Different Rhythms/Speeds For Streaming Silents

Technically-oriented discussion of classic films on everything from 35mm to Blu-Ray
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filmnotdigital

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Different Rhythms/Speeds For Streaming Silents

PostTue Jun 30, 2015 6:21 am

Hi: This question may have been addressed earlier, but as I am temporarily without a TV I am streaming some silents from the National Film Preservation Board site, specifically the ones from the New Zealand rescue project, on one of my computers.
I noticed a difference one night watching the 1923 "Maytime," which ran smoothly, with the next night 1928 "Hold 'Em Yale," which moved throughout with a jerky rhythm. Same computer, same browser, same site, same time of day,so was this a difference in the way the films are posted? Or did the Internet traffic get crowded on another day and thus lead to the awkward movement? Is there something I can do on my Asus laptop to adjust the speed at which I am streaming (since no
sound on either not a problem with slowing down or speeding up track) ?
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kaleidoscopeworld

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Re: Different Rhythms/Speeds For Streaming Silents

PostWed Jul 22, 2015 11:25 pm

I have watched Hold Em Yale, although since it was a while ago, I can't remember specifics about the tempo. It sounds like you are talking about the rhythm of the film itself, not a buffering issue, so my suspicion is that it is a frame rate issue. The NFPF videos are NTSC or 30 fps, and as the original films will have had a lower framerate, some frames will have been repeated in the digital file. Possibly the original frame rate of Maytime supported this better than Hold Em Yale did - it's easier to get clean motion with some framerates than others - and that's what is causing the "stutter motion". I'll have a look more closely if I get some free time.
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Nick_M

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Re: Different Rhythms/Speeds For Streaming Silents

PostThu Jul 23, 2015 12:08 am

I briefly looked at it, and playback was inconsistent. The notes say it was transferred at 24fps (and it looks it), so there shouldn't be stutter from the wrong pulldown. Aside from the lousy encoding of what looks like a 480i source collapsed to 30p, it could be any number of things (bandwidth, Flash, server). Since Maytime played fine for you, I doubt it's your computer. Thanks to the the NFPF not allowing downloading, pretty much the only thing you can do is shut down everything but the browser, and that probably won't help.
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filmnotdigital

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Re: Different Rhythms/Speeds For Streaming Silents

PostSun Jul 26, 2015 9:56 am

Thanks for the two technically knowledgeable responses.

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