Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How I Fake Widescreen

I have been asked how I am able to use a 4:3 camera and old editing equipment to create Widescreen and HD content for YouTube. I'm hoping this will help someone. I think YouTube must have a wide definition of High Quality. If they mean "in focus" then OK.

First, I tape everything in standard 4:3 aspect ratio. I have tape marking my video camera so I can tell what will properly be in the frame. You can see the yellow tape I use in this doctored image.

I use a program named DVDFab to convert the video from the DVD to an ipod format of mp4. Now, I select the video from the menu of the DVD+RW. That's the kind of disc that allows me to erase and use again. I'm just using equipment I have around the house.

You select Advanced Resolution Settings that will allow me to fake widescreen.

Next, I select 672 X 336. This iwas the setting that gives me the closest appearance to widescreen of them all. You'll notice that you see lots of black around the picture. That will go away when you go to the next step.

Move the resize lever from Leterbox to Pan&Scan.

Now, see what's happened! Whatever fills the yellow box is what will be posted. Yes, that's me on the radio in 1988 in the picture behind me. lol

Click start to make the MP4 file. Now I'm done!

Upload the video to YouTube and you're creation is online! I hope this helps someone that lives in a parallel universe with exactly the same screwed up equipment as me.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Closed Caption

In a recent collab I was included as a contributor along with 15 other amazing people. A friend named Richie who also contributed sent me a file to close caption the video. I had never done that before and he was kind enough to tell me how to do it.

On December 28th I added close caption to several of my videos. I will try to add them from here on. I am not a good typist so it's difficult for me to do. But, having a hearing loss myself, I feel strongly that everyone should enjoy YouTube videos. The program is named Media Subtitler and it is very easy to use.

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Years Collab

I've submitted my part for a New Year's Collaboration with Delane, Stewze and Stufish4040. When it posts I'll also make public my video part as a New Years wish to my viewers. It's an interesting mix in that Delane and I are both insane and Stewze and Stu have their feet firmly on the ground. (No offense to Delane)

Friday, December 26, 2008

100,000 Miles

Christmas Day, my 1994 used Honda Accord (which I bought in 1996) turned the odometer to 100,000. It was pretty eventful as cars go. And, I've been told that it should easily make it another hundred thousand if I take care of it. Hopefully by that time there will be more earth friendly alternative fuels that will power cars.

Also in this video are some awesome Christmas gifts and a look at my days in the Christ Church choir. Plus, I had to do a shoutout to DeLaNe whose name I had been mispronouncing! Yikes! He made me feel good telling me he is called Delaney by folks.

On the list for the next video is to answer some questions people have asked. This should help some of the new subscribers. Thanks for subbing if you have.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Flurry Of Replies By Video

I've made two replies by video fairly quickly recently. I had planned on taking some time off from vlogging (I've been told I don't really vlog, but I'll have to sort that out later) but there were two requests for video responses that I couldn't pass up. The first was from Tyler Oakley and his request for videos of expired things in your refrigerator. Last night it was to answer a post by Luke (someguy090) on SomeLikeItVloged. This is for a temporary slot while the regulars on on Christmas Holiday. There are so many that deserve outside of me who hav so many more viewers than my humble channel. They are the ones that should do it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Video

Almost everything is done for my Christmas Video. Not the collab by Connor on Christmas eve, but my own entry. I want to say that the edit may confuse some people that I'm being unkind to Jimmy Carter. The statement about the "one guy at the party whois an idiot" goes into my Carter impersonation where he says "I approve this message. " That is in reference to the peanut butter comment as President carter was a peanut farmer in Georgia. I didn't want anyone to misunderstand.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


BillTvMacon made it's widescreen debut today. Actually, that's not all true. The first time I posted publicly with widescreen was to answer a "Best Friend" question on the channel "charlieissocoollike."

