I'm seeking y'all's opinions (therefore, there are NO wrong answers)-
I record my church's sermons from our video mixer board (via an ADVC-55 and firewire cable). The sermons last 25-40 minutes.
Back when I started doing this I converted them to RealMedia video format files. For the last couple of years we've gone with Windows Media format files.
I use these settings-
Codec- Windows Media Video 9
Encoding Passes- 1
Bitrate Mode- Variable Quality
Frame width- 720, Height- 480
Frame Rate- 15, Pixel Aspect Ratio- D1/DV (0.9)
VBR Quality: 50
Decoder Complexity: Auto
Audio settings are: WMA Voice9, Speech, 12kbps, 16kHz, mono
Audiences: Compressed, variable
This generally results in a file with mediocre video and sound with a file size pretty close to 1MByte per minute of the sermon. Our minister(s) generally use PowerPoint slides, which are passed through the mixer board to the recording, so readability is important.
For download from our website this is acceptable. They start playing in the Media Player without having to wait for the whole thing to download, but the file sizes could
ideally be somewhat smaller and, naturally (since I'm asking for the moon here), the picture quality could be somewhat better...
What I'd appreciate hearing from y'all is suggestions about what we might do differently to improve the quality of our videos without increasing size (and preferably whilst DEcreasing it)!
We're looking to reach the maximum audience and require NO tech knowledge/ability on the part of the user.
Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!
FWIW- If you'd like to see how the current versions look, you can visit http://www.calvarychristianchurch.org and visit the Sermons/Bulletins page.
Big first step, decrease your resolution from 720x480 to 360x270 square pixels, and definitely increase your audio settings. Try WMA 9, Music, and at least 48kbps @ 44.1KHz. Possibly even try 64kbps. In my opinion the information carried in the voice is more important than the pictures of the pastor. That's where your signal is. All video compression is a case of figuring out what you're happy to discard and what you want to keep. Diminish the noise and boost your signal.
As Miles suggests, Flash video is also a good option for cross-system compatibility, but if you're getting bad results from WMV's VC-1 codec then you're doing something wrong. In my experience it's easier to screw up the On2 codec than the VC-1 codec.