Q3 Formats 16 February 2019
This week I would like to explore with you the point that Brian raised on Friday, namely the standardisation of
formats, codecs etc for videos shown during club evenings and also those submitted to competitions. In
particular he referred to the increased use of memory sticks.
On one hand it would be helpful for club organisers to standardise the formats used whilst at the other end of the
scale do we really want to risk restricting the number of entries we receive. Also, what formats should be used
for regional and inter club competitions.
I guess Brian opened a can of worms – I look forward to your input on how you deal with the issue, how you
would “like” to deal with it and hopefully, a suggested way forward to help all of us.
Regards – Tony
On 18th February Brian wrote:
Sorry to have opened this can of worms, but it is clear that there are a number of potential
pitfalls – it clearly not a case of one size fits all!
I agree you don’t want to restrict people entering competitions, but equally you don’t want
them disappointed when their video wont play (for whatever reason)
While the simple answer might seem to be “put it on a DVD or BluRay” many don’t want to
(or cant) do that and in any case even DVDs are already shaping up to be the next extinct
format following in the footsteps of VHS.
Having watched the link that Ivan kindly circulated I believe there may be one more variable
to add to the file format and USB format that he mentions and that is the player/projection
system since they don’t all appear to be the same.
All this is reminiscent of the hassles we had when first trying to burn DVDs, that sorted itself
out in the end but it seems that as each new method comes in we have to face this kind of
problem. It would seem that some kind of repository for the problems and solutions available
to be shared would be of benefit.
On 18th February Ivan wrote
We have had difficulties when trying to show films recorded to USB devices. Peter, our vice chair is quite
knowledgable about this topic and recorded a training video which is now on our TFMC web site. If other clubs
and film makers are interested in seeing the video you can find it at
http://www.teignfilmmakersclub.org/tutorial-videos.html Peter tells us that our USB devices should be
formatted as FAT32 and NOT exFAT (as is usual these day – particularly for larger capacity USB devices).
Also I have been up until recently using an Apple Mac (Final Cut Express) to edit my films. When the film is
complete this programme converts the film to Quicktime. This then has to be converted to Mp4 and for this I
use a free programme called MPEG Streamclip a powerful and useful conversion programme . Unfortunately
our club BluRay player didn’t like my first attempt at recording to USB. I went back to the Streamclip
programme and discovered it was using a data rate of 50 Mbps. I thought this a bit high. The programme
allows me to set a data rate and I discovered through experiment that if I set a data rate of 12/15 when
converting my movie the clubs BluRay player was happy with that and played it perfectly. Obviously our
machine could not cope with the faster data rate.
Q3 Formats Updated 19th February 2019
On 19th February Ivan wrote:
Thank you Brian for your input. One final thought – maybe clubs need both a DVD/BluRay player and a laptop
to play videos in all the formats (both are quite cheap now)? We, at TFMC, have been considering this as an
option if we cannot sort the USB format problem – although we haven’t decided yet. As you say, Brian, DVDs
will soon be obsolete – just see how many computers/laptops come with DVD player/burners installed these
days? Very few if any. Keeping up with the latest technology – don’t you just love it?
19 February Tony wrote:
It thought that might be useful for me to add my experience to this conversation.
When running the 4 SoCo Competitions over 2 years, in the rules I defined acceptable formats as “any current”.
A bit of a risk I know and I did receive some unusual usb sticks. However, there any number of programs out
there (free and pay for) that will convert almost anything to almost anything and so in the end the system was
not beaten. I was able to convert all formats to a standard bluray disc showing multiple entries using a USB as
I guess at club level the answer might be to define clearly what format the club equipment will accept and, if
necessary provide training on how to format a usb stick. In windows 7 &10 it requires just 3 clicks!
However, I maybe over simplifying things – I do that sometimes
On 19th February Lee wrote:
May I add my tuppence worth to this aspect:-
Format problems: Re Casablanca. (NO I’m not trying to sell them and I
don’t get commission for this)!
The machine I have and all the later models happily output – record – to
DVD..Blue Ray…USB sticks. Regarding the latter following enquiries I was
told that a USB
stick should be formatted to NFTS.. yes this worked , then I discovered
that the machine would recognise FAT32. In testing I’ve found that any of
are recognised by my PC which happily Uploads video to both YouTube and
the better class Vimeo. Also the USB sticks in either Format work ok when
plugged into the TV!
Just thought I’d mention it!