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Streaming Video Dropped Frames

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Phil Radelat
Streaming Video Dropped Frames
on Sep 15, 2010 at 5:51:15 am

This is more of a curiosity than anything else, but I've wondered why Flash (or perhaps, more generally, h264 video) playback online typically has dropped frames. Is this a data throughput problem, a local hardware deficiency, a combination of both? A typical example for me is watching YouTube videos.

So is the dropped frame phenomenon a product of data throughput (local and/or server), hardware processing, a combination of thereof, or some other catalyst? Thanks.


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Brodd Nesset
Re: Streaming Video Dropped Frames
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:10:33 am

Hi! I am not sure what you mean exactly with dropped frames here; white frames, black frames, or that the video halts or skips? All the reasons you suggest could be the cause if you experience this.
The compression algorithim in itself is time dependent; some frames are concidered less important than others (the key frames). With very busy content (camera panning, shaking, zooming) and hard compression later, some frames are bound to look less sharp than the keyfremes - and this can indeed like lost or dropped frames.
Very often YouTube videos hasn't got the best production value (steady camera, good lighting), and is compressed very hard. Then this is bound to happen.



Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.



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Phil Radelat
Re: Streaming Video Dropped Frames
on Sep 15, 2010 at 8:26:47 am

>>Hi! I am not sure what you mean exactly with dropped frames here; white frames, black frames, or that the video halts or skips?<<

Hmmm, can't say I've ever experienced black or white frames, but primarily video halts or skips, or really, halts followed by skips. I don't think it has anything to do with the encoder deliberately dumping frames.

I used YouTube as an example, but I can see this phenomenon on any h264 video online. It's somewhat annoying to me, but I accept it as a matter of the internet beast. Just curious what would be the cause of it.

Another phenomenon I occasionally see is unsync'd audio. It appears to only happen on streamed data. If I download any given unsync'd video it will play sync'd locally. This I believe this may have something to do with the original encoding.


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Martim Santo
Re: Streaming Video Dropped Frames
on Dec 9, 2011 at 1:34:58 am

Phil, i have the exact same problem.. frustrating at times.. found no remedy so far. Sometimes it's behaving better, maybe it's worse when the computer has programs running in the background.


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