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Old March 11th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #1
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Adding Video To Website

Hello,

I have just finished my website and I would like to add 16 video clips to one of the pages that would be around 2-3 minutes per clip in length. The site was made in flash 8 and the clips will be placed on a horizontal scroll. I expect to have around 1000 unique vistors a month on my site.

I will be using my Canon xl1s and sony vegas 5 software to shoot and edit all the clips.

I would like to get some input on the following questions.

1. What would be the best format to have the videos play? Flash, QT, WMV.
2. How much space for hosting should I expect to get and any suggestion
on a hosting company to go to?
3. Should I be shooting the video or editing with any specific settings to
help the quality?

My website is www.mlgolfnyc.com The video will be on the online instruction page in the scroll on the bottom left. If anyone has any suggestions I am open to anything. I'm also not sure if the video should play in the scroll area or be in a pop up window when people play it? If I am missing any details or steps I need to take please let me know.

Adding video is all new to me. (Like I have to tell you that) I have only been working with flash for 3 weeks. I feel I have done a decent job on the website for the time and experience.

Thank you for your time,

Matthew
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Old March 11th, 2006, 04:40 PM   #2
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1&1 (the company I use for hosting) currently has the best package I know of. For $3 a month you get 5GB (5,000MB) of storage space and 250GB (250,000MB) monthly transfer. That should be way more space and bandwidth than you need. Plus, one free domain name is included, so you don't have to pay extra for that (if you currently have your domain name purchased through someone else you can transfer it to 1&1. But you don't have to do that just to use 1&1 for hosting). So far I haven't seen a deal this good anywhere else.

As for the format of the videos, you've already built the site in Flash, so I'd recommend using Flash for the video. Someone else who knows more about Flash video will hopefully jump in with some more specific advice on compression settings, etc..

To those who are wondering where my full disclosure note went, upon further consideration I decided to remove the affiliate info from my link. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea about why I recommend things, now or in the future. Also, it's been a while since I read the posting guidlines and upon re-reviewing them I'm not sure if this met them. Even if it turned out to be okay with Chris, I want to keep a spirit of trust in this forum.
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Last edited by Christopher Lefchik; March 11th, 2006 at 09:52 PM.
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Old March 11th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #3
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matt, the new on2 vp6 codec is the only flash video codec you should use, the older flash video codecs are junk... the problem is that sony vegas 5 is not capable of encoding that new on2 codec, afaik... so you'd need to step up to the plate to get a professional encoding application... big $$$, and you have to get the right app to get the best results.

there are several apps that will encode that on2 vp6 flash codec, but the quality of the output varies quite a bit, depending on the app that was used... jan ozer just covered this issue extensively at streamingmedia.com: http://www.streamingmedia.com/press/view.asp?id=4336

without spending any money, you'll be able to get better video and audio quality with the free wmv9 encoder, but the player is ugly compared to some of cool flash player designs out there :-/
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Old March 11th, 2006, 06:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Lombardo
I would like to get some input on the following questions.

1. What would be the best format to have the videos play? Flash, QT, WMV.
2. How much space for hosting should I expect to get and any suggestion
on a hosting company to go to?
3. Should I be shooting the video or editing with any specific settings to
help the quality?
Matthew
Matthew,

If you are going to have a Flash web site it only makes sense to have videos in Flash Video or flv format. I would recommend the .flv format - it will give you cross platform (windows and Mac) and cross browser support. The flv format is a good progressive download format which means viewers can view the video as it is being downloaded. Depending on what Flash product you have, you may or may not have encoding software to create the flv format. If you don't have the capability encode flv format, try the Flix Pro product from ON2 - good product, good control over the encoding process and not too expensive. I had some codec conflicts recently and they were extremely supportive and responsive. You will need to encode a couple videos to see if the flv format can give you the quality you need. The flv format is not going to be as good as WMV or QT - but sufficient for lots of video.

On hosting, lots of options if you do not need to serve thousands.

Video over the Internet is probably the lowest quality source of video you can get - however, you should always start with the best quality possible. A product like Flix Pro will let you adjust the frame rate and bit rate... You can balance quality of the video with size of the files. This will be important as the larger the file the more that needs to be downloaded, progressive download means it will play as it is downloading, but if the file plays faster than it downloads means the viewer will have to wait/buffer as it plays.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 11:28 PM   #5
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Christopher,
I also use 1and1......but I embedded a windows player file in my website and it wasn't working. They told me they don't support any pseudo streaming files?
I checked out your site and some of the clips on there appear to be buffering and playing before fully loaded which I assume is pseudo streaming?
I had no problem with my old host with doing the exact same embedding a player. But I'm still a newb when it comes to this. Can you confirm if your vid files are with 1and1?

Thx

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Lefchik
1&1 (the company I use for hosting) currently has the best package I know of. For $3 a month you get 5GB (5,000MB) of storage space and 250GB (250,000MB) monthly transfer. That should be way more space and bandwidth than you need. Plus, one free domain name is included, so you don't have to pay extra for that (if you currently have your domain name purchased through someone else you can transfer it to 1&1. But you don't have to do that just to use 1&1 for hosting). So far I haven't seen a deal this good anywhere else.

