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Old April 4th, 2008, 07:51 AM   #16
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I've had good luck embedding videos that I've placed on (blip.tv). The quality is significantly better than what I've been able to get with Youtube.

Here is an example. You have to navigate to the videos page from on this website.

http://www.hauntedoverload.com/main.htm
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Old April 4th, 2008, 08:58 AM   #17
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Embed a player

You can (easily) embed a Flash Player into your website. Check out Flowplayer (easy customization, free for personal use/with logo, $50 commercial, no logo) or my countryman Jeroen Wijering's player (new version coming out this month with easy customization, also "free" or cheap for commercial use).

You can use this with "progressive downloads", essentially just file-based hosting, where the clip starts playing after a few seconds (adjustable) buffering.

I like that in Jeroens player you can pre-load a clip (one line of javascript), so that the video loads/buffers with the webpage, so clips start playing immediately (or at least faster).

Both have playlists and can also be used with streaming services.

That brings me to streaming... You can also set up your own streaming server with Lighttpd (pronounced "Lighty"). This is what youtube uses as well... You will need more than just a web hosting package (like a dedicated or virtual server), so this is more advanced "stuff".

If you stick to progressive downloads, make sure you render the files correctly. I suggest to use an H.264 codec fr best performance/quality and the .FLV container format or .MP4. Make sure the "moov atom" is put at the beginning of the file, otherwise the clip will not play until the whole file is downloaded to the client. Software usually has a more user friendly name/option for this (like "optimized for online" or something with progressive).

To encode you can use a wide array of encoders including Sorenson Squeeze or if you're on a mac the new dvcCast!. dvcCast! is new and has some limitiations currently, but check it out and read the forum for some tips of using it with Flowplayer including a screencast showing you how to set things up in post #16 (page 2, top).

Make sure you have the bandwith to support the number of (concurrent) users at the encoding settings of your choice.

George/
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Old April 4th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Kroonder View Post
<snip>
That brings me to streaming... You can also set up your own streaming server with Lighttpd (pronounced "Lighty"). This is what youtube uses as well... You will need more than just a web hosting package (like a dedicated or virtual server), so this is more advanced "stuff".
George/
Ok - so if I understand this. I need more than just the basic "go daddy" server package. I need the server package AND streaming server software? Are you saying I need a dedicated (or virtual dedicated) server as well - as opposed to just the basic shared server space??

Also I found a bandwidth calculator and did the math - according to what I came up with I'm going to want almost 300gigs data xfer per month (a 12 min clip viewed by 10,000 at 300kps).

The calc I used is here -

http://www.audiovideoweb.com/bandcalc_per_event_1.htm

here's where I get lost...

The go daddy deluxe package says it comes with 1500gigs xfer per month for $6 per month! But when I look at "streaming server services" (Video desk, stream the world, ClickStream TV) their prices - for far far less bandwith are ASTRONIMICAL. Like $700-$1000 per month for a package that includes a few gigs of storage and only 50 gigs of Xfer.

This makes no sense to me at all? Isn't bandwidth just bandwidth?? Why the huge discrepancy.

I really appreciate all the info, but I know I won't get this solved on this board. I'm currently looking for a pro to talk to about this. I got a lead on somebody already but if anyone out there knows a good guy I could talk to who could set me straight and explain this stuff to me I would appreciate it.
(NYC area preferred but anywhere is OK.)

Seriously guys - thanks again for all the info.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 04:40 PM   #19
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There is a MASSIVE difference between live streaming, and file streaming. You do not need live streaming. If you decide to broadcast a live concert one day, then maybe you will. Then you'll have issues like guaranteed bandwidth and priority, and QOS to worry about.

I built my own live streaming server for work because we had some specific needs, but you do NOT need this to do what you want to do.

And you can very well get this answered by the people here. Some of us do this for a living.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 05:45 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
There is a MASSIVE difference between live streaming, and file streaming. You do not need live streaming. If you decide to broadcast a live concert one day, then maybe you will. Then you'll have issues like guaranteed bandwidth and priority, and QOS to worry about.

