Wednesday, March 17

A quick computer video questionaire...

I'd like to assess my guests' video-playing capabilities. Why? Because when I move to a new and better (ie, more flexible and functional) blog format sometime this year, I'd like to have the ability to include High-Definition video clips instead of being limited to the small YouTube ones I use now.

I appreciate you taking just a few minutes, if you can, to answer these 10 questions, to the best of your knowledge. If you don't know something, don't worry about it - There's an "I don't know" option for pretty much every question. Just do your best; any info is better for me than nothing at all.

So if you would, please answer the following questions about your current computer.

1. Operating system - I use:
a) Windows 7
b) Windows Vista
c) Windows XP
d) Mac OS X (any "cat" version)
e) Linux (any "flavor")
f) Other (please name if you know)

2. Media player - For video (music may be different), I usually use:
a) Windows Media Player
b) Quicktime Player
c) VideoLan player (VLC)
d) Windows Media Classic
e) RealPlayer
f) Other (please name if you know) or more than one of these

3. I can play files using the following extensions/filetypes (list all you know that work):
a) AVI
b) MPG (or MPEG)
c) MOV
d) WMV
e) MP4 (or MKV)
f) I don't know about any of this

4. My computer has the proper codecs to play/decode (list all that apply):
a) Divx
b) Xvid
c) H.264
d) Quicktime
e) WMV
f) I don't know about any of this

5. I prefer videos in an aspect-ratio (width to height) of:
a) 4:3 - old standard for television; most close to "square"
b) 16:9 - the majority of newer widescreen computer monitors use this
c) 16:10 - I have a Dell monitor!
d) 1.85:1 - many feature films use this, especially comedies and lighter fare
e) 2.35:1 - most "epic" films use this widest of all ratios; Panavision invented it
f) I have no idea or no preference (or I want to leave an explanation)

6. I use this size monitor for my computer:
a) 14"/15" (upgrade!)
b) 17"/19"
c) 20"/21"
d) 23"/24"
e) 27"/30"
f) other

7. To surf blogs and watch video on the computer, I typically use:
a) A desktop computer
b) A laptop
c) An iPad (coming soon)
d) An iPod or Zune
e) A mobile phone ("smartphone")
f) I'm not sure (or comments)

8. My computer (CPU, Videocard, etc, as a whole) can smoothly play back:
a) 360p video (everyone who can watch youtube can handle this)
b) 480p video
c) 720p video
d) 1080p video
e) Even higher than 1080p
f) Check here if you're not sure about the higher resolutions - try all three...

9. My primary computer monitor is:
a) Standard (older style, more nearly square, like an older TV)
b) Widescreen (like newer HDTVs)

LAST QUESTION!
10. My normal screen resolution is:
click here and report what it says! (if you're on your own computer now)

---

The more feedback I get, the better I will know what kind of target machines to design for. It's always a balancing act between wanting the biggest, highest resolution video possible while still allowing nearly everyone with a reasonable computer to play it back smoothly, without freezing or stuttering or just showing a blank.

I like 720p wide format (6:9 or so) for most general video clips (maybe a wider format for movies), as it seems like a good compromise between high quality and still reasonable size. But I won't force that on people if few people's machines can handle it. Although, any computer purchased in recent years should have no problem. Technology has progressed rapidly, as usual.

Thank you!

12 comments:

Metamatician said...

I'll start off, as an example.

1. a
2. c
3. all
4. all
5. f - explanation:
16:9 for most things (fits my screen perfectly), 2.35:1 for adventure and drama movies (black bars on top and bottom but has more epic feel to it)
6. e (30")
7. a
8. d
9. b
10. 2560 x 1600 native

billybytedoc said...

