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What are the big guys using?

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Jason Brown
What are the big guys using?
on Dec 19, 2008 at 5:38:38 pm

Hey Everyone,

When transcoding...our company uses Sorenson Squeeze. I was wondering, what do other big sites use to compress? Is there software that does a much better job than Sorenson. Price is not an concern.

-Jason


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Daniel Low
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 20, 2008 at 12:33:17 am

The big boys use commercial solutions from the likes of:

Rhozet
Anystream
Digital Rapids
Telestream
etc

or develop in house solutions based around things like:

ffmpeg
x264
avisynth
virtualdub
etc

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Josh Anderson
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 21, 2008 at 2:12:33 am

Sorenson is one of the best encoding suites in the industry...

Most "big boys" do not even understand their own demographic when encoding and just assume what they are using is the best because of speed and percieved image quality at high bit rates.

For low bit rate encoding with higher image quality and smaller file sizes my own tests show that not much can out perform Sorenson.

The main limitation is that Sorenson 5 for PC does not perform any faster on a multi core computer because they do not have the technology in it to use the multiple processors.

So if you are a "little guy" doing small volume of encoding then Sorenson is likely the best and most affordable solution available that yields exceptional quality compression with the industry standard codecs like Main Concept h.264 and vp6

Josh Anderson
CEO, Internet Business Ideas Inc.
http://nanacast.com
http://transparentplayer.com
http://triggerplayers.com
http://totalwebvideo.com
http://totalwebaudio.com


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Daniel Low
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 21, 2008 at 3:02:30 pm

"Sorenson is one of the best encoding suites in the industry... "

What a strange, bold and rather contradictory statement considering you then go on to say:

"The main limitation is that Sorenson 5 for PC does not perform any faster on a multi core computer because they do not have the technology in it to use the multiple processors. "

And then in another post to this forum moan about the lack of support from the company.

"Sorenson support is no help ask they have no clue when it comes to encoding an avi with alpha channel to flv with alpha channel."

Why would anybody want to buy a product from a company who "have no clue"?

"So if you are a "little guy" doing small volume of encoding then Sorenson is likely the best and most affordable solution available"

If you spent anytime looking through this forum, you find that there are plenty of "little guys" having terrible problems with Squeeze, not only technical issues but quality and support problems too.

Having used almost every encoding product out there, I can assure you that it is far from being one of the best.

That said, you are entitled to your opinion and I'd be very interested to hear what you compared it to in your own tests.

"Most "big boys" do not even understand their own demographic when encoding and just assume what they are using is the best because of speed and percieved image quality at high bit rates. "

The big boys require far more than 'just' speed and quality from an encoding solution.




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


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Josh Anderson
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 22, 2008 at 3:32:12 am

I have been using Sorenson for years. I was a beta tester for version 5 and love the software.

The company provides excellent support however the staff member who responded to my enquiry about alpha channel encoding was only able to answer it from a mac end and I need to know specifically how to encode an avi with alpha created with ultra... but that is not really relevant to this conversation.

What my post was trying to elaborate was that Sorenson while a great solution for small batches lacks the ability to take advantage of multi core computers to speed up the process.

So for large batch encoding such as thousands of files that may be indicative of needs of "big boys" ie larger companies Sorenson may not provide the speed needed to get the work done fast.

However for the individual... the price and quality of the product is unparalleled in this industry.

If the sole purpose of your post was to berate or belittle me for offering my opinion...

Well that's not a great example of professionalism. I suggest you reconsider your approach to human relations.

Josh Anderson
CEO, Internet Business Ideas Inc.
http://nanacast.com
http://transparentplayer.com
http://triggerplayers.com
http://totalwebvideo.com
http://totalwebaudio.com


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Daniel Low
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 22, 2008 at 10:04:09 am

Josh,

What other packages do you have extensive experience with? Enough in-depth experience that's is to claim that the price and quality of Squeeze is "unparalleled in this industry".

How closely did you compare it to Canopus Procoder, for example, which costs the same and is in my opinion a better product.

The purpose of my post was not to berate or belittle you, but I have come across people like yourself on these forums, who are run of a multitude of companies, 'affiliate' money -making schemes, who've never posted here before, yet in their first posts claim to be experts.

E.G.
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/117/856632
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/117/856768

I just find something fishy about somebody who claims to "have created some of the internet's most innovative audio and video publishing strategies, players, and services", along with "The Greatest Web Video Effect Ever" and "How You Can Make A Pile Of Cash From The Total Web Video Affiliate Program", uses Squeeze.

