Understanding VOD File Basic Management

Video on Demand (VOD) is a popular way of delivering video content to users over the internet. To ensure an optimal viewing experience, several key factors must be considered, including storage, encoding, file size, compatibility, and delivery methods.

File Transformations 

“Why does Dacast transform my file?” When a file is uploaded to our system, it enters an encoding process. This source file can have whatever video codec and container, and as long as they are correctly encoded, we will be able to ingest them. In order to make sure this Quicktime/Mov video file will be watchable as well as that av1/mkv or h264/mp4 file, we have to ensure that its encoding is compatible with our delivery format. Web video players are not (not yet, not on all platforms) able to display H265 encoded contents at this time. They are not able to display AV1 or VP9 either (again, not on all platforms). This is why we transcode all to mp4/h264/aac.

Optimizing for Seamless Viewing 

One primary reason behind the transformation is to enhance the viewer’s experience. Imagine if the metadata necessary for playing the video were placed at the end of the file. While it might allow sequential playback, skipping parts of the video becomes inefficient as the entire file content must be downloaded, increasing bandwidth usage. We prioritize an optimal viewing experience for your audience. Downloading extensive video files before viewing or skipping parts disrupts this experience, hence the need for compatible codecs and efficient file structures. 

The VOD Transformation Process 

When a new file enters your VOD library, we prepare it for delivery. This involves transcoding from the source codec to H.264, a codec widely supported by all players. Additionally, soundtracks are transcoded, and metadata is strategically placed at the file’s beginning for smooth progressive download. To accommodate varying bandwidths, we create lower-resolution renditions. These lower resolutions minimize data sent to the video player, ensuring seamless streaming even with limited bandwidth. However, this transformation may lead to larger file sizes for different resolutions—your initial 1GB file might become a 1.5GB 1080p file and a 1GB 720p file, both optimized for broader compatibility.

Empowering User Choices 

Customers also have the option to select a “DNE” (Do Not Encode) rendition. However, this comes with the responsibility of managing file sizes and compatibility. 

Optimized VOD Delivery 

We employ HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) for VOD content, breaking videos into smaller chunks and indexes. This method allows the video player to download only the required segments, reducing unnecessary data consumption. Bandwidth usage is counted only for segments, playlists, and manifests watched by the end-user. 


Our approach prioritizes seamless delivery over excessive storage space. We ensure that all video content, irrespective of source, is delivered on all hardware- Smartphones, Tablets, PC, SmartTVs -, on all Operating Systems – MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android, etc. and operating systems, catering to various bandwidth capabilities from 3G to Gigabit-Ethernet connections.


Feel free to contact our support team directly to discuss your specific needs. We’re here to help, and we will walk you through any technical questions you may have.

We also offer a 14-day free trial of Dacast, with no credit card required. It’s a risk-free way to test out our platform today. If you’re interested in trying the platform for yourself, sign up for our free trial today.


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Orane Bodo

Orane is part of the Dacast Product team. Armed with a background in media and communication, she has a vast knowledge of the video industry.