8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 30, 2012 5:13 AM by Richard - Ilkley

    Smooth video playback - what's the best setup?

    Richard - Ilkley

      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

        • 1. Re: Smooth video playback - what's the best setup?
          Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          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).

          • 2. Re: Smooth video playback - what's the best setup?
            Richard - Ilkley Level 1

            hi Dave


            Thanks for your reply. I'd appreciate it if you clarify the following points. I'm working with a .flv which is 640 x 360 in pixel size on a pdf page 800 points x 600 points (72 points to the inch).


            1) Playback quality: I have tried playing the resized video (enlarged about 200pc) on the pdf page on various platforms, Mac and PC, including a brand new mid-range laptop PC. All give same problem with images lagging the sound giving a 'badly dubbed' effect.


            2) Resolution: To maintain playback quality I want to avoid resizing and find a workaround to control the size of the .flv on the page. If I place the .flv without resizing ie. by double-clicking the media tool it takes up a physical space 416pt x 234pt. (Same with different page sizes). So Acrobat is setting about 1.5 pixels to the point on the page (this is what I mean by resolution here). What controls this ratio? I've tried changing Prefs>Page Display>Resolution but this doesn't seem to affect it.

            • 3. Re: Smooth video playback - what's the best setup?
              Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              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).

              • 4. Re: Smooth video playback - what's the best setup?
                Richard - Ilkley Level 1

                Thanks Dave for your further thoughts:


                1 - Are you suggesting this is a bug in Acrobat? As you say, resizing in real time must demand a heck of a lot of processing power but surely Adobe wouldn't release a feature which only worked on supercomputers ... ? Sorry but I can't find anything about 2D acceleration in the Properties panel. But even if I could the whole point surely is the pdf should work on 99pc of computers without having to fiddle with setup.


                2 - If the pixel-point ratio is predictable I can resize outside of Acrobat using a utility, insert the video into the page design so it can play without resizing and so avoid the issues in 1 above. I'm setting everything to play full screen so I'm only bothered about the size of the video in relation to the page. So far, testing on a couple of pages, I'm getting about 1.5 pixels/point on insertion by double-clicking the video tool - I can work with that if it's consistent.


                - and there is another sticking point:


                3 - If I let the .flv play to the end, the arrowupdown/pageupdown key navigation does not work. This is a problem working in full screen mode. One solution might be page forward/back buttons on each page. However ideally I want to play the video full screen as well so no room for buttons.


                thanks for your patience with this - I'm now wondering if working with .swf files might give more control but as a print designer I don't have much experience with Flash.

                • 5. Re: Smooth video playback - what's the best setup?
                  Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  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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                  • 6. Re: Smooth video playback - what's the best setup?
                    Richard - Ilkley Level 1

                    Thanks Dave.


                    Previously I've used mpg and quicktime video which has worked fine but depends on the user's system being set up right, still maybe I'll stick with this 'legacy multimedia' until the Flash Player etc. is fixed. Either that or a workaround using on-page buttons for navigation and the limited predictability that exists for double-click video placement with my particular setup.


                    I'm new to widgets and JavaScript - where can I learn more?

                    • 7. Re: Smooth video playback - what's the best setup?
                      Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      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 AcrobatUsers.com 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.).

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Smooth video playback - what's the best setup?
                        Richard - Ilkley Level 1

                        Ok, thanks for the advice!