This guest post is written by Ruben Corbo from Broadband Expert.
With the prevalence of the Internet in every household, mostly in the form of high speed broadband, content delivery has changed. Video in particular is streamed all over the web. Between broadband and the widespread use of Adobe\’s Flash Player, there are a number of services available for streaming, sharing and watching Flash videos.
The popularity that video sharing enjoys has created stiff competition on the web. It\’s a potentially lucrative slice of the web media pie, and everyone wants a bite. Though many services have come and gone, three in particular have taken positions as leaders in the field. These three are YouTube, Vimeo, and Oculu. Each has their pros and cons, and seem poised to fight on the Internet video hosting battleground.
YouTube is one of the first and largest video streaming sites to hit the web. It\’s well known and is often the go-to site of choice for users. It has a gigantic community that allows any video uploaded the potential to find a massive audience. Free users can upload unlimited videos in high-definition, up to 1 gigabyte in size. While that will make some Internet service providers choke, today\’s broadband can handle it.
photo credit: thms.nl
YouTube has its critics, however. Because the site is so old and so large, there\’s a virtual flood of videos and it\’s harder for any one to reach the public eye and gain popularity without outside help. Low quality and small videos suffer from compression artifacts that distort it, sometimes to unwatchable levels. YouTube also watermarks their videos. On top of all that, YouTube limits the length of videos that can be posted.
Vimeo became the main YouTube competitor because of exactly these criticisms. Vimeo offers higher quality video playback, without the compression issues YouTube suffers from. It doesn\’t watermark anything and it\’s video player itself is small and unobtrusive. More and more it\’s become the site of choice for independent filmmakers, and you can often find indy work hosted there.
Vimeo is not without its restrictions. Free users are limited to only 500 megs of uploads per week, with only one of them in HD. Anything more requires an upgraded account, which comes at the high fee of $60 a year. Vimeo\’s community is also much smaller, and comes with a lower number of hits on a video than YouTube might accumulate. On top of that, Vimeo doesn\’t allow promotional video, commercials or other content designed to sell. (See notes below)
photo credit: A.A.
The battle between Vimeo and YouTube is what spawned the third competitor, Oculu. Oculu offers much more than simple video hosting for those whose Internet service providers allow it. It\’s more for professional users than the average person. It offers the high quality video of Vimeo, without the restrictions on promotional content. The only restriction on Oculu\’s video content is no pornography — a limitation shared by YouTube and Vimeo.
Oculu offers much more. They have multiple options for playback, no-advertising hosting, and real human customer support. Search engine optimization isn\’t limited to video tags. You\’re offered detailed video statistics and reports. It even allows you to customize the embedded video player so it matches your website.
That\’s not to say Oculu is the perfect service or the YouTube killer. It doesn\’t offer basic accounts, for one thing. There\’s no free option. To use Oculu, you\’ll have to pay a fee. However, it\’s still the best option when it comes to uploading high quality, high-definition content without the restrictions and limitations imposed by YouTube and Vimeo. Personal choice determines which is right for you, but Oculu is an option.
This is a guest article by Ruben Corbo, a writer for the website Broadband Expert where you can find internet service providers in your area and compare prices on different deals for your wireless internet necessities.
EDITORIAL: As pointed in Twitter, Vimeo is now offering PRO account which lets you promote products or services for $199/year.