I built my own live streaming server for work because we had some specific needs, but you do NOT need this to do what you want to do.

And you can very well get this answered by the people here. Some of us do this for a living.
Dude - no reason to get defensive, I mean because of my specific needs and the scope of what I'm looking to do, I need to speak to someone in person, discuss exactly what I want to do and get recommendations. It cannot be done via internet with posts back and forth.

thanks
mike
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Old April 4th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere View Post
Go for Flash. I've searched about the subject, and if you go for Quicktime, you'll exclude many windows-based viewers. If you choose for Windows Media, you'll exclude many Mac-users. But Flash is supported on both, standard in their browser (I think...?)

So go for Flash. The quality/data ratio is good too.
I have to disagree here! The only one that is proprietary is the Windows Media Player. You can use QuickTime or Flash on either an IBM compatible or a MAC/Apple computer. It's the conversion to one format or another that is a pain in the backside!
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Old April 4th, 2008, 07:14 PM   #22
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Stiv,

do I know this movie. :lol:

I use godaddy for my hosting and while I get no where near the traffic you envision it has worked well. No complaints and customer service has been fine.

I have two blogs and I use revver.com for my video. I find the quality better than youtube ( I upload 640x480 wmv files) it's their bandwidth,(so that is not a worry) there are some ads, but there is some small revenue generated as well.(small for me that is at the moment).

AFAIK, Most video is served up as progressive download, very little of it is actually "streaming."
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Old April 4th, 2008, 07:51 PM   #23
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I hear ya. Didn't mean to be defensive. Sitting down with someone to handle your specific needs is probably the right idea.

-P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Stivala View Post
Dude - no reason to get defensive, I mean because of my specific needs and the scope of what I'm looking to do, I need to speak to someone in person, discuss exactly what I want to do and get recommendations. It cannot be done via internet with posts back and forth.

thanks
mike
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Old April 5th, 2008, 01:27 AM   #24
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I pay $100.00 a year for my hosting on shared server space with an astronomical amount of bandwidth and space and very rarely do I ever have any problems.

The monthly average is 2,500 unique users viewing 20 or so flash embedded video files ranging from 3 minutes to 20 minutes in length. On average I run about 60gb of bandwidth a month in terms of usage.

I have found people will try and upsell a streaming server for no other reason than to get more money out of a prospective customer, the majority do not need it.

10,000 views is alot of views and I wonder if you might not be overshooting your mark for just getting up and running though.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Stivala View Post
Ok - so if I understand this. I need more than just the basic "go daddy" server package. I need the server package AND streaming server software? Are you saying I need a dedicated (or virtual dedicated) server as well - as opposed to just the basic shared server space??
No, not nessesarily. You don't need to stream, but it has some advantages over progressive downloads. The biggest one is that you can 'scrub' ahead in the timeline. This is handy if your viewer gets interrupted halfway into your 30 min. movie. on the next visit they can scrub to where they left of without having to download the whole first part. This is good for the viewer as well as for your bandwidth usage. You can also make chapters/lists and instantly have the viewer go there with a simple click of teh mouse.

Lighttpd is not a "true" streaming server like "Adobe Flash Media Streaming Server" or "Wowza Media Server". Essentially Lighttpd is a webserver that has HTTP streaming built-in (with the mod_flv_streaming module or the mod_h264_streaming module).

To run Ligthttpd you cannot use a shared hosting service (unless it runs lighttpd with the mods you need, which is unlikely).

B.t.w. Live streaming is something entirely different and requires a true streaming server like the ones mentioned above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Stivala View Post
Also I found a bandwidth calculator and did the math - according to what I came up with I'm going to want almost 300gigs data xfer per month (a 12 min clip viewed by 10,000 at 300kps).

The calc I used is here -

http://www.audiovideoweb.com/bandcalc_per_event_1.htm

here's where I get lost...
This sounds ok for the bandwith, but also take your connection speed into consideration. On a shared account you share a server and with that a network connection. It may be on a 100Mb/s uplink (pretty common) and there may be dozens to even hundreds of accounts on one server (why do you think it is that cheap?).

