I am encoding some video to send out to a corporate client and they want it to be able to play on all the computers in the office. They are using all Windows machines and are not set up to run video specifically. What encode settings are good to keep file size down, yet still be good quality and play on most machines?
I don't have a lot of experience with encoding for Windows Media Player and could use some help. I have the Flip4Mac plugin for Quicktime 7, so I can encode to WMV. That is the file type they are requesting.
If they're all Windows 7 machines, Windows Media Player 12 has no problem playing H264 files. Quicktime not needed. I don't think a lot of people know this.
On the other hand, if they have Vista or Windows XP, they would need WMV9 if they don't have Quicktime.
What settings you use for WMV9 depending on what they're playback environment is. For example a old Windows XP Pentium 4 might have problems playing back a file that a Windows 7 i7 computer would handle easily. Also if they're serving the file on their internal network, IT may have data rate restrictions.
You can guess but if you guess wrong they may point to you. You really should get details on the "weakest link" computer and whether it'll be served on their network (and what restrictions) vs just being distributed for desktop playback.
If it's on their network they may want a CBR encode with a limited data rate. If it's just local desktop non network playback you might do a 2 pass VBR encode with either Constrained Peaks or maybe without constraints if you feel peaks wont be an issue.