Now, the video "Faux Widescreen" is online. Is it more difficult to post this way? Not to post, but to edit. Now, let me go check E-Bays for Mac mini's.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lisa Nova Contest

I've entered the "LisaNova's Non-Corporately Sponsored Holiday Contest!!!" on YouTube. And, so have over a thousand other people. Chrissyjeano, one of my kind 121 subscribers, wrote me to tell me to enter. Three people will win more recognition on YouTube and $1,000. I have no illusion that I'll stand a chance to win against some of the great posts I've seen on there. I just enjoy the participation process.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Over Sixty Videos Deleted

Lets make no mistake about it. Bill Tv began as a private video sent to friends. I have decided to be pro-active and have deleted videos that I believe may be tagged for copyright infringement. All three complaints have been about background music behind the videos. If I understand correctly, the exceptions are song parodies which fall under the lip sync or parody category.

If I get any other correspondence about remaining old material I will remove all of the old clips. Period. (So don't be surprised if it goes away quickly.)

Now that my original vlog material is starting to get some attention it is more important to me to have it survive than to have the site taken down.
More new videos ahead.
Keep rating, commenting and subscribing!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Collab

I was asked to be a part of a Christmas Collab. Connor, (crash3462) messaged me that Chris (crabsickz...not his real name) had given him my name. Alasdair (roguebluejay) is also contributing.

It's going to be 15 people who will have no more than 30 seconds to tell their two Christmas Wishes. The first is what you'd idealistically like to Peace on Earth, etc. The next is a personal a Nintindo Wii. Fun stuff!

They'll be assembled and posted on Christmas Eve. Watch this space for the link.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Crabstickz and 100 Subscribers

As of this post it's actually 105. Since this site is all about the postings and inner workings I'll assume you understand how subscribers work. My friend, Chris (aka, crabstickz), pushed me over the top yesterday with his video. He even drew the picture of me that is now my avatar. Alasdair and Chris have been so generous with their selfless promotion of my channel and videos.
Thank you to everyone who decided to click the button.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Alasdair is a friend who is a big hit on YouTube. He is RogueBlueJay and has done a very kind thing for me. By mentioning me on his popular Vlog, my subscribers went up, yet again. I'll state that however many subscribers I have won't change what I post or how. He and I had a good conversation about this today. I do my vlogs like I did the radio show. If it entertains me or if I think it's funny then that's what I do. Ali agreed. Unless it's a collab, you're pretty much in it alone.

What impresses me are people like Alasdair who have so much natural ability and great things to say. YouTube is a good thing because it gives any individual who wants one a voice. Oh, and be watching for his video on Democracy. Probably in a week or so.

Thanks to Alasdair for risking his good reputation to help a friend.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Charlie Challange

There is a popular vlogger on YouTube named CharlieIsSoCoolLike. Thousands of subscribers. Yesterday he asked folks to video reply to his post about Best Friends. I made a video and posted it. An amazing thing happened. My subscriptions went up from 52 to 59 overnight. I had no idea this would happen. The video views are at 222 as of now and I posted the video yesterday about 5PM EST.

I don't really do my videos to be popular, although I love that people like them. It's the creative process I enjoy. When I did the radio show it was the actual performance of live radio that I enjoyed. There is so much talent on YouTube. There's no magic formula why some are more popular than others. In a kind way, Charlie is allowing those who post to introduce their videos to a new audience. So, to that I say, Thanks!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blocked From My Own Replies

Sorry I could not reply to my own post. It wasn't until I did a search that I learned that YouTube does not allow URL links in replies to viewer posts. I tried a few times and eventually was blocked from posting at all. Sorry about that. I'll know better next time. Here's what I wanted to post.
How else can I watch Skins?
It's a store. That was the sales flyer I had in my hand.
UPDATE: Hey, I can post again!

Monday, December 1, 2008

YouTube Widescreen Pressure

Peer Pressure is a terrible thing. YouTube has just added widescreen players for their viewers. I have the oldest editing equipment available to produce the offerings on BillTvMacon. In the middle of December I'll be going the best of my ability. If things start looking really bad, I'll reserve the right to go back. lol

Here's how I'll do it, just so you'll know it's nothing legitimate like having a good new camera or "real" editing system. The camera shots will be in 4:3 but I'll zoom back to allow for the aspect ratio. The graphics will be adjusted for that, too. It will be edited in 4:3 like it is now. However, the encoding is where the widescreen happens. I'm using DVD Fab and forcing the encode to be 640 X 360. Wish me luck. Maybe I should say, "I wish YOU luck!"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rick Rolled

It's known by now that I work ahead. I just saw a YouTube video of Rick Astley in the Macy's TDay Parade. Did you know that he actually DID Rick Roll everyone? I was joking in my post "Rick Astley Parade." But, he really sang it!!! You see some puppet singing the theme to "The Courtship or Eddie's Father" and then the needle of the record is ripped off the vinyl and "Never Gonna Give You Up" starts playing! Hysterical.

