Aug
21

Author:

The Big Picture: Watching Your Slideshows in HD

After nearly 20 years on the market, there is no video format more ubiquitous than the DVD.  Regardless of whether the technologically-challenged members of your family can easily *operate* a DVD player, they probably have at least one in their house.  On top of that, most desktop computers and full-sized laptops purchased in the last 10 years have had the hardware to burn a DVD. Buy a pack of blank DVDs and you can be burning your slideshows in no time and playing them on your TV.  But is DVD really the format you want to be using?  Since the advent of high definition televisions, the shortcomings of a DVD have become easily apparent.

First, the maximum resolution of a DVD video is defined as 720×480 (or 720×576 if your country’s TV standard is PAL).  In other words, your super-sharp 15-megapixel images that you want to show off will be downsized to just over a third of a megapixel as part of the DVD creation process. DVDs don’t come close to the clarity that modern HDTVs can achieve.  Assuming you have a 1080p television, you are only using 1/6th of the available resolution.

DVD VS HD

Secondly, for all intents and purposes, DVD is an interlaced format. This means that at any given moment, you’re only seeing half of the vertical resolution.  Modern televisions and DVD players may do a decent job of de-interlacing – or combining the interlaced fields to create the full-resolution frames – but when there is motion in your shows, it will never look as good as video signal that’s not interlaced.

What are your options?

BLU-RAY:

If you want to get your slideshows onto your television in high definition, the most straight-forward method is creating a Blu-ray disc, the de facto successor to the DVD.  To do this you’ll need 1) a Blu-ray burner, 2) a blank BD-R or rewriteable BD-RE disc, and 3) a Blu-ray player to play it on your TV.  Blu-ray burners do not come pre-installed in most computers, so it’s highly likely that you’d need to purchase an internal or external Blu-ray burner first.

Internal Blu-ray Burners for Desktops

External Blu-ray Burners

Creating a Blu-ray disc is very similar to writing a DVD.  You’ll open your show in ProShow, choose Blu-ray from the Publish menu and customize your menu as necessary, then click the Create button.  After a period of rendering, the data will be burned to your disc, ready to be played on a Blu-ray player.  Still, there are a few options when creating your disc that are worth mentioning.

In the Options tab, the Blu-ray Type is set to 1080p by default.  While this will give you the maximum resolution possible, 1080p on Blu-ray is hampered by being limited to 24 frames per second.  This may look natural, if not good, for a feature film, but this comparatively low frame rate can make a slideshow seem choppy or jerky during pans.  I prefer choosing 720p because it allows frame rates up to 59.94. In my opinion, the smoother frame rate of 720p is a much more noticeable improvement than the extra resolution that 1080p provides.

Blu-ray Options TabBurning a Blu-ray disc means that you’ll be dealing with significantly more data than when creating a DVD.  Because of this, it’s very important that your burn speed is not set higher than what your system is able to consistently send to your burner.  Once you’ve inserted your blank disc, you’ll be able to change the burn speed from Max to a lower value in the Burning tab.  I would recommend either 2x or 4x for a BD-R, and 1x or 2x for a BD-RE.

Blu-ray Burning Tab

APPLE TV VIA AIRPLAY:

Of course, Blu-ray isn’t the only option for getting high definition video on your television.  If you happen to have an iPhone or iPad as well as an Apple TV, you can use Apple’s Airplay service to wirelessly stream any video saved on your phone or tablet to your television.

With version 6 of ProShow Producer and ProShow Gold, you can automatically publish your shows to your Apple device with the free ProShow Remote app.

ProShow Remote screenshot

Tutorial: Sending your slideshows to your iPhone or iPad via the ProShow Remote App

While playing the video on your device, click the Airplay icon at the bottom right and choose your Apple TV.  If all is working as planned, you should now be able to watch your slideshow on your television in high definition.

Airplay Icon small

If you do not have ProShow version 6, you can still achieve the same goal by using the ProShow Devices plugin to create a video that’s compatible with your Apple device.  Next you’ll use iTunes to sync the video to your device, and during playback you can enable the same Airplay option as described above.

WebDevicesComputers - iPhone 5

Tutorial: Adding a show to an iPhone or iPad via iTunes

When considering the multitude of ways to watch your high definition slideshows on your TV, this article is just scratching the surface. New devices are emerging every day (Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, etc) that either allow wireless streaming from your mobile devices or direct playback of files stored on your network.  We hope to cover these other options in an upcoming article.

