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Old May 30th, 2007, 06:32 AM   #1
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Whats the best CURRENT option for web delivery

My head is ready to explode trying to figure out which method of delivery is most suited to my needs.

I want quick start streaming playback, and highquality with small file size.

Do I go with flash, quicktime, wmv or real.

I think I am correct in saying Vegas can do all of these bar flash.

Then I start hearing about H264, Sorenson Squeeze and On2.......ARGH!!!!!!!

Would somebody please give me a nudge in the correct direction.

or

Some guys seem to be able to get REALLY nice looking compressed footage which I'm struggling to replicate even if I use the same frame sizes, frame rates and any combination of settings.

At the moment, I'm encoding using wmv and Quick Time.

Thanks In Advance!
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Old May 30th, 2007, 07:25 AM   #2
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There's a lot of info regarding this on this board, I would try a search of 'web delivery'. That being said, you almost have to provide online video which will target your audience. For instance, I have a target audience that doesn't have quicktime, why the hell not, who knows. But it's a large audience, so I decided to go with wmv on my site. I can provide a quicktime alternative if needed, infact I typically post the wmv and have the quicktime for download.

You'll find a lot of opinions on software, I would try out some trials and ask those software developers how you can get thier software to match what you've seen. Take that link you have that has nice video and say 'software developer, I want to do this, tell me how and what settings'. They want you to buy thier software, and you may find what works best for you this way.

Hope it helps.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 09:38 PM   #3
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I'm sure other folks have vaild opinions, but IMHO (as a web professional, if that makes any difference) nothing is better than On2 VP6 flv (flash 8 video) when it comes to instant playback, great quality, and reasonable filesize.

Flash player 8 has a 96% install base: http://www.adobe.com/products/player...netration.html

so more than likely your users won't have to install anything to view your content.

Flash video is also the overwhelming choice for most major players in the online video movement; all the network websites (nbc, abc, cbs), youtube, aol video, etc.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 06:38 PM   #4
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I would agree with Michael on this. I have a preference for h264 but unless your viewers have QT installed they won't be able to see it. On2VP6 looks good at reasonable data rates. The penetration of Flash across platforms really seals the deal. For maximum compatibility there's nothing out there at this time to challenge Flash.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 12:18 PM   #5
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well seeing as this is the Vegas forum, how do I get to flash 8 for web delivery from my Vegas timeline?
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Old June 1st, 2007, 01:38 PM   #6
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Unfortunaltey, I don't know of a 1-step process to output an FLV straight from vegas. I usually render out an mpg2 from vegas and then encode that to FLV using the flash 8 video encoder (it came with flash 8; I'm not sure what the encoder is called in CS3).

Sorenson Squeeze is another popular way to make FLV files:
http://www.sorensonmedia.com/pages/?pageID=95

If you don't have extra funds, you can use the free Riva FLV encoder: http://www.rivavx.com/?encoder
(but I'm pretty sure it won't do the on2 vp6 codec)
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Old June 1st, 2007, 03:44 PM   #7
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Just wondering what On2 VP6 is (well, obviously a compression scheme), but is it for flash files only?
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Old June 1st, 2007, 04:58 PM   #8
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My preference is for Flash. But in Sony Vegas, I've found Windows Media files using 2-Pass CBR to be decent for web delivery.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 05:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames View Post
Just wondering what On2 VP6 is (well, obviously a compression scheme), but is it for flash files only?
Yes. This is the flash codec that finally made flash video acceptable for most of us. Beware of the previous flash codec, Sorenson Spark. It isn't very good for most purposes.

Best quality for the bitrate - windows media 9.
Best scaling on playback/blow up to full screen - windows media.
Best player penetration - flash/windows media.
Best cross-platform penetration across windows/mac/linux - flash.
Most often used for downloadable video - Quicktime.
Most robust digital rights management - windows media.

It's all about knowing your audience. Flash certainly has come a long way with the VP2 codec after years of relatively poor quality.

Although there are claims of 98% flash penetration, video-capable flash is closer to 94%, which means about the same as windows media. However, there is a big hole in windows media penetration for mac users.

Current windows media codecs will be usable, with automatic codec download, down to windows 98 machines (WMP7).
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 01:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter J Alessandria View Post
well seeing as this is the Vegas forum, how do I get to flash 8 for web delivery from my Vegas timeline?
I have on2's FlixPro8. It's $249. www.on2.com/consumer I'm still tweaking settings but from Vegas I set my project properties for progressive HDV 1440 x 1080 (progressive scan, blend fields), and render as an AVI. Then convert via FlixPro. It's an extra step but the results are decent.

Check out a sample at www.cutlassfilm.com. Just click the play button on the home page, and it should stream pretty well.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Brown View Post
My head is ready to explode trying to figure out which method of delivery is most suited to my needs.

I want quick start streaming playback, and highquality with small file size.
I sympathise! I think flash is great, especially the ON2 codec (think that's what it's called). However, flash can be tricky to implement on some sites - explorer has recently changed its policy on embedded flash so it's not quite as straightforward as it used to be. But I'd still recommend it as the current choice (which is what you wanted to know!).

My 2 cents: although I can't get it to export directly from Vegas, I'm a convert to Divx - see a hd harp video at http://stage6.divx.com/user/Mark_the...p---HD-version - but again, Flash is probably the most common one.

I'd say Real Media is definitely not worth using, and although quicktime looks good but I think both RM and QT lose goodwill by getting people to install other stuff they don't really want just to get the players.

Windows media video is really great - but in my experience you really have to play hard with the encoder to get it looking really good - the usual trick being to try a few seconds of video and see what it looks like.

The DivX codecs make really lovely looking video for quite small file sizes - one to watch for the future, I think!

Last edited by Mark Harmer; June 4th, 2007 at 03:15 PM.
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Old June 10th, 2007, 03:15 PM   #12
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Great piece, Mark. Nicely done, indeed.

I am looking closer at divx for a better way to deliver higher quality online... and there's no doubt that divx can deliver it.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 11:05 AM   #13
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Great post Mark...

I too have found similiar findings to yourself. Nice to see I'm not the only guy who's played with Windows Media for HOURS exporting 2 seconds of video to try and nail down what looks best with reasonable file sizes. :)
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Old June 12th, 2007, 12:33 PM   #14
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Ratio problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin View Post
Great post Mark...

I too have found similiar findings to yourself. Nice to see I'm not the only guy who's played with Windows Media for HOURS exporting 2 seconds of video to try and nail down what looks best with reasonable file sizes. :)
My biggest beef with WMA format is the problems it has in accurately makign a widescreen formated image at anything other than full size. It just cannot do it. I ended up needing to import the 16:9 project into a 4:3 project in order to properly add the black bars on top & bottom...... THEN I could render a 320x240 clip to WMA and get the proper pixel aspect ratio and proper screen proportions.

What a pain in the butt.

Quicktime seems to do a better job of providing render options at less than full screen for ratios other than 4:3.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 12:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jason Robinson View Post
My biggest beef with WMA format is the problems it has in accurately makign a widescreen formated image at anything other than full size. It just cannot do it. I ended up needing to import the 16:9 project into a 4:3 project in order to properly add the black bars on top & bottom......
This is a Vegas issue, not a Windows Media issue. To correctly flag widescreen, try the freeware Windows Media Encoder from Microsoft, which exposes more controls than Vegas does.

You'll get no templates, but a lot more control. Quality is the same, as Vegas' WM encoding is built upon the Windows Media SDK.
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