I have come to think of H.264 as a kind of everyman’s HD video production and distribution  platform.  The encoding software, referred in the industry as a codec, was released by Adobe into the Flash ecosystem in December. It has greatly improved the quality of Beet.TV videos.

Let me explain how this works: David edits on Final Cut Pro 6.  When he’s done editing, he sets the encoding option to H.264 and our Mac renders a .MOV file. 

Although we don’t shoot in HD, the resulting videos look really great.  But the real value is how the files look when they are uploaded to Blip.tv and YouTube, where there is a dramatic improvement. 

We get a lot of compliments about the quality of our video.  Using H.264 has been key to the improved quality.  Sure, it’s not HD in the pure sense, but it’s a big step forward and it’s easy and inexpensive.

Earlier this month I was at Adobe’s San Francisco offices to talk with Kevin Towes. Kevin gives an overview of the evolution of the Adobe Flash Player and the various codecs that have been used over the years.  He explains the significance of the introduction of H.264.

"HD" is within our grasp.  Believe it!

— Andy Plesser