General Question

spencerb's avatar

What is the best way to compress a video screen capture?

Asked by spencerb (5points) May 26th, 2008

I’m trying to compress an .AVI file that looks great, but it’s 22mb. When I try importing it into Windows Movie Maker and then choose video for broadband at 521kbps, it ends up looking horribly blurry. Is there a better way to do this and still keep the quality of the video?

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1 Answer

sndfreQ's avatar

The issue is two-fold:

1.) the output encoder settings (the codec, and its associated settings) will affect the overall quality of the media, and

2.) the resolution you’re choosing for your output media (size, frame rate) will affect the output.

Consider what end format you’re trying to output to depending on the delivery method (is it for the web, for CD-ROM / DVD), or for email?). You may want to consider an alternative to .AVI as a finishing format-Apple’s QuickTime Pro app outputs .mov which is widely accepted as a high-quality output standard (their use of the H.264 codec is industry-recognized). It’s a $29 investment if you do decide on it, but you get what you pay for.

Lastly, if the video is to be viewed on anything larger than an iPod, then you should be considering 640×480 or larger frame size. All of these settings will affect the final product’s file size and quality. Of course, if your initial frame rate is low, the frame size is small (320×240 for example), no encoder will ‘clean up’ something that was low-quality media to begin with. But from your description, I gather that’s not the case.

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