Streaming production

H.264 in a Mobile World: Adios to the Main and High Profiles?

Now that mobile devices are a critical target for most streaming producers, does it make sense to start encoding all H.264 footage using the Baseline profile? From the tests that I performed this week, encoding all footage using this profile might save encoding and storage resources with minimal loss in quality. Click over to the main article to view the test results, or click here to view the actual video files.

Live from J Street, Part 2: Framing Tips for Conference Shooters and Webcasters

Jan Ozer passes on several key tips on framing panels and applying the rule of thirds (and when to break it) gleaned from his recent gig webcasting the national J Street conference on Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Live from J Street, Part 1: Webcasting the National J Street Conference

I've produced multiple webcasts, but they've been primarily small events produced locally, usually as a volunteer or to provide a testbed for video switching or encoding-related projects. When I was contacted by Brendon Winters, a principal of Event Technology Partners, to help stream Making History,'s third national conference in Washington, DC, I jumped at the chance

Warning: Watch Before Preparing Your PowerPoint

I'm preparing for multiple presentations over the next couple of weeks, and was Googling to find data on the effectiveness of learning aids in viewer retention and comprehension. Came across this video that every presenter should see while preparing ...

Producing and Delivering Effective Video

On Wednesday, February 8, 2012, I had a chance to guest lecture for Prof. Joeseph Citta's class New Media - Reel Delivery: Design for Media Distribution at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Rather than recycle some old presentations, I decided to take a new look at the issue of delivering effective video. Click over to the main article to view a video of the presentation and/or download the handouts. 

Final Cut Pro X (10.0.3) gets Multicam

Check out my review in, where I found FCPX's multicam feature "fabulous" and concluded: Looking at the bigger picture, Apple deserves credit for delivering on a promise and doing a largely good job of it. Functionally, Final Cut Pro...

Average US Broadcasters Streaming at 837 kbps Total Data Rate

I track the data rate and video configuration used by broadcast sites since they indicate the types of streams that their mass market audiences can retrieve and play, and also the quality of streams that web video consumers are used to viewing. In my latest survey, the average video configuration was very close to 640x360, with a combined audio/video data rate of 837 kbps (758 kbps video, 79 kbps audio). This computes to an average bits per pixel value of .115. If videos posted on your site are lower than these figures, you're probably being unnecessarily conservative.

To view the groupings and individual sites used in my analysis, click over to the main story.

Configuring Your Streaming Video (for Newbies)

Configuring your video streams properly requires an understanding of three concepts; data rate, resolution and frame rate. In this article, I'll define these terms and discuss the influences that impact your choices for each parameter. Then, at the end, I'll walk you through a decision matrix designed to help you choose the optimal parameters for your streaming video.

While this is designed for newbies, the concepts discussed will be valuable to all streaming producers, particularly the information regarding the average bitrates used by broadcast, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sites. Sound interesting? Well then, click over the main article to get started.

HP EliteBook 8760W - the Ideal Mobile CS 5.5 Workstation

Depending upon the project type, rendering with GPU-acceleration in Creative Suite 5.5 can reduce rendering time by up to 92% over CPU-only rendering. Since NVIDIA's CUDA technology is the only GPU that currently accelerates rendering in the Adobe Media Encoder and Premiere Pro, buying a notebook without NVIDIA hardware for CS5.5 production is a huge mistake.

If you're in the market for such a notebook, the HP 8760w is a dream machine that performs as well or better than a single CPU desktop workstation. If you need an external eSATA drive for production work, the Akitio Taurus Mini Super-S LCM should be on your short list.

Choosing a Graphics Card for Premiere Pro CS5.5

Suppose you’ve been running Adobe CS5.5 without an NVIDIA graphics card. You’ve heard about the benefits of GPU acceleration with the Mercury Playback Engine and you’re wondering how much time an NVIDIA card could save you. Or you’re buying a new system and you’re wondering whether to buy a dual-CPU system with an inexpensive graphics card or a single CPU system with a high-end card. Or you’ve got an NVIDIA card and you’re wondering whether a higher-end NVIDIA card will deliver substantial time savings. Well, if any of these cases apply to you, you’ve come to the right place.