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Old March 24th, 2010, 11:36 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
Export Canopus HQ (full res, same as source)Output a format that AME can use, no need to rescale at this step, best workflow has AME doing the rescaling

What video codec is going into your f4v?


Tim, it seems like we're doing more typing than testing. You gotta' know that encoding/streaming is art as well as science, and that although I've been in streaming since the stone age, and teach a college course in it, there is no group of "magic settings" that I'll just tell you and everything will then be fine. You gotta' test to find what's best for your content and your audience! It's a judgement call that only you can make.

My best recommendation is that you simplify your workflow as much as possible, select a 1-minute representative clip, and do 6 different encodes today, based on all the comments above. And, don't exceed 600 or 700Kbps CBR.
Thanks for your reply Seth. I have outlined a couple of points I would need clarification on.

1) Canopus HQ is an .avi file. If I do not use this file type, what would be better for AME to use?

2) I am not aware of the video codec going into the f4v files. It seems there is only one choice inside AME?

I agree testing is important but you guys just answered my thread yesterday!

What I don't understand is the relationship between encoded bitrate and internet connection speed. When I test the videos, I am using a 6meg connection. I can't see a user's expereince at 1.5 meg. Is there a rule of thumb regarding connection speed and bitrate? Like bitrate should be no more than half of your target audiences' connection speed?

Thank you. I am a video/photo guy that is trying to get a handle on being a web designer as well. This stuff is a career on its own. I am trying!

Last edited by Tim Polster; March 24th, 2010 at 12:47 PM.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 03:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
- I looked at the JW player, but this is for my business and the commercial license is almost $100. I thought I would use progams I already own.
- AME can export .flv, .f4v as well as h.264. Adobe says to use .f4v because it is h.264 developed specifically for Flash
JWplayer is free for testing, and will simplify your workflow. Add Flash back in later when you know you've accomplished good flash video. Until then - simplify!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
1) Canopus HQ is an .avi file. If I do not use this file type, what would be better for AME to use?

2) I am not aware of the video codec going into the f4v files. It seems there is only one choice inside AME?

What I don't understand is the relationship between encoded bitrate and internet connection speed. When I test the videos, I am using a 6meg connection. I can't see a user's expereince at 1.5 meg. Is there a rule of thumb regarding connection speed and bitrate? Like bitrate should be no more than half of your target audiences' connection speed?
Nothing wrong with Canopus HQ if AME will see it. Your workflow went Can to Uncompressed to AME. You can use Can into AME if it works, or, Uncompressed, or, a high-bitrate MP4, or... just about any intermediate of good quality. I'm saying jettison VirtualDub for testing out your workflow. Until you have good looking video - simplify!

My AME machine isn't back here till Monday, so, can't review actual available settings. My recollection is that there's a couple choices both at the template level and in the video settings for codec. It may well be that f4v has something locked in. Perhaps it's flv that gives you more codec choices.

You're right to put your finger on encoded bitrate vs. internet connection speed. This is where it all happens (or not!). If you value user experience of buffering, you'll figure out the minimum speed of internet connection (I'm saying 800Kbps for broadband DSL, the minimum for most broadband subscribers), then, about 3/4's of that (thus the 600K recc. above).

Still more typing than testing... put your hands on the controls and start pulling levers and pushing buttons! It's going to tell you a lot. Render at 400, 600, 800, 1000. Figure out what you're sacrificing at 600. Include some talking head and some moving camera.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #18
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Here is a page full of Videos:

Examples of our Work

I have made them all at 720x405 and will do a 640x360 next.

These were all made from the Canopus HQ file that was exported from Edius.

The Flash files were then put into Flash CS4 at 29.97 and exported as a .swf

To share my playback experience, all of the files showed stutters.

What I don't understand is when I double-click on the .swf file in Windows Explorer, the video opens and plays smoothly. Why would it be any different over a plenty fast internet connection like my 6meg conection?

Thanks for your input
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Old March 24th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #19
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...What I don't understand is when I double-click on the .swf file in Windows Explorer, the video opens and plays smoothly. Why would it be any different over a plenty fast internet connection like my 6meg conection?
Because hard drive has no problem keeping ahead of VBR. Is it hundreds of times faster than your internet connection? I always forget the HD playback figures.

