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Smooth video playback - what's the best setup?

Mar 28, 2012 4:39 AM

Tags: #acrobat #9 #.flv #resizing_video #video_resolution

I've had trouble playing .flv files back through pdfs (Acro9) if they are resized on various hardware platforms old and new. The images lag the sound.

Should I resize using some other software first? If so what is recommended? And can you control the 'resolution' of the pdf page?

In other words how much space a given .flv takes up on a page by default?


any advice on this much appreciated,

- Richard, Ilkley

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    Mar 29, 2012 12:26 AM   in reply to Richard - Ilkley

    It's possible that you are seeing problems with hardware acceleration inside Flash Player. Acrobat 9 has an internal copy of FP so updating the version installed in your browser won't make any difference.


    There's no concept of "resolution" on a PDF page. Pages have a physical size (inches / cm) so rich media content such as video and SWF, which is measured in pixels, will scale depending on the zoom level of the page and the screen resolution of the computer displaying it. You can change the video playback widget so that the video never scales above 100% and place it in a larger annotation rectangle (so it should play at 1:1 pixel size for most people) but the default widget in Acrobat always uses scale-to-fit. The other option is to play the video in floating window mode, as this will force 1:1 pixel size (the floating window doesn't care about the page size - it's a screen-only object, so it never zooms).

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    Mar 29, 2012 7:23 AM   in reply to Richard - Ilkley

    1 - this is why I suspect it's an acceleration bug, Playing back at anything other than 1:1 pixel scale involves a lot of processing, and tends to tax the kernel. Try turning off 2D acceleration on the properties panel.


    2 - the "virtual" ratio between pixels and points used by Acrobat when it creates a new PDF directly from a rich media file is not controllable, and frankly has no real-world meaning. It's chosen simply to make the value in the zoom toolbar look sensible, but it does not mean that the file will ever display at 1:1 scale on another computer (or even another display on the same computer).

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    Mar 30, 2012 1:06 AM   in reply to Richard - Ilkley

    1 - yes and no. Acrobat 9 and later include a bundled copy of Flash Player, which handles the content of these rich media annotations. Sync loss between the video and audio tracks is a known issue with FP on some systems, but the Acrobat product team can only bundle what the Flash Player team provide.


    2 - as I said above, you cannot predict anything about the virtual dimension ratio unless you play outside the page (e.g. in a floating window). However, see below.


    3 - that's because FP takes the keyboard focus when it's activated. You have to close the full screen process before Acrobat gets the focus back on the toolbar.



    All of these points have been a point of complaint since version 9, so we have an extended version of the video player widget available (free, and compatible with Acrobat 9 and X) that defaults to 'actual size' playback, and can fire JavaScript events at the end of playback (for example to close the annotation and give you back your keyboard focus). You can download it here.

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    Mar 30, 2012 5:07 AM   in reply to Richard - Ilkley

    Never use legacy media in new PDF projects. Playback is disabled by default in the current cersions of Acrobat and Adobe Reader, and the ability to create it has been removed from Acrobat X. There are very real security issues with allowing legacy media playback, so users are advised to keep it disabled unless they absolutely trust the origin of a specific file. In addition it's very unreliable cross-platform.


    The native Rich Media Annotations are very simple for the end user to use, playback cross-platform, and are totally secure. The link in my previous reply includes guidance on how to talk to the extended playback widget using JS, and there are loads of tutorials on covering the basics of scripting. We don't publish the source code for the video player widgets and it's not trivial to create your own from scratch as for complete functionality you must declare some undocumented functions in the SWF, but aside from that the creation of a video player (or any other type of SWF) would be the same as it would be for any other application (web use, AIR, etc.).

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