Microsoft, QuickTime or Real?

10 replies [Last post]
mzmovieman
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Joined: May 26 2002

My amateur efforts use pseudo streaming. Now, the experts all reckon QT.mov is the best, and I must admit it works, and can be embedded.

I have found that Microsoft.wmv also works, and with less hassle than QT, and quality for quality smaller files than QT.

Bettr, but only just, than MS is Real.rm, but their files are such a pain to embed. They seem to wnat the player up and running with all their adverts.

Anyone else any observations or comments?

My amateur efforts can be seen at http://www.siltec.co.uk

Home movies on the net - see them here
http://www.siltec.co.uk
be amazed, wonders beyond belief, see it all!!!!

ps
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Joined: Feb 28 2001

We have been using video streaming across our corporate network for about 6 months and in the last couple of weeks we rolled out a live streaming system in 25 offices across the UK and Ireland, all working from a central location in London. (many new grey hairs now!)

We use window media, partly for the quality, and partly because all our PCs have media player 7 on them. This decision was made because:

QT is very nice, but ideally requires a specific Apple server for it to stream properly rather than be a progressive download.

RM, again is ok, but real player, or player 1 are the nastiest, **£$()%*£)"*!)!!!! piece of !* £$%)^&*"&!*$^^ software known to man. It takes over file allocations without asking, it loads its own adverts and there were rumours about a year ago that it passes personal and PC information back to Real. Can't comment on that, but the fact that it is so uncontrollable is not acceptable for us. You also have to pay for Real Media server, which if memory serves is quite expensive.

With Media Player we can embed the control into a web page, into VB and into Director. We can lock out user so they can't change any settings (or buggar it up!). We can also closely monitor who is watching the system, when and for how long.

For the live system we are using V8 of both the video and audio codecs and it is pretty goo quality it you throw 200 - 300K/bits at it (I understand this is perhaps a bit high for the internet). Using Dynamic rights manager we can control who sees the streams and since our system all runs on 2K servers and the majority of PCs on 2K professional, there is not additional cost issue.

My suggestion is, for the internet you should offer all three, but as you point out, with Real's adverts etc it is hassle.

For embedding and making it all as slick as possible, I would use Win Media or Quicktim

PS

mzmovieman
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Joined: May 26 2002

That is interesting. I am no expert so I thought it was only me who had found the MS .wmv system to be reasonable, QT ok and Real a pain in the **.

As I am an amateur, and pay for my web space with my pension money (violins come in now) I will be using MS in future, and maybe QT. I used to offer a choice, but it does tend to take up space, and as I, and I alone am paying then I think I will maximise my resources.

Home movies on the net - see them here
http://www.siltec.co.uk
be amazed, wonders beyond belief, see it all!!!!

DV Ed
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Joined: Jun 10 2002

I have used RM for a couple of years now. At first I liked it. Infact the thought of using anything else seemed pointless, however since MS has started pushing their .wmv video hard it has become stupid to ignore this as, as mentioned its installed on all modern PC's.
People do not like Real player, I dont like it either, and except in extreme situations, I will probably not use it again, which is a shame as the codecs are good and encoding is easy, but the user interface is very poor and confusing, not to mention heavy on the users system.

ps
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Joined: Feb 28 2001

I believe the Beeb et other companies go for Real because it was kinda the first to do decent web video, and they have invested now in it's hardware so it is worth continuing.

If you are slim on cash, I would, however recommend MS as being probably the cheapest option, and from my experience, fairly straight forward to manage.

Our encoder has been running for about 3 weeks continously now and I have been very pleased with it. The servers (26) that distribute the streams have also been running very well and so far have only fallen over if one of our networking team restarts them without telling me and I then find that although the services are running, the actual stream is not.

For us, Windows Media has proved cost effect and so far reliable method of doing online video (both live and on-demand). One trick it has which I didn't mention it earlier is that it is really easy to prevent copying the stream so people can't download it to their hard drives. For our stuff, security isn't the issue, the problem is users filling their hard drives with video! I know it is all big brother controlling users, but we see it as problem prevention!

PS

[This message has been edited by ps (edited 10 June 2002).]

plod2001
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Joined: Jun 21 2001

Any info on which settings (resolution, data & frame rate) are the best for stremaing please?

Thanks

WaveyDavey
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Joined: Nov 16 1999

I've tried QT, but found the resultant filesizes were so large, even for a short 15 second film, that the space on the server would all be used up in no time.

I've tried cleaner, but the results after encoding were absolutely unwatchable, though the filesize was very small.

Presently, I use Microsoft asf format as I get about 1.5MB per minute of footage, at reasonable quality.

I'd like to know a way to do it, keeping the filesize low, whilst maintaining high-quality visuals/audio that can be downloaded quickly (I want to put wedding demo's on my webpage ultimately, but the filesize for a 30 minute clip needs to be very manageable).

Any ideas particularly welcomed.

I have an RT2000 system running Premiere 6.1

Wavey.

ps
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Joined: Feb 28 2001

Wavey

30 mins of footage? Blimey! You may find that will be huge. Could I suggest, if you are using ASF files, load them into the Microsoft asf indexer and put links at the end from one to the next, for example have 5 x 6 min movies rather than 1 x 30 minute.

As for settings, have a look at the showreel settings post - it gives different settings options. There isn't really a difinitive, use this setting as you need to modify your settings dependant on the contents of your footage (doing your video in bits will make this easier), but the above post gives good guidelines from which to start

PS

mzmovieman
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Joined: May 26 2002

I have found that for 56k modem 192 x 144 at 12 fps and mono sound produces files that whatever their size pseudo stream after less than a minute.

Naturally the quality might not be what you want. However, if the potential customer is going to wait forever, then they won't. So keep the movement down and this is the best compromise.

The MS programme Windows Media Encoder downloadable from MS can be adjusted by the user, so experimenting is worth while.

My amateur efforts can be seen at http://www.siltec.co.uk

------------------
Home movies on the net - see them here
http://www.siltec.co.uk
be amazed, wonders beyond belief, see it all!!!!

Home movies on the net - see them here
http://www.siltec.co.uk
be amazed, wonders beyond belief, see it all!!!!

drjonp
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Joined: Sep 27 2001

I've found Quicktime gives a very good quality-to-file-size ratio. Initially I used the Sorenson 3 video codec, but now with Quicktime 6, the MPEG 4 codec gives superb results. The only downside is that people have to install the Quicktime player - this isn't a problem for me. Examples at www.yorkshiregrit.com.

Shakey
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Joined: Jan 25 2001

quote:Originally posted by ps:
I believe the Beeb et other companies go for Real because it was kinda the first to do decent web video, and they have invested now in it's hardware so it is worth continuing.

There are two reasons why the BBC use Real media. To quote:
When the BBC began publishing audio and video content Real Media was the most secure form of streaming. Unfortunately Microsoft no longer supports Real content. Consequently, many of the later versions of the Windows Media Player will not play our clips. This may change in the future.

And:
At the moment, the BBC doesn't provide files in Windows Media format because the BBC's servers are UNIX and, it seems, the MediaPlayer streamer software isn't available for that operating system.

Hope this helps

Cheers

Martin