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optimal specification/settings for creating or converting a video for different platforms

Posted on 2013-10-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
Hi there,

We are in the process to design and develop video lessons (educational content such as for K-12). Our video lessons contain images, illustrated graphics, simple animations with voice over. Our video lessons also contain digital writing clips (by using screen recording software, touch tablets and digital pen we create these video files/clips and then insert/add in the main video lesson). We are using Adobe suite to design and develop our video lessons. Recorded lessons, user only view them in the web site. Not to  
download and then view. Specific local curriculum based video lessons in local language.

Then we are planning to publish/deliver these video lessons on different platforms such as(web portal, CD/DVD, on standalone computer or local network in a class setting using Projector, smart phones, tablet PCs).

Now while we are designing these video lessons we like to know the following:

1) What are the best video file types according to different distribution platform/devices, such as (web portal, CD/DVD, on standalone computer or local network in a class setting using Projector, smart  phones, tablet PCs)
 
2) What suppose to be the appropriate size (frame height and frame width) of our original video file. Like  before rendering or before any conversion to different video file types and to different sizes.

3) In the context of bandwidth what is the optimal specification/settings for creating/converting a video.  Specifically what need to be the video codec, video size, video bit-rate, frame rate. Also for the audio options while we create/convert a video what is the optimal specification/settings for audio codec, audio  bit-rate, sample rate. Basically looking for a better trade-off between quality and file size of any given  video lesson.

Please suggest!
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Question by:masmatc
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Accepted Solution

by:
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 1000 total points
ID: 39594305
At this point, I think if you create 2 versions, one using h.264 (mp4) or ogg or webm you should be good.  You can use a fall back and let the browser determine which video to select.
<video poster="movie.jpg" controls>
        <source src="movie.webm" type='video/webm; codecs="vp8.0, vorbis"'>
        <source src="movie.ogg" type='video/ogg; codecs="theora, vorbis"'>
        <source src="movie.mp4" type='video/mp4; codecs="avc1.4D401E, mp4a.40.2"'>
        <p>This is fallback content</p>
</video>

Open in new window

http://www.jwplayer.com/html5/  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5_video

As I said in your other post, you are really best off uploading your video to youtube or vimeo as they have all of this figured out nicely.  Video is more commplex as you get into it.

From my own experimentation, I have found the bit rate is the most important ingredient as far as size/speed.  Keep your frame rate to the default. For the bit rate, I have found 1000 seems to offer good quality/size ratio.  I have found this to be a helpful guide http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/84569 and http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/articles/84563-video-details-and-specs
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Author Comment

by:masmatc
ID: 39596264
thank you so much padas for your valuable input. I will read the articles links provided by you and let you know if i have any clarification to make. cheers!
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Author Comment

by:masmatc
ID: 39596302
Have read the articles good information in it. thanks for the lead. so is it save to have the following plan?

Like ask our animators that when they ready to start designing the video original frame size should be 1920*1080, add all the required text, images, digital writing clips, animations in it and then first render it with Full HD tech specs.  Then render it with the other frame sizes such as 960*540 (Mid-Def), 720*576, and 640*480 and 320*240.

The original Full HD 1920*1080 need to be rendered in different frame sizes or need to be converted by using any video convertor or some?  Rendered vs converted? i'm not clear on this. please advice.

Other feeling that i have is, when animator design it on 1920*1080 and then after conversion how the content will look in the video of smaller frame sizes such as 320*240? so may be we need to design our videos start from 720*576 instead of full HD and then render or convert it to smaller frame sizes with appropriate tech spec, so that we do not lost lot of details of the content while we convert or render them to smaller frame sizes.
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:fredshovel
fredshovel earned 1000 total points
ID: 39667349
Perhaps drop the HD mindset.  DVD (apart from Blu-ray) is SD (standard def).  HD was designed for large screens -- like to copy the look of film on big screens.
So do a test on your largest display screen (like a classroom screen) at DVD resolution  (720x480 NTSC, 720x576 PAL).  You'll find it looks very good.
You don't really have to mess with frame sizes and codecs and all that, DVD has its own specs and will finish in MPEG-2 (VOB files) with a high bit rate for video and audio, and it's best to finish in 16:9 aspect ratio.  For streams other than DVD you just pull the MPEG-2 out of the VOB files (no conversion required -- just change the carrier (VOB to MPEG).
This is keeping it simple.

Trivial notes:  Just remember a lot of your files before you drop them on the Adobe Premiere video timeline -- like your screen captures -- will be lower than HD or even DVD.   Just finish in MPEG-2 DVD standard on Premiere.

H.264 is not compatible with DVD (only Blu-Ray).  But if you want to make you DVD (MPEG-2) files smaller for video streams, it's very easy to convert them to H.264, which is MPEG-4 AVC  (same company as MPEG-2).
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Author Closing Comment

by:masmatc
ID: 39686522
Thank you so much both of you fredshovel and padas  for your valuable input and help.

Best Regards
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