Benchmarking Your Brainshark Presentations: Getting Video In

Benchmarking Your Brainshark Presentations: Getting Video In
December 1, 2011

This is the first in a series of blog posts that will look at the ways customers use a wide range of Brainshark features. This data is preliminary, a research report will be made in January that will aggregate and benchmark author and viewing activity during 2011.

The ability to upload video to your Brainshark presentation has been available since 2008 and, this year, we added support for 100+ video file types, larger video uploads, and multiple aspect ratios (see below).

It turns out uploading video into a presentation is very popular and almost 20% of all presentations include a video. Uploaded  video has the fastest adoption rate of any new Brainshark feature and we believe it has to do with the perfect storm of better bandwidth, the YouTube effect, ability to easily create video (remember the Flip camera---see below) and the crystal clear smartphone and tablet displays.

We are even starting to see online presentations with just video and no slides. One suggestion: if your table of contents has just one entry, add the parameter ?dm=1 (for a standard URL)  or &dm=1 (for an alias URL) to the end of the URL and it will hide the table of contents.

Earlier, I mentioned the Flip. Cisco chose to exit the market because they saw what was coming: smartphones with the ability to shoot high-quality video. And come they did. I for one just switched to the iPhone 4S (there are plenty of other smartphones with excellent video-recording quality) and immediately started to record video. The 8-megapixel camera, new optics, and high-definition video were intriguing, but not so fast. The only way to record the video and play it properly is to hold the camera horizontally with the control button to the right.  Any other way and the video will either play upside down or on its side if you hold the camera vertically . iPhone users have been complaining about this since the iPhone 4 came out and I am surprised that it was not fixed in the 4S. The good news is, there is sort of an App for that. For 99 cents, vRotate will easily let you flip the image from upside down to right-side up.

Please Beware: Do not hold your camera in the vertical position. To rotate 90 degrees will take some video editing tools and skills.

Otherwise, the 4S video quality is fantastic and there are no settings to figure out. The 4S generates a .mov file and even has some simple editing tools built in. The editing lets you trim the beginning and end of a video clip and the audio is fine, but without the ability to use a microphone, do not expect to be doing lots of interviews. If you are using another type of smartphone, you will have to try it out, but I believe the rotation problems only happen on the Apple iOS devices (including the iPad).

Brainshark now gives you two display options and it is worth experimenting with your video regardless of the camera. For more information about display options go to Change the Aspect Ratio of the Brainshark Viewing Console in this tutorial.

This presentation uses the standard 4x3 Brainshark player format. Slide 1 maintains the original height and width of the video. The second slide does not and results in the video filling the screen. 

 View presentation in a separate window.

This presentation uses the 16x9 HD player format. Slide 1 maintains the original height and width of the video. The second slide does not and results in the video filling the screen.

 View presentation in a separate window.