If your production company charges extra for HD video, sack 'em

It’s hard to believe that a decade ago, YouTube was but a twinkle in the eyes of founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim and the prospect of a camera on a mobile phone was all but ridiculous.

HD camera, video production services
But 2003 was the year in which HD video was born. As with most new technologies, in the first couple of years of its existence, HD video was offered by some video production companies, but usually at a premium. But as the technology became more widely available, HD video production services started to become the norm. In fact, most video production companies have now made HD their default, which means standard definition is no longer standard.

Stuck in the dark ages of video production

Where production companies are still offering SD this is usually for one of two reasons. They are either intent on living in the past or they have invested so much into SD and cannot bear the cost of upgrading. Of course they have every right to do this, but as the client, should you settle for an inferior corporate video because of your video production company’s internal business issues?

And it’s not just small video production companies that still live in the past – it is often the case that major broadcasters have this very issue too because they operate on such a large scale that the cost of upgrading their SD equipment to HD is enormous.

So why should you sack your video production team if they offer SD at a premium? Well firstly because they are charging you extra for their own limitations. But, perhaps more importantly, if you choose to pay the additional charge you are paying for a sub-standard HD production service. If your video provider’s team is used to filming in standard definition, they probably don’t have the right level of experience to use HD equipment, so you’ll be losing out on quality for your premium price.

HD is an investment that won’t fade away

There's another reason to avoid SD. If you don’t film in HD, your video has a short shelf life because if you ever want to use the footage again in the future, most production companies will turn around and say "we can’t use this" and you will need to refilm. Future proof your productions by filming in HD!

There is no excuse for your production to be anything less than HD. Broadcast television and online content are now becoming HD as a standard. Your iPhone, by default, films in HD – why would you accept anything less from a service provider you are paying (quite a lot) to make your corporate video?  Would you hire a PR company that could only promise print coverage? Would you be interested in a social media agency that only worked on MySpace and charged extra for Facebook and Twitter campaigns? Or a web design company that couldn’t optimise your site for smart phones and tablets? Sack ‘em!

Further reading: why you shouldn't write your own video script.