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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot Garry Lacey's Avatar
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    I`m getting more and more interested in streaming video, and video on the web in general. i know its still pretty early days and people on 56k shreek the thought of 1mb webpages or streaming pages.

    Still, I decided to try and break from the Flash intro and go for a visually better "video". Ive tried to provide different versions to download depending on your system and for those well up to date people with fast connections you can watch a pretty huge streaming version right off the page.

    http://www.art4m.btinternet.co.uk/fa...arts.video.htm
    All versions of the video are there. smallest is 2.5mb and it lasts for 60 seconds.

    Any comments or debate within the whole realm of video?, formats?, my own video?, how it was done?, why it was done?, all welcome!

    Even if you cant be bothered going to see the video, id love to hear peoples thoughts on the subject.
    Garry
    "Eat like a bird, poop like an elephant"
    www.FantasticArts.com

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast bgotty's Avatar
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    While I download the video I'll let you know what I think about Video on the web.

    Absolutely, positively go for it. If someone does not push the boundries of the Internet everything will stay the same. Alot of design firms are looking and getting on the video and flash band waggon. In five years time I predict the first of the unlimited bandwidth pipe. Where every appliance from phone to TV will be using one data pipe.

    If design firms and people do not get some heavy Video under there belt they will be left in the dust. People with your skills are in more demand every day. And I would not feel like you should not create something new and exciting just because Grandma only has a 640x480 browser with 16 colors and no video card on a 28.8K. Tell them to get lost.

    The internet is not made for the weary in heart. Push the limits and shoot for the sky.

    That just my oppinion!

    I do suggest creatine 2 or 3 second clips for a user to view and let them choose or not if they want to see the full video. Also explain to a user of your site why you create video and what you would like to see for video and the internet in the future and what a user will need to keep up with you. (Just for the Grandpas with the 1024 browser and the 56Ks) They can stay around a little longer if they can keep up. :-)

    By the way video was very cool. I think the music needs to be a little better, add some base and less treble.

    Also you links on the bottom of the page are calling from your Computer and not the server.

    Can't wait for the tutorial. Anyways you succeeded in grabbing my attention, I'm going to check out the rest of the site.

    Keep up the great work!
    Bryan F. Hogan
    Director of Internet Development
    http://www.cfm-applications.com
    bryan.hogan@cfm-applications.com

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot Garry Lacey's Avatar
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    Hi Bryan,

    Some interesting points you brought up. But first of all thanks for highlighting the errors, those pesky templates causing problems again, only just worked out that you cant paste a link into a template, you have to create the link from within the template or it wont interpret the directory structure and you get that horrible pointing from my computer problem. As for the audio quality in the video. This is tough, the audio actually adds most to the file size so had to really compromise that. The largest download though using DivX has audio quality which is half that of a standard mp3 track. Not bad but not great either. Hard to know how much quality to provide weighed against file size really

    Right onto your points. I am still unsure of how to approach video. I have experimented with Realvideo, quicktime, ASF and other formats. all of them require visitors to have some kind of plugin. This is a huge problem right now. I was praying for Flash5 to have the ability to embedd video which would beat the compatibility problem in one stroke.

    But for now it seems you have to choose one format and then provide some way for people to upgrade to that format along with each piece of media you present.

    If you look at something like Flash, most sites just provide one link now "Get Flash here" and thats it. No explanation as to what Flash is or why it is important.

    With video its a more dynamic problem though than just linking to a file that installs one neat plug. There are so many different ways of delivering video.

    I thought this post on video would attract a lot more attention but it still seems to be a very hands off, lets ignore that its coming kind of subject. I do agree with you that video is going to take over the web in a few years though.

    My own belief is that banners will bring about the video revolution on the web. Flash banners are becoming more common now but they still really don`t give you much more than a gif banner. A video banner on the other hand can give you TV quality! The lure of that for companies wanting to advertise their product on the web is just too great, I think that one fact alone will drive video onto the web in the next two years. Once cable and DSL are more established world wide there will be huge potential for streaming ads into websites.

    And there in lies a huge gap that I see right now. Sites are just not covering video, how to make video and resources for video. With any huge wave on the net, the mp3 wave, the flash wave etc, there is a pre-emptive wave of sites which catch the trend before it happens and when it does happen they are set to gain the most from it. The sites which come later on tend to have a harder time.

    I hope my own site is shifting slowly towards the area of video, covering it more and more now but maybe Im just a little too premature focusing on something that isnt set to happen for a few years yet? Or perhaps next year will see the first wave?

    Garry
    "Eat like a bird, poop like an elephant"
    www.FantasticArts.com

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    One thing to think about when using technology along these lines is compatibility. I'm not sure what file format you are using, but clicking video link caused several download/installs and then told me I needed to retart my computer in order for my Media Player to work.
    Westmich
    Smart Web Solutions for Smart Clients
    http://www.mindscapecreative.com

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot Garry Lacey's Avatar
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    > One thing to think about when using technology
    > along these lines is compatibility.

    Compatibility is an issue I have looked into and am continuing to learn more about. Its incredibly difficult right now to put video on the web without a behemoth explanation on how to get it working or providing many different formats of video together with explanations on what each format is. I`m trying to get that balance of a quick but meaningful explanation without swamping people with facts about video which just puts people off quite frankly. Not sure I have that balance right yet but I refuse to use tat like Quicktime and realplayer, my "freeware" version of Realplayer just timed out the other day, It the refused to load and wanted me to upgrade to a paid version of RealPlayer or re-download the same freeware version all over again! Pathetic me thinks.