Aug
19

Author:

Celebrating World Photo Day 2014

Happy World Photo Day! We’re celebrating by featuring this video made up of photographs from ProShow fans around the world. Images were submitted all the way from Seward, Alaska to the beaches of Calpe, Spain. The final video was made using ProShow Producer 6.

World Photography Day originates from the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre. On January 9, 1839, The French Academy of Sciences announced the daguerreotype process. A few months later, on August 19, 1839, the French government announced the invention as a gift “Free to the World”. Today is the 175 year anniversary.

Thanks to everyone who submitted their photographs for this video! Want to make your own video slideshow? Download a free trial of ProShow today!

 

Aug
18

Author:

5 Reasons to Make the Jump to ProShow Producer

Upgrade to ProShow Producer

If you’ve asked anyone who’s made the jump from ProShow Gold to ProShow Producer – they’ll say you’ll never look back after upgrading. Whether you prefer a hands-off, automatic approach to making slideshows (using the wizard + instant effects), or you like to build your own shows from scratch, you’ll notice an immediate upgrade in the look of your shows and the amount of control you get with ProShow Producer – the first time you use it.

Unlock stunning new effects, time savers + and an arsenal of creative tools. Act now and you’ll save big time! Our best deal EVER on upgrading to ProShow Producer is going on right now. Check your email for details.

#1: Unlock Tons of New Instant FX & Freebies:

Enjoy 200+ beautiful new styles and transitions, plus the option to get popular Effects Packs (including StylePacks 5, 3, 2 + Weddings), along with free downloadable effects available only for ProShow Producer. Upgrade to Producer and give your slideshows an instant makeover! Watch the video below to see a sample of these amazing effects exclusively for Producer.

#2: More Creative Control + Powerful Tools

Want to tweak or customize shows beyond just the basics? You’ll love the expanded toolbox of creative options, including blur, opacity, keyframing, masking and text layers. Design your own custom slides, or sit back and let the wizard and built-in effects do the work. You’ll be able to explore new creative boundaries with unlimited control and plenty of fun in the mix.

ProShow Producer's powerful tools give you more creative control. Download a free trial today.

Easy to Use
Wondering if Producer is hard to learn? Think again! Same basic layout and functions – just way more power and control. If you’ve been using ProShow Gold, upgrading to Producer feels natural. The new tools allow you to enhance things you already enjoy in ProShow Gold – like fine tuning your photo & text effects with better timing control and adding a new level of polish to titles and slide layouts.

ProShow Producer is packed full of powerful creative tools to make your slideshows stand out!

#3: See the Difference in Action

Want to see some of the main differences between ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer using real world examples? Watch this video.

#4: What Other Customers Have to Say

Click to read more customer comments.

#5: Upgrade Now and Save Time + Money

Anyone who has made a bunch of slideshows can appreciate shortcuts! ProShow Producer offers a slick, pro-style interface and workflow tools that make frequent show creation and custom slides a snap! Professionals also love the business-friendly features like watermarking, custom branding, and MPEG-4 video output – the standard format for sharing on mobile & web.

Think Producer is just for pros? Slideshow fans need not miss out on all the fun. Upgrading not only gives you new reasons to fall in love with making shows again, but owing ProShow Gold qualifies you for a huge loyalty discount that you can use toward your upgrade, allowing you to own a pro-grade tool for a fraction of the normal price. Find out how much $$$ you can save >

Upgrade to ProShow Producer

Start experiencing a whole new level of slideshow creation. Check your email for info on your upgrade discount code. Upgrade today and we promise, you’ll never look back.
Make the jump to Producer today.

Upgrade Now

 

Aug
14

Author:

Q&A with Jenny Larson of Forever Digital Memories

Q and A with Jenny Larson of Forever Digital Memories

A big thank you to everyone that joined me live the last week for my Google+ Hangout on making reunion slideshows for fun and profit. If you didn’t catch the live broadcast, you can watch the videos anytime at the links below. And be sure to download the PDF handout here.

Below are some of the questions asked by audience members that I thought were really great so I wanted to share the answers with everyone.

  1. What is APPO? I’m interested in learning more about the group, any information you have would be helpful!

    APPO is the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (www.appo.org). If you are looking for an emerging industry that combines the love of photographs and telling stories, I highly encourage you to check out APPO. I only joined the association last year but my business has grown by leaps and bounds since joining. Many of the vendors that I mention on the webinar handout are APPO industry partners. APPO members get excellent training opportunities through webinars and a yearly conference (next being held in Orlando in April 2015). APPO members get fantastic discounts at many suppliers of photo services, including ProShow software!

