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Questions about FLASH Video

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Mike Truly
Questions about FLASH Video
on Feb 1, 2009 at 3:10:30 pm

I currently deliver videos for my clients to view in WMV... but am considering switching to FLV videos. I produce animations that are shown in the courtroom. I want the videos play back smoothly, with high quality and easy playback. The videos are basically 1280x720p at 30fps.

I am trying to assess the hassles associated with delivering FLV videos vs my current WMV videos.

Here's how the current WMV process works:

1. The animation app renders the frames at 30fps.
2. The compositing app renders the frames at 29.97fps*.
3. The clips are brought into the Editing app which will do several different video framerates (*but not 30fps). The Editing app renders the final video clips at 59.94fps.
4. The encoding app encodes WMVs from the video clips.
5. The client can play the WMV in Windows Media Player or other player app.

The WMV plays smoothly from this process and looks pretty good.

If I make a FLV video using FLASH 8 Video Encoder(On2 VP6) of the same video clip (yes... I realize this is a bit older than whatever FLASH encoder may exist today) there are several problems:

I use FLV Player to view the FLVs (are there other FLV video players?). The quality looks very good and is the main reason I am considering switching. But as I play the video, the animation does not play smoothly but rather has jerkiness and hesitancy to it (yes... I am playing the file on a monster workstation that is more than capable of playing the video perfectly smoothly).

If I force the FLASH 8 Video Encoder to use 30fps (rather than 'Same as Source')... the resulting FLV does play much smoother but still has a bit of jerkiness. I'm thinking it has to do with the framerate of clips from the Editor app being 59.94 rather than 29.97.

So my questions are:

1. Are there other FLV player apps that are better than FLV Player? I like the player but there are many times where the Play/Pause/Slider controls don't seem to respond well. This is for courtroom playback so screwups must be kept to an absolute minimum. Windows Media Player or Media Player Classic doesn't have these problems.

2. Do you think the jerkiness is related to the framerate of the video clip? Can FLASH video only handle 30fps and not video rates?

3. Are there other FLV encoders out there that better deal with converting video framerates? Are these encoders multi-processor aware to speed my encode times?

Thanks for your thoughts!

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Mike Truly
Re: Questions about FLASH Video
on Feb 2, 2009 at 8:28:01 pm

OK, I've gone even further back in the basics to test this.

When I have a bunch of frames rendered at 30fps and I pump them through my edit pipeline and output WMVs... the resulting 1280x720 WMVs play back perfectly smooth with no jerkiness.

When I take just the raw 30fps frames of animation and encode them with FLASH8 Video Encoder On2VP6... the resulting 1280x720 FLVs play back with jerkiness.

Was this older encoding method prone to producing jerky results? I can't imagine what is being done wrong with this simplified test.


Mike Truly

Truly Media
tel: 1.800.829.4990

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