As I am writing all of these posts and guides related to Video SEO, it occured to me that I should mention how to optimize streaming videos as well. Obviously, streaming video is not as hot as video sharing online but it is important to optimize streaming videos for user experience. I am not aware of any streaming videos results appearing withing Universal Search and clearing indexing of streaming video pages is quite different than indexing video pages, but if anyone has any information and comments related to this, please comment below. Thanks.
Shooting of a video to produce top-quality streaming video has four distinctive requirements.
- First, in most of videos, directors and producers introduce motion to retain the viewer’s interest, so the use of slow pans and zooms come almost naturally. However, motion negates the benefits of the inter-frame compression algorithms used in most streaming compression technologies. It is always better reduce the amount of motion in the video to get good quality streaming video. The most important point to remember while shooting is that any motion degrades video quality. The second point is that the amount of visible degradation relates to the data rate of the compressed clip, and the selected codec. Therefore, you need to know which codec you’ll be shooting with the target bit rate.
At 100Kps, video quality at 160×120 is usually providing very good results, even with lots of motion, though the video will be very small, even if doubled during playback. If you limit the motion in your video, and plan your background carefully, you can produce very good quality video. Too much motion results in the blurriness. After studying the codecs, patterns emerge. Windows Media gets very blocky, while H.264 tends to blow up during sequences at 56kbps to 1 mbps data rates, though it looks wonderful at much higher rates.
- Second, you should know that codecs respond differently to different backgrounds. Therefore, mange the background very carefully, when producing your set. You should know the peculiarity of your target codecs to optimize your background, at the same time, you should understand how to dress and position your subjects.
- Third is the lighting. It is key to shoot top-quality streaming video. When shooting for streaming, you should provide sufficient lighting to create adequate contrast between the subject and the background.
- The fourth and last step is the camera itself. Once you’ve selected your camera, you should makeup your mind about the settings you should use.
Shooting with multiple cameras is another way to keep the viewer interested while retaining compression friendliness. Since codecs handle infrequent sharp cuts fairly well, this would produce much better image than panning and zooming around with one camera.
Similarly, shoot your video without panning or zooming, then shoot the action with static cameras, switching between close up and mid shot for variety. With a bit of creativity, you can create the illusion of motion that keeps the viewer’s interest, while limiting the actual motion, the codec sees during compression.
On-camera movement also causes video degradation as much as camera movement, which is why you have to minimize their motions. Once you’ve got the required footage, do not introduce more motion while editing. Probably the two biggest culprits are titles and transitions.
Smother your creative supports and use simple titles with restricted motion. Always consider more simple titles for web distribution, since the text and other detail makes artifacts understandable. Same goes for transitions. A simple cut always works better and shot dissolves perfectly.