Tag Archives: video Blog

Google vs Auto-Play

Google, in its ongoing work to define the web according to its vision, will soon block auto-play video in its Chrome browser. This new step, along with many others that Google has taken to reward websites that comply with its view of how the web should work, is actually a good thing for users. Auto-play video is a terribly annoying marketing technique, used to get in peoples’ faces with a message. Deemed a ‘win’ by marketers, it makes for a lousy user experience, especially when visitors are chased around a page by a non-stop video while scrolling. Blocking these techniques, along with providing sites with higher rankings for incorporating features like fresh content, responsive (mobile friendly) design, and https (for greater security), results in a better web for everyone. We just wonder whether one company having that much influence over the web is desirable. In any event, websites that use auto-play video should become familiar with the way Google plans to implement this new policy, detailed in the following article, and adapt accordingly.

Read full article: http://bit.ly/2wgosGh

Snapchat Specs

Spectacles from Snapchat is new, wearable tech that looks cool, takes video and may stick. It may also inspire Google to do something with their over-ambitious Glass product that wasn’t well-received last year. But I hope not …

If the Spectacles unveiling was pure L.A. cool, it contrasted starkly with the Google Glass debut four years ago, which was pure Silicon Valley geek … Where Glass wanted to be important, Spectacle claims it just wants to have fun.

Details: https://spectacles.com

Article: http://nyti.ms/2ddhZxM

More: http://bit.ly/2dsf6NY

Google’s Latest Products Make Video Collaboration Easy

Video is at the forefront of technologies that both enable enhanced communication and serve as a viable business tool on the web.  With Google’s latest product announcements it’s evident that collaboration within all forms of businesses will soon be best conducted online using video. It’s now possible to transmit high-quality sound and images to remote locations so that disparate parties can work together. No longer is video communication hampered by the restraints of bandwidth and machine capability. The resulting efficiencies allow the best people to work as if in the same room regardless of location. Add to this web-based collaboration tools and cloud storage and the need to travel is almost completely wiped out.

The following article points out how Google’s new products, specifically Chromecast, Hangouts, and the Nexus 7, make video the tool of choice for these kinds of collaborations. Think of the possibilities of consulting with ad hoc teams from anywhere in the world — or within your own locale — to assemble on short notice, work on ongoing projects, or bring in special expertise. The time is right for businesses to get up to speed on these kinds of video and collaboration tools.

Read full article: http://www.eweek.com/mobile/nexus-7-chromecast-google-hangouts-mean-big-business/

The State of HTML5 Video

Look like the promise of standardizing video delivery with the advent of HTML5 is going to take a little longer to fulfill. As usual, no one cares to agree on how to best serve users.

HTML5 added the <video> tag, theoretically freeing us from using the current de facto standard for video playback, the notoriously crashy Adobe Flash. The reality is sadly, much different. Of all the major browsers, not one of them fully support the tag. Firefox and Chrome can only play HTML5 video if it uses the WebM codec, while IE and Safari will only play back H264-encoded video. When you throw mobile browsers into the mix, things get even more confusing. Most mobile browsers use Webkit, the open source browser platform on which Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome is based. This would be great, but different mobile devices support different profiles and aspects of the highly complex H264 codec, which means potentially more encoding for those devices.

Instead it’s much more important, in the minds of people who should know better, to promote opposing standards and hope to win. Hasn’t anyone learned yet that no one can own the Internet, at least for very long. In any case, be prepared for more workarounds for both users and producers of video.

Read full article: http://localtype.org/html5-video-sucks/

Streaming TV, not 3D is the ‘Next Big Thing’

Tempted to buy a 3-D telly? Didn’t think so. If the HD “revolution” was a study in hype, the pile of whatever being shoveled upon us re: 3DTV is beyond belief. Who, other than a desperate and dying content delivery industry would try to get anyone to believe that wearing glasses and watching objects fly into your face is desirable, much less necessary. At least HD TV was a big step up in the quality of the viewing experience. 3D is still, and will always be, just a “special effect” (and not always a very good one at that). In fact, when I visited the Panasonic booth at a recent trade show, what did the model on the 3D set do when I looked into the monitor? She picked up a glass and reached towards the camera. Like wow. The glass looked like it was really coming towards me … I “marveled” for 10 seconds, then moved on and spent a half hour talking to a rep about the AF-100, micro four-thirds camera. Now there’s something to write home about (in another post some day). The moral: 3D TV is just a carnival sideshow act. There are better things to spend money on. Like the Apple TV.

