About the video formats
It’s the same question each new season: in which video formats will the show be available. Reminder on the previous seasons.
For season 1, the series was available in 4 formats. First in mp4 iPhone, with a lower quality than the current one (retina displays didn’t exist at this time). In avi Divx, which was the same quality as the iPhone format. In avi Xvid, which was in higher quality. And finally, in mpeg2 DVD, the best quality.
It’s fun to see that, at this time, we proposed the show in DVD quality when today, the mpeg2 format almost doesn’t exist anymore on internet.
For season 2, we reduced the number of formats. Divx and Xvid were too similar, we just kept one: Divx (cause it’s quality made a lot of progress in a year). The series was then available in mp4 iPhone, avi Divx and still mpeg2 DVD.
As season 1 was remastered with a Director’s Cut at this time, the format change was retroactive and we reencoded everything to delete the Xvid format on season 1 too.
For season 3 we increased the quality again. The series was still available in mp4 iPhone (but Retina, better quality), avi Divx, and the big news was the absence of mpeg2DVD, replaced by mp4 HD 720p!
Once more, the change was retroactive as the two first seasons were remastered and upscaled in HD. So we deleted mpeg2 format on every seasons.
For season 4, another change is coming. And once more, it will be retroactive. To make it simple, we will reduce the number of formats to two only: SD and HD. The HD 720p format will stay (no 1080p cause we don’t want to increase the size of the files to download, we think about those with a slow internet connection or those with a monthly download limit like our Canadian friends). We then had to download one of the other formats, and we’ll say goodbye to Divx.
The avi format is less and less used. Technologically surpassed by the mp4 and above all, the mp4 can be read on everything unlike the avi. From videogame consoles to PC or Mac, by way of mobile phones or touchpads, everything reads the mp4. So, this year, you won’t have to choose between iPhone, Divx, or HD, but just between SD or HD.
This change will be retroactive. No reencoding will happen this time, but the Divx format will be deleted from our server on June 13, 2012. People who want to donwload the show in avi have until this date to do it!
Side note: the mp4 format as another useful feature that avi doesn’t have, the ability to add subtitles that you can turn on and off when you want. So there will be only one video file for the whole world, and not one for french and one with hardsubs for international.