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SPC12: What’s New in Video in SharePoint 2013

So one key question I run into constantly is how to do video in your portal site.   If you want easy then just say, “Sure it can. Just embed a link or use a Silverlight control and you’re off and running”  Then you just hope they don’t ask any follow up questions like, “Well, how do I get the video up to SharePoint? ” or like, “So I can just record some video and then put the file straight up to the server?”  Any of those questions means you need to dig deeper into video. Of course, you probably need to dig deeper anyway.  That’s why I chose this afternoon to be the video afternoon with a session on Windows Azure Media Services and this session today on SharePoint and video.  Without any further ado, here are the notes on what’s new.
David Cohen started with the statement, “SharePoint understands videos now” He stated:

  • SharePoint understands videos as a content type
  • Sharing videos is easier and better than ever
  • Finding video is faster
  • Discovery videos is more natural
  • You can watch videos across more devices (yeah html5)
  • And all of what you’ll see is straight out of the box.

Think about the lifecycle of a video. It starts with the creation of a video which includes any editing.  Then you upload a video.  After that people start sharing the video via social networks.  Now people can find it via the search.  Find leads to Discover as it’s surfaced to you as something you might find interesting.
SharePoint 2013 gives you the framework to do all this.
Video Upload

  • Video upload is drag and drop. You can even do this with multiple videos.  Implicit here is the idea that SharePoint can store encoded videos.
  • When you upload a video, SharePoint creates a video player page. The page is html5 so it’s an embedded video that doesn’t need a plugin.
  • The video content type comes with fields like show download link, show embed link, owner, auto-generated thumbnail, People in video, etc.
  • You have a tool to capture the thumbnail from a screenshot of the video.  (nice)
  • Video renditions allows you to save multiple copies of a video with different bit rates, aspect rates, quality levels, etc.  (Again, nice!).  You can also set the default version of the video to display.
  • The html5 player allows you to switch renditions.  (I love html5)
  • The video page includes a related content section.   You can drag and drop other ppt’s, docs, pdfs, etc that are related to it.  Note: related content is a document set attached to the video.

Share, Find, and Discover
SharePoint makes it much more seamless to share, find, and discover video.  It’s seamless in that it works out of the box.

  • Newsfeed: grab the url out of the address bar to embed the video in the newsfeed.  Newsfeed recognized that it’s a video and lets you use a vanity url to shorten it.  Boom, the newsfeed is embedded in the feed.
  • If you want to interact with the video more, the link goes straight to the video player page.
  • Search has a “Video Vertical” view that shows larger version of the video. It also has facets on the side to narrow down your search by people, duration of video, create date, etc.  Again, all out of the box.
  • The video has a callout or information card that lets you watch the video from the search result. You can skim the videos very easily.
  • The “everything” view in search results can surface result blocks near the top. It pushes that video to the top. This works especially well when a person uses the term video in the search.
  • Bottom line, search understands video and lets you find and interact with it much easier.

What about external video?
You can use external video like Youtube.  You create a new asset video content type and tell it to point to a url.  Give it the embed code.  You still add the metadata to make it more searchable but this video can still display as a video page.  It’s a different player but that player comes from YouTube in the Embed code.
What about video from a mobile device like iPad?
David showed the newsfeed app in iPad with the video. Since it’s html5, it plays without a problem.  “It just works”
A lot of this works because Microsoft spent a lot of time supporting html5.  By supporting it, they allow the browser vendors to keep the spec up to date while SharePoint works with it.
Will it support closed captioning and other 508 type services?
You can add  a metadata field called captioning url.  a captioning file had a time marker and text for the time marker.  Drag that to related documents.  Edit the properties and past the url to the caption document.
Here’s where you have to add some code.  You add about 60 lines of code to the video page.  The code looks to see if there is a caption url and if it exists, it shows the captions with the video.  Note: this does depend on track support in the html5 spec. IE supports it. Chrome kind of supports it but you have to set a flag.
That’s pretty cool.  With this, you could add captions yourself.
Question: Is video supported on Foundation or Enterprise. Answer: Come talk to David after.
Question: Does any of this require web.config changes. Answer: no.  However, if you need to add video file extensions then you will need to config it.
Question: Can you get past the 2 Gig limit per file?  Answer: yes, put it on YouTube.
Question: Are there plans to index video for the spoken word. Answer: don’t have that capability today.
Demo: David grabbed a video url and put it on YouTube.  It was just a simple copy/paste.


Call me impressed.  I didn’t expect SharePoint to handle video creation so that’s not a big deal. However, they really thought through the entire lifecycle after that.  Yes, there is a 2 Gig limit on video storage but the ability to easily upload, share, find, and otherwise handle the video is a huge improvement. Anyone wanting to work with video should  upgrade to SharePoint 2013 sooner rather than later.

Thoughts on “SPC12: What’s New in Video in SharePoint 2013”

  1. I know this is an old post, but I’m hoping you can help. The author mentions caption support for videos in SP2013 by “adding about 60 lines of code to the video page.” I have thoroughly scoured the internet for information on this. Does anyone have a way of embedding HTML5 captions within SharePoint 2013? Specifically, I’m hoping to use a blog subsite to post videos but have a requirement of only posting captioned videos. Thank you for any help!

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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