Tag Archives: video-encoding

Video Formats and Codec Confusion

James wonders why there’s such a fuss over digital video formats:

I had been watching you on Ustream since last summer. I was browsing around Youtube and Ustream looking at the videos you made over the past few weeks. After watching your video titled: Digital Camcorder Incompatibilities Insanity, it leaves me with some questions.

In your video, you said camcorder manufactures make there cameras to work on certain formats that may be incompatible with video editing software such as Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere and force you to use whatever software that shipped with the camera. Now I would understand what you said and possibly agree with you when you are talking about digital point and shoot cameras that has video recording capabilities where there is many of them and record in many different formats, but where I don’t understand is camcorders.

Is there not already a general format for a digital video recording in camcorders? Isn’t the standard camcorder format MiniDV recording at AVI-DV? As far as I know, AVI-DV works with all the major video editing software out there. In fact, based on my knowledge it’s the best raw video format to work with.

Now I know MiniDV is standard definition and camcorder manufactures are trying to move consumers into using high def camcorders using miniDV tapes or hard drives. I am not quite sure on this area because I am not in the market for an HD camera as of yet. But based what I know, they record on Mpeg 2 or Mpeg 4 and those formats are terrible to edit.

So what is your say on this? Is AVI-DV the standard camcorder format for standard definition cameras or if not, what would it be? Also, If there is no true standard for HD format recording good for editing and used for rendering, which format would be good as a standard why?

Thank you for taking the time to read my email though I understand you have many to read. I look forward to your response and having a better understanding on what you where trying to say in that video.

Let me put it to you this way: I purchased a digital camcorder that records in AVC-HD, and I’ve yet to be able to use that format because the software (on either Windows or OS X) has yet to become reliable enough. People, inevitably, will want to change one format to another – so I’d rather deal with a more accepted format, and if I know I’m going to compress down to MP4 anyway…

I just record as MPEG-2 if I can – if I even use the digital camcorder at in the first place. Generally, I rely on my digital camera’s video recording feature (good enough for most Web videos these days).

I hate messing with video codecs – I just wanna record or watch video, that’s all.

The Flickr of Video?

Word on the street is suggesting that Flickr will soon add video. You might not realize this, but a while ago, I was able to successfully embed our YouTube videos in the cross-posts from Blip.TV. Seriously. So long as I don’t edit the description, this video embed will stay in place along with the photo for What is SSD.

Granted, if Flickr enables the feature, it’ll be far less hacky – though I’m not sure the Flickr fan base of photographers will embrace it quickly. Moreover, they may already be producing high quality video on sites like Blip. This begs the question: why not either integrate MORE tightly with Blip TV or acquire them altogether?

Photographers are not necessarily into videography, and vice versa. Flickr has a great brand going for it, although some people still don’t know what it is. I’ll certainly give ‘er a go, as well as encourage Yahoo! to enable TubeMogul as a video publishing funnel. They may be about three years too late on this one.

How to Watch High Quality Videos on YouTube

I heard about this the other day, but I’m glad that Michael found the time to write up the ‘how to’ for it. He goes the handle ‘RottNKorpse’ in the chat room.

Don’t you just hate how low the quality of the videos are on YouTube? I certainly do, but thankfully there is a way to get around the default quality and watch videos in a much higher quality. However, there are catches to this… like everything really. 😐

First, I am going to explain how to do this and then I will explain the flaws/catches to it. You start off with a basic YouTube URL, then you add the High Quality code at the end of it: &fmt=18. An example might look like:

As you can see, you will get a much higher quality video through the wonders of YouTube.

So far, I have only found 2 flaws / limitations, but the most important limitation is this will NOT work on videos that are encoded from .FLV files before they are uploaded to YouTube. The other flaw is that on some occasions the audio and video will desync when using this feature. It doesn’t happen very often but it does happen.

If you’re logged in to YouTube anyway, just head over to your Account settings page. Near the bottom, you’ll find a “Video Quality” option. Click that link and you’ll land on a page where you can choose to always see the higher quality videos. Obviously, this requires you to login to YouTube, so if you don’t want to do that, just stick with one of the methods above.

Create and Edit Videos Online

Felicia Wall indirectly questions the validity of AVCHD:

I wanted to know if you ever found a PC and MAC solution for video editing for AVCHD files, I am particularly interested clipping them, merging scenes and converting them to either DIVX for MP4 format.

