[Phpwm] video compression and optimization

Tim Williams T.M.Williams at cs.bham.ac.uk
Wed Nov 26 13:50:58 UTC 2008

On Tue, 25 Nov 2008, Francis Ihebom wrote:

> What is the best video format that can play video content quicker and how
> can i compress videos for the web for optimization. Thanks

Video work is my speciality, I do a lot of development with video related 
technology, though I don't work on the actual streaming or codecs 
themselves. There is no 'best of all worlds format', but the 
two which I reccomend based on long experience are :

1) Flash video (.flv) with FlowPlayer (http://flowplayer.org/)

The most widely supported and easy to use. Flash dosn't play flash video 
on it's own, you need a player programme to run inside flash to do that. 
FlowPlayer is the best i've come accross and is availble under the GPLv3 
licence. You can encode the videos with the free version of Riva 
(http://rivavx.com/index.php?downloads0&L=3) on windows or ffmeg under 
linux. (Riva uses ffmpeg underneath but has a nice interface).

2) ISO MPEG 4 (.mp4)

This is the standard compliant choice, works nicely with quicktime and 
most other non microsoft video players. I reccomend using either Quicktime 
Pro or VideoLAN VLC (http://www.videolan.org) to produce the videos. Note 
: If you want to use a quicktime/darwin streaming server, you need QT 
Pro, VLC can't do the stream hinting this server requires.

Streaming servers

If you want to get the best performance out of your videos, you'll want a 
streaming server, this should help a bit with startup times and make 
jumping about in the video stream a lot quicker. Quicktime/Darwin server 
is free, but it's a pain to set up on non-mac systems (it does work 
though, I have it running here). The other option is Red 5 
(http://osflash.org/red5) which is an open source re-implementation of 
the Adobe flash communication server. This does streaming and a lot more, 
but is still in beta. The 0.7.0 release seems to run quite well (0.8rc1 
is out but i've not got this going yet), but i've not put any heavy loads 
on it yet. If you have a lot of money, you could spring for the Adobe 
flash server itself, but it ain't cheap...

Tim W

Tim Williams BSc MSc MBCS - Euromotor Autotrain
Web : http://www.autotrain.org
Tel : +44 (0)121 414 2214 (ext 42214 on internal phone)

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