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Old June 17th, 2004, 10:50 PM   #1
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Internet video

I suggest you create a separate forum for Internet video.

I discovered playerless audio and video software today. I've taken a crash course in video streaming for the past week. It's complicated and costly if you must rely on quicktime, windows media player or real player. Someone told me that I had to buy a new video streaming server.

I don't even have my minidv yet but I've returned one. Before I returned it, I made a video, captured and converted it with Pinnacle to a 80 MB wmv file. 80 MB? I could never get the right file size. Anyway I took it back and began trying to figure out how I'm going to be able to get video on my website at an affordable price. So today I come across Clipstream. It sounds too good to be true. Seriously. The rep told me the following:

Target Reach:
Clipstream: 97.8%; Windows Media Player: 57.5%; Real Player: 37%; Quicktime: 12%.

Again, unbelievable. What am I missing? Why would anyone bother with those players anymore? Are these playerless software programs as good as they sound? Who are the top 3 software makers in this area?

Thank you. Glad to have found y'all.
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Old June 18th, 2004, 08:04 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard Jim. Please try to structure your questions a bit
better in the future. You are jumping all over the place.

Why did you return your miniDV camera? Because you couldn't
get the WMV file small enough? That has nothing to do with
your camera, but everything with knowledge, the right tools
and settings.

I haven't checked out clipstream but it is probably working with
flash if they claim such a market penetration.

It has been discussed a couple of times before already. See these
two threads in particular:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=7738&
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=27405

Keith Loh (a member on this board) actually works for Clipstream.
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Old June 18th, 2004, 08:27 AM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman : Welcome aboard Jim. Please try to structure your questions a bit
better in the future. You are jumping all over the place.-->>>
You got me sized up pretty good. I've got both windows rolled down, the pedal to the metal, tryin' to keep it between the ditches and often don't.

I'll try harder to be more structured. Thanks for the welcome.

<<<-- Why did you return your miniDV camera? Because you couldn't get the WMV file small enough? That has nothing to do with your camera, but everything with knowledge, the right tools
and settings. -->>>
I bought a Canon Optura 30 MiniDV but got concerned that it could not perform in low light settings and I plan to video in the late afternoon a lot. I have temporarily suspended my MiniDV purchase UNTIL I can confirm that I can get the video I 'shoot' on my website easily and cost effectively. If I can't I'm not going to buy any MiniDV.

<<<-- I haven't checked out clipstream but it is probably working with flash if they claim such a market penetration.-->>>
I sure would like some confirmation on this and whether or not clipstream is indeed as good as it appears.

<<<-- Keith Loh (a member on this board) actually works for Clipstream. -->>>
I'm looking forward to Keith's response.

Thank you for the links.
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Old June 18th, 2004, 02:31 PM   #4
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You seem to be mentioning two things in regards to a possible
camera purchase. Low light capability and your ability to compress
the footage.

The latter does not depend on your camera (there are some
exceptions, but normal DV is ALL the same in that regard). It
depends on a whole lot of other things.

Ofcourse low-light is directly tied to your camera. The best thing
to say about that is: add light! Ofcourse this is not always
possible depending on what you do. But if you want to make
fiction work you will need to invest in more than just a camera.

There are a lot of other things like lights, audio equipment,
support gear (tripod etc.), filters etc. etc. etc.

Ofcourse if you do event shooting or some other type of shooting
this might not be applicable. Just remember that a camera is
much less sensitive than your eyes in regards to darkness. Don't
expect to see a high quality picture with no noise in low or no
light conditions. Ofcourse one camera will do better than the
other (no I don't know which ones because I've always shot
with enough light thusfar).
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Old June 19th, 2004, 08:33 PM   #5
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jim, windows media player came with pretty much every single pc that's ever been sold, and right now windows operating systems make up at least 92% of the operating systems on the internet.

so the windows media player will be on over 92% of the pc's on the internet... in one version or another... it's the only media player you need to use.

i find the clipstream business model, whatever it is, to be rather irritating... you can't find any pricing on their website, it appears to me that they do that because they want a piece of everything you do on the web... that sort of thing can be very expensive.

the other problem with the clipstream approach is that, in my opinion, the quality of clipstream video is vastly inferior to that of wmp... which is especially apparent in high-action sequences.

the cheapest way to put video on the web is to do what's called http streaming, which basically means that your video clips are served up in the same manner as all the rest of your website files.

that approach is almost always far cheaper than using a streaming web server, which can give slightly faster and more reliable service... you'll have to look at your business model and decide for yourself.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 08:43 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dan Euritt : jim, windows media player came with pretty much every single pc that's ever been sold, and right now windows operating systems make up at least 92% of the operating systems on the internet.

so the windows media player will be on over 92% of the pc's on the internet... in one version or another... it's the only media player you need to use.

i find the clipstream business model, whatever it is, to be rather irritating... you can't find any pricing on their website, it appears to me that they do that because they want a piece of everything you do on the web... that sort of thing can be very expensive.

the other problem with the clipstream approach is that, in my opinion, the quality of clipstream video is vastly inferior to that of wmp... which is especially apparent in high-action sequences.

the cheapest way to put video on the web is to do what's called http streaming, which basically means that your video clips are served up in the same manner as all the rest of your website files.

that approach is almost always far cheaper than using a streaming web server, which can give slightly faster and more reliable service... you'll have to look at your business model and decide for yourself. -->>>
Dan,

I'm new to video and so my standards are not like a pro's. Consequently, I have been very impressed with Clipstream's quality. I've downloaded their evaluation software and encoded some video and then uploaded it to my website and it looks fine.

