Is Flash still the most popular format for web video? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Distribution Center > Flash / Web Video


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 2nd, 2008, 01:02 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Dripping Springs, TX
Posts: 40
Is Flash still the most popular format for web video?

I would like to try some newer compression schemes but my largest client seems hopelessly stuck in a Flash world. Here is an excerpt from an e-mail their IT person sent regarding web video:

"All of our videos are in .flv format. The ones we get from [another company] are 600x400 and are usually under 20 mgs. The last host videos we received from Patrick seemed to be in the correct format. The only issue we had with the host videos was the size. I believe if he had exported those at a lower quality then we could have used them. Is this video going to be
solely on the web? If so, then shooting in HD is way overkill. YouTube
makes this recommendation: Shoot at an aspect ratio of 4:3 and use an
encoding bitrate of 700-1000 kbps."

I have produced HDV content for other clients for the web and other mobile devices using Compressor and my experience is that there is a HUGE difference between SD & HD -- even on the web. Also, why would anyone still want 4X3 aspect ratio these days? (Is it just because that's the shape of the window on their website?)

I used a 30-day demo of Flash to create their last web stuff and I'm sure it's probably operator error, but I did not like the quality at the file size my client dictated.

Is Flash still the most popular format for website video? Can you give me advice and/or an expert opinion on the merits of say, the new dvcCast! (just purchased it but haven't used it yet) or other compression schemes vs. flv files?

Frustrated,
Patrick
Patrick Byers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2008, 01:43 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
From what I read recently, the latest version of flash can understand H264 natively and will not have to re-encode it to .flv. If that is true, then you could make mpeg4 files with their TERRIFIC quality, and still show them in a flash window.

Here's hoping....!
Perrone Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:10 AM   #3
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Dallas
Posts: 6
Flash Video

Flash is by far the best for web video delivery
The latest flash plug-in will play the latest h264 version of mpeg4 (only) .
There are a couple of bugs though. One is you need to just change the extention from mp4 to flv for the AS2 flash video component to recognize the file.
More info here

http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php...264_content.3F
Ben Britt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:41 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Winter Park, FL
Posts: 978
You only need to change the extention to .mp4 if the player you are using has not updated.

The other thing to keep in mind is that you need Flash version 9.0.115 in order for the mp4 to load. Flash has not forced people to get this version so most people do not have it yet and will just see a black box.

I have an H264 demo setup Here

In the end you need to do what your client likes, if you dont like it just dont use it in your demo reel. If your client is not happy they wont continue to hire you. Feel free to show them how it could be better but if they don't want it they dont want it. You are also correct that it should be fairly easy for them to change the variables in their flash player to allow for 16*9.

By far flash is the most commonly used format and you can make it look good with some work. My experience has been that its better to have a lower res file at a higher bit rate than a higher res file at a lower bit rate.
__________________
Simple Thought Productions - Life @ 30,000 Words per second
Josh Chesarek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:51 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Dripping Springs, TX
Posts: 40
Thanks, everyone for your input—and the samples. Very helpful.
Patrick Byers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Chesarek View Post
You only need to change the extention to .mp4 if the player you are using has not updated.

The other thing to keep in mind is that you need Flash version 9.0.115 in order for the mp4 to load. Flash has not forced people to get this version so most people do not have it yet and will just see a black box.

I have an H264 demo setup Here

In the end you need to do what your client likes, if you dont like it just dont use it in your demo reel. If your client is not happy they wont continue to hire you. Feel free to show them how it could be better but if they don't want it they dont want it. You are also correct that it should be fairly easy for them to change the variables in their flash player to allow for 16*9.

By far flash is the most commonly used format and you can make it look good with some work. My experience has been that its better to have a lower res file at a higher bit rate than a higher res file at a lower bit rate.

What are you using to encode your files? I do a lot of hdv work and would love my videos to have that amount of clarity on the net.
Shaun Conner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 10:04 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: West Point, MS
Posts: 313
Looks like www.vimeo.com is ahead of the curve with web based content. HD streaming video with a world of helpfull tutorials on how to upload.
John M. McCloskey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 10:27 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: CA
Posts: 195
I have been using Flash to make videos for my site with sizes ranging from 640x480 up to 1280x720. The large ones come out ok, but have found a good compromise to be 800x450 @ 1000kbps.

Take a look at some here: http://www.speedandmotion.com/pages/videos.html
__________________
www.speedandmotion.com
Duane Steiner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 10:34 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 616
By the way youtube suggests 4:3 cause that's the size they sow videos. So you'd get letterboxing or stretched vid otherwise. 16:9 is fine anywhere else.
Aric Mannion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 12:37 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta/USA
Posts: 2,507
Is Flash the best online player?