Update coming on YouTube. Stand By!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two Quick Posts

I'm a slow learner. Today I posted the Rick Astley Parade vlog and immediately followed it with Christmas Boom Box. Since one is a regular commentary and the boom box entry is a radio story, I knocked the first vlog out of the subscribers box only an hour after it posted. Not very smart.

Simply put, there are always things to vlog about. But from here on I'll pace myself between entries in days and not hours. Lucky for you, the Video Bar has them both right now.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Distracting Bill

Three months ago a friend suggested that I post old clips from Bill Tv on YouTube. They had lost some VHS tapes and wanted to see a feature that they remembered. Distracting Bill was originally part of the old Bill Tv and was from a tape in 1994. That's how I looked 15 years ago. It was done as a space filler between features on the tape.

On September 22, I posted my first new entry after another friend asked if there would ever be any new Bill Tv material. What they really wanted to know was if I would ever do any more song parodies. I'd like to but don't have the time right now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Viagra

My good friend Sebastian was asking this morning (I truly mean morning...about 3:00 AM my time) how long it took to make a Bill Tv Vlog? The answer is an hour and a half to two hours. I record entries and they come to me and when I reach three I start editing. The last part takes the longest time.

Yes, that was Nathan covering his ears in this vlog, too. I grew up watching Elvis movies. When I was about 10 years old the fun thing to do on a Saturday was to go downtown and catch a movie. There was usually a Three Stooges, Disney or Elvis movie playing in one of the three movie houses. That's an Elvis impersonatoe in the Viagra commercial. That, or Elvis is still alive like we all thought. The Turkey part is obvious at this thanksgiving holiday.

A vlogger named Nacgonegal was kind enough to give me a shoutout. He said that if I was a 'hot piece of ass' I'd probably have a million subscribers. LOL!!! In life's physical attributes I didn't fare very well. But, I more than make up for it with body odor.

Happy Thanksgiving. I'm grateful to all who view.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Close Shave

Several folks have commented on Nathan's performance on Close Shave. I have to agree it was spot on. He sat in on the editing and made some great suggestions. It was his idea to have the dialog with myself continue as I walk to the door and when he's running away from the house. Needless to say, without Nate, I would have been a guy in my house with a face full of shaving foam.

A viewer was asking if I was leaving the "three topics" format. Not at all. I just thought that 'Close Shave' was just right to stand on it's own. I feel it would have gotten lost if mixed with other segments. You'll be happy to know that the next installment, "Turkey Viagra," is ready to be posted in a couple of days.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three Topics

The latest vlog is named Three Topics. Comments either positive or negative are great because they tell you what people understand and want. Some have stated that my vlogs are very random. I'm sorry but that's my life. There is a lot going on and none of it ever fits in the same category. I even tried editing topic by topic and it wasn't very good.

Soon there will be one vlog that I think everyone will like. It's just one story and it really demands the entire blog for itself. It also happens to have two great ingredients. It's true and funny.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Storm Warning

I neglected to point out how the storm warning ended. It was a strong band of heavy rain which never developed into a tornado. That's why the sirens were activated. My town is still recovering from the Mothers Day tornado that did millions of dollars of damage here. I can't blame them for warning early just in case.

Oh, and to answer another question. I do work ahead. Already in the "can" (so to speak) is something called "Unfinished Business" and a "Magician" joke.

I've been posting in very rapid order of late. I'm going to slow down a bit and try to have a reasonable amount of days between posts. It's just that sometimes current things need to be posted right then. And, the holiday are here!

Kid With A Credit Card

In "Vlog Dollar Store Phobia" I had a clip of my old radio show at the end where I asked a kid to give his Master Card number and expiration date on the air to win an Arby's sandwich.

The answer is, no. He never gave out the number. The comedy was in his asking for the card from his parents.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Don't Celebrate On Subscriber Numbers

My most recent vlog made comment in the text that it was a celebration of forty subscribers to my YouTube account. Four hours later I was back down to 39. LOL!!!!