Bottom line is I believe you posted your reply here largely in order to generate search engine hits for your name and links, a little bit like your promotion on one of your sites here:

http://nanacast.com/index.php?&req=vp&id=64507

Sorry if I appear condescending, brash and belittling but you'll notice that many of my posts are worded in such a way. I don't like to beat around the bush.






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Josh Anderson
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 22, 2008 at 10:29:18 am

Daniel,

I am glad you found an encoding solution you like. I have been constantly testing solutions since 2003.

My own requirements and preferences are probably much different than yours.

Do you like coke or pepsi? I don't drink neither.

As for your personal attacks on me...

Well you certainly are not here to make friends so I will make note to ignore you from here on out.

Good luck in your future communications with other people as you are a rude duck bent on wasting people's time with drivel.



Josh Anderson
CEO, Internet Business Ideas Inc.
http://nanacast.com
http://transparentplayer.com
http://triggerplayers.com
http://totalwebvideo.com
http://totalwebaudio.com


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Jason Brown
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 23, 2008 at 8:52:10 pm

Hey Guys,

I appreciate the discussion. Both Josh and Daniel, you've given me good information to help me guide our company in a possibly new direction. I was just curious if using Sorenson was like the difference between Consumer and Professional level. Doesn't seem like so, but it does look like there are maybe some better options out there for more money.

I love how the Cow creates spirited discussion, but I feel slightly responsible for starting a fight! Take it easy, it's the Christmas Season...Have a great New Year guys!

-Jason


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eric pautsch
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 24, 2008 at 7:16:30 pm

Merry Christmas! :)

Are we talking DVD?

If by "Big Boys", you referring to Studio titles like Batman, Star Wars and the like, I can assure you no one uses Squeeze for their compression work. Most of the encodes you see on these discs were done with dedicated systems cost upwards of $60K.

Regardless, I have to agree that, if money was no issue then squeeze would be fairly low on my list as well



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Josh Anderson
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 24, 2008 at 8:16:33 pm

What you are missing is that this thread is about "compression" for "sites" not production for disney dvd distribution ;-)

Josh Anderson
CEO, Internet Business Ideas Inc.
http://nanacast.com
http://transparentplayer.com
http://triggerplayers.com
http://totalwebvideo.com
http://totalwebaudio.com


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eric pautsch
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 24, 2008 at 9:08:53 pm

Right...like I said, if money weren't an issue, Squeeze wouldn't be my encoder of choice. There are dedicated hardware based systems for this kind of stuff.



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Josh Anderson
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 24, 2008 at 9:38:26 pm

Is money the only issue though?

What about supported codecs, quality, and file size?

Of course the main issue for large batch encoding that large companies might be doing is speed which in the case of hardware solutions is where they excel.

What hardware solutions do you consider the best options that support vp6s, vp6e, h.264 and will be progressive enough to quickly adopt future versions of the on2 codec?

My own experience is researching and testing software solutions for small companies and web publishers and though I have seen some more affordable hardware solutions that could appeal to this market the earliest versions of these devices relied heavily on presets and did not provide vp6 encoding.

I am interested in any you might recommend that you have experience with though if you'd like to share?

Josh Anderson
CEO, Internet Business Ideas Inc.
http://nanacast.com
http://transparentplayer.com
http://triggerplayers.com
http://totalwebvideo.com
http://totalwebaudio.com


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Andy Mees
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 24, 2008 at 10:32:53 pm

dumb question perhaps, but why vp6 and not vp7 or vp8? enquiring minds and all that.


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Josh Anderson
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 24, 2008 at 10:42:32 pm

That is what I was referring to when I mentioned future on2 codecs.

Do you know of any applications using VP7 that have a license that is not restricted by the non commercial license which is the only one that on2 has released to the public on their own site?

Since the press in September I have not seen any... ON2 has not even updated their own software to encode with vp7 or vp8.

What solutions currently offer encoding with vp8 to the public?


Josh Anderson
CEO, Internet Business Ideas Inc.
http://nanacast.com
http://transparentplayer.com
http://triggerplayers.com
http://totalwebvideo.com
http://totalwebaudio.com


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Daniel Low
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 25, 2008 at 12:15:25 am

Now that Flash video can use H.264, one would expect to see the demise of On2 and VP6x series of codecs over the next couple of years at the most.

Look at YouTube for example, who missed out on On2 completely and went from Spark to x264.

Another nail in the coffin for On2 (much as I love what the company has done over the years) is the acceptance of H.264 into Silverlight.

Let's face it, H.264 is going to be the dominant format, for many years to come, across many different platforms, even Microsoft have had to concede, and that's probably a first!




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


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Josh Anderson
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 25, 2008 at 12:28:35 am

I would not write off on2 codecs so fast.

h.264 cannot handle alpha channel transparency.

