Exporting Video for web with Premiere Pro CS3

4 replies [Last post]
David L Lewis
Joined: Jan 11 2006

My original project was shot in PAL 16:9 HDV and edited in HDV using premiere pro CS3. It looks great on screen and I would like to show of that quality on my website. I know that I'm not going to acheive Hi definition but I would like something that was watchable

I've been playing all day with the export options in premiere pro to try and get a good quality video but havent yet managed to get anything that I'm reasobly happy with so a few questions.

1 Is there any difference between the matrox rtx2 encoder and the windows media encoder? both produce .wmv files and I cant see any discernable difference

2 Altering the pixel size doesnt seem to make very much difference at all to the file size or the quality and I cant fathom out why. Ive tried 320 x 180 pixel and 640 x 360 pixel settings and the file sizes seem to be similar. I would have thought that the latter would have produced a file 4 times the size. :confused:

3 the bit rate seems to be the key to quality but increasing it also increases the size of the file AND crucialy how quickly the file plays. If i set the bit rate up high I get good video but the file is huge so it takes a long time to buffer and then start to play. Potential clients arent going to hang around for say two minutes while a video loads. However If I reduce the bit rate the video might load quicker but the quality is dire.

4 I think the speed of a persons internet connection is going to have some bearing on this as well. My internet connection is pretty poor. It used to be over 2M and videos used to play instantly but now it seems to be below 1M so nearly all videos seem to need to be buffered first instead of just streaming. Is there an optimum bit rate which would allow the majority of people to view the video as a streaming video?

The latest file I have put on line was encoded at Average Video Bit rate of 500 and is viewable at http://www.shoulerproductions.com/samples/sarah_and_adam.wmv
is anyone able to watch this as a streaming video rather than having to let it buffer first

5 Has anyone got acceptable results using the options in Premiere pro CS3, what settings are you using, would the flash, real player or quicktime options produce better results than the Windows Media options?

6 Are there any utilities that would produce better results? I guess the answer to that has to be yes but whats the cost of these utilities? I've heard mention of Procoder 3, looked it up on the web site but couldnt find a price. how would you use it with premiere pro?

7 at the moment I just upload the file into a samples folder on my site and then put a hyper link ( text and picture) on my samples page to the file If you click on the links windows media player opens up and plays the vide file. It works but I think it looks amatuerish. Is there a better or preffered way of displaying video on websites. Ive seen some sites that come up with little screens that have play , pause, FF, rev and stop controls. How are these created? Is there an online tutorial somewhere. I'm guessing something like dreamweaver has some simple wizzards that do this for you but I'm stuck with Microsoft frontpage. Yes I know there are better packages but I am used to frontpage.

Lots of questions I know but hopefully someone may be able to answer some of them.

Thanks in advance

David L Lewis

Hello I'm in Mensa, Is there anything you would like me to explain to you?

Joined: Aug 31 2002
David L Lewis wrote:
...is anyone able to watch this as a streaming video rather than having to let it buffer first...

Yes more or less - about 3 secs after clicking the link my movie player was ready to let me play your movie.
And with a nominal 4Mb/s connection it played fine to the end, whilst continuing to download.

Doesn't 16:9 work well for the vows shots - the frame filled nicely ;)

Your movie's info from my (Mac) player - a bit more than 500Kb/s:
Duration: 0:10:53
Data Size: 115.65 MB
Bit Rate: 1.48 Mbps
Video Tracks:
Windows Media Video 9 Standard, 320 × 180, ~25 fps, 1.37 Mbps
Audio Tracks:
Windows Media Audio 9 Standard stereo, 48 kHz, 115 kbps

BTW If you set a capped bit rate for your encode the movie's pixel dimensions become irrelevant.

Joined: Jul 31 2004

It's quite complex but essentially boils down to what are considerd to be the two most advanced codecs. h.624 (MPEG-4 Part 10, or MPEG-4 AVC) and VC-1.
H.264 is a standard "open" codec (significantly for you, adopted by Quicktime 7 and Flash 9), VC-1 a proprietary codec developed by Microsoft for WMV9.

Not wishing to open a can of worms but.. my research suggests that you will get significantly better quality / bit using h.264 than you will with AC-1, however h.264 requires greater processor speed to cope with the more complex compression algorithm.

For all sorts of reasons I would recomend encoding in h.264 to .flv flash, then place the .flv into an .swf for streaming. The .swf will allow you to add a control skin of your choosing. Then embed the whole lot using
http://code.google.com/p/swfobject/ .
This will allow you to add features like express install, which means that users without flash 9 installed won't need to leave your site to update flash, it also means that you don't use the redundant embed tag..

This is all dependant on the software you have, I think Premier CS3 should let you encode h.264 flv but i'm not sure it will let you use two pass encoding. You will also need flash which may be part of your cs3 package. For a good wysiwyg encoding programme you may also want to consider Sorrenson Squeeze 5 for Flash which supports h.264 and two pass encoding or if you can do the command line thing ffmpeg is free ..

Also if you stay with wmv9 you can add a control bar, play, pause etc in the html object/ embed tags. remember to leave room for the control bar in the height attribute. Doesn't matter what web software you use, just buy a decent xhtml book.

Other questions... I would stay around the 512kbit/s as most users can stream this rate. That should include 64kbit/s for audio. Size wise I would look at 480px or 512px wide.

mooblie's picture
Joined: Apr 27 2001

David, whatever format and compression you finally settle upon: don't forget that you'll have to make the difficult compromises between all these factors:
- webserver space cost/availability,
- number of clips, duration of clips and pixel size of clips
- image and sound quality and bandwidth requirements.

You have an 11 minute clip there taking 116MBytes of space. That's >10MB/minute - it looks good, but it's small and uses a lot of space/bandwidth. It's a real juggling act!

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

David L Lewis
Joined: Jan 11 2006

Thanks chris for the information. There's a lot to digest there.

Mooblie I agree the 11 Minute clip is a bit long but thats what the client wanted for their highlights. The space on the server isnt a problem, I think I have over 5GB of webspace and Im only using a small part of that at the moment.

As you say its a real juggling act making compromises all the time but I think I am gradualy getting my head around it.

David L Lewis

Hello I'm in Mensa, Is there anything you would like me to explain to you?