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Old December 10th, 2011, 12:33 PM   #1
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What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

I realize this is not the proper place for this thread, but I trust the opinions of the people here!
I have been hired by a friend of mine, who owns a travel agency, to shoot their video promos in
Walt Disney World. So first of all, yay for me for getting paid to go to WDW! But, I am obviously going to be out of my comfort zone as far as shooting a "travel channel" style promo for the first time. I am however
intimately familiar with all things Disney, so I have no concerns about what or where to shoot.
Okay enough rambling. My question is, since I am shooting strictly for web content, do I want to shoot in 720p? My other concern is the post workflow in FCP. Which codec/settings would I use to optimize the video for an embedded Flash player? Like I said, gettin' a little out of my comfort zone here so I am trying to brainstorm and make sure I'll be ready to do a professional job for him. I'll be shooting with a Panasonic AC-130, Canon 7D, and maybe some run and gun stuff with a JVC HM-100. Would H.264 compression work best for web content?

Okay, lemme have it...
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Old December 10th, 2011, 12:42 PM   #2
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

I would suggest the primary thing would be to shoot in 30p, since that is an ideal frame rate for the web.

Beyond that, 720 or 1080 would be fine, I would think. Is there 720 30p? I don't even know. I've shot a lot in 720 60p, and it converts fine for the web, but if you have 30p available (and I'm sure that shiny new camera you have shoots nearly everything) I'd go with 30p.

Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong. 60p handles motion SO well, I don't know if the advantages are lost when it's converted to 30p or not.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 06:08 PM   #3
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

Yes, the "shiny new" Panny 130 can record at 720/29.97; trouble is, I need to lay Canon 7D and JVC HM100 footage onto the same timeline with it; so I am looking for the best solution for using these 3 cameras together and mixing them in post, then optimizing for delivery to the web. I am thinking I might need to buy a FCP plug in giving me an option to export in .flv? Or am I off base here?
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Old December 10th, 2011, 07:33 PM   #4
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

Preferably you should at same frame rates and dimensions with all three cameras, but if you can't, you can't.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 07:49 PM   #5
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

Don't bother exporting to flv, Youtube etc is going to rerender it anyway. If you are self hosting, and not using HTML5, then you need to render it into a flash file, but that would be the only reason.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #6
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

It seems like your getting good advice so far...

However, I think I should bring up some additional concerns. Has anybody contacted Disney? They can be very protective over commercial cameras being used in the parks, or even cameras that look professional. There is a very extensive permit process you need in order to be able to shoot in WDW and if you don't have a permit and they see your footage you can potentially get in some legal trouble.


Although if you want something Disney related in your video, Downtown Disney is technically off property by the sign so you can shoot things some stuff there while avoiding most legal problems.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 05:59 PM   #7
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

Interesting points, Louis... I have, however, shot extensive video in Disney parks over the years, using high end gear. Yes these were strictly "hobbyist" videos, purely for personal use, but how do they distinguish that? Nobody has ever said a word to me about shooting video in DisneyWorld, and I have used "professional looking" gear - Sony FX-7, JVC HM-100, with shotgun mics, etc. I have even had folks come up and ask me what channel I was filming for, and would they be on TV? LOL

I have asked my friend who owns the travel agency to inquire about having a CM (that's 'Disneyspeak' for employee) accompany us in this venture. I can't imagine that Disney has no protocol in place for this. We are certainly not the first travel agency to want to film on Disney property.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 06:59 PM   #8
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

I was once shooting something in the park for school back in high school and I got kicked out.... So I didn't want you to get kicked out and then for you to be mad at us for not telling you it could happen...

