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Video and Computers

Obviously, we abide by the Laws of Decency and Suitability when producing video content for our clients, and ourselves! We also respect other peoples’ copyright materials and are careful to check that anything provided to us has the proper clearances for use. However, something we’ve noticed recently is that the occasional client will say they’re having trouble playing a file – and often not one of our video files, but something they’ve seen on line and want to share with us, and sometimes one of our files. Of course, we check everything carefully before it leaves us so are pretty confident that the files we provide are okay; usually it’s local problem. So thought we’d share with you some tips to keep your computer up to speed.

The thing is that over time your computer can get clogged up with unwanted programs and temp files, so to enable your PC to run at its optimum speed there are a few things you can do to help it get back some of that lost speed. That’s often a reason for larger graphics or video files to hang or drop out.

Firstly, create a system restore point in case you delete something you shouldn’t. Always have a backup!! This will allow you to revert to a point before you cleaned up your PC. If you are running windows 10 click on the magnifying glass and type ‘system restore’ and under best match click on ‘Create System Restore Point’ then click ‘create’ and OK.

To create a restore point in windows 7
1. Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.
2. In the left pane, click System protection. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
3. Click the System Protection tab, and then click Create.
4. In the System Protection dialog box, type a description, and then click Create.

Now you are safe to continue, but obviously this is just for guidance so please do consultant an IT Professional if you are unsure or anything doesn’t feel right:

1) Uninstall any unused or unwanted programs
Computers come with a whole load of programs you will never use and maybe some you loaded and have long since forgotten about. Now is the time to delete anything you don’t use. Some programs run in the background, even though you are not using them.

To remove all these pointless programs,
Open the Control Panel’s Programs and Features, and uninstall any programs you no longer use. Make sure that you leave any programs your computer’s hardware requires, these may have the publisher as Microsoft. And you do need to be careful here as you could inadvertently deleted something important. If you are still unsure about which programs to use, try a third-party called such as ‘PC Decrapifier’ it’s free for non-commercial use and will tell you which programs you don’t want or need.

2) Delete temporary (tmp) files
Temporary files are created on your computer through everyday tasks and can remain on your hard disk, slowing the computer down. Remove all of these files, including your internet history and cookies.

To do this, open ‘My Computer’ (‘This PC’ for Windows 10), and select your local drive (usually C:\). Select the “Windows” folder and then open the folder titled “Temp”.
Use your mouse to right-click on the folder, and in the “View” options, choose “Details”. Once this is done, select all the files that are older than the current date and press the delete key. Then go to the Recycle Bin on your desktop and empty it. You can delete anything that has .tmp

3) Install a solid state drive
Hard drives are the biggest cause of slow speeds and especially slow start up speeds on your PC. Solid state drives have extremely fast read times, can speed up your start up considerably but can be very expensive. We’ve been converting to solid state drives for our location video work and for the editing suites; we’ve also installed a solid state drive in our green screen area to make the backup file of any rushes as they are recorded.

4) More hard drive storage
Even if you regularly clean out all your temporarily files, if your hard drive becomes 85 per cent full, it’s going to affect your computer’s speed. If you regularly film videos or use your PC for recording television, then you will want as big a hard drive as you can get, upwards of 1TB in size.

5) Prevent unnecessary start ups
Many of the programs which are launched on start up continue to run and use up your computer’s memory so stop these programs from running.
To do this, click “Start” and “Run”. In “Run”, type “msconfig” and then press enter. You should then see the “Start up” tab, with all the programs. Tick the ones you don’t want, this prevent them from running. Remove all unnecessary fonts. Windows 7 loads more than 200 fonts on start up which can slow down the speed at which it boots up. Go to the Start Menu’s search box, search for the Fonts folder and check off all the fonts you don’t need, and click the “Hide” button in the toolbar.

6) Get more RAM
The more programs you use, the more RAM you need, and the slower your computer will be if you don’t have sufficient., A clear indicator of not having enough RAM is if your computer slows down or it freezes every time you try and process large files.

7) Run disk defragmentation
Go to ‘My Computer’(for Windows 7), right-click on the hard drive and select “Properties”. Under the “Tools” tab there should be an option to “Defragment Now”.
For Windows 10, click on magnifying glass icon and type defrag.
Choose ‘Defrag and Optimize Drive’

8) Run disk clean up
Windows also includes a built-in disk de-cluttering tool called “Disk Cleanup”.
It searches through the system for unnecessary large files such as temporary Internet files, program installers, and so on.
Open Disk Cleanup by clicking “Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup”.
For Windows 10, click on magnifying glass icon and type ‘Disk Cleanup’.

9) Give your computer a static IP
Another trick for speeding up your computer loading time is to give your computer a static IP address.
To do this, visit the “Network and Sharing Center”, and select “Change adapter settings”. Right click on your local adapter and select “Properties”. You then need to highlight what should be titled “Internet Protocoal Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), and click the properties button.
In “Use the following IP address” enter in the correct IP, Subnet mask, and Default gateway which correspond with your network setup.
Make sure to check “Validate settings upon exit” so Windows can find any problems with the addresses you entered.
To find out what your IP, subnet mask and default gateway are, go to “Start” and then “Run”, and type in “cmd”. At the command prompt, type “IPCONFIG/All” and it should come up, as shown below.

10) Hoover out the dust
Dust in the CPU can impede airflow, which is vital to keeping your computer’s temperature down, and if your computer is overheating, it is likely it will slow down its performance. We noticed a definite pattern in one of our video edit suites which would slow down or bang out at about 4 in the afternoon; once we’d cleaned it out and boosted its RAM it was happy again and would continue way past hometime if needed!

If you have a desktop or a laptop, you can take off the computer’s exterior and use a hoover on a low power setting to try and remove some of the dust. Make sure your computer has been switched off for at least 30 minutes and that all cables are disconnected before starting your clean.

Use your hoover with a small attachment, and try either the reverse setting to blow air into the vents and push the dust out, or use its standard suction to try and extract some of the dust.

So just a few tips on keeping your computer up to speed so that you can continue to watch some great video content on line without it hanging!




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