On the surface, Panopto and Microsoft Stream appear to be very similar solutions for capturing, managing and sharing your organization’s video. However, there are a number of fundamental differences in the recording capabilities, licensing, integration, functionality, webcasting and ease of use of these video platforms. Depending on your needs one offering may be a better fit than the other. As you evaluate Panopto and Microsoft Stream for use within your organization or institution, consider the questions below.


14 Questions to Consider When Comparing Panopto and Microsoft Stream


1.  Does the video platform include built-in recording and editing capabilities?

Video platforms often feature a wide range of capabilities and features, but many often miss core video productivity functionality, like having a built-in recorder or editor. Microsoft Stream does not include key video productivity capabilities like a built-in recorder, automatic video upload or video editing.

Microsoft expects users to purchase a recorder and editor from a 3rd party. Plus, users must manually upload recordings to Microsoft Stream after a producing a recording. In addition, for editing, users will need to manually download, edit and then manually upload the video after edits are complete (note, in some cases, they may also need to reset video permissions).

By featuring a built-in video recorder, editor and automatic video upload, Panopto makes video production easier. Once videos are automatically uploaded into Panopto, there’s no need to download them. Built-in video editing productivity capabilities make it fast and easy to make changes to videos, including editing table of contents, slides, adding quizzes, appending new videos, importing/editing captions and non-destructive video editing (which enables you to cut sections of video out without permanently deleting it).


Comparing Microsoft Stream to Panopto

Panopto’s video editor makes it easy to perform basic post-production, from synchronizing audio or video and slide decks to controlling multi-camera video switching.


2. Does the video platform feature informative viewer data and analytics?

As your organization produces videos, it’s important to understand what content is resonating with your employees, students and other audiences. Video analytics allow organizations to quickly assess how others are consuming content and if there’s an opportunity to change or improve topics covered in video content. Panopto includes comprehensive video analytics that enables content producers to quickly assess the popularity of their video, what aspect of their video was popular and who watched their video. Microsoft Stream, on the other hand, features minimal viewer data, and almost no analytics.


3. How well does the platform support video search?

As video use increases within your organization, discoverability of video content becomes a critical requirement. Comprehensive video search enables users to quickly find the content and information they’re looking for and the precise moment in the video where a topic was covered. For search results to be complete and through, it must include automatic speech recognition (ASR), optical character recognition (OCR) and presentation slide extraction.

Microsoft Stream only provides ASR search results, whereas Panopto provides the most accurate and complete search results by providing the industry’s most comprehensive support for inside-video search, supporting ASR as well as optical character recognition (OCR) and presentation slide extraction.


Panopto vs. Kaltura: Video search capabilities

Panopto’s unique video search engine enables users to find and fast-forward to any word spoken or shown on-screen in any video.


4. Does the video platform include key viewer productivity features?

As viewers are watching videos, they often want to take notes, bookmark key times in the video for future reference or even have discussions with other viewers of the video. Microsoft Stream includes limited viewer productivity features. In fact, your organization may need to purchase additional Yammer or Microsoft Teams licenses just to enable viewers to conduct discussions or make comments on videos. Panopto includes essential viewer productivity features, including discussions, bookmarking and the ability to download a supporting file or even a podcast version of the recording.


5. Does the video platform enable you to verify if employees have passed essential training?

Any video platform can claim support for employee training and certification scenarios, but how many help track and ensure your employees actually understand the training material? Panopto has built-in quizzing capabilities that enable organizations to easily insert quizzes at any point in a video. This allows trainers and instructional designers to ensure employees not only attend training but also are sufficiently competent in the topics and subjects being taught.


6. Will the video platform fully integrate with your learning management system (LMS)?

Panopto released our first LMS integration in 2008. Since then, we’ve partnered with organizations to build the most comprehensive video platform-to-LMS integrations on the market. With Panopto, you can easily embed individual videos, complete playlists, and even your company’s entire video portal directly into your LMS to make it easy for your employees to find and view your videos. And with Panopto’s support for SCORM manifests, you can confirm that videos are watched to completion from within your LMS. Microsoft Stream provides no native LMS integration or SCORM support.


7. Does the video platform natively integrate with your online meeting solution?

Recording and managing online meetings and webinars is one of the fastest growing use cases for video. Many video platforms claim to integrate with a range of online meeting solutions, but the degree to which they integrate can have a big impact on implementation costs and usability. Microsoft Stream supports no video conferencing integration, including integration into their own Microsoft Skype solution.

By contrast, Panopto natively integrates with Zoom, Skype, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Pexip. When you record using these online meeting solutions, Panopto will automatically import the videos, set security permissions, index the video for search, and convert it for optimal playback on any device without the need for coding or customization.