As for the format of the videos, you've already built the site in Flash, so I'd recommend using Flash for the video. Someone else who knows more about Flash video will hopefully jump in with some more specific advice on compression settings, etc..

To those who are wondering where my full disclosure note went, upon further consideration I decided to remove the affiliate info from my link. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea about why I recommend things, now or in the future. Also, it's been a while since I read the posting guidlines and upon re-reviewing them I'm not sure if this met them. Even if it turned out to be okay with Chris, I want to keep a spirit of trust in this forum.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #6
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Mike...did you ever get an answer to this...

I would like to put my video files there as well...but not if I can't play them from there....
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Old July 20th, 2006, 10:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike McKay
Christopher,
I also use 1and1......but I embedded a windows player file in my website and it wasn't working. They told me they don't support any pseudo streaming files?
I checked out your site and some of the clips on there appear to be buffering and playing before fully loaded which I assume is pseudo streaming?
I had no problem with my old host with doing the exact same embedding a player. But I'm still a newb when it comes to this. Can you confirm if your vid files are with 1and1?
Hi Mike and Mark, sorry I never replied. For some reason I didn't see this thread until today. Yes, I can confirm that all the videos on my Web site are hosted with 1&1. Mike, I have no idea why 1&1 would tell you they do not support "pseudo" streaming (progressive download). Any server that serves files via the HTTP protocol - which is practically every server on the Internet - is capable of serving progressive download video. I suspect your problem may lie somewhere else, perhaps in the embedded code and/or a browser problem. Could you provide a link to your embedded video I could look at?

Sorry again that I didn't see this thread until now.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 10:10 AM   #8
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Thanks Christopher and no problems!! Here is a reply I got from 1&1 today.....

Thank you for contacting us.

Currently, we are not supporting video streaming. All videos can only
be playable when downloaded from the site however playing the video
itself in the website is not possible.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

--
Sincerely,
Rosalie Parnes
Technical Support
1&1 Internet

Also here is a link to my page with video.
http://sladevideo.com/Video/video.htm
I will admit that I am not that savvy when it comes to this. Heck....I consider myself lucky that I got it to work at all. I would love to get something going with 1&1....right now it's costing me $55/month between earthlink and playstream...
Mark
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Old July 21st, 2006, 02:58 PM   #9
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Not worth going cheap!

I made the same mistake a couple of years ago - searched the net for the best price and went with IXWebhosting. I was having all sorts of issues, out of which the slow uploading time was the most annoying, also access to the control panel was terribly slow. Their explanation was that it's because of security reasons...

I have recently switched to godaddy.com and I am seeing fast upload times and a lot more flexibility - hope it stays this way.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 03:09 PM   #10
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I agree, I pay a lot of money compared to the prices that are out there. But other than a couple of small hiccups, I've nad ziltch problems with www.pair.com Thier customer service is great. I've thought about going elsewhere, but i have a so much stuff on the web that I use the thought, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.'
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Old July 21st, 2006, 04:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Slade
Thanks Christopher and no problems!! Here is a reply I got from 1&1 today.....

Thank you for contacting us.

Currently, we are not supporting video streaming. All videos can only
be playable when downloaded from the site however playing the video
itself in the website is not possible.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
I think there is a misunderstanding somewhere along the lines. It sounds like 1&1 thought you were asking about true streaming, which requires a special streaming server. True streaming is more reliable than progressive download speed wise, but usually is an extra cost feature, should a Web host offer it at all. In that case 1&1's reply is correct; they do not offer this feature.

That said, any Web server serving files via HTTP will progressive stream video files, as long as one correctly sets things up. It can be tricky to get everything working correctly, especially across different Web browsers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Slade
Also here is a link to my page with video.
http://sladevideo.com/Video/video.htm
I will admit that I am not that savvy when it comes to this. Heck....I consider myself lucky that I got it to work at all. I would love to get something going with 1&1....right now it's costing me $55/month between earthlink and playstream...
Your videos play fine in Internet Explorer 6, but not in Netscape 8/Mozilla Firefox 1.5. I recommend you try the code below.

