetaCDN. For private (ie student or staff) viewing only - use MetaCDN, Vimeo or Echo360

There is no one centrally managed video hosting platform in use at the University but a number of different ones used for specific purposes.

Faculties and departments are encouraged to sign up and use Vimeo or MetaCDN (outlined below) for internal how-to or teaching and learning videos that don't fall under the off-air broadcast license. University password protection is not possible on a video itself via these third-party sites and would need to configured on the departments web site where the video is embedded.

It is also recommended that faculties and departments create their own YouTube account for public facing promotional and informational videos.

Kanopy

Television broadcasts, films and education videos can be sourced online and securely embedded into the LMS as streaming videos delivered from the Kanopy Streaming Platform.

Requests for films or television programs can be made via Collection Development.

Other examples of videos streamed through the Kanopy system can be found by visiting the Library Catalogue and searching for 'Kanopy'.

If you have an older existing off-air broadcast on VHS or DVD that can't be sourced from a streaming service then the video will need to be format converted (see below).

Cloudstor

For student-generated video for assessment submission, Cloudstor is an ideal option to allow students to upload large video (up to 100GB of storage is allocated) or audio files and share a private link with their tutor or lecturer. The service is free and hosted by AARNet.

MetaCDN

MetaCDN provides an easy to use, cost effective, global cloud-based content delivery, video encoding and streaming service. Initially started as a research project by James Broberg at The University of Melbourne a few years ago, it has now developed into a robust commercial service.  In summary:

  • Encodes to multiple output formats and distributes video to a world wide network  allowing for fast delivery time
  • Player templates options allow colours, logos and the ability to turn sharing on/off
  • Priced based on data usage and encoding

MetaCDN is an ideal platform for faculties wanting to host their own videos for internal non-public viewing.

YouTube

YouTube is a free video hosting platform that verified users can upload videos of many hours and GB's in size. Many faculties and departments are already using YouTube as way of promoting their area or distributing information to a public audience and can be found via the Social Media Directory. The University's YouTube channel is used for hosting videos of official public lectures, special events and promotional videos.

YouTube should not be used for the delivery off-air television recordings, licensed educational videos or content that the user does not hold copyright. Even an 'unlisted' video on YouTube can still be seen if the URL is distributed which will often contravene copyright or privacy issues.

Vimeo

Vimeo is 'freemium' hosting platform that offers increased privacy options such as domain specific and embedding restrictions that can be utilised for content that needs to be kept behind University authentication systems. This is recommended for departments to host student generated videos or online course content. There are three tiers of pricing: free, Vimeo Plus and Vimeo Pro, the differences explained in the Vimeo upgrade page. In most cases, Vimeo Plus should suit most needs but heavy uploaders (up to 20GB/week) may need Vimeo Pro. Both Vimeo Plus and Vimeo Pro provide domain level security, such as allowing videos to be embedded only within LMS pages hosted at the University.

LMS

Although the LMS platform can be used to directly upload video, be sure the files are already in a viewing friendly format or optimised for online delivery as the LMS does not re-encode video for all viewing devices (unlike Vimeo or YouTube). For entire online subjects with a large video component, it is not recommend to upload directly to the LMS but instead create a paid Vimeo account to upload and deliver content. Vimeo accounts can be set to 'private' mode enabling more control over who can view or embed videos, unlike YouTube which although has an 'unlisted' mode, is still a publicly viewable link if emailed.

Embedding video

See this LMS guide more information about embedding or uploading files.

Echo360

The University's Lecture Capture system can be used to host self-recorded or Echo360 Personal Capture videos that have been recorded outside of the automated learning space system. Echo 360 should not be used to host off-air television programmes or other copyrighted commercial content, refer to the section on Kanopy for this use.

Format conversion

Any VHS or DVD that has had copyright clearance and is required online for teaching and learning needs to be converted to a digital file and uploaded to an appropriate hosting platform for online delivery. The Video and Media Production team in Learning Environments provide either format conversion only or assist with hosting via a fee-for-service facility. They can also assist with older analog transfers such as 16mm film, video and cassette tape.