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Author Topic: LLVJ-16 DVD Download  (Read 20940 times)
mikealex
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« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2007, 01:57:49 PM »
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The move to download from DVD is an economic necessity.
I'm sorry Michael, but what is the economic necessity of switching from DVD to crap-quality downloadable video? Why can Brooks Jensen continue to send out his LensWork Extended CD's, but you can no longer mail out the LLVJ DVD? How is your business case different than his? Do you need to raise the price to $24.95? Fine, do it. I'll pay it. That should easily cover any additional postage fees you're experiencing.

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It is also one that has been met by considerable customer support.
You've said this before, but I'm sorry, I just don't believe you on this. Reading the responses on your own forum, it has been overwhelmingly negative.

How many people that converted their subscription to downloadable video are now regretting it? I certain regret doing it. Fortunately, I've been told mine is being switched back, since I never used any of the coupons.

Are you making the assumption that everyone who switched is happy? Are you assuming that silence is golden, and that if you're not hearing from someone, they must be happy? Two very naive assumptions if that's the case.


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But, there have been objections, and so we are tying to find compromise. Putting an 4.1GB ISO version online for people to download is one such attempt.

But, when actual customer response is so slim as to make the effort / reward ratio so small as to render the exercise moot, one has to wonder how worthwhile continuing to do so might be.

In everything we do  Chris and I need to balance demand against resources. Several people voiced displeasure at the loss of image quality with downloads. Fine. Understood. But when we offer an alternative, to then have only a handful of people take advantage forces us to consider our future plans accordingly.
But you're basing that decision on one, not real well executed attempt. There are two many other reasons why the downloadable DVD may not have sold.
  • People still receiving the DVD aren't going to pay to download the same content.
  • People who already purchased and watched the downloadable video won't purchase the same content again, at least not at full price
  • People who don't like that the downloadable DVD is multiple parts that have to be reassembled probably gave it a pass.

As the DVD subscriptions run out, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the number of people purchasing the downloadable DVD will grow to a number to make it worthwhile.

Fix the problem with the online store, so the file can be delivered as a single ISO file, and you will attract a lot more people, while also making Chris' job easier. There is no reason that shouldn't be possible.

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In the best of all possible worlds we would like nothing better than to please everyone. But that's clearly not possible. So what we will do is to try and please as large an audience as possible within the constraints of the time and other resources available to us.
But beyond just pleasing the mass market, don't you have pride in your product? Do you honestly believe that the quality of the downloadable video truly represents your work? You're selling out, and sacrificing quality for ease of delivery. That's a real shame. Your work deserves better.
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...Mike
michael
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« Reply #41 on: July 01, 2007, 03:06:08 PM »
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I have no interest in further defending what we are doing.

Believe as you wish. You're completely off base, but it's simply too tedious to argue it further here.

Michael

Ps: Without a download manager providing a single 4GB+ file would be folly. Would you like to start such a download over after some part of the chain craps out after 3 gigabytes? Be reasonable (and informed).
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 03:09:08 PM by michael » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #42 on: July 01, 2007, 03:42:29 PM »
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Ps: Without a download manager providing a single 4GB+ file would be folly. Would you like to start such a download over after some part of the chain craps out after 3 gigabytes? Be reasonable (and informed).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=125960\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Considering how few times I've ever had a problem I'd risk it.  And that is with this horrible comcast connection.  (Perhaps because this horrible comcast connection is fast when it works.)

Still don't know why you don't just toss it to a publish on demand house.  It would probably be available via amazon that way.
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mikealex
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« Reply #43 on: July 01, 2007, 04:56:12 PM »
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Ps: Without a download manager providing a single 4GB+ file would be folly. Would you like to start such a download over after some part of the chain craps out after 3 gigabytes? Be reasonable (and informed).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=125960\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I download 4.1 GB Linux distributions as single DVD image files routinely, and it's rarely if ever a problem.

When it comes to file transfer, and internet protocol applications, I am very well informed, much more so than yourself I would hazard to guess. I am a software designer, and much of my 18 year career has been spent designing and implementing internet applications. I have written both FTP clients, and multi-client high performance FTP servers. I have also designed and implemented file transfer servers and clients that kick the crap out of FTP, using proprietary protocols which I also designed. I hold two patents in the field of large volume data transfer (US6014707 and US5878228 if you care to look them up). Do not try to tell me that I don't understand the difficulties of transferring data from one computer to another, as it is something I understand better than most.

