The following list includes the main features of the Kaltura server-side implementation.
Storage and Hosting Services
Kaltura's hosted SaaS Edition offers robust storage and hosting services. Kaltura's servers operate out of state-of-the-art data centers with the highest levels of stability, redundancy and security. Kaltura’s, self-hosted, On-Prem™ edition allows service providers and publishers to set-up their own hosting and storage infrastructure (see below "best practices for self-hosting and hardware considerations").
Content Delivery and Streaming Services
Kaltura's content delivery and streaming is based on optimizing and reselling tier-1 CDN services, including those of Akamai, Limelight Networks, and Level3 Communications. The streaming infrastructure ensures the best media delivery performance possible, even when working with high volumes of content and audience and when utilizing different streaming methods (e.g. progressive download, RTMP, HTTP Streaming). Optionally, Kaltura's platform can be integrated with other CDNs and delivery components, so self-hosting service providers and publishers can customize their Kaltura setup for integrating their system to work with their CDN of choice or to utilize their local streaming facilities.
Kaltura supports 2 alternative content delivery paths via CDN:
- Using Kaltura's platform local storage as the CDN origin - this is the standard delivery mode for publisher accounts hosted on Kaltura's SaaS platform.
- Utilizing publishers' storage accounts on their CDN (e.g. Akamai NetStorage) to be used as the CDN storage origin, while still managing their content on Kaltura.
Media Ingestion and Transcoding Services
The Kaltura platform applies a transcoding process after media upload. Per the account's transcoding settings, video files are transcoded into the required format and codecs to enable web publishing in adaptive qualities and on multiple devices (including different mobile and iOS devices), while supporting all popular media codecs. Each media file is handled according to its type based on a set of pre-defined adjustable parameters, such as transcoder type, quality (bit rate), aspect ratio, and video viewing optimization. These parameters can be set by publishers to provide the best streaming and editing capabilities required to support their media workflow needs. Each source file could be transcoded into multiple flavors – i.e. files with different bitrates, dimensions, and quality. During playback the player selects the most appropriate flavor for playback based on the viewer's available bandwidth, player dimensions, and CPU usage. Kaltura's unique technology combines several transcoding components with in-house utilities and shell scripts. In addition, Kaltura's platform comes pre-integrated with commercial transcoders. Advanced ingestion options are also available to support the ingestion of multiple flavors, that were generated on the publisher's local transcoding engine into the Kaltura system as well as further automated ingestion workflows utilizing an ingestion drop folders mechanism.
Media Manipulation Services
The platform provides core capabilities of media manipulation, including: thumbnail generation, image cropping and resizing, video trimming, video transitions, video overlaying (annotations), video effects, audio and voice control, video speed control and more. In addition, the platform supports conversion of Office documents (PPT, DOC, XLS, PDF) into SWF files that are playable in the Kaltura player, as well as synchronization and playback of the converted documents with a selected video, creating a single user interface for a synchronized view of video and document content.
Media Management Services
The platform provides a comprehensive set of media management capabilities and tools. Publishers can easily upload their media, manage and populate a comprehensive set of metadata fields, and organize their media within playlists and gallery widgets while applying filtering criteria and paging options. In addition, Kaltura's system includes media moderation tools enabling publishers to implement safe and controlled UGC functionalities within their web sites.
Account Management Services
The platform provides publisher administration capabilities and tools. Publishers are able to fully manage their accounts, to ensure publisher-level web security while relying on their unique identifiers and secret keys, to configure their specific server settings and more. Administrators of self-hosted deployments of the Kaltura platform can manage multiple accounts for publishers registered to their Kaltura deployments.
User Management Services
The platform provides user administration capabilities allowing publishers to provision multiple user accounts and assign each user to a pre-defined or custom role. Publisher admins can define specific user roles for providing different levels of permissions to content management and administration functionalities according to their specific organizational needs. In addition publishers are able to relate their internal user identifiers to the media uploaded to the system and, by doing so, to enable user specific media functionality, as well as media related social networking activities on their web sites.
Advertising & Monetization Services
Kaltura's media players come with built-in support for in-stream and companion rich-media advertising. This enables publishers to implement an advertising solution supporting a wide variety of ad formats and ad sources. Kaltura's media players may include the following advertising modes: Simple advertising deployment, Overlay ads, Ad timing configuration, Companion ads, Ad frequency configuration, and Ad reporting and analytics. Kaltura also supports pay-per-view functionalities, like blocking unauthorized access using increased security hashed URL's and Server Secrets. A ‘free preview' feature enables publisher to configure the occurrence and duration of free previews before a fee is charged.
Web Video Analytics Services
Kaltura provides a built-in web video analytics infrastructure combined with a state-of-the-art reporting tool. These technologies provide publishers the ability to track and understand their end-users' video related behavior, and to better monetize their web media services. Kaltura's reporting tool includes user-specific as well as aggregated indicators for media analytics and audience measurement, including: number of contributors, number of syndications, top played content, number of plays, media plays latency, media play drop-offs, number of user interactions with media, media indicators per media type and more.
Media Syndication and Distribution Services
Kaltura provides integrated social syndication technologies within its players, allowing end-users to easily distribute videos to their own web sites, to the most popular social networks sites and blogging platforms, to simply distribute videos to their friends via emails or to locally download videos for their personal use. In addition to social syndication Kaltura's platform provides capabilities and tools for enabling automated multi-destination syndication and distribution of content. Publishers are able to create playlist based syndication feeds for maximizing their content's reach and generate traffic back to their site. Access Control can be set for each content item/group to limit the access to specific countries, domains or times (scheduling).
Kaltura's content distribution infrastructure enables media companies and content creators to create and automate customized video packages to send to distribution partners directly from within the KMC. Administrators are able to control the destinations for each video package, and for each distribution destination admins can control the video qualities, multiple thumbnails in different sizes, metadata, scheduling data, and more.
Styling & Branding Services
Kaltura provides tools and the API to customize the style, branding and functionality of the video player, as well as that of additional widgets (e.g. the Upload/Import widget, and the Video Editor). This allows publishes to maintain a consistent UI, and opens up monetization opportunities by way of custom skins that can be sold to advertisers.