low cost HD video compression for the web

I put a lot of video on the web. I use Final Cut to edit and usually use Quicktime to produce video to upload to YouTube.

I also like to put video on the web that I don't want to put on YouTube. I use Slideshow Pro or JWPlayer to present the video. Lately I've been making HD video and I would like the best possible quality without long buffer times. I would like to present the video in a Quicktime Codec, because I want it to be available on the iPad as well.

Apple Compressor and Quicktime, don't seem to give me the high quality results I need.

I have recently found that Sorenson Squeeze does a great job of this, but I can't afford the huge price tag. Is there another method what would enable me to compress HD videos for the web at high quality that would require me to spend a lot of time testing out different compression settings?

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xvid codecs are widest used.

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mrmythAuthor Commented:
can I use that on Mac?
yes there are codecs for mac
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mrmythAuthor Commented:
Is there a program that does this xvid compression? What type of player does one need to use?
well there is a flash wrapper for that as well  and adobe offers some good solutions.

 The choices you have are actually a lot.

now you can use mp4 as well and most windows and linux clients have support for it.

You can even use realplayer to play those in windows and of course apple quicktime and linux has many players.

now realnetworks has helix stuff you may want to check into as well as other solutions.

Those are the ones I can name off my head right now.
mrmythAuthor Commented:
thanks I'll check into it
not a problem. glad to help ;-)
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