Cracking the Code of x264 Presets

Like most compression geeks, I’m a big fan of the x264 codec, which is widely considered the highest quality H.264 codec, winning the prestigious University of Moscow codec shootout year after year. Though the codec has a comprehensive range of configuration options, I recommend that most users simply choose a preset and let it go…

YouTube/VP9/4K – Get Off the Dime, MPEG-LA

When YouTube sneezes, the codec world catches the ‘flu, even if the cause of the sneeze was totally innocuous. So it was with YouTube’s announcement that they will show 4K video encoded with VP9 at CES with hardware partners including Sony, Intel and many others. From the coverage in the press, which extended all the…

First Look: Apple Compressor 4.1

Compressor 4.1 is the first major update to Compressor since well before Final Cut Pro X. I reviewed the software for Streaming Media Magazine, and found a great new interface, the same old plumbing and confusing operation; here’s the pithy close: To close, let me say that 95% of Compressor users likely encode at data…

HP Releases New Z1

On January 6, 2014, HP announced a new version of their Z1 all-in-one workstation. I love the first version because it’s beautiful, powerful and field upgradeable; but it lacked high-speed external connectivity, so your capture options for live production were limited. You can see my experience with the unit here and my colleague Tim Siglin’s…

Baby Steps Into Video SEO

One area of interest for me in 2014 is video search engine optimization (SEO). In this regard, I’ll be perusing a number of resources like webinars and articles to learn the basics. I figure as long as I’m learning, I might as well share this information with visitors to the Streaming Learning Center; after all,…

In Defense of Blu-ray

My wife owns a ballet company, which explains the frequent use of ballet sequences in my test clips and other content. Over the years, it’s been a great source of learning and training for me, though not really a business. I shoot because I have the best gear in town, which produces a great archive…

Should I learn Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro?

I’m not a big fan of Quora, but occasionally the questions and answers are relevant. I saw this one today: Question: I want to gain hireable, professional-level experience and perhaps work in documentary filmmaking one day. Here’s a portion of the response from Chris Keath, Broadcast Engineer: Well, FCP 7 is still extremely common, but…

Hey, What Happened to Adobe Encore?

Looking for Adobe Encore on the Creative Cloud? It’s not easy to find. Here’s an intro to a story that I wrote for Streaming Media Producer about Encore’s demise, and how to find it on the Creative Cloud. So, there I was, starting to run some tests on a brand new HP Z820 with 12/24…