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Old January 16th, 2015, 05:55 PM   #1
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best format for USB delivery

I know there has been some discussion on the advantages/disadvantages of USB delivery but I'm wondering about the best format both for the USB and the files.

without asking the client what format they would prefer how do I cover the spectrum best

the USB will usually come formated as FAT32 but we can reformat to exFAT or NTFS,

As I understand it exFAT is the best option for flash drives and reads on MAC as well as PC but what about file formats?

do I supply an AVI, MP4 & MOV format? or take a punt on 1

What are you guys doing?
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Old January 16th, 2015, 06:32 PM   #2
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Re: best format for USB delivery

Hi Paul

MP4 seems to be the best way to go as most tablets will read it as well as laptops and TV's ... You can create a good quality MP4 at 8000kbs and still get a wedding easily on a 16GB drive. I have previously however done 1280x720 USB's and taken the bitrate down to 4000 and it still looks stunning!

I wonder if anyone has seen what an MPEG2 SD file might look like on a TV via USB? I know it's only SD but if you are supplying DVD's and USB it means you can get away with just a single render in the NLE

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Old January 17th, 2015, 04:34 AM   #3
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Re: best format for USB delivery

What about the 4GB limit? - I'm assuming you would create a file for eachchapter but I'd struggle with for instance a full Catholic ceremony at 1920X1080 to get it down to under that
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Old January 17th, 2015, 06:01 AM   #4
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Re: best format for USB delivery

If you want to make sure the files play on a tv you should format the stick as fat32 as that is recognized by most tv's, the only problem you have is that you have to consider the filesize because of the limit in size fat32 has, this means you have to lower the bitrate.

I personally don't like to supply a lower bitrate mp4 HD file to a client because I want them to get the highest quality possible and therefore I format my usb sticks as exfat so it can be read on pc and mac, I put higher bitrate h.264 1080p mp4 files on it

The usb stick I supply is only to get the file from my place to theirs and I leave it up to the client what they further do with it, maybe they just copy it to a mediaplayer, pc, laptop, tablet and they even just could reformat the usb stick I gave them to a format that their tv recognizes.

I never promise them compatibility on their tv, I only deliver the files in MP4 HD on a usb stick.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 06:34 AM   #5
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Re: best format for USB delivery

by formatting the flash drive as exFAT there is no 4Gb limit

exFAT can also be read on a MAC. Since exFAT is optimised for flash drives it seems the best choice.

Since I can buy a 32Gb USB for around $12 it seem to me the best option is to format it exFAT and then supply the wedding in 2 different file formats - maybe AVI & MOV?
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Old January 17th, 2015, 06:49 AM   #6
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Re: best format for USB delivery

Only if you plug in a exfat formatted usbstick into a tv it won't work as far as I know.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 07:01 AM   #7
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Re: best format for USB delivery

This is interesting because I know a lot of people on this forum supply on USB so in order to deliver a product that will play HD on smart TVs they must be compressing the hell out of long chapters such as ceremonies and speeches to get within that 4GB limit - as Noa points out exFAT is more preferable but then the client can only watch on computer/tablet.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 09:31 PM   #8
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Re: best format for USB delivery

Hi Pete

I break up Catholic ceremonies anyway. There is a natural break after the readings as the priest has to walk to the lectern and do the Gospel and Homily so my 2nd clip starts there. Then after the homily the priest has to walk back to the altar and the couple need to get up from their seats and go and stand for the vows so another break is there. You can also do a break after the blessing when they do register signing.

Seriously I deliver my USB's in 1280x720 (as some TV's still will downsize 1080 anyway) and I find that even at 8mbps the quality is awesome so I've never had a file exceed 4GB ... You must be running a super high bitrate as 8 mbps allows you nearly 30 minutes before it hits 4GB so you would only need to split a ceremony once and I feel sorry for you if you have to endure a 30 minute speech!! I also do my speeches as individual clips

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Old January 17th, 2015, 10:55 PM   #9
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Re: best format for USB delivery

ntfs is readable on a mac and there is no 4gb limit, and it works on TV.

Macs use the NTFS file system just like newer pcs, if I'm not mistaken.
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Old January 18th, 2015, 04:04 AM   #10
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Re: best format for USB delivery

I have 2 samsung led tv's and one does recognize my ntfs formatted usb stick and the other (older model) won't, that's why I don't promise any compatibility towards my clients and just use the usb stick as a carrier of data, eventhough you should be able to read ntfs formatted usb sticks on a Mac I have had clients contacting me they where not able to read what was on the stick which was the reason why I switched to exfat and had no complaint since then.
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Old January 18th, 2015, 01:28 PM   #11
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Re: best format for USB delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
ntfs is readable on a mac and there is no 4gb limit, and it works on TV.

Macs use the NTFS file system just like newer pcs, if I'm not mistaken.
You are mistaken. Macs use HFS natively. They can read and write NTFS (from Mavericks onwards - before that you needed a plugin), but it's a technically inferior format so why use it by default? Microsoft were going to replace it some years ago by bailed out on the project.

The only reason Macs support NTFS is for interoperability with Windows drives.

NTFS does not work on my Sony TV.
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Old March 12th, 2015, 12:05 PM   #12
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Re: best format for USB delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Only if you plug in a exfat formatted usbstick into a tv it won't work as far as I know.
Hi Noa, I think your right, I had am MP4 file on a usb formatted to fat32 and the file played, then formatted the usb to exfat and TV didn't want to know.
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Old March 12th, 2015, 12:15 PM   #13
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Re: best format for USB delivery

Thanks Dave. Anthony, exfat will not work on my brand new TV either.
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Old March 12th, 2015, 12:44 PM   #14
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Re: best format for USB delivery

Hi Paul,

You'd mentioned delivering as "AVI and MOV" twice in the thread, and those would not be good formats.

Stick with H.264 for many reasons:

1) Much MUCH smaller files, with very good quality

2) AVI files require the codec for that particular flavor of avi to be installed before the file will play. That limits playback to PC computers - with the right codec. No Macs, no tablets, no TVs. Similar for MOV, client would still need the correct codec to play on Mac or PC.

3) HD wed videos as .avi or .mov are far too large for USB sticks. See #1

4) H.264 (as .mp4) should be almost universally playable on PC, Mac, tablet, TV, media players, etc. See #2

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Old March 12th, 2015, 01:18 PM   #15
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Re: best format for USB delivery

Please see this topic and i tried and all good, steve
USB to TV how?
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