Compressing HDV For YouTube


I've finally found the right compression settings for uploading HDV to YouRube. I shot the video on a Canon HV20 HD camera using HDV on the "Cine" setting at 25 frames per second to supposedly give it a "film look". The top still was the first attempt using H264. On the second attempt I used these settings after editing in iMovie. The third still is after the H264 file is put through DivX (which YouTube recommends) and it appears to have better detail and whiter highlights and none of the yellowish tinge of the others.

  • Compressed on H264
  • "High" quality - single pass.
  • 640 × 480 (YouTube automatically letterboxes the 16:9 aspect footage)
  • Frame rate: 25
  • Key Frames: every 30
  • Bitrate: 2000kbps
  • Frame reordering
  • Hinted streaming

The original file size was 4.1 Gb for 5.5 minutes and after the first attempt at compression came in at 15Mb. After the second better compression the file went to 75Mb - still well under the 100Mb YouTube limit. I compressed it further with DIVX - YouTube recommends that Codec but some of the other video-sharing sites (like the excellent BlipTV) don't recognise it. The still below is from the DIVX file of 43.7 Mb.


Posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 01:08PM by Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe | Comments2 Comments

How To Get a Million Hits on Your Crap YouTube Video - in 24 Hours

You’ve got a great idea for a viral video on YouBoob. You’re going to tie your naked mate to the roof-racks of a Sixties Mini and fang down the High Street while some other clown films you. What a laugh. Bound to get you a few hits. But if you really want it to go ballistic there's a trick you should know. A trick that's been around for awhile and now every man and his dog is flogging it. But it stills works. Bigtime.

What you need to do is put a boobie thumbnail picture up - a Triple-D Cup that will get all the horny little YouTubers out there going Phoar! and reaching for click and play your crappy video. Yes it's false pretences but it works a treat.

How do you do it? Just put a still frame at the centre of the video and YouTube uses that as the default thumbnail image.

Lately we've seen a veritable plethora of the old boobie-as-a-thumbnail trick. And this week we've had a triptych from a Tasmanian bozo going by the monicker of Blunty3000. His first two videos used boobie thumbnails - one got over a million views in 24 hours. He's an established YouTube Advertising Partner with a 20,000 Subscriber base. The third in the series was his pièce de resistance - not so much in views but in use of thumbnail. For this one he forwent the mammaries and instead had a full-frontal shot of his old fella housed in a sock. And he called it Cock in a Sock.

Amazingly it stayed up (the video I mean) for a couple of days in the Most Watched list with hundreds of thousands of hits until being flagged by the community and taken down. Seems YouTube were not amused. They can't have their Advertising Partners making dicks of themselves. But Blunty and his dick are still there, beavering away making money from views. How much is anyone's guess - the Partners have to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement when invited into the programme.

So the boobie thumbnail craze works...but it's bound to jump the shark soon. So maybe you need to get in quick to crack the bigtime on YouTube. Maybe use a naked scrubber tied to the roofrack...with a sock over her head...and call it Pimp Your Ride.

Oh and lookee lookee. Someone has uploaded a Blunty video from January this year. True colours or what. There's also a very entertaining page on this Nutjob here at EncyclopediaDramatica

Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 10:27PM by Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe | CommentsPost a Comment

Is YouTube Serious About Copyright Infringement?

report_percentremoved.pngHave a look at this report on YouTube and the removal of Copyright material. From Vidmeter - a handy way to track the performance of your videos on all the video-sharing sites. It gives me figures I can't even get from YouTube and the other sites. Thing that interests me is that a video I've had up for a year or so - Mac is Gay has had over 600,000 views and is still getting thousands of hits a day.

Posted on Sunday, July 8, 2007 at 12:01AM by Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe | CommentsPost a Comment

Compressing Videos For YouTube Using Quicktime H264

resize.php.jpgHere's what Apple has to say about Quicktime H264 Codec -
QuickTime 7 features a state-of-the-art video codec called H.264, which delivers stunning quality at remarkably low data rates. Ratified as part of the MPEG-4 standard, this ultra-efficient technology gives you excellent results across a broad range of bandwidths, from 3G for mobile devices to iChat AV for video conferencing to HD for broadcast and DVD. The "HD for Broadcast" is the part that rang my bells - considering I'm now shooting on a CanonHV20 HDV camera.

