Saturday, August 23, 2008

Flash Encoding Resources: Bit Rate Calculator and Optimal Aspect Ratios

These two Adobe resources surfaced a few weeks ago were recently highlighted on Fresh DV and other sources. ReelSEO Creator and publisher Mark Robertson, who wrote, "For those of you that are unaware, there is an excellent FLV bitrate calculator tool from Adobe that does an excellent job of helping you determine the optimal bitrate at which to encode your Flash video files."

Optimal Bitrate Calculator for Flash Video Encoding
Click on the image below or click here to go to the calculator. published a table of the optimal frame sizes to use when converting to FLV (Link via Andy Dickinson.) FreshDV's Matthew Jeppsen wrote, "Encoding gurus have long known that to get optimal results from a codec it is best to choose a frame size that divisible by at least 4 or 8. This is because codecs often use use 4×4, 8×8 and sometimes 16×16 “blocks” to form an image. If your image dimensions are evenly divisible, no extra blocks are wasted and the codec can be most efficient with respect to image quality. In the case of On2 VP6 and Sorenson Spark codecs, both use 16×16 blocks."

Optimal Frame Dimensions for Flash Video Encoding
Regarding the table below Reel SEO's Robertson added, "For the best image quality and playback, you should always use width and height dimensions that use a multiple of 4 (good), 8 (better), or 16 (best). The following table from Adobe provides guidance as to the best frame dimensions (both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios) for FLV encoded files."

Flash expert Robert Reinhardt who created both the Bit rate caculator and table emphasized,
"In fact, I would recommend that you refrain from using 4 or 8 multiples unless absolutely necessary, unless you can verify with cross-platform tests that quality or playback haven't been compromised."

These tables complement the Flash video bitrate calculator by Robert Reinhardt.