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Efficient Video Delivery Over The Internet : Comments

By Lei Zhu

May 13, 2008


Gabe da Silveira

May 13, 2008 9:14 PM

Working with HD video online and recently having moved to Brazil where my 2Mbps DSL connection more often behaves as a 256kbps connection, I’ve become aware of one of the great advantages of progressive download. That is you can deliver high-quality video to low-quality connections if the user is willing to wait.

Anyway, this is a great primer on online video distribution. I only recently have delved into this field, and I’m amazed at what is possible using open source libraries and ffmpeg these days.


May 13, 2008 11:16 PM

FlowPlayer is another great open source flash player i found some time ago and do its work pretty well.
Flexible, easy and a nice wiki online

Alan Ogilvie

May 14, 2008 6:37 AM

This is a good overview of the different methods of delivery, however what isn’t covered is the complications about server-side delivery. For example – H.264/aacPlus encoded MP4s can be delivered into Flash Player via progressive download but only by Flash Media Server 3 if RTMP ‘streaming’ is required. It would be nice to flesh this overview out a bit more.

The other significant area around this is encoding I note that you mention it a little. There are a myriad of different ways to encode your audio/video. We use a variety of different encoders/transcoders including Flash CS3 encoder, ON2 Flix Pro, FlipFactory and Digital Rapids. They all have their own ‘gotchas’ about things and they all deliver differing qualities.

Also – I would have expected an item entitled ‘Efficient Video Delivery’ would have covered stuff other than Flash too. Flash Video is certainly not currently something that can be used on embedded devices, so it’s use is currently limited to Web Browsers on your computer. Adobe have a roadmap on Mobile, but I can’t help worrying that people forget about things like Real, Windows Media, Quicktime and different containers/streaming transports – 3GPP and RTSP for example.

All in all this is a good primer for Flash Video methods. I just know there is more to it.


Michael Thompson

May 15, 2008 6:31 AM

One thing to note when providing H.264 using Flash is that many Mac users (mostly the PPC ones) will see nothing but torn, artifact-ridden video — especially if your videos are widescreen or near-broadcast quality.

@Alan Ogilvie: The argument that something other than Flash should have been covered in this article is madness. While some mobile devices may support Real/Windows Media/Quicktime the majority of internet users have Flash, and offering a solution that targets the majority is always ideal.

“Efficient” is the operating word here. Had that word been replaced with “Cover Every Possible Edge Case for” in the article title then I think your expectations may have been appropriate.

Justin J. Moses

May 15, 2008 6:11 PM

At a recent Adobe conference in Sydney, Adobe heavily pushed their new Media software. There were a couple of points they mentioned that I think are important to this discussion.

First, is that Adobe have removed licensing of the SWF and FLV formats as part of their Open Screen Project (trying to get Flash onto each & every device) that will have implications for the Flash Player and Flash Video.

Second, if you’re looking towards large scale video streaming, you might need to start looking at an infrastructure solution to support the transfer of data across the country, continent, or even the world. The Adobe partner Akamai showcased their solution that manages the flow of data across thousands of their servers world wide. With their own infrastructure, they are able to use their own transfer technology rather than just the letting data “free-flow” across the Internet.

The latter might be overkill for most startups, but is definitely something to keep in mind as rich content is becoming the norm in the web.

Jeff Parker

September 10, 2008 12:36 AM

I read with great interest about having video on a web site and it to be played. Years ago when I was building a web site I inserted video files without any player. When I tested the video file it uploaded and played and in good difinition. The time for the video to upload or for the viewer to see it played was yes determined by how large of a video file. Formats that would reduce the size of file but still maintian the quality was very interesting. What I do not understand with today’s formats is why you need a player when you can just insert a video file in the html. with fast bandwidth today not like yesturday one could just insert that video file and quickly be even viewed full screen without having to go through a buffering.
What am I not understanding?

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