Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Digital Downloads

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    11,331
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Digital Downloads

    For years I've been producing DVDs of primary school shows which I sell to parents. I am increasingly getting requests for digital downloads. I have so far resisted for two reasons:

    1. DVD quality allows me to film in HD and 4K then crop to suit significantly in post. A digital download should, I suppose really be available in 1080P.
    2. Whilst anyone with a slight technical bent can copy a DVD, most won't, whereas anyone able to download almost certainly has teh skills to copy it.

    Does anyone here offer downloads? How do you handle this?
    Also - what codecs/settings would you recommend?

    Cheers
    Tim

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    For years I've been producing DVDs of primary school shows which I sell to parents. I am increasingly getting requests for digital downloads. I have so far resisted for two reasons:

    1. DVD quality allows me to film in HD and 4K then crop to suit significantly in post. A digital download should, I suppose really be available in 1080P.
    2. Whilst anyone with a slight technical bent can copy a DVD, most won't, whereas anyone able to download almost certainly has teh skills to copy it.

    Does anyone here offer downloads? How do you handle this?
    Also - what codecs/settings would you recommend?

    Cheers
    Pretty much anyone who creates content, creates a digital downloadable file. So do you right now, you just burn it on a DVD instead of uploading it to the Web. (i get your point though)

    You should not resist this change, because there is something you perceive to be a problem.
    The thing you fear right now is actually not a problem, it is a opportunity to improve your video quality.

    Here is a tiny secret that most online creators who want an edge over the average Joe do - export your 1080p video (or even 720p) UPSCALED to 4K with a much higher bitrate (45 - 55 Mbps) and the codec profile set to High with a 5.2 level (some NLEs don't show the level, only profile, but that's fine).
    All you have to do is change the resolution in your export settings to 4K and change the bitrate and codec profile.

    Here is WHY!
    When you create a 1080p video you export it as such (same for 720p) with a lower codec profile (4.1) and much lower bitrate, probably 8 - 16 Mbps. That means - that's it, there is no more then those 16 Mbps of information in those video frames. That's cool for low file sizes, but very bad for quality.
    But when you blow up your 1080p video to 4K and fill it with 45-55 Mbps of information, and then the viewer watches it on his/her HD screen where it gets squeezed back to 1080p (lets face it, 99% have HD monitors or watch on mobile devices), then your video looks all of a sudden way way better.

    There are 2 reasons why we have upscale it to 4K.
    1. The High / 5.2 profile is only available on higher resolutions. To unlock it, we need 4K.
    2. When we upload our originally 1080p but upscaled to 4K videos to YouTube / Vimeo, those platforms think it's a real 4K video and allow for much better quality retention.

    Look at the difference on YouTube for example - they allow 35-45 Mbps for a 4K file, but only 8 Mbps for HD.



    Obviously the downside of this is that you will have much larger file sizes if you do long format work and longer export times.

    Regarding distribution:
    1. Upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and send your clients a link. This would not work though, if you plan to make money from that process. There are similar sites though that work like Vimeo, but a client can only watch and download a video once they pay for it to unlock it. Search google for that.
    2. Put it on your website or online store as a downloadable product and once a client buys it, they can download it.
    3. Instead of making them pay for a DVD make them pay for a flash drive and send a physical copy as usual.
    Last edited by RL_Sensei; 06-24-2019 at 08:59 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    11,331
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    Pretty much anyone who creates content, creates a digital downloadable file. So do you right now,
    No I don't. I create a digital file. It's only downloadable if I put it somewhere where people can download it
    (Your case is vali when people ask me for a digital copy, though)

    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    You should not resist this change, because there is something you perceive to be a problem.
    The opportunity you cite, whilst clearly potential benefit (for which I'm grateful) doesn't really address my reasons (I didn't say problems) for having so far
    resisted the change.

    Does your method work only for viewing on YouTube/Vimeo? How do most HD TVs cope with a 4K file plugged into it? Or a 4K TV with an uscaled HDHDV file sent to it?
    Also as many of my "films" are shows lasting 2hrs, I fear the file size would be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    Regarding distribution:
    This is what I was really asking about, I guess

    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    1. Upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and send your clients a link. This would not work though, if you plan to make money from that process. There are similar sites though that work like Vimeo, but a client can only watch and download a video once they pay for it to unlock it. Search google for that.
    Not really trying to make money, but I am trying to recoup something for the dozens of hours of work I put in. I'll look into the "unlock" method.

