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Old March 22nd, 2008, 05:48 PM   #1
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Vimeo & Veoh HD Playback - Why no better?

Since the demise of stage6 I've been looking round for the best alternatives to upload and download HD web content.

I like Vimeo but I find the playback quality of their HD (maximum resolution 720p) is not anywhere near as good as the DivX format stage6 used and often seems to stutter on ALL my various PC's. HD DivX video from stage6 typically used to play super smooth on my PC's, even for most of the 1920x1080p files.

I've looked a Veoh as well but that seems no better in terms of offering "good" (i.e. smooth and sharp) HD playback. Missing stage6 already :-(

Is this just me - how do you find Vimeo or Veoh's HD playback? Anthing better for HD?
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 08:28 PM   #2
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Hi Andy. Vimeo shutters as it works with 30P. U got to make sure your output is the same framerate or that happens during their conversion. They also accept another frame rate but I'm not sure which is that. I use 30P now with WMV 720P and it looks better.
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 12:38 AM   #3
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I think that currently Vimeo is as good as it gets for free, flash based HD video. It costs a lot to stream HD for so many people for free, so not a lot of sites are ready to step up to the plate.

I like the quality of Vimeo, but it does seem that a lot of computers have trouble playing it back without stuttering, and I'm not sure why. Even my Mac Pro will stutter on some HD videos even after letting it buffer the entire video. My guess is that it's because not only is Flash in general not optimized for the Mac, but I suspect that Flash isn't optimized for HD video on any platform. I could be wrong though.

Vimeo used to force all HD encodes to 720p24, and I understand that it would cause some framerate issues, especially on 30p content, but now they allow 720p30, which should allow for smoother motion. It's possible that the forced 24p encodes were causing the stuttery motion as opposed to hardware performance problems. I haven't seen too many 720p30 videos on there yet. Maybe someone else knows more about this than I do.

I'm grateful for Vimeo because it lets me stream very high quality videos compared to everyone else out there. I certainly don't have the bandwidth to do it on my own servers other than for an extremely small audience, so it's good to know that I can show my work a little bit closer to the way they were meant to be seen.
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 03:22 AM   #4
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Hi Andy
you should look at the new dailymotion/hd

http://www.dailymotion.com/hd/video/...d-trailer-1-hd
http://www.dailymotion.com/hd/video/...ournal_extreme

they sometime take a bit long to load but quality is very good, its been there for a couple of weeks.you need to be a special user or creative content user to send hd video and submit to their rules.theres only a few special user so far,and I feel its becoming like stage6 alot of vidogame users sending their images so the creative use rule seems bizzare.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 06:42 PM   #5
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Vimeo - Results of Testing HD 1280x720p Playback (WMV and QT7)

OK, I've spent all my spare time this last 24hrs testing different HD formats on Vimeo...well I am a scientist with a PhD.....This is what I've found.

The original WMV 1280x720p Video (9mins 33 sec) that I put on there nearly a week ago seems to stutter a bit on most people's PC's during playback from the Vimeo site (where its a Flash 9) but looks quite good! Of course, the original 354MB WMV video plays faultlessly on my PC when opened from one of my many USB hard drives! (well apart from my naff narration and shakey/pre-Libec Tripod camera stuff!) So, I was wondering if it was because I'd put on a 25 fps WMV rather than 30 (see comments earlier in this thread.)

Anyway, I've just completed some experiments with rendering (just) the first 35 seconds of this video in various formats and bit rates (each time direct from the original "master" Vegas file of course, project properties were progressive and renderings too - original source material is 1080i but that's not at all a factor in this experiment) and then uploading them onto Vimeo to then see how each one plays. The type of video is challenging for any format as it involves a lot of detail and often needs slow panning.

(a) A 1280x720p HD Quicktime7 Movie at 1 Mbps, 30 fps plays pretty smooth on my PC but stutters once I've got it on Vimeo.
(b) A 1280x720p WMV Movie at 4 Mbps, 30 fps plays superbly well on my PC but again stutters once I've got it on Vimeo.
(c) I also tested h.264 but that was really bad.

Both of the above (a) and (b) files are MUCH WORSER than my original 25 fps WMV 1280x720p (4MBps) that's on there right now (Note: I've currently got my experimental WMV and QT7 videos hidden from public view until I've sorted this out by the way.) In all 3 cases if you let the file fully load it will play smoother by the way (this is very fast on my connection but may take a while for some). My original is usually "watchable" and only stutters now and again once loaded on my various PC's but I'm unhappy with it as stage6 DivX HD videos used to play SUPERBLY well (even 1920x1080.) So now I don't know what to do! Come back stage 6!!!!

If anyone is interested in viewing this video on Vimeo it's called "Stoney Middleton" and I'll put a link in here.