Also according to ON2's press vp8 can compress file size more and produce better image quality than h.264

Also youtube's choice was not made for quality sake...

I would think that youtube made the choice because of licensing and because iphone and ipod does not support flash and since the HQ format was initially conceived for the apple syndication partnership.


Josh Anderson
CEO, Internet Business Ideas Inc.
http://nanacast.com
http://transparentplayer.com
http://triggerplayers.com
http://totalwebvideo.com
http://totalwebaudio.com


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Daniel Low
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 25, 2008 at 1:07:11 am

I'm not writing them off so fast - I gave them a couple of years and in this industry that is a LONG time.

h.264 cannot handle alpha channel transparency.

Who really cares, it's such a little used feature of VP6. (Yes I know, The Greatest Web Video Effect Ever, totally relies on it!)

Also according to ON2's press vp8 can compress file size more and produce better image quality than h.264

Do you know how many companies make a claim like this every year? They can never ever back it up in a series of real-world tests.

There is a reason why H.264 is where it is, it because 100's if not 1000's of experts from 100's of different organisations have spent years perfecting what they know to a point where they can call a group of technologies 'H.264' and make it an international standard.

Do you really think that a handful of experts at On2 can do that much better, and make a difference, and if they could, don't you think the ITU-T/ISO/IEC JVT or whoever would have snapped them up long ago??

I would think that youtube made the choice because of licensing and because iphone and ipod does not support flash and since the HQ format was initially conceived for the apple syndication partnership.

Huh?

Do you know anything about the MPEG-LA?

Did you know that Facebook are using H.264?

Flickr, who are owned by Yahoo use H.264..

Microsoft lets H.264 work in Silverlight.

Are they all members of this 'secret' "apple syndication partnership"?









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


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Josh Anderson
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 25, 2008 at 1:32:30 am

Daniel,

In case you did not notice I was not talking to you.

Merry Christmas and...

Lighten up.

Josh Anderson
CEO, Internet Business Ideas Inc.
http://nanacast.com
http://transparentplayer.com
http://triggerplayers.com
http://totalwebvideo.com
http://totalwebaudio.com


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Daniel Low
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 25, 2008 at 1:39:15 am

Josh, that's so funny, you had just replied to one of my posts before!

If you knew me you'd know I don't need to 'lighten up', I just hate BS'ers

Happy crimbo mate.

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


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Cade Muhlig
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 29, 2008 at 5:07:34 am

Daniel,
Get a life. Don't be a jerk.



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Andy Mees
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Jan 8, 2009 at 4:26:17 am

[Josh Anderson] "Do you know of any applications using VP7..."

Quicklink use VP7 in their PC based Laptop Newsgathering applications

[Josh Anderson] "...that have a license that is not restricted by the non commercial license which is the only one that on2 has released to the public on their own site?"

Well I wouldn't be privy to the terms of their licensing agreement.

[Josh Anderson] "What solutions currently offer encoding with vp8 to the public? "

As far as I know, Quicklink have adopted H.264 for their Mac based Laptop Newsgathering applications, and whilst they (Quicklink) were looking towards VP8 a few years back it certainly seems possible that On2's platform centric approach might not be doing them (On2) any long term favours


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Daniel Low
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 25, 2008 at 12:25:43 am

Hardware based solutions are not the answer for file based transcoding or encoding.
Scaleable software that can take advantage of multiple processors AND multiple cores is the way forward. Being able to split long jobs over different servers AND cores over fast networks is where this stuff is already being done, and at relatively low cost.

Even very small companies are making use of this technology. Take a few nicely spec'd Mac Pros and compressor with Qmaster and you have a pretty serious gridded encoding farm.

Squeeze is for amateur wedding video producers and the like, no offense, but I consider it to be what I call 'Mickey Mouse'. That said, it's an extremely popular piece of software, but so is Windows! Go figure!

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


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David Komer
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 25, 2008 at 7:22:17 am

I would guess, based on problems I've run into, that Daniel's statement of "develop in house solutions" is probably about right for whatever software they're using. Not necessarily scripted solutions, but different tools for different parts of the process.

"Compression", on the software side, isn't just a one-tool job if you are die-hard in getting the absolute best quality. There could be better solutions than this, but where I'm at now is: if I need to de-interlace it first, then I use FieldsKit or Magic Bullet Frames. If I need to resize it from rectangular pixels to square, then I use VirtualDub resizing with lanczos3. If my target is FLV then I use FlixPro. If my target is H.264 then I use Procoder (I've tested against MainConcept Reference- and for my test footage I did not see much of a difference, but I'm sure the opposite is true sometimes. I'm satisfied enough to use Procoder though). It's a slow workflow, but it's using what I find to be the best tool for each stage of the process.

