This page compares the best video hosting sites for filmmakers


Embed available at full 640x360 (HQ) and scalable to other sizes.

Excellent quality. Huge distribution potential. Stats with geographical breakdown. HD embedding available.

10 minute upload limit.
Choice of 3 random thumbnails.
Ugly interface and site.

To create HD and HQ html coding use the Embed Code Generator





Videos are scaled down to 504x284.
To bring back up substitute
object width="640" height="440"

Upload limit: 500MB / 1 HD per week. Vimeo+ users ($60 p.a.) get 5GB per week, unlimited HD, HD embedding, and no ads.

High quality with clean inteface. Your own choice of thumbnail (I've added a soft border here). Lots of options for Vimeo+ users. Good forum and stats.

Vimeo's rates




No scaling. Videos embed at whatever size you upload (up to 640) thus minimising quality loss and stuttering.

No file size limit - more info here.
Your own choice of thumbnail. Full stats. HD embedding available.

Excellent quality! Probably the best.
Does all Vimeo+ does, but free!
Chosen by many professionals to host their showreels. Popular with bands too.





Scaled down to 576x264 To bring back up substitute width="640" height="360"

Brand new low-cost site for business users. Ideal for free users who may opt to upgrade later.

High quality embed, especially at native sizes. FLV upload available. 500MB limit for free users. Thumbnail of your choice avialable soon.





Scaled down to 560. To bring back up substitute height="400px" width="640px"

15fps, but looks good.

Virb used to be a great site for creatives, and a lot of bands use it, but now it's gearing itself more to the social networking crowd - their home page is full of Twitter texts! Still, maybe that's a good way to get your film seen.
But beware - as I type this their site is down AGAIN for "exciting new upgrades!"

A good place to build a home page using other video hosts, like this one.





Full 640x360 embed and scalable.

With BlipTV you create your own online TV station. Worth checking out if you plan to create a series.

Excellent quality embed, with thumbnail of your choice.






Scaled down to 485! To bring back up substitute width="640" height="380"

No thumbnail selection option I could see. Surprisingly good quality, if a bit low contrast. Used by several terrestrial broadcasters. Some great menu otions for paying customers.


Creative Cow

All sizes up to 900 available.

Up to 100MB. Excellent quality. This was an flv upload set at 1MB bandwidth.
No thumbnail selection option I could see.

Creative Cow is a creative community for professionals. At time of writing video hosting is anew option at CC, and will no doubt be improved - I had to tweak the coding to get the embed to work. View source to see what I have done.
FLV uploads allowed.

A good place to show off your work to other pros.



At least 640x360 and scalable.
Max 2Gb.

New kid on the block pitched at film-makers. Looks good so far, but still has bugs viewing it here - buffering's a bit slow, and not all the buttons work.

Very promising.

Clunky interface.




Embeds at only 410x340 but scalable

Since it's really 410 the quality suffers.
Sound is poor too.
No 'select thumbnail' option.
Intrusive header and play button.
Stupid menu at end.

I GB limit.

Really annoying Casino pop-ups and autoplaying advert windows on the site!



Embeds at 640x360 and scalable

Looks good, but no 'select thumbnail' option. Videos are limited to 90 seconds, 150MB and 2 per month! And I suspect it's playing at only 15fps. But since this is Flickr (a part of Yahoo) distribution petential has got to be good.

A Pro account at $25 p.a. promises unlimited uploads, storage and also HD. Could do with a bit more info there...





Scales down to 450. To get back to 640 substitute width="640" height="386"

Max 5 minutes / 100MB.
More if you go Pro at $40pa.

Thumbnail displays whatever is 2 seconds into the video. Interface clunky, and lots of compression. But...

Photobucket is an excellent place to store pictures (such as all those used on this page) and allows you to create albums with custom URLs and passwords, and gives full stats.
All for free!




Yahoo! Video

Scales down to 485. To get back to 640 substitute width="640" height="398"

150MB limit.

Reasonable quality, but there's quite a lot of compression, and I suspect it's 15fps. But it is Yahoo.

And that play button...

Yahoo Video



Scales down to 400. To get back to 640 substitute width="640" height="390"

100MB limit. Scaling to 400 loses a lot of quality, and I suspect it's also at 15fps. Horrible go fast stripes added to stretched thumbnail.

Metacafe offers revenue sharing, but I can't figure it out...




Scales down to 480x272.
Refuses to resize.

Compression artefacts. Distorted sound. Limited choice of thumbnail and intrusive play button. But strangely a lot of people recommend it...

Revver offers revenue sharing, but again I can't figure it out...


Embeds atl 640x360 and scalable

Excellent pro photographers' paying site.
No ads or spam. Good forum.

Excellent video quality.
HD embed available.

10 minute limit.
Limited thumbnail option, which for some reason gets dimmed...


Embeds at 640x360 and scalable.

Strange site. Some kind of online library for creative commons material. Could be a good source of free archive footage.

Average flv video quality (with inexplicably poor sound) but original QT file available - see 'notes' section below.

100MB limit. Accepts flv uploads, but re-encodes!
No thumbnail option.


A DivX site (so likely to give users an update pop-up)

Still in beta, so kinda buggy. Will review fully when site is properly up.

Excellent quality.

No thumbnail options.


OK so which is the best...?

Decide for yourself. Your needs will be different to mine, but here's some things to look out for:

- Resolution (sharpness), pixilation, and other artefacts.

- Frame rate (jerkiness)

- How fast it downloads. People will not have patience with a video that keeps stopping to load.

- The sound quality and level. Some sites encode to a noticeably quieter level than others

- The design of the embed window. Some are much cleaner than others.

- Whether a user definable poster frame / thumbnail is available.

