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Ventrac in High-Definition

At Ventrac we do all our video work in-house.  From our company’s beginning, video has played an important role in showing potential customers just what Ventrac can do.  Here is a brief history of video at Ventrac and where we hope to take it.

Our first real digital video camera was a Canon XL1 that we bought in 1997. That camera endured many grueling Ventrac shoots including filming wet snow blowing and  getting smacked with leaves, grass clippings, and tire rubber (at a race track where Ventrac was a sponsor).  These first Ventrac video clips were edited using Adobe Premiere on a Pentium Pro 200mhz computer with 80 megabytes of ram, and a 4gb SCSI hard drive.

Camera gets smacked by a wet leaf.
Camera getting smacked by a wet leaf.

After wearing out our first XL1, a second one was purchased in 2003.  This one was finally retired in 2005.  To this point all our footage had been shot in standard definition. Since then we’ve been using Sony HDV video cameras shooting in 1080i wide-screen High Definition.  However, when producing new sales videos we ran into the several problems in being able to deliver video content in HD:

  1. We still had old footage we needed to use that wasn’t in High Definition or even wide-screen
  2. In the past, nobody had HD DVD players and we didn’t know if Blu-ray or HD DVD would win (Blu-ray won by the way)
  3. Editing HD is more time and hardware intensive

As we enter 2010, things are changing.  Blu-ray players are slowly starting to pop up in our potential customer’s living rooms attached to their HD TVs. One other big change is this past year YouTube has started allowing HD video uploads.  Earlier this past month we released our first video in HD on Youtube:

Ventrac Slope Mower in HD (Make sure you click the “HD” button)

Talk about a quality increase!  Compare this to our previous slope mowing clip.  If you look in Butch Hamby’s glasses, you can actually see my brother, Dustin Steiner, in a blue shirt filming in the reflection of his glasses.  I’m standing beside him in a green shirt and red hat.

Demo of Ventrac in HD
High Definition Demo: Interviewer and camera operator viewable in glasses reflection.

Will our next DVD be offered in Blu-ray? Maybe. Maybe not quite yet.  But look to more and more short video clips coming out on YouTube in HD.

~ Denver Steiner
Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and Video Producer

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