Category Archives: Online

YouTube TV app degrades 1080/60p videos to 720/60p for older TVs-and what to do about it

I recently uploaded a 4K/60p 3D video to Youtube. Unfortunately, when I played it on my TV using the Youtube app on the Roku box, it displays as 1280×720/60p. Why did Youtube degrade to 720p? We answer that question below.

A 1280 x 720 3D stream becomes two 640×720 clips – one for the left eye and one for the right eye which looks fuzzy. At 1920 x 1080, a 3D side by side format video retains 960 x 1080 for each eye, which is much greater resolution.

Bottom line3D videos should primarily be uploaded as 30p videos, even if originally shot in 60p if they are intended for viewing on Youtube television apps.

What happened?

My TV, like most vintage TVs that support 3D, does not support 60 frames per second except in 720p mode.

In fact, all 60p videos on Youtube are downgraded to 720p when playing on the Roku Youtube app.

The same video, when uploaded at 30p displays correctly as 1920×1080/30p and is not downgraded.

What this means

If you are a weirdo like me and shooting 3D video, do not upload any 3D video in 60p because it will be downgraded by TV-based viewing apps not to 1080/30p but to 720/60p. This is because TV’s that support 3D are, almost exclusively, from the 3D hey day era of about 2011 to 2013, after which manufacturers began to discontinue their 3D TVs. TVs of that age only supported 30p and did not support 60.

Youtube had a choice to degrade the video from 60p to 30p, or to retain 60 frames per second – they chose the later and degraded the resolution to 1280 x 720/60p, unfortunately.

If you intend for your 3D video to be viewed on 3D TVs, you will want to upload videos as 30p, even if you originally shot them in a 60p format.

Videos uploaded in 60p will play correctly TVs that support 60p and on most 3D computer monitors. If your target is a 3D TV, you will want to upload only a 30p version. But if your target is 3D computer monitors, you can upload 60p clips.


3d.coldstreams.com web site upgraded to use https security

This web site has been upgrade to use https secure access versus the older and non encrypted http.

There is nothing here that is controversial or secret that needs protection. However, Google announced some time ago that it would downgrade search results for content that is not accessible via https.

In effect, Google is forcing even hobby web sites to obtain digital certificates, which are marketed more for business use than personal use and can cost a substantial sum, for each web site you run. Today, there are less costly options available such as from https://www.sslforfree.com where obtained a valid certificate – with the caveat that the free certificate needs to be renewed every 3 months.

All access to the http://3d.coldstreams.com address will automatically translate to https://3d.coldstreams.com.

Visitors to the web site should not see any changes except that Firefox may issue a minor warning that some linked content on the page is to non-secure web sites.

Why I stopped using the 500px photo sharing web site

A week ago, I noticed odd things about 500px that I found disturbing.

I noticed quite a few (in fact most) of the people showing tens of thousands of followers that I checked, appear to have mostly fake followers. I was perplexed how it was that someone with a mere 70 to 100 nice but not great photos could have 30,000 followers. When I click on their followers list, almost all of their followers have zero followers of their own, and they have zero photos posted. These appear to be fake user accounts.

I saw this across many 500px users with huge followings. Something is not right.

I created a fake 500px account and posted the photo shown in the thumbnail image below. It’s a stupid photo, with over saturated colors, intentionally making it stupid. I titled the photo “Fake waterfall and pond”. This stupid photo quickly made the “Popular” list!

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Continue reading Why I stopped using the 500px photo sharing web site

Blogging and Youtube videos unlikely to earn much income

The author of the excellent Micro 4/3rds Photography Blog reveals the numbers behind his blog – and with blog ads, commissioned sales links and Youtube videos with ads, the combination earns very little money.

Source: Micro 4/3rds Photography: Blog economy

Most of the top video channels on Youtube got started very early back when it is alleged most channel creators gamed the system to increase viewership [1]. While some recent arrivals have achieved viewer success, it may take years to achieve a reasonable following, or money spent on promotion. It is said that even for the successful Youtube channels, the creators most creators must also sell ancillary products (notably music but also t-shirts, hats, etc).

So why blog or produce Youtube videos? For many of us, do these as a hobby. We enjoy sharing helpful information with others. For example, I publish a popular tutorial blog on programming in App Inventor (See App Inventor 2: Learn to Code!). Other reasons include emphasizing one’s credentials in the subject, to advertise one’s skills to potential clients, to be involved in a social web of people with similar interests, perhaps to sell related products and services, and more.

Footnote – The “old” way Youtubers Got Views

[1] Many Youtubers figured out the way to get viewed – and obtain subscribers – was to generate lots of fake views to jump up high on the “Most Viewed” lists. In the early years of Youtube, it was easy to do this: copy the video player embed code 100 times on an HTML page and just keep reloading the page!  (This “feature” was disabled long ago!)

Appearing on the “Most viewed” lists increased visibility and views rapidly. Others say that nearly all of today’s successful channels, which started in the 2005-2008 first three years of Youtube, got there by manipulating view counts.

In 2012 or 2013 Youtube seems to have made changes in the search system that caused viewership of minor channels to fall. Starting about 2 years ago, views of my own videos fell sharply – and I no longer post much on Youtube, having instead migrated to Flickr (Flickr supports videos too!) On Flickr I often get as many views in a day as I would see – ever – on Youtube 🙂

Youtube 3D video player coming back, slowly?

I just noticed that when I watched this video in Chrome (and only Chrome), that the video now has an option for 2D or 3D anaglyph (only 3D option).

I then disabled the HTML5 player to revert back to the Flash-based player and confirmed that the above was really appearing in the HTML5 player, not flash.

Unfortunately, this new HTML5 3D video capability appears solely in Chrome. It did not appear in Firefox, Opera or Internet Explorer when I tested each.

Having just watched The Martian (in 3D) at the theater today, it reaffirmed for us that we really like 3D! Let’s hope that Google is able to bring back more 3D viewing options to Youtube soon!

Google Ships 1 Million Cardboard Headsets for VR viewing

Google Cardboard is an inexpensive, simple way for consumers to try out virtual reality tech – using a simple lens/cardboard viewer and a smart phone, plus apps and various online content, consumers can try out VR for just a few dollars. Cardboard, with appropriate apps, is also a great way to watch 3D still and 3D video content.

I have Google Cardboard and recommend it for those interested in trying out 3D VR and 360 degree VR/videos. The future is coming faster than you know!

Source: 1 Million Cardboard Headsets Shipped, Google Says – Road to VR

Flickr acknowledges – finally – that photo upload has not been working

Flickr has finally acknowledged that their new software update on their web site has broken photo uploads. Flickr Help Forum user comments.

Update: Official Flickr Forum thread on the upload failure. Apparently Flickr released a new “auto upload” feature in their Flickr apps that attempts to upload every picture on your device, by default (even if you do not want it uploaded). It seems this has overloaded the Flickr network (duh!) and Flickr was unprepared for the deluge they themselves unleashed as every device attempted to upload massive numbers of photos.

The symptom is that photo uploads time out – and you are unable to upload photos. Obviously, uploads work for some, but also did not work for many.

There are some neat features in the new software including automatic tag generation (for some of my photos, it did a surprisingly good job), and their new “Magic” album that automatically organizes photos by subjects. (It works really well!)