Code:
<object classid='CLSID:22d6f312-b0f6-11d0-94ab-0080c74c7e95' WIDTH='320' height='225' 	codebase="http://activex.microsoft.com/activex/controls/mplayer/en/nsmp2inf.cab#Version=5,1,52,701" standby="Loading Microsoft Windows Media Player components..." type="application/x-oleobject">
<param name='src' value='myvideo.wvx'>
<param name="canseek" value="1">
<param name="canscan" value="1">
<param name="AllowScan" value="1">
<param name="AnimationAtStart" value="0">
<param name="AutoSize" value="0">
<param name="AutoStart" value="1">
<param name="ClickToPlay" value="0">
<param name="EnableContextMenu" value="0">
<param name="ShowControls" value="1">
<param name="ShowDisplay" value="0">
<param name="ShowStatusBar" value="0">
<param name="TransparentAtStart" value="0">

<param name="Visible" value="1">
<embed type='video/x-ms-asf-plugin' pluginspage='http://www.microsoft.com/windows/mediaplayer/download/default.asp' src='myvideo.wvx' name='player' autostart='1' showcontrols='1' showstatusbar='0' autosize='0' enablecontextmenu='0' canseek='1' canscan='1' allowscan='1' width='320' height='225' >
This code includes the code for Internet Explorer (the object section), as well as Netscape compatible code that will work in Netscape and Mozilla based browsers (the embed section). I should note that for the Netscape code to work properly a system-wide Windows Media Player plugin for non-IE browsers must be present on a computer, which should be the case if Windows Media Player is installed. Sometimes, however, the plugin can be missing.

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by Christopher Lefchik; July 22nd, 2006 at 02:17 AM.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 04:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas
I made the same mistake a couple of years ago - searched the net for the best price and went with IXWebhosting. I was having all sorts of issues, out of which the slow uploading time was the most annoying, also access to the control panel was terribly slow. Their explanation was that it's because of security reasons...

I have recently switched to godaddy.com and I am seeing fast upload times and a lot more flexibility - hope it stays this way.
I cannot remember ever having any technical issues in the time my site has been hosted with 1&1. Neither has there been a problem with the speed of my Web site nor with the speed at which my videos progressive stream from their servers.

Embedding streaming media in a Web page is inherently fraught with potential problems; in a way, it is comparable to authoring a DVD. As I explained in my previous post, Mark’s problem stems from the embedded Windows Media Player code he used. As long as there aren’t any other issues with his system and/or browser, the code I posted should fix the problem. 1&1 - nor any other Web host - is to blame in a situation like this.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 11:32 PM   #13
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so the trick to make it work with 1&1 is to not embed a player in the code, but rather make the visitors computer open media player on their machine and play it as it downloads??
When my questions get too stupid just tell me to shut up!! The code you posted...is that just to get the embeded player to play on other browsers?? and not what I would need to do to have it work the way you do???
Thanks
Mark
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 02:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Slade
so the trick to make it work with 1&1 is to not embed a player in the code, but rather make the visitors computer open media player on their machine and play it as it downloads??
It is possible to have an embedded Windows Media player work fine with HTTP streaming on 1&1 or any other Web host. The code I posted is code I have used to do this. The other option is to use a link to launch the media player separately on the viewer's computer - as I do in the personal section of my site - but to get this to work properly without the browser downloading the entire video first before launching the player you need to use a text meta file that references the actual media file on the server. For Windows Media the meta file is .wvx, for Real Media .ram, and for QuickTime .qtl. The reason this works is because the file is just text, so the browser downloads it nearly instantly and then hands it off to the media player, which then opens and progressively streams the media file referenced in the text meta file.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Slade
When my questions get too stupid just tell me to shut up!!
There are no stupid questions. There was a time when I didn't know all this. I'm glad to help guide someone else through the jungle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Slade
The code you posted...is that just to get the embeded player to play on other browsers??
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Slade
and not what I would need to do to have it work the way you do???
If you mean launching Windows Media Player separately on the viewer's computer, then no, you are correct, that code won't do that. But I have used that Windows Media embedded code successfully on my own site. You can see it in action on my Veterans Tribute section of my site.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #15
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1. What would be the best format to have the videos play? Flash, QT, WMV.
2. How much space for hosting should I expect to get and any suggestion
on a hosting company to go to?
3. Should I be shooting the video or editing with any specific settings to
help the quality?

Matthew,

I am new to video on the web as you and here is what I do.

I think you have to decide whether you want your video to progressively download or stream. I think there are +'s and -'s going either way.

1. I have thrown my lot with streaming Flash video (flv) for now. I pay separately for a Flash streaming host (AudioVideoWeb.com) which has been a decent vendor. They will stream QT and Windows Media as well. To get my flv files, I render to WMV9 using Vegas 6 (because Vegas won't directly render to Flash), and again using Flash 8 to create the flv format with WMV9 as input.

2. My streaming host is fairly reasonable. Web hosts usually charge either by average monthly throughput (downloads), or as a storage total. Add up in MB how much video you'll use and go with that.

3. I may get "flamed" for this, but subjectively, I've found Window Media V.9 to be slightly crisper than Quicktime out of Vegas 6. For WMV, I have been rendering to either 360x220 or 640x360; 3mb, constant bit rate. To create the flv files its a two part process: (1) I'll render as flash streaming, ON2 codec, "medium setting", no player controls. Upload the core flv to my streaming host. (2) I create a swf file (my web pages are Flash) and import the flv file whereby I then attach my Flash player controls.

From what I understand, streaming video cannot be saved locally as opposed to progressively downloaded. However, progressive-download is cheaper because an additional webhost is not needed.

My website: highplainsdv.com

Paul
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