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IIllustration: Andy Pointon

In this final post of the DIY Video series, we look at getting your video out to the world in various forms and formats. This is the last part of 3 DIY tutorials so make sure you read Part 1 & Part 2 first.

In the ‘Olden Days’ there were only a few options for distributing your video, and these were generally tape-based. With the advent of digital video, distribution could take place on VCD, DVD and flash drive.
These are now relatively unused formats, with most videos being distributed over the internet.

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Which is the right format for your production?

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Many of our clients still like to have a playable DVD or BluRay of their video produced. They like the ease of playability this format gives, the solidity of the product, and the fact that a well-packaged DVD looks so very nice sat on a shelf or desk.

There’s lots to be said for this. DVDs are a tangible product. The disks can be printed with the production title, company name, contact details and so on. The packaging can be professionally produced to brand the film in line with the business. And they are so familiar that few people will have trouble playing them.

There are some drawbacks though. DVDs take time to master; they need to be duplicated, another time consuming process; and they can be expensive to produce. They are also limited – if you have 500 DVDs made then suddenly realise you need to send it to another two clients, you will need to have extra copies made which, again, takes time and money.

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It allows full HD video, is the latest iteration of the DVD which produces fantastic quality images, but is probably less accessible to people (you need dedicated equipment to play them). It’s also expensive to produce.

However, if you want to produce a nice looking, physical, long-lasting product that can really sell your business, consider using DVD.

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Video File

Outputting your video as a digital file is a low cost and simple way to get your work out there.

Done correctly, video files can be easily outputted, duplicated and distributed, and are playable on a wide range of computer operating systems.

Done incorrectly, video files can cause major headaches!

Despite us living in the 21st Century, we are still not at a point where all computers can understand all file formats. A windows media file that plays fine on your PC, may not play so well on a client’s Mac. A HD MP4 file that runs smoothly on your high-powered desktop machine will be stuttery and jerky on a low-end laptop.
It’s important to consider what your audience will be viewing the final files on when outputting your files. PC? Mac? Android? Mobile? If necessary, output several file formats to allow people to choose the best one for their machine. And be wary of file size…
It’s all very well producing a 15 minute video in full 1080p HD. But how will you distribute it? Your broadband may be good enough to download a 2GB file in no time, but most organisations have slow internet connections and file size limits. Always consider this when sending files.

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YouTube / Vimeo / etc…

Video sharing sites have made distributing your work cheap, easy and simple. You can upload a video to YouTube, title it, tag it, put limits on who can watch it, and send it across the world in moments. Sites like these also re-encode your video so it plays on any computer, regardless of operating system – from a high end PC to a mobile phone.

There are still some points to be considered before using this distribution method.
Check the privacy settings – you can specify who sees your work, from the entire world, to individual people. We will often use Vimeo to send clients work-in-progress. This will be password protected so only certain people can access it. The last thing you want is for an internal video discussing the financial details of your business to be available to 6 billion people!
Upload the correct file format. Check the site’s FAQs to find out what file format is best for them. This will ensure that playback of the site will be the best quality possible.
Don’t leave out-of-date work up there. Take it down as soon as it isn’t relevant so people aren’t getting the wrong information.

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This article is the last DIY tutorial from a series of 3. The previous entries talk about shooting your video and editing your footage.

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Follow these tips and your next film will be a masterpiece – or at least a nice, watchable video.

If all this seems rather too much hassle, don’t forget that we are always here to help out, and we will never shoot anything on an iPad!

Drop us a line or give us a call if you need our services.
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