Video Requirements for the Web

Consider these requirements and best practices when developing videos for

Use the multimedia quality assurance checklist to ensure your video meets NREL's requirements.

Section 508 Requirements

All videos on, including webinar recordings, must meet Section 508 requirements for accessibility. To be accessible, all videos must have synchronized captions and link to a text version.

Audio Requirements

Give users the option of playing the audio or not. Never automatically play audio when a page is visited.

Best Practices

For the best user experience:

  • Embed videos in web pages
    Videos should be embedded in web pages to support the page content.

  • Keep videos short
    Studies show that viewers watching videos online have an attention span of approximately 3–5 minutes. Make short videos or break long videos into shorter segments.

Posting Videos

Follow these steps to post videos on NREL's YouTube channels for embedding and sharing on

All videos should be hosted on one of NREL's YouTube channels.

  • The NREL corporate channel is for short, fully produced, standalone videos that appeal to a broad audience.
  • The NREL learning channel is where viewers can find educational and research videos as well as longer webinars.

Step 1: Upload to YouTube.

Send the following to NREL's 3Play Media team:

  • Video file
  • The title of the video
  • A short description of the video
  • The preferred video privacy setting.
    • Public videos appear publicly on NREL's YouTube channels.
    • Unlisted videos are not visible publicly on NREL's YouTube channels, but they can be linked to or embedded on web pages. Anyone who has the link can view or share it.

Step 2: Make It Accessible.

To meet video accessibility standards:

  1. Order a transcript from 3Play Media or contact NREL's 3Play Media team.
  2. Edit the transcript for NREL style, including punctuation and capitalization. Do not change the spoken words.
  3. Use the edited transcript to create the caption file for YouTube.
  4. If the video will be embedded on a web page, you must also create a text version.

All embedded videos must include both a text version and captions to meet Section 508 requirements.