As to the Windows Media Player install base, you quote much large saturation than I've heard from a variety of sources and too there is the upgrade issue. But I guess THE most attractive thing about Clipstream is that it DETECTS your connection speed and streams the video to you at your connection speed automatically. IOW, I don't have to adjust endlessly video file sizes, resolution, etc., etc., etc.

I know it sounds like I'm working for Clipstream but their people have been extraordinarily professional with me, i.e., in being straight forward about the costs.

It seems to me that the entire MiniDV market is simply not up to speed on streaming video. It seems totally focused elsewhere, DVD, etc.

There is some cost but when you compare it to all the rest it looks inexpensive.

Thank you.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 08:46 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman : You seem to be mentioning two things in regards to a possible
camera purchase. Low light capability and your ability to compress
the footage.

The latter does not depend on your camera (there are some
exceptions, but normal DV is ALL the same in that regard). It
depends on a whole lot of other things.

Ofcourse low-light is directly tied to your camera. The best thing
to say about that is: add light! Ofcourse this is not always
possible depending on what you do. But if you want to make
fiction work you will need to invest in more than just a camera.

There are a lot of other things like lights, audio equipment,
support gear (tripod etc.), filters etc. etc. etc.

Ofcourse if you do event shooting or some other type of shooting
this might not be applicable. Just remember that a camera is
much less sensitive than your eyes in regards to darkness. Don't
expect to see a high quality picture with no noise in low or no
light conditions. Ofcourse one camera will do better than the
other (no I don't know which ones because I've always shot
with enough light thusfar). -->>>
Rob,

I have suspended my MiniDV focus until I get the Internet video resolved.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 09:02 PM   #8
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Jim,

In Rob's response to your post he mentions you are focused on 2 issues: low light and video compression for web delivery. He is also correct in that your camera has nothing to do with how you prepare video for web delivery. I use DV footage for my own web video but at work we use beta SP and convert it for web delivery for client proofs.

Forget about the camera in regards to the web. Buy the camera that gives you the best quality for the money you have to spend, learn how to use it, learn how to edit and compose scenes.

formatting video for the web is another subject ll together. My boss has been shooting beta SP for 20 yeras but knows very little about posting video to a web site. I have taught him what I know about it and he is teaching me how to edit, use a camera, and compose scenes.

As for the cost of putting video on a web site, the easiest way to do it does not involve a streaming server. As mentioned ealier, just uploading the file to your server anbd providing a link to it is the cheapest and easiest way. I also suggest using QuickTime over any other formats. Most computers have it installed and from my experience, I get the best file size to quality ratio. I go by the general rule of thumb of 3 megs/minute for file size and I don't worry about dial up users.

If you do go the streaming server route, Apple has a FREE QuickTime streaming server that runs on NIX based servers.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 09:11 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Perry : Jim,

In Rob's response to your post he mentions you are focused on 2 issues: low light and video compression for web delivery. He is also correct in that your camera has nothing to do with how you prepare video for web delivery. I use DV footage for my own web video but at work we use beta SP and convert it for web delivery for client proofs.

Forget about the camera in regards to the web. Buy the camera that gives you the best quality for the money you have to spend, learn how to use it, learn how to edit and compose scenes.

formatting video for the web is another subject ll together. My boss has been shooting beta SP for 20 yeras but knows very little about posting video to a web site. I have taught him what I know about it and he is teaching me how to edit, use a camera, and compose scenes.

As for the cost of putting video on a web site, the easiest way to do it does not involve a streaming server. As mentioned ealier, just uploading the file to your server anbd providing a link to it is the cheapest and easiest way. I also suggest using QuickTime over any other formats. Most computers have it installed and from my experience, I get the best file size to quality ratio. I go by the general rule of thumb of 3 megs/minute for file size and I don't worry about dial up users.

If you do go the streaming server route, Apple has a FREE QuickTime streaming server that runs on NIX based servers. -->>>
Dave,

In my rush to get info I've not stated clearly my intent. For me, the camera and the web are inseperable. IOW, I'm not at all interested in shooting video for any other reason than to put it on the web. I went out and bought a miniDV captured the video and then started to view it on my website. It was not easy and simple at all.

