How to Play Flash Video on Mobile with HTML5

FLV Hosting has received inquiries regarding mobile delivery and the options within the current system at FLVNetwork. The following document servers to address what is available now, and what's coming up within the FLV Network area, to cover as many end user eventualities as possible.There are 3 issues at hand when playing Flash on Mobile devices.. 

1. Video Playback
2. Video encoding suited to mobile devices
3. File protection.

For web use, Flash Players will still be around for quite some time to come. Mobile users however, have had conflicts due to never ending battles between operating systems such as Apple and Droid. One solution, while not perfect, is certainly a step forward in video delivery. It's called HTML5.

The main ADVANTAGE to using html5 video, is of course for multi browser multi device video viewing and playback. The disadvantage of HTML5 video is that there is currently no single video format that works in all browsers. The recommended formats are webm, ogv and h.264 (mp4). To avoid having to re-encode 3 types of video format, the best solution is mp4.

While fairly new, html5 can play and connect via a player that looks similar to Flash, to connect to compatible MP4 video files ( recommended for mobile)

HTML 5 definitely has the potential of upstaging Flash in more ways than one, but it is presently a work in progress. Even in its current avatar it helps make mobile phone applications more accessible, and developers are now able to create universal applications for different mobile phones. Additionally, there is no doubt that it offers more flexibility in website creativity. For now, this is enough. What happens in the future is pure hypothesis.

Allow us to offer you a small list of things that HTML5 can do and, in fact, can do very well. This can also help reduce the misconceptions in a big way.

  • You can create a single application that works on the iPad, iPhone, Windows etc. In other words, it facilitates platform/device independency — a huge benefit in itself.
  • Helps develop a single website that works on the tablet, mobile, and desktop at the same time.
  • If used well and the way it is supposed to be used, it can improve website performance.
  • Enables the use of audio and videos tags across all platforms, but be prepared to do a bit of hard work.
  • Video, audio and images are all written right into the codes, eliminating the need for any third party software.
  • Quicker load time as compared to its older version because of WebSockets implementation.
  • Offers great vector animations for graphics and light effect, but do not expect the moon, the sun, and the stars when it comes to animations; Flash is way ahead in this aspect.
  • Provides appropriate built-in form validation and type declarations to offer specific keyboard support.

Players;

FLV Hosting has added a (Beta version) HTmL5 player to the FLVnetwork system. To access the player, Log in to your account, choose any video in the system or upload and convert to mp4, then choose "Create Player" then select the HTML5 player for integration. Please note that FLV wont play on Apple IOS, we recommend MP4 files for Iphone/Ipad playback, and for most other browsers/devices.

Encoding:
As a minimum the video format needs to be in MP4 output, available upon upload in the drop down options.. Ideally, using as small a file size as possible while keeping quality at a reasonable viewing level. As with all video encoding, its best done on a desktop prior to uploading, but can also be converted upon upload from your computer. One such tool that can do that is Any Converter free version. Does a nice job in various sizes. MP4 can compress quite well and some tricks can be used such as larger screen dimensions output with lower bitrate. This looks better to the viewer when shown on a smaller screen size such as iphone. or ipad.

Browser Support
As of right now, the video tag is only supported by the more advanced browsers, such as: Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Firefox. Microsoft has promised they will include support in IE9, but current versions of IE will not support it.

This is where it gets tricky. Browsers who do support the video tag can’t agree on the method for video playback. Specifically, they can’t agree on which codec to use.


  • File protection. This is still possible by separating the web pages into mobile and web browser. HTML 5 and the URL to the video will still be hidden from the end user, and typically devices will connect and play but not transfer the video. When the system update occurs in FLVNetwork the players should be seamless in delivery.


 

Please let us know if you need help with conversion or with html5 integration for your videos.

FLV Hosting

www.flvhelp.com

Simultaneous Connections Explanation

(NOTE: This only applies if using the Streaming Server. It does NOT apply to Progressive Streaming) This is the number of connections to the streaming server at the EXACT SAME moment. It only "counts" the number of people streaming a video, so someone browsing your site and NOT playing a movie would NOT count towards a sim connection. In general, a Flash Streaming Server host will offer several options depending on the licensing of the streaming server.