A 100Mb/s uplink will support upto ~300 concurrent connections @ 300kbps, but if you indeed expect 10.000 views and should you promote new clips (e-mail) you can easily fill up that 'pipe' by yourself at peak times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Stivala View Post
The go daddy deluxe package says it comes with 1500gigs xfer per month for $6 per month! But when I look at "streaming server services" (Video desk, stream the world, ClickStream TV) their prices - for far far less bandwith are ASTRONIMICAL. Like $700-$1000 per month for a package that includes a few gigs of storage and only 50 gigs of Xfer.

This makes no sense to me at all? Isn't bandwidth just bandwidth?? Why the huge discrepancy.
No. In short there are different qualities and network priorities. Also on a shared hosting package 99% of the account will never even come close the the max usage. And there are usually provisions that your site must be "well behaved" (not hog resources). There may also be exclusions in the fine print that prevent certain site-types (video, adult, download-heavy, etc.).

This way the ISP can advertise mega bandwith for cheap, but actually never see that used much if at all.

For streaming things are different. If you need 300GB of transfers, you will use them. And you expect sufficent bandwidth to be available when you need it. Even at peak hours. You will usually be on a dedicated server or share resources with only a few other accounts. One or more 1Gb uplinks may be provided. So this is what you pay for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Stivala View Post
I really appreciate all the info, but I know I won't get this solved on this board. I'm currently looking for a pro to talk to about this. I got a lead on somebody already but if anyone out there knows a good guy I could talk to who could set me straight and explain this stuff to me I would appreciate it.
(NYC area preferred but anywhere is OK.)

Seriously guys - thanks again for all the info.
No problem. Make sure you know what you really need. If it surpasses expectaions, then go bigger.

George/
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Old April 8th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #26
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Wow....

Can't tell you guys how much I appreciate all the input.

OK - Here's where I'm at.

For the first project (the smaller site promoting my film's DVD release). I decided to use YouTube. After playing around with the files I found that if I uploaded 720x486 high quality MP4 - THEN I shrunk the window on the site when I embedded the player - the quality was where I needed it. Also, by setting up a "playlist" on youtube and embedding that rather than just embedding the video - I got rid of other people's trailers showing up on my site.

The site is up and live - please check it out and tell me what you think:

http://www.ratbastardmovie.com/

I'm haven't started promoting it yet because I'm kicking around making some changes (specifically cutting the amount of text). So please - any and all opinions would be appreciated.

(Oh yeah and Bill - you really should buy a DVD!! ;-)


OK project number 2 the series I'll be doing over the summer and streaming over the net.

- I want streaming as opposed to downloading because of copyright/content control issues.

- yes 10, 000 views per month is actually (again, if all goes well) the low number in my head as far as viewers go. I need a serious streaming solution and my decision to go with YouTube for the above project (free) was made in part to allow me to spend more $$ on the second, larger project. I'm starting to realize that the $6 per month go daddy account won't cut it!

- The responses I've gotten here have greatly improved my understanding of this stuff. Again, thanks to all. I think what Im going to have to do is sit down with a few different experts, explain what I have in mind and ask them - "how would you set it up??".
Thanks to those of you when have recommended some companies and experts. Again - if any one has any specific recommendations of people or companies I should talk to - please let me know (either by posting here or email -whatever is easier.)

Mike
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #27
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Read your site. Tough luck with that distribution deal. I think I'll order the DVD!

The DVD order link to filmbaby.com actually uses flowplayer for the trailer (albeit there is no trailer available yet).

I take it you want to sell Rat Bastard online as well.

Are you familiar with CreateSpace? There you can distribute through Amazon Unbox (with DRM) and have access to an existing channel including TiVo users, online rental and mobile device access. They do take a sizable part of the revenue but it is an open system and you're free to also distribute any other way you see fit (afaik).

The big advantage is that you don't have to worry about the (technical) distribution side or end-users (and their problems). Setting up your own streaming service website and the customer service for that will be no small feat and not worth it (imho) for a single film (or even a few) - Even if it uses streaming services provided by a reputable 3rd party.

George/
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