Video - best format?

Discussion in 'General Computing' started by JJ72, Oct 12, 2006.

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  1. JJ72

    JJ72 Member

    WMV, AVI, Real, or MPEG etc?

    Which one would you recommend and which is generally smallest and most accesible.
  2. RACKnRAIL

    RACKnRAIL 今は知っているでしょ Staff Member Moderator

    I use avi & mpeg mostly as they are easier to put on DVD. I have never liked real player or wmv for anything.
  3. shawners

    shawners Hurt no more my son.

    DIVX in AVI, or x264.
  4. .:sp00ky:.

    .:sp00ky:. Poptart Tramp Established Member

    xvid.. n' stuff
  5. cjules13

    cjules13 Member

    .avi

    .wmv and .rm blow
  6. JJ72

    JJ72 Member

    Hm, yeah for DVDs but for streaming on a blog?
  7. infoseeker

    infoseeker Fear me!!! PLEASSSSEEE..

    maybe this one will help




    When dealing with video files there are several factors that need to be considered, like bit depth, frame size and frame rate as well as compression and codecs used. I have compared the basics about the video file formats: DivX, MOV, AVI, MPEG, and RA below.

    Bit Depth

    The bit depth determines the number of colors that will be used to export the movie. Higher bit depths create larger files. When you specify lower bit depths, you may be able to retain some control over color quality by specifying a custom color palette. If the option is not available, you've chosen a codec that doesn't support custom palettes or 8-bit color.

    Frame size


    For best picture quality, the frame size of the project should match the frame size of the final video file. Where file size or data rate are more important than picture quality, such as for Internet delivery, reducing the frame size may help compression by reducing the initial amount of data to compress.

    Frame rate


    For best motion quality, the frame rate of the project should match the frame rate of the final video file. Where file size or data rate are more important than the quality of motion, such as for Internet delivery, specifying a lower frame rate may help compression by reducing the amount of data to compress.

    Compression:


    Short for compressor/decompressor, a codec is any technology for compressing and decompressing data. Codecs can be implemented in software, hardware, or a combination of both. Some popular codecs for computer video include MPEG, Indeo and Cinepak. "A codec is an algorithm, or specialized computer program, that reduces the number of bytes consumed by large files and programs. In order to minimize the amount of storage space required for a complicated file, such as a video, compression is used. Compression works by eliminating redundancies in data. Compression can reduce the size of a file by a factor of 100 or more in some cases. For example, a 15-megabyte video might be reduced to 150 kilobytes Prior to transmission, the codec converts analog signals to digital signals and compresses the digital signals. Incoming audio and video must be decompressed and converted from digital back to analog. The compression method may be proprietary or standards-based.

    Applying the best compression settings can be tricky. The goal is to apply the degree of compression that lets the clip stay within—but not too far below—the target data rate. If you apply too little compression, the data rate will be too high for the system, causing errors such as dropped frames. If you apply too much compression, lowering the data rate too far, you won't be taking advantage of the full capacity of the system and the picture quality may suffer unnecessarily.

    Some codecs use lossless compression, which ensures that all of the information in the original clip is preserved after compression. This maintains the full quality of the original, which makes lossless compression useful for final-cut editing or moving clips between systems. However, preserving the original level of quality limits the degree to which you can lower the data rate and file size, and the resulting data rate may be too high for smooth playback on many systems.

    Lossy compression methods discard some of the original data during compression. For example, if the pixels making up a sky actually contain 78 shades of blue, a lossy codec set for less-than-best quality may record 60 shades of blue. Lossy codecs usually let you specify how much picture quality you want to trade to lower the data rate and file size so that you can tailor playback for your audience. Lossy compression allows much lower data rates and file sizes than lossless compression, so lossy codecs are commonly used for final production of video delivered using CD-ROM or the Internet.

    Different codecs require various amounts of time to compress or decompress video. A codec is considered symmetrical when it requires the same amount of time to compress as to decompress a clip. A codec is asymmetrical when the times required to compress and decompress a clip are significantly different. For example, the Cinepak asymmetrical codec decompresses video relatively quickly, making it useful for video files that must play well on both high- and low-end computers, but to achieve this it requires more time when compressing. Symmetry varies depending on the codec and is generally not adjustable within a codec.

    Codec Problems:

    The MOST COMMON reason that a video file will not play is that the video codec (compressor/decompressor) used by the file is not installed on the system being used to attempt to play the file. Usually, the Windows operating system, Windows Media Player, or the application that you are using will report an error indicating that the codec is not present or that it cannot find the codec needed. Video codecs are identified by a four character code such as IV50 or DVSD.

    DivX:

    When you install a video codec on your computer, what you really are doing is giving your media player instructions how to compress/decompress video in that file format. The DivX codec is based on the MPEG-4 compression format, which is a new standard of video compression that is both high quality and low bitrate. This basically means that it produces high quality video using a low amount of bits (space). Despite the fact that DivX movies are faster to encode than regular MPEG movies they are much smaller in size due to the incredible compression technology. DivX video is usually combined with MP3 sound to produce both high quality video and audio.

    The DivX codec makes it possible for anyone with a computer and a broadband connection to download DVD quality movies and store them on a single CD-ROM. In the beginning this was the primary use of the DivX codec but as time has passed, people have discovered that it has more uses. DivX is today well on its way to becoming a new standard for video just as MP3 has taken over the world of music.