    If you are interested in learning more, check out the APPO website or email the founder, Cathi Nelson (Cathi.nelson@appo.org), who’s happy to speak to you directly.

  2. Who do you recommend to host a website that specializes in this type of business venture?

    For my business website web hosting I use Go Daddy. For sharing my slideshows with clients (sample versions) I use Vimeo. I have a Vimeo Plus membership which is $9.95 per month. If I make a show completely using ProShow Web, I send this to clients simply by clicking the share button and sending the link via email.

  3. Do you find that potential clients want to see examples of work prior to hiring and if so do you maintain these on your website or show potential clients examples in person?

    YES! I highly recommend that you put a few samples on your site so people know what your style looks like. It’s a great way for people to see the quality of your work. Just make sure you have client permission and that you have the right to use the music in your samples. I don’t currently have samples on my website but I’ve been meaning to do this! My excuse is that I’ve been in business for so many years now and 99% of my business comes from repeat clients and referrals. So for me putting up samples hasn’t been a huge priority but I hope to do this by the end of 2014.

  4. Do you recommend, for the most part, a slide of 3 seconds and transitions of 1 second for an average show?

    I think 3 seconds is a bit too fast for most shows. It all depends on what the show is for (Funeral? 50th Anniversary? High School Sports Team?) But if I had to put a number on it – most shows I make are about 4.5 seconds per slide with a 1 second transition.

  5. What DPI do you tell your clients to scan images in at if they plan on scanning themselves and then delivering the digital photos to you to make the slideshow?

    I tell my clients to scan at a minimum of 300 dpi. Although this is overkill for screen resolution (only 72 dpi is needed for screen resolution), I like to be able to print the photos on the DVD case and my clients like to get a CD with their scanned images for archival purposes. So a minimum of 300 dpi is best for all of the above purposes. And if they can scan at 400 or even 600 dpi I’m even happier. I’d rather have too many pixels to play with than not enough.

    Here are a few scanning tips blogs that might help:

  6. What’s your best suggestion on having clients send in physical photos to you? The mail? UPS?

    I prefer UPS or FedEx so that I can track the package and our regular mail here is not too reliable (sorry post office!)

  7. One more other tip I forgot to mention – Canva!

    Canva.com – My go-to resource for online graphic design elements. It makes me look like I’ve hired a designer for next to nothing. It’s free to join and most of the templates are free as well. You only pay if you need to use some of the fancier elements in your designs.

I hope this answer your questions and thanks for sending them in. You can visit my website for more about what I do at Forever Digital Memories.

Thanks! – Jenny Larson

Aug
8

Author:

ProShow Tip: Adding Multiple Photos to a Slide at Once

How to add multiple images to a slide in ProShow

Have you ever wanted to add more than one photo or video to a slide? With ProShow it’s easy and it works the same way in both ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer.

Each item on a slide is called a ‘layer’. You can add as many layers as you want to a single slide. Layers can be photos, video clips, borders, etc…

Adding Multiple Layers to a Slide at Once:
When multiple images are selected in the file list, you can use the ‘drag and drop’ method to easily add them to a single slide, all at once. Here’s how.

  1. Hold CTRL on the keyboard and click on each layer you want to add from the File List.
  2. Continue to hold CTRL while you drag & drop the selected images onto your slide.

Add multiple photos to a slide in ProShow

Once your layers are added to a slide, double-click to open the Slide Options dialog. There you can re-position each layer and add motion or adjustments to create your own effects. Or, try using a built-in Slide Style like the one shown in the examples here – Scatter from Effects Pack 6.

How to add multiple photos to a slide in ProShow

Using the same drag and drop method, you can add layers to new slides or slides that already contain content. Just drag and drop (with CTRL held down) and add to any slide.

 

Aug
7

Author:

ProShow Podcast Hits 10,000 Downloads

The ProShow Podcast

Thanks for tuning in! Our top-rated ProShow podcast recently hit 10,000 downloads. We hope you’re enjoying learning about ProShow and making great photo slideshows. You can subscribe to our podcast or listen to individual episodes on iTunes here.

If you’re looking for more ProShow training, check out the resources below!

  • ProShow Training on YouTube: Discover hundreds of short and easy to follow training videos, each one focused on a feature or technique in ProShow. You can sort by playlist so you only see videos you’re interested in.

