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  1. #1
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    Video Encoding Basics

    I need some help with deciding how to encode some videos for the web that an outside firm has done for my company. I don't mess with videos much so I'm a bit of a n00b. The firm did some videos for us and now they want me to give them some encoding specifications. For the file format I told them .flv as it seems that will be easy to use with a .flv streamer like Flowplayer. But they are also asking about the resolution. They mentioned they could do "640 x 360 (360P) and use 1.2 to 2.0 Mb/sec" but I have no idea if this is a good choice. Can anyone give me some guidelines for these considerations?

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    Flv is an older format, you'd be better off using h.264 mp4, which can playback via flash but can also play without flash. How much bandwidth is required is dependant on how much movement there is within the movie, how detailed it is and how high the perceived quality needs to be. You should be able to err on the lower side of the bandwidth estimate using h.264 in the dimensions mentioned and still retain excellent quality.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
    you'd be better off using h.264 mp4, which can playback via flash but can also play without flash.
    Not all browsers support h.264, so is your statement "can playback via flash" the way to get around that? Do you have an example of the setup for that? It would be nice not to have to provide a whole bunch of formats, but I haven't heard of a way to use one format that all browsers can access.
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    It's as close as you can get to universality with one file - the browsers that don't support h.264 (firefox/chrome) do support flash, and as long as the h.264 profile is restricted to the simpler levels, it will also play on pretty much any mobile device.

    If you embed a video tag, then have swfobject replace the element with a flash player pointing at the same file if flash is available, then the vast majority of people get to see it.

    If you absolutely must have blanket coverage of every niche then you'd have to expend effort duplicating across extra formats, though I tend to agree with the majority of major online broadcasters who are currently settled on h.264 for their online format.

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    Are you able to link to an example where someone's done that? I've like to see it in action.
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    The guardian homepage has a brightcove player that does this sort of thing (presumably all other brightcove corporate clients do too), youtube iframe embeds do similar, and the ubiquitous longtailmedia players. Most of these have their own custom javascript rather than swfobject but are accomplishing the same end result.

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    Thanks EastCoast!
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    Old thread but for anyone currently experiencing the same problem here are a few points.
    - Select a video encoding / sharing platform (if you want ownership of your content you will need to look elsewhere than the obvious youtube)
    - Upload the video to the platform (should offer one click upload functionality)
    - Copy a line of script that the platform provides you with to embed the video (this will initiate the encoding process)
    - The video content is now ready to shared to whichever platform / device you select

    Hope that helps.


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