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Ken Evans
Best Format for Download
on Oct 1, 2012 at 11:44:50 am

I've got a 2 hour programme I've been working on for a customer who wants to make it available online.

Not sure what the best option is for quality and download speed. At h.264 we can get it down to 6GB at 720p but I think it can be made smaller with minimal quality affect. What about MKV and how can I encode to this on a Mac? Want to keep it HD obviously.

Any suggestions as to the best format that will also be the format the customer uses so it needs to be something universal regards platform and as playable as possible on older machines.

Many thanks!

Kenny.

Cross posted on a couple of other CC forums.

Senior Technician, Moving Image Department - Kingston University London.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Best Format for Download
on Oct 1, 2012 at 12:39:40 pm

If you want it HD and you want most if not all to have NO Issues viewing it, I'd stick with .h264.
Can you break it up into pieces?

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Best Format for Download
on Oct 1, 2012 at 1:22:30 pm

I agree with Chris. If you want HD and you want it to be cross platform and multiple browser compatible then h.264 is the dominant standard now (though you could try Flash, but that probably won't be any smaller).

If you could cut it into 30 minutes chunks that would help...

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Bret Williams
Re: Best Format for Download
on Oct 1, 2012 at 3:01:25 pm

Flash is just h264 as well. Most of the the time.


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Joseph Owens
Re: Best Format for Download
on Oct 1, 2012 at 3:24:38 pm

[Ken Evans] "At h.264 we can get it down to 6GB "

Have you attempted to lower the bitrate within the H264 encoder?

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Bret Williams
Re: Best Format for Download
on Oct 1, 2012 at 6:01:07 pm

With the settings I use, extrapolating from shorter videos, 2 hours would be about 4.5 gigs. But if I bumped up the quality some, then 6 gigs wouldn't be off the mark. I use 75% quality single pass CBR, 128 AAC stereo, and auto keyframes. I don't usually bother with compressor. But my vids are usually client approvals and usually short. Something long and requiring better quality, I'd use compressor and quickcluster it with a 2 pass vbr. Still probably at 75-80% quality, or enter appropriate bit rate to hit your target.


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Ken Evans
Re: Best Format for Download
on Oct 3, 2012 at 9:47:04 am

Thanks for the replies. I've been experimenting with this VP8 codec the last few days in an MKV container. Really surprising results.

I've been using Sorenson Squeeze which came free with my Avid MC package and I have to say it;s looking good.

So far I've got the file under 1GB and it looks almost identical. The audio has been reduced to 44.1 from 48 to save a bit of space too but the picture remains at 720p. No idea where the other 5 gig has gone without massive picture quality degradation but this VP8 thing seems to work!

I'll do you guys a screen shot and you can see the results are insane. Anyone else tried this route?

Senior Technician, Moving Image Department - Kingston University London.


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Best Format for Download
on Oct 3, 2012 at 1:33:20 pm

Just a FYI - MKV isn't supported natively on a Mac or any iProduct. A Mac user will need to download a separate app to handle a MKV file (asking the end user to do more).

Not sure what your target audience or intended delivery arena is. h.264 just works on any platform/browser.

Bret - I think you're referring to a mp4 (using the h.264 codec) being played within a Flash player. In that model the video file is h.264 but the player around the video is Flash coded. That's how we used to role (YouTube did this for a time as well - now it's moving more towards HTML5 so you don't need the Flash plugin). That's different than a straight up flv file.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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