You're right, this is tedious. We can at least agree on that. You have shown here, and in other issues that have come up, that you are a very black&white person. You prefer to just end debate, rather than give the real reasons why you are so set in your ways about this. I'd really like to hear why Brooks Jensen can make his business work mailing CD's, and you can't do the same. I don't see why mailing a DVD is any harder than mailing the millions upon millions of magazines that are mailed to homes every month.

You have obviously made up your mind on this, and have closed yourself off to listening to your customers. Sorry if we bore you. Maybe you should try to understand that the reason we haven't dropped this, is that we enjoy and care about your product, even if you don't. You should be happy to have customers that show this much passion about wanting to maintain the high quality of your product.

I will end it here, and simply allow my DVD subscription to run its course. At that time, if there is no satisfactory option available for me to receive LLVJ in a high quality format, then I will take my money elsewhere.
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michael
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« Reply #44 on: July 01, 2007, 05:41:26 PM »
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Regrettably not everyone has your knowledge or familiarity with such downloads. We deal with almost a million people a month visiting the site and many, many thousands of paying customers from more than 80 countries worldwide.

This means being cognizant and sensitive to the needs of multiple constituencies. I can only say ľ believe me that we spend hours debating and mulling over the best way to run our operation. Nothing is taken for granted, and we strive to come up with the best solutions for our customers, within the constraints of sound business practice.

You mention Brooks, and the comparison is a good one. What you don't appreciate though is that about 9 months ago Canada Post eliminated the special mailing rate for media without prior warning. This raised out shipping costs 4 fold, making our DVD business largely uneconomic. Lenswork is published and mailed out of the US.

Move our fulfillment to the US? We tried that years ago. Doesn't work. At least not for us. Also, since 9/11 the US mail system has become a horror when it comes to timely delivery of non 1St Class mail. Mail first class? Uneconomical.

It's easy to snipe from the sidelines. I do it all the time. But when you're in the midst of running a business and trying to make the best decisions for both your customers and yourself the right answers aren't always apparent to the casual bystander.

That's why I am loath to debate this online. If we were sitting in a pub over a beer having a friendly chat I could easily help you understand the pros and cons of all the choices that we have made, and why they have been necessary. But, typing them out tediously like this is time consuming and non-productive.

Chris and I simply ask that people take it on faith that we are trying to make the best business and artistic decisions that we can. It would be folly to do otherwise, wouldn't it? If they don't jibe with your personal requirements, then that's regrettable, and you are free, as you say, to take your money elsewhere.

Michael
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 05:45:47 PM by michael » Logged
Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2007, 04:16:30 AM »
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I think indeed that the discussion is a bit harsch, and I try to keep it friendly

I understand the good work you do and the way you see the product fit.
However the biggest problem I'm having is not the resolution but the 24fps, I already mailed with Chriss about this but got a few responses and after that it went quiet

Why not do the following.

Make the DVD as it should be.
Than use a DIVX or XVID engine to make it a lot smaller.
I have seen several DVDs and the quality is indeed less than the real thing, but the pans are smooth.

The biggest problem can be seen on the highres downloads in the forest, just look at the pans when the camera pans between the trees, it really makes me sick and that is not the way it should be

There are ALOT of solutions.
If you want you can mail me the link to a ISO download and I can try to make it arround 1-2GB without sacrificing too much quality.

I'm willing to sacrifice some quality for downloads, but not the judder from 24fps that's just terrible.

Greetings,
Frank
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #46 on: July 02, 2007, 04:08:54 PM »
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I'm willing to sacrifice some quality for downloads, but not the judder from 24fps that's just terrible.
I upped the frame rate from 18fps to 24fps to help smoothness - clearly this does not work well on a TV set designed for 30fps - but then the download was not designed for direct use on a TV set but rather through a conversion box such as an XBox or Apple TV. I will look at using 25 or 30 fps for the next encodes.

