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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old February 9th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #16
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The other approach, that most aren't talking about is using Flash, then embedding and hosting the stuff on the website it will be used on.

My workflow is this (I am on a Mac)...

Edit in HD in Final Cut, compress to FLV using compressor at your desired size, "import to stage" in Flash making sure the dimensions of the flash file as setup to accommodate both the outputted compressor file and the scrub bar), go through the wizard that automatically comes up in flash to pick up out preferred "scrub bar skin", then hit "publish in Flash (it then creates all the necessary javascript, scrub bar, code and generic html file, do a final tweak to the html file in Dreamweaver, upload to server, test, repeat if necessary.

One thing I believe people get hung up on is "HD on the web", its the video quality/resolution that is important. Really you want it to look "high resolution" whether or not it is "proper" HD by dimension on the web I think is loosing the point of the end user which is "does it look HD" in terms of resolution. A crunched HD file at 640 pixels wide looks unbelievable if done up right. Ask yourself when you are doing it, does it have to go full screen to be effective.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #17
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Andy, I'd thought I'd point out that H.264 is flash compatible these days.
Compressor does not export to .flv unless one has the flash export codec. Flash export does not come with Final Cut Studio (Compressor) though. H.264 will work fine. According to Adobe, Flash is extension agnostic when it comes to H.264. .MOV, .MP4, .F4V, .FLV should all work.

Flash has 3 basic codecs: Sorenson Spark (old and crappy often called Flash 7), On2 VP6 (much better often called Flash 8), H.264 (Flash 9)

Also not everyone has Adobe Flash software you're using to wrap the file. Sorenson Squeeze has build in SWF player too. There are free players available on the web but you need to do a little work to create the link.

SoftPress Freeway (Mac only) includes an "action" that will create a player for an FLV file.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Andy, I'd thought I'd point out that H.264 is flash compatible these days.
Compressor does not export to .flv unless one has the flash export codec. Flash export does not come with Final Cut Studio (Compressor) though. H.264 will work fine. According to Adobe, Flash is extension agnostic when it comes to H.264. .MOV, .MP4, .F4V, .FLV should all work.
Thanks for the note Craig. I've been using Flash since version 1 or 2 and had forgotten that the FLV codec that I see in Compressor is part of the Flash install.

I should point out though that the compression results from the Flash codec supplied with Flash yield FAR superior results than H.264 does. I would imagine that Sorenson Squeeze has the same engine as the Flash app does for encoding.

EDIT:

When I say Flash encoding I am referring to On2 VP6.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 02:48 PM   #19
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I should point out though that the compression results from the Flash codec supplied with Flash yield FAR superior results than H.264 does.
I assume you're using Compressor as a point of comparison. These days Squeeze (MainConcept H.264) and Episode (Dicas H.264) are BOTH better than Apple's H.264 and the good news for the Windows users on this thread both Squeeze and Episode are cross platform. Episode also include On2 VP6, it might be an extra $100 for Squeeze but I'm not sure.

In any case if you use Episode or Squeeze on either Mac and Windows, you'll get much better H.264 encoding than Apple and you'll have On2 VP6 as well. Note that there are now two varieties of On2 VP6 (E and S). The S variant is more commonly used for HD as it's easier to decode for the end user but E is better quality but may be too difficult for some systems to decode fast enough when playing back HD video.

Just personal preference but I prefer H.264 since it's now the "one size fits all" codec as it can be used in Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, Quicktime.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 02:52 PM   #20
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Craig,

Spot on. After many tests I concluded the same - but On2 VP6 in (which comes in the Squeeze Pro 5 Flash Version, not the normal version of Squeeze) is currently my personal favourite right now with these specific tools (albeit the advantages of H.264 indicated make it a very close call). Most end users won't notice the difference.....
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Old February 10th, 2009, 08:29 AM   #21
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I developed my own flash video player that delivers H.264 quicktime movies (within the flash player) if the user has the appropriate flash plugin or On2 vp6 flv's if not. H.264 just looks nicer than vp6 at the same data rate IMO, and the advantage to using flash as a front end is that it can display the video full screen with the press of a button in the UI. It scales nicely too, especially if the h.264 video is being delivered.

There are some examples on my website at Videotrader
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Old February 10th, 2009, 02:33 PM   #22
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I think Rob is on the right track for this.
A corporate website probably won't give a rat's a-- about providing huge HD images, they will want something that looks nice on the page and mainly that loads fast. You can shoot HD but still make a smaller compressed file for your corporate clients that will look great.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 04:15 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Darren Ruddock View Post
It just seems a shame that having an EX1, it seems so hard to get a few minutes of quality footage onto a website!
Pretty much 100% of my business is web based video, shot on an EX1 for UK/European B2B consumption.

Couple of things:

1) It's pretty much exclusively Business to Business, not Business to Consumer. That means most of my video must get through firewalls, and it needs to work on locked-down corporate PCs.

2) It's mostly supplied to the end client as something they put on their own servers, rather than me supplying video that they link to, though there have been some interesting developments recently.

So right now, the current 'standard' is either 480x270 FLV using On2 VP6 (Flash 8) from Episode, at around 400 kbps, or 512x288 at 600 kbps. I license Jeroen Wijering's LongTailVideo.com players rather than roll my own.

I've tried to encourage use of the Flash 9 and H.264, but for corporate work we often hit upon the inability to upgrade Flash from 8 to 9, and that whilst they have bandwidth, the lower processing power of most corporate PCs makes H.264 at 640x360 a bit 'lumpy'.

The issue with putting things out to BrightCove, YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler et al is about control of who is seeing what. My clients' preference has been 'we host, or you host and we link to you' rather than ship out to a third party company. There's also some unease about costs and bandwidth - the perception is of paying for server storage month by month with nobody watching, OR paying each time somebody watches a movie and it spiralling out of control. This is a perception, not an observation.

A few far-sighted clients HAVE been using YouTube, but then I supply a special HQ movie for them to upload to THEIR account (or they give me access to their account - rare).

I'd see such services as being for B2C communication, and curiously Consumers are better sourced for things like H.264 and web based HD. Okay, so there's a demographics thing - consumers who tend to watch web video tend to have fast connections, so if you're doing dog-wash videos with a (dare I say) rural catchment area, then you're not going to get more than 512 kbps peak as most people are more than 5 miles from an exchange.

Quite frankly, I feel the biggest thing has been final acceptance of 16:9 throughout. No more letterboxing!

But Darren, the EX1 is a marvellous camera for web based video. Looks good at any size and certainly the resolution is not 'wasted' on web video. And look at it this way: HD has been a perfectly viable platform for corporate work for some time now: make a 1280x720 WMV at 3000 kbps and chuck it into PowerPoint - et voila: fully standards compliant HD platform 'for free'.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #24
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That means most of my video must get through firewalls, and it needs to work on locked-down corporate PCs.
Very important point. Lots of businesses are blocking Youtube and Vimeo, so even if the video is business to consumer, you still want the client to be able to watch it at work.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 01:20 PM   #25
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I would host on Amazon AWS. It's going to be way cheaper that most dedicated video hosting companies, and if you go Cloudfront you probably can't beat the speed.

You only pay for what you use, and it's 17 cents per GB for 10 TB and under, and drops down to 5 cents per GB in bulk.
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