MotionBox Video Tests

I signed up for an premium account with MotionBox, a video hosting service, because I finally got fed up with YouTube’s very lame 4:3 aspect ratio video player – it just really sucks for 16:9 video. This is a test post I’m doing so I can compare a few different versions of the same video to check out how to best optimize the content I’m creating. You can probably ignore this post unless you’re keen on video encoding and embedding. 😉

First up, here’s what my uploaded h.264 1920 x 1080i 9mbps video looks like (yeah, it was a big upload, 617 MB, but they accepted it without a glitch) with their standard HD embed code:

This is the same source video, only with their standard definition (SD) embed code:

I then did a test with the same video project, only rendered at 640 x 360 pixels and 3mbps. Here’s what it looks like with the normal HD embed code:

And here’s what the same video looks like with their standard definition (SD) embed code:

Now, their standard video embedding size is pretty weak – a fairly small 416 x 234. Hardly what you should call HD, is it? On all Thoughts Media sites, I have 600 pixels of width to work with, so I want my videos to fill that size. MotionBox doesn’t offer a handy embedding resizing tool unfortunately, so I had to do some math with ye old trusty Windows Calculator. 600 x 338 pixels is the max size that I can use on my blog, and this aspect ratio calculator confirmed that my calculation was correct. Did I mention that I suck at math? It’s always nice to have an online calculator confirm your work.

Here’s how the first video, the 1920 x 1080 one, looks when made 600 pixels wide, using hacked HD embed code:

This is the same source video as above (1920 x 1080), only with their standard definition (SD) embed code hacked to be 600 pixels wide:

Then there’s my 640 x 360, 3mbps video sample, using their HD embed code, hacked to be 600 pixels wide:

…whew! Almost done. The last variable is the 640 x 360 video sample using their SD embed code, hacked for 600 pixels of width:

  • Cold Flame

    I was reading something on Engadget earlier today and noticed they used Viddler. I haven’t investigated anything on whether they offer widescreen or HD streams, but thought I’d mention it…

  • Neil

    Hey Jason, YouTube does widescreen now: http://www.youtube.com/blog.

  • Thanks Neil – it’s amazing how disconnected YouTube is, or at least the people answering email. I emailed my YouTube publishing partner contact a few days ago, asking specifically about this, and the response I got back was a canned reply about how to optimize my videos. Sigh. YouTube implemented this badly though – they’re putting ALL videos into a 16:9 player rather than auto-detecting the aspect ratio based on the resolution, and now 99% of their videos have big ugly black bars on the left and right. It’s really silly.