Also as mentioned earlier in this discussion, our server sftw. Apache does not recognise a file over 2GB and our server tech does not recommend the adjustment.

Chris S
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #47 on: July 02, 2007, 05:06:27 PM »
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Please show me anywhere that says the file was 'meant for a conversion box'??  

Your tech needs to keep up with the times.  Your outdated version of Apache is limited but the limit was removed with 2.2 - tell him to upgrade, whoever he is.
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #48 on: July 02, 2007, 09:16:29 PM »
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Please show me anywhere that says the file was 'meant for a conversion box'??
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

From the main [a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/video_journal/downloads.shtml]LLVJ Downloads page[/url]: "While the video quality of the DVDs is still superior, the high-res files, which measure 640 x 360 pixels, give excellent viewing up to twice their native size - easily suitable to sit back and watch on a computer monitor."

From the Download Video FAQ page:  "Q: Can I watch the files on a television set ?

A: Yes. While primarily designed to be watched on a computer monitor, there are various ways of viewing the download video on a television set.

The easiest is if your computer has an S-Video output. Also easy is a hardware device such as an Apple TV box or other X-Box-like device that can take digital files and export them as a component video signal. The files can also be transferred to a DVD-Video if you have the appropriate software to create a DVD-Video. But please remember, that since these files are highly compressed for download, the quality will not be quite as good as a regular DVD-Video. "

CS
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #49 on: July 02, 2007, 11:10:11 PM »
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Thank you.  From your earlier comment I thought you were implying a 'conversion' of framerate to make it smoother since that's what was being discussed, but I see you only meant 'conversion' as in signal to a TV.  Converting a low framerate video to any other input source doesn't change it to be smooth.
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #50 on: July 03, 2007, 12:56:47 AM »
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Chriss do you have a testfile with the new frame rate, maybe that can put an end to the discussion for me
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kaelaria
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« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2007, 10:59:26 AM »
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If you want an example of a good h264 encode with framerate and settings that look better on a tv, here's a regular show: http://videos.revision3.com/diggnation/010...-large.h264.mov
« Last Edit: July 03, 2007, 01:39:00 PM by kaelaria » Logged

rpetruzzelli
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« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2007, 06:35:38 PM »
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I'm sorry Michael, but what is the economic necessity of switching from DVD to crap-quality downloadable video? Why can Brooks Jensen continue to send out his LensWork Extended CD's, but you can no longer mail out the LLVJ DVD? How is your business case different than his? Do you need to raise the price to $24.95? Fine, do it. I'll pay it. That should easily cover any additional postage fees you're experiencing.
You've said this before, but I'm sorry, I just don't believe you on this. Reading the responses on your own forum, it has been overwhelmingly negative.

How many people that converted their subscription to downloadable video are now regretting it? I certain regret doing it. Fortunately, I've been told mine is being switched back, since I never used any of the coupons.

Are you making the assumption that everyone who switched is happy? Are you assuming that silence is golden, and that if you're not hearing from someone, they must be happy? Two very naive assumptions if that's the case.
But you're basing that decision on one, not real well executed attempt. There are two many other reasons why the downloadable DVD may not have sold.
  • People still receiving the DVD aren't going to pay to download the same content.

  • People who already purchased and watched the downloadable video won't purchase the same content again, at least not at full price

  • People who don't like that the downloadable DVD is multiple parts that have to be reassembled probably gave it a pass.

As the DVD subscriptions run out, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the number of people purchasing the downloadable DVD will grow to a number to make it worthwhile.

Fix the problem with the online store, so the file can be delivered as a single ISO file, and you will attract a lot more people, while also making Chris' job easier. There is no reason that shouldn't be possible.
But beyond just pleasing the mass market, don't you have pride in your product? Do you honestly believe that the quality of the downloadable video truly represents your work? You're selling out, and sacrificing quality for ease of delivery. That's a real shame. Your work deserves better.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=125958\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Michael,

My reply is to mikealex's post, but my sentiments go to you, Michael.  I cannot express my feelings any better than mikealex.

I have LLVJ 1-15 on plastic, and LLVJ 16 as the downloadable version.  I've peeked at it on my PC.  I too, will not renew my long term subscription to LLVJ when it is due.  I will be forgoing my own coupons to download future LLVJ issues.  The format is not one that will hold my attention.  I don't wish to watch this content on my PC, but rather on my large screen TV.  I enjoy sharing the travel segments with my family and they in turn understand better my joy in photography.  