Panopto vs. Microsoft Stream

Panopto’s native integrations with Zoom, Skype, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Pexip dramatically simplify the management and sharing of online meeting recordings.


8. Will the video platform integrate well with your existing hardware?

When institutions invest in a video platform, it’s critical that the video platform works reliably with their existing audio-video hardware, video conferencing solutions, room control systems, WAN optimization solutions, and other infrastructure. This requires the video platform provider to maintain relationships and perform rigorous product testing with a wide range of partners. Microsoft currently publishes no list of supported hardware vendors. By contrast, Panopto has the most expansive partner network in the industry, with more than 40 AV device manufacturers (including Crestron, Wolfvision, SMART, Logitech, Sony, Panasonic, DataPath, Winnov, and more).


9. Does the video platform offer sufficient cloud storage for tomorrow’s video needs?

When organizations choose video to communicate internally and share knowledge, they often end up producing more videos than they ever have in the past. This requires substantially more cloud storage than any other data type. Microsoft Stream places limitations on both per tenant and per-user storage; requiring organizations to carefully predict and manage how they use storage, limit the number of videos they produce or pay an overage. By contrast, Panopto provides unlimited storage for businesses per tenant or per user.


10. Does the video platform support remote and scheduled recordings scenarios?

Organizations are increasingly discovering the convenience and benefits of automatically scheduling the recording of meetings or lectures that occur in a particular room. This relieves meeting organizers and presenters from the task of manually setting up a recording, testing audio and video quality, and ensuring that the recording is shared with the right audience. Microsoft Stream provides no support for remote or scheduled recordings scenarios. By contrast, Panopto includes built-in support for scheduled recordings that can be configured remotely through any web browser, either for single or recurring events. This built-in, no additional charge capability provides organizations with new levels of flexibility and options for how they can use video today and in the future.


11. Is the video platform built to support all of your recording and live streaming scenarios?

Many video platforms claim to support the recording of multi-camera video, but in most cases, they require all video sources be connected to the same PC or appliance. In large auditoriums, conference rooms, and classrooms, this increases the cost and complexity of video production by requiring large cable drops and extenders. By contrast, Panopto provides a unique capability that enables you to record an unlimited number of video sources with minimal AV equipment and complexity. Video sources can be connected to multiple PCs or appliances, and Panopto automatically synchronizes the video feeds in the cloud. With this capability, Panopto provides the flexibility to support any video recording or live streaming scenario, including employee town hall meetings, live corporate events, large-scale training, and more.


12. Are you interested in deploying your video platform on-premises or in a private cloud?

Panopto supports multiple deployment models, including multi-tenant cloud, private cloud, and on-premises. We also provide seamless migration programs, enabling institutions to move from on-premises to the cloud and vice versa based on their unique requirements. By contrast, Microsoft Stream, which is based upon Microsoft Azure, only supports multitenant cloud hosting and has storage limitations.


13. Does the video platform provide complete support for mobile video scenarios?

Many times video platforms claim to support mobile users and scenarios. However, there’s a big difference between viewing a video on a mobile device versus being able to record and share a video from a mobile device. Microsoft Stream only supports streaming a video to a mobile device, whereas Panopto includes a native application for both Android and iOS that enables users to search, view and upload videos from their mobile device.


14. Is it easy and straightforward to configure and manage webcasting?

Many times video providers will demonstrate compelling features, like webcasting, but often those features are complex to configure and use. Take Microsoft Stream Live Events, to use Live Events, a business is required to have an Office 365 E3 or E5 subscription license and an educator must have an Office 365 A3 or A5 license. Furthermore, you may also need to purchase separate Stream licenses for any users viewing the video being streamed from Stream ($3-5/mo). You will also need to have access to and setup Microsoft Teams.

After acquiring the correct license(s), you will need to have an Office 365 admin account (or contact the person in your organization who is the Office 365 Admin) in order to provision, configure and setup Microsoft Teams and Live Events in Microsoft Stream, plus an Admin for Microsoft Stream will need to be assigned. Furthermore, your Office 365 admin will need to provision Live Events in Microsoft Teams and your Microsoft Stream admin will need to assign a Live Events admin. After this, your Live Events admin will need to download and use a third-party tool to set-up and manage the live video feeds for the event itself. Plus, all users accessing the webcasting feed will need to be authenticated and most likely have a Microsoft Stream license.

Unlike Microsoft Stream Live Events, Panopto includes webcasting features that enable anyone to easily create and manage a webcast. Plus, Panopto’s licensing scheme provides generous features that support public webcasts where any viewers can attend (even if they do not have a Panopto user license). We don’t require additional licenses, unique administration settings, confusing configuration or third-party software. Hosting and configuring a live event is as simple as checking the “webcast” box included in the downloadable Panopto recorder application.