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Old 07-07-03, 01:55 PM   #1
RandyC
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What is the best video compression (type and size)?

Hi, I am creating some video links on one of my sites. I have messed around with some various programs (StudioDV and Adobe Premiere) and various outputs. The issue I have is one of bandwidth vs quality. I do most video clips that are around 60-90 seconds.

The default coming out of Premiere creates a huge 250meg file which I think most people would not want to download. On the other hand, small video files will not help to sell my product (car racing cameras), specially as the resolution decreases in the video files.

So.... I want it big and hi-res...but I also want it around 15-20megs or less.

I see AVI files, MPEG, WMA, etc. What is the best? And what resolution should I be using? Framerates? Anything else?

Anyone have feedback on Sorenson's media squeeze products? They look promising.
http://www.sorenson.com

Thanks!
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Old 07-07-03, 02:18 PM   #2
Mopower
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Divx would give you the best quality-size ratio. But I don't think you can stream Divx. So if you wanted streaming video then I'd go with WMA or MPEG at just enough quality you can see what is going on.
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Old 07-07-03, 02:24 PM   #3
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Why would I want streaming as compared to not? Thanks.
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Old 07-07-03, 02:26 PM   #4
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Streaming could give people the ability to see some of the video and decide if they want to continue to see (download) all of it.
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Old 07-07-03, 02:29 PM   #5
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I use TMPGEnc to do compression. A 90-second file could easily be compressed down to 20MB at high (720x480) resolution and with little compression in MPG-1 or -2.
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Old 07-07-03, 02:35 PM   #6
RandyC
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Quote:
Originally posted by X
Streaming could give people the ability to see some of the video and decide if they want to continue to see (download) all of it.
That makes sense, but wouldn't the use of that be limited to only those with the bandwidth on their end to handle it? If I have a customer on 56k dialup, wouldn't that be a problem?

danw, I will look at TMPGenc. Thanks.
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Old 07-07-03, 03:02 PM   #7
Mopower
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Quote:
Originally posted by RandyC
That makes sense, but wouldn't the use of that be limited to only those with the bandwidth on their end to handle it? If I have a customer on 56k dialup, wouldn't that be a problem?

danw, I will look at TMPGenc. Thanks.
Depends what size the video is. If you wanted streaming 56k then the video quality wouldn't be very good at all. Of course at 56k it will take an hour to download a 20 meg file.
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Old 07-07-03, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mopower
Depends what size the video is. If you wanted streaming 56k then the video quality wouldn't be very good at all. Of course at 56k it will take an hour to download a 20 meg file.
Yes, I plan on offering 10 second clips also to demonstrate video ability. But I would rather have a person take an hour to d/l or don't d/l at all or d/l a smaller clip.

My present videos are around 7-8megs for 60 seconds and seem to be "okay" as far as size/resolution.
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Old 07-07-03, 04:04 PM   #9
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I would use WMV(Windows Media)..

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...r/default.aspx

It's great for internet streaming.
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Old 07-07-03, 08:11 PM   #10
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Your best bet is some form of MPEG4. The main drawback would be that it requires a moderately powerful processor (600 MHz+) for smooth playback.

I believe WMV9 is largely based on MPEG4. Being MS, however, WMV9 is entirely proprietary and won't be cross compatible with any other player. Basically, your users will need to have Windows Media Player v7 or newer installed on their machines. I'm not sure how much support there is for playback on non-Windows platforms.

On the plus side for WMV9, it's very easy to encode using MovieMaker and your Windows users will have a seamless upgrade process if they don't already have WMP9 installed.

Divx is a very commercial, mostly compliant implementation of MPEG4. You have the option of buying the encoding codec for $19 or you can use a free adware version. They have a free Dr. Divx utility for encoding that by most accounts is pretty easy and works well.

Your users, if they don't already have Divx installed, will need to download a 3MB decode only version of the file and install it manually to play Divx encoded AVI files. One rather annoying feature of the codec is that by default, it will overlay a small Divx logo in the bottom corner of the video for the first few seconds after the start of every video clip. This can be turned off, but the user has to do it in his options settings.

My personally preferred MPEG4 codec is Xvid. It's an open-source, fairly compliant implementation of MPEG4 that continues to be under heavy development. The codec is a 400KB download that installs very clean. No adware, no distinctions between encode or decode versions, no DRM or useage tracking.

Like Divx, your users will have to manually download and install the codec if they want to watch your files. The main drawback is that the encode process is more cumbersome as the tools are less polished than for WMV or Divx.

There's other MPEG4-ish codecs packaged in Qucktime and Real; but I don't know that they would offer anything that these 3 don't.

The output quality of WMV9, Divx, and Xvid are all pretty comparable. Despite anything MS marketing might have to say about Windows Media; by and large they all use the same data reduction techniques. For your application, I'd guess that what minor differences do exist wouldn't be a deciding factor. There's a fairly comprehensive comparison at Doom9.org if you're curious about the details.

As for streaming, your web server has to support it. Unless streaming support was specifically on your list of requirements when you went shopping for webhosts, it's unlikely that yours will have it.
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