No, I have not. AVCHD remains one of the worst ideas in recent years – and software that supports it today doesn’t support it very well at all. I’m guessing it’ll be supplanted by MP4 on-device in a short amount of time.


I actually have discovered a great service that you may or may not know about called onetruemedia.com, it doesn’t handle AVCHD natively but I have a Panasonic sd5 which is great and it can convert scenes to mpg which can be used. The onetruemedia allows you to make a great combo slideshow and video with music and share them online or convert them to mp4, so hopefully if you know of this service, it’s this sort of simple editing solution I am looking for but would be great to have it use AVCHD natively since that is my latest format of choice.

I think that was on my radar at one point, but with so many sites and services being released on a daily basis… it’s impossible to keep up with anymore.

I separately would like to know if you have ever found a reliable video server configuration that would allow playback of these or any other files on a HDTV.

Likely contingent on the hardware you have plugged into that television (and the formats it supports).

Right now I have an HP Mediavault and actually just got a PS3 to act as the media server, it works only okay (to get the AVCHD files to work they must be renamed to mpg for example), but the picture quality is great when it does work and if you save the .MTS files directly to the PS3, the experience is awesome so hopefully you know of a reliable way to use the PS3 and AVCHD with a much larger video server that can hold the files.

Speed Up MP4 Video Encoding

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – If you do any video encoding, you know how long of a process it can be at times. Before I went to Germany, I used Visual Hub to encode several videos, and it literally took days!

I wish I had known about the Elgato Turbo.264 back then. This little USB-like device takes much of the work out of encoding, and significantly speeds up the process. While in Germany, I used iMovie to encode some videos I threw up on YouTube, including the one where Ponzi speeding around the GM test track.

Videos can take a surprisingly long time to encode – sometimes longer than the actual playing time. What’s more, video encoding can demand a sizeable chunk of system resources. How long and how much depends on the processor speed of your Mac, the length and complexity of the source video, the size of the video file, and the amount of video compression required for the desired end result

Turbo.264 accelerates video encoding up to four times faster on Macs with Intel Core processors.

You have a collection of videos on your Mac. They’re movies you downloaded from your camcorder or digital camera, or perhaps projects you created yourself with iMovie. They could be short video clips that friends and family sent you by email, or TV shows, music videos, and movies that you recorded with EyeTV.

How do you make them iTunes-ready for your iPod or Apple TV? How do you put them on a Sony PSP?

The solution is Turbo.264, a blazingly fast and easy-to-use video encoder with a high-perfomance engine. Use the included software to convert your Mac videos one at a time or in a batch; The application drops the converted file(s) into iTunes for you, ready to synch automatically with your iPod, Apple TV or iPhone. Alternatively, plug in Turbo.264 while you use the MP4 export command of popular Macintosh video applications. Not only does Turbo.264 get the job done faster, it frees up your processor for other tasks. Think of it as a “co-processor” for your Mac.

The software application that comes with Elgato Turbo.264 offers an easy-to-use choice of five presets: iPod High, iPod Standard, Sony PSP, Apple TV, and iPhone. For Apple TV content, the quality of videos encoded with Turbo.264 software is unrivaled: Turbo.264 converts standard definition television recordings without scaling so that recordings appear on Apple TV in the same resolution they were recorded.

Want to embed this video in your blog? Use this code:

Formats Available: MPEG4 Video (.mp4) Flash Video (.flv) MP3 Audio (.mp3)

Windows Movie Maker Video Encoding

http://live.pirillo.com/ – More and more people are uploading their videos to the Internet, but some of them just are not happy with how Windows handles video editing by default. Sandman has been using Windows Movie maker and he’s not happy with it: horrible output and it only outputs in the windows video format.

Windows Movie Maker may not actually be the problem here; it may be the level of compression you’re outputting the video as. WMM has a wizard that you click though and asks if you want to optimize for file size – you need to click no and set the video output in a format that is similar to the output of your video recording device. In other words, you want to optimize for quality.

Outside of Windows Movie Maker we don’t really have many recommendations for free movie editing software: we’ve yet to find any free video editing software on Windows worth recommendation (and no, Zwei-Stein is not a good recommendation for end users).

Do you have any recommendations?

Want to embed our Windows Movie Maker Video Encoding video in your blog? Use this code:

Formats available: MPEG4 Video (.mp4), Flash Video (.flv), MP3 Audio (.mp3), Microsoft Video (.avi)