Newbie - streaming video.

Discussion in 'HTML' started by zalek, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. zalek

    zalek Guest

    Hello,

    I created some video clips in .AVI format (2 - 20MB) and put it on my
    web site, but when I click on it - the site ask me to download first
    the whole file before displaying it. Is there other way to do it, so
    the video will start plaing before downloading the whole file? Where
    can I find information about this process? Any good interenet sites or
    books with information about streaming video?

    Thanks,

    Zalek
    zalek, Feb 18, 2006
    #1
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  2. zalek

    Mark Burns Guest

    Streaming video requires cooperating software on the WEB server and the
    client computer. Macromedia Flash is a good example of this.

    You will have to contact your ISP WEB host to see what software is
    available for this, or run from your own WEB server. Those who wish to
    view your clips would have to agree to have the same software on their
    computers, genreally installed from server WEB page. One can generally
    count on their ISP rent going up for this, as streaming video can use
    much more bandwidth.

    What you are doing now is pretty straight forward and standard HTML.
    It would be the same for viewing a PDF file for that matter. For most
    people this is best, with short clips that download quickly or maybe an
    optional long clip for those who want to download the whole thing.

    Cheers...
    Mark Burns, Feb 18, 2006
    #2
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  3. zalek

    Martin Guest

    "zalek" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hello,
    >
    > I created some video clips in .AVI format (2 - 20MB) and put it on my
    > web site, but when I click on it - the site ask me to download first
    > the whole file before displaying it. Is there other way to do it, so
    > the video will start plaing before downloading the whole file? Where
    > can I find information about this process? Any good interenet sites or
    > books with information about streaming video?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Zalek
    >


    The term you need is 'progressive download' - where a media file plays as it
    downloads instead of waiting for download to complete before playback can
    begin.

    Take a look at Windows Media Encoder - free from:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/9series/encoder/default.aspx

    Windows Media Encoder produces Windows Media Video or Windows Media Audio
    files which - if encoded with care - are perfect for being hosted on a
    website.
    The quality of the encodings versus the filesize is also very good.
    And you should be able to host them on a webserver with nothing else needed
    to make them progressive downloads - view as they download.

    Martin.
    Martin, Feb 18, 2006
    #3
  4. zalek

    cwdjrxyz Guest

    zalek wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > I created some video clips in .AVI format (2 - 20MB) and put it on my
    > web site, but when I click on it - the site ask me to download first
    > the whole file before displaying it. Is there other way to do it, so
    > the video will start plaing before downloading the whole file? Where
    > can I find information about this process? Any good interenet sites or
    > books with information about streaming video?


    See my pages concerning streaming media that can be reached at
    http://www.cwdjr.info/media/playersRoot.php . Most of the video
    examples can be reached at the broadband link at the top of the page,
    although a few examples of low speed videos are given in other
    sections. Some of the broadband examples require a connection with an
    actual bitrate of over 2 Mbps to start in a reasonable time, although
    most likely would play on dialup if you waited several minutes for
    buffering to complete.

    Media can be streamed(using progressive download) from an ordinary html
    server if you want to stream individual cuts rather than a live event.
    Very busy sites may require a special streaming server.

    Although one can get media to stream on a 56 KB dialup connection, you
    can not use a bit rate of more than about 30 kbps, and the videos
    recorded at such a slow rate leave much to be desired. AVIs are very
    demanding of bandwidth compared to some other formats. I suggest that a
    Microsoft .wmv format or a Real video format be used instead. Both
    Microsoft and Real have free encoders for their formats. Many
    commercial sites use 3 different bit rates. One is for dialup, one is
    for lower broadband, and another is for higher broadband. The user can
    then select the speed best suited for their connection. On a streaming
    server, this speed selection can sometimes be done automatically.

    To stream, the player must first buffer enough download so that it can
    keep up with the video without pause before it finishes. If you tried
    to play a video that is perhaps 20 MB long and runs 5 minutes(this
    would be at a high broadband speed) it would buffer only a very short
    time and then start playing if you had perhaps a 2.5 Mbps broadband
    connection. If you try to play the same video on dialup it will have to
    buffer nearly as long as the download time for a 20 MB file, which
    might be up to nearly 30 minutes. In other words, you have to consider
    for what audience a video is aimed.
    cwdjrxyz, Feb 18, 2006
    #4
  5. zalek

    Guest

    , Feb 25, 2006
    #5
  6. wrote:
    > That's great info. What about Flash? I see swf files on things like
    > http://thetotaltransformation.com/Testimonials.php . Are those videos
    > "Streaming"?


    Depends. If you have the Flash streaming server running then they are
    streaming, otherwise you can either embed the video into the swf (makes
    it very big) or you can progressively download it.

    Other advantages of Flash video is it makes it through firewalls where
    other video won't and you have much more control over it and it's
    environment (even more so with Flash 8) Many of the big media outlets
    are switching to Flash video. Fox news and espn come to mind right off
    the top of my head.

