3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 23, 2011 10:23 PM by adninjastrator

    Selecting the best video format and size for a Dreamweaver site

    paulkirtley Level 1

      My OS:  Mac 10.7 (Lion)


      I've been asked to put a short video on a website. The file handed me is a 697 MB .wmv file. I know that's not going to work, so I open the door to several questions. What is the best video format to use when droping a video file into a website (created in Dreamweaver), and what size limitations should I consider? Being a Mac person, my format of choice is quicktime, but I know that most folks will want something for WIndows Media Player. Someone mentioned that the Flash format was good to use, but I don't want to shut the door on the growing number of iPad users who cannot play Flash content.



        • 2. Re: Selecting the best video format and size for a Dreamweaver site
          Nancy OShea Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Re-encode your WMV to MP4.

          Use HTML5 <video> tag for modern browsers & web devices (iPad/iPhone, Droid, etc..) that support this.

          Use a Flash fallback player for the ones that don't (Mozilla).  Current Flash player can play MP4 videos.


          For details, see Pickle Player:




          Nancy O.
          Alt-Web Design & Publishing
          Web | Graphics | Print | Media  Specialists 

          • 3. Re: Selecting the best video format and size for a Dreamweaver site
            adninjastrator Level 4

            I concur, the file type should be mp4, or rather the container format (the box which can contain both the video and audio files, using the codec, the COmpression and the DECompression algorithm, H.264) should be mp4.

            But actually file size, of and by itself is completely irrelevant.

            It is the video "bitrate" that you should be more concerned about.

            Video bitrate can be defined as the amount of incoming data required by a media player to display a video uninterupted by buffering (waiting for more data to be delivered via the Internet connection. If you see a video stop/start.. stutter.... it's NOT the video itself... it's the video PLAYER waiting for more data... because of a slow Internet connection speed.

            So for example, a 700 MByte video file could be delivered over the Internet, just fine... provided that the bitrate (amount of data needed by the video player for uninterupted display of the video) was less than the viewers Internet connection download speed.

            While a 7MByte video could stall, stop, buffer.... if the bitrate of that video greatly exceeded the download speed of that particular viewer.

            Do you know your own download speed? Do you know that of your viewers? Download speeds by the way are measured in Mega bits (small b)... oven the which there are 8 oven them to make one byte. So a 1Mb(bit) connection will deliver about 125KB per sec....They can test here:


            Try to keep the bitrate of your videos to about two thirds of the max download speed.... so if your viewer max is 1000... keep video bitrate to 600 or so.

            More about bitrate here:

            Video bit rate


            One of the principle of goal setting is to "Begin with the end in mind". In this case it'll be very hard to give good recommendations because the end is not defined. So I'll just make a few assumptions and you can correct me as needed.
            First, I'll assume that since you are converting to Flash, you want to deliver this video over the Internet. If that's true, then we'll have to make some assumptions on the Internet connection download speeds of your potential viewers. Let's just say that most have at least a 1.5Mb connection or faster.
            OK, that would mean that a video bitrate of half that should usually provide a video download that is not interupped by buffering (most of the time anyway). So assuming a video bitrate of 750kbps, what would the optimum display dimensions be?
            Before we decide, here's a little info about bitrate. For highest quality playback, the video bitrate is tied directly to the display dimensions. That is, the larger the display, the more incoming data is required to properly display the video. Think of bitrate in terms of a can of paint. If you have 1 quart of paint, you might be able to do a very nice job on a 32 X 24 foot area. But if you try to stretch that same amount of paint out over a 64 X 48 foot area, the coverage will not be nearly as good and you get poor results.
            In the same way, a video displayed at 640 X 480 pixels will require 4 times the bitrate as a video displayed at 320 X 240 pixels to produce the same quality. So for example a video with a bitrate of 100kbps, displayed at 160 X 120 will produce the same quality results as a video with a bitrate of 1600kbps if displayed at 640 X 480.
            So to boil it all down, video bitrates of 750kbps, even up to 1000kbps can usually get delivered of the Internet on most high speed connections. Higher bit rates may work for really fast connections but will cause problems for viewers with slower connections. Video display size has a direct bearing on the final quality. In the 750 to 1000kbps range, display size should be kept around 450 or 500 width max (and whatever height the aspect ratio calls for). Yes it can be displayed larger, but the quality will suffer.
            Sound like your audio settings are fine, especially for Internet delivery.
            As for framerate, maintain the original raw video framerate for best results. So if the video was shot at 24fps, leave it.
            As for video converters, do you have the Flash 8 Video Converter? It works just fine for video to be delivered over the Internet. Remember, you are taking a Cadillac version of video (h.264 HD) and stuffing it into a Chevy body to get it to work over the Internet.

            Best wishes,