Streaming or downloading doesn't make much difference, it's just two different ways of offering videos on your site but each will eat up similar amounts of bandwidth. The only benefit to streaming is your video is less likely to be pirated and put up on YouTube by someone that doesn't have the right to do so.
As for the settings and the codec, that's going to be determined by the quality of video you desire to serve up on your site. If you want HD video that's going to be clear and crisp, then you need to shoot towards the higher end settings. If economy of size is critical, then you have to compress and reduce the file size as much as possible.
H.264 (MP4) and FLV are both going to produce about the same file compression. If you have a flash site, I would imagine that the Flash format would be most compatible, but I'm sure it can be made to work either way.
If you have a flash site, I would imagine that the Flash format would be most compatible...
I strongly agree. With an embedded Flash player, all you have to do is upload the FLV and then link to that.
WMV is a good streaming format, as is DivX, but then the player needs to be available, as does the CODEC. FLV will be self-contained with your existing player.
At this point, it might be best if you give us some additional information regarding what type of content, and the level of quality, you intend to serve on the website. With that knowledge, we might be able to better answer the subject of your original post - the best settings for your application.
Thanks for all the great info. I'm still a little lost with all the codec stuff so I'm grateful. Basically, I have this temp site set up from my programmer and the videos will be available in SD and HD. I need to get the fastest loading and best quality I can but still have it be speedy.
Here is a link to the temp page, but you need to go to the directors section and click on any name to see what I mean.
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Though it is very, very general, this ARTICLE has some links, that might be useful down the line.
In really general terms, one always walks a tightrope of quality vs file size (download time). There is not way around that, and we all have to make compromises. The "trick" is to minimize the compromises to the lowest factor.
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I've also been told it should be a .mov file.
Forget about that. MOV is a Mac format, and only about 4% of the world's computers are Macs.
FLV and MP4 extensions are far more ubiquitous. I personally use H.264 MP4 files for my own web videos. I haven't had any problem with the Flash player recognizing them, and I find them superior in quality to the FLV files Premiere creates.
I am going to try the mp4s and see what happens. I think playing with some of the presets will help in Media Encoder.
Again, many thanks, it's been very helpful!