Right, lets start from the begining and avoid confusion. The original question was "what's the best way to display videos on my website". Lets put this question to one side for now, and concentrate on "how do I put videos on my website".
The first thing to note is that the delivery of streaming videos is a combination of server-side scripting (the website) and the end user (the viewer). To get a wmv file to play on a website for example requires the end user to have the necessary WMV codec installed (essentially media player!) and for the website to prvide the nessary commands within the script. This so called "embedding" (it's not really streaming per se) can be achived by including the following code on your webpage:
This will result in a little media player on your webpage. Neat, but requires media player to be installed on the end users PC. So here's our first method, and that's embedding video into a page.
<OBJECT ID="MediaPlayer" WIDTH="192" HEIGHT="190" CLASSID="CLSID:22D6F312-B0F6-11D0-94AB-0080C74C7E95"
STANDBY="Loading Windows Media Player components..." TYPE="application/x-oleobject">
<PARAM NAME="FileName" VALUE="videofilename.wmv">
<PARAM name="autostart" VALUE="false">
<PARAM name="ShowControls" VALUE="true">
<param name="ShowStatusBar" value="false">
<PARAM name="ShowDisplay" VALUE="false">
<EMBED TYPE="application/x-mplayer2" SRC="videofilename.wmv" NAME="MediaPlayer"
WIDTH="192" HEIGHT="190" ShowControls="1" ShowStatusBar="0" ShowDisplay="0" autostart="0"> </EMBED>
The second method is to simply provide a URL of the video. The end user can then download the video and watch this as it's downloading (the media player on the end users machine will buffer the video).
The third is probably the cheapest and easiest. Simply upload your video to YouTube, then copy and paste the provided emded code into your website. Hey presto you have an embedded media player that almost anyone can see. You see YouTube uses flash, which is pretty much ubiquitous on PCs around the world. Both the player and the video are essentially flash, so there's no issues here!
The fourth is to invest in an effing expensive media server which streams the required videos such as how the BBC provide their videos.
Does this make sense?