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Thread: converting video formats

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    converting video formats

    I'm quite new to this topic and don't really know anything about web video, so sorry if this question is really basic. But is it pretty simple to convert mp4 videos to flv? And what about vice-versa? Is there any downside to doing this such as loss of quality? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Converters are all different as to how good a job they do.... but the underlying principle is that during the convertion, data is usually destroyed or lost.
    So to maintain quality, always start with a video file that has a video bitrate (quality) of about double what you want to end up with... so even if data is lost, you are starting with more data (higher quality) than you need.
    So for example, if you want to transcode/convert from one format to another and you want to end up with a video file encoded at 1000kbps, you should be starting with a file that has at least 1500 - 2000kbps.
    On the other hand, if you start with a 500kbps video and transcode to 500+kbps, you pretty much guarantee that quality will suffer.
    For review.. more about video bitrate:
    Video bit rate
    Video bitrate is the minimum amount of data that must continually flow into the video player in order for the player to display that particular video uninterrupted. If that supply of data is not high enough, the video player will stopů. Wait for more data to download, then resume. The video bitrate is set as a parameter when the video is encoded.
    One of the principle of goal setting is to "Begin with the end in mind". In this case it'll be very hard to give good recommendations because the end is not defined. So I'll just make a few assumptions and you can correct me as needed.
    First, I'll assume that since you are converting to Flash, you want to deliver this video over the Internet. If that's true, then we'll have to make some assumptions on the Internet connection download speeds of your potential viewers. Let's just say that most have at least a 1.5Mb connection or faster.
    OK, that would mean that a video bitrate of half that should usually provide a video download that is not interupped by buffering (most of the time anyway). So assuming a video bitrate of 750kbps, what would the optimum display dimensions be?
    Before we decide, here's a little info about bitrate. For highest quality playback, the video bitrate is tied directly to the display dimensions. That is, the larger the display, the more incoming data is required to properly display the video. Think of bitrate in terms of a can of paint. If you have 1 quart of paint, you might be able to do a very nice job on a 32 X 24 foot area. But if you try to stretch that same amount of paint out over a 64 X 48 foot area, the coverage will not be nearly as good and you get poor results.
    In the same way, a video displayed at 640 X 480 pixels will require 4 times the bitrate as a video displayed at 320 X 240 pixels to produce the same quality. So for example a video with a bitrate of 100kbps, displayed at 160 X 120 will produce the same quality results as a video with a bitrate of 1600kbps if displayed at 640 X 480.
    So to boil it all down, video bitrates of 750kbps, even up to 1000kbps can usually get delivered of the Internet on most high speed connections. Higher bit rates may work for really fast connections but will cause problems for viewers with slower connections. Video display size has a direct bearing on the final quality. In the 750 to 1000kbps range, display size should be kept around 450 or 500 width max (and whatever height the aspect ratio calls for). Yes it can be displayed larger, but the quality will suffer.
    Sound like your audio settings are fine, especially for Internet delivery.
    As for framerate, maintain the original raw video framerate for best results. So if the video was shot at 24fps, leave it.
    As for video converters, do you have the Flash 8 Video Converter? It works just fine for video to be delivered over the Internet. Remember, you are taking a Cadillac version of video (h.264 HD) and stuffing it into a Chevy body to get it to work over the Internet.
    Best wishes,
    Eye for Video
    www.cidigitalmedia.com

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