    Disadvantage is the server software (if you are streaming) is a little
    pricier, as is the service from companies like Akamai (who we use)
    Most professional video editing software has plug-ins to create Flash
    video. There are also a few freeware encoders if you don't have one.
    Big disadvantage of Flash video is "live". It is not as simple as
    (say) using Microsoft Media encoder. But if you are serving either
    streamed, or progressive download on demand content then Flash should
    be looked at.
    Travis Newbury, Feb 27, 2006
    #6
  7. zalek

    Guest

    Thanks Travis,
    In the first paragraph you say there are 3 options: 1) Stream
    (requires server software) 2) Embed in swf or 3) Progressive
    download.

    What does progressive download mean? What does production and
    consumption look like. Let's say I have a website, a video in avi and
    flash authoring skills. What do i do? How does a visitor to my site
    experience the movie? They just click on a play button and see the
    movie play? Is there any automatic assignment of the right sized file
    based on bandwidth?

    Also, when you say the downside of Flash is "live", you mean that Flash
    is not good for broadcasting live events. yes?

    Thanks for any clarification you can provide.
    , Feb 28, 2006
    #7
  8. zalek

    decoder Guest

    <snipped> Let's say I have a website, a video in avi and
    > flash authoring skills. What do i do? How does a visitor to my site
    > experience the movie? They just click on a play button and see the
    > movie play? Is there any automatic assignment of the right sized file
    > based on bandwidth?


    Yes, that is it in a nutshell.

    >
    > Also, when you say the downside of Flash is "live", you mean that Flash
    > is not good for broadcasting live events. yes?


    Well, it invariably means that the visitor to your site cannot do the norm
    of Right-clicking a clip and selecting "Save target as"
    decoder, Feb 28, 2006
    #8
  9. zalek

    Guest

    I don't follow you decoder. Part of the question was "What do I do?".
    How does one get the video to a state where someone on either Mac or PC
    or Linux can simply click on it and see the appropriate bandwidth
    version?
    , Mar 1, 2006
    #9
  10. wrote:
    > Thanks Travis,
    > In the first paragraph you say there are 3 options: 1) Stream
    > (requires server software) 2) Embed in swf or 3) Progressive
    > download.
    > What does progressive download mean?


    Progressive download means that the browser downloads the file just
    like it would (say) a PDF file, or a large JPG. The player will start
    playing the video as soon as it has enough to start playing. If their
    internet connection is faster than it is playing, then the
    use sees the video playing just like it was streaming. If the
    connection is slower than the video playing, then the player will pause
    ever time it runs out of stuff to play.

    You can control a little of this by the size and speed you encode the
    video at.

    > What does production and
    > consumption look like. Let's say I have a website, a video in avi and
    > flash authoring skills. What do i do?


    You use the Flash encoder built into Flash (MX or better) The flash
    help files will walk you through it. Flash 8 now comes with a stand
    alone encoder.

    >How does a visitor to my site
    > experience the movie? They just click on a play button and see the
    > movie play?


    That depends on how you have it on your site. If Flash video, you put
    a Flash video component in your flash file. It comes with all the
    needed buttons. If some other kind of file (wmv, mpg etc...) then you
    can either have the player embedded in the HTML, or you can just
    include a link to the file and let the user decide how they want to
    deal with the video.

    >Is there any automatic assignment of the right sized file
    > based on bandwidth?


    This depends on how you encode it. There is a thing called "Variable
    Bit Rate" which allows you to encode a video at various speeds in the
    same file. We have not had a lot of luck with this. We like providing
    different links for different speeds. Let the user choose. If they
    try one and it does not work well, then they will chose a slower one.

    > Also, when you say the downside of Flash is "live", you mean that Flash
    > is not good for broadcasting live events. yes?


    Broadcasting live events is not one of Flashes strengths. But you can
    do it. Microsoft Media encoder, or real is much simpler.
    Travis Newbury, Mar 2, 2006
    #10
  11. zalek

    \R&B\ Guest

    "zalek" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hello,
    >
    > I created some video clips in .AVI format (2 - 20MB) and put it on my
    > web site, but when I click on it - the site ask me to download first
    > the whole file before displaying it. Is there other way to do it, so
    > the video will start plaing before downloading the whole file? Where
    > can I find information about this process? Any good interenet sites or
    > books with information about streaming video?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Zalek



    ..avi is a poor choice for streaming video. Try something smaller, like a
    compressed .wmv or .mov. Even Real Media (.rm), as much as I hate it, and
    as much as it is being rendered obsolete (and thank God for that) is a
    better choice than .avi. Nobody streams .avi files.

    Most higher-end encoding software gives you the choice between presets that
    will encode your file to either a "downloadable" media file (which has to be
    fully downloaded before it'll start playing) or a "streaming" media file
    (which will start playing once enough of it has downloaded to allow the
    player to start playing it, then will continue downloading the rest while
    the first part is playing).

    Randy
    \R&B\, Mar 5, 2006
    #11
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