The H.264 thousand dollar question

So as the video project winds down for the holiday (and because I’m almost done), I’m finding that the stuff from 2010 to the present is taking much longer and requiring much more hand holding than the older stuff. And why is that?

  1. High definition video takes a lot longer to encode than standard definition. That one’s a gimme and it’s made worse by the fact that I really need to buy a new computer. Apple hardware lasts a long time but this one is really past its prime.
  2. Pre-2010. most of my stuff was identical formats at identical pixel dimensions. That’s really easy to batch and doesn’t really have to be hands-on at all.
  3. Post-2010, though, I use many different devices, all spewing forth different resolutions, codecs, audio formats, and wrappers. I merge all my video into one file per day and combining all this stuff has been challenging. I have a program that can edit and merge many types of MP4 files without re-encoding, so there’s no loss of quality and it’s much faster. But it doesn’t work for all of them.
  4. Some MOV files are pretty much MP4 files wrapped up with a different file extension. Change the extension and they’re fine. Not all, though.
  5. It’s especially cumbersome to mix DV files at VGA resolution with more compressed HD video files that have different dimensions. Mind-numbingly so.

The process is basically just as confusing and annoying as watching cable or broadcast TV on different devices for the past five years or so. But soon I’ll have nice MP4 access copies of all my home video (I’ve shot a LOT of video over the years) and I’ll be able to plug a hard drive into the Roku and watch them with ease on the TV in the living room.  but I’ve had. Assuming I ever want to see them again after this.

I could also stream them wirelessly but Ive had…um…mixed results with this.