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I launched this site in early 2001 out of frustration with the various free video hosting services I had tried. All restricted file size (understandably I guess) at the sacrifice of decent image quality, many required visitors to register to view the work, which not everyone is willing to do, and none provided sufficient storage for more than a few small projects.

I settled on a Bell commercial shared hosting server, parked my domain name and began to build the site and post to it video projects as I finished them. Most of my encoding was (and is) targeted to visitors with high speed access. Not that dial-up users can't watch video, but without high speed access a high quality, full screen experience just isn't available.

Inexpensive lighting for Racoons in the YardAlong with a place to reliably serve my own video streams, ContentShop.tv gives me both a reason to stay well-informed on the evolving software and hardware issues of interest to digital video hobbyists and a place to keep the links handy. It is my hope that other hobbyists wll come to think of it as a site to check for new information and good ideas.

A Bit of Business
As I gain proficiency with the camera and the editing environment I take on occasional work to help with the investment costs - it seems that adding to the kit regularly is a force that can't be opposed! I have created "how to" pieces for a couple of web sites in the U.S., shot for an ad agency two product demos, done several "Life Stories" video biographies, one profile of an entertainer looking for a piece to send to agents, and work involving converting VHS and other analogue source material to digital, then editing to client specs. Each project has made demands that required me to stretch my knowledge, tools, skills and imagination. Who but a videographer would carry two 20 lb burlap sacks of rice around, to weigh down the tripod on a boat deck? This inspiration gave me beautiful, rock-solid shots during eight hours of shooting on a river cruise boat.

If you are interested in creating digital video and in distributing it in formats that include VHS, CD, DVD, Internet streaming and download and play, I think you will find help here in reaching whatever proficiency goal you have set for yourself. The vast majority of that help is the result of other people's work. My role is in trying to keep up with the pace of change and in bringing you the most current content. For the moment all of my video posts will be windows media compressions, encoded for Internet connections no slower than dual ISDN, which is a step above a 56k telephone modem.

I will stay with the Windows Media Encoders because, of the free encoding/viewing apps available. I believe this is currently the superior package, although I have seen excellent quality from Real Producer, and acceptable-to-good quality from Quick Time's Sorenson codec, if usually in smaller frame sizes to manage the file size. My encoding is done either from the timeline in Premiere 6.02/6.5 or in Windows Media Encoder, currently (Sept/03) the version 9.0.

I am always anxious for feedback, on my video work and on the content and presentation of the web site. If you have anything to say about either please take a moment to send me an email, and thanks for visiting.

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