Category: Tech News

IGTV is a thing now but some creators still have a lot to learn

I have spent the last few days scanning videos from IGTV and I must say that on the whole I’m quite impressed by this attempt to bring portrait video as a form of mass entertainment to the public.

One thing that struck me earlier on was the compression that Instagram uses on the uploaded videos to allow for seamless playback. It is quite aggressive but I do believe that most viewers, strangely in this day and age of 4K video, will not complain as they have been using the stories function on Instagram for a while now and have come to expect this level of picture quality and bit rate. 

However, one thing that I feel won’t be tolerated is lazy editing. 

Yes, we want to get our videos out there as quickly as possible and yes, we do want a constant stream of content but not at the cost of a little pre-planning and forethought. 

It all comes down to three simple words from the legacy 4:3 ratio television days. Pan and scan.

The process was simple enough. In order to fit a cinemascope image from say a large Hollywood blockbuster movie for example to a square 4:3 television screen when the film was copied to video the machines they used to ‘video’ the film would move around the frame of the image to get the fit so you would see the actor who was talking at any given time or follow the action without it moving away from your field of view. 

Mainly, this worked and we were able to enjoy the movie without wondering why I am hearing someone speak but I cannot see them. 

I watched a segment from 5 News in the UK and whoever edited that video should know this. Throughout the piece, the two people being interviewed could not be seen but could be heard. This was an example of the very poor use of the IGTV platform. 

Most video editing programs have settings and functions for not only the screen ratio but also allows you to zoom across the imagesbyou are editing and in a fluid way that will follow the action on screen. 

Yes, it takes a little longer to edit but the results are worth it. 

If you want to win in the world of content creation just a small change such as panning and scanning your widescreen footage (if you have not filmed in portrait) will create far more engaging viewing experiences. 

Did Apple miss a 4K trick? Maybe not.

Another day, another Apple presentation and while the world and his wife were marveling/drooling/despairing (delete as applicable) at the shiny new old things that Apple told the world it needed we may have missed a trick in the less sexy news surrounding the new Apple TV release.

Yes you can play games and use more apps than the current model. The software now gives you lovely fullscreen previews of movies and TV content information, multitasking and even weather information via the new remote which looks and acts nothing like an Amazon Fire TV remote in the slightest. Oh no. The ting that worries me a little was the lack of any mention of a 4K HDMI output.

The presentation went on with no hint of the Apple TV box being able to output 4K.

Now I am not saying that 4K (UltraHD for the people at home mainly) is the be all and end all of all television viewing. Sales in the UK are patchy at best but 4K currently is the sales pitch of the moment when it comes to visual products of all kinds including the new iPhone 6s.

Looking further at the specs put up on the Apple website after the presentation and the HDMI output is listed as 1.4 and being able to output Dolby Digital 7.1. With this in mind you could squeeze some UltraHD 4K video out which would keep Netflix happy at least. It still, at the moment, specifies the video output as 1080p. Are we to expect a software update in the near future? That aside the other item surrounding the Apple TV we as content creators should all keep an eye on is the new tvOS programing language running the show underneath the new taller box.

With all the recent talk of television viewing being treated as an app (it’s all BBC iPlayers fault), tvOS maybe more significant that we can first image.

It is clearly a case of watch this new TV space.