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Upload videos on the RWTH streaming server (Opencast)

Upload videos on the RWTH streaming server (Opencast)

The block "Videostreaming (Opencast)" on the right side of a course room shows all videos on the RWTH streaming server that can be used in this course room. Here, Managers can upload videos to the streaming server, which should be available in the current course room. Besides adding various metadata you can also attach WebVTT files with captions or chapters.

Please note

WebVTT files are small text files that contain metadata that is synchronized with audio or video content. For example, the files contain information which subtitles should be displayed in a certain time span when the video is playing. They can be created very easily in a text editor (for example Windows: Notepad, Mac: TextEdit). The file extension must be set manually to .vtt when saving. At the end of this guide, you will find a series of tutorials that explain how to create a WebVTT file.

After uploading the video managers need to embed it into the course room page, for example using the resource "Page".

To re-use one and the same video in another course room it must be re-uploaded there.

In this block videos can also be deleted.




Uploading videos

Managers of a course room can upload videos to the streaming server (Opencast). Please proceed as follows:

  • Click "Add Video" in the "Videostreaming (Opencast)" block on the right side of the course room.



  • Enter the title of the video under "Metadata".

    Video title
  • After clicking "Show more..." you can enter further information, which are the visible to students in the integrated video under "Description". The entries here can be set optionally. You can find an explanation of the fields here:

    • Subjects: Keywords to describe the video
    • Description: Written description
    • Language: Language used in the video
    • Rights: Rights (information remains hidden in the course room)
    • License: License (information remains hidden in the course room)
    • Presenter(s)/Contributor(s): Lecturers or contributors to the video
    • Start Date: The date is displayed as the upload date in Opencast and in the video description, but has no other effect on the upload

      Further information about the video

File upload

  • Drag and drop your video file into the "Presenter" upload field under "File Upload". The maximum file size is currently 10 GB. The possible file formats are listed below the upload field. An automatic preview image is displayed created from the presenter video. It shows title, start date, and the presenters.

    Uploading the file via drag and drop

  • If you want to add a video of a slide set without a picture of the presenter, drag and drop your video file into the "Presentation" upload field instead. Videos uploaded as a presentation also have a slide navigation that allows you to switch between frames in the video. In addition, the video also has a transcription area in addition to a description. This area is currently not editable. Furthermore, no preview image is displayed.

Please note

If your video is not a pure slide presentation, we recommend uploading the video as a presenter video, since transcription area and slide navigation are omitted. These features are not very useful for videos that do not show a consistent slide view. Otherwise, two videos can be uploaded simultaneously as separate presenter and presentation videos. This is especially useful if you want to upload a recorded presentation or lecture and have synchronous videos for the slide set and the presenter. So you can switch between both views within the video or watch them in Picture-in-picture mode.

After clicking on "Save changes" your videos will be put into the queue.


Conversion to different quality levels

You will now have to wait until your video has been processed. The video is converted into different formats for different devices: 360p, 720p, and 1080p. Currently this is done a little bit faster than real time, i.e. a video of 90 minutes length requires around 70 minutes of encoding time. You can see the status of the video in the overview under "Videos available in this course". Videos can have different statuses in this list:

  •  The orange clock symbol indicates videos that are still being converted.
  •  The scissors icon indicates videos that have been fully encoded but not yet published. If this symbol appears on one of your videos, please contact the RWTHmoodle support. In this case the publishing has to be initiated again separately.
  •  The warning sign indicates videos that have been processed with an error. In this case, contact RWTHmoodle support . If possible, specify the origin of the video and how and with which tool it was (re)edited, if necessary.
  •  Finished and published videos are marked with a green tick. "Published" in this case means that the video can be embedded in the course room at a suitable place so the students of this course room can watch it. For embedding the videos we recommend embedding them in text pages.

    Uploaded videos

As soon as the video has been processed, it will appear in the overview under "Videos available in this course" and is marked there with a green checkmark. Now you can integrate the video into your course room. We recommend embedding it in text pages.

Please note

Please note that the videos are currently only available in the course room where they were uploaded to the RWTH streaming server. To use the same videos in other course rooms, please upload them again or import them using the course import function.


Edit or delete video

If you want to edit or delete a video please click "Go to Overview" in the block "Videostreaming (Opencast)". You will then see the list with the videos that are currently available in this course room as well as their status.


Edit metadata

If you want to edit the metadata for a video please click the gear wheelbehind the video, edit the data and finish by clicking "Save changes".

Please note

The start date cannot be changed after the upload.


Add captions or chapters

If you want to add captions or chapters to an existing video please click the plus symbol behind the video. Upload your WebVTT file with the necessary information through the file area and click "Save changes".

Please note

By uploading attachments you can overwrite existing ones. If an attachment has already been uploaded for a certain field, uploading another one for the same field will overwrite the previous attachment.


Delete video

  • If you want to delete a video click the trashcan symbolbehind the video. You will then see this note: "You are about to delete this video permanently and irreversibly from opencast. All embedded links to it will become invalid. Please do not continue unless you are absolutely sure."
  • If you really want to permanently delete the video from the streaming server proceed with "Delete video permanently".

Create a WebVTT file

A WebVTT file with captions or chapter skip marks can be easily created with a text file. The easiest way to do this is, for example, with the Windows editor "Notepad" or on Mac devices via "TextEdit". The file extension must be set manually to .vtt when saving. Here is a list of tutorials for creating such files:

Information on barrier-free captioning and free software for creating subtitles can be found on the "BIK für Alle" project website (German only).

The file should look like this simple example:


WEBVTT - Eine Veranstaltung 1 00:00:00.000 --> 00:01:16.000 Thema 1 2 00:01:16.001 --> 00:02:01.000 Thema 2 3 00:02:02.001 --> 00:04:12.000 Thema 3


Pay particular attention to the correct formatting of timestamps and the use of the correct separators: hours:minutes:seconds.milliseconds. Also important are the blank lines between the elements and an additional blank line at the end of the file.

For more information: