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Old December 17th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #1
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Flash Streaming and the new version with h264

Hey guys,

Just thought I would share my results as I started to test the latest version of flash and its ability to play h264 files. To start this does require the latest flash which can be found on the Adobe website as I have not set it up to fall back to an FLV as I wanted people to watch the h264 video.

The following link is a page on my server that plays back an H264 .mp4 file via the flash player. It also allows what you might call "some what true streaming" as it allows you to navigate the file before the content fully loads. Once you download the keyframe index (usually a few second on broadband) you can jump to any keyframe and then play from there. Considering I keyframe most of the time every 30 frames that means you can seek to any second in the video. This particular video is not mine but rather a trialer from Pan's Labyrinth. It is 42MB.

http://www.simplethoughtproductions....ash_streaming/

Happy to answer any questions if I can.

Last edited by Josh Chesarek; December 17th, 2007 at 10:48 AM.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 01:34 PM   #2
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I installed the new Flash and clicked on the link. The quality was great, even in full screen. Hopefully YouTube follows with the H.264 fairly soon!
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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:01 PM   #3
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Hi,
Been waiting for this since I saw beta testing was going on.
So, my workflow is Cineform Aspect HD using footage from my jvc hd100.
Do I simply encode my HD to H264 in After effects, then set up the player through Flash? Or? Any tips would be great.
Thanks,
Jon

PS I'm on BB cable and it looks like the FR drops quite a bit in full screen. The smaller size is great tho...
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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:38 PM   #4
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Going full screen will def. use a lot more CPU and such and is harder for people to use.

The workflow you described would work. The main thing to do is to make sure you set the type to streaming. If you do not the keyframe info is at the end of the file which results in the user having to load the whole movie before streaming. Once you have a .mp4 you should be able to use any flv player on the market that is kept up to date. Even old ones can be tricked by changing the .mp4 to .flv on the server most of the time. I suggest the JW FLV player which is what I use but there are a lot of solutions out there.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 12:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Chesarek View Post
Going full screen will def. use a lot more CPU and such and is harder for people to use.
Must be a combination of downloading and the limitations of the flash player.
I can view my HD cineform and m2t files full screen with no fr drop.

Thanks for posting!
Jon
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Old December 18th, 2007, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Jaschob View Post
Must be a combination of downloading and the limitations of the flash player.
I can view my HD cineform and m2t files full screen with no fr drop.

Thanks for posting!
Jon
Yeah, and it could be the particular player I use. It is a very powerful player with lots of options and as such it is not the "fastest" player out there. I have read that other players are able to play the same FLV files at full screen with less stuttering so another play might be the answer for you. I never really planed for anyone to watch my videos and full screen and have thought about turning off the feature but I left it on for those who figured it out and wanted to use it.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 09:18 PM   #7
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I got it to play, but it stops every half second. This happens in Quicktime, WMV and Flash. Is there a way to host a video so that it loads the entire clip before playing? Is there a way to have an 'estimated time left' feature, so they can grab a soda, etc.?
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Last edited by Dana Salsbury; December 23rd, 2007 at 03:41 PM. Reason: Got it to work
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Old December 28th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #8
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You can set the player I use to buffer a certain amount of time before playing. The other feature which it has to help with this type of thing is a bandwidth detection. It times how long it takes to load a 100kb file and then loads the best video for the speed. This requires you to put a few versions of the video on the site but the result is the fastest viewing for the viewer. The video player and the test on the link above is now set to not play until 10 seconds have buffered meaning you should get at least 10 seconds before the first glitch unless you are pausing the video and then playing it which would skip the buffering. The player I use can be set to start playing at 0 seconds (instant) to as many seconds as you want. While buffering it will show a % as it buffers starting @ 0 and climbs to 100% which is more or less what you want. Let me know if that is what you are looking for or if I misunderstood you.

Last edited by Josh Chesarek; December 28th, 2007 at 10:46 PM.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 02:44 PM   #9
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Thank you Josh. I can't wait to get into the JW Player. Buffer 'glitches' look extremely unprofessional, even though it's often the guest who needs to update their comp.

You mentioned multiple versions on the server. Is that so the site can auto-detect and load the right one, or so that the guest has to pick the right one?
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Old December 29th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #10
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The site. What it does is sends the user a 100KB file before loading a video. It then times the download and calculates the users download speed. It then loads the highest quality video that will require the least buffering. Sadly I do not think the users can override it but I am not sure. The other option is to offer a Low and Hi button to your users and if you are good with cookies you can even remember for them.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 06:50 PM   #11
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I woundn't want the user to be able to overide it...I'd rather be a benevolant dictator. ;o)

I've got a big problem. I have a four minute video that is compressing at 120Mb out of FCS2. Why is it so huge? Here's what I'm doing:

Quicktime Compressor at H.264, Auto data rate, 24fps, High Quality Multi-pass, sized custom at 425x239 without Deinterlace and 48kHz at 16-bit.

My old wmv files for a four minute video were 16Mb.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #12
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Its probably your data rate. What is it? In quick time get the movie info. For a resolution that size you can probably get away with 1000kbits or even 800 or lower depending on the quality you want. Either way a lower bit rate will lower the file size a lot.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 12:07 AM   #13
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Okay good. I changed it and it cut in in half to 80mb. It's still huge to me, but I can never go back to wmv without buying something.

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Old December 30th, 2007, 08:16 AM   #14
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Yeah I found that a very annoying part about having a Mac. I ended up buying the $30 plugin for flip 4 Mac. Works well with sorenson squeeze but when I really want to do WMVs I use my Desktop PC :)
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Old December 30th, 2007, 09:31 AM   #15
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How necessary is Sorenson Squeeze? It looks like a $500 hit for something that should be included in FCS2's Compressor.

Also, I posted a new thread after identifying why I can only play .mov files o the web. Flash is still not working because I cannot convert to Flash in FCS2. Here's the link:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...973#post799973
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