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Kaltura Features

Kaltura is the third-party company with whom UCSD has partnered to provide video hosting and delivery services for anyone with active directory credentials. There are two main implementations of Kaltura: the Kaltura-Canvas integration and MediaSpace. Though there are some differences in these implementations, the vast majority of Kaltura's features are shared in both. This page provides an overview of all of Kaltura's relevant features.

Unlimited Media Storage

Each Kaltura user at UCSD - that is, everyone with active directory credentials - can upload as much media as they like. There's no "quota" or file size limits. The only thing you need to be concerned about is the data retention policy, described in the drawer below.

Anyone can use Kaltura's features, not just students and instructors. While Kaltura's integration with Canvas is primarily how it's used, non-instructional staff can use MediaSpace (discussed in a drawer below in more detail) to upload, edit, organize, and share media.

Data Retention Policy

Every Kaltura user at UCSD has unlimited media storage with our enterprise partner Kaltura. For a variety of reasons, however, content will not be kept in their cloud permanently unless it's viewed every so often.

Kaltura's Data Retention Policy

This policy applies to all media in your "My Media."

  1. If your Kaltura media has not been viewed for 2 years, the entry's alternative quality versions ("flavors") will be deleted. The source (the original file that was uploaded to Kaltura) will remain. The system will send you an email warning you that this will occur one week prior to the 2-year mark. If your video has a source that the Kaltura player can play, you'll still be able to view your entry.
  2. If your Kaltura media has not been viewed for 4 years, the entry will be deleted entirely. The system will send you an email warning you that this will occur one week prior to the 4-year mark. It will NOT be moved to the recycle bin, but instead deleted outright.

Note that as of Spring 2024, Kaltura has not implemented this policy yet.

It's important to underscore that anything you upload to Kaltura should be related to the university's mission. While that's quite broad, the idea is that Kaltura is meant to be a media repository related to teaching and learning, not for personal entertainment.

See below for more information about the two conditions described above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions related to Kaltura's data retention policy. Use the list below to jump to a question you have:

What are flavors?

"Flavor" is the term that Kaltura uses to refer to an alternative quality version of media that are generated automatically on the back end.

Almost all video entries in Kaltura have multiple versions generated on the back end at varying quality levels, which Kaltura calls "flavors." Flavors exist largely to facilitate better viewing experiences for Kaltura users: if Kaltura detects that a user's bandwidth is poor, it may present a lower-quality version of the media rather than risking stuttering, buffering playback.

What is the impact if flavors for an entry are deleted?

If the source is playable, viewers can still watch your video.

As mentioned above, "flavors" are alternate quality versions that are generated by Kaltura largely to account for variable user bandwidth. If these are deleted, all that will be left for the player to play will be the source - the original media file uploaded to Kaltura.

So what kinds of videos are playable by the Kaltura player? Well, according to Kaltura the source file needs to have an MP4 container (i.e. the filename probably ends with .mp4 or something similar) and it must have used the H264 codec when it was compressed.

Just know that your viewers will be streaming / progressively downloading the original file which was uploaded, which could be quite large. Viewers in bandwidth-constrained areas could struggle to get a good viewing experience.

How do I download a video?

Go to the edit page and click the download icon within the player.

To see more detailed instructions, view our knowledge base article on how to download videos you own. If you wish to download multiple videos, however, contact us at so we can assist you. You can also download videos for which you are a co-editor.

Note that downloading your videos does not restart the data retention clock.

How do I restart the data retention clock?

Watch the piece of media for at least 10 seconds.

When it comes to the data retention policy, you can see that there are conditions for when a piece hasn't been watched for 2 years as well as 4 years. But what does it mean to "watch" a Kaltura video for these purposes?

Well, in order for Kaltura media to be considered "viewed," the video must be watched for at least 10 seconds. This can be done in "My Media," a Media Gallery in Canvas, a MediaSpace channel, or anywhere the video is embedded.

