Here’s a top tip. One of the services which we offer our clients is creating “slideshow” videos, for a fraction of the cost of big-production movie presentations. Perhaps more importantly, we can make these at almost no effort for the client. Last week, one of these clients said: “I can hire a big HD TV for our next exhibition stand very reasonably – could I somehow use this to show all of those videos you’ve made for us which are on YouTube and our website?”
I assumed the answer would be yes, and it didn’t take long to find out that this was indeed the case. What surprised me was just how easy it would be, and how great the videos would look. So in case you’ve never done this, here’s the procedure.
The key to the whole thing is in finding out what video-playing software your TV has got, built-in. Most modern TVs have this, and you do not want to have to go to all the fuss (or risk) of connecting up a laptop just to show videos all day. If you know that the TV can play videos, stored on a USB stick, with any luck you can select a bunch of videos and set them to loop all day long.
It’s quite possible, however, that it will only loop one video. If that’s the case, and you want to show more than one, you’ll have to join them all together into a single movie file beforehand. Not a hard exercise; indeed, you may have to do a little work anyway. Don’t forget – even if you’re only showing one video – that if it’s set to loop like this, the video will immediately start again after its previous showing. This can look a bit odd, so you might want to add a few seconds of blank screen or logo, or perhaps a quick slideshow, to break things up.
Having saved your video, with added padding, in an appropriate format (.MOV or .MP4 should be good for most TVs), copy it to a USB stick. Slot it into the TV, and head for some sort of a “features” menu (you don’t usually seem to find the USB option under the “input” selection system). The “features” or “options” menu should give you an option to play a movie from the USB slot. Start it playing. Then return to the options menu, and you’ll probably find further options, one of which will be to “loop” or “continuously play” the video. Select this, and you’re done.
If you’ve not seen such a setup recently, you might be astonished at the quality of these videos on a large modern TV. That’s because if it’s been made at an HD resolution for a computer screen, it’ll almost certainly be at least as high definition as the TV can handle.
I’m not a fan of looping videos at exhibitions which have any sort of soundtrack. They drive stand staff crazy. But a “slideshow” video which uses captions rather than spoken commentary is ideal, as it can be run silently while remaining eye-catching and informative.