Videos starting long after page load despite autoplay

I’m currently working on an onlie shop for a client. each product he sells has a video.
I produced three versions for each item: mp4 (for chrome) , ogv (for FF) and mp4 (for IE using JW player). Videos are about 4.5mb each.
I would like for the videos to start playing as quickly as possible, therefor I am using the autoplay property within the video tag and autostart=true parameter for JW player.
My problem is that on FF and Chrome it takes nearly a minute (!) until the video starts playing. on IE (JW Player) it takes about 10 secs until the video appears and another 10 until it start running properly.
I should mention that the site is hosted on a very good server. The site’s pages load extremely fast and cron jobs get executed faster than i have ever seen on any machine so there really aren’t are speed related issues with the server.
I’m on a good 5mb Internet connection (If I download files from file hosting services such as fileserve I get a constant ~600kb download stream). So the problem is not my Internet connection either.
Is there anything I can do to speed up loading of the videos? At the moment it looks really bad with the delay and all…
TIA to anyone who can help

Personally, I hate pages with autoplay videos. You should always give the user a choice. You can set the video to stream in the background so that it’s ready to play if the user chooses, but I’ve even got my issues with that, as it forces the users to download a lot of data they may not want.

Hi Ralph,
This is a specific requirement that is very important to the client. Its a must as far as he is concerned.
Any ideas how I get it done?

Yes, clients tend to be drawn to the impractical. C’est la vie!

Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can help you with this. I’ve not used JWPlayer. Seems odd that it would load faster in one browser than another. I hope someone can help you. An example link would make it easier, even if you set up a test page on your own site.

You’d be better off using a single h264 mp4, encoding it so the moov atom (metadata) is at the start (if it’s at the end the end then typically the video will need to load in its entirety before starting playback). Play it back with JW Player in flash/non flash and you should be fine.