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Videos in SharePoint​

If you have the need to embed streaming videos on your SharePoint pages, you do have some options.  This post aims to assist in the decision making process of when to use which video option.

Possible solutions

YouTube:  If the video is NOT a private video, you can always use YouTube.  Embedding YouTube videos onto SharePoint pages is pretty straight-forward.  YouTube generates the embed code and you paste it into the “Script Editor” web part.  Be sure to use the “Script Editor” web part to avoid SharePoint stripping out the code you paste in. 


Pros:  It’s free.  Google will handle hosting and streaming your large video files.  Mobile friendly video player.  Highly compatible video player. 

Cons:  Your videos need to be “Public” videos on YouTube.  Google may put advertisements on your videos (you get what you pay for ;)

Native SharePoint Video Player:  The native SharePoint 2013 media player is aesthetically pleasing and works great – as long you don’t mind only using WMV video files, and hosting and streaming them yourself.  The WMV video file format is not that big of a deal in most cases.  Hosting and streaming videos, which by nature are large files measured in MB, not Kb – can be a non-starter.  Also, I’m not convinced the player is as compatible with the various browsers as other options.  Example:  iPad Safari, iPhone Safari (they are NOT the same Safari, believe it or not).   


Pros:  It’s native SharePoint functionality and it looks nice in IE.  You can control security on your videos, they do not have to be public videos. 

Cons:  Video files are big and they will live in a SharePoint Digital Assets Library, which means they will live in the SQL Server Database running SharePoint, which means you need to have a lot of space and a big pipe between SQL and SharePoint.  Also, it’s not actually “streaming”, but rather – progress downloading (two very different concepts that ‘appear’ to be the same thing). 

Brightcove Video Streaming in SharePoint:  Brightcove is a video streaming service that is becoming more popular all the time.  You can upload your videos to Brightcove (just like YouTube) with a pretty BIG difference vs. YouTube:  You can control security on Brightcove videos, where YouTube videos MUST be public.  Like YouTube, Brightcove will host and stream your videos as well as generate simple embed code for you to add to your “Script Editor” web part on your SharePoint page.  Unlike YouTube, Brightcove is not free. 


Pros:  Brightcove will handle hosting and streaming your large video files.  Mobile friendly video player.  Highly compatible video player.  Can host private videos and control access via the SharePoint page on which you place the video.

Cons:  It’s not free.