Tag Archives: HD

Web Video War is Facebook’s to Lose

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to uploading video, but lately a few sites have upped their game and have changed how I’ve been considering even where to upload.

It has been a while since I captured HD video, but I recently received the Flip MinoHD as a gift and have been shooting a lot of clips again.  In my latest tests, I’ve tried Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, blip, Viddler and Ovi.  Facebook and Vimeo are the clear leaders for streaming quality and the edge there goes to Vimeo.  What’s more interesting though is how differently the services are used and why I think Facebook will win in the end.

If you have never worked with video, it’s important to understand that sharing is a bit more complex than photos as anything you upload needs to be converted for flash which is how just about all web video is presented.  Shooting with the Flip is great as the files come off the camera already digitized as .mp4 files which means they can be uploaded straight away if you like.  You can also use a video editor like iMovie or Final Cut to add some polish though that really depends on your need.  In previous video work I’ve done, I’ve had to first import my footage from the camera (shot on tape) which is a real-time process.  If you shoot 30 minutes, you need 30 minutes to copy it over.  Once on your computer even if you choose to dump it right back out, you need at least the same amount of time (if you have a fast computer) to create a digital file which can then be uploaded for sharing.  The flip (and other digital storage based cameras) let you just copy the files over and get going right away.

So as I had started to say initially, I’ve been shooting a some new stuff since getting the camera last week and I was looking to share easily with family and friends.  Since Facebook offers some excellent control over who sees what, I went there first and uploaded a few clips.  Facebook recently updated their video offering and my HD (720p) video uploaded and encoded quickly.  I was actually pretty impressed with how quickly the encoding process took as that’s generally another real waiting point for most video sites.  The posted video showed up on my profile and in my feed and I was instantly sharing my vacation experiences.

I’ve been seeing a lot of video on Vimeo lately and wanted to test out their HD offer to compare and so I uploaded the same HD video again.  I also posted the video on Viddler, Blip (different video) YouTube and Ovi.  The differences became apparent immediately.  Every other site needed some serious time to encode the posted content and this time took anywhere from over 2 hours (vimeo) to overnight (youtube).  When my content appeared on Vimeo it looked awesome, but I was frustrated with the time it took to actually see it.  I’m not in a race to share content, but having to wait in line to even get the encoding going is quite frustrating.  Only Blip offers the original MP4 (believe at my preference) while the flash is being encoded which is very cool.  The negative is that MP4 files do not buffer or stream with the same ease across clients as flash – regardless of what Apple says.  Ovi, by the way refused to playback my video …

Vimeo is the only site that offers a premium option and I debated it for a day before going for the upgrade.  For about $60/year you get the skip the encoding queue and are offered better quality video playback, HD embeds (with 1000 plays), and a few other bits.  Right after I paid, I uploaded another video and I have to say it looks damn good.  Compared to the Facebook version there is noticeably less digital artifacting and the playback seems a bit smoother.  All is good right?  Well …

While Vimeo offers the best playback and a community, the community aspect is minor compared to what Facebook delivers given the real connections and notifications within the FB system.  The quality is very good, totally free and if you make your video public able to be embedded on your blog or website which is a very interesting move by Facebook in itself.  Facebook’s only real flaw is that there are no statistics available for content you share.  There’s no way to see how many people have seen your video or photos which tends to be a currency on most media sharing sites.  Facebook is probably going to be the place you also first think to share video content much like people have been doing with Photos.  As I see it there’s no reason why not to use it.  TOS BS aside of course though that does seem to be behind us for the moment. I will likely continue to use a variety of sites and have signed up for Tubemogul which will let me upload a single (<100MB) file and have it shared across the sites I choose as a bonus I can see an aggregated dashboard for my views as well.  Except for Facebook …

Update on My Netbook Usage

Samsung NC10-14GW netbook

I’ve been using the Samsung NC10 as my main travel system (also carrying my work laptop) since the end of December and I thought it would be worth reporting on my findings to date.  In general, the NC10 performs admirably for every request I’ve made though it’s not hard to find the edge of the netbook limit either.

Since buying the NC10, I’ve traveled abroad twice and found that aside from needing to connect to my office’s VPN, I can do everything I need with ease during the course of a business day.  I can email, IM, video chat, browse sites, open office docs, play media etc.  The battery in Windows XP goes basically the whole day though I actually rarely run XP as was pre-installed.  Instead, I’ve been using a combination of Windows 7 and OSX as my primary systems – mainly Windows 7.

Both OSX and Windows 7 use more power, but are infinitely more pleasurable to use over XP.  I accept the lesser battery capability in return for user experience and will definitely remove XP when Windows 7 is properly released.  OSX is something I run when I want to use a Mac specific app like iPhoto though after this vacation I will probably not do that too much more moving forward with this current rig.  As much as I like running the Mac side of things, editing high resolution media is not very efficient on the current Atom spec.  You really need more horsepower and ideally a GPU to complement the CPU.  This would most likely reducer battery life further, but again it would be worth the sacrifice to let something this size serve as a primary computer.  I’d pay more for this privledge as well.

This past week, aside from shooting a few hundred RAW images of my kids, I’ve also captured a lot of HD video clips with a Flip MinoHD I received from my wife.  It’s basically impossible to playback these clips at full strength … they play fine in smaller preview scale, but fullscreen HD is just too much to ask for a low powered system in these initial netbooks.  While I would not be looking to edit or playback HD video or edit RAW images on a daily basis I actually lost track a bit that my computer was indeed a netbook.  Of course I know it’s a netbook, but since it really is an incredibly versatile system, I don’t really consider it secondary.  This last thought is something I think is pretty impressive … While the intent of the netbook as it was sold was as a low cost, reasonably powered computer you can actually do a ton of stuff with it – and not really consider the limits unless you start to venture into richer media.

For me, the netbook is still a very strong category of computers and I look forward to upgrading to a more capable system at some point this year when things evolve.  For a typical user these current and even the soon to be released computers will serve a very wide segment and after a few months of use, it’s not hard to see why they are selling well.  In these financially unknown times getting a lot of return on a small investment is a great deal.

Samsung’s OmniaHD is seriously impressive!

In a word … WOW!

I’ve never seen this touch UI in action and love the widgets and transitions.  Samsung really shows the potential for S60 here given that it’s running on S60 5th edition like the Nokia 5800 and N97 yet with a considerably higher degreee of gloss.  I don’t have any sense of how the battery lasts through all this HD action either, but it’s certainly a gorgeous looking device!

via S60 Blogs