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chloe allan
compression for web
on May 20, 2008 at 1:44:11 am

Hi - I'm trying to work out how to play video's on my website without losing the quality.
I have 5 min videos filmed in HD and all the web settings I have tried in compressor so far have made very poor qulaity video's - they are very pixilated, they jump and none of the video transitions like cross dissolves look any good.
Any magic formulas out there?


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Ed Dooley
Re: compression for web
on May 20, 2008 at 2:10:45 am

Give us some more info, like, what codec are you trying? Who's your audience, high bitrate PC or Mac users?
The best quality you'll get easily is H.264. Viewers will need QT7 however.
Ed



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chloe allan
Re: compression for web
on May 20, 2008 at 3:41:32 am

Thanks for getting back to me - I've tried H.264 and it looks terrible. I need it to play on both Mac and PC.
What quality can I reasonably expect? Someone told me that when you see really high quality video on the web its generally being played on a flash player - do you know if this is true?
Cheers,
Chloe.



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Craig Seeman
Re: compression for web
on May 20, 2008 at 4:18:34 am

You really need to answer Ed's questions. There's no one size fits all answer.

Internet connection can range from dial up to fast cable modem (or faster).

Computers can range from "state of the art" to a 10 year old PC with Windows 98 and Windows Media Player 6.4

Viewers can range from those in a corporate officer in which IT refuses to allow users to install certain players to a kid with the latest version of Quicktime.

You have to decide WHO you want to view the video and what type of computer and internet connection you think the have.

It's like asking about how to make dinner taste good. Does your audience eat at McBurgers or the Gourmet French restaurant?

Know your audience and we can tell you how to make the dinner test good to them.



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chloe allan
Re: compression for web
on May 20, 2008 at 4:35:48 am

Fair enough - maybe theres no solution that will suit me.
I'm currently playing it on a brand new mac pro over a high band width connection and it looks bad. But when I view videos created by others, that are loaded onto other peoples websites some of them look fantastic.
I am creating property videos for real-estate agents to put on their websites for prospective buyers to watch, who knows what kind of set-up they will have. Theres no way to know.
If theres no solution I guess thats just the way the mop flops.



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Daniel Low
Re: compression for web
on May 20, 2008 at 8:59:15 am

Ok lets start with the very basics:

Pick a frame size, say 320x240.
Pick a codec, say H.264.
Pick a frame rate, say 30fps if you are from America or 25fps if you are from Europe.
Pick a data rate, say 500 kilobits per second.

Encode a short test clip.

How does it look?

If it looks rubbish then increase the data rate a bit at a time until it looks good.

If it looks good then you can drop the data rate until you have a good balance of picture quality vs. data rate.

If you want a bigger frame size then you need to increase the data rate.

Let us know how you got on.





__________________________________________________________________
Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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chloe allan
Re: compression for web
on May 20, 2008 at 10:07:16 pm

Thanks Daniel thats really helpful.



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Craig Seeman
Re: compression for web
on May 20, 2008 at 11:24:32 am

[chloe allan] "I am creating property videos for real-estate agents to put on their websites for prospective buyers to watch, who knows what kind of set-up they will have. Theres no way to know. "

Yes there is. Real Estate Brokers certainly KNOW their market and so should you if these is your business. Even if you have to "intuit" the specs.

Are these $50,000 homes or $5,000,000 homes? Guess which budgets are likely to own newer computers with broadband internet connections. Is the area rural with limited broadband availability or urban where "everyone" has broadband?

THINK about the market. It's your business. You'll then have an approximate target. If this if for a client they may well have a target in mind.

YOU need to estimate your target and then WE can provide the technical solution.



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Ed Dooley
Re: compression for web
on May 20, 2008 at 11:36:36 am

For example, most of my clients are medium to large businesses and educational or government institutions. And because of their target audience I assume that they have broaband, and further, that broadband has increased bandwidth these days. So where I used to provide a 320x240, 15 frame, 300kbs video, I now generally compress a 480x360 or 480x270 (although that's another subject), 700kbs, 29.97 video.
Flash looks great *if* you encode with ON2VP6, H.264 looks great (and Adobe recently included H.264 into their Flash spec, Windows Media 9 looks good. ON2 VP^ needs a recent Flash player, H.264 needs QuickTime 7 or higher, WMV9 will play on slightly older machines, but looks slightly older too. :-)
We often provide a WMV and H.264, sometimes an ON2VP6 and one or both of the others as options.
We still don't know what your settings are. When you say it looks horrible, we have no way of knowing why unless you tell us what you're doing.
Ed



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chloe allan
Re: compression for web
on May 20, 2008 at 10:14:42 pm

Thanks I've figured it out.



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Ed Dooley
Re: compression for web
on May 21, 2008 at 3:27:16 pm

And?

Ed



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chloe allan
Re: compression for web
on May 21, 2008 at 10:49:38 pm

I decided that my audience would be on new computers with fast connections then I just followed the steps outlined by Daniel - trying all the possible combinations till I had a reasonable result.
Cheers.



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Robert Reinhardt
Re: compression for web
on Jun 21, 2008 at 5:48:35 pm

Just came across this post with a google search for the terms "h.264 short clip horrible compression". :) I'm doing extensive testing with H.264 and had heard that Apple's H.264 encoder wasn't all that great. Not all H.264 encoders are created equal, and imho, it's one of the trickiest codecs to work with, especially for low bitrates (< 1 Mbps) on the web. I'm in the middle of comparing various web video codecs @ 500 Kbps, and I must say that On2 VP6-E is still looking pretty great, and it's compatible with Flash Player 8 or later. I think for a real estate site, requiring QT 7 is pretty steep, and it's much better to go with something with a higher adoption rate like Flash Player 8.

My two cents.

Best,

Robert
--
Robert Reinhardt
{ Author | Instructor | Consultant }
books: http://www.flashsupport.com
blog: http://blogs.flashsupport.com/robert



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