The Kaltura-Canvas Integration

While most of Kaltura's features are also available in the standalone site MediaSpace, the majority of Kaltura's use at UC San Diego comes from its integration into Canvas. The chief places you see Kaltura are in "My Media" and in a "Media Gallery."

The Canvas integration allows both instructors and students to "publish" media to a Media Gallery or embed them within course elements (such as a Canvas "page" or within a discussion board). Users can also view and edit their Kaltura entries within "My Media" in a variety of ways, such as making cuts, modifying captions, or adding chapters.

It's important to underscore that students have full access to Kaltura's features as well (although some functionality is only available to the "teacher" role in Canvas). Accordingly, we encourage instructors to create assignments that allow students to submit videos in response (in alignment with principles espoused by the instructional design framework Universal Design for Learning, or "UDL").

In short, while the native Canvas multimedia tools haven't been turned off, Kaltura is the video delivery mechanism of choice within the LMS.

The Kaltura-Zoom Integration

In addition to the Kaltura-Canvas integration, UC San Diego has also established an integration between Zoom and Kaltura to facilitate the use of Zoom recordings in classes and staff-related activities. All UC San Diego community members with active directory credentials have enterprise-level access to Kaltura as well as Zoom. Read below to learn the important high-level information about the Kaltura-Zoom integration.

  • Your Zoom cloud recordings automatically transfer to Kaltura. That's the basic nature of the integration. If you're the host of a Zoom meeting, any time you make a recording to the Zoom cloud, that video will automatically transfer to your "My Media" in Kaltura.
  • Zoom's cloud recordings auto-delete after 30 days; Kaltura's are evergreen. As long as you watch the video at least once every 4 years, your content will remain in your "My Media" indefinitely. (You can check out the details of the data retention policy elsewhere on this page.)
  • A screenshot of the Kaltura player page with the "attachments" tab circled.
    The "attachments" tab is visible to all viewers in Media Galleries or channels, and can't be disabled.
    The chat will come over to Kaltura as a public attachment by default. A setting that is enabled by default in Zoom is that it will save the chat log if you record a meeting. That chat will automatically come along with the recording and end up in the "attachments" section of the Kaltura entry, which is visible to any viewer when it's published to a channel or a Media Gallery in Canvas. It's important to be aware of this in case you have any privacy concerns for what occurred in the chat. (The "attachments" tab is visible to any viewer when the entry is viewed in a Canvas Media Gallery or MediaSpace channel.)
  • Kaltura uses Zoom's captions. Normally, all new Kaltura entries receive machine captions from the vendor Verbit, but Zoom integration entries are different. Because Zoom also automatically generates captions via its machine captions vendor, Kaltura carries over Zoom's captions (presumably to save on a few processing cycles). The Zoom captions are still editable in the closed caption editor. Both sets of captions (Zoom's and Kaltura's) are generated by computers and are generally between 70% and 80% accurate.
  • Configure your cloud recording settings on the Zoom website. Adjust your cloud recording settings in the Zoom web app ( to ensure that your videos record the way that you want them to (e.g., what preferred layout you want to use, whether you want the timestamp burned into the video, etc.).
  • The Zoom-Kaltura integration can take a little while - be patient. After you finish a Zoom cloud recording, it's processed by Zoom, then sent to Kaltura, where it's processed again. Kaltura is vague about how long you should expect it to take, but it could take several hours (depending on the length of your video and a variety of other factors). If you've waited a while, though, and your Zoom entry isn't appearing in Kaltura, shoot us an email at
  • You can create dual- or multi-stream entries by leveraging your Zoom cloud recording settings. If you configure Zoom to record multiple layouts in your cloud recording settings, all of those separate videos will end up in one Kaltura entry with multiple video streams. See the drawer on this page about dual stream videos for general information about dual-stream videos, or if you're looking for instructions, look at our tutorial on how to create a dual-stream video using Zoom.


