In case someone else has this same problem. 
Here is the solution.

set apache to turn off gzip compression 
in httpd.config (or could do it in .htaccess) we added m4v to the following 

# Don't compress images
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \
\.(?:gif|jpe?g|png|m4v)$ no-gzip dont-vary

OR more broadly you could use:

SetEnv no-gzip dont-vary

More info-----------------------------------------------------


But there is a serious other reason, why flv / f4v files are not played in 
Firefox, but in IE and maybe other browsers.

The reason is Apache itself. Even the latest version (2.2.13) - what we have 
freshly compiled for our Sun Sparc Platforms, has a problem to produce the 
correct header for flv files.

This incorporates that Apache - even if you added the correct mime type for flv 
/ f4v files to mime.types or in httpd.conf as AddType - does not add the 
content-length to the http header.

On IE it works fine, the flash player streams until the web server has the flv 
file served completely.

Not so on Firefox, especially not on some Unix Systems. Your Flash Movie Player 
just keeps on telling you he is buffering the movie, though you can trace from 
the apache transfer log, that the file has benn already transmitted completely. 
But the movie won't start at all.

This unexpected behavior occurs even with having in use the same flash player 
version in IE and Firefox.

-- John --

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