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Old September 11th, 2013, 07:43 AM   #1
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USB delivery instead of DVDs?

I'm really tempted to look into this properly.

A friend of mine who is far superior has recently switched to USB delivery after consulting clients and they all bar one were happy to take USB.

Some of the points worth thinking about are:

- Modern TVs have USB ports (if you provide appropriate formats)
- DVD players are less common in general but are also dropping of PCs and laptops. No longer standard.
- Movie watching is also steering away from physical disc thanks to Netflix, Lovefilm, Apple TV etc...
- They look eye catching (until they become the standard in a few years)

Here is an article about it, albeit from a photographers POV.

Why I Ditched DVDs - Custom USB Flash Drives for PhotographersBusiness of AWESOME

Thoughts?

I've just bought a fair bulk of Tin DVD cases, so I'll have to use them up before I decide!



P.S. This is the best site I've found. Packaging options too. UK sources seem lesser in quality.
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Old September 11th, 2013, 08:40 AM   #2
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

Hi Clive

There was a lengthy discussion on this a short time ago and a lot of mixed opinions!

I love the idea that I can render my clips in at least 1280x720 (some HD TV's don't actually support 1920x1080!) My 33" flat screen doesn't !!

I seem to remember that the biggest issue seemed to be not the ability to play the files (like Grandma's CRT TV and player) but the simple fact that the physical package of a dual DVD set of disks appears to be better value to the bride than a tiny USB drive.

I tested the waters here by offering a FREE USB drive to brides and to my amazement no-one was interested!! They still wanted DVD's ... maybe they want something they are familiar with that they know that works?? I have no idea ... I think there was a simple response from someone else regarding online distribution.

Is there a simple answer?? What do you do if the couple's TV doesn't have a USB input??? ... things like IPads also don't come standard with a USB slot ..you have to buy an expensive adapter from Apple!!

You just might have to also supply every couple with a media player too so they can effectively plug into any device including a TV with only a composite input ...Starts to get messy after that.

If there is a simple answer that would keep all brides happy I would love to hear it!!

Chris
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Old September 11th, 2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

What's the shelf life of a USB compared to DVD?
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Old September 11th, 2013, 11:39 AM   #4
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

Not too sure actually!

But regardless of shelf life, the client can easily make various backups on home PCs and online storage with USB.

DVD ripping is a lot less well known how to do.
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Old September 11th, 2013, 03:35 PM   #5
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

I've offered USB drive delivery as an alternative or addition for the last 2 years, but like Chris, Nobody has taken me up on it, except for a 3D wedding that I filmed.

I prefer the quality and convenience of USB or SD card over dvd, but so far the clients just don't seem to like it them. It might be that they relate a dvd to a commercial dvd in the shops and feel they are getting something more substantial.

Roger
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Old September 11th, 2013, 08:51 PM   #6
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

I've thought about this off an on for so many years that's passed me by, but I could never get past the fact that there wouldn't be chapters to jump forward. Or ... maybe there's a way to do it and I never found the answer.

Weddings have since passed me by, but I still continue to do some short projects where maybe the USB would be a nice option.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 04:47 AM   #7
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

I bought a bunch of 4gb usb drives to deliver 720p AppleTV versions of the clients film (as well as DVD and Blu-ray copies). There is definitely some in that a disc version has a case, inlay, artwork etc. A USB drive is just a small unidentifiable plastic thing (unless you spend money on the custom engraved ones)

For me, a USB drive might as well be a download link for the client. I've just modified my documentation as such. Seeing as I wont be limited to 4gb now I may encode them at a higher bitrate and \ or 1080p.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 05:31 AM   #8
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Burnap View Post
I bought a bunch of 4gb usb drives to deliver 720p AppleTV versions of the clients film (as well as DVD and Blu-ray copies). There is definitely some in that a disc version has a case, inlay, artwork etc. A USB drive is just a small unidentifiable plastic thing (unless you spend money on the custom engraved ones)

