Quality of streaming on Kanopy
Kanopy encodes all of its films into over 20 different quality renditions to ensure:
(1) that we are able to handle users on all devices (e.g. mobile, tablet, desktop, etc) and
(2) we offer the highest quality stream for all the varied quality of internet connections that users may be accessing the films.
Our video player uses auto-bitrate technology which iteratively "pings" a user's browser and internet connection every few seconds to test their infrastructure and deliver the videos at the highest quality possible. If a user is on a great internet connection, they will likely be able to handle watching the film in its best quality; if they are on a poor connection, the video may be streamed at a slightly lower quality to ensure a consistency of stream and no buffering.
Most feature films and recently produced films are loaded onto Kanopy with HD capability and are regularly capable of being watched at levels higher in quality than the DVD experience. Some older titles might not have HD capability by virtue of the underlying quality of the film (e.g. a 1930s film that has not been "enhanced" via production methods might not be HD compatible, however the experience would be nonetheless equitable to that on the DVD). Some filmmakers never release their film on blu-ray so are encoding from a standard DVD - this will never produce HD quality.
Our technology is on par with the leading consumer streaming platforms who are also affected by a user's bandwidth, device etc so the experience of Kanopy streaming will be familiar to most users and similar to that they have elsewhere.
Device /Browser requirements
As mentioned, Kanopy's solution is device compatible too. The website is mobile and device-responsive, such that you can easily access and navigate it on an iPhone, for example.
You can watch from any browsers you like - we use an "HTML5-first player". The player loads in HTML5 mode which plays on most devices without requiring any software to be downloaded. In rare instances, where a user's browser is not HTML5 compatible, the player defaults to Flash. Most browsers today come with Flash automatically downloaded when you download the browser (e.g. Chrome).
Proxy bandwidth requirements
If your library uses Ezyproxy for authentication for your kanopy website: your Kanopy website has been set up such that if you use the unproxied URL link, it will redirect automatically to the proxied URL link for users outside of your campus/site IP ranges. This means that only people off site/ off campus will go through the proxy (not on-campus), and this lightens the overall load on your proxy.
Also, only the website access and interactivity will go through your proxy, not the actual streaming of the films (which consumes the most bandwidth), so the actual bandwidth required for using the website via proxy is minimal.
Library or Campus internet bandwidth requirements
Some libraries inquire if streaming Kanopy on site (in the library or on campus) will increase the pressure on their library/campus internet infrastructure (and bandwidth usage). To this, there are a couple of important things to note:
1) This has never been an issue: Experience speaks loud and in working with over 3,000 libraries globally, we have never once had an issue of a campus' bandwidth infrastructure being jeopardized, problematic or prohibiting the ability of users to have a positive streaming experience.
2) Most users watch offsite: You can monitor your on-site (in library or on campus) vs. off-site usage from your admin dashboard directly (so you know exactly how many people are watching on and off site). On average, across all libraries we currently work with, over 94% of film viewing happens offsite.
3) Kanopy will be a small part of your institution's internet usage: It is likely that your campus/library already has a heavy reliance on video streaming with the use of Youtube, Netflix and other consumer based streaming resources by students and faculty. Netflix and Youtube alone account for over 50% of web download-traffic in the US and librarians report that faculty are currently using these platforms to stream in classes too.
So, in summary, it is likely you may already have a lot of streaming happening in your library or on your campus (Youtube and other platforms). For most libraries, the majority of streaming takes place off-site / off-campus, not on the network as well, and you can monitor the level of access that is on vs. off site from your Admin Dashboard (we have a report for this).