We all know that Flash video is everywhere these days but what surprises me is how little quality control appears to be applied to the footage that big brands push out these days. And I'm not talking about the content but the video itself. The production effort going into these clips is usually very high but what about encoding? Why do I see video which is not deinterlaced time and time again when it's so easy to fix? Aren't the companies behind this footage supposed to be professionals?

How do you spot intelaced video? Easy: "After compression there are lines in my movie".
Interlacing occurs when footage that is shot to be displayed on TV is put on the web without much thought going into the delivery medium. Tradional analogue TV systems such as PAL, Secam and NTSC display an interlaced picture which is made up of individual lines that are added to the screen in odd and even numbers. Without deinterlacing techniques, such an image can show very obvious signs of linear artifacts, especially in high motion sequences.

Examples:
Ikea Business. Nice big Flash video pieces but wait until somebody moves... It looks like this.

Will it Blend. Brilliant site, shame about the stripes (and the iPhone).

I know this article makes me sound like a know-it-all but interlacing artifacts are so easy to spot and mega easy to rectify. Most encoders require you to tick one box and that's it, job done.

Sorenson Squeeze: I think this tool's deinterlacing option is under the Filter Settings.

On2 Flix: Load a video into the tool, then under the file tab click Video Editor, then check the deinterlace checkbox.

Adobe Flash CS3 Video Encoder: Load a file, go to the Video tab, check the deinterlace checkbox (I believe this option is new to CS3).

In my opinion the deinterlace option should be a default. amateurs can be excused for not knowing this and quite honestly it's not a big problem for home movies. But Ikea? And pure video sites such as Will it Blend? Heck even the New York Times sported interlaced video for a while.

So next time your video looks stripy remember to deinterlace.