Nathan Stars on YouTube

YouTube is a community based site where anyone can upload video and share them with friends and other members of the site. Since I don’t have a whole lot of bandwidth available for this site, it’s a great way to allow you all to see video of Nathan.

October 14th will be his first birthday, so it’s a good time to see just how he’s progressed since he was born.

The video was taken with my digital camera, and then converted to a format convenient for YouTube using VirtualDub, a free tool to edit and convert video. The problem with digital cameras is that they’re generally not as good at making the most of light conditions – not having the complex electronics for shooting video like camcorders have. With VirtualDub, I can post-process the images and improve levels (lighting) and sound. Digital camera films often suffer from noise too (graininess) so I cleaned this up using a filter in the software. Since the original was at 640×480 and the YouTube version is at 320×240 I have effectively discarded 3/4 of the original information, but the quality improvement given the filters makes it easier on the eye. Let me know what you think.


  1. “Cos there’s a baby on board,
    That I adoreeeeee!”

    😀 A very smooth clip despite YouTube’s conversion. Nice job.

  2. Simon

    3/10/2006 at 10:38 am

    Hi Robbeh,

    Thanks for commenting and welcome! I’m not really sure about the YouTube conversion method, but they suggested preparing a clip at 320×240 in MPEG4 (DivX or XviD). I use XviD all the time for this kind of thing, so that’s what I used. It’s great because the film out of my camera takes up about 400Mb @ 640×480 whereas the XviD @ 320×240 takes about 40Mb, but it’s just as “watchable” even if it’s not as detailed as the original.


  3. Yup it’s Wilson. I play indoor volleyball in winter with the school. And Wilson was the best volleyball picture I could find.

    I’ve tried uploading some of my friend’s clips of me playing volleyball, the quality is watchable but it looks like blobs jumping around rather than human forms playing a game. 😀 Here’s one:

  4. Simon

    3/10/2006 at 1:34 pm


    Willllsoooonnnnn !

    The video looks OK to me. At least the camera remained static, which is essential when filming sport unless you have a very good cameraman with good handheld or tripod technique.

    Sport is always worst served by digital compression techniques, because there are a lot of differences between each frame. This is especially true in team sports like volleyball where a lot of people will move from frame to frame. Tennis tends to suffer less, if the camera point is fixed.


  5. Lovely! This was quite jerky and slow when I tried to sneak a watch at work but it is much more even at home. The music brought back our two weeks with Nathan in August! He seemed to say “table” at one point too.
    Its a good idea to be able to see what he is up to and also Yasmina and you. See you have a new rug in the lounge!

    Funeral was yesterday, I spoke for a short while then back to 23 Pasture Road after the service. About 100 or so people there. Burial at the new annexe to the graveyard by Fearnhill but now next to the 2 Chimneys. Bit bleak, bulldozers and tractors still landscaping. Dave brought me an orchid round today whilst I was at work in memory and we took some tulips away yesterday as did everyone for planting in memory. Mark etc sent best wishes.
    Love Mum

  6. Simon

    6/10/2006 at 10:15 am

    Hi Mum,

    Very observant of you about the rug :-). I’m not sure he says “table”. I sometimes imagine he has repeated words we say, but there is no real sign that he’s actually used a word to indicate something. He does a lot of pointing and vocalising “da” at the same time though.


  7. Happy Belated Birthday, Nathan!

    He is adorable! It’s fun to see him in action. 😉

  8. Simon

    19/10/2006 at 9:56 am


    Great to see you still drop by, sorry that updates are few and far between lately.

    Glad you liked the video.