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Old May 24th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #1
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Web streaming

Hey guys. I'm new to the webstreaming stuff. I have a uncompressed highlight clip ready for my website but I like to know what kind of compression or how to compress for webstreaming and still keep the quality and sound good. Can someone help me out? I really appreciate it. thank you.

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Old May 24th, 2007, 01:35 PM   #2
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In FCP, export using QT conversion. 320x240 is sort of a standard web video dimension but you can make any size or shape you want.

You can experiment with the settings and there are plug-ins out there for exporting .wmv, .flv (Flash) and Real Media files. Flash is my personal favorite for quality-to-file-size ratio but I've seen amazing QT movies with the H.264 codec.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 02:03 PM   #3
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I have used Sorenson3 encoded MOV files for the longest time, but after recently playing around with H.264 I recommend that instead.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 02:28 PM   #4
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For anything to do with web - you need to keep in mind your target audience. The goal with web is "get the most people with the fewest inconveniences."

Quicktime is a wonderful video player - but it is far from universally supported. Considering the large chunk of windows players out there that do not have Quicktime installed - I wouldn't go that route.

Go with something like flash video (.flv). It's pretty much universally accepted - cross platform - and the quality is quite good.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #5
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I would provide a choice of WMV, QT, and Flash, if possible. If not, just the latest Flash. De-interlace, halve the frame rate, resize down to 640x480 (assuming full screen), and keep the bit rate under 1Mbps (half that is good). The sound can fit neatly in mono 64kbps.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 08:22 PM   #6
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The problem with H.264 (default Quicktime out of FCP) is that many people in the "corporate" market don't have QuickTime 7 (or any version for that matter) so it depends on who your target viewer is.

On the other hand if you're doing "movie trailer" type material, many of those viewers on both Mac and Windows have QT7 already. Windows users who aren't computer savvy (don't update their computers after purchase or fear updates) may not have QT7.

Flash has a couple of flavors too. There's Flash 7 which is what YouTube uses and there's Flash 8. Flash 8 looks MUCH better. Given the frequency that people on both platforms seem to update Flash, Flash 8 may have good market penetration. Be prepared to embed your own player though.

Even Windows Media comes in flavors. These days nearly everyone with Windows Media Player 7.1 or later can play WMV9. Mac with Flip4Mac can play it too. Windows VC-1 though is much closer to H.264 in quality but people with older Windows Media players may not be able to handle it. Even in the corporate market Windows only environments may not be able to play VC-1 depending on the IT department's attitude on update. I've hears some rare IT departments are still asking for WMV7 (!!!).

Getting back to Quicktime, there's also MPEG-4 and Sorenson. Sorenson .mov files can play in some fairly old version of Quicktime so Windows boxes that may have installed Quicktime a long while back but feared/avoided updates can still play those.

There's many theories and ways to measure market penetration and nearly every measure I've seen is refuted by somebody else.

Bandwidth. A 500kbps H.264 file uses as much bandwidth as a 500kbps WMV9 file and as much as a 500kbps Flash 8 file (This can vary though depending on use of CBR vs VBR encoding as the later has high peaks).

The question is HOW good does the file look at a given bandwidth and/or can a lower data rate file in one codec look as good or better than a file at a higher data rate in another codec. Basically H.264, Flash 8, VC-1 hold up better at lower data rates than older codecs.

The problem with H.264 is not so much bandwidth but that it takes much more computer power to decode. Older/slower computers even with fast internet connection and Quicktime 7 may struggle.

So the formula is often
Bandwidth - how much do you have and how fast the typical users connection is.
Data rate - how good will your file look.
Target Viewer- what players will the typical user have.
Computer power - what can the typical user's computer handle on the decoding side.


There's no magic formula. It seems the only way to avoid people responding with "I can't play your file" is to offer multiple codecs and multiple data rates and that ties up your server space.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 08:51 PM   #7
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What's a "good" data rate you might ask?
That depends but I can tell you what I think the typical internet connections are in my big city.

DSL tends to be 768kbps, 1.5mbps, 3mbps.
People with 768kbps tend to folks trying to save some money. Most consumers seem to have 1.5mbps as a basic service.

Cable Modems tends to 5mbps, 10mbps, 15mbps, 30mbps (what I have). Soon 50mbps will be available as Cable and FIOS (Fiber lines offered by phone company) compete. Even 5mpbs is fast enough for high data rate encodes. These make HD frame sizes possible on the internet. Look at some of Apple's HD movie trailers (in H.264) for examples of those kinds of encodes.

There are people with dial-up 56kbps and "speeded dial-up" but from the numbers I've seen these folks aren't watching video much even when you target that low data rate.

So 500kpbs is often enough to reach most people including slower DSL in my area. Even 800kbps can hit most people one MIGHT want to target. Keep in mind you need some "headroom" for speed fluctuations (caused by internet "traffic" jams during peak hours) and for VBR encoding (peak rates in parts of your video may be much higher than your average data rate).

In OTHER areas you may find some 384kbps DSL lines, some using "Satellite" connections which can be slower but people get if they can't get DSL or Cable in their area. Some rural areas are still heavily dial-up. In these slower DSL areas you may find a 200kbps encode important.

Dial-up encodes 30kbps or thereabouts may be important if you need to reach rural or economically depressed areas.

Generally the lower the data rate you go the smaller the frame size you'll need if you want to maintain "quality." Of course if you want larger frame size you'll want higher data rate.

This is also where the codec chosen makes a difference. Encode the same video at the same frame size and data rate using different codecs may not look the same. Some codecs are more "efficient" than others. H.264 doesn't need as high a data rate to look good compared to Flash 7 for example.

The most effecient codecs today are probably H.264, Flash 8, VC-1. Ahh, but what's the market penetration of Quicktime 7, Flash 8 and up, WMP 11 to play them. So maybe for better market penetration you'd need MPEG-4, Flash 7, WMV9. Some really old versions of Quicktime and you'll need Sorenson and Windows Media Player 6.4 or 7.0, you'll need WMV7.

So there's the juggle.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #8
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You cannot satisfy six women at same time

So choose the easiest and pleasant for you, later on if your di... sorry... video is interesting the others will find the way to see it .
Personally I have chosen wmv DVD quality at 1073 Kbps 640x480 and like second link for same clip I have chosen wmv vhs quality 400 Kbps 320x240. With this PC athlon 650 mhz I can see all of youtube, google video, edonkey video etc.etc., is not difficult. Excused to my English but creed that you have understood what I wanted to say, ciao, Albaro.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #9
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You cannot satisfy six women at same time

So choose the easiest and pleasant for you, later on if your di... sorry... video is interesting the others will find the way to see it .
Personally I have chosen wmv DVD quality at 1073 Kbps 640x480 and like second link for same clip I have chosen wmv vhs quality 400 Kbps 320x240. With this PC athlon 650 mhz I can see all of youtube, google video, edonkey video etc.etc., is not difficult. Excused to my English but creed that you have understood what I wanted to say, ciao, Albaro.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #10
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"You cannot satisfy six women at same time
So choose the easiest and pleasant for you, later on if your di... sorry..."

God it must be nice to be Italian...
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Old June 14th, 2007, 08:45 AM   #11
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God it must be nice to be Italian...

Expecially when I was a Young Italian , now I am going old ... just the head is the same :-) ,bye, have good time.
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