Go HD or Go Home

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Executives are simply being penny wise and pound foolish if they try to capture video content in anything but high-definition formats. Simply put, any presentation that is worth videotaping is worth videotaping well. Not only will your video look good today, it will look good years from now and offer libraries of business content that can inform, train and teach. The resulting cache of institutional knowledge collected via video by your organization will be worth far more than today’s incremental investment in HD gear. To help you make the case on why your company should buy into the HD revolution.

By Steve Vonder Haar

The corporate office is the wrong place to skimp on video quality.

Certainly, some business communicators will look to use the cheapest video gear possible when creating business video content. After all, most business video is not being pumped into living room big-screen televisions where high-definition video is a must. When your video is filling a quarter of a computer screen, the need for pristine video quality wouldn’t seem to be quite as pressing.

But, with the costs of high-definition cameras continuing to tumble, any business not investing in HD video capture gear is simply being penny wise and pound foolish. And this is true even if you think it may be years before your organization becomes advanced enough in video technology to distribute HD content online.

Undoubtedly the issues of distributing HD video on a corporate network are not trivial. Beefier HD files take more bandwidth to send to viewers, making them impractical for many corporate uses today.

But the issue of HD deployment should not hinge on what you’re doing with video today. Rather, it should reflect the value that video holds in preserving your organization’s institutional knowledge. Capturing executives in high-definition formats today opens the door for re-purposing this content years down the line when their knowledge and insight into business practices could be used to educate a new generation of employees in your organization.

Opting to shoot in standard definition may save a few bucks now, but it’s the equivalent of capturing business leaders in black and white video in the days when color options were readily available. The lower quality video format makes the executive message appear dated even if it retains relevance to current business practices. Capture executives in standard definition today, and the shelf life of the message they deliver in their presentations is slashed dramatically.

Essentially, look on investments in video quality in the same way you would look at investing in your employees. If there is value in what top-level executives say – or even in the presentations given by mid-level employees – you owe it to your organization to capture this content in the richest format possible. Today’s transcoding solutions can take this high-quality content and convert it into more digestible bit rates friendly to corporate networks. And the high-quality source video can be sourced for use when high-quality versions of the presentations are needed down the line.

Certainly, not every video captured today is going to be worth re-visiting 10 years, five years or even two years down the line. The trouble is, you never know which piece of video you’re capturing today will be invaluable to your organization years from now. Maybe that video of the marketing director that you capture next week will be the same executive who becomes CEO a decade from now. That video may demonstrate to employees (and maybe even Wall Street) that your CEO in 2022 has some long-standing core principles that will be used in guiding the company. The ability to retrieve and distribute that type of high-quality video could bolster a company’s market reputation and generate millions of dollars in additional shareholder value.

More likely, video of a manufacturing line worker or engineer talking about the design of a product could help companies sustain high-quality production techniques over generations. Videos like that can be the equivalent of gold to manufacturing organizations looking to maintain a competitive edge.

In short, if the information your organization is creating is worth storing, it is worth capturing in HD.

By Steve Vonder Haar is Research Director of Interactive Media Strategies and can be reached at

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