1. Operating system - I use:
c) Windows XP- occasionally-as little as possible!
d) Mac OS X ( Snow cat )

2. Media player - For video (music may be different), I usually use:
a) Windows Media Player like add on for Mac
b) Quicktime Player

3. I can play files using the following extensions/filetypes (list all you know that work):
a) AVI
b) MPG (or MPEG)
c) MOV
d) WMV
e) MP4 (or MKV)
f) I don't know about MOV

4. My computer has the proper codecs to play/decode (list all that apply):
a) Divx
b) Xvid
c) H.264
d) Quicktime
e) WMV
f) I don't know about Xvid. If H.264 is HTML5 Yes

5. I prefer videos in an aspect-ratio (width to height) of:
) I don't much care

6. I use this size monitor for my computer:
d) 23"/24"
e) 27"/30" I wish

7. To surf blogs and watch video on the computer, I typically use:
a) A desktop computer usually
b) A laptop occasionally
c) An iPad (coming soon) maybe
e) A mobile phone ("smartphone") No Way Too damn small

8. My computer (CPU, Videocard, etc, as a whole) can smoothly play back:
a) 360p video (everyone who can watch youtube can handle this)
b) 480p video
c) 720p video Not sure - maybe


9. My primary computer monitor is:
b) Widescreen (like newer HDTVs)

LAST QUESTION!
10. My normal screen resolution is:1920x1200

Metamatician said...

Thanks ByteDoc, that was quick!

MOV is a Quicktime format, and all the newer versions of QT for at least a year or so have been supporting H.264 for HD stuff, so I think you're covered. Not sure about Xvid, but it's a free codec from Sourceforge if you ever need it, which you probably won't. It's starting to fade in popularity.

Your iMac can probably handle 720p video pretty easily, but you should try it sometime and find out.

Still thinking about an iPad, lol... I'll bet you an old sock you end up with one :)

Thanks for the answers!

billybytedoc said...

The most I would bet is an old sock, and I probably would lose that.

Mandula said...

Operating system - I use:
c) Windows XP

2. Media player - For video (music may be different), I usually use:
f) Other: Zoom Player (if not, Vlc)

3. I can play files using the following extensions/filetypes (list all you know that work):
a) AVI
b) MPG (or MPEG)
c) MOV
d) WMV
e) MP4 (or MKV)
f) ALL! :)

4. My computer has the proper codecs to play/decode (list all that apply):
a) Divx
b) Xvid
c) H.264 What is this? :D
d) Quicktime
e) WMV
all, except that c i dunnowhat. :D

5. I prefer videos in an aspect-ratio (width to height) of:
a) 4:3 - old standard for television; most close to "square"


6. I use this size monitor for my computer:
b) 17"/19"
mine is 19" :)


7. To surf blogs and watch video on the computer, I typically use:
a) A desktop computer


8. My computer (CPU, Videocard, etc, as a whole) can smoothly play back:
a) 360p video (everyone who can watch youtube can handle this)
b) 480p video maybe
c) 720p video i dont think so
d) 1080p video i never dared to try :D
e) Even higher than 1080p detto


9. My primary computer monitor is:
a) Standard (older style, more nearly square, like an older TV)
b) Widescreen (like newer HDTVs)

LAST QUESTION!
10. My normal screen resolution is:
1024*768 on 17" and 1152*864 on the 19"

:)

Metamatician said...

Thanks Mandula! Sounds like Sandy Claws needs to bring you an upgrade ;)

Hans said...

1 d and c
2. b
3. all
4. f
5. b
6. 20"
7. a
8. d
9. b
10. 1680 x 1050

Metamatician said...

Thanks Hans! You're a tech-savvy puddy tat.

An Gabhar Ban said...

I use 2 pc's so pardon the / marks :D
1. c/a
2. f (primarily a but also b&e)
3. f if I click and it plays i watch it. sorry
4. f
5. b
6. d/a
7. a/b
8. d/a
9. b
10. 1280/800 / 1920/1080

Metamatician said...

Thanks KA!

Soul Survivor said...

1. b
2. a, b, c, or e
3. a-e
4. f (I don't know what any of that means)
5. f=No preference
6. a
7. b
8. c
9. Widescreen
10. 1280 X 800

But Josephine is not a computer that should ever be considered when trying to find a happy median. I'm never quite sure if she's going to have a good day or a bad.

An Gabhar Ban said...

addendum
3. all
4. a,e were the only ones I could locate. make of that what you will.

I just had to go figure it out... darn questing mind.

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