Ogg Theora Cook Book


There are a few things to consider before you put your video online.

Keep in mind that in order for viewers to watch your video, they need to have a high-bandwidth connection. The higher the video quality the higher the bandwidth needed to access the video. This means that sometimes your target audience may not be able to access video online, and hence you may wish to consider another strategy such as distribution of the video on media like CD, DVD, or USB storage sticks.

If your audience has a fast internet connection you may wish to offer the video either for download or for playing from your website. Each strategy has its strengths depending on what it is you hope to achieve.

Replaying on your website :

  1. you can define the context in which the video is being presented
  2. it is convenient for your audience to just click and play the video
  3. it is quite handy for your site visitors to just click and watch a small part of the video and not have to download a huge amount of data just to get an impression of your work
  4. it is easy for your audience to show your work to others, for instance by sending around a link to the video they want to point to

Offering your video for download :

  1. your audience can share it by file sharing networks (some see this as a weakness)
  2. they can play it as many times as they wish without consuming extra bandwidth
  3. they can edit it
  4. they can show it offline (eg. movie screenings)
  5. you can provide a higher quality video that is not possible to play in a website due to browser or bandwidth constraints

You could also choose to offer both strategies: an option to watch the video on your website and an option to download the video. You could even choose to upload two different versions of your video: one encoded in a quality more optimized for the web (something like a preview version of your film in a smaller size and poorer quality) and one video for people to download in a better quality and larger size and resolution.

If you want to share your Video on your website you have a few options. One is using the great HTML 5 video tag. If that is not an option for every viewer since some might use old browsers, you might want to also offer a fallback solution: the Cortado player (software you can embed in your webpage to play Theora).

If you don't have access to a server to store and deliver video, you can also use one of the many available hosting sites, that offer free hosting of Theora video (you don't want to upload your video to hosting sites such as Youtube since you would lose quality, and you would also wave some of your rights on the material).

Another strategy is to offer your video for download with bittorrent. Bittorrent is a peer-to-peer filesharing protocol that shares the internet connection of a respective number of computers that download the same file. Hence, the more people that download your video with bittorrent the faster the transfer will become for other users. Bittorrent is probably the most economic way to transfer large popular files on the internet.