Massive Quality, Minimal Files
H.264 uses the latest innovations in video compression technology to provide incredible video quality from the smallest amount of video data. This means you see crisp, clear video in much smaller files, saving you bandwidth and storage costs over previous generations of video codecs. H.264 delivers the same quality as MPEG-2 at a third to half the data rate and up to four times the frame size of MPEG-4 Part 2 at the same data rate. H.264 is truly a sight to behold. Well yes its good. But so is Sorenson Video 3.

Scalable from 3G to HD and Beyond
H.264 achieves the best-ever compression efficiency for a broad range of applications, such as broadcast, DVD, video conferencing, video-on-demand, streaming and multimedia messaging. And true to its advanced design, H.264 delivers excellent quality across a wide operating range, from 3G to HD and everything in between. Whether you need high-quality video for your mobile phone, iChat, Internet, broadcast or satellite delivery, H.264 provides exceptional performance at impressively low data rates.

With H.264, an Apple Cinema HD Display and an Intel-based Mac, you can turn your home office into a home theater, complete with gorgeous HD playback. Yes, they're right - it looks stunning full-screen on my Apple iMac G5.

The New Industry Standard
Here's where it gets interesting - Already ratified as part of the MPEG-4 standard — MPEG-4 Part 10 — and the ITU-T’s latest video-conferencing standard, H.264 is now mandatory for the HD-DVD and Blu-ray specifications (the two formats for high-definition DVDs) and ratified in the latest versions of the DVB (Digital Video Broadcasters) and 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) standards. Numerous broadcast, cable, videoconferencing and consumer electronics companies consider H.264 the video codec of choice for their new products and services. This adoption by a wide variety of open standards means that any company in the world can create devices — mobile phones, set-top boxes, DVD players and more — that will work seamlessly with QuickTime 7.

Built into QuickTime 7
Because H.264 is now an integral part of the QuickTime 7 architecture in Tiger, QuickTime-based applications — including iChat AV, Final Cut Pro HD and a litany of third-party applications — can take full advantage of this incredible new video codec.

Then they go into details on what Quicktime 7 and H264 can achieve. This bit was interesting -
Flexible block sizes in motion estimation for more efficient encoding of complicated motion in areas of fine detail. I think what there's saying is that video is getting better at capturing motion. But in my limited experience (see my test footage elsewhere on this site) if you're shooting in Auto you still can't wave the camera around or do a fast pan or the image is going to deteriorate - I guess you need to use a Higher Shutter Speed - overriding the Auto setting and having the capture select the aperture - I haven't tried it yet.

Anyway...enough of the Apple sales pitch. Compressing For YouTube using H264 -

1. Set Quality to "Best".

2. Set rate control to 1-pass Constant Bit Rate (CBR). So no Variable Bit Rate, no Multipass. Apparently YouTube transcoders prefer CBR.

3. Set key frames to every 30 frames or less. The more key frames the more information your video will have. YouTube transcoders love keyframes. You can set key frames every 15 frames if you have motion shots (car races and the like) but the file size can go ballistic.

4. Set data rate to 1000 kbps or more, depending on the running length of your video. 2000 kbps is probably enough for a 3 minute short.

5. Set Size to 320×240 (aspect ration 4:3). YouTube prefer this size. YouTube is now automatically letterboxing anything shot in widescreen 16:9 ratio - that's why you see black space top and bottom on some vids.

6. Set frame rate to 30 fps. Again - that's what YouTube recommends.

7. Set audio compression to MP3 or AAC: 44.1 KHz, 64 kbps, 16 bits, monophonic. I hate choosing Mono instead of Stereo but its wasted on YouTube and computer speakers anyway.

8. De-interlace the sucker - especially if it's high motion. Otherwise it can look terrible.

9. Use filters to lighten/darken your video and an image sharpening filter if you have to.

These compression settings are the best compromise between keeping the video smaller than the mandatory YouTube 100MB Upload Limit and keeping it true to your original video quality. There's going to be image loss unfortunately. YouTube Flash compression wasn't giving very good results unlike some other smaller video-sharing sites. But lately (maybe since they did the deal with Apple iPhone? they've been using the H264 Codec and I've noticed the quality is a lot better.

Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2007 at 01:44PM by Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe | Comments2 Comments