    Apple QuickTime (MOV)

    QuickTime is the multi-platform industry-standard multimedia architecture used by software tool vendors and content creators to create and deliver synchronized graphics, sound, video, text and music. Developed by Apple, it has become one of the most widely used formats on the World Wide Web. QuickTime movies can be compressed using software packages such as Adobe Premiere of Media Cleaner Pro to sizes that are feasible for use over the Internet.

    Most CD-ROMs use Quicktime movies and there are several sites on the Internet that make use of the format. The images are of higher quality, but file sizes can be significantly larger than other video storage formats. You can use an application such as Adobe Premiere to convert a file to QuickTime format or your video card may allow you to capture directly in the format. QuickTime movies can be “flattened” (a particular arrangement of data in the file) so that they can be viewed on both a Macintosh and a PC.


    Microsoft AVI Video (AVI)

    AVI is a format for video files that offers minimal compression ability and is available on the Windows platform only. It is widely used on the World Wide Web. AVI Files are a special case of RIFF files. RIFF is the Resource Interchange File Format. This is a general purpose format for exchanging multimedia data types that was defined by Microsoft and IBM during their long forgotten alliance.

    Because AVI is not compressed with one specific codec, rather it is a file that can be compressed by any one of hundreds of codecs like DivX, MPEG-4v2, Indeo 3.2, Cinepak to name a few, it makes the file hard to play. In Windows it is rather easy to play an AVI file IF you have the correct codec installed. There is a whole lot of Windows applications available that can play AVI files like Windows Media Player. Unfortunately If you do not have the codec needed to play the file Windows Media Player will not be able to play it.

    MPEG Video- (MPEG)

    MPEG stands for Moving Picture Experts Group, is the nickname given to a family of International Standards used for coding audio-visual information in a digital compressed format. The MPEG family of standards includes MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. MPEG-1 is the format that is widely used for video files. It is a compressed file format that allows for the highest quality digitized video playback available. Full NTSC (TV) resolution with 30 frames/second is available on virtually any computer with MPEG video format. MPEG offers a high level of compression resulting in small files sizes with high quality. Since MPEG is a platform-independent and non-commercial standard, it is emerging as a means for streaming high-quality video on fast networks using special media servers. As with all things, MPEG-4’s biggest strength may be its greatest weakness. Although the compression method is highly efficient, it is also very complex. This means that it requires a great deal of processor time to encode the file, i.e. alter it from a MPEG-2 format to MPEG-4. Although a run-of-the-mill PC might take 6 to 12 hours to encode a feature length film, this not that great of a concern since it places the processor burden on the distributor who can usually afford the newest equipment. However, it also requires a great deal of processor power to view the video. The public, who do not collectively have the latest and greatest computers, must absorb this burden. Although it is too early in the development of MPEG-4 to tell how much processor time is needed, it is a serious concern.

    Real Audio – (RA)

    The video component of the Progressive Networks Real Audio player mentioned previously. This format uses compression techniques that reduce the frame rate of the video clip and routines that remove unnecessary information within frames. The quality can vary greatly depending on the amount of motion and detail in the original video. Again, this has the advantage of being one of the more popular video and audio formats and your viewer will likely have the player on their computer. The end user also has the option of playing the clip at a full screen size on some computers. It allows for "streaming," meaning that the movie can be played while it is being downloaded. The format uses heavy compression, and a special server is used to "stream" the files to clients. The end result is a format that can be utilized over the Internet by those with low bandwidth (modem) connections. The same free encoder used for audio may be obtained from the Progressive Networks Web site.
  8. oneday

    oneday Member

    AVI is the best. ;)
  9. krenshaw

    krenshaw Member

    H.264 is my favorite for size and quality
  10. SoreVexed

    SoreVexed Resident Goth

    here here! I agree.

    Xvid and divx are my favorites. I have always had some really good quality with them. I would rather cut of my fingers than have anything to do with anything associated with Windows Media OR RealPlayer, but if those are the only two proggies to choose from for in-page viewing, id see if i could get away with an earlier version of Windows Media Player to play the file, and avi format.

    When I play .avi files on an old system, I like to use wmplayer2.exe and then up the priority of the program in task manager. it should run smoothly, but then.... i dont have an older system. its still nice not to eat up all ur ram just to watch a movie with a program that has a fancy graphical interface. thats why i use wm player 2.

    come to think of it, what are your favorite players and why??? just curious.
  11. Jared Moya

    Jared Moya Chief News Editor Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    it really depends on how u want to play it back.....I'd say XVID hands down but, you need a player that is XVID compliant to play on the ol' TV....
  12. napho

    napho Antisocial Bastard Established Member

  13. cjules13

    cjules13 Member

    I'm starting to really get into these HD caps that are starting to show up. Seems like the x264 codec is the king of them all, and beat out XViD in Doom9's "Codec Shoot-out."

    I'm slowly trying to shift to all HD from here on out, and from what I have so far, x264 is the true champ.
  14. Auggie2k

    Auggie2k Back to business! Established Member

    For streaming I'd suggest Real or use Flash if you can.
  15. tut123408

    tut123408 Member

    I say both mpeg and avi are common but mpeg has much better quality.
  16. superfall

    superfall Member

    avi.
    that's not important to me ,because i am using xilisoft video conveter which can convert between them.
  17. Krell

    Krell worthless dirtball Expert

    Requesting to ban this user and delete their posts


    .
  18. cjules13

    cjules13 Member

    Yes, somebody please do, 10 spam posts about the same SW in one day.
  19. adirael

    adirael Member

    hey the best compress and format is Avi ...
  20. adirael

    adirael Member

    ahhh and the best to convert formats ...is the canopus Pro coder

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