Tag Archives: hd-video

How to Watch YouTube Videos in HD


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Patrick Norton from Tekzilla joins us this week to share the secret to watching everything in YouTube at the highest quality possible. A special Chrome extension does all the work for you instead of toggling the quality setting and restarting the video you already loaded!

YouTube offers several different resolution options. Wouldn’t it be nice to have it always be HD, instead of needing to change it each time and reload your video? Patrick is showing off a Chrome extension that will make sure you are always watching the latest viral vid in the highest quality possible!

Chrome Extensions are little browser addons that help make your web experience even better. The one you’ll need to play YouTube videos in the quality they were recorded is called Auto HD.

When you first install the addon, choose your resolutions in order of preference. It’s quite simple to use, and you’ll never need to configure anything ever again.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks from the gang at Tekzilla.

High Quality Live Video Streaming Now Available


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I started streaming live nearly three years ago already. Can you believe how fast the time has gone by already? Up until today, though, I was broadcasting at a resolution of about 320×240 at about 17 frames per second. That wasn’t “bad”, but it wasn’t as good as it is now!

Using the new Ustream Producer, I am broadcasting at 720×404 at 30 fps, using the same video camera! Up until now, I didn’t ever think about upgrading my account to a higher-quality stream. It just never honestly crossed my mind. However, all of YOU, our community, spoke long and loud.

The reactions were kind of mixed, honestly. There was a lot of excellent feedback in the threads, and you gave some excellent criticism and made great points. I’m going to work hard to try and keep changing things up over the coming weeks, to attempt to incorporate more of your suggestions.

I don’t have the bandwidth to support an HD live stream. Sorry, but you won’t be seeing that at any time in the near future. Also, I don’t think my stream machine is powerful enough. However, do I really NEED them? The high quality live stream is here to stay, and I”m really happy with it.

Are YOU happy with it?

For disclosure purposes, I do sit on the Ustream Advisory Board. I’ve been with them since nearly the beginning, and continue to be happy with their service. I am not paid to use the services, but I AM a member of that board.

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What Does the Community Want From Video?


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I record videos for YouTube – and other outlets – on our live stream. I’ve been doing this for awhile now. Since I was using standard definition in the past, I could only eke out a few frames per second. This is nowhere near what I can do with these HD videos in 720p. I got an email the other day from Acer_Lover, asking if I could go back to recording videos through the live stream camera again.

I’m throwing this out to all of YOU. Even though it’s not HD recording… the frame rate is jerky… and the quality isn’t as good… would you rather see us recording videos the old way? Chat would once again be integrated into the video stream, and the angle would go back to where it was.

Or, do you prefer the better quality of the HD videos? What do you think? Should I stick with this current format (HD)?

Most of my videos in my YouTube account were done the old way, absolutely. I thought it would be better if I switched to recording in HD, to up the quality.

Perhaps I chose unwisely? Let’s hear your thoughts!

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Block Ads in Safari

Many people prefer to enhance their browsing experience by adding features such as AdBlocking. With Safari, that is more difficult to do than it is with other browsers. Several of you also choose to block Flash applications, using plugins such as NoScript. However, Alex wrote in to tell all of you about a much easier-to-use plug-in that can be loaded onto Safari.

ClickToFlash is a Flash-blocking plug-in for Safari on Mac OS X. By installing ClickToFlash, you will no longer have Flash-based applications load automatically on the computer. Instead, you can choose (or not choose) to click just once to allow the Flash object to play. This way, you get Flash only when you want it!

You can also configure ClickToFlash to always allow Flash to load on certain websites. In addition, ClickToFlash allows you to view YouTube videos in QuickTime, instead of Flash! You can also change your settings right in ClickToFlash to always (only!) display YouTube videos in H.264, no matter what video you’re watching! Simply go into Safari and ClickToFlash, then choose the “Settings” option. From there, just check a box to allow the default to change.

Thanks Alex, for sharing this with us. I hadn’t yet tried this out, but you can bet I’ll be installing it today!

Sony Bloggie Camera Review


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I’m very glad that Sony sent along the new Bloggie PM5 and CM5 for me to review. I decided to record half of the video using one of these little devices, and half using the other one! They can take still shots, and record in full 1080p format! They support a media stick, or SD media, which is impressive to see. Both cameras are capable of creating very nice YouTube videos!

The great thing about the PM5 is the swivel screen. The camera features a unique lens that swivels up to 270 degrees and, when rotated, instantly powers on the camera so you can start recording video or taking still shots immediately.

SteadyShot image stabilization helps reduce blur caused by camera shake. It boasts 4x Digital zoom that lets you move in close and capture the action in crisp detail. Face Detection technology recognizes faces and optimizes camera settings for both video and still images, so faces are captured more clearly and skin tones look more natural.

Both the PM5 and CM5, much like the Kodak Zi6, suffer from blurring during low-light recording. This is something I’ve repeatedly tried to tell companies about in the past. However, it looks as though not many of them have figured out an answer yet.

Once I switched recording devices to the PM5, I noticed a few things immediately. The CM5 Bloggie is all about simplicity and ease of use. Simply push the video button to shoot a movie, and the photo button to snap a picture.

The CM5 definitely handles close-up video better than this PM5 does. You can see in the video how far out of focus this thing is, and I’m not happy about that. I definitely recommend the CM5, as long as you are not planning to shoot in low-light situations.

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HD Web Camera Wants to be Yours


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While covering the CES conference for us recently, Traci was astounded by the new Facevision TouchCam N1. It’s an HD video cam with an embedded H.264 codec chip, and dual microphones! This allows for crystal-clear HD video and superior audio at the same time. This little gadget is the first Skype certified video camera, and works perfectly for all of your video-conferencing needs.

The folks at Facevision believe they have developed the next generation in webcams with this TouchCam N1. It’s a natural extension to video camera users. It’s plug-and-play via USB, so it works on any operating system. This is not only the World’s first Skype certified webcam, it’s also the first HD webcam! It renders in true 720p!

Over the years, Skype has evolved into one of the premier ways to keep in touch with business contacts, family and friends. By using the Facevision TouchCam, Skype users can enjoy HD-quality video conferencing. The picture is so true-to-life that it will almost seem as though you can reach right through your screen and touch the other person!

The camera will be available in early March, 2010, and should have a retail price of around $119.00 USD.

Thanks to Creative for sending Traci the Vado 3 to use during CES!

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Canon PowerShot TX1

I’ve already posted a small review of my new digital camera – recorded last night, hours after it arrived on my doorstep. It’s definitely not perfect, but I’m learning to appreciate its quirks as much as its features. The TX1 is small enough to fit into my pocket, has a swivel screen for angle flexibility, and produces HD video results that are astounding (all things considered).

Even Ponzi couldn’t believe the quality of a short-form video when I played it back on one of my 30″ monitors. I shot a few seconds of test footage minutes after rolling out of bed, and you could see darn near every imperfection in my face (including bed lines). The world simply isn’t ready for this level of detail.

In short, I’m officially putting my Canon PowerShot SD700 IS and Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital cameras on the market. I’ll have to do some research on eBay for fair rates, but consider this announcement an initiation of a loosely-organized silent auction. Want to see a (and hear) a bit more about these PowerShots?