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Streaming with a FLV or SWF file -- embedded in a html page with NO player -- possible? And how to do it.

HI

I have a short video that I need to put on a website.  I need it to stream.  I don't want there to be any play buttons or stop buttons.  I just want the video to autostart and loop forever.

I assume I should be using a FLV file to do this (instead of a swf).

I want to embed the video in a certain position on  the webpage  In other words, I do not want the visitors's own flv player to play the video.  I want it embedded in the html with no border, no visible player.   Just like it would look, for example, if it were a swf file.  No player, just the movie streaming.  

Is that possible with flv?  And of course, how do I do it.

ALSO I have access to a flash server (Playstream.com).  Would that help the video stream better -- as oposed to just uploading it to my apache web server?

Thanks

Rowby
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Rowby Goren
Asked:
Rowby Goren
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1 Solution
 
grahamnonweilerCommented:
You will need to create a SWF wrapper for the FLV file - the SWF wrapper should simply load and start the stream (FLV) and it doesn't need to have any controls.

One of the simplest methods I have come across to create this type of functionalty is "SwishVideo2" (http://www.swishzone.com)  that is basically a Video (WMV/AVI/MPEG4/MOV) to FLV generator - it produces the SWF loader for you with or without controls.

While you can acheive the same thing in FLASH (well certainly the new CS version) it will take you a whole lot longer than using the utility from SwishZone - a couple of clicks and you're done!

You can serve the FLV content from anywhere (including Apache) but remember that FLV is a streaming format so your bandwidth will go up significantly - especially if you have it in a continuous loop.

The upside for embedded SWF wrapper is that visitors will never get to see the actual FLV URL so even if they have a local FLV player they won't know where to go to get the content - its not even in their browser cache!
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Rowby GorenAuthor Commented:
I have 1 or 2 of the other Swish products.  I'll check out SwishVideo2 now.  Stay tuned.
Rowby
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grahamnonweilerCommented:
IF you are using SwishVideo2 make sure to download the extra Codecs to handle Flash 8 format - the difference in quality is considerable.
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Rowby GorenAuthor Commented:
WIll do.   Also is the installed base for Flash 8 format pretty good?  Or should I consider using an older version of Flash 8 for the general audience. (Of course I would prefer 8, based on what you said.)

Rowby
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Rowby GorenAuthor Commented:
Downloaded  the demo - works nice in my test.  

I don't see any generated HTML from SwishVideo2.  Also for flv I don't see an option for continuous loop.   Would that be done in the html?  Or does flv not have continuous looping capability.

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grahamnonweilerCommented:
First answer - Flash 8 is supported by 90% of browsers - Flash 9 Player is the current standard - Flash 8 in this case relates to the Video compression.

Second answer: SwishVideo2 creates a SWF file - you just create the HTML as you would for any SWF content - to loop the content you need to reload the wrapper. FLV is a streaming format - if you want a simple looped video clip then it is better to use SWF - again you can use SwishVideo to handle converting your video footage to SWF and make it loop.

Depends on what you prefer.
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Rowby GorenAuthor Commented:
Hi  
Hmmmm..... Well I definately want it to loop "forever".  And I want it to stream -- to start as quickly as possible when the page loads -- without any play buttons.

I have a feeling the flv will not necessarly automatically loop?   And as you say a SWF can loop, but it will not stream like a movie as a flv file will??????

Or am I not quite right in my interpretation?

Thanks

Rowby
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Rowby GorenAuthor Commented:
FYI

I posted the following on the SwishMax Video2 forum.  Here's my question and a (rather quick!) response from a forum member:

I have a short AVI video that I want to convert from AVI to FLV. At least I think I want to convert it to FLV. But maybe a SWF would be better based on my needs.

1. I want the video to stream as soon as possible after the page loads.
2. No player controls. Auto start and continuous looping "forever.
3. At any point during the video the visitor can click the video and be sent to a URL. (this is not an absolute requirement, but it would be helpful -- if not I have other ways to make that happen.)

I have a feeling that FLV will not loop -- partially based on the fact that "Stop at End" is not accessable in the Swish Video 2 admin panel.

--  Response --

if your movie is short
then you have no advantage in use flv
swf is actually much more easy to work with
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grahamnonweilerCommented:
Correct - SWF is your better choice if the content is short - as  I said at the begining of this thread FLV is for streaming content - streaming is meant for large/long content. A properly encoded AVI to Flash8 clip will start playing immediately and download the rest in the background.
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Rowby GorenAuthor Commented:
The SWF is what it will be.

But for future reference, for a typical standard video, FLV would be a way to go, right?

Also for future reference, would a FLV file stream "better" on a adobe / macromedia special "video" server, or whatever they call it.

Rowby
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Rowby GorenAuthor Commented:
When I say "standard" I mean a video of a longer length -- like ten minutes long..
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grahamnonweilerCommented:
Correct FLV is ideal for longer content - actually anything over a minute benefits fromFLV depending on the viewing size (widthxheight) and quality
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Rowby GorenAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay.  I have awarded you the points for your solution and well explained examples of the differences between the two formats.

Rowby
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