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Old June 18th, 2002, 06:31 PM   #1
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Acceptable sizes

It seems that we have had some discussions in the past where people state they don't bother with postage size video (low bit rate). My question is if you are trying to get the biggest audiance (mass viewers) how do you think it should be deployed? Meaning what video size, encode rate, streaming or download?

I know none of us want to deploy video content in postage size. We all want the viewer to be able to see it the way we ment it to be seen. However at this point in the game full screen is still out of the question. Or is it?

I mean lets face it 80% of U.S. market is still on dialup. My home has no method of broadband what so ever and I live in the suburbs of a major city. Granted I work for a ISP and at the office I have access to dual fibre rings.

What is acceptable for download time?
What is acceptable for play rate?
What is acceptable for video size?
What is acceptable for your audio?

Now I know that all of this depends on what you are showing. But I am sure we can come up with some general rule of thumb couldn't we?

Best regards,
James
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Old June 19th, 2002, 04:43 AM   #2
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I think most of your questions have at least been discussed
in this forum already, if not answered. Try looking around the
threads that already exists. As for me, I normally only view
things that I can download with a minimum resolution of
320x240 or something. Some of those quicktime trailers are
gorgeous at 640x200 - 400 encoded I think with the sorenson
codec. They can be played full screen as well but take around
40, 50 or 60 megabytes or something to download.
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Old June 19th, 2002, 09:22 AM   #3
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Actually, I think those are great questions, James.
Most of the posts in the threads are personal oppugns that I do not address the dial up market.

I agree with you that most people don't have broadband and don't want wait for hours to see even a 320x240 video.

Acceptable download time is...

What people are willing to wait? It is a hard question to answer. But I have found that a data rate that is slightly lower than the rate connected. I.e. 50k a second on a 56k connection. So that the viewer feels that something is happening.

Play rate. I have found that 1- 1.5 Megs for 3-5 minutes is acceptable.

160x120 7.5fps. With a data rate at least 10% less than the connection speed.

Audio is the most important, make sure that always favor audio over video when streaming. If the video stutters and the audio plays smooth people will tend to stick around to at least listen to the video.
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Old June 19th, 2002, 10:53 AM   #4
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Adam,

That's exactly what I am looking for. I know with some players you can set the amount to buffer before playing. At home on my dial-up I get connections around 48K and sometimes even lower. I am sure others have gotten this problem as well.

As a side note what do you think the average guy will wait before the video begins to play. I mean I am spoiled at work and don't wait very long for anything at home. If it doesn't start doing something in the first few seconds I have already cancelled and moved on.

Best,
Big James
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Old June 20th, 2002, 06:55 AM   #5
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Perhaps I didn't looked to good at your question, being primarely
about dial up users. My appologies. I was thinking of someone
with at least a cable connection.. Sorry.
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Old June 20th, 2002, 12:22 PM   #6
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Rob,

Thats fine! What do you think we can do to improve the experience for the dial-up guy! I mean you want to get the biggest audiance and I don't think broadband is big enough to just say screw the dial-up guys.

Best,
James
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Old June 21st, 2002, 05:45 AM   #7
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That's a very good question. I haven't actually thought much
about dialup, because I simply do not use it much and certainly
not for streaming video. If I ever wanted to view something I
even downloaded it on that connection (even if it took me an
hour).... I find it very hard to say. How many dialup users are
willing to watch a small stamp sized video at very low frame
rates? I personally wouldn't at all I think. But then again, I
do have access to some "broadband" connections (not all of
the time though).

A bit puzzling....
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Old June 21st, 2002, 08:59 AM   #8
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There are few choices for the dial up person who wants to have a full experience. But, I have used 160x120 @ 7.5fps in Real, Windows media and Quicktime and had no complaints. People who watch streaming or progressive downloads on narrowband know what they are getting.
I never try watching andything on narrowband. I will listen to a lot of audio. A 28k stream is all you need to get a good audio stream. Also you might try Real Slideshow or creating a slideshow format. Its not moving video, but as we all know humans are visual and visuals help humans to understand what they hear.

Enjoy,

Adam
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Old June 22nd, 2002, 07:09 PM   #9
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Take a look at the article on Jacob Nielsen's Web site:

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990808.html

It's a little old now, but makes a number of points worth keeping in mind.
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Old June 25th, 2002, 12:23 PM   #10
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Thats not a bad article. It makes think about using Powerpoint again if you can use Powerpoint and encode it into video. When you do even 28.8 is pretty large. Has anyone else played with encoding powerpoint into video?

Best,
Big James
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