Is Video Streaming the Future For Corporate Video?

Things have changed quite a bit since I started the film and video business in 1988. In the past, many corporate programs were shot and edited on film. The video shooting is on “plain Jane”, not SP, analogue Betacam. Video editing is in Low Band U-Matic-a process that requires several letters taken and a day or two of writing down all the timecode numbers for (linear) on-line editing . The mastering is on the bulky one-inch reel to spin video, which is so sensitive to magnetic fields, it can’t be carried on a London tube train. Distribution is on Low Band U-Matic, Betamax (remember that?), Or VHS.
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Now, almost twenty years later, much of the announced digital age is upon us. You can shoot DV, edit in Avid, and burn the result to DVD without thinking even a moment or loss of quality. The only stage in the process that remains more or less the same is the end: delivering the program to the viewer. It can be by post, Fed-Ex, or motorcycle courier, someone should take a copy of your completed program, take it to where your audience can see it, and then have it played by specialists. equipment. If your program has to cross borders to another country, chances are you have special copies made to conform to the country’s TV standard, and the customer will also pay a hefty customs fee.
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The Internet provides a solution to this problem and, in my view, is the perfect medium for distributing corporate videos, for companies large and small. Broadband / ADSL Internet access is quickly becoming commonplace. Around 80% of the UK now has Broadband access (source: The Guardian) and the number is higher for some other countries. Here are some examples of ways this technology can be used:
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Let’s say you run a small or medium sized company and create a promotional video to show to potential clients. You can easily stream it from your website. If you don’t want your competition to see your video (and you can’t guarantee that a DVD won’t fall into the “wrong” hands), you can password protect that part of the website and access it via invitation only. You can also stream a commercial from your website to be seen by the whole world – not just the people in your TV area. You can also tie it to your print advertising, so that people want to visit your site and see your commercial. Sure they beat them to get up to go to the bathroom when your commercial is shown on TV, or pass it on if they video the program it shows! There are so many video content like this on the web today, Yahoo! it allocates a huge area of ​​their search engine to it. Visit Yahoo !, click the “video” tab and type “commercial” to see what I mean.
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If you run a large company or have staff in more than one area, then video streaming can be a real benefit. In addition to the options available to small businesses, you can use them for corporate communications. You can show the same video to employees in different locations, cities, time zones, or even countries. Aside from converting your video to the correct format (more on that topic later), and uploading your webmaster to your webspace, the real cost is practically nothing – and definitely nothing for the tax person to get. his teeth! Your video can cross boarders without having to pay a customs fee, and conversion standards have been a thing of the past.
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Getting your training message across has also become much easier. Employees can watch the video from their computer screens. Add some “unity” to the mix, and you can create a training session tailored for each employee. If you are on a network, you can do this through your company intranet as well as the web.
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With live streaming, a trainer can train multiple people at the same time, even if they are in different parts of the world. It is especially useful for medical training. A surgeon can perform a specific procedure from a sterile environment, without the operating theater having to be filled with students. The whole process can also be recorded on video for later viewing.
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There are many formats available for digital video, and careful research is required to select the most appropriate one. The most popular formats are:

Macromedia Flash (swf)

Microsoft Video (avi)

Group of Photo Design Experts (mpeg)

Fast Time (Mov)

Real Media (rm)

Windows Media (wmv)

Streaming video is less compared to what viewers normally see on broadcast TV or DVD. The most obvious difference in the most similar screen size is much smaller. Under ideal conditions, streaming video can be clear and continuous, but the latest technology must be used to create, transmit and receive video or the results may be unsatisfactory; However, it is said, the kind of picture that can be seen when sitting directly in front of a computer monitor is not the same as that seen on a 14 ”portable TV viewed from 10 feet or more.
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Due to the large screen size, it is best to avoid any complicated graphics or DVE movement in a streamed video, even if the graphic frames are still regularly visible on the website along with the video.
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There are many myths and misconceptions about streaming video. Some of the most common questions I get asked are:

“Don’t I need a special website for streaming video?” No, you don’t. Because the files are large, most free sites do not host them, but simple sites do. I have over five hours of streaming video on my website, and it’s just ordinary. Some web hosting companies will charge you more if you have live streaming video on an ongoing basis, but this is usually to cover the excess bandwidth.
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“Ah, bandwidth. I’m sure a lot of people use it. Isn’t it expensive?” It’s kind of real. Video files are large, but they are just binary files. Downloading multiple files – be it video or software – uses a lot of bandwidth. However, video streaming formats are best designed to keep the file size as high as possible. Bandwidth is not as expensive these days, and many web hosting packages have a monthly allocation of 50 – 100 gigabytes, which is more than enough for most applications.

“Some people who want to see my videos have Windows PCs, while others have Macs. Isn’t that a problem?” No. Most streaming formats are compatible with many operating systems, and even factory -specific formats such as Microsoft’s Windows Media, and Apple’s Quick Time, have versions that can be used in “competition”.

“Is streaming video good on a dial-up connection?” It is true that streaming video works best through Broadband. The best option is to offer the option of downloading the video file as well as streaming it; That way, anyone who is dialed-up can download the file and view it from his or her hard drive.

Video streaming can add a whole new dimension to your corporate video, be it for training, communication, or marketing. It’s like having your own cable -TV channel – it’s much cheaper.