I would suggest you look into using the Flash .flv format. It's quite optimized and has pretty good quality.
hope this helps.
I'm also getting started in streaming video, and after doing much research would also recommend flash.
Its installed base is much higher than any other format, and it can do autodetection of connection speed to determine what quality video to serve to each visitor.
I've also come to the conclusion that the best way to get started is to go with a shared account at a specialty host for the streaming media. You can get a lot of information by searching for "flash video hosting" and "flashcom hosting."
Get to know the difference between actual streaming servers vs. progressive downloads. It will come in handy depending on how you would like to deploy your videos.
There are also a handful of software applications out there to handle output to flash without having to pay companies to render or host for you.
I too recommend flash video (for whatever that's worth!)... just built a site around it! The Macromedia site has a lot of good tuts that will get you started, and even cover some advanced topics/programming.
not so much a commercial site but www.OurMedia.org will let you store any type of video regardless of size for free on their servers.
windows media is the best combo of quality and player penetration... nothing else comes close.
the free downloadable windows media encoder will do two-pass variable bitrate encoding... you can't get that with flash, unless you spend $$ for the encoder, and even then the quality still isn't as good as windows media.
i would not recommend spending money on streaming server software without fully justifying it first... typically you'd need a bit of traffic to make it worthwhile, so stick to the standard http-streamed video regardless of the format... it's a lot cheaper.
don't believe all the bogus stats you read about flash player penetration... the big reason that flash is where it's at is because the player was included in the standard winxp o.s. install for the last few years... the new version of flash is no longer part of the standard winxp o.s. install, but the windows media player will continue to be part of the standard winxp o.s. install... except for parts of europe, of course :-)
those bogus flash player stats come from a 2,000 person online "survey" from a long time ago... there are well over 800 million computers on the 'net, so you can see how irrelevant the flash data really is.
|windows media is the best combo of quality and player penetration... nothing else comes close. |
Quality is better than flash about the same as real and quicktime.
|the free downloadable windows media encoder will do two-pass variable bitrate encoding... you can't get that with flash, unless you spend $$ |
You can do 2-pass vbr flash video encoding for free with the Riva encoder. You also have the choice of a couple pay products such as flix and sorenson. I bought Sorenson for about $100 because of its additional features such as batch encoding.
|and even then the quality still isn't as good as windows media. |
Flash 8 just came out. It will be more money to upgrade the encoder but the video quality should be closer to the other formats.
|i would not recommend spending money on streaming server software without fully justifying it first... typically you'd need a bit of traffic to make it worthwhile, so stick to the standard http-streamed video regardless of the format... it's a lot cheaper. |
I concur. With flash you can use players that use progressive download over http to mimic streaming. As traffic picks up, you can migrate to a shared flashcom server, then a dedicated, etc.
|don't believe all the bogus stats you read about flash player penetration... the big reason that flash is where it's at is because the player was included in the standard winxp o.s. install for the last few years... |
There's some truth to that, but the many reason flash has and will continue to have a greater installed base is that many websites require it for various features or the entire site. Macromedia makes installing easy with a small footprint and easy procedure. Real continually screwed themselves over by trying to tack on a bunch of junk to the real player.
>>>Quality is better than flash about the same as real and quicktime.<<<
sorenson 3 pro quicktime and the sorenson flash pro video codec are essentially the same thing from the same company, but neither one of 'em is comparable to real and wmv in quality... nowhere near as good, and i have the test clips to prove it... p.m. me if you need to see it.
i have never heard of the riva encoder for flash, but i bet that you can't get two-pass vbr sorenson pro video quality... perhaps you are referring to a graphical codec? graphics is the roots of flash, it did not start out as a video format.
flix has lousy video quality, it's horrible... that's why flash 8 went to an entirely new video codec, i can't wait to check it out... i'm with you on the portability of the flash format, it's just a bummer that you will now have to download both a new player and a new codec in order to watch the video... that is no minor detail, when considering what format to go with.
i agree with your point about the real player, and it's really sad, because the video quality is very good.
Newbie in video.
Why using real or flash and not Divx ... much more compact I believe?
It should go easier on a standard http-stream or not?
I chose flash becuase it seems to cause the least amount of user issues. I also run a forum site, and would post links to sample. If I used windows media or real, invariably someone would not be able to view it. Flash on the other hand seemed to be a winner almost everytime. The problem with divx is that the codec would have to be downloaded. If you target audience is tech savvy, then this may not be an issue. I think that all video content providers have a choice to make in the beginning between ease of use vs. video quality vs. bandwidth required.
Just my opinion though, and you know what they say about opinions....