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The Streaming Media Service (SMS)

To help University staff publish and share audio and video content easily on the internet, UIS provides the fully hosted Streaming Media Service (SMS). Uploaded media files can easily be displayed on other websites, while the web interface provides a public repository for the University's multimedia assets.

SMS videos

What is the SMS?

A free hosted service which allows University staff with an account to upload audio and video content to UIS' streaming web servers, saving them the effort and cost inherent in maintaining a dedicated streaming media server.

Once uploaded, content owners maintain full control over who can view their media, and can easily embed the streaming media into their own websites. In addition, content can be browsed and viewed by the public worldwide – or restricted to a sub-set of individual Cambridge users – via the Streaming Media Service web page at:

Streaming Media Service website –

Register for an SMS upload account –


Features of the SMS

  • Hosts collections of your materials, so your web server doesn't need to handle the load
  • 1-click uploads
  • Automatically converts audio and video into a number of formats and resolutions best suited for distribution over the Internet.
  • Allows easy embedding of video and audio into web pages using cut-and-paste code snippets and the <oembed> method.
  • 'Responsive design' built-in – your videos will scale to suit the browser window size, and embed gracefully into other web pages
  • Create 'collections' of your media, each of which is affiliated to a University institution, making it easier for your audience to browse related subjects in the University's collection.

8 good reasons to use the SMS instead of YouTube/Vimeo

The bespoke service includes a number of features that have been specifically designed for Cambridge users, offering an alternative to relying on popular public media upload sites:

  1. No adverts to cheapen or detract from your content
  2. Keep control over who views your content: the SMS uses Raven authentication to restrict access to inside the University, access groups or even individuals
  3. Provides traffic data and geostats for simple analytics (including viewing figures by collection, file format, quantity, browser client and user's country; daily/weekly usage):
    SMS usage graph
  4. Local technical support is available
  5. Easier to manage institutional shared assets - UIS can update admin accounts to reflect changes of staff, so there's no danger of content being orphaned as a result of ownership being lost following staff changes
  6. It is currently the only mechanism for making your content available as part of the University of Cambridge collection on iTunesU [link opens iTunes app]
  7. It is hosted within the University, not on a US-based third party cloud (data protection legislation considerations)
  8. You will be contributing to the University's centralised online media collection.


Other ways we can help you with multimedia publishing

UIS' knowledgeable streaming media team also provides a number of enabling and technical services, including:

  • video/audio recording equipment loan
  • practical advice
  • video production and editing services
  • video production training courses (book courses via the UTBS)
  • access to video editing software (iMovie and Final Cut Pro X are available on some MCS machines) 
  • Live Streaming Service (broadcasting your events live via the internet).

See also:

Register for an SMS upload account

Streaming Media Service wiki (Raven login required)

Last updated: 24 December 2014