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BBN video demonstrations site
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Digitized Video empty space

Because we do both web design and video production, we're able to support the digitization of analog video into formats suitable for use on web sites. We do both digitization of preexisting analog tapes, and digitization of video that we have shot and edited.

We can digitize into multiple digital formats, including QuickTime and AVI for PCs and MACs. These formats require that they be downloaded from the web prior to viewing. Our experience is that casual viewers are usually willing to wait for a video of approximately 20 seconds in length to download, but their patience drops off sharply as the video length increases. Viewers with a strong interest, of course, are far more willing to wait. We have digitized a 90 second video for a special interest group. That video was 10 Megabytes in size and took over an hour to download. There were 125 downloads in four days. Basically, you have to know your audience.

There are two types of streaming video currently available that do not require the viewer to wait for downloading - VDOLive and Xing. Reviews of these formats (such as "Web-Based Video", PC Magazine, March 26, 1996) consider them highly promising but not quite ready for primetime. In order to move the vast amount of information in video across the viewer's connection, it's necessary to make some compromises in the quality of the video image or in the smoothness of the motion.

VDOLive has chosen to compromise on the quality of the video image and maintain the smoothness of the video motion. This means that the fastest lines have the clearest image and slower lines, such as 14.4 Kb modems, are correspondingly less clear. We can create VDOLive digitized videos for you, but you will have to get a VDOLive server so that your viewers can play the video.

The tradeoff that Xing has chosen is to reduce the smoothness of the video motion and maintain the image quality. This can mean that the normal 30 video frames per second can be reduced to as few as 1 or 2. You can bet that these numbers will be getting better over time.

Even if you're doing your own website, or having one done by another web designer, you still might want to have video professionals like us do your digitization. The process is not quite so simple as running the video into the computer and looking at the resultant file, as we've seen from one very dark and degraded digitization of one of our produced videos that we have seen on the web. There are issues of tuning picture and audio quality that video producers take for granted. We make those corrections, such as image brightness, as a matter of course.

We encourage you to become involved in choosing the level of video tradeoff that even downloaded video requires by making samples of your video available to you through the web. When you've made your own determination of the tradeoffs you can live with, we digitize the video and deliver either through a webpage or a removable medium.

Video and the Internet, by Rich Young

BBN Video Demonstrations

The BBN site changes frequently. Currently, the twenty-two digitized videos created for the Speech and Language Understanding group are being linked from a simplified corporate subsection. In the process, the AVI versions of the videos were removed, leaving only the Quicktime versions.

It is hoped that in the future the Speech and Language Understanding group can put up their own subsite again on a departmental level.

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Web Design Digitized Video Video Production Video Simulation

For more information, send mail to:
InterMedia Enterprises

Copyright © 1996, InterMedia Enterprises