Don’t upresize your videos

Since Vimeo removed the ability to re-encode in its native resolution any video between 848 and 1279 horizontal pixels, people started upresizing their videos to 1280×720 just so the get the 720p Vimeo Flash re-encoding that features more bitrate (hence, better quality). This is a bad idea though for us who would like to watch your videos in our TVs instead of the computer monitor.

Cheating aside (it costs Vimeo money in unnecessary bandwidth usage), sure, those who don’t care about local video downloads, they can do that. But if you care about the originally uploaded video file (I personally have a collection of 14 GBs of Vimeo videos that I like and have downloaded and watch on PS3/HDTV), then upresizing is a bad idea.

Let me explain: the FEWER hoops a video goes through from capture to final playback, the better it will look.

This is what happens when you upresize.
Step 1. Original resolution miniDV widescreen: 720×480
Step 2. Aspect ratio 1.000 resolution (as the video editor sees it): 874×480
Step 3. Upresize exporting: 1280×720
Step 4. Playback on TV resolution: resize to either 1366×768 or 1920×1080

This is what happens when you export in the right resolution:
Step 1. Original resolution miniDV widescreen: 720×480
Step 2. Aspect ratio 1.000 resolution/export: 874×480
Step 3. Playback on TV resolution: either 1366×768 or 1920×1080

And that’s why upresizing is a bad idea. Because it involves one extra step of picture manipulation that dilutes the quality further. In fact, if everyone in the world had a Pioneer TV like mine, which has a “dot by dot” PC viewing mode without extra resizings (most TVs resize regardless you see), it might make sense to export in 1920×1080 directly out of a miniDV SD footage (no matter how crazy this sounds — this would be the equivalent of upconverting, not upresizing). But because the world doesn’t have the same TV as I have, you will have to take the safe approach. And that’s the “export in the native resolution of your footage, at aspect ratio 1.000” (aspect ratio 1.000 resolutions are preferred because most players and Vimeo don’t “understand” other pixel aspect ratios). Don’t try to fool Vimeo. If you have a problem with the vimeo quality, just email Vimeo to change their policy back, but don’t cheat.

Comments are closed as this blog post is now archived.

Lines, paragraphs break automatically. HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

The URI to TrackBack this blog entry is this. And here is the RSS 2.0 for comments on this post.