Monday, October 6, 2008

Another Three Months...

I've got to do better in the "updating the blog" department. Three months is just a wee bit too long, but it's been a busy three months, although, not busy for Mater Dei Television. Well, not too busy...

I've come to a crossroads at the fledgling TV apostolate. I needed to have this up like last year, and it's not up yet. I know the direction with VoD is the right way to go, at least for now and probably in some form in the future as well. I just don't have the bandwidth to use the streaming servers like I'd like to. If I want to have more than three or four viewers at a time, that bandwidth is going to need to be somewhere around, well, T3 speed. At least two T1s, which is not one less than a T3 (for those non-techs reading this, a T3 actually has the same bandwidth as 27 T1 lines).

I figured maybe embedding video is going to be the best option, at least for now, but I don't want YouTube. I'm not thrilled with the quality of flash video in general and YouTube's quality in particular. If I could get an MP4 to play back, especially one with the H.264 compression, that wouldn't be long as the player could go full screen without that annoying navigation bar.

Well, after consulting with a friend who does webhosting and web development, I found out that embedding MP4 video is, in fact, possible. I had to find a good player, though, and I may have. The JW FLV Media Player plays MP4 format with the H.264 compression. If you follow the link and look at the quality full screen, you'll notice it's fantastic quality for embedded video, and I believe that's because when you look at that demo clip, that is AVC/AAC that you're looking at. When you choose full screen, the navigation bar comes up, but disappears with a slick fade after a few seconds. That wouldn't be bad, because it looks cheap when it stays up there. Having it up there initially and then letting it fade out would be the best of both words. It also does playlists too, so I can actually have some clips on a loop on the menu screen that people could be watching while looking over the programs.

By the way, if you download this player and try to use it without embedding it, it's not going to work. It's written to be uploaded to a website and then coded to use on a website. It IS a slick player though. I can wait to try it out.

It's not so much that I'm admitting defeat by using embedded video; I'm just starting out a little more within my means. Perhaps someday we'll have the IPTV VoD setup, but let's learn to crawl before we run.

Stay Tuned!

Chuck, MI

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