I am testing out using h.264 files inside of the FLV Player for beter quality. You need the latest flash player to see this video. What does this mean for the viewers? It should mean a few things.
- Better quality at the same bitrate or the same quality as before but a lower bitrate
- One file on server for “streaming” and for user download
This is a huge feature for the content provider because now you can just have one version of your video/vidcast that the viewers can watch near instantly online AND save to their computer for later play back which was not as easy with the FLV files.
- Requires latest flash player
- Requires slightly more bandwidth to provide “streaming”
During the transition time of people updating to the latest version of flash you always have to worry about using the latest and greatest as it might eliminate some viewers who do not have auto update on or do not want it. Adobe has provided a solution tfor this situation. It is possible for a flash player to check the version that the user has and if it is not capable of playing back the h. 264 file it can fall back to a traditional FLV. So with this you can continue to encode in both FLV and h264 format until you see enough viewers using the h264 version. Also with the ability to use scripts to allow random access of properly encoded files the need for a true streaming server is becoming smaller every day. There are still features that a true streaming server provide but the gap between the streaming server and a regular web server is becoming smaller and smaller each day.