Typical limits are from 50 "sim connects" up to 2500 sim connects, this higher option is usually retained for dedicated servers.

If the number of sim connects reaches the limits, then the person trying to connect must wait for a connection to "open" – similar to how a phone switchboard would work, 50 lines in, if all occupied, then must redial to find an open line. If your application only contains data (e.g., video streaming) you will almost certainly reach the peak bandwidth per second limit before you reach the number of simultaneous connections (users) limit .

Look for the number of "sim connects" in your hosting plan when using FLV Hosting Streaming

Local FLV Players

Play FLV files on your PC with the FLV Hosting FLV Media Player

We have 2 FLV Players available for you to play FLV Media files on your PC computer.
Since there is no FLV player freely available in an operating system (Yet) FLV
Hosting is proud to offer 2 such players to you for use, free of charge, FLV
Player 1 and FLV Player 2.0. New features in Version 2 include a larger default
screen size, and automatic resize according to the file output encoded screen
size.

The Free FLV Player by FLV Hosting Version 2 is the latest is a string of webmaster
tools to make life easy when adding video to websites. This player works in
tandem with the FLV Encoder, a file compressor for various file formats, to Flash
FLV
.

Desktop flv player

CLICK
HERE TO DOWNLOAD FLV Hosting FLV Player VERSION 2

 

Below is the FLV Hosting FLV Player Version 1 – Default play
size 320 X 240

 

Free FLV Player by FLV Hosting

Get it from CNET Download.com! Flash
FLV
is now recognized as a fabulous format, using swf players to connect to
the flv file either by progressive download of streaming via Flash
Communications server or Flash Media Server. Large entities such as Google now
use FLV and FCS to power their video program

 

The Free FLV Player plays FLV files on your PC, and launches them directly
from your browser when finding them online

Below are the screenshots to show the installation of the Free FLV Player by
FLV Hosting

Free FLV Player Install

FLV Hosting Encoder

This standalone free Flash FLV Player & MP3 player allows you to browse
preview and check the properties of any FLV or MP3 file on your local (PC)
system. This is useful for viewing exported FLV files to check they play before
inserting into webpages or uploading to FLV hosting. If they play in this
player, they will play anywhere

This includes an installer and has no adware of any kind.

Flash Server Streaming

What is Flash Streaming Server and when should I use it ?

In general, for INSTANT playback on videos longer than 15-20 minutes long, and if you want to "protect" the FLV from internet sharing. The difference between progressive and streaming is very subtle.

A Progressive Download in Flash means you are able to watch the video while the rest of the video is loading into the player and is caching into the users temporary internet files.

Flash Streaming Server works differently by using the Flash Player, you can command it to stream directly from the server, with no caching into computer temp folders. This method is preferred for videos longer than around 15 minutes FLV Hosting STREAMING Demo 1 FLV's being played remotely from the server use Streaming Playback. If the FLV or MP4 file is not playing through a Flash Server you won't be able to use Streaming Playback.

RTMP DEMO # 1

Though nearly identical to Progressive download, server streaming does have some advantages to the developer. Streaming servers can, invisibly adjust for changes in bandwidth, allow the user to move to any position in the video and to set up playlists that have no lag between videos. Flash application communicates through FLV hosting and is called RTMP.

Even though the browser can play the file while connected to the server, the file cannot be played locally, and it is not cached to the users temp internet files. Given the connection to the MX server however, it allows the user to play the movie directly in their chosen browser.

This eliminates the need for a third party download such as Quicktime, Windows Media Player, Divx or Real Player.

Flash is embedded in 98% of all internet browsers, a higher percentage than WM, Real Player and Quicktime combined.

FLV Player 2 Flash Media  Server Player Demo 2

Demonstrates the versatility of player construction with the use of thumbnails and cue points at 1/16th of the total movie time. Look for the button next to the volume for the scenes control. This allows for instant fast forward or navigation similar to a DVD chapter listing. Embedding the player is limited only to the developers html and xml skills.