Despite what television manufacturers want to believe … the Next Big Thing in TV is where the content comes from, not how it is displayed.

Wouldn’t it be nice to access music and video content on any device at any time? That’s the promise of streaming. Subscribe to your favorite shows. Rent movies. Access a music library online. Streaming frees us from managing bits, storing plastic and converting formats. Apple’s proven that coupling good content with cool technology and a sound business model equals mass appeal. It will be interesting to see if the new Apple TV fulfills streaming’s promise — and cracks the mass market for digital content. (No glasses required.)

Full article: http://bit.ly/9d6SdX

Update: 22-Oct. Panasonic announced specs and availably this week for the new AF-100 camera. It sounds like a dream come true for video shooters, except for one big thing: the micro four-thirds sensor has a crop factor of 2X. This means that your 50mm normal lens becomes in effect a 100mm telephoto. For many this may be a deal breaker. I’m looking forward to the reviews as people start using this camera en masse after its late Dec. release. However, I lament in the meantime …

H.264 Standard Will Remain Royalty-Free

This is big because there’s potentially big money in Web video. With a free and high-quality standard in place we can all get past the encumbrance of Flash and see a lot more rich content sent directly to the Web from any number of devices. And that content will be easily viewed as well. This is a good thing:

MPEG LA, the group that oversees licensing for a number of Internet media standards, today announced that Internet broadcast content using the H.264 video coding standard will remain royalty-free for the entire life of the license, quashing fears that the standard could suddenly become subject to royalty payments in 2016 after the current licensing term expires and is required to be renewed.”

Read full article: http://bit.ly/bATpsf

Facebook’s Emergence as a Video Platform

Social phenomenon Facebook is now climbing the ladder as a video delivery service according to a recent article on ClickZ:

“As traffic to Facebook continues to grow, the social network is beginning to emerge as an important stakeholder in the online video space. According to online measurement firm comScore, the number of users viewing video on the site has been growing consistently over the past twelve months, and it could end the year with the second greatest reach of all online video providers in the U.S., second only to YouTube owner Google.

Data from comScore’s Video Metrix service suggests the number of unique U.S. users viewing video content on Facebook has grown from 13.3 million in April 2009 to 41.3 million in April 2010, representing year-over-year growth of almost 211 percent.”

One of the disrupting effects of Facebook is that people are using the service in lieu of other websites they’ve typically used in the past for functions such as email, IM, photo sharing and  now video sharing. Small wonder that FB execs are trying mightily to find a way to “monetize” this activity.

Read full article: http://www.clickz.com/3640570

Web Video Is Still a Mess

It looks like no one can agree on what is the best way to deliver video over the web. Why is this important? Because with ubiquitous fast connections and processors, video is the preferred medium online for entertainment and in many cases, information. If a picture is worth a thousand words, and a sound is worth a thousand pictures, then video is … well, you  get the idea. If this weren’t so, TV and movies would not be at the center of the entertainment universe. And because these media can be delivered digitally, the Internet is the natural means of bringing them to consumers (which equates to big business).

So what do those who have the  power to establish the standards that will enable everyone to benefit from video online do? Fight with each other, of course, since it’s much more important to own the  whole pie than to create a level field for all to compete on. So the battle continues.

First, it was Real vs. QuickTime vs. Windows Media. Then Flash stepped in and, by virtue of YouTube’s adoption and the ubiquity of the Flash plug-in, became the de facto web video standard. Today, it’s Flash vs. H.264 (which plays without plug-ins in browsers via HTML 5). So what’s the problem? In brief, Adobe wants to own the world of web video and Apple doesn’t like this. Nor does Microsoft, which has it’s own designs on web media domination with its Silverlight technology. H.264 is owned by several patent holders who can’t agree on anything, especially royalties, and the Firefox and Opera browsers support a format that few have heard of (Ogg Theora – ugh).

We can only hope  that this all resolves quickly, as the format war between Blu-Ray Disc and HD-DVD did in recent years. But according to this article from Webmonkey, that doesn’t appear to be likely. So in the meantime, keep that Flash plug-in handy (but not if you own anything made by Apple …)

Full article: http://bit.ly/cgxcSu