    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    2. Put it on your website or online store as a downloadable product and once a client buys it, they can download it.
    Hmmmm. I could do without the hassle of maintaining a website. I prefer to keep under the radar as this is strictly for cast, crew, friends & family (but filmed over several nights with two cameras then edited together from those nights which is why i'm not going to do this for free - no matter how much I enjoy it)


    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    3. Instead of making them pay for a DVD make them pay for a flash drive and send a physical copy as usual. [/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/quote]
    This would be my favoured method except I can have a DVD professionally duplicated with a colour face and a printed case (all added value) for £1.30-£2.00 per copy, depending on quantity whereas USB drives are many times that.
    Tim

  4. #4

    Default

    This is a tough one. I think you are right that they won't copy DVDs but once you go into files they are likely to start sharing it.

    I've had this conversation many times with photographers in my circle because their clients started asking for digital files a long time ago. IMO what happens here is a change in the business model.

    I'll use the example of the photographer to illustrate. People want to consume content any way the see fit. Photographers resits this because they don't want their work to be shown the wrong way (say a pixelated image on a phone screen). But most importantly they also don't want to empower clients to go print "cheap" on their own. In their business model, a photographer may charge a small booking fee but then they make up the difference in the price of the prints. If the client thinks they'll pay the booking fee but then they'll take the files and go print at the local cheap shop, they are actually taking away from part of the expected income of the photographer. Solution? Either don't provide digital files, or change your business model to charge more for the booking fee knowing that you won't make up the difference selling prints.

    Going back to your situation, I would look at it like this:
    How much money do you normally expect to make selling DVDs for an event. Then, if you deliver the files as digital downloads, how much of that business are you going to lose? In a simple equation if you knew the answers upfront, one solution would be to charge more for the digital download until it makes up the difference from what you would have made selling DVDs. Another alteration to the business model might be making the digital file available for free to the audience but then charge a booking fee upfront to cover your expected income. In short, you are being asked to change your business model to cope with the changing times.


    Also, to your technical points:
    Before 4K I was filming in 1080 and delivering in 720. I think that's still reasonable if you are still filming 1080. People don't really notice much between 720 and 1080.

    Codec:
    H.264 is more broadly accepted. I export at around 16mbps for a decent compromise of quality/size, but if the file size is too large you can get away with less at 720, maybe 8bmps
    H.265 is newer and does a better job with quality/size. You can get away with a smaller mpbs, or keep 16/mbps for extra quality. On the negative side some older devices may not be able to play it. Youtube adopted it only recently.


    Also for the conversation about exporting to 4K even if you render smaller footage:
    4K straight out of camera looks great on my 1080 monitor. This is because of the color subsampling, 420 vs 444

    In short, compressed video for consumption drops color info for 3/4 of all the pixels. At reproduction, they use math from the other 1/4 to guess the lost data.

    But 4K video is 4 times the size of 1080. When 4K video gets downsampled to play at 1080, it has to discard 3/4 of all the pixels anyway, and it obviously discards the pixels that don't have color data, and so what I see on my screen at 1080 is only the 1/4 of the pixels that have full color data. So in essence, watching a 4K video downsampled at 1080 for my screen means I'm watching a version of the pixels that does not suffer of the color compression/loss.

    When you export your edits in the video editor, you are once again going through the process of discarding 75% of the color information. But exporting it to 4K means preserving more of that data, which will in turn look nicer when downsampled. Yes it will be a crappy 4K video when seen using a 4K monitor, but the file will have more color info than you would have preserved at 720, and it will look better at max screen on a 4K monitor than just maximizing a 720 video.

    That is assuming your mbps is high enough so you don't introduce other compression problems. For instance, I believe Youtube gets more aggressive with mbps compression on 4k videos than 1080 because the requirements keep climbing. So for me on my 1080 screen the choice is: request the 1080 version and get compressed colors, or request the 4K version and get nicer colors but instead suffer other compression artifacts.

    I probably wouldn't recommend you do upsampling for client files. I would just export at 720. But if you wanted to preserve more data upon the export, exporting an upsampled version does make sense.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    11,331
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Thanks, RL & joechicago. The discussion about upscalinge/presevation fo colour is not something I;d previously considered. Unfortunately the business model discussion has not thrown up anything I hadn't alreday considered myself (I guess I'd hoped I'd overlooked something). More later as I'm off out....
    Tim

  6. #6

    Default

    Wow thats amazing

Similar Threads

  1. Free Downloads for Filmmakers
    By sonnyboo in forum Pimp the Link
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-22-2010, 12:41 PM
  2. Looking for new menus downloads
    By hmwong in forum Pinnacle Studio, Edition including Avid Xpress and Liquid
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-10-2009, 04:52 PM
  3. Free Movie Downloads
    By myfreecinema in forum Pimp the Link
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-28-2007, 02:01 AM
  4. Sony Vegas 6 Downloads
    By Benjibum in forum Sony Vegas video editing apps
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-12-2006, 03:44 PM
  5. Forum Downloads
    By Marc Peters in forum Forum Announcements and News
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-10-2005, 11:54 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •