Please smooth your video site!

31 Aug09

Lately there’s been several great websites that are based on video. We Choose The Moon and Instant Campaign are two of them. Both these sites must have cost thousands of dollars to make, but the video looks quite pixelated. It’s actually so pixelated that it annoys me, especially since it’s so easy to fix. Have a look at the picture below.


Common for both of these sites is that they scale the content to the width of the browser. If you view any of these sites on a big screen such as the Apple 30”, this looks extremely bad and all you need to fix it is one simple line of code:

video.smoothing = true;

That’s it and your video will look much better on big screens. Doing this adds a little to the CPU usage, but this won’t matter much on the average machine.

I’ve also uploaded an example FLA that you can have a look at to test this. Just run the file to load play video. Scale the SWF and click the video to toggle smoothing on/off.

PS: sorry about the lack of updates recently. I’ve been on holidays and been quite busy with client work lately. Finally having a little free time now to experiment and play! :)

31 August 2009 at 2:53 am

4 Responses to Please smooth your video site!

  1. avatar photo
    JesterXL 31 August 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    To be fair, H264, and even high bitrate On2, and use a significant amount of CPU.  Smoothing this video when it’s scaled can push it over the edge of older (meaning even 1 year or less as of today) computers, making the video framerate drop like a rock.

    A lot of sites that encode the video professionally won’t turn smoothing on because they can control the scaling and ensure you don’t need it in the first place, ensuring a good playback experience.

    Sites with high viewership will turn it off to ensure a major reduction in support calls.  Better pixelated video than none at all.

    For smaller videos, I agree, smoothing should be on if the user goes fullscreen on some not-so-high-bitrate video, but you need to ensure your users computers can actually play it.

  2. avatar photo
    Ramon Fritsch 01 September 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    Thanks man! That is a great tip! On as2 I emulated this feature, but I don’t know as3 has it native. cheers

  3. avatar photo
    Porter 09 September 2009 at 5:48 am #

    Nice tip, there’s definitely a lot of sites that would benefit from this. I guess that’s what you get when most of the sites just copy what’s already around rather than looking into things as they build it. Nice post, keep it up.

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    games 28 November 2009 at 9:41 am #

    thanks for the tips