Can you encode for Google TV?

Yes. We’ve been doing optimized Flash Player specs in H.264 for over two years. Our custom 720p and 1080p profiles are already perfectly tuned for Google TV. We do recommend 720p because of bandwidth considerations. If you’re upgrading your site for Google TV, it may be the perfect time to upgrade you videos.

What format should I use?

Always the first question, and the answer seems to change depending on who you ask and what new “development” has been announced by the Big Three.  This is further complicated by the latest excitement about HTML5.  We’ll start by talking about the Big Three.

At this time, there are only three choices:  Flash, Windows Media and QuickTime.  You don’t even have to consider Real, MPEG-1, DivX or any of the other “contenders.”  As of this moment it’s a race between the Big Three.  Here’s how they stack up:

1.  Flash, now an Adobe product, has flat out taken the lead.  With the dawn of the YouTube age, Flash has been the most used Video Format on the internet by a wide margin.  Because of the small and easily installed plugin, Flash can be viewed on 98% of all computers on the internet.  Thousands of Designers are waiting to drop a video into your page and add any viewer interaction you need.

2.  Windows Media from Microsoft is the current runner-up.  Obviously installed on every PC but always having trouble supporting the Mac.  Most of those issues have been solved by Silverlight.  Silverlight is both a small plugin that can be installed on both PCs and Macs, and it represents a new architecture for Windows Media that gives Programmers the tools to make the video “jump through hoops.”  Windows Media has always managed to stay in the running by being the best in something.  DRM for many years and now (they hope) “Smooth Streaming.”

3.  QuickTime.  The “Grand Dame” of video formats.  Five years ago they held the #1 spot on the strength of their Trailer site.  Since then Apple has failed to keep up with the times.  QuickTime installation on a PC is a lugubrious process and embedding anything further than a simple player is difficult and time consuming.  On the other hand, QuickTime is used in the most popular devices in history:  the iPhone, iPod and now iPad.  This is where HTML5 comes into play, as these devices will all be using the HTML5 video tag.

Here at Metro Encoding, we recommend H.264 for all purposes.  Higher profiles will play back in Flash and Silverlight.  Limited profiles can be used for QuickTime and Apple devices.

What is a good video resolution?

Video resolutions should be 4:3, 16:9 or 2.35:1 (widescreen).  Video resolutions should always be even in both height and width.  The largest resolutions available for Standard Definition video are 640×480 (4:3), 640×360 (16:9) and 640×272 (2.35:1).  To avoid common mistakes in video resolution click here

What is the perfect bitrate for my video?

We’ve come a long way from 320×240 at 300Kbs.  Resolutions have increased geometrically along with the bitrates needed to get good visual quality.  For information on selecting bitrates, click here

Can you host my content?

We do host content for delivery to clients and we can design simple players for viewing.  For larger hosting needs we recommend Internap.

Do you do Web Design? How do I embed my video on my page?

Metro Encoding does not do Site or Player design.  We recommend Mad Lively for all of your Web design needs.  Mad Lively is a creative production company specializing in quirky, insightful entertainment, fresh web content, and simple, elegant websites.

If you need a player for your site, we recommend Longtail Video.

Can Metro Encoding create Blu-ray files?

Metro Encoding is now encoding HD for Blu-ray.   Coming from HDCAM we can encode to Blu-ray specifications in MPEG-2, H.264 (AVC) and VC-1.  PCM or Dolby Digital audio is available.

Can you digitize my content to something I can use in Final Cut?

Digitization is the first part of our Process.  If you have 10 minutes or 100 hours of content on DigiBeta or HDCAM, we can digitize and deliver archival quality mezzanine files in Uncompressed QuickTime, AVI or any flavor of Apple’s ProRes.

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