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Thread: [RESOLVED] What quality video?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    resolved [RESOLVED] What quality video?

    I am hoping a web-video expert will be able to answer my question. What kind of download speed can I expect from my broadband users (a very broad average is what I'm looking for)?

    Why I am asking this is because I want to know how high quality (based on filesize) can I make my flash videos and still expect my broadband users to not have it totally choppy - how many MB per minute is a good flv filesize to put online?
    I've switched careers...
    I'm NO LONGER a scientist,
    but now a web developer...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    The factor directly linked to video file download speed is the bitrate that the video is rendered at, not the file size in MB. The bitrate is the amount of data which must flow into the video player to display the video without interruption or buffering (the choppyness you are talking about). This bitrate is set during the rendering or transcoding of the video file.
    Broadly speaking you should choose a bitrate between 250kbps and 500kbps for a 320 X 240 (screen size) video. Increasing the display size will require a proportional increase in the bitrate to maintain equal quality. About 250 is used for the standard broadcasts on YouTube, not for quality purposes but to ensure somewhat reliable downloads. For better quality video I recommend trying to get closer to 400kbps. However, even with my 6Mb fast Internet connection, there are times when some of my 500kbps videos suffer from buffering due to server load and other Internet traffic. So while in theory a 1.5Mb connection has nearly 4 times the bandwidth needed to deliver a 400kbps stream, all the overhead and other Internet traffic can drastically cut the actual delivery capacity.
    So the real issue is not the file size in MB, it is the bitrate of the video. The file size in MB only affects the length of time it takes to download the entire video. And if the server is progressively downloading at an acceptable bitrate, the video beginnings playing almost immediately and the downloading continues unseen, as the video plays uninterrupted. So for example the Internet connection is downloading at 500kpbs while the player requires only 400kbps to continue playing.
    Best wishes,
    Eye for Video

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Thanks for the explanation. I really appreciate it, not too many people browse the web video forum.

    So, I know this is a really general question, but what video format gives you the highest quality with the lowest bitrate? Audio is not a big deal here, I just need you to be able to pick out the dialogue, I don't need 5.1 or anything.
    I've switched careers...
    I'm NO LONGER a scientist,
    but now a web developer...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    Currently video using H.264 codec is getting great reviews. This is an mpeg4 codec, available as a rendering codec in most modern video editing programs. Since it's still fairly new, unless the users Web browser plugin is updated, there may be some issues with not be able to play the video ... but that can be solved by an updated plugin. The Flash video format, the flv, continues to be the most widely used delivery format and the newer version (player 9 and up) support H.264 playback.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Fantastic stuff, eye_for_video. I have been googling for an hour or so, but I can't find anything - do you know of any software that can encode video files to FLV with the H.264 codec?
    I've switched careers...
    I'm NO LONGER a scientist,
    but now a web developer...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    Check out the Adobe products, especially if you want to do video editing. Premier, if you need pro level work, or Premier Elements for consumer level. Pretty sure even PE has the H.264 support. Adobe will give you a 30 day trial to test it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    And with that I'll finally mark this thread resolved - wow, first time I've done that on here in a long time.
    I've switched careers...
    I'm NO LONGER a scientist,
    but now a web developer...

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