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Technical Questions About Video on Demand

Technical Questions About Video on Demand

This article applies to: Video on Demand

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What types of files can I upload?

Video on Demand is ideal for uploading video, such as such as recordings of WebEx, Skype or Zoom sessions.  Audio and image files are also supported.  An alternative for image files is to host the image in Box and create a link to the file.

What is the largest file size I can upload?

There is a file size upload limit of 2 gigabytes.

What video formats are supported for uploading?

Media File Formats: Mpeg-4 and QuickTime Formats (MP4, MOV, QT, and M4V), Flash Video (FLV and F4V), Microsoft Windows Formats (AVI, ASF, WMV and WMA), MPEG-1/2 (MPG, M1V, M2V, MP3), WAV, Matroska (MKV), OGG OGM & OGV, WEBM, 3GP, RM, Webex (ARF), MXF

Video Codecs: DivX (Div3/4/5, DX50), DV, H.263, H.264 and AVC, MPEG-4 Visual, MPEG-1/2, MJPG, MP42/3, IV40/50 (Indeo codecs), RV30/40, RMVB, FLV1/4, VP3/5/6/7/8/9, Sorenson (SVQ1/3), Xvid, Theora, WMV1/2/3, VC1, ProRes 422, ICOD, DVCPRO, PXLT, TCSS/TCS2, GoToMeeting Codec (G2M3/4)

NOTE:  The Maximum Video Frame Size is 5000 x 5000.

Audio Codecs: MP3, MP1/2, AC3, AAC, Vorbis, AMR, PCM, WMA7/8/9, WMSpeech, FLAC, QDM2, RA, Nellymoser, Cook, GSM, SPEEX

What resolution/format settings should I use when recording my source video?

The service will support a wide variety of video formats and resolutions. However, for the best quality transcoding options and playback, the following settings are recommended:

  • Video Codec/Compressed Source: H.264, ProRes
  • Format/Container: MOV, MP4
  • Bitrate: An ideal source bitrate for 1920x1080 HD content is 6,000-8,000 Kbps, however for smaller dimensions you may use lower bitrates.
    • 1280x720 (720p) or 1024x720 (iPad): 3,750-5,000 Kbps
    • 640x360: 1,350-1,800 Kbps
  • Frame Size/Resolution: 1920x1080 (1080p), 1280x720 (720p), 1024x720 (iPad), 1024x768 (4:3) or 960x640 (3:2). If these frame sizes are not available, do not go below 640x360 (16:9) or 640x480 (4:3).
  • Audio Codec/Compression:  AAC, MP3
  • Audio Bitrate: For recordings which include music, go with 320 kbps. For all other recordings 192 kbps is great and 128 kbps is enough.
  • Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz or lower

Are there any restrictions on the content I may upload?

Please see the terms and conditions for restrictions and policies relating to FERPA, copyright, and university policies and code of conduct. Content related to an official Cornell course or classes is not permitted. For more information on video use for courses, please contact the Academic Technology Center at

What are the limits of the service (number of files, sizes of files, total space, etc.)?

Limits are not currently enforced on uploaded content.  Users with extensive collections, such as several hundred videos or more, should consider the Video Platform Service.

What platforms, operating systems, browsers, plug-ins are required / supported for this service?

Uploading and viewing of media is supported for all major browsers and most mobile devices.

Where are the files I upload actually hosted?

Storage of uploaded files and content delivery are provided by Kaltura in partnership with Akamai.

Why do the embedded links not contain any reference to a Cornell domain? Can the links be made to show a Cornell domain?

This service is contracted through two external vendors as a "Software as a Service" delivery. The content management and delivery is handled through these external vendors. The links can not be made to show a Cornell domain.

Can the embedded links be made to show a Cornell domain?

Not for embedded links, but users who make their content viewable on the VOD website can give out direct links to the media on

How long does transcoding take?

The time required to transcode a video into all of the supported playback flavors can vary widely due to many factors (including the size, quality, format, and bitrate of the source video, as well as service load and performance). As a rule of thumb, you should expect transcoding to take 1 or 2 minutes for each minute of video, but this can take more or less time due to the many variables involved.

Can I process captions in bulk for all of my files?

Currently there is no bulk process for adding captions to video files. The fastest way to request captions for your videos is to use the shortcut method for each video. If you need to apply captions in bulk to all your videos, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Support Contact:

Cornell IT Service Desk

Normal Business Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm (Eastern Time)
Emergency Service Disruptions: After Hours Support


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