Technical How-To: Ensuring a video upload size of 16×9

by Kaitlyn Mitchell

This week’s blog post is quite technical, but we’re hoping it helps you out, Stringrs. Daily video submissions from Stringrs often appear on our platform in a smaller size than our customers prefer.

This is common problem that Stringr’s curation team comes across when carefully reviewing all of your video footage submissions: Some of the videos come in with a 4×3 aspect ratio, instead of 16×9. The aspect ratio is a term to describe the frame size of the video when it is eventually viewed.

At Stringr, the bare minimum requirements for your video to be promoted to our customers include:

  •  The video must be shot horizontally
  • The video must be shot with a 16×9 frame aspect ratio
  • The video must be newsworthy
  • The video must be nicely shot

Luckily for you iPhone users, the iPhone will ONLY export 1080p quality video via the 16×9 aspect ratio. Say what? 1080p is a value that explains the resolution, or depth of color you see in your video.*

However, you Apple devotees aren’t completely off the hook: If you’re using outside apps to edit your video before submitting it through the Stringr Video app, then you could be inadvertently sending in the wrong frame aspect ratio. In order to get your iPhone’s video size down, you would have to consciously employ the use of the Quicktime or iMovie apps. This is why at Stringr, we never recommend editing your video before you submit it, as the quicker you get us the footage, the more likely you are to sell it! The news cycle is rapid-fire, and our professional customers will edit your video clip submissions 10x faster than you can on your own phone.

For all of our beloved Android Stringrs, from Samsung Galaxy S4 to Nokia Lumia users, it’s just a bit more complicated because the frame aspect ratio can be changed directly on Android smartphones’ cameras, without using outside apps.

An Android camera’s shot has a resolution of 4160 x 2342, which works out at 9.6-megapixels with a 16:9 aspect ratio. This would equate to a 13-megapixel camera when shooting with a 4:3 aspect ratio. But if you set your Android phone’s camera to 13MP, you’ll end up with a square image that doesn’t fit the screen. You’ll need to keep your Android phone at its original setting of 10MP to ensure that you’re shooting at a 16:9 aspect ratio; all the while dramatically upping your chances of selling your video to our customers!

Since your Android phone’s default video setting is to shoot at 16:9, you might assume that your videos are uploading to our platform properly. But keep in mind that something as simple as updating your phone’s software could cause this to change. So anytime you reset your phone, double check your phone’s camera settings to make sure all video you submit to the Stringr app is a 16:9 aspect ratio frame size.

If that sounded like gibberish to you, here are some how-to screenshots from a Google Nexus 5 Android phone:

Nexus 5 ScreenshotNexus 5 Screenshot

  • First, go into your camera’s settings. You’ll see a “video” tab under settings. Click on “Back camera video.”
  • Under the “Back Camera Video” tab, make sure your setting is at HD 1080p, which will ensure that your video uploads to Stringr at a 16×9 frame aspect ratio.

As always, String on Stringrs! And do stay dry Texans, Oklahomans, and New Yorkers. Your weather footage has been on fleek this past week.

*Frames Per Second side note: for iPhone users, go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Camera > Record Video at 60 FPS. Here’s why it’s better to shoot at 60 Frames per Second on certain occasions. What it really comes down to: higher frame rates require more footage and are more expensive to shoot. Android users, your camera is set at 30 Frames Per Second – that is ideal, so don’t change the setting to a faster rate unless you intentionally want to shoot in slow-motion.

2 comments

  1. kathy schuck · June 4, 2015

    good explanation, Kait…

    Like

  2. Stringr · October 19, 2015

    Reblogged this on THE STRINGR BLOG and commented:

    Occasionally, Stringrs submit smartphone footage with the incorrect screen aspect ratio. Read this blog post for a quick fix.

    Like

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