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Q: When we looked at having web video produced it seems so much cheaper than making a DVD.

We’re a London company in the business of marketing sports and leisure events and we’re looking for a promotional video to showcase our organisation and its services to the corporate sector.

We need a video for our website, and we also need a video for presentations, and possibly to give a video (DVD?) to our clients.

Can you tell me what the difference between web video production and DVD video is, and what this means?

Managing Director
Events Promotion Company

A: You’re right. There is a big price difference between web video production and dvd production, although the gap is narrowing.

Let me explain the story so far:

In 2007 web video production was only beginning to take root in business. Productions were usually talking heads, or an existing corporate video that was converted to a steaming or downloadable format.

But by and large, the corporate DVD ruled the day and web video was only an offshoot.

By 2008 things were starting to change. Free Youtube grew enormously in popularity, as did companies offering professional web video services.

And companies actually started specifying that they wanted a web version of their corporate video, so customers could view it on their website.

Now in 2009, we find companies asking solely for web video productions to promote the key web pages, with much less emphasis on DVD, although there’s still a big need for video in business and major account presentations. This is a key developement.

We’re heading into the future with HD 264starting to take full effect, which means HD streaming (quite awesome), which is currently only available with Vimeo, but I expect a massive take-up soon, as HD 264 means streaming video at DVD quality!

Taking stock of all these changes, what does it mean in terms of ordering a video? Should it be a web video production? Or a DVD production? What’s the forecast?

You can learn more about effective web video production here



Web Video Production v DVD 1 – Runtime

Streaming video productions are generally short, maybe 2 minutes, as online audience tire quickly of watching long internet video.

On the other hand, DVDs are generally longer, maybe 4 minutes or 7 minutes, or more.

Long DVDs are definitely a no-no for web sites (as a close look at web analytics will usually show how quickly viewing time drops off).

My own feeling is that the long DVD can be better produced as 2, 3 or 4 shorter web videos, each tackling a different issue or topic in 2 minutes or less.

These short videos are ideal content for web streaming and can be placed on the relevant web pages or landing pages

In short, a long marketing DVD can quickly become a series of short marketing web video communications. This works.

Web Video Production v DVD 2 – Audience

If your audience is all online, such as Google Adwords or Bing traffic, then web video production is all you need.

On the other hand you may also need to show your video in sales presentations.

Here’s a method that combines both.

As above in point 1 (runtime), produce a series of short videos, rather than one long DVD production.

Insert these short clips at strategic points in your PowerPoint presentation.

This is a smarter (I think) alternative to playing a full length corporate video at the beginning of a Powerpoint presentation.

It offers greater flexibility, than one long chunky video.

And it allows you to more closely target your video topic to your audience needs / desired experience.

For example if the audience are only interested in your maintenance service, there’s no need to tell them about your production capability, is there? Maybe? You decide the tactics.

Web Video Production v DVD 3 – Quality

Web videos are cheaper because they’re flashes, and usually small and of a scruffy, blurred quality compared to DVD.

By contrast DVD is full screen and looks very sharp, and is often (but not always) more creative in content.

So unless you’re webvideo-only user, the you’ll probably need DVD quality.

This level of quality obviously costs more, as there’s so much more viewing area to fill (with small details, branding, graphics, create lots of interesting things, etc).

Consider film to understand this. Movies are physically massive, yet most of this is wasted on even a 50″ tv set.

And already we see some web videos look too small and fiddly because they were originally produced for DVD or television.

Until now, because HD264 format is now upon us.

For the uninitiated, HD 264 technology means viewing video online at full screen DVD quality, ie, sharp, clear, colourful and big. Not scruffy and small.

Sony, Panasonic and Adobe CS4 studio editing systems are firmly behind HD 264, and it will gradually replace the current flash video flv low quality format used in streaming video. It will probably also knock out mpg, wmv and divx formats too.

Basically, the HD 264 algorithm compresses HD footage in a unique way, and is capable of compressing it so small that it can stream on the web for anyone with reasonable bandwidth.

The quality of of HD 264 has to be seen to be believed, so go to Vimeo hosting and see it. You might just want it for your next video project.


> You don’t need DVD if you only have web audiences.

> A DVD can be produced as a few small modules, each ideal for the web – or for including in your big sales presentation

> HD 264 may well wipe the floor with all them.

Hopefully these pointers will help you determine whether you need a DVD or a web video production.


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