I have to say that I love this. Life is filled with irony and YouTube as a great place to display it. My newest obsession is proving to have some very fun twists and turns.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

YouTube Video Replies

If you've seen my latest reply to Crabstickz Vlog on "Some like it Vlogged" you may be asking yourself, "Why would this old man do this?" I couldn't agree more. (And I wonder why I only have 39 subscribers.) It's an old joke. So, since I'm sort of an old joke myself, why not! Plus, I'm a big fan of Chris, AKA Crabstyckz. So I hope you can find it in my heart to forgive me.

The End Credit

I took the drop logo from the end credit and now use it on my Vlogs. It's really a tribute to the original Bill Tv done in the 90's. There's even a Production Elements Playlist dedicated to these features. You'll notice the drop down logo at the beginning. That's done with an old Videonics MX1 video mixer that I still have. (I wonder if it even works anymore? Hmmmm!?!)

The song credit rightly belongs to Stewart Rodgers, aka Stewze, for allowing me to use part of a song he wrote, sang and produced for the opening of Bill Tv. He is certainly a generous and gifted talent.

Any other credits are put at the top for tha episode. It's the YouTube way!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Graphics

I'm going to start using more graphics on Bill Tv. I guess you can consider this a warning? This upcoming vlog they will add to the explanation of the latest toy inducted into the hall of fame. I use an old version of Photo Impact which has been bought by another company now. I use it for my web graphics and anything else that requires a visual aid. I don't know whether to use an old one that was original to Bill Tv or create something new. I guess we'll both find out in a couple of days.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

How It's Made

I've had a couple of messages asking how I put these together. You can see details of equipment and software I use in an earlier post. It's very old. Because of the quirky software I have to load the clips and intro and outro all at once. If I don't the files corrupt. I have no idea why.

When I get an idea for a subject I usually tape it right away. So, the vlog is made all during the week. I've learned that four topics is enough to follow for a two or three minutes. I wish I could say I put lots of planning into what topic will go where in the edit. Somehow it all comes together. I did try one vlog where I just sat and talked. A friend told me to go back to the original way. lol

What's The Deal With Subscriptions?

I've had some generous posts asking why I don't have any more subscribers than I do? I didn't think I deserved any. (see previous post) So, I guess my answer is that I don't go actively seeking them and am truly surprised when I get a new one. So, THANK YOU those that have already.

My way of creating these things is the same way I did my radio show. I hope that if I like it, then others will also. I have to say that I've been influenced by so many youtubers who are very creative and do fantastic work. They make it look effortless.

So, you won't see me begging anyone to subscribe, friend, rate or post about my efforts. That way, I know that if you do, you'll really mean it.

Sawing My Leg

I recently noticed that my posting of an old Bill Tv segment, "Sawing My Leg" has had almost 1,000 views. Whaaaat? Here are two comments.

"that was the most pitiful video I've ever and i mean ever have seen"


"... this isn't even worth speaking of."

I agree! Although it seems ironic that the one who said it wasn't worth speaking of decided to post anyway. Maybe, perhaps, hoping that I would never post again? Oh, that you should be that lucky.

The first thing that struck me is that both posters had no original videos on their accounts at all. The second thought is that "Sawing My Leg" is old Bill Tv content and only intended for a private select video audience.

What you need to know is that this is all about fun. I don't take any of this seriously. If you're expecting to see quality postings you may be very disappointed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What Do You Use To Edit?

I am often asked what I used to edit the Vlogs on YouTube. The computer is a Pentium III 800 using a Canopus DV Raptor editing card. The software is Adobe Premiere 5.1. The software on this machine has lots of quirks. Plus, it's no longer supported because Canopus sold out to Grass Valley.

Plus, you wouldn't believe what I have to do to get the video onto YouTube. Here are the steps.

1. Load footage from camcorder.
2. Edit footage. (Because of one of the quirks, I have to delete and download every clip in one step for a vlog or it corrupts other clips. This includes the opening which has to be re-loaded every time.
3. Playback finished vlog and record it on a rewritable +DVD
4. Take DVD and encode it with DVD Fab using the iPod setting.
5. Upload to YouTube.