Streaming production

Let's meet in London!

I'll be attending and teaching several workshops and seminars at Streaming Media Europe in London during the week of October 15-17th. If you're interested in attending, you can get a 10% discount by clicking here and entering priority code SME10 for ...

I'm Saying Adios to F4V

A recent consulting project revealed several key flaws in Adobe's F4V format. Click over to the main article to read all about them.

Choosing an Enterprise Encoder

Gave a presentation today to the Adobe Media Server Users group on choosning an enterprise encoder. You can download the 50+ page handout and view the presentation by clicking over to the main article. Here's a description of the presentation.

This session will discuss factors to consider when choosing enterprise video encoding systems from the likes of: Digital Rapids, Elemental, Harmonic, Sorenson, and Telestream. Factors incorporated into the analysis will include performance, output quality, quality control options, format support, expansion options, programmability, and other variables. If you're considering buying an enterprise encoder or upgrading your current systems, you'll find this session particularly useful.

YouTube uses FFMPEG for encoding

I guess for many producers, the title is akin to "there is no Santa Claus," or "the Republican Party's top priority is reducing taxes for the one-percenters who fund their PACs;" obvious facts, and just not news. On the other hand, for many other pro...

Configuring low data rate adaptive streams

When you configure a group of adaptive streaming files, you produce some files at relatively low data rates. With these files, you have several options to preserve quality, including lowering the resolution, the frame rate or both. Lower resolutions preserve frame quality but can look pixelated when scaled for display. Higher resolutions avoid scaling artifacts, but frame quality can suffer. Dropping the frame rate preserves smoothness, but drops frame quality.

If you click over to the main article, you'll be able to see the same source video encoded at 5 configurations, all to 300 kbps (2pass VBR restricted to 120% of target data rate). These are:

  • 640x480x15 fps
  • 640x480x30 fps
  • 400x300x15 fps
  • 320x240x15 fps
  • 320x240x30 fps

Have a look and see which one looks best, and if you have a strong opinion, let us know via a comment.

QuickBook-Related Woes Continue

I normally don’t use this blog to share experiences unrelated to compression, but my recent experience with QuickBooks, which is ongoing, was too poor not to share. I was happily using QuickBook’s 2009, which did everything that I need, when I wa...

Handout for Encoding for Flash, Mobile, and HTML5 Workshop

Here's the description:

Learn the technological fundamentals behind encoding for both H.264 and WebM formats. You'll learn how to encode H.264 for HTML5 distribution and streaming to iOS and other mobile devices, as well as how to encode it for Flash, including live, on-demand, and RTMP, as well as HTTP-based adaptive streaming. For WebM, you'll learn the basics of on-demand streaming, plus get a look at live WebM encoders. Finally, you'll learn how the various H.264 and WebM encoding tools compare in regards to performance, quality, and features.

Download link in the full article page.

Live From J Street, Part 3: Monitoring Webcast Audio

In this final segment of this series on the JStreet Making History convention webcast, we'll examine one aspect of webcast production that too often gets ignored: monitoring and controlling audio volume, which becomes a complex issue as speakers change, audio techs and shooters adjust their own levels, and the webcaster is left to make sure the signal sent over the web remains audible and consistent.

H.264 in a Mobile World: Adios to the Main and High Profiles?

Now that mobile devices are a critical target for most streaming producers, does it make sense to start encoding all H.264 footage using the Baseline profile? From the tests that I performed this week, encoding all footage using this profile might save encoding and storage resources with minimal loss in quality. Click over to the main article to view the test results, or click here to view the actual video files.

Live from J Street, Part 2: Framing Tips for Conference Shooters and Webcasters

Jan Ozer passes on several key tips on framing panels and applying the rule of thirds (and when to break it) gleaned from his recent gig webcasting the national J Street conference on Israeli-Palestinian relations.