If you're looking for a "swiss-army-knife" solution from source to H.264 or MPEG-2 on PC, and don't want to deal with avisynth and virtualdub, then Procoder is your best option in my opinion- much better than Squeeze in my tests. Though that was a while back and against an older version...

We're moving to Apple though, and can't budget for Episode at the moment, so I really hope Compressor 3 will do all the jobs pretty well (I'm trying to convince the director to move over to progressive so we won't have to deal with deinterlacing)!



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Stan Hirson
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 25, 2008 at 11:30:14 pm

Interesting, although testy, thread. I have some questions.

On a Mac, I use FlixPro to make .swf files at 512 kbs. Most of my site visitors are on DSL and that bitrate seems optimum. I make my own .swf files with a player skin and use vPIP to embed the videos because, for one reason, it is easy to use when there are multiple videos on one page.

You can see an example on:
http://www.pineplainsviews.com/video-stories/54-dairyfarm

I've wondered about H.264 and fooled around with some files but I have not been able to get the bitrate down to 512 kbs at the same quality as the VP6 files. I don't understand the work-flow at all in terms of embedding multiple videos on one page as in the example. The vPIP embed has been working very well.

Am I missing something? I am really curious to try H.264.

Thanks,

Stan Hirson
http://PinePlainsViews.com
http://LifeWithHorses.com


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David Komer
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 26, 2008 at 7:14:37 am

I'm not familiar with vPIP, but at a glance it seems like it has a bundled FLV player. If that bundled FLV player was published from Flash greater than 9.0.115, then the following should work:

1) Encode a h.264 video.
2) Rename the extension from .mov (or mp4, depending on the tool you're using) to .flv (seems funny, but it's the truth)
3) Upload that flv and point it at vPIP

If the bundled flv player doesn't work with that, then it seems vPIP will also work with a swf. If you don't want to deal with making a custom player in Flash, then you can also check out the JW media player- http://www.longtailvideo.com/players/jw-flv-player/



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David Komer
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 26, 2008 at 7:19:19 am

Ah, whups- didn't realize that with Flash it's the player that makes a difference, not the publishing. Ignore the bit about "If that bundled FLV player was published from Flash greater than 9.0.115", but the rest holds true :)



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Ed Dooley
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Dec 30, 2008 at 3:51:37 pm

WHAT DO YOU MEAN TESTY??!!?? :-)
It may be time for you to relook at the optimal bitrate for DSL viewers.
It's come a long way in data-rate over the last few years. Even in my rural area, the local DSL service is in the 6MBit range these days. I've been looking at the lowest data rate to be around 700kbs to accommodate everyone and have had no issues with viewers. I use both VP6 and H.264, and they both look very good (I'm still using VP6 for Flash video, although I'll be going exclusively to H.264 in the near future), adding another 200kbs to your 512kbs can really enhance the quality.
Ed

[Stan Hirson] "Interesting, although testy, thread. I have some questions.

On a Mac, I use FlixPro to make .swf files at 512 kbs. Most of my site visitors are on DSL and that bitrate seems optimum. I make my own .swf files with a player skin and use vPIP to embed the videos because, for one reason, it is easy to use when there are multiple videos on one page.

You can see an example on:
http://www.pineplainsviews.com/video-stories/54-dairyfarm

I've wondered about H.264 and fooled around with some files but I have not been able to get the bitrate down to 512 kbs at the same quality as the VP6 files. I don't understand the work-flow at all in terms of embedding multiple videos on one page as in the example. The vPIP embed has been working very well.

Am I missing something? I am really curious to try H.264."






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Stan Hirson
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Jan 7, 2009 at 4:57:20 pm

"I use both VP6 and H.264, and they both look very good (I'm still using VP6 for Flash video, although I'll be going exclusively to H.264 in the near future), adding another 200kbs to your 512kbs can really enhance the quality."

For whatever reason, perhaps living in a rural area, I do not get much above 600kbs on bandwidth tests. I checked again a few times recently and it has not improved. As a large segment of my viewers are also rural, I decided to stay with 512kbs. But it is good advice. I just wish I could take it!

(The website I am working on at present is targeted towards a rural audience at http://PinePlainsViews.com)

Thanks

Stan Hirson
http://lifewithhorses.com


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Daniel Low
Re: What are the big guys using?
on Jan 7, 2009 at 10:47:07 pm

If your footage is compelling enough your viewers will be prepared for it to buffer enough to play though without pausing. It's not like we are talking about live streaming here.

I prefer to follow the Apple movie trailers example than be dictated to by bandwidth limits.

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


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