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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 5th, 2015, 06:10 AM   #1
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events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

DVD is becoming obsolete, just last week I did a presentation and posted on youtube (as requested) , but the President of the company wanted a copy to keep and when it came to discuss the media then... problems.

He didn't have a DVD player (it was somewhere stored in the basement). I proposed a memory stick with MP4 to be played on the laptop and that I did. But then I was thinking of a better way so I went to bestbuy to see the TVsets on sale and all of them had the USB with a built in player (they call it "APP" now... it's a player anyway) for MWV, AVI and quicktime (those are the most common formats that can be played on almost all the current TVsets with USB)
in the store I could only find 1 Sony capable of playing MP4.

So is the future of our distribution with the USB sticks? in AVI or MOV? or WMP? for edited material obviously (I don't really know if the ability to play from the camera via hdmi could help me or help us shooting events and weddings)

back to my particular Client and how to give him the work it's obvious that I can't literally go to each home to test the TVset that they have. But we should start talking about this because it's not the first time that I hear about the DVD player stored in the basement or something like that.

Now publishing on Youtube (after getting paid for the work) is ok but sometimes I have to deal with Clients who want a tangible media to keep.

BD is out of the question (nobody has a player, many don't even know what it is).

So it's either the good old DVD (if they have a player still and for how long???) , youtube or USB at this point. at least as I see it.

What's your experience?
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Old May 6th, 2015, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

For corporate clients I would give them a media player with a USB thumbdrive ..that way they can play the USB on a computer or plug the media player into their TV if it's own USB input doesn't play video ..most I have tried seem to love a bunch of JPEG's and play a slideshow but few can play video.

What I give my corporate clients is an LCD brochure ..it's completely non technical and it's just a book with a hall effect sensor in the cover that plays your video on a TFT LCD screen .. it's self powered and the internal LI-Ion battery recharges on a computer or any 5v USB charger (including phone chargers) ...it's small enough to drop into a briefcase and they hand it to a client ..the client opens the cover and the video presentation plays ..close the cover and it stops! Simple and cost effective !! and clients love the fact that don't don't need to connect anything or plug in anything .. no degree in computer engineering is required

My supplier has from small 2.5" LCD's right up to 10" LCD's and all are self contained. I use generic covers but you can also get customised covers too!!

My brides also get one in their package and they absolutely love it ..it's has instant gratification appeal!!


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Old May 6th, 2015, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

A fat32 formatted usb stick with a h264 mp4 file plays on mac and pc and almost all current tv's support that too. I have delivered in this way to all my weddingclients last year and had zero complaints.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 08:40 AM   #4
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

^^ I've never found anything that wouldn't play an h264 (i.e. mp4) on a FAT32 stick. That's what I use.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 09:13 AM   #5
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

I wouldn't say DVD is becoming obsolete and the thing about no one having a Blu-ray player, well, that's not true either. A lot of wedding folks seem to be trying to push the USB or digital delivery method, which I don't agree with.

Why not offer all?

Weddings I offer Blu-ray, DVD, and USB. For corp clients they always request digital files, raw files on hdd, and depending on length of event, a DVD.

But as others have said, H.264 MP4 is the way to go for USB and digital files. :)
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Old May 6th, 2015, 12:53 PM   #6
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

I'm really going to start pushing the USB route myself.

I'm putting together this video I shot for a local photographer where I used my D750... I made a test mp4 of the rough cuts at 720p and put it on a drive and put it in my TV... quality is crazy out of this world good on my 6 year old 55" TV. Even at 720p! (and it's a 1080 tv).
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Old May 6th, 2015, 11:18 PM   #7
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

I have a LG 55" TV that I bought 3 years ago that the USB port won't play any video. It's on the user manual it only play JPEG as slideshow. Until the day smart TV is in everybody's home (which we cannot control), i can't deliver a thumbdrive and assume they play on my client's TV.

I am in the middle of customizing this USB/HDMI dongle. When plug to computer, it is a regular USB drive. When plug to TV HDMI Port, it plug and play my HTML5 menu and play videos. It is a plug-and-play turnkey device 100% work on any TV with HDMI port. Even HDMI 1.0 TV.