I hope you don't encounter any problems though :)
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Old December 17th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #9
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

I would shoot 1080p, 30 on the 7d so that you have some latitude in post for the crop. Also, the aliasing is much less in 1080p and there is bricks that might cause problems at Disney world. Otherwise just downscale it to fit the 720p frame in post.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 08:45 PM   #10
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

No worries; thanks for the head's up! We hope to approach it with Disney's approval so all is good, and above board. Now - back to the original question. We are self hosting, so we can't count on YouTube or anyone else automatically re-rendering. I need to deliver "site ready" files. And I do believe the site is utilizing html5, an area where I am completely green, so I will have to ask. But with all this in mind, my concern is still about what export settings to use in FCP. I think my workflow can stay the same as what I am used to, as far as ingesting to FCP, transcoding, etc. It's just the delivery format I am concerned with.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 01:06 AM   #11
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

Ben you say "we" are self hosting, so it's your site or the client's? If it's the client's, hopefully they should be able to tell you if they want SD or HD, to begin with, which you haven't specified for us. If you did, then I missed it.

Secondly, they may be self hosting, but for simplicity's sake they can still use Youtube and you can much more easily embed a youtube video rather than fiddle with settings for the JW player, but again that's up to them, but I would ask them to consider it, if you think it could be an option. If they will consider this then this conversation could be over and you can move on to other things.

If not, JW should offer a bit rate calculator or directions, guidelines such as this bit rate calculator for the Adobe Flash Player: Robert Reinhardt's Flash video (FLV) bitrate calculator | Adobe Developer Connection which I use for the Adobe Flash Player. The calculator might be suitable for use with JW player but I have no idea, as I've never used it.

Third, I would take this question with your specifics (are you delivering HD or SD, are you offering a full screen option when you install the player, whatever) to the web forum here: Distribution Center Forum at DVinfo.net and find other JW player users.

Your client should have web support people that should be able to tell you what they want for the site, with specifics. This is how I do it, anyway. I deliver a HD file and let them do with it what they want. I tell them I will deliver whatever they want, but they have to tell me what it is they want. If they don't know, then they need to find out. You need to put that discussion in the laps of the client and their web people, IMO.

If they are depending you to figure it out, configure the player, etc, then hopefully you will charge them for that, unless you're pricing has enough padding to cover this or unless it's part of the agreement you have with them.

In that case, again, visit the web forum here, and also check out the JW site, after you know what it is you want, as you need to know what the end result is to be before you know how to render. Basically, I'm not sure you are giving us the information we need, and more importantly you (or the client, ie, web people) need to make these decisions based upon the desired end result. Good luck. In the end it's for the client's best interest to have the web support people in on the conversation, since they will be implementing the video.

If in the worst case scenario you're being roped into doing the web aspect and he doesn't have web support people, then you must get up to speed on the JW Player yourself, and figure it out, with help from the distribution forum I linked above and from the JW Player site.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; December 18th, 2011 at 03:05 AM.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 07:34 AM   #12
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

Why not shoot at 1080p if you can. I know you may not want to output to that resolution but the extra pixels give you more to play with and if you need to you can always crop your footage by 25% and still maintain great quality.

Also, although the client says they want it for the web what clients say and what they think they want are different. So you may shoot it and then they say "Oh, we want it on super HD blu-ray which is what we meant when we said for the web" :)
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Old December 18th, 2011, 08:52 AM   #13
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

This has made me think a bit. Being UK based, I've always shot web material at 25, not 30 frame rates. I've done this simply so that all the material I shoot and file, is UK standard. If I'm understanding what we're talking about here then youtube and vimeo are actually encoding my 25fps material at 30? Or have a got the wrong end of the stick?
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Old December 19th, 2011, 04:36 AM   #14
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

Nope, YouTube and vimeo keep it at 25fps. They both used to change everything to 30 but now they leave it alone.

Advanced encoding specifications - YouTube Help
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Old December 19th, 2011, 11:05 AM   #15
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Re: What's the best video format for embedding on a website?

Unless you have a very special reason for self hosting it is a much better idea to use Vimeo Pro & have them host the videos & embed them on your site. They have the infrastructure & will do a far better job of delivering the video than you can ever do.
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