The Ever Changing Times

DVD’s and Blu-ray discs are fast becoming a thing of the past. Over the last decade all my customers have either wanted DVD or nothing more than a video uploaded to YouTube. On a rare occasion I’ve had a customer ask for all the original files. In this case I have them send me a Hard Drive that I send back with all the project files on it. Only once I’ve had a customer request a Blu-ray.

DVD’s are very inexpensive. Blu-ray discs are still rather pricey. These days thumb drives (also known as flash drives) are almost the same price as a Blu-ray disc. Most customers already have thumb drives though, in which case I can just put their video on their drive and their is zero material cost in the transaction.

Recently we videographed a school performance and gave customers the option of purchasing the video on DVD or flash drive. Out of the 26 that have purchased thus far, 14 requested thumb drives. And, now after educating brides on the difference they’re starting to request a file version on thumb drive as well.

What’s the Difference?

Blu-ray and DVD’s are delivered on a disc. DVD’s can really only handle Standard Definition, which is about 480 lines of resolution, maybe 720 at best. This is because a DVD disc has a storage limitation of holding at most 4.7 Gigabytes of information. The more resolution a video has the more space it will need to use. Blu-ray discs are 25 to 50 Gigabytes so they can handle the large size of High Definition which is either 720, 1080, or 1920 lines of resolution.

An alternative to discs is delivering the video as a file. Depending on the size of the file, files may be delivered via drop box, email, thumb drive, CD, DVD, Blu-ray, hard drive, etc…

In the End, What’s the Best Option?

We shoot video in both High Definition and 4K. 4k is twice the resolution of High Definition. So, rendering a video to DVD significantly degrades the quality.

Discs are fast becoming outdated because they are troublesome to keep up with, discs add waste in the landfills, and they may not last very long as they are easy to scratch and mess up. Discs are also difficult to back up, copy, archive, store, share, and play on various devices. Copying a disc requires special software and hardware that many people may not have.

Files on the other hand are pretty straight forward, esp. when delivered on a Thumb Drive. Thumb Drives simply plug into a USB port, which are in virtually all computers, routers, and even cars and TV these days. So, I like delivering files on thumb drives because they’re fairly inexpensive and very easy to use. You just plug it in and then you may be able to play the video from the thumb drive or drag it onto your computer to store/back up or play locally. You may even want to back up your video file to a Drop Box account, Google Drive, or some other “cloud” storage space.

In the end, we think that a file is best for all the reasons mentioned. At this time we prefer to render out QuickTime files. QuickTime files are great because they maintain a nice quality High Definition video at a small file size. AND, a QuickTime file retains chapter marks enabling you to navigate the video by selecting a scene (see images below).

QuickTime is available for download for free here: Download QuickTime Player

Using the QuickTime Player

By default the video image through the QuickTime player may be a tad flat. Personally, I prefer to increase the contrast to bring out the colors more. You may adjust the settings by clicking on “Window” in the menu bar at top of the QuickTime player. Under “Window” select “Show A/V Controls”. There you may adjust the brightness, contrast, etc…

If your video has chapters you may select a chapter in the video to start playing from. Do this by going to the bottom right corner of the QuickTime player (see images below). You’ll see a chapter name already displayed in the bottom corner and you may click on that to enable the popup list of chapters. Select a chapter and the video will quickly jump to that location. This is ideal for longer videos with multiple scenes.

Free QuickTime Player for Playing HD Video Files

Where to Click for Chapter Selection

Free QuickTime Player for Playing HD Video Files

Screen shot of Chapter Selection Popup


If you have any questions about this comment below or contact us. To book neofilm to produce your wedding video, business video, training video, music video, concept video, or anything contact us or visit our video production services page.