In both WebinarJam and EverWebinar, there are multiple areas where you might need to plug in an external video file. There are only 3 things you need to keep in mind:
- The allowed video file formats are MP4 and MOV.
- The ideal video resolution for a webinar is 720p at 30 frames per second, as it balances good streaming quality and fast loading.
- You need a place to actually host the video file itself.
Optimize your video file for online streaming
While chances are that your video recording camera or phone might record your video files at full HD resolution (even 4K!) and 60 frames per second, the truth is those extreme settings might actually ruin your webinar event! You see, some of your viewers might not have a pristine internet connection, or they might be watching on the go from their mobile phone, or perhaps from a hotel room, etc.
The point is that you want to lean down those huge video files so your viewers don’t suffer from constant buffering downtimes. Remember, this is supposed to be a web-based webinar, not a Netflix show watched from a 65-inch TV!
The good thing is that there’s a free software called HandBrake that will re-encode and optimize your videos, making them much leaner and without losing any quality at all.
Here are the must-have settings you want to go for:
- MP4 format
- 720p resolution at 30 frames per second
- Web optimized option ticked ON
- Audio bitrate set at 128
The following video overviews the whole configuration process:
Now that your video file is 100% optimized, let’s talk about hosting that file. There are 3 compatible hosting solutions:
- Amazon S3 or any other actual file hosting solution.
- Vimeo Pro.
Amazon S3 (or any other file hosting)
Amazon S3 is very popular because it allows you to host endless amount of files, and to stream them endless amount of times. As a pay-as-you-go cloud solution, you only pay for the bandwidth you consume, which is pretty convenient too.
This tutorial will not touch on the particularities of Amazon S3 or its interface. The only thing WebinarJam or EverWebinar care about is…
- The video file permissions are set to “public”.
- You copy/paste into your WebinarJam or EverWebinar console the MP4 file path.
Here’s a screenshot on how to set your file permissions to “public”:
And here’s how to grab the URL to the actual MP4 file:
That file URL is what you’d copy/paste into your WebinarJam or EverWebinar console. That’s it!
Amazon S3 Recommendations
Amazon S3 is great for file hosting, but not so much for video streaming. As a result, some of your users might see some buffering here and there. In order to fix that, we recommend you to indeed host your file in Amazon S3, but to stream it via Amazon’s CloudFront, their CDN service.
Don’t worry, converting a S3 video file URL into a CloudFront URL is relatively easy. Here the official Amazon’s S3 to CloudFront conversion wiki article.
Once you have the CloudFront URL, that’s the one you will copy/paste into your WebinarJam/EverWebinar console.
YouTube offers both pros and cons as a video hosting solution. The pros are that uploading videos is very easy and that it’s free!
However, there’s a big drawback: YouTube’s legal terms and conditions disallow us to remove their branding logo and their video player controls. That means that people will be able to play, pause, rewind, and even escape the video altogether. That, obviously, is not the most desirable outcome in a webinar environment, so we do necessarily recommend YouTube as the best solution to host your WebinarJam or EverWebinar videos files.
At any rate, if you still want to host your videos in YouTube, the only thing you need to do is to copy/paste the actual YouTube’s page URL into the WebinarJam or EverWebinar console. See screenshot:
Vimeo is a similar service to YouTube but, for Pro (and higher) customers, they allow to hide all branding logos and to overrule their video player controls. This, in return, facilitates us to fully govern your video file and make the best out of it in a webinar-centric environment.
Note that their Pro (or higher) plans are not free but they are still pretty affordable.
Here’s a quick video on how to plug in a video hosted on Vimeo Pro (or higher) into your WebinarJam or EverWebinar console.