I'm gonna called it, the TakyDong :)
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Old May 7th, 2015, 03:28 AM   #8
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

what about something like this

Android 4 2 Mini PC Hdmi Smart HD Google TV Stick BOX Dongle Quad Core Bluetooth | eBay

seems to me I can load the wedding on a micro USB and the client can use it on any TV with HDMI - I don't have to worry about compatibility with the TV just the dongle
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Old May 7th, 2015, 08:43 AM   #9
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

That will work. My setup is similar but with Android 4.4 (upgrade to 5.0 soon). I also have it prenatal and tuned to auto load browser to open my TakyBox HTML5 menu. So it will be a more DVD viewing experience. :)
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Old May 7th, 2015, 08:58 AM   #10
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

I'm in the middle of pricing thumb drives, around 7 bucks or so on average, but then you add the case which, so 10 bucks, not bad.

I've never had any bride in my area ask me for a thumb drive, so I think it's an interesting sale in my area. A lot of bride's have their mothers paying for things and DVD is always king, not even blu-ray. So I think we are going to a more non-dvd area for certain clients, all you have to do is look at the price of DVD players to know there's a shift to online/file driven video vs hard copy.

Hey Chris, nice stuff on the book, if you have a resource for the book, I'd like to look into it.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 01:40 PM   #11
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

I don't do weddings, but have delivered projects on thumb drives to a handful of customers, all intended for play on a laptop in HD, but have concerns for delivery on any thumb drive:

- Chaptering - I don't know HTML, and am not aware if/how menus can be made to work on a thumb drive,

- protection from erasure - I've always made the files "read only", but without applying a password. That way, if the customer ever decides they really want to erase the video, (maybe following a divorce), they are at least notified that they're erasing something that is "read only". They can erase it, but at least they get that one warning.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that if/when menus are included, then if the .iso file is copied to a thumb drive, it will be treated/handled the same way as a DVD, i.e. the menus are functional. I haven't tried it yet; if others have, please relate your experience.

As for Chris' LCD books, they look interesting and would like to know more about them, too.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 06:58 PM   #12
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

Hi Guys

I get my books direct from China from the people below as they are prepared to have a generic cover and keep in in stock. They also have a nice low MOQ of 10 units so you are not stuck with 100's of something and you decide you want to change ... For low level orders we are looking at complete books for US$30 each.

Shiny Industrial Co.,Ltd
Shenzhen Hesheng Greeting Cards Co.,Ltd
Add:D8 Building,Daweishahe Industrial Park,Gongming Street,Guangming,Shenzhen 518106
T: (+86) 755 61135181 F: (+86) 755 61137039
E: sales04@heshengcards.com


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Old May 8th, 2015, 06:20 AM   #13
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

So for those of you offering on Thumb-drives...how exactly are you doing that?
What is the file format you use?
Are you able to provide chapters? If not...do you have a single stream of the entire wedding or break up the video into different clips?

I'm toying with this idea for 2016 but I'm worried that I will get a lot of customers that can't get it to work/play and then I will become a glorified technical support person!
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Old May 10th, 2015, 07:50 AM   #14
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Atkins View Post
What is the file format you use?

...I'm worried that I will get a lot of customers that can't get it to work/play and then I will become a glorified technical support person!
I haven't done this in at least a year, but last time I did there was no need for chapters, so I think I put it out in 3 different formats: as an .avi file, as an .mpg file, and as .mp4. I thought .avi would be a "safe bet" , because:
- the thumb drive had plenty of space for storage, and
- (at least in my understanding) because of the nearly-universal ability of .avi being playable on even an older computer/laptop, and
- less "decompression", technical know-how, and latest whiz-bang hardware was required to play it.
It seemed to me that .avi would present the most widely available, least problematic format. If the other formats worked, then that was a "bonus".
In this scenario, the only drawback would have been the default "play" characteristics of whatever machine/computer was being used, i.e. the "user" had to decide which of the 3 file formats displayed best on the machine being used at the moment. For that particular project, the customer had an "older" laptop that was "off the shelf" and didn't qualify as a "workhorse" by any means. They said they were happy with the options. (For "safety" reasons, I still set each individual file to be "read only").

Hope this helps.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 04:53 PM   #15
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Re: events /weddings : new media to distribute USB sticks: is the future?

Chris, do they offer anything that you can print one-off on your own? I'd like to distribute one per video, but I don't do weddings or events, so a generic "wedding" theme wouldn't work for me. But if there were something plain white I could run through my laser printer, it'd be perfect. The website (entirely in Chinese) wasn't much help.
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