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Q: Video compression & streaming video ( Answered,   4 Comments )
Subject: Video compression & streaming video
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: spitfire-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 19 Jun 2002 15:39 PDT
Expires: 26 Jun 2002 15:39 PDT
Question ID: 29425
I am working on the planning stages of a video history project that
will aim to put interviews with WW2 veterans on-line. Our standard
archival storage of interviews will be on DVD.

The question is what are our options for putting interview content

Understanding it will take a lot of money. 

As far as I can understand there are two key decisions: 1) How to
compress the video from DVD (i.e. what format to compress it into)
into something suitable for delivery over the web and 2) How to
deliver the content. With the latter I am particularly interested in
the cost/benefit difference between hosting & delivering the content
through our own servers & bandwidth (all of which we would need to
purchase) and using some streaming video service that might be out

It is important that the material be as widely accessible as possible,
and there may be several hundred of hours total video to deliver.

This is a long term project so we wish to adopt standards that are
most likely to stand the test of time and be transferable to new
Subject: Re: Video compression & streaming video
Answered By: runix-ga on 19 Jun 2002 16:05 PDT

Definitly you have to use MPEG4:

MPEG4 is the new standard, developed by the  Moving Picture
Group (the group that developed MPEG2 DVD Encoding). MPEG4 was
designed to "allow ‘universal access’ to multimedia information" (

You can find an Overview of the MPEG4 standard here:

Divx is a new video codec based on MPEG4 that I personally think has a
great quality/size ratio.

From the Divx page:
" The DivX™ codec (short for compression-decompression) is based on
the MPEG-4 compression standard. This codec is so advanced that it can
reduce an MPEG-2 video (the same format used for DVD or Pay-Per-View)
to ten percent of its original size. Video on regular VHS tapes can be
reduced to about one hundredth of their original size. " ( )

There are free Divx players for almost every OS (Unixes, Windows, Mac,
Also, there's a free version of the encoder that finances itself thru
ads or a 30$ version. ( )

You can see some Divx samples here:
You will have to download the player before playing the samples  from:

Additional links:

Mplayer, a Divx player for Linux and other unixes: (free, open source)

FFmpeg can encode a video stream to Divx to be broadcasted (free, open

The official Windows Divx player and encoder

Mac Divx codec

FlaskMpeg can encode a video to Divx (free, open source)

Good luck!
Subject: Re: Video compression & streaming video
From: wengland-ga on 20 Jun 2002 11:26 PDT
Divx and MPEG-4 are fine solutions for some things.

Neither is a final standard yet, and using either one is asking for
trouble for archival video.

However, for a more professionsal solution for streaming video off of
the web, I would strongly suggest using Quicktime from Apple.  They
have the oldest, most robust and strongest solutions.  Matter of fact,
the MPEG-4 standard is baseo on the Quicktime product.
Subject: Re: Video compression & streaming video
From: runix-ga on 20 Jun 2002 13:32 PDT
Im not sure if they care about this, but Quicktime is only available
for Windows and Mac....  (There's no QT for Unixes :( )
Subject: Re: Video compression & streaming video
From: simontocker-ga on 21 Jun 2002 06:18 PDT
Im researching the whole video streaming for corporate solution, it is
a nightmare.

Loads of people shout DivX is great, and Quictime is Mpeg4, true
Version 1 or 2.

The latest MPEG4 codec is Version three, this gives an excellent
compression for low bitrate.  Microsoft own V3.  If you want the best,
and DivX is great but the later CBR 2-pass utils in MS tools are out
performing DivX.

If you have a lot of money to spend as this is going to make money,
then you need to go with a major play.

Real - ubiquitous streaming software, almost everyone has the free
player installed if they use the internet and it can be easily
installed (not on corporate lock don machines!)  Real 8 can embed
multiple encoded streams so if network traffic is bad it can opt to
view the lower bit rate.

MSMedia Service - MS use Mpeg4v3 in there latests Codecs, they have
the money to spend at constantly improving the technology and are
demonstrating that they are doing exactly that, the next release V9
(Corona) promises even better results.  It can also do multiple bit
rate encoding when the network starts to suffer.  Lets face it its
going to happen network congestion on the web is a problem where video
is concerned.

Has been around for ages, cant say I have seen many uses as a
streaming format, as a bursted (ie download direct to player) solution
I have seen that a lot and have been impressed by the quality.

Proprietry solutions I looked at

can handle mpeg-1, mpeg-2, and mpeg-4 needs IPTV viewer. Appears Aimed
at internal streaming more than internet streaming on high bandwith.

Again aimed at internal streaming for organisations, has own viewer. 
has Internet option a transcoder box for taking DVDMPEG-2 converting
Windows Media (possibly other).

My personal opinion of this, is that the internet has a huge Microsoft
platform user base, acedemics and journalists use linux and macs,
have any money ;-)
Figure out your user base ? if its predominantly Windows then each
will most likely have Windows media player  6.4+ installed.

Any streaming solution that does not require yet another client to
view video
will have an edge.  If you can use the pre-installed player then that
gives whichever solution can stream in a format that the player can
easily play has an edge.

For the Web you are looking at Real or Windows Media as they are
continuing to plow lots of money into research, others may be doing
this but where is the evidence.

*All infomartion is a result of personal experience, use at own risk. 
Mistakes may appear in this information and full verification should
be taken before acting on any information given.
Subject: Re: Video compression & streaming video
From: smk00-ga on 09 Mar 2005 08:57 PST
Divx and MPEG-4 would be ideal for this type of solution providing
bandwidth would not be to minimal. Divx codec players are universal
and will play on most platforms. Unix/Linux/MAC/Microsoft Quick time
will limit your audience. Personally I very much enjoy Divx as it is
of excellent picture quality, works on all players (with some tuning
on some/ updating codecs) and video compression ratio is ideal. Many
full length DVD "quality" movies can run around the 700MB size mark!

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