Streaming does not like bitrate-bursty material. A smart player thinks it's established a comfortable buffer based on a certain bitrate (expecting CBR), then the bitrate bursts higher (VBR) and the buffered store isn't enough to maintain playback.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #20
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The files on the test webpage are all CBR.

If the internet connection is fast enough, shouldn't the playback be the same as a hard drive? Or is my 6meg connection still not fast enough to properly play flash video?

I will be interested to hear how the files played back on your system.

Thanks
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Old March 24th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Here is a page full of Videos:

Examples of our Work

I have made them all at 720x405 and will do a 640x360 next.
I immediately jumped to the 600k flv at max render quality, since I'm short on time this afternoon. It's almost keeping up with all the camera movement.

I see just a couple framedrops. I expect that this is not a server to internet to me issue, but that the encoder ran out of bits to give the highly complex video. This is very demanding video.

400K getting some very slight noise/macroblocking.

750K not appreciably better than 600.

I've seen a few frame drops, and quite a few "shimmers", where it seems like the video doesn't update evenly across the screen. This could be the effect that occurs when errors accumulate prior to the next keyframe. Sometimes more keyframes help, sometimes less.

I'm guessing that the 640x360 results will be pretty good at these bitrates...
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Old March 24th, 2010, 05:56 PM   #22
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If the internet connection is fast enough, shouldn't the playback be the same as a hard drive? Or is my 6meg connection still not fast enough to properly play flash video?
You would think, but, there is a lot going on under the hood. I mentioned keyframes above, another encoding parameter that I think AME exposes is the default buffer time? Sometimes, just adding a couple seconds to this can make a large difference.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 06:55 AM   #23
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Tim,

watching some more videos both on my work PC and my home machine same as yours, I am realizing that we may have a common problem - flv/f4v originated video plays choppy while h.264/mp4 video plays fine.

I am not sure where the problem is (OS? software? hardware? driver?)... but I promised myself to never again make this big of a jump again - I went from XP to W7 Ultimate, from 32 bits to 64 bits, and from a mid/low level 'off the shelf' Dell office machine to a powerhouse gaming machine.

Too many changes all at once, hard to trace down problems.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #24
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Thanks for your efforts Ervin. I think there is a problem but I am getting the same stuttering on every video. But This is not limited to my Windows 7 machine as I get the same behavior on an XP machine. I am about to throw in the towel. I know this medium is the future, but is it supposed to be so poor of a delivery? It just looks off.

I am using industry standard programs with excellent source material and this delivery is just not up to snuff. I do not think it is the encoding, but you and Seth are the only people that have answered my questions even after posting over and over on Adobe.com. So how is one to know? This is very frustrating.

I upgraded my ATI video card drivers last night and maybe noticed a minor improvement, but the stuttering is still there.

The video from your church plays a bit better, but there is still a stutter every time the preacher/minister sways back and fourth.

I think it is a buffer problem/setting with the .swf or Flash file itself. Windows Media files will play fine even at higher bitrates over the internet. I just don't know Flash as well as I need to to figure out the problem.

Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 01:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
......Are you creating f4v in Adobe Media Encoder CS4? Although Adobe is encouraging moving to the f4v container, I don't think it is implemented in today's open-source players particularly well, so, I've been steering clear of it. I highly recommend VP6E in an FLV container, if you have access to an encoding tool that supports it.
This advice created the difference for me more than anything else I tried. My f4v video when hosted on my site to go full screen played with lots of stutter ( video included LOTS of constant very fast pans following a twelve minute long motorcycle race ). I tried different bit rates, file sizes, key frames, stereo vs mono (to trim file size even more), different compression codecs, etc. In the end what made the difference for me were the three sentences above. I ditched f4v and went back to flv/On2vp6

Thank you Seth
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Old May 18th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #26
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Eric, so glad this was helpful. Thanks for writing back.

I found this out through testing, classic trial and error - I guess I'm something of a tester and benchmarker at heart. The school I teach at is updating these software suites on a fairly regular basis, and I feel that it's mandatory that I test these things out thoroughly before advising/directing students to use them. I was quite surprised to find that f4v isn't (yet) all it should be in terms of end-user experience.

But, seriously, in streaming all the targets are moving all the time. We gotta' be nimble...
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