True, it may be too costly and time consuming to produce given the resources available to you and Chris.  

But, I believe that in the long run, you will find that LLVJ will become an economic dinosaur.  And so one day we will be looking back and thinking "remember when?".

Regards,
Bob Petruzzelli
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michael
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« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2007, 08:16:57 PM »
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Far more people seem to feel just the opposite, and are voting so with their dollars, but I appreciate your perspective. It often isn't possible to please everyone when making business as well as creative decisions.

Michael
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #54 on: July 04, 2007, 03:58:41 AM »
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Micheal I think it can and Chriss has already taken the step to get it done.

The biggest problem with the downloads is NOT the resolution, you can go as low as 600x480 and people won't notice it on most flatscreens.
The biggest problem is the frame rate as I have been saying from the start (but hey I'm a videoguy from origin  )

If you use 24fps or better for video 29,97fps there will be LOTS less complaints, the loss in resolution people now claim to see are mostly due to the de´nterlacer/scaler from the display trying to make something from the 18fps.

The problem with this is that ALL normal displays are meant to be run at 50hz or 60hz (59,94 to be exact).
Meaning if you use 24fps you have a native format of film, use a 3/2 pulldown and you have smooth pans, this can be done by almost all MODERN scalers/de´nterlacers, use 29,97fps and you can use a simple 2:2 pulldown or de´nterlacing progress.

In other words best is to leave out one field for example the odd or even and let the de´nterlacer add this, the picture will be softer than the regular DVD but it's a HUGE improvement over what's happening now.

I have run the recent high-res downloads to a very expensive videoscaler that can cope with 24fps and 18fps and even than the judder is almost unwatchable on anything higher than normal 32" size.

I have done a test with the LLVJ15 and decoded it at 29,97fps DivX and the quality was even on 2.85mtrs in width VERY watchable, total size increase about 20%, well that can't be the problem

Please listen and don't steam ahead because some people lack the skill of negotiation and only wave with their dollars.
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #55 on: July 04, 2007, 09:23:52 AM »
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I have pretty much settled on the following specs for all HiRes download video. The process has been iterative in an attempt to get the best quality for the smallest size. I have used 15, 18, & 24 fps for various products but clearly the 30 fps (29.97) is going to work best for most people and the size penalty is modest.

Files:
.mov (Tutorials - supports chapter markers)
.mp4  (LLVJs - less problematic for Windows users)

Video:
H.264 codec
640x360 pixels
Millions of colours
29.97 fps progressive (deinterlaced)
variable bit rate between 600-800 kbits/sec

Sound:
IMA 4:1 Mono 24kHz (Tutorials)
AAC Stereo , 44.1kHz, 160 kbps (LLVJ videos with music)

Many thanks to all for their feedback! Let me know your reactions  

CS
« Last Edit: July 04, 2007, 09:25:07 AM by Chrissand » Logged

Christopher Sanderson
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Frank Doorhof
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« Reply #56 on: July 04, 2007, 10:38:35 AM »
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If you have samples I can test it for you on the bigscreen

But make it tests with movement
But I think this will work out fine, although some displays will have problems with the vertical size, it's best to keep this at 480 and get something from the horizontal off, lets say bring that the 600-550.

The vertical is much more important for our preception of sharpness on flatscreens meant for television.
For multiformat systems like PC monitors it should not matter, but I don't think that's the final goal.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #57 on: July 04, 2007, 11:44:28 AM »
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Sounds good!
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #58 on: July 04, 2007, 03:19:35 PM »
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it's best to keep this at 480 and get something from the horizontal off
Yes but...
That essentially brings it up to video native resolution 720 x 480, or in this case since all the video is 16:9 it would be 854 x 480 or almost double the size...
I will let you know when I post the first of the Print Tutorial files - should be in a week or two
CS
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #59 on: July 05, 2007, 01:39:31 AM »
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Hummm, there is no variable output in the software, that's a shame.
Let's wait for the files and I will take a look, I think if the judder is gone I'm happy
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