It Can Be Hard To Choose The Right Video Settings And Why Is The Next Question
If you’ve ever found it difficult to make the choice on what the correct settings for the output of your precious video material should be, you’ll know exactly why I’m writing this article. If you are a casual user of video, and most of us start out that way, it could be even harder. So let’s take a look at what’s involved and how we can best decide what to use for our purpose as users of WordPress but also for those using HTML pages on their website.
There is significance in knowing the steps to follow in order to prepare your video for sharing or use on the internet.
The steps go something like this:
- render (export from the software after editing)
- encoding the final render for distributing to other destinations
Steps 3 can sometimes be where people stop when they choose to render out from the software depending on where they want their video to end up. To choose the right video settings (codecs) for each of these steps one must first decide where the video will end up i.e. web page videos, download, podcast, dvd or desktop playback. This is why I say some skip that 4th step by rendering out their video using their editing software and produce a lesser quality production for immediate distribution.
The choice of codecs arises many times during the process. Initially you choose a codec when you render your video from your editor or raw movie file from your camera. This video from the good people over at Techsmiths (makers of Camtasia Studio) can explain codecs much better than I can. The whole subject can be quite complex as said in the beginning but if you get past that explanation they have simplified it quite well.
You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here
) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!
So What’s The Challenge When Trying To Choose The Right Video Settings?
The challenge is that if you are combining multiple video clips and sources into one video, your video clips may have been created using different codecs. The reason that is a challenge is that it will affect the quality of the end product if you do not encode using our optimized tips in several steps during the video creation process.
The two places that you will want to pay the most attention to our suggestions about how to get the highest quality and best compression will be when you export your video from your editing software and when you take that exported video (master file) and encode it for deployment and distribution
Generally, you will be using high quality settings and codecs with very little compression when exporting from your editing software (master file). For example, these higher quality files are generally used for distribution channels for creating DVD’s.
Additionally, you may use higher compression settings and codecs designed for specific purposes such as reducing file size for download or optimizing for streaming on a website and publishing as a podcast.
High Quality Settings Without Taking Up Much Hard Drive or Server Space
If you are on a PC/Mac and need to get a HIGH quality video under a certain file size (100 megs), you want to create your video as an MP4 format using the H.264 codec.
You can choose “High Quality” from your video editor, but here are the specs that will maintain quality if you are uploading to video sites.
- Format extension: MP4
- Codec: H.264
- Video Encoding Bit Rate: 1500 – 3000 kbps
- Use 4000 kbps if you still see graininess in motion video
- 16:9 Widescreen size: 854 X 480
- 4:3 Standard size: 720 X 480 or 640 X 480 (depending on the source and settings you captured at)
- Audio/Voice Only: 96 kbps with 44.1 khz audio
- Audio/Voice/Music: 128 kbps with 48 khz audio
Important Tip Overall: Take careful note of where your source file is coming from. Many DV cams and Web Cams are HD compliant and can produce video in a number of sizes. Set your size as above for optimal rendering.
Default Export and Important Tip for Mac Users: If you are having trouble getting clear picture, text or titles on your exported video and all other settings don’t work, use “Apple Intermediate Codec”.
The above settings will make all your progressive and interlaced video match any footage and content so you have clear video.
How To Choose The Right Video Settings For WordPress
The most common format for WordPress is Flash video or FLV. Many useres will choose to render in FLV format directly from their editing software and eliminating step 4 – encoding the rendered/exported video for distribution. While for many this option may seem convenient it is missing an important part of the compression process.
Is compressing and rendering to .mp4 or .mov files then rendering to .flv after that step a better choice? You can Google this very subject and get lost in the many forums if you like. The short answer, yes. But never render to the same format as the source. I’ll provide you a download link to the simplest .flv conversion tool that I know of. It’s called BinKit Version 2.0
for Windows 2000/xp/win7 32 or 64 bit and is a set of scripts you simply drag and drop any video files onto to perform a conversion to .flv that is compatible with any Flash player. There is a Mac version available just leave me a comment if you need it.
Once unzipped (no install required) you have a set of folders but you need only be concerned with the 4×3 and 16×9 folders. As the names imply they are for both standard 4:3 and 16:9 widescreen conversions depending on your source file. Within each is a multiple of choices ranging from conversions for portable devices (iPhone iPad or any phone with flash support) to standard 640×480, 480×360 in 4:3 and 1280×720, 850×480 and 640×360 in 16:9 widescreen. Remembering this all depends on the source file you are converting from.
Open the folder containing your video (this is where the .flv file will be created) in one Windows Explorer window and BinKit V2.0 in another. Select the 4X3 or 16×9 folder, find the script you wish to use and drag and drop your video onto it. If you select any script and have your preview window active in Windows Explorer you can select the script you need from the description that matches your source. Well I hope this article takes some of the mystery out of how to choose the right video settings next time you edit a video.