I have a site which contains a flash video on each page. The
video is central to the whole concept of the site, so it's
important to maintain its size and clarity. My client insists the
site (meaning the video) must be capable of running on a dial-up
connection. At the moment it stutters too badly on dial-up. Is this
something that is do-able whilst still maintaining reasonable
quality? Or perhaps it is accepted in the industry that such a site
simply will not work on dial-up?
The current flv's run at 8 fps with a 200kps data rate. Size
320x240 video, not incuding controller. I could probably reduce it
to 6fps (at 150kps data rate) which would be a bit choppy and lower
quality, but mostly it's talking heads, so perhaps I can get away
with it. Question is whether that would be enough to make it
workable on dial-up. Is there any other option? (I don't want to
reduce the size of 320x240)
I wouldn't make my site based on the 56k user unless that is
your target audience, and if it is then kill the flv files. Not too
many 56k users want to sit for 5 minutes to see a crappy 30 second
video (quality not content).
You should re-encode those videos to play at a better rate
for broadband users, and maybe add extra buttons for dial-up users.
This way you have 2 flv's of the same movie, encoded at different
rates. If someone clicks on the 56k version, they get the choppy
low res junk file. Buffer it longer to make it play smoother. If
they click on the broadband video link they get the nice, smooth,
clean and clear video that doesn't distract from the design.
Nickels - what you're saying makes sense. What I'm going to
do is to make a parallel site in which all videos are the lower
quality, and at the home page - where there is no video yet - I'll
give the option with link to go to the "dial-up site", with a
suitable explanation/warning that dial-up means lower quality. One
question - where/how do I increase the buffer?
Are you using Flash 8? If so click on the FLVPlayback
component and then open the Component Inspector Window (Top menubar
"Window"->"Component Inspector"). You can now change the movie
attributes like buffer time, auto play, skin, volume...).
This can also be accomplished using actionscript. Give the
FLV component inspector an instance name like vid and then use the
following code on the frame (not attached to the flv component)
that the FLV component is on: