I know nothing – streaming, DVD, Cameras, Lighting, etc.

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums General Video and Film Discussion I know nothing – streaming, DVD, Cameras, Lighting, etc.

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    • #39512

      I plan to develop on-line training programs on my web site. I would like to include a short streaming video with each subject, which means there will be hundreds of short videos. I may also decide to put this training on a DVD and sell it.

      I will be shooting these videos in a typical office environment with fluorescent lighting and I will be the primary person in most of the videos. I have many questions. Can anyone give me advice regarding:

      1. Type of camera I should buy? I have a typical consumer camcorder right now that I bought about a year ago, but I would be willing to spend $3,000 to $4,000 to upgrade. What are the main advantages of more expensive cameras?
      2. Type of lighting
      3. Sound
      4. Software
      5. Streaming video server that isn’t too expensive. Also, does anyone have a feel for how much bandwidth is needed to serve video? I currently have about the bandwidth of a typical T1 line. I would think my site will need to serve videos from about 1 minute to 5 minutes or so. People will probably watch them almost one after another, but I’m not sure how many will be doing this initially.
      6. How much does the person using the camera have to know? Can I do a pretty good job just setting up the camera by myself, or will I need someone operating the camera to make this look like a professional production?

      I am certainly willing to read books on the subject to learn about all this, but it would really be nice to get some advice just to point me in the right direction to start with.

      Thanks in advance for any help.

      — Reed

    • #170731

      Thanks Hank. That all sounds like good advice. As far as the streaming video goes, I’m not just concerned about performance. I’m also concerned about copyright infringement. I don’t want people to be able to save the video, just view it. Is that possible the way you are suggesting? I will be developing training that will take a very long time to create and there will be a fee to view it. There could actually be thousands of short videos.

      Also, I’m somewhat of a computer geek and I serve my own websites, data and email right from my office. I have a server for each. When I say "streaming server" I’m referring only to the software, which seems pretty expensive if you use something like the Adobe Flash product. I don’t mind spending some money on sound, lighting or the camera, but I would like to keep this all under $4,000 or so and I would like to put most of that towards the equipment if possible.

      How would your camera advice change if I were to make a DVD in addition to doing the web stuff? I might just use what I have now and then re-shoot everything later with better equipment if I decide to do DVDs, but I would like to at least have an idea of what the difference is now so I can do some of the DVD work as I go if it is workable.

      For the lighting, if I just use the halogen lights, how much candle power do you think I need to film in a typical office setting? Do I need some sort of reflective screen? If so, do I just buy one of those or do you have a suggestion about what to use for that?

      I almost forgot, would it be best to use some sort of remote microphone like a small clip on mic that someone wears on their shirt or should I get just one of the big ones you can mount right on the camera? I know Sony makes a microphone for about $100 that mounts on my current camera if you think a camera mounted one would work for what I am doing. It also looks like the bigger microphones come with the better cameras. Would they normally be sufficient?



    • #170732

      reed, i’m doing pretty much exactly what you’re doing.

      i’m planning to turn one of the rooms in my house to a small production studio, perhaps with a green screen. at this point, i’m trying to figure out exactly what type of equipment i’ll need for lighting. you can spend a fortune on lighting, for sure.

      you can spend your entire budget on a single component. the pros like our friend here know how to spend, where to spend it, and how to make use of what they buy. that comes with a lot of hard lessons in any business. in this one, i’m an ignorant newbie. i’ve accepted that i’m going to fumble for a few months until i learn how to produce anything i’d feel comfortable trying to market. fortunately, my app is really pretty simple.

      it is a long winding road, with skeletons of wannabes littering the roadside.

      simply put, it’s going to be one hell of a challenge to break into this sucessfully :).

    • #170733

      I feel the same way. On the plus side, once I get the lighting and sound figured out I should be pretty set because it will just show me talking for the most part. The toughest part will be adding some animation to show how power plant (my field) equipment works, but I can handle the animation, so I’m not worried about that. The camera will generally just be sitting on a tripod without moving it at all.

      My other big concern will just be figuring out how to be an entertaining speaker, which is an art all by itself. I’ve appeared at some seminars and conferences, but only a few so I’m hardly a pro at that either.

      Good luck to you.

      (Also, thanks Hank).

      Oh, Hank, by the way, the people in my field will rarely know how to save a streaming video if a "save to your computer" message box doesn’t just pop up in front of them. My field has quite a few older people, many of them are computer-phobes or at least they are not super-geeks. I think I will put our logo on the bottom like you suggest which will probably help quite a bit, but I want to make it is a little more difficult to save as well. Just adding an extra step will be enough to stop almost all of them.

      If anyone else wants to throw their 2 cents in I would appreciate as much input as I can get.

      Thanks much,


    • #170734

      Hank – I would have commented but I just took you at face value that a trained monkey could do it πŸ˜‰

      My situation might actually be easy once I get it set up. I would think a lecture-format training video would be about the simplest setup possible.

      By the way, I checked out your site – nice. Maybe there will be something you could do for me down the road. I would have to start making some cash with my training first though, and that will take many months.

      What kind of camera do you use for the professional results you get?

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