How to best show a large video clip over the Web

hartness99
hartness99 used Ask the Experts™
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Think along the model of a WebEx conference.

I need to be able to, from my desk, show (stream) one or more individuals a video clip that can easliy exceed 100MB.  Full motion is critical (no choppiness) and I need to be able to talk with the other participants as the video is displayed.  It would be nice to be able to pause, reverse, fast forward the video.

WebEx cannot accomodate files of this size or that would've been my first choice, since we already use WebEx.  I don't want to post the video to something like YouTube because I need to control who has authority to view it.

I need to be able to run the video from my local server (i.e. - I don't want to have to upload the video file to another server is at all possible).  And, I don't want to have to convert the video file to any other format.  I'd like to run its native .wav, mpg, .avi, etc. format.

Do anyone have any epxerience with this type of application?
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You are on the right track with using WebEx or a similar hosting service to show the video. My company's webconferencing service also has a limit on the size of a video file that can be streamed. We have a deal with a major carier though that does their trainings in this way of showing pre-recorded video in excess of 100MB.

The solution to make this work is to do a screen sharing of the presenter's screen while the video is playing. This allows for the best resolution and no limit to the file size and no reformatting needed. I would love to tell you that there will be zero choppiness but that is unrealistic with end user bandwidth possibilities.

The challenge you will face then is getting the audio in. Screen sharing does not convey the audio. My company's solution to this is a hardware adapter that feeds your computer audio into your phone and dialing the phone into the TeleConference that accompanies the meeting. (We are a TeleConference provider as well so that helps).

If you are currently using WebEx I suggest trying this method as it meets all your criteria. I am not an expert in WebEx as much as my own companies solutions, but it muight work as well. If not, I'd be glad to try to assist in trying options with you. Feel fre to contact me through my profile here on EE.

Good luck,

Anthony
Has this worked out for you?
hartness99Network Admin

Author

Commented:
No, I could never find a workable solution and abandoned the effort.  The video playback was to "choppy" on the receiving end on every solution I investigated.  
Do smaller video files play smoother than large ones? If so then the hesitation is due to the constant downloading in the background of a large clip. Splitting the larger clips to smaller chunks and showing part1, part2, part3 might make it more manageable for the server and result in smoother playback.

Also the playing part can be bumping up against the downloaded part. Bringing up the clip and pausing it for 5-10 seconds usually can alleviate that issue.

Both of these possible solutions are dependent on what type of environment you are in or if separate parts of the clip, or pausing in the beginning would be acceptable or disruptive to your audience.

What format is the clip in now? I am familiar with applications that require the clip to be in FLV to upload to the server library as that is one of the better formats for streaming video (and thus often used on the web in sites like YouTube).

If the project is totally abandoned feel free to disregard these tips of course.

Anthony
hartness99Network Admin

Author

Commented:
The process of setting up multiple small video clips and streaming them over the internet was not well covered.  I would have liked to have known what tools you could use to split the video into clips with.

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