- Scalability - an important factor in designing a web page.

- Full Page option - can you view the video full page? (note: this feature may impair playback)

- What happens once the video has played out. Do you want links to other people's sites appearing?

- Adverts! Some hosts will foist an advert on you. But then, maybe you won't mind...

Remember that this site is about embedding. All these hosts have other things to offer if you use the home pages they give you. My opinion is that it's best to design a page or site suited to your project whilst also exploiting every other bit of publicity you can get your hands on! That doesn't mean a completely scattergun approach - you should target your audience. But that's another topic...



Quicktime 640x360 H264 keyframes=all bitdepth=max uploaded file size = 37MB
This is SD quality - or HQ in YouTube-land.
You can view the original video courtesy of but it may take a while to download (and they've messed with the gamma!)

An HD companion site is being prepared.

To view the windows in their native sizes go here: VIRB

Most people don't yet have computers and connections capable of viewing seamless HD, so SD is still the best format available for streaming video to cash strapped independent filmakers, and will remain so for a while. However where it is possible to upload a HD video an SD one is usually also available.

Where the option was available I have uploaded a thumbnail image showing a teenage zombie to the hosting site. Most sites include this in the final embed, some do not. Some create their own thumbnails - YouTube offers a choice of 3 random ones which are rarely what you'd really like to use.

I have added object width="640" height="400"tags (the height includes the controller) on each video to attempt to resize them.(if otherwise, I have left a note above) Some video hosting sites allow this. Others clearly do not. Notable exceptions are ExposureRoom (up to 640) and Creative Cow which are locked to the size you upload but look excellent at whatever size you choose.

Scalability may be an issue if you want to embed your video at a size that complements the design of the rest of your web page. Hosts that scale video windows down in size usually degrade the quality.

To me the design of the embed window is also a big issue - a bad one can make the rest of your page look messy. Also I have used only video hosting sites that offer video embedding of a quality which can be regarded as useful to filmakers. If anyone knows of any other hosting sites worth including here please mail me: karelat kareltests .co .uk giving the url of a good example and I will include it. 


Where to host your page?


The file for this page takes up about 65KB on my server. Tiny. That's because all the graphics and images are hosted elsewhere, mostly as at photobucket. (Some broadband services offer free web space, so you may find that worth looking at.)

Many people stick with whoever is hosting their videos - Vimeo and ExposureRoom are popular among video professionals and offer excellent quality and exposure, but little in way of customizing your home page. 

More customizable options include excellent newbie Webs (free + paying), the pro photographers' SmugMug (paying) and even Wordpress (free) for which you can buy numerous themes, such as from RevolutionTwo.

This site's
sister page showing the above video windows in their native sizes uses a VIRB
page. Virb is a good place to show off your work with plenty of customisability. And it's free! Take a look at examples of how others have done it here, and register here. If you're going to use VIRB you'll find that the embed code provided by some hosts needs a little tweaking. I've found that adding the following before the embed tag does the trick:
(param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /) (param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /) (param name="movie" value="" /)
and then eclosing the result within object tags. Substitute angled brackets for the regular ones I've used here.

But if you can do a bit of coding there's plenty of other hosts to choose from. There's a list at Hosting-Review and 10 Best Hosts and for UK users (since that's where I am) at UK Hosting-Review.
Yet more info on hosts at Web Hosting Jury
It's regrattably common to have problems with hosts - I did. But I'm very happy now with using the excellent 1and1 - excellent web hosting
As for domain registration, in the UK I can't recommend
UKReg more highly.

For advice on coding your page to maximise your Google rating visit Optimized by Red

For some great tips on getting search engines to find your video's site visit SEO for video

And to check your coding run it through W3C Markup Validation Service

Meanwhile Joel Williams (aka blogtechguy) has posted a guide to 60+ video hosts!

Video Hosts Matrix
Impressive. A good overview of what's out there, but now over a year old and some are... gone!

My site here is checked regularly. Follow updates on Video Embed Tests Twitter page(opens in new window)

And for more general bits of film industry news you could do worse than follow KarelsTweets

What about a nice example?

Glad to oblige: 'Johnny's Liver' trailer

This page uses Vimeo for its embed host. The file for this page is 27KB and is on space I rent cheaply at 1&1 who also give me very comprehensive stats and tools. The logo is hosted at Photobucket for free. I've added a black border to the thumbnail image before uploading that to Vimeo so it sits above and apart from the play bar, thus looking a bit neater.


Business Users / eBay

Another site is being prepared for business users.

For now I would recommend vzaar.
They are an impressive startup run by folks who used to work for eBay - so the site also integrates well for those who want to post videos there. Notice the title/url. Nice.

vzaar - cheap video for business

Video? What Video?

This page has a dozen videos from as many sources coded in a variety of ways, so it's hardly surprising that your browser may falter. Try reloading the page. Failing that, download the latest Flash player.
If that doesn't fix it, please let me know


A sister site dealing with HD embedding is being prepared.

HD video embedding comparison chart

Note: not all these hosts allow the embedding of HD videos elsewhere.

For embedding from YouTube you may find this 
Embed Code generator useful. 


About the video...

This is a teaser for a feature film currently 'in development'. You can keep up with any news here.

I have now been using After Effects seriously for a year after doing an excellent course at 01zero-one (many thanks to Paul and Polly!) and this teaser gave me the opportunity to try out a few things. Many thanks too to Videocopilot for some excellent online tutorials (though the forum is moderated by a total jobsworth!) and also to the very helpful guys on the Adobe help forums.

Sound was edited using Protools 7.4 and Wavelab 6


Teenage Zombie Movie 1

first zombie movie teaser
This site is updated monthly. Sister sites for HD and business users will be added soon.
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