According to Adobe (Millward Brown survey, see http://www.adobe.com/products/player...s/flashplayer/ or attached picture), as of December 2007 almost 99% of computers have the Flash player installed. Next would be the Windows player (83%) and QT with only 68%.

Add to this the fact that the QT install is about 32 MB (plus takes for ever to start up, and it's buggy on PC, especially when it comes to embedded players!) compared to only 2 MB for Flash 9, it's a no brainer - it is the best player if your goal is to reach most prospective visitors with your video on your website.

But a good Flash encoder doesn't come cheap - free FFMPEG only supports Flash 7, much inferior to Flash 9 - ON2 is out of question for most independent video producers ($3.5K per year - is this correct? - I find it insane).

Now, with the added support of H.264, which comes, in my opinion, with a much better quality for the same bit rate compared to Flash (comparable to WMV9, possibly a bit even better), it's REALLY a no brainer... Flash ROCKS!

And there is a wonderful free encoder for H.264, MPEG Streamclip!

Until now I was doing WMV with an embedded player on the front page for the current week's show (I edit a weekly one hour talkshow in Romanian, see www.dialogcuviata.com) and offered the older shows for download on the archive page, also useful for those with lower internet speed.

My dilemma now is where to go next. I love the looks of Flash players and the incredibly customizable interface, H.264 (.mov) video looks awesome (did some tests). But what am I going to do with those with slow internet and those who, let's say, downloaded the show when the computer is idling (or when internet is cheaper, yes it happens in Romania!), to watch later?

What would you do?
Attached Thumbnails
Is Flash still the most popular format for web video?-stats.gif  
__________________
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer
Ervin Farkas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Winter Park, FL
Posts: 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Conner View Post
What are you using to encode your files? I do a lot of hdv work and would love my videos to have that amount of clarity on the net.
The demo there is not mine but I use Sorenson squeeze and have been happy with how it treats my HDV footage. One thing I have noticed is that it tends to make the h264 file a tad darker so I use its built in lighten feature it there is no more issues.
__________________
Simple Thought Productions - Life @ 30,000 Words per second
Josh Chesarek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Winter Park, FL
Posts: 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
My dilemma now is where to go next. I love the looks of Flash players and the incredibly customizable interface, H.264 (.mov) video looks awesome (did some tests). But what am I going to do with those with slow internet and those who, let's say, downloaded the show when the computer is idling (or when internet is cheaper, yes it happens in Romania!), to watch later?

What would you do?
use H264 and a decent player on your website such as JW FLV Player. Then encode the files to H264 .mp4 files. For the people watching the streaming version they might have to update once but @ 2MB install it only takes a few minutes. You can then offer the files for download, Watch now via the player, or via a feed for apps such as iTunes and they will all feed of the same .mp4 file.
__________________
Simple Thought Productions - Life @ 30,000 Words per second
Josh Chesarek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta/USA
Posts: 2,507
OK, I'm new to the H.264 game but I find that I don't need to change any extensions, the JW player plays the .mov file that I encoded with MPEG Streamclip just fine.

Here is a 15 second test, video at 512 Kbps, 640x360 pixels - I love the quality. http://www.dialogcuviata.com/test/mediaplayer.html

Why do you guys say I need to change the extension?
__________________
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer

Last edited by Ervin Farkas; April 4th, 2008 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Link added.
Ervin Farkas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 02:07 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Winter Park, FL
Posts: 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
OK, I'm new to the H.264 game but I find that I don't need to change any extensions, the JW player plays the .mov file that I encoded with MPEG Streamclip just fine.

Here is a 15 second test, video at 512 Kbps, 640x360 pixels - I love the quality.

Why do you guys say I need to change the extension?

You don't. The only players I have seen that require you to change the extention are ones that have not been updated since the new feature was added. With those players (not JW FLV) you have to change the file extention to .flv to get it to work. With an updated player you do NOT have to change the extention. I use .mp4 to try and distance my self from quicktime :p (.mov)
__________________
Simple Thought Productions - Life @ 30,000 Words per second
Josh Chesarek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 03:49 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Chesarek View Post
The demo there is not mine but I use Sorenson squeeze and have been happy with how it treats my HDV footage. One thing I have noticed is that it tends to make the h264 file a tad darker so I use its built in lighten feature it there is no more issues.
Ok. I just bought a mac pro with final cut studio. How would i get my footage into Sorenson squeeze after editing it in final cut pro 6.
Shaun Conner is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Distribution Center > Flash / Web Video

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:30 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network