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Tip #1775: NBC Chooses Signiant for Olympics

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Signiant to streamline remote production for 2021 Olympics

The NBC Sports logo.

Topic $TipTopic

NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected Signiant to provide intelligent file transfer software for its production of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, which take place in Tokyo, Japan, from July 23 – August 8.

With Signiant’s software, NBC Olympics will be able to move petabytes of footage from Tokyo back to its International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., immediately upon capture. Signiant’s patented network optimization technology enables seamless transfer of the footage over standard IP networks, eliminating latency and packet loss, so that editors in Stamford can begin creating highlights almost immediately as the action is happening thousands of miles away. The software also allows for content, including advanced graphics work and pre-recorded footage, to be transferred quickly, easily and securely back to the broadcast center in Tokyo. Signiant’s software enables NBC Olympics to leverage their talent and equipment back home in Stamford, enabling them to provide enhanced viewing experiences to their audience much more efficiently.

Read the full press release here.


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Tip #1776: Import VHS Media Using USB

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Roxio Easy VHS or QuickTime Player seem the best options.

The Roxio Easy VHS to DVD software package.

Topic $TipTopic

A recent forum thread on MacRumors discussed low-cost options for batch importing VHS tapes of home movies into an iMac using HDMI or S-Video connected via USB.

While Photo Booth works, it is inflexible and hard to use. FaceTime sees the video, but doesn’t record.

The reader reported that iMovie and FCP don’t recognize video coming in via a USB port. What did readers recommend?

One suggested QuickTime Player. However, “the only quality control is “High” and “Maximum”, which are still much higher resolution than VHS in wide format. No option to save to external drive when digitizing, or auto stop after 1 hour or 2 hours.”

NOTE: However, you can work around some of this by capturing internally, then manually moving the file after capture to another drive. You could also compress it manually, as well.

Another reader reported using Roxio, but importing tapes “takes forever.” [Editor: By this, they mean that all video imports in real-time, unlike the high-speed transfer from an SD card.]

General consensus was Roxio Easy VHS to DVD for Mac. “When I used the Roxio software, I had to set it on “medium” quality. If I set it higher, the audio would begin to drift, and be really out of sync the longer the video went.”

Just thought I’d pass along the conversation.

EXTRA CREDIT

First, a caution. I was not able to verify that Roxio supports Big Sur. You may need to run it on earlier versions of the macOS. Or, use QuickTime Player.

Roxio says: “Easily convert VHS, Hi8, and Video8 tapes to popular digital formats.” This requires USB 2.0 (which every computer today supports).

Video quality is selectable between:

  • High. Apple intermediate codec at 640 x 480 (square pixel) resolution
  • Medium. H.264 at 640 x 480 (square pixel) resolution
  • Low. H.264 at 320 x 240 (square pixel) resolution.

Here’s the link.


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Tip #1760: Creating Video After Lockdown

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The future of media work looks increasingly hybrid.

Image courtesy of IPV.com.

Topic $TipTopic

IPV, developers of media asset management software, recently published a free report on how the media industry returns to work.

While the world is slowly getting back to normal, the way we work may be forever altered. In a recent study, Gartner said that 95% of the companies’ they surveyed are planning to stick to a hybrid work model for years to come.

Not only are employees asking for it, but it also saves companies’ money on overhead costs. This free report shows how video and creative teams moved to remote/hybrid work, and how you can stay that way long term, keeping your creatives happy whilst saving money.

This free report covers issues such as:

  • Home internet speeds, slowing down video editing processes.
  • Limited access to media files and footage from outside networks.
  • Poorly organized and unsearchable video file archives.
  • Creative slumps resulting from not being able to meet in-person or work physically together.
  • Security concerns and permission controls for files and media.

At its core, this report is about the role of media asset management (MAM) in changing video production workflows. After all, the right MAM tool can improve:

  • How archive material is accessed
  • How collaboration occurs
  • The type of metadata that can be generated
  • How teams review in-progress and completed material.

So, in looking at MAM tools, we will reveal how secure, cloud-based, multi-user collaboration is not only possible but actually relatively simple. We also take it all one step further — setting out a strategic vision for the very bright future of video production.

