I just got this email:
Recommendations for Formatting Video Podcasts
1. If you’re encoding your video podcast at 320×240, please increase the resolution to either 640×480 or 640×360 (depending on the aspect ratio of your source files). Why? Because video podcasts at this resolution look great on Apple TV and still port to video iPods. Lower resolution podcasts might also work on both platforms, but they don’t look nearly as good on a widescreen TV.
Hmm remind me to avoid video podcasts that follow Apple’s advice (which will be probably most of them). My poor not-20Mb-more-like-512Kb bandwidth can’t afford the hammering from many fullscreen podcasts, even at MPEG4. And a lot of the other players can do video now, in fact most of the Flash players did so before Apple, and Archos too. And I bet they can’t cope with video that size…And I don’t remember my dear-departed iPod liking anything but 320×240 without a loooooooooooong iTunes conversion process. So long I gave up with video on my iPod.
Oh and I like ‘but it doesn’t look good on a widescreen TV’ – as if that’s the be-all and end-all of life?
They do add at the end:
Of course these are just recommendations. We understand that there are good reasons for 320×240 (bandwidth bills) and 720p (looks fantastic). Do whatever makes the most sense for your show.
God forbid you create your podcast/video blog to suit Apple…