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Flash Player: JW FLV PLAYER 3.11
Licensed under a Creative Commons license but is inexpensive for a commercial license.
Encoder: Riva FLV Encoder 2
Free and pretty easy to convert your video to FLV format.
With our niche anything remotely hosted wouldn't be a benefit and probably hurt what we would want to accomplish. So with a little extra work we can get more bang for our buck. Plus in the future some of our video productions may become premium content. Forgot to add one point you hosting yourself you will be able to control the quality of the video since some of the video hosting sites are less than desirable in that department.
There is a huge difference between making video available for online playback (generally progressive download, as with YouTube or content embedded on your website) and actual broadcasting, which requires a streaming server and can include live cameras as well as playlisted videos.
Apologies if this seems pedantic, but they are very different animals.
actual broadcasting, which requires a streaming server
not to be even more anal, but i believe broadcasting is used to imply over airwaves.
this thread is about web video, and a streaming server would enable "webcasting," no?
even the cable industry oftentimes calls their product cablecasting to refer to the non-over-the-air nature.
which brings us full circle to that old term "telecast." will that now mean video distributed for cell "tele"-phones over "some" band?
I want to start creating web videos to broadcast on the web. What's the best way to get something up and running?
Is it easier to use YouTube and embed, or would you suggest home-produced flash-based video to embed?
Since you ask "YouTube or home-brewed?" --- I'll assume we are talking about placing a video clip into a web page, and the best way to do it.
I like the home-brew method.
Some points have been made here, but maybe we can get a list going and compare.
YouTube Pros & Cons:
PRO - Youtube makes it easy. Upload video, cut and paste HTML to page on your site, done. Next visitor can watch video.
PRO - content is served from YouTube server, reduces bandwidth
PRO - content gets additional exposure as part of the YouTube site
PRO - Google will mostly likely index the content favorable (since Google accquired YouTube in Oct. 2006).
CON - low quality, Youtube appears to strip A/V quality to minimize bandwidth usage.
CON - search traffic for video goes to Youtube site, not yours.
CON - loss of control, you can't control look and feel of player, size format, etc. If, for any reason Youtube changes something on their end it could affect your site.
Rolling Your Own Flash Player
Whether you want to create video for Youtube or to employ in your own website, you still need to create the video.
Embedding video in a webpage on a website without using a 3rd party service (or server) like Youtube, can be done with several types of players. The most prolific are the .FLV / .SWF type players based on Adobe/MacroMedia Flash/Shockwave format.
To get the video to play you need to get it into .FLV file format. This can be done using software like Adobe Premiere (the only commercial package with native support for outputting directly from source to .FLV -- they own the format)... Aside from using Adobe software, there are many conversion utilities that will take the (.VOB, .MPG, .AVI, .WMF or other format) video and convert it to .FLV format.
Next you'll need a .SWF player to wrap around the .FLV file, (a Shockwave control that gives users the ability -- minimally to start and stop the video, but may additionally have controls for volume, resizing, fast forward, rewind, etc).
To recap home-rolling:
- shoot video
- (edit if needed)
- save or convert to .FLV file
- upload .FLV to web server
- upload .SWF control to web server
- edit JS / HTML <OBJECT> <EMBED> code into page.
No matter what, playing with video is time consuming, I spent a month one day when I started testing things.
To make it easier to home roll, search for "Wimpy Wasp".
One more point that can greatly simplify the process is purchasing a video camera and software that are compatible and require the fewest steps between "shoot" and publish.
Each step of conversion adds time and reduces quality.
In my testing, I found Adobe Premiere to be the only software which, not only saved the clip as .FLV, but also has internal FTP making it a one-click operation to publish to web after you've edited.
Another point: Using the most computing power, (CPU, RAM and disk), can also make the process more tolerable. On my 1.6GHZ laptop it took nearly 11 minutes to open a 1 minute clip, make a small edit and recompile the clip to .FLV and republish to the web. On a 2.6GHZ with more RAM the time can be cut to 2-3 minutes.
If you've been good, you might want to ask Santa to leave a 1Beyond OctoFlextm under the tree -- it's an XP based eight processor video editing PC.