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4:3 youtube video without pillar-boxing?

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Mike Kozlenko
4:3 youtube video without pillar-boxing?
on Jan 12, 2013 at 1:22:22 am

I am producing a promotional video for my high school, and it will be shot on a Sony PD170. It will be mainly shown to people online. The sony records SD 720x480, 4:3 aspect ratio. Is there a way to fit the video to the youtube player without it being scaled & cropped, or without it being horizontally stretched?

I have tried converting sample 4:3 videos to 16:9 in Apple's Compressor, and the quality really degraded.
I have also tried stretching it within youtube, and the video ends up looking short & stubby, and cropped.
I even have Red Giant's Instant HD, but 4:3 video is still cropped when trying to convert it

I have not tried shooting in the 16:9 mode on the Sony Pd170, although I heard the quality is not as good when it is shot in that aspect ratio on sony dv

Is there something I am forgetting to do? any other method? Thanks in advance!


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Craig Seeman
Re: 4:3 youtube video without pillar-boxing?
on Jan 12, 2013 at 3:25:20 am

[Mike Kozlenko] "4:3 youtube video without pillar-boxing?"

Scroll down on the YouTube Encoding page. If you upload 4:3 they will add pillar boxes.
http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1722171

[Mike Kozlenko] "The sony records SD 720x480, 4:3 aspect ratio"
I have a Sony PD-170. It can record at 16x9 but it reduces the resolution as people have told you.
Your best bet is 720x480 4:3 and accept that you will have pillar boxes.

[Mike Kozlenko] "I have tried converting sample 4:3 videos to 16:9 in Apple's Compressor, and the quality really degraded."

You could crop it to 640x360. Stretching is not going to look good.

If it's really important you can get an inexpensive Canon Vixia that shoots HD for under $300.
Granted the camera has limited controls but if you record HDMI out rather than use the AVCHD codec, it looks good.



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David Eaks
Re: 4:3 youtube video without pillar-boxing?
on Jan 12, 2013 at 4:31:25 am

I agree with Craig. If you're shooting 4:3 SD just accept the pillar boxing. There are options for embedding a 4:3 player, that could potentially help you out, if your doing that sort of thing. But why not throw it into 16:9 mode? I looked up some PD 170 16:9 videos on youtube... I think its worth it.

Embedded video of PD 170 in 16:9 mode, in a "normal" 16:9 Youtube player-



and a 4:3 video embedded in a 4:3 player (this video has pillar boxes when viewed on YouTube)-



There is nothing "wrong" with a 4:3 image, playing in a 16:9 window, having the black bars on the sides. That is how its supposed to be unless you want to crop or stretch it. If there are black bars at the top and bottom as well as the sides, you have a problem and we can fix it.

I also agree with Craig on getting an HD camera. I had a Vixia G10 (in the $1000 range) for a short time. I was pretty impressed with the quality of the video, even in fairly low light theater situations. Of course it wasn't as good as my Sony NX5s, but better than I expected it to be. I'm sure a model in the $300 dollar range would still give you a respectable picture, especially with favorable lighting conditions and a skilled camera operator.

As for AVCHD, IME with my NX5s, there is almost no visual difference between the AVCHD internal recording vs feeding the SDI to my AJA Ki Pro and recording Prores 422. Of course there is a difference when it comes to green screen or color grading, but I haven't really tested for those differences.


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: 4:3 youtube video without pillar-boxing?
on Jan 14, 2013 at 1:41:05 pm

Shoot it in 16x9 DV. It's as good (or as bad?) as the DV 4x3...both of which are pretty so-so at best.

If you want to skip the pillar boxing of 4x3 material, this is likely your best choice given your tools.

Best,

Jeff I. Greenberg
Editor/Author/Speaker/Consulting
My NAB seminar schedule, contact info and more


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