Author Topic: Word to the wise: don't use a smart phone or camera for your video submissions  (Read 12664 times)

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Offline YesAffinity

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I thought I would share this, to hopefully save new players/score submitters some heartache.  Most smart phones and cameras, despite the size of the SD card (or other storage) you have in the device, record a maximum of 1 hour.  Through trial and error with my work phone (samsung s4), personal phone (samsung s5), and (3) digital cameras, I found the max recording time for all to be one hour.  On at least two of the cameras, they would only record higher res video for 30 minutes, and reducing the resolution so that they could record a full hour made in-game scoring unviewable.

1 hour of video will capture between upper-300k and 500k worth of gameplay.  There would be nothing worse than having your best run ever, only to find that the video cut off after an hour and the whole run wasn't captured.

With all that typed, a webcam (capturing the video with a PC) or a camcorder are the best way to go.  Seems most folks here are using a webcam.  I picked up a logitech webcam for around $40, which does 720p.  The video isn't amazing, but it's good enough for score verification purposes.  There were  plenty of other options at the electronics store (and through any number of online venues), with varying degrees of features, max resolution, and cost.

In that same vein, if anybody knows of a good phone or digital camera that will record good video for an unlimited amount of time, please post it.

I hope this helps.
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DadsGlasses

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I recently picked up a cheap 720 web cam. I am capturing video using an old, outdated MacBook.

I am getting HUGE file sizes when I record. Averaging 1gb per minute of footage.

Unfortunately my MacBook is so out of date that I can't upload directly to YouTube. So basically what I am doing is importing the file into iMovie and then downsizing the file. Then I put it on a thumb drive and transfer it to my iMac. Then I upload to YouTube.

Luckily my games average about 15-18 minutes, but I am concerned that I will need to find a new means of video capture once my skills improve and my game times increase.

Offline YesAffinity

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1GB per minute is definitely too large.  That sounds like uncompressed video.  What model is your webcam and what software are you capturing with?  If your not savvy in these things, I will look at the user's manual and see if I can figure out how you can use better compression when capturing.  If you are savvy, poke around in the capture software and see if you can find a way to save as a .mp4, .mpg, .mov or .wmv file.  Or there may be an option for compression type to use, which will have options like xvid, h.264, x.264, or if it's old enough, mpeg-2 (.mpg).  If there is an option to limit bitrate, 2000 kb/s is a good limit that will still get you quality video.
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DadsGlasses

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1GB per minute is definitely too large.  That sounds like uncompressed video.  What model is your webcam and what software are you capturing with?  If your not savvy in these things, I will look at the user's manual and see if I can figure out how you can use better compression when capturing.  If you are savvy, poke around in the capture software and see if you can find a way to save as a .mp4, .mpg, .mov or .wmv file.  Or there may be an option for compression type to use, which will have options like xvid, h.264, x.264, or if it's old enough, mpeg-2 (.mpg).  If there is an option to limit bitrate, 2000 kb/s is a good limit that will still get you quality video.


I appreciate the offer to help, but it's really a hardware issue. My only laptop is an OLD MacBook. (10.6.5). My webcam is a Ligitech C270. The Logitech software is not supported by Mac. So currently for software I am using QuickTime Player. The ability to adjust the camera settings is almost nonexistent. I then import the captured video (about 1 gig per minute as an MOV file) into iMovie. In iMovie I export it for YouTube and it compressed the file down pretty small.

Unfortunately there are also no Twitch programs for broadcasting that work with this older Mac OS.

I am going to need to figure out a better solution, because my MacBook isn't going to be able to handle 1gig per minute once I get up to 1hr plus games.

This is the main reason I've been only recording the ends of my games.

Offline ChrisP

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Yeah, I ran into the 1 hour time limit problem years ago when I was first recording games. This is an incredibly frustrating and stupid "feature" of the Android camcorder app and I would love to know the rationale behind it.
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DadsGlasses

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This is a terrible game, but I think my video capture is making some progress.  I found an old program that would run on my outdated MacBook.  Now I just need to reposition but I think this is an improvement.


Offline YesAffinity

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Have you tried VLC (Video Lan)?  You may have to go back a few versions to get it to work on the old platform, but it has the ability to capture and encode.  It does take a bit of savvy, and figuring out how to tweak the encoding options, though.
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DadsGlasses

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Have you tried VLC (Video Lan)?  You may have to go back a few versions to get it to work on the old platform, but it has the ability to capture and encode.  It does take a bit of savvy, and figuring out how to tweak the encoding options, though.

Did the video that I just posted look better to you?  Or still not acceptable?

Offline timhett

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The video quality looks good to me, other than framing.  make sure the score and the entire board are visible.
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DadsGlasses

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I just tried another one. Looks like 800x600 is the max that this software will allow me to record. I'll upload to YouTube and post here to see how it looks.

DadsGlasses

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Ok.  I think this is about as good as I am going to be able to get with my current hardware setup.


Offline YesAffinity

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That looks good.  Everything is visible and clean (i.e. you can tell what points are being awarded and registering), and it appears to be full motion.  Did you end up using VLC?  Were you able to get the file sizes compressed?
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DadsGlasses

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I ended up just tweaking the available Logitech software as best I could. I think this will do for now.


Only issue here is that it auto compresses the video as soon as I hit STOP. So compression is on a 1:1 timeframe with capture. So if I record a 15 minute video, I can't start recording again for another 15 minutes.

Not a huge deal and it works for now.

Offline marky_d

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There used to exist a cool app for smartphones called "JTV" as I recall where you could stream to justin.tv or twitch and therefore record entire games provided you had power to your mobile device. Unfortunately when justin.tv was yanked the app was rendered useless and it doesn't appear that twitch plans on developing a similar app anytime soon. After all, they are too busy peddling hoodies to be concerned with stuff like that.
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Offline timhett

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