Questions to ask when converting a video for the web

OK, you just completed a video and you are ready to air it to your target audience. However, what kind of file do you need? Before your video company asks you that question, here are some things to answer, so you are ready!

How will the video be used or delivered to your viewers?

Is your immediate need a broadcast video, website video – or something else?

Once you know where it will be distributed, the choices are narrowed down.

If your video is going to your website (or maybe even YouTube)? How will your viewers see your video – you will need to know what format you need. Is it a FLASH video player, Windows Media Player, QuickTime, or something else? For windows media and QuickTime we can deliver a “smart stream” which means that one file can contain multiple target speeds. What kind of connection is your typical viewer likely to have – Cable or DSL, T1, 56K (gosh I HOPE not!). How big do you want the image to display on the screen? 320×240 pixels, 480×360, something else? Is there a specific codec you need to address? The codec is what transforms your video into a digital file. Some of these types include Sorenson, MP4, WM9, or Animation.

How do you want your file delivered to your provider? Can they accept the video via FTP? (Short clips only) Can we put the Video file to DVD ROM and mail or hand-deliver it to your provider? Do you have an external hard drive where we can write the video?

These are not easy questions for someone who is not an expert in video delivery; as fast as formats and specs seem to change in the 21st century, it is not even easy for an expert to know all the answers. Do not be afraid to ask your webmaster, sales rep or provider these questions. Do NOT let anyone make you feel like you should know these things. If you already know these things – why do you need a video company?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you are ready to have your video completed and receive the output from the video company’s editing system or storage drive. Good luck, and enjoy your show!


PS- thanks to Doug Pagano, our Production Manager – he is a whiz at video conversion. Call him up with any specific questions! Free Consults- all day long!

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