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I have a friend that hosts his website on IIS and Windows Server 2003 R2 32-bit.

He has .WMV files and .MPG and others and some of these are 30 mb in size! He wonders why users complain the site is slow!

So my question is how can we reduce the size of these movies? What software? What settings for bit-rate, etc?

Is there free software? I can use either a Mac or a PC.

Thoughts are appreciated.

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Well, I think a framerate of 30frames/second is a good framerate.
What you can do is reduce the quality of the videos.
Also try to encode on a .flv format to see.

For free softwares to convert and also set parameters (like quality), I recommend (free):

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can you explain a bit about what a good bitrate might be? – ELS Jun 13 '10 at 23:41
Generally about 80-150 is good. – Hello71 Jun 14 '10 at 0:14
@ELS Well, a good bitrate means bits/second that the user will see (in this case, bits/second that will have to be streammed (sent)). For video, around 128~~384 kbits/s is a good bitrate for stream. For more info, see And, please, don't mess bitrate with framerate. Framerate is frames/second that the user will see (imagine the "lag" that security cams make on videos, and thats because of a low framerate, around 4~10 frames/second. And imagine frame as a "picture" of the actual scene, and a sequence of frames as a video playing... – Gabriel L. Oliveira Jun 25 '10 at 21:17

Handbrake is really good for encoding movies for a smaller file size. You can choose what size you want the output file to be and it will reduce the bitrate to match it.

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If the users are streaming the videos, than total size doesn't matter nearly as much as the bitrate. I would think the OP would want to choose a certain bitrate to encode all his videos instead of choosing a size (though I'm guessing handbrake could do that too). – Jarvin Jun 14 '10 at 16:10

Just to add more info about the Bitrate and upstreams.

Think that if you encode a video with “150", you’ll need a connection that can upstream 150kbps per client. In other words, a typical xDSL connection, is offered as 6MBps downstream and 600 KBps upstream. That gives you about 4 streams with that bitrate before your upstream chokes and everything goes to hell.

If you can download a file at about 650k/Sec, with that upstream you could upload around 50-60. But if you ran out of upstream, the downstream also decays because you need upstream to send ACKs and etc.

Best solution is to host it somewhere else if you need decent quality and more than 2-3 viewers.

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Actually, the "600 kbps upstream" from advertising is more a theoretical best. So that would probably only be enough for ~2 clients. – sleske Jun 15 '10 at 11:01
True, but it largely depends upon the provider. I have that upstream and can maintain a consistent 55k/sec upstream transfer (throttled). If I remove the bandwidth limit, it oscilates around 55-65, but it all goes bye-bye. – Martín Marconcini Jun 16 '10 at 11:30

First, encode the video to Mpeg4 H.264 because:

  • With the recent release of HTML 5 your browser will play them without flash
  • H.264 provides a great format for compressing video
  • Handbrake has a pretty comprehensive set of settings to create H.264

Read the other comments about a suggested bitrate for small file size vs quality.

If that doesn't work, you probably don't have enough upstream bandwidth to effectively stream videos. IE, your internet connection is too slow.

The solution would be to:

  • get more bandwidth
  • host the files somewhere else
  • share the files using bittorrent


Here's the nitty gritty on HTML5 video from Wikipedia

The current HTML5 draft specification does not specify which video formats browsers should support in the video tag. User agents are free to support any video formats they feel are appropriate...

H.264/MPEG-4 AVC is widely used, and has good speed, compression, hardware decoders, and video quality, but is covered by patents.[11] Except in particular cases, users of H.264 have to pay licensing fees to the MPEG LA, a group of patent-holders including Microsoft and Apple.[12] As a result, it has not been considered as a required default codec.

Google's acquisition of On2 resulted in the WebM Project, a royalty-free, open source release of VP8, in a Matroska container with Vorbis audio. It is supported by Google Chrome, Opera Browser and Mozilla Firefox.

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Well, but H.264 is not free. You need a license to use it copyrighted. Instead, use OGM (that means Ogg Media = OGG (music) + OGV (video)) OGM is GPL, free license. And HTML5 also support ogm. – Gabriel L. Oliveira Jun 25 '10 at 21:13
@Gabriel H.264 doesn't need to be free if it's widely accepted in the same way that MP3 isn't free. HTML5 probably won't support OGG because of WebM. WebM was created by Google after the acquisition and open sourcing of the VP8 video format. WebM uses a Matroska container to hold VP8 video and Ogg audio and is considered the de-facto 'open' alternative to H.264. Ogg video isn't used because it's considered an inferior format (compression/quality). – Evan Plaice Jun 26 '10 at 2:23
Thank you to let us know. So, from now, it's just decide what format to use. – Gabriel L. Oliveira Jun 28 '10 at 4:14

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