Suitable video format for distributing video

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Ross Clement (Email address invalid - do not use), Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Hi. I am creating a lot of video that I would like to distribute to my
    students. The video is basically me standing in front of a whiteboard
    drawing on the board and talking. I'm recording the original video on a
    Canon XM2 mini-DV (I believe) camera. I then capture the video to hard
    drive using the Linux program "dvgrab". I get about 13gig of video per
    hour of original lecture.

    My problem is that I don't seem to be able to control the Linux ffmpeg
    program sufficiently to encode video suitable for distributing to
    students. I've been encoding it using the command:

    ffmpeg -i lecture1.avi -target dvd -acodec ac3 lecture1.mpeg2

    This gives me a file that's actually too small (approx 100 megs per
    hour). Trying to use the "-b" option to bump up the bitrate achieves
    nothing. I presume that the "-target dvd" is overriding the bitrate,
    but if that's the case why the low bitrate? If I don't specify an audio
    codec I get an output file with no sound.

    The resulting files do play back with mplayer, but windows media player
    (which is what most of my students will be using) doesn't like the

    Can anyone recommend what codecs and file extensions I should use in
    order to create files suitable for distribution to students? I would
    much prefer that the video files can be played on all of Windows,
    Linux, and Mac. If anyone wanted to recommend a set of commandline
    options for ffmpeg (or mencoder) where I could change just one of them
    to change the bitrate and file size, that would be greatly appreciated.

    PS: My email address as above is invalid. If anyone wishes to reply by
    email please use "r c l e m e n t _at_ d m u . a c . u k" without the
    spaces, and with "_at_" replaced by @


    Ross Clement (Email address invalid - do not use), Dec 7, 2005
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  2. "Ross Clement ...
    It would be helpful to us to understand what is the
    problem with just doing this on a Windows machine?
    It would likely solve all your stated issues.
    Richard Crowley, Dec 7, 2005
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  3. Hi. The problem with doing this on a windows machine is that I work
    nearly exclusively on Linux machines. I will probably be creating a
    large number of such videos, and would like to do the encoding on my
    own machines.

    I have realised that one solution might be to ask if anyone can point
    me to an online mpeg video that can be played back using Windows Media
    Player. Then I could play it back through mplayer and use the same
    video and audio codecs when coding my own stuff.


    Ross Clement (Email address invalid - do not use), Dec 7, 2005
  4. "Ross Clement (Email address invalid - do not use)" <>
    wrote in message
    You could use something like "Gspot" to do a quick
    survey of student PCs to see which codecs they all
    have in common.
    Richard Crowley, Dec 7, 2005
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