  • ProShow Knowledge Base: Our Knowledge Base is filled with helpful articles and videos, all about ProShow. Whether you need to troubleshoot an issue or are looking for a few slideshow tips, use the Search function or browse by product to find exactly what you’re looking for.

  • Call or Email Photodex Support: Want to speak with a real live human being? We’re here 7-days a week. Give us a ring or shoot us an email. We love working with our customers. Need a quick answer? Shoot us a message on Facebook or Twitter, we’re always online and there for you.

 

Jul
31

Author:

Why ProShow Gold Made TopTenReviews.com

ProShow Gold slideshow software review

Today’s guest post comes from the folks at TopTenReviews.com. A site dedicated to providing objective third-party product reviews to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.

Here at TopTenReviews.com, we reserve the Gold Award for software (and the companies that create them) that exemplifies the best of the best in every criteria used to rate featured products. Our decision to award ProShow Gold with the Gold Award was due largely in part to three major factors: the smooth functionality of its features, overall ease of use, and knowledgeable and timely customer support. Below, we delve deeper into the details that make ProShow Gold shine.

A Plethora of Features

ProShow Gold provides users with many of the essential features that define how quality, slideshow software should function. All in all, ProShow Gold has nearly 300 effects and transitions at your disposal. This allows for the most wide-reaching and comprehensive editing palette of all the applications we tested against ProShow Gold for this review.

What we loved most about this software was the fact that it doesn’t place a limit on the total number of photos or videos you can add to your slideshows. The timeline also allows you to add multiple audio tracks, including voice overs that can be recorded and then synced with your slideshow during the editing process.

Because the latest version of ProShow Gold seemingly overhauled much of its interface, most of the program has now become accessible to all types of users across several skill levels. Additionally, the inclusion of a wizard allows beginners to grab the reins on this program with the same confidence of an advanced user.

ProShow Gold also allows users to import music from multiple sources with a one-click system to streamline the editing process tremendously. And with the help of a DVD-R drive, you can also burn slideshows to hard copy sources, like DVDs and CDs. Completed files can also be exported in a collection of different file formats.

To add a little something extra to your slideshow projects, ProShow Gold has animation options, like timed zoom and tilt/rotate to take presentations to a whole new level. There are also more traditional editing options available including crop, black and white options, as well as red-eye removal.

An Unsurpassed User Experience

As mentioned before, the creators of ProShow Gold have spent a great deal of time and effort reinventing the interface of the program to a point where even the novice user can pick up the basics in a very short period of time.

Just because ProShow Gold offers, literally, hundreds of features and abilities, this doesn’t mean the learning curve is that expansive. With the addition of a wizard function, you can learn the ins and outs of the program or pick and choose specific tutorials to personalize your user experience.
Because of this, ProShow Gold earned the highest scores when it came to overall ease of use and user experience.

Excellent Customer Service and Support

ProShow Gold’s technical support and customer service offerings are absolutely second to none. Aside from a knowledgeable phone and email service that’s available seven days per week, there’s also a library of user manuals, FAQs, and video tutorials constantly at the ready to help answer any questions you may have.

Excellent user experience options, exceptional ease of use, and an expert team of technical support professionals at the helm ready to answer questions and troubleshoot any issues you may encounter are the exact reasons why ProShow Gold is the best slideshow software available in the industry today.

ProShow Gold not only exceeded the majority of TopTenReviews expectations, it completely raised the bar as to what a quality slideshow application can be, thus the Gold Award was a more-than-appropriate response to such a spotless piece of software.

You can read the full review of ProShow Gold on TopTenReviews.com here.

 

How-To + Tutorials

The Big Picture: Watching Your Slideshows in HD

Thursday, August 21, 2014

After nearly 20 years on the market, there is no video format more ubiquitous than the DVD.  Regardless of whether the technologically-challenged members of your family can easily…

Q&A with Jenny Larson of Forever Digital Memories

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A big thank you to everyone that joined me live the last week for my Google+ Hangout on making reunion slideshows for fun and profit. If you didn’t…

ProShow Tip: Adding Multiple Photos to a Slide at Once

Friday, August 8, 2014

Have you ever wanted to add more than one photo or video to a slide? With ProShow it’s easy and it works the same way in both ProShow…

Webinar: Making Reunion Slideshows for Fun and Profit

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Join us on August 6th and 7th for a live Google+ Hangout and webinar about making reunion slideshows with ProShow! Photo organizing expert, Jenny Larson of Forever Digital…