Decoding Video Encoding

If you’ve ever wanted to upload a video to your web page, you would have to know about video encoding. Video encoding uses a specific format, called encoding, in order to upload the videos. Read on to find out about the different video formats and encoders that are used. There are a few free services that you can also use to encode videos on-demand or live.

What is Flash Video?

Flash video is one of the most popular  formats used for video uploading. Flash video file extension is .FLV, which isn’t usually outputted by man video editing suites, camcorders and cameras; at least not natively. Once you begin looking around for an encoding software, make sure you get a bang for the buck. With the CS3 and CS4, you get the Flash Video Encoder for free. It has limited options, but does a pretty good job. Other options are Sorenson Squeeze, On2Flix pro and Rhozet Carbon Coder, which is the professional of the bunch.

H.264: Format or Codec?

H.264 is more of a codec than a format; it is an MPEG-4. There are various formats that are encoded with the H.264 codec. Some of the formats include .MOV, F4V, and MP4 files. H.264 uses a compressing process to create higher quality videos with low bit rates. Some even compare H.264 with HD video. There’s really no other file that is able to compress a video file this small or smaller without messing up its quality.


Windows Media Video, or WMV, is a format that is superior to Flash. This may have been true a few years ago when WMV was more stable and offered great quality pictures. VC-1 Codec in WMV is supported by Microsoft. VC-1 is another codec that is used in the formatting of HD-DVDs. So when VC-1 is involved with WMV, you can pretty much expect some greatness. One of the major disadvantages of WMV is its compatibility, or lack there of. Finding a MAC or Linux that supports WMV is difficult.

Different Encoders

Besides using software encoders, you can find hardware that will encode just as great or even better. So if you’re looking for a way to encode videos with minimal hassles and the best possible encoding process, hardware may  be your best bet. Vbrick, Newtek, Ripcode (good for on-the-go encoding because it changes dimensions, bit rates and formats easily), Viewcast and Digital Rapids are all great devices to use for live encoding (all you need is one master file and the RipCode device will do everything you need).

Live encoding is when you deliver a live video to multiple viewers at once. If you’re looking to do this, you may want to consider using a CDN, Content Delivery Network, which will help to deliver more videos and quicker uploads. So if you’re internet connection upstream is at 3Mbps and you’re trying to encode at 500Kbps — this would only allow around 6 viewers to watch the video simultaneously. With the CDN, you’ll be able to support a live stream that offers hundreds or even thousands of simultaneous views. If you’re looking to do Flash Live Encoding,  you will need to use the Adobe Flash Live Encoder — you’ll also need a high-end computer.

Hopefully with this information, you’ll be able to get started on uploading videos on your website/web page.