how to serve videos more quickly?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by richard, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. richard

    richard Guest

    This is probably not strictly OT for this group, but I can't find a more
    relevant group, so...

    We operate a website with video content and currently we use both WMV and
    MPG formats. The files are about 10M to 20M in size and even with a
    broadband connection, there is an annoying buffering delay of 30 seconds
    or more before the video starts playing.

    Many sites I have been to, including porn and movie preview sites, don't
    seem to have this problem - the video starts playing almost immediately I
    click on it.

    I know I am losing customers because people are impatient. What is it
    that other sites are doing that I'm not? Usually their video is embedded
    in a flash, so I can't tell what the actual file type is. Or do I have
    to get a special server? I have heard that a video streaming server will
    help us, even though we don't want to stream per se. Can anyone advise
    me here - is it a matter of video format or server config? And can you
    suggest any web sites or discussion forums on this topic?

    thanks.
     
    richard, Apr 7, 2005
    #1
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  2. richard

    wsc Guest

    How long are your video clips and what's your frame size? I encode my
    windows media at 320 x 240 at about 220 kbbs and can get about 15 meg
    for nine minute clip.

    I use playstream.com for streaming the clips and have been real happy
    with them and the price. It is around $90 month for 500 meg of storage
    and up to 15 GB data transfer.
     
    wsc, Apr 7, 2005
    #2
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  3. Microsoft has a Media Server version of XP (I think that's what it's called)
    that's what others are talking about.
    Since you are streaming prepared video I think there might be a cheaper way.

    I think there are formats that can play before being fully downloaded but
    I'd need to look into it. I seem to remember that Real had a streaming
    format as does WMV. I can't seem to remember enough of the top of my head
    to be useful.

    Sorry.

    The good news is that since you are using prepared video (as opposed to
    actual streaming, live, video) you can get an encoder for much cheaper than
    a full blown streaming server.

    I'll try and see if I can find some concrete info for you.

    Tom P.
     
    Henry Padilla, Apr 7, 2005
    #3
  4. richard

    richard Guest

    Same size here, but a higher bit rate and we're getting about 4M a
    minute.
    OK this is what I want to know about, what is streaming and how is it
    used to play back prepared content, does it speed things up? I have my
    own server on a farm, it's fast but it isn't configured as a streaming
    server.

    thanks...
     
    richard, Apr 7, 2005
    #4
  5. richard

    Steve King Guest

    I wish I could offer some expert help here instead of heresay. However, I'm
    working with a Web Developer/Programmer on a large E-Training program. He
    says that he prefers to use flash for video delivery. The main advantages,
    according to him, is pretty much universal compatibility nowadays and the
    downloading video will begin playing before the entire file is downloaded.
    That means a short wait for buffering then play begins, while the rest of
    the download continues to progress.

    Hope this helps.

    Steve King
     
    Steve King, Apr 7, 2005
    #5
  6. richard

    Bill Fright Guest

    I'm using quicktime with Sorenson video 3 conversion with a data rate of
    90kb and 320x240 also I chop the audio down to 24khz with Q design
    compression. When I convert I enable fast start for internet steaming.

    I've been doing this for international and local viewing of rough cuts
    and have not had a single client not be able to make them play. If their
    browser does not support quicktime it automatically points them to the
    plugin.

    Iven though it's compressed to hell it still is quite viewable.

    On a side note does anyone know why the blacks get crushed so bad?

    thanks
    Bill
     
    Bill Fright, Apr 7, 2005
    #6
  7. richard

    wsc Guest

    I think your bit rate is a little high. When you go to the sites where
    the video downloads quicker what bit rates are showing in your player.


    Windows and real player are streaming media once enough of the video
    has been buffered it will start to play while the rest of the clip
    dowloads.

    For real there is a software called helix server that you can run on
    any web server but it cost serveral thousands of dollars. That is why
    I use Playstream they provide all the latest streaming technology
    including Flash which I believe does require special server software to
    stream the video.

    Here are some places to start to learn more:

    https://partner.microsoft.com/productssolutions/windows/windowsmedia
    http://service.real.com/help/library/encoders.html
    http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/flashpro/video/
     
    wsc, Apr 7, 2005
    #7
  8. richard

    richard Guest

    OK but are you serving these as streaming content? What is the app which does
    the serving, is it somethign specifically for streaming video?

    thanks.
     
    richard, Apr 8, 2005
    #8
  9. If I'm not mistaken this is one of the formats I mentioned in my earlier
    post. The "streaming" is built into the file format.

    It's not REALLY streaming but rather the beginning of the file can start
    playing before the end of the file gets to the machine.

    Since you are not doing live feeds there is really no need for you to
    actually do "streaming". There are formats, like this one and WMV
    (somehow), that allow for beginning of play before the file is completely
    downloaded.

    Unfortunately I can't get enough free time to research these formats so I
    can't help more right now. I'm looking for the same thing for my
    videography site.

    Tom P.
     
    Henry Padilla, Apr 8, 2005
    #9
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