Wednesday April 25, 2007
First a little background on FLV.
This provides OK quality. Since then a later version (SVQ3) has superseded SVQ1, by providing the same quality at lower bitrates. Competing codecs like On2 have offered alternatives, the quality of which can be argued between by the media denizens and people that know more about it. Alternatively, go here for a great comparison.
While researching this, I was trying to find how to encode the video with SVQ3 on Linux. It’s beluddy complicated, because the codec is proprietary. You can use the binary version through mencoder, or so I’m lead to believe, but there are licensing issues.
To be honest, the quality/bitrate factor isn’t so much a big thing unless you’re threatened with becoming the next blood sacrifice at the end-of-the-month review if you don’t use it. Plus there’s a few remote benefits with backward compatibility, as earlier versions of flash (Flash 6) only support SVQ1…
So to use ffmpeg to convert your video (into an FLV file with an SVQ1 video stream at 200Kbit/s) the syntax is summarised:
Updated: April 2008 (see comments)
ffmpeg -i [input file options] [input file] [output file options] [output file]
ffmpeg -h (a better explanation of the options)
ffmpeg -i someVideo.avi -f flv -b 200000
A common mistake is to believe that since -b is bitrate, and video bitrate is often measured in kilobits/sec, that the argument you provide here will be indicative of KBits/sec. It’s not – always provide a value of bits per second for -b. Knocking off those last 3 zeros will have a significant impact on quality.