How often are we late for our favorite TV show? That makes us desperate for a while, but then we type in the browser the channel’s website or our provider’s archive address to find the desired episode. Without multimedia servers, it would be challenging to deal with this problem because the providers wouldn’t store the content or even stream it. However, inappropriate server settings or incorrect choice of equipment also cause significant issues. Let’s study how to make it.
What is the multimedia server?
The multimedia server combines physical components and software, providing the framework for running and storing video, audio, and images. Its heart is the powerful multicore central processor with an obligatory graphic unit. The first one deals with primary tasks concerning the functionality, scripts, and text information, whereas its influential colleague provides high-quality images according to the quality format.
Undoubtedly, video files occupy much space. Some will be in regular use, and the others are backup copies. So the big volume SSD is required for that. At least a 10 Gbps port is necessary for the dedicated streaming server.
Where is it used?
Multimedia streaming has such purposes as follows:
- Home theatre;
- Professional streaming services;
- Public and security webcams;
- File sharing systems, etc.
The home theatre is the minor category in the list. Its capacity depends on the family size and preferences like storing, frequency of watching, or available equipment.
Professional streaming services need a place in the data center. Some providers like Hulu and Youtube TV have data centers worldwide to access many recorded streams and live broadcasts. The provider gets remote access to the control panel.
The public and security webcams are the author’s favorite. They give us calm weekends when we’re far from home or exploring the world. Not all cams are open to free watching, of course. But they need a server room to store the archive from 12 hours to a week or two with automatic or manual replacement.
A file sharing system is the possibility to download interesting videos or audio. They contain the physical copies on the servers for video streaming or download links. The latter means the files lie on the users’ machines while the server is a bridge between peers. Torrent and magnet networks are these examples.
How to choose a multimedia server
The choice of the home server is the most straightforward task. It’s usually a powerful PC or TV containing the family archive, official provider apps, etc. At least a 1 TB hard drive or SSD will be in the system’s heart. A stable Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection is required for smooth operation.
The intelligent houses have the server compartment responsible for controlling the house environment. A part of its capacity is the storage units for media. Some operators build the library of the films and music into the control software. The user has a choice of what to watch on their device. Others give their users the privilege to download their favorite content and photos.
Remote storage is required if the members of the single-family live or travel to different cities/towns. The remote server location is essential for all other purposes of streaming hosting. That’s also partly true for the home servers if we’re speaking about the predetermined library by the smart home operator.
The media consume a lot of resources, so the physical equipment is favorable. Choose the unlimited bandwidth plans except if you own the private website or company intranet system with limited usability. Take the view on the dedicated server with at least a 10 Gbps channel to guarantee the optimal viewing speed for any format. Another important option is the powerful combination of the central and graphic processor units.
The location matters, too, as does the equipment structure. Choosing a loyal offshore destination for the website is better if you want to attract an international audience. It guarantees high speed and quick pings to everybody. However, you need to pay the taxes and honor the legitimacy of the selected country. For example, the choice of Russia or China is possible only if you orientate the resource to the specified countries. Remember, they restrict the rules of Internet conduct. The undesirable or suspicious to them users get an immediate ban.
Any respectful hosting provider offers free or pay-per-use administration services. They must include anti-hacker or DDoS attacks protection. If this option is absent, the resource risks dealing with hijacking or spoiling the reputation. That effectively means that your educational resource may start streaming porn videos one day.
The final question is the price. It must be optimal per MB. Usually, the megabyte costs $0.01 per month. If you want long-term access, consider choosing the annual or more extended plans. These costs are more effective than monthly or quarterly plans. Temporary websites need only monthly or quarterly tariffs or even daily ones.
There may be other options important for the customer. Somebody needs a free trial or guidance on working with the latest control panel. Their colleague uses the specific built-in player, and it finds the operator supporting it. Include these points in the checklist if needed.