Subjects covered include:

  • Sports Broadcasting
  • Higher Education
  • Broadcasting
  • Retail
  • Publishing
  • And planning for the future

Here’s the link – the report is free and requires no login.


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Tip #1762: Top 5 Content Production Challenges

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Quantum seeks to show how StorNext simplifies the post process.

I’m sure we all color grade on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean at sunset. (Image courtesy of Quantum.)

Topic $TipTopic

Jumping into the “how will we get back to work” fray, Quantum has published a free e-book called “Top 5 Production Challenges Addressed.”

Quantum writes: “Consuming high-resolution video content grew over 60% last year, and demand will only keep increasing. To rise to the challenge, you need post-production and content management tools that enable cross-team collaboration and real-time editing — so you can get more content out to the world faster. That’s why we compiled the top five video production workflow issues that could be holding you back.”

Their top 5 challenges are:

  1. Workflows are increasingly complex.
  2. Content and project archives get very large.
  3. It’s hard to ‘stand up’ new collaborative teams quickly.
  4. Managing large systems is complex.
  5. Some storage platforms don’t scale economically or adapt to your workflow.

Not surprisingly, they are recommending StorNext.

Here’s the link. No login is required.


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Tip #1764: Vimeo Guide to Embedding Videos

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Embedding video is better than linking. This guide shows how.

Image courtesy of Vimeo.com.

Topic $TipTopic

Vimeo recently published a guide, written by Martha Kendall, to embedding videos for a variety of websites. Here’s how to get this free report.

Titled: “How to Embed Videos: Tutorials for Websites From WordPress to Wix,” Kendall writes: “Embedding your videos is a simple way to enhance SEO, save bandwidth, and ensure swoon-worthy playback. So, we put together a guide to help you embed across a slew of sites like YouTube, Wix, Shopify, and so much more.”

“At this point, we’re all probably aware of the power of video for marketing — especially when it comes to ecommerce sites. What you might not know, however, is how to get video onto your site in a way that extends average site duration, boosting conversions in the process.

If that’s the case for you, then you’ve come to the right place. This guide has all the answers you’ll need for learning how to embed video on your site.”

Here’s the link.


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Tip #1734: Change Starting Timecode in Compressor

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Changing timecode only affect compressed media.

The Timing section of the Job Inspector.

Topic $TipTopic

(I discovered this tip while researching my recent PowerUP webinar illustrating New Features in Apple Compressor & Final Cut Pro.)

Compressor got a surprisingly large number of new features in it’s latest update from Apple. One of which is the ability to change the starting timecode for compressed clips.

NOTE: This does not change the timecode of the source media.

To do this:

  • Select the clip (not the compression setting) in the Compressor Batch panel.
  • Go to the Job section of the Inspector (see screen shot) and change the starting timecode

EXTRA CREDIT

You can also use this section to change the In for the compressed media or its duration, should you not want to compress the entire movie.


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Tip #1735: Keep Your Movie Data Secret

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This setting disables metadata pass-through to compressed files.

Metadata options are located at the bottom of the General tab (this image is a composite).

Topic $TipTopic

(I discovered this tip while researching my recent PowerUP webinar illustrating New Features in Apple Compressor & Final Cut Pro.)

Your movies tell the world a lot about you – in ways you may not expect.

Both Final Cut Pro and Compressor embed metadata (text labels) into your movies that can be easily read by anyone using QuickTime Player – or other media viewing software.

This includes the name of the person creating the file, descriptions, keywords, Event names and much more. This metadata can be customized – for example, I use it to embed a copyright date.

However, sometimes, you may NOT want this information embedded for security, secrecy or personal reasons. Apple Compressor 4.5.3 features a new function that disables embedding metadata and prevents any that is already embedded in the source media from passing through to the compressed file.

NOTE: This only affects compressed files, source files are not modified.

Here’s how:

  • Select the compression setting applied to a clip.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the General tab.
  • Click the Remove all metadata and annotations radio button.

EXTRA CREDIT

This setting can only be applied to individual compression settings.

To set this as a default for a setting, select a compression setting in the Settings panel, then disable metadata from the General Inspector.


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Tip #1736: Streaming Media – Not as Big As Thought

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Finally, the streaming world has ratings.

