Video Everywhere

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Video Reference Guide

"Video Everywhere" gives a rundown of what's happening in commercial video, portable video, and Web-based video sharing. If you're a true videophile and want more, check out the reference guide below and on the next page. You'll find numerous tips from PC World on how to edit and transfer your video, as well as product reviews of camcorders, video editing software, and video-capable mobile devices (including cell phones).

Video Handling Tips

Mobile Computing--Copying Video to a Handheld: We discuss the in and outs, the pros and cons, and the thorny legal issues.

Mobile Computing--iTunes Video to Go: Download video to your notebook to watch on screen or on your TV.

Making Movies--From VHS to DVD: Copying your home movies from videotapes to more-durable DVDs doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. Here's how we did it.

Making Movies--Set Your Movies to Music: Looking for legal music to enhance your videos? Here's where you can find all sorts of cool tunes that won't get you in trouble.

Making Movies--Video & Camcorder Jargon Decoded: Got jargon? Here's how to bluff your way through the world of digital-videospeak.

Making Movies--The Fixers: Tips and tricks for restoring sound and images in videos that didn't come out as you intended.

Burning Questions--The Skinny on Burner Bundles: Every retail drive comes with software, but not all software bundles are created equal. Here's how to understand what you're getting.

Video Editing/Burning Software Reviews and Camcorder Roundups

Adobe Production Studio Produces Spare Time: Video editing suite bundles powerful, well-integrated apps.

Adobe Encore DVD 2: DVD authoring application gets nifty slide shows and better project management.

Nero and Roxio Put New Spin on Traditional Disc-Burning Suites: Advanced features in both updates, but one targets power users while the other goes for ease of use.

Pinnacle's Video Editor Handles HD: Inexpensive video editor has excellent features but crashes far too often. (Note that this software has been updated to version 10.5.)

Burning Questions--Ulead DVD MovieFactory 5: Nero and Roxio may have the dominant packages, but other options are out there. Here's a look at one of them.

VideoStudio 9 Brings Video Editing to the Masses: Ulead's latest VideoStudio makes DVD movie editing and creation simple. (Note that this software has been updated to version 10.)

High-Quality Video on a Budget: MiniDV camcorders deliver features for novices and serious videographers--for as little as $400.

Making Movies--HD Camcorders Not Ready for Prime Time? Here's what you need to know if you're thinking of buying a high-definition video camera.

Sony's Slick New HD Camcorder: The HDR-HC3 brings high-definition video recording to consumers.

For reviews of video-capable portable devices, see the next page.

Bonus Tip: Video Compression Cues

You shot a great video of your camping trip to Yosemite, you've edited it to showcase the highlights, and now you're ready to share it. Before you output anything, however, you must set your file's compression. For clips from a camcorder or TV, select the deinterlace option if your software offers one; it will help the codec create smoother-running files for Web and mobile playback.

From there, you must balance image quality with patience: Bigger files generate better images, but uploading to a sharing site can take from 1 to 5 minutes or more per megabyte. In general, I would recommend exporting your video as a 320-by-240 MPEG-4 file running at 30 frames per second with MP3 audio and a 1200-kilobits-per-second data rate, which generates a good-looking file that runs around 10MB per minute. Google Video prefers clips that are 640-by-480 MPEG-4 files at a 2-megabits-per-second data rate; these files run around 15MB per minute and look noticeably sharper.

For iPod playback, I'd let iTunes handle the conversion or use QuickTime to create a 320-by-240-pixel H.264 file with AAC-LC audio and a data rate up to 768 kbps. For PSP, a good starting point is a 368-by-208 MPEG-4 file at a 1500-kbps data rate, for about 11MB per minute. You can also simply use the iPod or PSP output settings in the free Videora conversion utilities or in your video editing application.

Jim Feeley

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