The demand for delivering video over the World Wide Web is increasing
dramatically. This document is an effort to educate and provide video
creators with general guidelines to assist with the activities of producing
and distributing video on the Web. One important aspect in this endeavor
is to provide realistic expectations. Web video is not TV quality. Bandwidth
limitations often make creating quality desktop video a challenge. Tradeoffs
will have to be made between file size, image quality, frame rate, and
audio quality. Compression affects the look of the video at a given bandwidth.
This document offers the opportunity to experience different types of
videos at different compression rates in different formats.
The compression/decompression routines developed for Web video are improving
everyday. Use these guidelines as just that -- information to guide you
in the creation and distribution of video on the World Wide Web. The creation
of high-quality video begins with the "big picture" approach.
Keep the whole production process in mind while carefully planning each
step. There are essentially 2 places where picture quality can be lost.
- Video captures two-dimensional images of a three-dimensional world.
Some of the detail found in the colors, sounds and images may be lost.
Using a high quality camera, good lighting and audio equipment and professional
production practices are ways to minimize that loss.
- Compression of the video is necessary to deliver it over the Web.
Compression reduces the amount of data or information in the video again.
Using the proper compression is another important step in producing
quality video. The old saying "Garbage in, garbage out" is
as true with video as any other computer process.
Video technology can be exciting and frustrating. The technology is often
on the cutting edge and there are varying standards to go by. Different
equipment and software can create challenges. Get to know others on campus
who are engaging in these activities. Join the UT Digital Video Producers
Group by contacting Diane Gierisch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These guidelines will address the 2 major types of video on the Web:
streaming versus progressive download.
- Streaming media is live and/or archived audio or video content, delivered
in almost real-time to an end user's computer via the Internet. It's
also called video-on-demand. For large files, streaming is preferable
to downloading because you do not have to wait for the file to download
before viewing it. Downloading a video file can greatly increase the
amount of time it takes to view a presentation. In addition, many computers
do not have the storage capacity to store a long presentation. Streamed
presentations are experienced as they are downloaded, and generally
not stored on the clients system. Viewers do not need to wait for the
entire file to download to experience it. Further, it allows the consumer
to jump forward or backward to the section of the content of interest.
- Progressive downloads are files that are downloaded to the viewers
computer. The files do not have to be completely downloaded before viewing
begins (some media players have a "quickstart" feature) but
the final result is that a copy of the movie exists on the viewers computer.
For longer (larger) movies and smaller bandwidth versions or users,
this may not be desirable. Determine your audience and their method
of Internet connectivity when planning your video.
NOTE: The Video on the Web Guidelines will be reviewed and, if necessary,