Part of UC San Diego's enterprise contract with Kaltura includes a standalone site, MediaSpace ( Any community member with active directory credentials can access the site, and Canvas users will see their same media repository ("My Media").

You may be wondering - is there any difference between Canvas and MediaSpace when it comes to Kaltura? Well, as you might imagine, you can perform course-specific actions in Canvas, such as publishing videos to a course's Media Gallery or embedding a video within course elements like pages or discussion boards (or anywhere else you find the rich content editor). In MediaSpace you can create channels to house and share collections of videos, create unlisted links to videos for folks without active directory credentials, or grab embed codes to put your videos on external sites.

A good way to think about it is you can do course-related stuff with Kaltura videos in Canvas, and make your videos more public by leveraging MediaSpace.

Dual-Stream Videos

One of the unique affordances of the Kaltura media player is that it supports "multi-stream videos": entries that contain more than one video source and that allow viewers to control their arrangement. Having more than two video streams within a single Kaltura entry makes things quite complicated, however, so we'll focus our training efforts on dual-stream entries.

What's a Dual-Stream Kaltura Entry?

A dual-stream Kaltura video contains two video sources that the player plays simultaneously. The player allows viewers to choose whether they want to view them side-by-side, one at a time, or in a "picture-in-picture" arrangement.

The player technically supports more than two video streams (rendering them multi-stream videos), but having more than two streams makes it really difficult to select the video stream you want to see. Accordingly, we recommend against creating a Kaltura entry with more than two video streams.

Interested in making a dual-stream video yourself? There are three main ways you create a dual-stream video, listed below.

  1. You can leverage the Zoom-Kaltura integration:
  2. You can use Kaltura Capture (downloadable software):
  3. You can use Quick Capture (a browser-based application):

Playback on Mobile Devices

Note that the playback capabilities of dual-stream videos on mobile devices is lacking. When the video is not full screen, you can switch between the two streams, but if you make the video full-screen you won't be able to. In either case you cannot do picture-in-picture or side-by-side views on a mobile device - you can only view one stream or the other at a time.

In-Video Quizzes

All Kaltura users at UCSD are able to layer quiz questions on top of video entries.

There are four types of questions you can ask:

  1. True/false
  2. Multiple choice (4 options maximum)
  3. Short answer
  4. Reflection (doesn't require any input from the user)

The first two types of questions can be autograded. All responses are recorded by Kaltura and are visible in the video's analytics.

Canvas users may also choose to create in-video quizzes that are integrated into the Canvas gradebook. Do note that we recommend against this right now. We continue to receive numerous reports of failures of students' grades to make their way to the gradebook, forcing users to manually enter grades.

Accordingly, in-video quizzes ("IVQs") are great opportunities for formative, low-stakes assessment for your multimedia material. It's a good way to promote engagement and restart the "attention clock." Below are some links to relevant knowledge base articles:

Recording Options

As a UC San Diego community member, you have several no-cost options available to you to record videos and add them to your Kaltura media repository ("My Media"). Below are some options and links to relevant tutorials.

Kaltura Capture

Kaltura Capture is free screen/camera/microphone recording software that you can install on a Windows or Mac computer. The download links are available both in Canvas and MediaSpace. All your recorded videos will automatically end up in "My Media." Check out our tutorials below if needed:

Quick Capture

Quick Capture (also known as Express Capture) is an entirely web-based screen/camera/mic recording option, if you don't want to install Kaltura Capture on your computer and instead just want to record using your web browser. This option is fine as long as you're recording videos under 10 minutes long. Any longer than that and you risk filling up your browser cache and losing your recording. All videos recorded with Quick Capture will automatically end up in your "My Media." Below are relevant tutorials:


As mentioned elsewhere on this page, UC San Diego has an integration set up between Zoom and Kaltura such that any time you record a video to the Zoom cloud, it will automatically end up in Kaltura. One handy thing about our Zoom-Kaltura integration is that you can leverage it to create dual-stream videos in Kaltura (also discussed elsewhere on this page).