February 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to our February Newsletter.  We hope you'll take time to read this, as it contains valuable information about the new website, program uploads, suggested work flow tips, fixing program mistakes, scheduling and mature content. 

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We convert (or "transcode") the videos that you upload to a format called "h.264 MP4".  This is an industry standard format that is widely recognized, and is dramatically smaller than other formats such as MPEG, M4V, or F4V.  Using FFMPEG to compress your videos before you upload will reduce the size by 80% (on average), and cut our transcoding down to an hour or so from 3-4 hours in many cases.

If you don't already have a tool to create native MP4 files, using FFMPEG for your videos is almost identical to "zipping" any other files.  It takes your file, and makes a highly compressed equivalent of it that can be recognized and played by all modern players and browsers.  Most importantly, it is the format that our Broadcast Server uses to put your videos on television. After testing with 20 videos uploaded by producers, on average, files that WERE around 3GB were compressed to sizes like 650MB!

Just renaming your file from something.mpg to something.MP4 does NOT make it an MP4 file.  When you do this, you're only fooling the uploader - when it arrives for processing, the system still knows it's an MPG file, and has to do all the work anyways; and it still took way longer than it needed to for the upload to finish.

Watch this 2 minute video and see how incredibly simple it is to compress your video file to a true MP4 file.  FFMPEG is free, and incredibly easy to install - there are tons of how-to's and videos if you google it. Please don't be intimidated by all the "gibberish" that displays on the screen while it's transcoding. All YOU have to know is to type in 2 things:

  1. cd "c:\path-to-your-videos"
  2. c:\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg.exe -i your-video-file.mpeg some-new-name.mp4
    • If Audio is of particular importance in your series, this variation will insure that your original audio quality is used:
    • c:\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg.exe -i your-video-file.mpeg -acodec copy some-new-name.mp4

f you use FFMPEG to compress your video to a true MP4, your upload time will be reduced by 80% (on average).  If you have a slower internet connection, this is a HUGE difference for you.  Additionally, with so many producers unnecessarily uploading full blow MPG/M4V/F4V files, the transcoding is takinig much, much longer than was anticipated, so we will soon be prioritizing them to be transcoded last, to stop the bottleneck, and avoid missing broadcast dates.

Downloading FFMPEG

The latest version of FFMPEG is available at https://www.ffmpeg.org/download.html.
Versions are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Installation is very easy if you're familiar with your operating system and installations in general, and there are tons of videos available on YouTube in varying degrees of ease or complexity.