2018 Conference Highlight – Video Production: Platforms and Standards
Facilitated by Kipp Woods, Kevin Muenks and Lucas Bond, Missouri Dept. of Conservation
Summary by Brad Parsons, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources
Three snowmobilers fly down a forest trail kicking up just the right amount of powder to create the perfect contrast against their dark machines. Snowflakes fall perfectly in front of the camera lens as if nature was acting as a prop during filming. The five-second footage told a part of a story about snowmobilers’ contribution to trail grooming that had to be seen to be fully understood and appreciated; this is the case for much of what we do as natural resources communicators.
This is the benefit and beauty of video production.
Short film, documentary, PSA, animation, live streaming, webinar, vlog – is the art of communicating with our customers through the elements of moving images, audio, music, photographs and graphics. At the 2018 ACI Conference the topic of video production focused our lenses on current technology and what to expect in the future. ACI members discussed topics of video streaming platforms and video format standards.
Before the internet there was broadcast television and before that, broadcast radio. Each of those is a unique medium, and together they provide us with media to tell stories. In recent years, the Internet has provided a powerful medium for video distribution. Industry experts developed internet streaming – a method of transmitting or receiving data (especially video and audio material) over a computer network as a steady, continuous flow, allowing playback to proceed while subsequent data is being received (Google Dictionary).
With streaming came multiple platforms that provide streaming services. The most common and well-known platform in the world is YouTube, which launched in April 2005. Fast forward a few years and Facebook joined the movement with Facebook Live in 2016.
The three services ACI members most often use are: Facebook Live, YouTube and Vimeo. All three of these platforms provide video hosting, streaming and live-streaming. Hosting refers to the files being held in their platform. Streaming is the action of a viewer watching a video being transmitted from that platform. And live-streaming is transmitting data to viewers in real-time through the platform.
Each platform has a diverse audience, and each platform provides a unique feature. It would be wise for creators and communicators to learn about each platform to best fit their content needs. Video streaming is powerful and will continue to be in years to come.
From the beginnings of broadcast television to modern high-speed internet streaming, video resolution, has played a key role in advancing the industry. Resolution refers to how clear and crisp a single frame of video is. Each frame has a number of pixels and the total number of pixels equals the resolution. First there was SD (Standard Definition) then in the 1990s HD (High Definition) was developed to improve image quality.
The consumer market is familiar with resolution as it relates to TVs, such as 1080 (1920×1080) or 720 (1280×720). Those are the two types of HD resolution. HD is currently the broadcast television standard. For non-broadcast video creation, we have a mixture of three resolutions- 4K (4096×2160), UHD (3840×2160) and HD. In recent years, 4K and UHD (Ultra High Definition) have slowly become a valuable asset to our industry.
So how does all this resolution language play in content creation? Well the quick answer is, more resolution equals more creative opportunity. More resolution also means more storage space and computer processing power. Think of video resolution like windows; a large window costs more, provides more visibility and requires more space. That is how 4K/UHD video works. The technology provides much strength to creators with the compromise of file storage space and processing power. Overall, 4K is helping create higher-quality productions and is slowly finding its place in the industry.
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