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I'm building a site that utilizes full screen flash video behind html content. It's only on the homepage that the video appears. I've built it with swfobject positioned behind the html content using z-index.
The problem I'm having is optimizing the video so it loads quickly. As it stands, the video takes anywhere from 5 - 10 seconds to load before it starts playing. I'm using a 45 second long .f4v (it's 9.2 mb in size) loaded into the .swf with the netstream object.
I imagine the best way to get it to play faster is to a) decrease its quality, or b) cut down its length. I'm not at liberty to shorten the clip, and I'd rather not take a big hit in quality because it'll look like shit. Are there any other options? Is a 9mb video way too big for this kind of application?
Also, does anyone know why safari won't produce a proper hand cursor when rolling over html links that have flash video behind them? I've noticed this on several other flash/html hybrid sites besides my own.
The answer is pretty much no to your main question, to put it in a basic way, video must suffer a quality loss if you want it to begin playing quickly on an average machine with an average connection. Second question fuck knows maybe your computer is a spazz.
no they do not change the pointer atall.
One thing I might suggest is give the video say three seconds buffer time.... I think you may have missed this out in one of your parameters. Perhaps you might enjoy better luck.... set the buffer time to between two and three seconds and it might just play smoothly after a small pause, I found the video whacked in almost immediatly then began the steaming jitters.
Also I fully shat myself when those dances were running along with their heads stuck together!!!!
I don't know if you are aware but there is a big issue with using video as background in flash, when i open your site, my CPU usage performance tab goes between 75% and 85%. When i kill it it goes back to normal.
Don't worry (maybe not), every site i saw using flash video background has the same issue....
I'd sacrifice video quality so it plays quickly and smoothly, but overlay a faint repeating pixel pattern over the video (like a dot every 10 pixels). This gives the feeling of sharpness. Looks like that basjanader site is doing this.
For the record, I didn't create those sites. I'm simply using them as reference. Regarding the processor hit, that's no surprise. I imagine any site using video is going to put added stress on the cpu.
The best way to do this, is to output your file at a third the size or smaller, scale it back up in flash, and set smoothing to true. You will be surprised how good it looks, just keep making it smaller till it looks shit.
What about using a screen shot image of the first frame of the video to use as the "preloader" (do liquid layout and set smoothing). When the video has cached enough to start playing back, hide the screen shot image, and begin playing the video back.