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Q: We’re thinking of producing a new business video to use presentations and on our website. We want a video we can use in any client-facing situation, and we want to keep our costs down.

How do we correctly evaluate what we need? Comments? Views?

Marketing Director
Business Services Group
Greater Manchester

A: The good news is that there are many choices of business video style for web playback, presentations and meetings, and for large screen playback for events and projectors.

And all this comes on the back of sizeable price reductions in the business video market.

The bad news is that you can still end up wasting money by paying for more than you need.

The secret is to buy exactly what you need, and no more.

So let’s look into analysing what you really need for corporate video in 2009.

Business Video for professional web sites, meetings and events

There is a difference in prices depending on whether you need your video for:

> web only

> presentation with a projector from a laptop.

> dvd as a brochure to give to customers, or play at events

Let’s take these in reverse order:

DVD video disc as a brochure or at events

This video is viewed at large size as it will be played on a television, possibly at HD quality, with cd or 5.1 audio quality settings.

So everything about a DVD has to smack of quality, and generally it needs to be a slick production.

This is the most expensive video route, especially if when you add a large HD televison and bluray player hardware into the equation. It’s more like making a movie. And you’ll need it delivering in DVD, Bluray and MPEG2 formats

Presentation video with a projector

We’ve all seen them. This is the business video that predominantly gets played as part of a standard powerpoint, or is played as a Windows Media file .wmv straight from a laptop computer.

In both situations it is usually played through a projector in a boardroom or meeting room.

Now, while best quality is always desirable, the fact remains that once a video is converted to a Windows Media file (.wmv) and then played through a projector, the colour and definition are reduced – significantly.

All that great quality that is seen on a tv gets lost (for free!) in the file compression and projection system.

Yet the resulting video that people see is a very useful business tool that engages audiences, even though the quality has taken a short dive.

Many companies can and do use compressed wmv quality with a projector, and are very happy with it.

But it still makes you think twice when you see all that expensive DVD quality butchered by the playback system, losing all its rich colour and definition.

Learn more about business marketing video production

Web playback only video

Web videos are quicker and cheaper to produce, as they’re created for small screen viewing. They also require less filming..

A web video can also be played inside a powerpoint and projected onto a screen during meetings and presentations, if the video is provided to you as a .wmv windows media file as well as a flash web video file (.flv)

This is important as it means you can play a web video during business presentations.

What’s the drawback?

Not as much as you might think. As we know when a video image is expanded using a projector, it loses quality.

But a web video need only be expanded to fill half the screen size to remain visible, without too much loss in quality.

People’s definitions in quality will vary here, but you can safely include a half size video inside a powerpoint presentation template, and it will probably succeed in getting its business message across to the audience.

Sure, there’ll be some loss of definition. But not that much if only played at half size, as a pic in your main ppt window.

How to Choose a Business Video Production Style

Things aren’t as they were in 2008 or 2007, so you need to carefully analyse the audience split on how your video will be viewed. Take some time planning.

> If it’s primarily for web and laptop projected presentations, you’ll save costs by producing a web video, with wmv playback for presentations.

> If your business video is primarily intended as a DVD brochure for customers, and for playing at events and seminars where large screen quality counts, then you need a full blown business DVD production.

You might also want to consider how long you need your video to last.

If you’d like it to last 5 years then you might invest in long term with DVD.

But if your video’s maximum life is probably 18 months to 2 years, then consider spending less on the web production route.

Also consider runtime. The web favours short videos, while DVD supports longer company documentaries.

Business video production choices are not what they were in 2008.

Today, you can pay a lot less for your business video choice yet be seen by many times more customers.

© Studio Rossiter 2009

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