If you're using your video responses for testimonials, marketing, or even a documentary film (it's been known to happen!), then the quality of your responses is crucial.
While it can be tricky to manage what you get from your respondents, there are a few settings and tips you can use to get the best quality video footage from your respondents.
Note: Coaching your respondents through some of these steps may be required.
1. Switch to Uploaded Recording
By default, all new videoasks are set Streamed Recording. This uses webRTC technology to live-stream videos to our servers while they are being recorded.
Similar to the technology used for a Zoom call, the bitrate and resolution are automatically adjusted according to the quality of connection during the recording. This means that the quality of the recording will fluctuate if the connection fluctuates.
Streamed Recording gives a better experience for respondents because they don't have to wait for their video to upload once they have finished recording. It is also designed to be much more versatile for different devices, operating systems, and browsers, so more of your respondents will be able to submit video responses with ease.
Uploaded Recording caches a video on your device until you have finished recording and then saves it upon completion. Uploaded videos will maintain the quality of the video recording when it is saved, regardless of the quality of connection. This holds true unless a respondent has an extremely weak or unstable connection, in which case the browser may time out before the upload is completed.
Switching your videoask setting to Uploaded Recording will guarantee the highest quality (as permitted by the quality of the device's camera) when videos are recorded within VideoAsk. Note that some respondents may have difficulty recording within VideoAsk depending on their device and browser with this setting.
2. Record videos outside of VideoAsk and upload
All respondents have three options when submitting a video response: record a video within VideoAsk, upload a pre-recorded video, or share their screen.
Depending on their setup, respondents may be able to submit much higher quality video responses by pre-recording with a DSLR, webcam, or other high quality camera and uploading the video file to VideoAsk. Note: Respondents have a 200 MB file size restriction.
Tip: Our recommended video dimensions are HD landscape 1920 x 1080 px.
To make the submission process as quick as possible, the default option is to record a video within VideoAsk. If you would like respondents to use a pre-recorded video, guiding them to the option to upload a video may help them with the process.
If your videoask is set to Stream Recording and respondents use VideoAsk to record their videos, a strong connection is crucial in our ability to record enough information to give you a high quality video response.
If you are using Uploaded Recording, respondents can have a weaker connection and still submit high quality responses but the upload time will take longer and may run the risk of timing out.
When using Uploaded Recording, responses to multi-step videoasks will queue videos as each step is completed. This means that respondents with a poor connection submitting multiple videos may need to wait at the end of the videoask for all videos to upload before closing their tab or window.
If you are requesting video testimonials or other video responses where quality is essential, remind your respondents to double check they have a strong and stable connection before recording.
This perhaps goes without saying, but we can only record the highest quality as allowed by the camera that is used.
Built in laptop cameras are generally far inferior to other options, as are the front cameras of a phone as opposed to the back camera. Encouraging and guiding respondents to use the highest quality camera at their disposal will drastically improve the overall quality of the video responses you receive.
If respondents use an older or lower quality camera to record, then lighting and connectivity (when using Streamed Recording) becomes all the more essential.
Lighting makes a huge difference in the quality of recordings! If there is inadequate lighting even the best cameras will struggle to pick up sufficient information for a clear and pleasing image.
Poor lighting can lead to graininess, distortion, and inaccurate colors (not to mention unflattering shots 😬).
To get the best lighting, we recommend:
- Natural light!!!!
- Avoid any backlighting; neutral and simple backgrounds are the easiest to balance and are less distracting
- Supplement natural light with warm lit lamps as needed
- Don't use overhead lights (these will give you the "zombie" look - especially fluorescent lights)
6. Download raw video files
We transcode all videos when they are saved. This means that the videos you view within your VideoAsk inbox and the default video downloads are compressed .mp4 files.
You may, however, download the raw files of your video responses to get the original video file if you know the type of device the video was recorded on.
Looking to use VideoAsk to collect video testimonials? Watch our video podcast for more tips and tricks.