On video quality

I know the title reads like it doesn’t belong on an ebook blog, but I need to post it anyway. I have to revise my review of the Archos Arnova 8 and while I could do it quietly, I’d rather avoid the appearance of hiding the revision. Plus, this way i get a post out of it.

The video playing ability wasn’t as bad as I thought. I described it along the lines of horrendously bad, and it’s not. It’s only poor, not horrendously bad. (The screen itself still sucks, so don’t get the Arnova 8.)

My mistake was that I tested the Arnova 8 with a marginal quality video.   The Arnova 8 made it look horrendously bad, but that’s not entirely its fault. The video was marginal to begin with. Let me explain.

Let’s say you have 2 videos with the same resolution, file format, and runtime. The only difference is that the first video is significantly smaller than the second.  The first video is smaller (usually) because it has a higher compression, which means that it also likely has a poorer image quality.

Guess which video I watched on the Arnova 8?

Yes, I did know this before hand, but I didn’t realize it was important. I’m not a expert on video tech; I just like to watch movies. (Obviously I’m going to have to learn this stuff if I plan to review more tablets.)  I only figured this out after the fact. I was testing a different device and happened to switch between a good and poor quality video. I noticed the differences straight away, and that inspired me to go back and try the Arnova 8 again.

Anyway, I thought this might be useful to someone.

image by KB35

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Andrys15 May, 2011

    Just a note on a similar thing, Nate. The recent NookColor update added Adobe flash and that gave us very good quality YouTube.

    BUT you need to go into web settings and select “Desktop” mode instead of the default “Mobile” … as the latter gives the lower resolution video.

    1. Nate Hoffelder15 May, 2011

      Now that’s interesting. Thanks for sharing the tip!

      1. Mike Cane15 May, 2011

        Oh yeah, mobile YouTube is set for 3G transmission with lots of compression and is just absolute crap.


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