Moving Media

VideoDigital Media Broadcast

Making Your Video Look Good on the Big Screen and the Small Screen

Internet bandwidth and compression technologies are changing the way video is being viewed on the ‘Net. Technical and creative quality matter now more than ever.


A Background Rant

I've been producing video programs for a long time, long enough to have experienced the impact of the evolution of cheap video technology on the industry. When I started my company in the late 1980's the tab for broadcast quality cameras and editing systems was in the 300K range. And that was a lot cheaper than the previous generation of technology. Then came S-VHS, Hi8, DV…believe me, it's not a new phenomenon. Today it's the flip camera, smart phone, and webcam all parading in the tracks of their forbears. . Stuff just keeps getting cheaper. It's a fact of life. The question we all must come to terms with is, "is it really better?" and "do I present my brand using this technology"

Of course, there's a real benefit to affordable video gear. Anyone at any age and experience can make and share videos, whether an indie narrative film or video of the grandchildren. But when it comes your brand, it's important to future-proof your videos by ensuring that the creative and technical quality is up to standards.

Big Screen vs. Small Screen

Historically, videos viewed on the internet were small, pixelated, jerky affairs than were hardly worth watching except for the novelty that, "hey, look at that, a video on my computer." As speeds and bandwidth increased videos looked and sounded much better, but they were still small, played on a small screen. That's pretty much the case today but times are changing really fast. Today you can not only watch web videos on your tiny cell phone, you'll also be viewing them on large HD displays in your conference room or living room as the Internet and large "information centers" become inextricably linked. So the same content is being viewed on a huge array of screen sizes.

So what's the point, you ask. It's this. All the cheap consumer cameras, webcams, flip cameras, smart phone cameras that looked great on the small screen are going to look and sound simply awful on the big screen. What works for one doesn't work for the other. A video with no lighting, no audio, other than the camera mic, no music and all shot with a cheap camera that looks OK on a cell phone is not the image of quality you want to project when presenting your brand to the world.

Web videos don't have to be expensive to be well done both creatively and technically. A producer with experience can make your brand look great on the web on any sized screen without putting you in Greek-style debt. The damage to your brand and your sales for doing it the other way can be the most costly of all.