For me, a USB drive might as well be a download link for the client. I've just modified my documentation as such. Seeing as I wont be limited to 4gb now I may encode them at a higher bitrate and \ or 1080p.
What the client wants is a video file that they can play on their computer, phone, tablet, TV etc How it is delivered is irrelevant really. I too don't think much of a USB device (they can also be erased of course). Instead of the USB device we deliver HD files as .AVI or .MP4 burned to a DVD & presented in a disc case just like the DVD or Blu-ray but clearly marked although many disc players will in fact play raw video files ina variety of formats e.g. DIVX, AVI etc
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Old September 12th, 2013, 09:00 AM   #9
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

It has been my dream for clients to stop asking for DVDs and move to USBs for a while...unfortunately it's just a dream and DVDs will likely remain the status-quo for awhile....
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Old September 12th, 2013, 09:17 AM   #10
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

MP4 files on a DVD is probably still a more viable option and means that people wanting an HD version can at least pop it into their computer and play the video.

You can of course name the file with a little bit of forethought too .. like 0001Bridalprep.mp4 and 0002ChruchArrival.mp4 so even a non technical bride can figure out which files to play if you want to break the entire wedding up ..I do that anyway, even on a DVD so I don't need to rely on chapters.

A DVD in a smart case still "looks" like better value to the bride rather than a tiny USB, even if it is engraved or silkscreened ... it's physically a more "valuable" end product.

The other thing that always concerns me is the fact that most brides will have a laptop or notebook with tiny little speakers which isn't going to make your audio sound very good, whereas a big screen TV is far more likely to be hooked up to a home theatre system in the living room and audio will be far more natural.

As much as USB drives sound like a good idea, for me they are sadly still an optional extra rather than the final end product.

Chris
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Old September 12th, 2013, 10:14 AM   #11
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

USB sticks in batches large enough to cope with the biggest likely MP4 file are still relatively expensive to personalise and prohibitively expensive to personalise to client level. Then you need to personalise a larger external case as well. Plus they do not have a great record for reliability. So I've been sticking with MP4's burned to disc- dual layer disc if needs be. Overseas clients get delivery by download, but the upload times are so long here that its not really viable for volume work even if it were acceptable to most clients.

For those who supply MP4's for playback on TVs: how do you get around the big difference in the display ability between TVs and decent computer screens? If I supply an MP4 optimised for playback on a computer or Ipad etc n.b. something with a greater dynamic range than TVs, it will be too contrasty on a TV. If I shift its range as if it were to be a DVD then the MP4 will look great on a TV but washed out on a computer. I could encourage the clients to change the display settings on one or other but I doubt they're going to do that.

Pete
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Old September 12th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #12
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

I am primarily a photographer, but offer two rather basic video options. I already have USB drives (4 Gig) that I use to deliver their wedding photos. I purchased some larger ones (16 gig) so I would have room for both the video and the photos. I find it is much easier for me to put files on a flash drive. DVD takes time to make and print. I stopped doing DVD as my primary delivery. I now charge $50 per disc additional if they also want DVD's.

When I explain it most prefer the idea of being able to watch it on their phones, computers and tablets.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 10:41 PM   #13
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

I am still offering DVD/Bluray, as well as digital delivery (USB thumbdrive) as option. I still want my brides be just sit back relax and enjoy their wedding film on a big screen TV. It's also easy for them to send to grandma.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 01:18 AM   #14
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald McPherson View Post
What's the shelf life of a USB compared to DVD?
USB sticks can be unbelievably unreliable. These are not permanent storage devices by any means. I know a supplier of USB memory sticks fairly well and a candid discussion revealed that more than 20% of them die in their warranty period.

My very first (26MB) stick from > 10 years ago still works perfectly, but most of the sticks I've bought in the last 5 years either won't read or won't write.

OTOH, if they don't store their DVDs correctly then they can also have a shorter life than many expect.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 01:22 AM   #15
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Re: USB delivery instead of DVDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald McPherson View Post
What's the shelf life of a USB compared to DVD?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald Ong View Post
It has been my dream for clients to stop asking for DVDs and move to USBs for a while...unfortunately it's just a dream and DVDs will likely remain the status-quo for awhile....
You will actually have to force them if you want your dream. Stop offering it as a standard item and the charge more if they want it.

My last event I quoted a price based on electronic (download) only. If they wanted USB it was +50. If they wanted DVD it was +150. Blu-ray was +225. Guess which they opted for? Yup, download only.

They were also very happy because they had it within hours rather than days of us completing the edit.
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