Internet Video, Then and Now

I’ve been having a great time testing out my new Canon Vixia HF S100 HD camcorder. The quality of the unit continues to impress me more and more. It’s really amazing to see how far Internet video has come in just a few short years. To give you an idea, I’ve posted a kind of then and now comparison.

The first video was filmed back in March of 2006 and was the third video that I uploaded to YouTube. The filming was done with a JVC camcorder that used MiniDV tapes. I remember it being a pain to work with because the tape transferred to the computer at 1 to 1 speed. if I had an hour of video, it took an hour to transfer. By comparison, the flash memory based HF S100 can do it in a matter of minutes.

The quality of the JVC really wasn’t that bad. It was the quality of YouTube that was bad. Back then, there was no such thing as HD Internet videos and YouTube used a very high compression setting. Looking at the video now, I wonder how we ever put up with that kind of quality?

I recorded the video below using the Canon Vixia HF S100 set to its highest 24bit MXP quality setting. While the video quality blows away the three year old YouTube footage, it’s still doesn’t show off the full quality of the S100 because I had to reduce the video down to 720P for Vimeo. I would imagine in another year or so, we’ll all be enjoying 1080P Internet video.

38 thoughts on “Internet Video, Then and Now”

    1. Cam Birch says:

      I think the correct phrase is very nice. Or maybe awesome… I’m not quite sure.

      Cam Birch’s last blog post: Experiments & Sheep

  1. KampungBoy says:

    everyday, you will share many tip and guide. This time your article will motivate me to make better and better. Regards from Malaysia.

  2. game-girl says:

    The progress is apparent in many ways.

    game-girl’s last blog post: Призраки в Коннектикуте скачать фильм онлайн

  3. Cam Birch says:

    That video certainly shows off the amazing quality that is HD video. I have yet to see a $100k SD camera beat the quality that can be produced on a simple high quality consumer HD video camera. My tests about a year ago showed that a $6k HD camera downscaled to SD produced a much better picture than a SD camera worth over $50k. Gotta love how the world is finally being captured in a quality aproaching how we see the world with our eyes.

    Cam Birch’s last blog post: Experiments & Sheep

  4. LithiumMind says:

    Look like you are really enjoying your new toy. Makes me want to get one

    1. John Chow says:

      You should totally get one!

      1. Ben Pei says:

        Is it for those professional use?

        Ben Pei’s last blog post: Ben Pei Visits Japan

  5. Ghazal Alvi says:


    Technology bring innovation in every walk of life especially gadgets.

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  6. Woo… the quality of the video is very clear, I wonder what the sound is encoded?

    The Bad Blogger’s last blog post: How To Optimize Your Blog Posts For Search Engines !

  7. Greg Ellison says:

    You can really see the difference in the two videos. I can’t believe that. Your new video camera is very awesome. David Risley also has a nice video camera. Greg Ellison

    Greg Ellison’s last blog post: How are you going to be a better blogger?

  8. work at home says:

    That’s one beautiful video quality captured by the Canon. It shows how far technology has gone. Real quality….

    work at home’s last blog post: You Don’t Need A Google Pagerank 10 Blog To Rank #1 On Google Search Engine

  9. I was thinking about buying the Flip Mino HD, but now I have second thoughts. This looks like a very cool toy.

    1. John Chow says:

      The FlipHD isn’t much better than the normal Flip. But it’s pretty inexpensive so it’s a viable option.

      1. Ben Pei says:

        and it’s more convenient I believe?

        Ben Pei’s last blog post: Ben Pei Visits Japan

  10. Yep, online video has come a long way in the last few years. The Vimeo vid looks way better than YouTube. Three years ago though computers and bandwidth were just at the edge where decent quality video was available. Imagine what the next 3 to 5 years will hold. Maybe traditional TV will soon be a thing of the past.

    Gold Coins Blog’s last blog post: California Has Gone Broke, Duh

    1. SItes like youtube is still struggling. Google is loosing lots of money from youtube.
      The overhead cost is huge. Video sites consume lots of resources.
      I also have my own video site and I average around 1000 visitors/day, and have dedicated server. Bandiwth can kill you. I had to pay $2k/month at one point. Now imagine how much youtube will be paying where approx 65k videos gets uploaded each day.
      Vimeo is also good but they are also on the same boat. They are having backlogs for videos to be processed. Sometimes it will take 2 hours for a video to be processed.

      Another one is Revver..which is not doing at all. They even stopped paying.

      So the next thing is to figure out to minimize the cost of bandwidth.

      Internetsalsa’s last blog post: No boundaries for Adam Lambert

      1. Bandwidth usage at YouTube must be insane with those kind of numbers uploaded everyday, not to mention the millions of videos that get viewd each day.

        Gold Coins Blog’s last blog post: California Has Gone Broke, Duh

  11. Caden Grant says:

    Dang it has come a long way. The newer camera is so much more clear it looks great.

  12. SiteBetter says:


    Thanks for the great post. That vimeo video is truly amazing. I consult with a lot of entrepreneurs about their website and outsource a lot of video work. I am not totally up to date on what video options there are out there. Thanks for letting us know about what we expect from a great video.

    However, you have a lot of still shots in your second video and much more movement in your first video. That must be taken into consideration. Anyway, still a great looking video.

    It was running a bit slow on my computer, but then trying taking HD off and it loaded much faster. Every with the HD off, it is still a great looking video.

    Thanks for sharing.

    SiteBetter’s last blog post: Writing Articles

  13. There’s definitely a huge difference between the two. I think we’ll end up having videos that match TV quality in the near future.

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  14. EarningStep says:

    good , you lucky to have one john . john i wonder what plugin you use to show your recent photos

    EarningStep’s last blog post: Copyscape | great service to protect your blog from plagiarism and copycat

    1. John Chow says:

      That’s call the Flickr photo album plugin for WordPress

  15. Curtis says:

    It’s so beautiful :’)

  16. John, what are the pros/cons of going Flash memory based with a HD camcorder over a built-in HDD?

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    1. John Chow says:

      The pro for flash base is smaller size, no need to connect the camcorder to the comp to transfer movie. Just put the flash drive into a reader and go. Another advantage is if the flash drive died, you just put in a new flash drive. If the drive in a HDD camcorder died, well, you better hope it accept flash drives as well!

      The advantage of the HDD based camcorder is more memory. However, the 32GB flash drive I’m using on my S100 can last longer than the battery life so it’s really a mute point.

  17. Dang, everything looks so darn smooth already.


  18. the new camcorder how much it cost john in U. S dollar?

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    1. John Chow says:

      $1,099 from and most online retailers.

  19. game-girl says:

    The difference is like between the earth and the heaven.

    game-girl’s last blog post: Призраки в Коннектикуте скачать фильм онлайн

  20. Ola Nordmann says:

    Nice camcorder… 🙂

  21. its amazing how the quality has advanced and its only going to get better.

    [email protected]’s last blog post: Worse Than Expected Data Stops Market Rally

  22. Mr. I says:

    World is changing fast. And who knows! We may be watching the higher quality videos just tomorrow!

  23. component says:

    Crazy difference! And it’s only gonna get better…….

  24. game-girl says:

    The internet video then is already a part of history.

    game-girl’s last blog post: Призраки в Коннектикуте скачать фильм онлайн

  25. game-girl says:

    The internet video then is already a part of history.

  26. Cool piece of kit

    Online Marketing’s last blog post: John Chow’s Free Ebook – Worth The Price Tag?

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