    > I'm not sure what file format you are using,
    > but clicking video link caused several
    > download/installs and then told me I needed
    > to retart my computer in order for my Media
    > Player to work.

    I dont want to sound flippant but I did provide details on the three different versions, clearly stating what they were. DivX, Intel Indeo and a streaming version of DivX for explorer users.

    If you clicked the DivX version and did not have the DivX video codec installed then nothing would have happened. The video would have failed to play, if you chose to play it within media player you would have recieved the "unsupported format" error and given options to go get the codec, but you would have seen DivX is not a supported format by Media Player at all. Its a free format, a little like MP3 and large companies like Microsoft want no part in it. But the fact is DivX is probably the best video format on the planet right now, free, incredibly powerful compression and superb video quality. I have not found a compressor as powerful yet and I have most of them. A friend of mine happily converts full DVD movies into DivX format and burns them to 700mb CD-ROMS. Full moves on one CD-ROM. Pretty impressive quality too, beats videoCD format by a big margin! DivX is gaining in popularity and I support the format completely.

    On the other hand you could have chosen to download the Intel Indeo version. This was provided for people who didnt want to mess around downloading the DivX video codec (which was provided as a seperate link) If your PC didnt have intel indeo support (which is quite an old format now) then media player would have prompted you to download the codec and have it installed automatically for you. I have never had cause to download a codec through media player in this way but a system reboot would be necessary as you are installing a low level component, adding an additional driver to your system. Sounds a little scary but the fact is you can have heaps of video codecs installed and windows will happily switch between them, the more you have, the greater the range of video you will be able to watch.

    Ok phew, hope that explains a few things, see how boring explaining all this is? lol I hope the video finally worked for you anyway. Thanks for taking a look.

    Garry
    "Eat like a bird, poop like an elephant"
    www.FantasticArts.com

  6. #6
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    Garry,

    I agree on the DivX...I made several tests myself and came to this conclusion:

    For best quality I use Quicktime with Sorenson at about 50% quality and also a DivX AVI version of about 70-75% quality. That way, you offer best of both worlds (Mac and PC), but I think that the third best solution is the MPEG-4 format, it is quite similar in quality than DivX, compresses more that Quicktime and is viewable with Windows Media Player 7.

    For live streams I know that RealProducer 8 now offers a LOT more quality but I will have to experiment with it.

    I am looking forward the new Quicktime Streaming capabilities in version 5 and along with the upcoming Sorenson 3...it will probably match or surpass the others.

    As for DivX, it's got 2 successors/competitors in the works, they are Project Mayo and 3ivx.

    Oh! for now I suggest getting AngelPotion, you can encode:

    -DivX ;-) Low and High motion (avi files)
    -SmR (nAVI) (avi files)
    -Microsoft MPEG-4 V1, V2 and V3 (asf and avi files)
    -AngelPotion Definitive MPEG-4 (avi files)

    You can get it here: http://www.angelpotion.net/codecs/

    Cheers!
    CG Focus

    Focusing On CG Graphics.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot Garry Lacey's Avatar
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    Hi Flywaver,

    Thank you for that information, very useful indeedy! Checking out that site right now.

    I had to chip in about Quicktime though. I agree Its getting better at delivering good quality vs file size but I still hate the format. I apologise to MAC users, but Quicktime player is a sham of a program which takes so long to load on my optimised and still fairly powerful PC that I`m usually not in the mood to watch the video by the time QT has kicked in and bugged me about upgrading to better PAID versions.

    If a player is not free and there is an alternative which is free, I will go with that. Simple as that. I played a lot with Media Player 7 and have decided its just as slow as Quicktime at loading up, It has become bloatware.

    Media player 6 on the other hand is incredibly fast, compact and powerful. Loads in about 1 second on my machine and lets me play several streams at once, tiled nicely on my desktop. The bloated MP7 barely manages one stream.

    Finally with little wonders like GDIVX (the video equivelent of Winamp perhaps?) which weighs in at 75kb zipped and has a wonderful interface, you really have to wonder where bloatware like MP7, RealPlayer and QT are going.

    You mentioned Real getting better, I think as long as it is trying to use a pay model it will always be frowned on. Just too much competition out there.

    Garry
    "Eat like a bird, poop like an elephant"
    www.FantasticArts.com

  8. #8
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    Hi Garry,

    I agree on the QT & MP7 loading time...even on my PC!

    aaargh! too bad GDivX is another "run in small fonts"...it's hard to run with small fonts at 1280x1024.

    A tool I am looking forward getting is the new Cleaner 5, with the EventStream it looks mighty impressive. But at a hefty 599$ it's not for the faint of heart, although it gives total control on the encoding and can output to all current streaming solutions.

    What is the greatest feature is the ability to convert Flash animations to MPEG or Quicktime and such!

    Cheers!

    p.s. your Illusion videos looks great! Makes me want to buy Illusion...or wait another few weeks until I upgrade to my LW 6.5 license!
    <Edited by Flywaver on 12-09-2000 at 02:46 PM>
    CG Focus

    Focusing On CG Graphics.


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