I have discovered Clipstream (Playerless video streaming) and it seems great. It seems to fit the bill, i.e., something that can get my vidoe on the web quck and fast without a bunch of bother. I've already downloaded an evalution version of their product and it's easy and works great. I'm about to buy it and then I'll be back in the market for a MiniDV (another thread).

I'm still surprised at how few people are excited about Clipstream. I know some of y'all are perfectionists, me too but not when it comes to video. I've looked at the encoded video in Clipstream and it looks dang good. And if I can figger it out you know it's easy.

Thank you.
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Old June 19th, 2004, 11:51 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dan Euritt : jim, windows media player
that approach is almost always far cheaper than using a streaming web server, which can give slightly faster and more reliable service... you'll have to look at your business model and decide for yourself. -->>>

Dan, your concern about our pricing has been a subject of discussion among our marketing for some time. It may change in the future but so far it hasn't been a detriment for the types of clients that we target.

As for your criticism about the technology, Clipstream does not require a dedicated server either. In fact, it does exactly what you advocate. Clipstream files are served up on your HTTP server whereas, true Window streaming requires a Windows Media Server. It is true, you can just put up a .wmv, .avi, or .mpeg (or Quicktime) on your server, but that is not streaming. Compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges.

Media people in general seeking out the best quality, ARE content to sit and wait for the files to download. I know, I am one of them. When the newest LOTR trailer comes out in full screen format, I know I will be content with letting the file download while I go get my daily sandwich and then come back. But this is not everyone. We target large volume customers who are being killed in bandwidth and who cannot afford to host large video files on their server. They have done the math. For every DVInfoer who is putting up a single clip to their latest project in a fat .mov, there is a research company who used to pay thousands of dollars every month hosting dozens of clips to thousands of subscribers every month. These are the same customers who formerly tripled their bandwidth costs because they had to cover the three bases of Quicktime, WM, Real. You know, those "choose one of the three players" option screens. It is an administrative nightmare for these institutions.

Our other market is in advertising. Obviously, for advertisers to offer video in an ad is a NO GO if they have to make a choice between one of the three players. So, they play it safe by relying on Java. We are not the only people in the Java space but chances are, when you see one of these ads it is our technology. Now Flash is getting into the game. Macromedia is actually going to be our closest competitor in the future. Now that is actually a valid comparison and is something our developers are looking closely at.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 05:03 AM   #11
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Flash Video.

http://www.sorenson.com/

You can output for use with Flash MX or not if you don't have it.

They have trials so you can check the packages out. Small file-size, high quality. It's pretty much a must have app I thought. As is the codec for QT encoding.

Jake
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Old June 20th, 2004, 05:25 AM   #12
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The showcase link:

http://www.sorenson.com/showcases/sh...ompression.php

Also you can use FlashCom to detect your bandwidth and load the content depending on that. So no please choose 56k/DSL etc or S, M or L.

http://www.macromedia.com/software/flashcom/

Here is a site with it in action:
http://www.redbullcopilot.com/

Jake
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Old June 20th, 2004, 05:51 AM   #13
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Jim: your point still does not tie the camera to a web use. Why?
It will not matter which camera you get in regards to web compression

But I think you get that. We are not trying to get you to buy a
camera. How good are you with shooting and editing? Even if
your final output is web there is a host of things you need to
do before you get to the web.

Yes, web compression is not an easy thing and requires lot of
testing if you want to do it yourself. Simply do a single test and
then concluding that it is not working out is madness.

A lot of people here have done web compression with good
results. I'm pretty pleased on our end result with our Lady X
project for example.

But then again if you are so focussed on web compression I
would suggest to you that you thorougly read through this
forum and start testing all sorts of packages and compession
methodes with some footage you have lying aroud (hopefully
you have some).

To give you a few hints: find a good codec, use lower resolution
and lower framerates. If you have widescreen / letterboxed
footage crop of the black bars etc. That is wasting compression
space.

Keith: could you tell us a bit more about the technology behind
clipstream? I know you can't explain how it work probably, but
before recommending something to others I always like to know
what is going on and when it works and doesn't work.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 07:25 AM   #14
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"It is an administrative nightmare for these institutions."
Agree. 100%.

Keith,

What is the difference between Sorenson and Clipstream?
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Old June 20th, 2004, 07:32 AM   #15
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Rob,

I want something that is quick and easy. All those players make my head spin.

I would like to know how Clipstream works. It still seems too good to be true.

Let me be blunt. A dang idiot can take a minidv and Clipstream and start posting quickly and easily to the web.

Otherwise you gotta pay beaucoup moola and lots of time.

I have not heard one substantive criticism of Clipstream from my vantage point. BTW, forget downloading files of any length. That's a non-starter as far as I'm concerned. My people ain't gonna wait. Heck most people on the Internet ain't gonna wait.

"Give it to me now (simple, quick and fast) or don't give it to me at all."
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