H.264 production

Content in this category discusses how to produce H.264 video.

What is H.264?

H.264 is the most widely used codec on the planet, with significant penetration in optical disc, broadcast, and streaming video markets. However, many uses of H.264 are subject to royalties, something that should be considered prior to its adaption. Other factors to consider include comparative quality against other available technologies, like Google’s WebM, as well as the general availability of decoding capabilities on target platforms and devices. This article discusses H.264 and competitive technologies from these perspectives.

Interview on WebM and HTML5 at StreamingMedia West

ScribeMedia.org produced a number of video interviews at StreamingMedia West, including an interview with StreamingLearning Center's founding visionary, Jan Ozer (sorry, couldn't resist, writing in the third party is so freeing). As the title suggests, host Peter Cervieri and I discuss WebM, HTML5 and several other issues. Click over to the main article to see the video.

Encoding H.264 Video for Streaming and Progressive Download - Presentation

Here's the description of the presentation that I just gave at StreamingMedia West. You can download the PDF below. Enjoy!

This seminar focuses on producing H.264 video  for streaming or progressive download. It starts with a deep look at key H.264 encoding parameters like B-frames, profiles, and levels and how to customize encoding parameters for distributing via QuickTime and Flash. After detailing how to operate the H.264-related encoding  parameters in tools from Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Sorenson, and  Telestream, it then provides a brief overview of the respective quality output of these tools. Learn how your encoding tool compares in terms of quality and configurability, as well as how to configure  your encoding tool for maximum H.264 quality.

H.264 Presentations from Streaming Media Europe

I gave two presentations at Streaming Media Europe last week, one a three hour presentation on producing H.264 for Flash, Silverlight, QuickTime and HTML5, the other a 30 minute short course on producing H.264. Both presentations are attached hereto. Click over to the main article to download them.

Producing H.264 with Episode 6 and Squeeze 6.5

Article just posted at Digital Content Producer. I got an early look at Telestream's completely new Episode 6, with a hot new interface, and improved H.264 quality and performance. I also looked at Squeeze 6.5, which didn't really update any H.264-re...

x264Encoder vs the Apple Codec

If you're looking for the highest quality H.264 output, and encode on the Apple platform, you should try the x264Encoder encoder, which you can download here. This article contains comparison images and downloadable files to accompany my comparison review for Digital Content Producer (like to come).

MPEG-LA Announces No royalties on Free Internet Videos - Ever

This is a story I've been following for awhile. By way of background, MPEG-LA represents the H.264 patent holders and is charged with administering all licenses and collecting all royalties, which are paid by companies who build H.264 encoders, pl...

WebM vs. H.264: A First Look

This article compares H.264 to WebM, Google's implementation of the VP8 codec, using three variables (encoding time, compressed quality, and CPU requirements) for playback on three personal computers. Here's the CliffsNotes version of the results: Using Sorenson Squeeze to produce both H.264 and WebM, the latter definitely took longer, but there are techniques that you can use to reduce the spread to less than 25%, which is pretty much irrelevant. Though H.264 offers slightly higher quality than the VP8 codec used by WebM using the aggressive (e.g., very low data rate) parameters that I tested, at normal web parameters, you couldn't tell the difference without a score card. Even compared to H.264 files produced with x264, VP8 holds its own.

Click to the main article to read the rest of the story. 

Producing H.264 Video

H.264 is the most widely used codec today, whether for streaming via Flash or Silverlight or for the Apple iPod, iPhone, and iPad product lines. If you've worked with H.264 before, the format is old hat for you. But if you're cutting over from VP6 or Windows Media or expanding distribution to H.264-compatible devices, you're faced with a learning curve.

Well, we're here to help. In this article, I'll detail what you need to know to produce H.264 files for streaming or device playback. Our target reader is the novice working with encoding tools such as Adobe Media Encoder, Apple Compressor, Sorenson Squeeze, and Telestream Episode Pro. If you're looking for help with more advanced tools, they simply provide too many options to address in an introductory article.

Click to the main article to read the rest of the story.

H.264 Encoding Parameters of the Rich and Famous

Whenever I speak in public about streaming production, I try to back up my recommendations with file parameters gathered from prominent media and corporate sites. Here are some file statistics gathered for a series of sessions that I taught this spri...