Chances are you and thousands of other videophiles like you are going to want to create home videos this holiday season, and no doubt you will want to share these memories with friends and families - or with the public at large on the user-generated content Web sites like You Tube.
With so much video content on sites like You Tube, My Space, and other user-generated Web sites, not to mention videos burned at home on DVDs, people are now more motivated to create their own personalized videos, and they want to do it quickly and easily. The problem is that even if technology is making this all possible, the software is more complex and feature-packed, video standards are changing, and formats - from iPods® to You Tube to DVDs - are confusing. Users need help because the choices they have to make just to get started are more complicatedto create home-made videos this holiday season.
Basic knowledge and a few simple steps can help you avoid the common mistakes that keep many consumers from capturing and sharing their memories and taking advantage of advances in technology that enable them to create and share more interesting and sophisticated videos.
What You Should But Probably Don't Know About Making And Sharing Videos
· The Physical DVD Is Not Necessary Much of The Time: Even though it is an easy way to share movies, burning movies to DVDs is an extra step and involves compressing video files thereby reducing fidelity. Often it is easier to play a video directly from a PC, an option that offers higher image quality and is simpler now than ever with new monitors, TV's with digital inputs, and digital projectors.
· DVDs Created on A Computer Play Better On A Computer: Not all DVDs created on a PC play perfectly in all DVD players. Also, videos created on a computer play at the highest fidelity on a computer, whereas the same videos played on a TV may have the edges of the image cut off, for example.
· New Hi-Definition Disks Will Replace Older The DVD Formats: As new high-definition and DVD formats evolve, standard DVD formats may become obsolete, creating future playback issues for home movies burned and stored in current DVD formats.
· Creating Videos For Different Viewing Formats Takes Knowledge: You need to have basic knowledge of different viewing formats such as Apple® iPods, DVDs, and Web sites as they require different bit rates. For example, a DVD requires a throughput of 5 MB/second while a video prepared for You Tube uses only 300 KB/second.
Quick Tips For Making and Sharing Videos
1. Determine How Your Viewers Will Access The Video: The first step in making a video is knowing who will view it and how they will access it. Making a video for the web or a mobile video phone involves different steps than burning a long DVD for viewing on a television.
2. Choose The Viewing Format Will Determine File Size and Quality: A DVD quality video with the appropriate bit rate (5 MB/second for DVD) will produce much too large a file for You Tube, which does not support videos longer than about 10 minutes or 100 MB.
3. Do a "Dry Run" Pilot Program First: Creating a short video and posting it online or on a DVD helps you familiarize yourself with the production process. In addition, you will be able to get used to working with software programs like Microsoft's Movie Maker and with hardware and software components from different vendors. Doing so will help and identify potential problems before spending many hours on a project only to find it difficult to complete.
4. Learn How To Upload Files To The Web: Whether it is an ISP or You Tube, knowing how to upload a finished project is critical to successfully sharing your memories.
John Buechler is one of the certified Microsoft Movie Maker(R) Experts of the tech support service SupportSpace. Buechler is also author, frequent contributor to industry magazines, and lecturer on video production.