Stoney Middleton: http://www.vimeo.com/811999

Let me know if you like it (on the Vimeo site, PLEASE!) Don't clutter up DvInfo with that stuff ....OK, just a little - if they are nice comments!!.... and any comments about how it plays too would be good. It's also on YouTube - but we won't even mention the quality there, even with the "quality hack" it's no where good enough for me.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to make a 1280x720p HD video play smoothly on Vimeo without occassional pauses/stuttering I would VERY MUCH like to hear it. Everyone I've talked to/e-mailed around the World says this is often an issue with this site for viewing various HD videos. Please put any information/suggestions about this on this thread (not in my Vimeo video comments) so others on DVinfo can benefit too!

Finally, I found this SUPERB video on Vimeo shot in London. Please let me take the liberty of linking it if you want to take a look (nice use of Radiohead music too although I'll bet without copyright approval!)

A Study on Stanley: http://www.vimeo.com/747892
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; March 28th, 2008 at 11:09 AM. Reason: typo
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Old March 27th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #6
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I think this is really just FLV codec getting a little long in the tooth and such. It was never meant for HD and it isnt really that great of a codec to work with. I have done a lot of testing with my own videos in FLV format even when playing back localy the performace gets worse as the resolution goes higher. This is why I think that they are moving to H264 Mpeg4 play back. Once that becomes more mainstream you will also see software players that can utilize video cards to play back the material flawlessly.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 06:06 AM   #7
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Xvid/DivX better for web streaming?

Yes I suspect you're right. This neighbouring thread is interesting and is somewhat related. Certainly, early indications are that Xvid (and its near neighbour DivX) might just be the best format for right now - I really don't know why DivX has n't caught on more as it's so easy (and free) to download and use and, perfomance wise, is (IMHO) well ahead of the game.

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=117158
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; March 28th, 2008 at 09:08 AM. Reason: typo
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Old March 28th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #8
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That trailer on Daily Motion was good quality! I found some other HD on there that was crap though. These sites use FLV right? Is the quality so bad because people upload compressed stuff, just to be compressed again into flv? Would it look best if we knew the exact settings and uploaded an flv?
And as for divx, I see a lot of bad quality stuff in that format. Isn't H264 and MP4 better than divx?
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Old March 28th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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All sites that I know of re-encode, possibly with the exception of when you upload it exactly right. Vimeo HD FAQ tells you to deliver at 3000-5000 kbps, but I have never seen a 5k video on there.

My guestimate is that they get re-encoded to ~1500kbps or possibly some file-size limit (who knows?). This will give you fair results, but quality will suff especially in fast moving shots (many interframe changes) and with low lighting.

But, you know, it is free (unlike beer) and bandwidth costs money. I'm not complaining.

George/

P.S. Nevermind the beer paraphrase
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Old March 28th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #10
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Yeah, I know it's free. But so was stage6 and they did a much better job of it - but ultimately went down (so I guess that particular business model did n't work.)

Just trying to stretch the boundaries of HD for everyone, that's all.

Beer's worth paying for!
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Old April 4th, 2008, 07:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Only as a last resort
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Old April 7th, 2008, 11:48 AM   #12
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Just as an update to all this.

I have been further experimenting with uploading various kinds of formats/frame rates/bit rates etc. etc. to Vimeo over the last week or so (in between the aforementioned beers!) Alas, so far I can't find a solution that gives good smooth playback (without stuttering) yet with good (720p) resolution playback with Vimeo. I've spent a lot of spare time on this and got nowhere/resorted to putting my videos on YouTube instead.

If anyone has a template that they know works for Vimeo (ideally in Vegas 7/8) I'd sure love to know the details.......
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Old April 7th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #13
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You really need to read the forums on the Vimeo site.

Vimeo has, over the past few weeks been experimenting with converting all video to either 24p or 30p at various times. During the time you uploaded your original files, I beleive they were converting eveything to 24p. At the moment they seem to be going to 30p with everything, but there is some pushback from the user community because the framerate seems to be overwhelming a lot of viewers' computers.

It's a sticky issue and one worth keeping an eye on.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 03:21 PM   #14
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Vimeo HD

Thanks! I read all through the forums/recommended upload settings a few weeks back in some considerable detail....did not realise I was also shooting at a moving target whilst I was not looking! Will go back in and read some more.

Edit: Have now done so. This is not good news at all. Sounds like Vimeo is dead in the water unless they get this sorted out soon. Seems HD videos are now unwatchable because of stuttering/jittery motion to most people with a PC (me included, on all 6 of them that I have) and it seems absolutely everyone with a Mac!....and the've cut the bit rate to add insult to injury!
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Old April 7th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #15
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http://www.simplethoughtproductions....s/hd_test.html

I have been testing some HD playback again and I disabled some of the filters of my flash player such as smoothling which isnt really needed with the higher quality files and it seems to have really improved the playback for most people.

Wonder if Viemo is using smoothing and deblocking and might offer an option to turn it off.
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