How does the average viewer consume media today? While there are plenty of people out there who still watch video from satellite feeds or from physical discs, this slice of the pie shrinks every day, with more and more of the audience turning to the internet for content. Whether this is directly online via platforms like YouTube or through paid streaming services like Netflix, there's no denying the revolution is in full swing. Within a few years it's likely that traditional video platforms will have shrunk even further, which makes it all the more confusing that so many businesses continue to distribute media in outdated formats.
This isn't just a question of convenience either. With so much investment going towards higher quality video production, distributing a product in lower quality via formats such as DVD makes that investment all but worthless. In this article, we're going to take a closer look at these issues, and provide a couple of simpler alternatives.
Up and down the country, production teams are hired to shoot events and edit together high-quality videos.
The situation: Delivering in SD
Here's the state of play: Up and down the country, production teams are hired to shoot events and edit together high-quality videos. These events range from dance school recitals to live theatre shows and educational seminars, but one thing they all have in common is a demand for quality. As a result, production companies allocate huge amounts of their budget to securing the best video equipment, including HD or 4K cameras, top-tier lenses and experienced crew.
Then, at the end of the event, attendees have the option to order a DVD copy of the performance. This is fantastic, especially in situations such as dance recitals where proud parents will doubtless want to hold onto a copy of the show. However, the rub lies in the fact that DVD resolution is SD, despite the fact that most of the audience will have some form of HD television at home. This means that companies are spending huge amounts of money on capturing HD footage, only for it to be downscaled to SD on a DVD, and then scaled back up to HD on a modern television. As a result, the picture looks soft, smudgy and low-quality, the complete opposite of what was intended by the production team and event host.
In addition, with more and more people turning to platforms like Netflix for their TV viewing, we're starting to see DVD players disappear. This means that in the future, large chunks of the audience won't even be able to play the format – affecting a business's revenue from DVD sales and preventing easy access to the content.
It's clear that a change needs to happen, and there are a range of alternatives to the nearly-extinct DVD that businesses should be exploring.
The solution: Embracing new delivery methods
Businesses that host events have a few different options if they want to retain the revenue that comes from selling copies of a seminar or performance. In a nutshell, the key is making the content as easy as possible for viewers to consume, and in today's world that means exploring new media formats or turning to the internet.
Let's start with new formats that support HD playback. The two obvious options are Blu-ray discs and USB drives, both of which are supported by most external media players available on the market. However, this doesn't solve the problem of people who have ditched their Blu-ray players, and in many ways these forms of physical media offer little more than a temporary solution.
A longer-term approach, and one that offers potentially greater revenue, is to make the videos available online in HD. This could be through online hosting on a site like Vimeo or as download from a purpose-built website. For today's audience, these are the platforms that make the most sense, especially with new products like the Apple TV that make it possible to watch Vimeo or YouTube videos from the comfort of your couch. In either scenario there are all sorts of benefits.
A longer-term approach, and one that offers potentially greater revenue, is to make the videos available online in HD.
For events businesses, there's the option to make money from attendees purchasing online codes to view the video, or to simply increase ticket prices and bundle in the video access for free. For the audience, it's easier to watch the content in high quality, as well as being more convenient. To return to the example of proud parents after a dance recital, online links make it far easier to distribute the video amongst friends and family – whether they want to watch it or not!
It really is a win-win solution for everybody involved, and means that all the effort video production teams put into creating amazing products isn't lost by unnecessary scaling between SD and HD.
For more information on all things video production, contact DVT today.
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