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Encoding to FLV for sports videos?

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Cody NitcherEncoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 1, 2008 at 4:12:39 am

Hi,

I'm trying to encode a few of my videos for my new website that'll be live soon. My first one is of a wedding, and the 2nd is a basketball highlight film. I've bought the flash encoder On2 Flix Standard, and I've tried to encode these videos with it, but the results have terrible amounts of pixelation and blockiness. Especially on the basketball video, where there is a lot of fast movements, the video lags and can't seem to keep up... Any suggestions? Thanks for the help in advance :)

Cody


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Daniel LowRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 1, 2008 at 7:08:30 am

There's a huge difference between encoding a wedding and encoding a sports video.

What settings are you using? (Frame size, data rate etc)

What source format are you working with? (DV, HDV etc)

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mike velteRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 1, 2008 at 10:57:34 am

ON2Vp6 codec is already a bit long in the tooth. The current Flash standard codec is now H264. You will need Flash CS3 (for the SWF and HTML) and Quicktime Pro or your NLE to encode. Squeeze 5 can do both the H264 encoding and include a cheezie player template.


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COdy NitcherRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 1, 2008 at 12:00:05 pm

Both the videos are composed of mostly HDV footage with a little bit of DV thrown in there. The settings I've been using with the Flix Standard encoder are:

Image Quality @ 75%
Max bit rate @ 700kbps
2 pass CBR (streaming)
30 keyframes with Max selected (I don't know what keyframes do on the encoding... Does more help with fast moving video like the basketball video?)
and I've been keeping the source framerate (29.97)

I have Flash CS3 and QT Pro. How do I encode using H.264 with these programs?

Thanks :)


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Daniel LowRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 1, 2008 at 12:51:51 pm

You don't give a frame size?

I'd have keyframes set at every 150 - 200 frames, the codec will decide best where it needs to have more placed; during fast action for example. Forcing more keyframes (like you are doing), can hurt the quality.

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Cody NitcherRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 2, 2008 at 5:18:47 am

My frame size is 900 x 504, but I can probably go down to 675 x 378 if I need to and it'll help quality.

So the higher the keyframes, the smoother it'll play back?

Also, how do I encode for an h.264 flash video?


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Daniel LowRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 2, 2008 at 7:08:56 am

My frame size is 900 x 504, but I can probably go down to 675 x 378 if I need to and it'll help quality.

Two major problems there, the frame size is way to big for the data rate and neither dimension is divisible by 16 or 8 (although they are by 4)

Take a look at the article here:
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/apps/flv_bitrate_calculator/video_sizes.h...

So you have a choice, increase the data rate or drop the frames size, even with a frame size of 640x360 you are going to struggle to get nice pictures with sports content at 700Kb/s

My suggestion with keyframes was for you to force it to use fewer keyframes, or to put it another way, increase the distance between the forced keyframes. Codecs insert keyframes automatically, when they need to.

As for encoding to H.264 Flash:

On Windows I'd probably go for Sorenson Squeeze (Unless you can wait for Episode)
On Mac I'd go for Episode from

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mike velteRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 2, 2008 at 2:32:53 pm

[Cody Nitcher] "So the higher the keyframes, the smoother it'll play back?"

Yes, but at the sacrifice of image quality using the same bitrate. Keyframes require lots of data.

[Cody Nitcher] "Also, how do I encode for an h.264 flash video?"

One way;
http://blog.six4rty.ch/tutorials/flash-cs3-play-h264-video-using-the-flvpla...

Sorenson Squeeze is another.


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Daniel LowRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 1, 2008 at 12:48:23 pm

The current Flash standard codec is now H264

Mike, I wish this were the case, but sadly it's still way to early to say this.

Although H.264 is the latest codec supported by Flash, the 'standard' is still VP6 and some would even argue that Sorenson Spark is, due to the popularity of YouTube.

H.264 is still too 'heavy' for the vast majority of PCs to playback smoothly.

As of March this year the split between VP6/Spark and H.264 in flash was 97% to 61%



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Ed DooleyRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 2, 2008 at 3:25:11 pm

VP6 is older than H.264, but it still looks very good when compared to H.264. For me, the main reason to go to H.264 is not much of a quality boost, but that the same file can be used both in Flash and QT.
Ed



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Stan HirsonRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 4, 2008 at 9:19:37 pm

I have about 100 videos of horses in action on http://hestakaup.com using VP6 encoded by FLIX. If this quality is enough for you, I can give you the settings.

One advantage of VP6 is that these Flash videos, at 500kbs, are playable on most computers with DSL.

Stan Hirson


Stan Hirson
http://lifewithhorses.com


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Daniel LowRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 4, 2008 at 11:24:51 pm

Stan, I love your videos, however you could get better quality if you encoded to frame sizes equally divisible by 16 or 8 rather than 4

See the tables here:

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/apps/flv_bitrate_calculator/video_sizes.h...




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Stan HirsonRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 5, 2008 at 12:08:24 am

Thanks for the link. I had not seen it before and will definitely try out the multiples of 16. I've been encoding at 480 x 360, but will try compare with 448 x 336. It's a great chart.


Stan Hirson
http://lifewithhorses.com


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Cody NitcherRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 8, 2008 at 3:54:42 am

Sure Stan, what were the settings you used on your horse videos?

So if I'm going to have a hard time getting good quality out of 700 Kb/s, what should I use for fast action footage to get the best quality video without it lagging? What should be my bit rate and keyframe rate?



Sorry I haven't responded in forever guys, it's been a busy time at work and such. I really appreciate the help!!! :)


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Stan HirsonRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 8, 2008 at 7:03:08 pm

Your bitrate should be about 512 kbs. Key frame rate should be be no more than 150 (5 seconds). I assume you are encoding at 30fps for action sports. That's what I used for the horses. I would not go any lower for sports.

Frankly, I think the frame size should not be greater than 480 x 360 and I liked the frame size chart from Adobe that Daniel Low mentioned on an earlier post in this thread. That can be found on:
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/apps/flv_bitrate_calculator/video_sizes.h...

I've tried 448 x 336 recently and it look great. Try the multiple of 16, as Adobe suggests.

Bear in mind that I am making my files on ON2 Flix Pro, and those are some of my settings.

Good luck,

Stan

Stan Hirson
http://lifewithhorses.com


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Daniel LowRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 8, 2008 at 7:21:17 pm

This calculator helps to nail-down bit rates

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/apps/flv_bitrate_calculator/




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Stan HirsonRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 8, 2008 at 8:15:23 pm

Interesting chart, or is it a wizard? At any rate, it is well-done. I find it, however, very conservative. I've been using a larger size frame and am satisfied with the progressive downloads on DSL at what I think is a 512 bitrate.

I offer the horse action shots in http://hestakaup.com as examples. I could probably improve the clarity with a 16 multiple on the frame size.

Stan


Stan Hirson
http://lifewithhorses.com


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Daniel LowRe: Encoding to FLV for sports videos?
by on Oct 8, 2008 at 9:34:39 pm

it's a calculator (which you can download) that as far as I'm concerned is a great guide. Like any bit rate calculator it's not perfect but great for those trying to understand why, for example, 720p won't look good at 500Kb/s or if 2Mb/s is excessive for 320x240

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