wall of video screens

So, you have your video. What next?

Chances are you probably want to add it to a course page or VLE. Currently, Blackboard isn’t the best at hosting video directly. You might get away with adding a short video, but limits on filesize and some issues with playback hamper the experience (uploading to Blackboard via the ‘Recorded sessions’ (ie Panopto) works well, however ).

The best way to proceed is to add your video to a hosting platform and then embed it into its final destination.

The three main platforms here at the University of Southampton are:

  • Microsoft Stream (supported)
  • Panopto (supported)
  • YouTube (unsupported)

So, which is the best for you? Let’s find out.

Microsoft Stream

We’ll start with MS Stream as that is the one people are probably the least familiar with. Stream is basically Microsoft’s answer to YouTube (with everything that might suggest). Stream is part of the Office 365 suite of packages. As such one of its big selling points is its integration with Teams. If you’re holding a meeting or hosting some learning it is easy to record your session from within Teams, with the final output going directly to Stream.

Advantages of Stream:

  • Good integration with Teams for easy recording
  • Simple to access files once processed
  • Automatic generation of transcription for the video (which is fairly accurate in our experience)
  • Excellent privacy controls with the ability to easily set who can see your videos (great for videos that contain sensitive content).


  • Editing option limited to trimming start and end points
  • Unable to set videos to ‘Public’ (meaning only people with UoS credentials can see them)
  • Recording and playback quality isn’t always great (frame drops and blockiness are common) and you have limited control over how it records the various users’ video feed.
  • The recording is tied to the user account of the person who sets the recording. If that person leaves the university that content is lost too.


YouTube is massively popular and a very robust and sophisticated streaming problem. It is not, however, without its problems. The elephant in the room is that it is not a university licensed or supported platform. It is fully controlled by Google and that brings with it some potential issues of ownership (of content that is uploaded to the platform) as well as the fickle finger of Google (they have a habit of changing/scrapping services without warning).

Advantages of YouTube:

  • Most widely used video hosting platform and second most widely used ‘search engine’ – so great for discoverability if you want your video to be seen by the world
  • Excellent ability to deal with bandwidth issues for the user – meaning your video will be seen on pretty much any connection
  • Sophisticated tools such as editing, adding stock music (from YouTube’s own library of stock) and captioning


  • Issues over ownership of content on the platform
  • Privacy settings are cumbersome and time-consuming (if trying to lock down specifically who can see the video)
  • No control over what happens after your video stops playing (YouTube add suggested videos to the end of all uploads and some of these are not appropriate)


Panopto, in many ways, is a good halfway house between the other platforms. It integrates quickly and easily with Blackboard, meaning content can be placed correctly without too many issues.

Advantages of Panopto:

  • Integration with Blackboard
  • Able to record video easily using it (including capturing presentations or second screens) OR upload video from elsewhere into it
  • Good control of video feed for different connection speeds (though maybe not quite as good as YouTube’s)
  • Good editing functionality for videos recorded in Panopto
  • Ability to add things like quizzes into the video feed


  • Interface can seem a little clunky or fussy
  • Perhaps there is too much choice or functionality (tho our colleagues have produced a host of excellent guides see links below)

A. For more information on using Stream (particularly important for privacy settings)

B. For more information on Panopto

C. For more information on using YouTube

Choosing the right Video platform for your content.

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