The Nielsen logo.

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Dave Morgan, first appeared in MediaPost.com. This is a summary.

Last week, Nielsen unveiled the first true independent measurement of cross-platform viewing on TV, The Gauge, a panel-based, representative tracker of what 300+ million Americans are watching each month, broken out by linear TV (broadcast and cable), streaming and other (video games, DVDs, etc.).

Nielsen revealed that broadcast and cable still account for 64% of total TV viewing, with streaming only representing 26% of viewing — and Netflix, the dominant streamer, only at 6%.

No one described the disconnect between perception and reality better than CNN’s Brian Stelter, who said: “Streaming might take up three fourths of the media world’s attention, but right now it’s only one fourth of viewership time. Streaming might eventually cannibalize everything, but that day is a long way away.”

Incredibly, one of the stats in Nielsen’s report hasn’t gotten much attention, but everyone in the ad business hopefully caught it. A big chunk of the streaming viewing was on services with no or few ads: Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Hulu. So, for all of those marketers out there telling their media teams to shift 30% of their TV budgets to streaming video, you’re likely to be disappointed.

The ad inventory just doesn’t exist.

EXTRA CREDIT

The article linked above has more stats and additional detail.


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Tip #1734: Use Color Indexing for Animation

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Indexed colors are best for animation, not photos.

Create an Image Sequence (top), color indexing settings (bottom)

Topic $TipTopic

(I discovered this tip while researching my recent PowerUP webinar illustrating New Features in Apple Compressor & Final Cut Pro.)

This new feature in Apple Compressor is specifically targeted at folks creating graphical animation. It reduces image file size without compressing the media. It’s called “Indexed Colors.”

What this does is, rather than storing the full range of colors in a file, it only stores the actual colors used. This can reduce file size 80-90% per frame without compression!

To create this:

  • Create a new compression setting and format it as an Image Sequence (see top screen shot).
  • Select the Image Sequence in the Settings sidebar.
  • In the General tab of the Inspector (lower screen shot), change Image Type to PNG or GIF.

NOTE: PNG is uncompressed, GIF is compressed.

  • Select the number of colors in the image in the Color palette menu. (The fewer colors, the smaller the file.)

NOTE: “Not indexed” uses all available colors.

  • Global shares the same color pallette across all frames. Local uses a new color palette for each frame. Local is faster, but global will yield more consistent results.
  • Color dithering: If you have more colors than you are indexing, turn on Color dithering. (Sierra 2 may produce a smoother image.) If the number of colors in the image equals the index number, set this to None.
  • Animated: Available when Image type is set to PNG or GIF, exports a single, animated file containing all frames (rather than a collection of individual files for each frame).
  • Playback: Available when Animated is selected. Playback specifies how many times the animated GIF or PNG loops during playback. Select Continuously, or enter the number of times you want the animated image to play. (Not all web browsers will recognize this option.)
  • Create unique output directory: Available when Animated is not selected. Select this checkbox to create a folder to hold the output files; the files saved will be named “frame-0,” “frame-1,” “frame-2,” and so on.
  • Add leading zeros to frame numbers: Available when Animated is not selected. Select this checkbox to have Compressor add leading zeros to output filenames (“filename-000000,” “filename-000001,” “filename-000002,” and so on).

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Tip #1720: New! Framing Options in Compressor

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

New compression options support more social media platforms.

New frame size options support vertical and square sizes.

Topic $TipTopic

New with the 4.5.3 update to Compressor are new compression settings which simplify cropping and compressing square and vertical media. Here’s how.

  • Import a video clip for compression and apply a compression setting, for example, Apple Devices > Apple Devices HD (Best Quality).
  • Go to Video > Frame Size and choose one of the new vertical or square size options (red arrow and bracket).
  • In the Viewer, drag one of the small cropping squares along the edge and watch the frame size numbers in the Inspector until you get to the frame size you want.
  • By default, Compressor tries to preserve the entire frame. Dragging one of the cropping squares allows you to determine which part of the image to crop.
  • Click in the middle of the selection square in the Viewer and drag to reposition which part of the image will be cropped.

EXTRA CREDIT

You can use this technique with other codecs, for example, ProRes 422. Compression options will vary by codec and source clip.


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