Encoding Full HD as FLV (for Gallery3)

I have a full HD camcorder and I wanted to stick some good quality video on my gallery for relatives to view. So, I needed to convert my sample 100MB MP4 full HD file to a suitably sized FLV for the Gallery. Here’s what I did…

I have a very nice Samsung R10 Full HD Camcorder which I bought last year. After a recent family holiday, I wanted to stick some good quality video on my gallery for relatives to view. The gallery is RC2 of the excellent Gallery 3 package which uses another excellent open source tool called Flow Player to play movies.

So, I needed to convert my test 100MB MP4 full HD file to a suitably sized FLV for the Gallery. My initial attempts with ffmpeg worked fine but the quality (sample) was very poor and changing the bit rate in different ways seemed to make no difference:

I then turned to x264 and broke the process down to a number of stages:

  1. Extract the raw video to YUV4MPEG (this creates a 7GB file from my 100MB MP4):
  2. Encode the video component to H.264/FLV at the specified bit rate with good quality:

    Note that I’m using the veryslow preset which is… very slow! You can use other presets as explained in the x264 man page.
  3. Extract and convert the audio component to MP3 (the sample rate is important):
  4. Merge the converted audio and video back together:

    This yields a near perfect encoding at 22MB. It’s still full size though (HD at 1920×1080).
  5. The last step is to then use ffmpeg to resize the video and it now seems to respect bit rate parameters:

The resultant video can be seen here.

Robert Swain has a useful guide for ffmpeg x264 encoding.

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