The player can be made to be a launched in a new window. This kind of player is also suitable for members areas for Pay Per View and other user controlled situations. The players in the demos are available for purchase, see below. NOTE: If just buying the SWF you will need an account with FLV Hosting as they are configured for our servers. If purchasing the source files you can alter the FLA file to use a different RTMP setting.  

Free RTMP Streaming FLV Players are included with every account. 

 FLV Flash – A Fantastic File Format

The file format used in this process is Flash FLV or Flash Live Video, and it plays in a Streaming Server Flash Player. (RTMP protocol) 

While traditional methods of media delivery include some kind of download to the user's computer, either in a pre-loader or through temporary Internet files, Flash server and a Flash FLV Player connect in a completely different manner. Simply put, it's a new connection to the file each time the user uses the controls in the player.

This means that in the background it's a "start here" "stop here" "start again here" style of play, a bit like a remote VCR or DVD player, but with no downloads or caching.

Here's The Top Ten Reasons to Stream Video Using Flash – either FLV or MP4 

1. FLV format file sizes after conversion are up to 60% smaller, saving server storage costs.

2. FLV's start – stop connection style saves on bandwidth (which is as much as 60% less per month).

3. FLV format has no local player in operating systems, so file sharing is virtually nullified.

4. FLV format plays directly in more browsers than Windows Media, Real Player or QuickTime.

5. FLV server can authenticate clients, and control users as you wish. 6. FLV players can be completely customized for logos, branding and embedded links.

7. FLV players can play files from a programmable database, and simple administration area.

8. FLV players can be programmed to integrate with databases for free previews, time, users.

9. FLV encoding can include user information for content tracking, misuse, or DRM.

10. Flash Communications servers are easier to maintain than others, and less prone to security hacks. Who is using Flash Streaming Servers? Yahoo, IBM, Sony, Universal Studios, the list is growing.

According to Computerworld's "IBM to Drop Windows-based Storage" article "IBM plans to discontinue its line of Windows-based network-attached storage (NAS) devices in order to focus on higher-end products, including an upcoming file server that will run Linux, sources said…" Flash is suitable for various applications, including live, on-demand, audio and video streaming, 24 x 7 live radio broadcasting, pay-per-view, with digital rights management, delivery to mobile devices, including phones, product demonstrations, commercials and movie trailers, employee and partner training, corporate communications – the list goes on and on…

The primary use of flash servers is that it creates an open socket connection.. This is push technology as opposed to pull technology. A users connection however does not become "more stable or faster because of it.

Open socket connections are primarily used in gaming/vrml chat environments and adds little value to precompiled content such as video's streaming video's in my opinion., The advantage of push/open socket is in "live content" such as the aforementioned environments and Live broadcast video/communication where by one would/could use multiple ports for simultaneous streams/connections to and from the server. 

FLV Code Generator

Every FLV Hosting account comes with our FLV Video Code Generator. This will generate the code needed to play flash FLV Video on your site instantly. Simply login to your account, upload, or ftp larger files, preview the video and then paste the code into your
webpage!

 

Watch a video of how it works

Code Generator Video

Screenshots:

FLV Code Generator Screenshot 1


Screenshot1

FLV Code Generator Screenshot 2

Screenshot2

 

How to Stream an FLV Movie

Flash Live Video (FLV) is a great way to stream video. There are 2 ways to playback your  video file – Progressive Streaming and Flash Media Server side Streaming. FLV Hosting provides both services within your account. More information on Progressive Streaming and Flash Instant  Server Streaming

Progressive FLV Streaming Flash Communications Server FLV Streaming

The Flash Player browser plugin can play an FLV, and now html5 players must be either embedded in or linked to a SWF. That is, you can't just put the actual FLV on an HTML page. MP4 is also supported by flash players (see other links to FREE Players.  You can however reference the FLV file using action script and SWF (the player controls) which now opens up the door to brand your player, add colors and logos, skins, and links to further information.

 

Can't preview your file after uploading? We have been informed by clients of issues with exported files when using Flash

Since these are fairly new releases, we suggest using alternative methods to encode your FLV files, and try to export files to previous versions of players.

www.freehtml5player.com