Recycle unused PCs using ArraySync and older codecs

Not sure what to do with that collection of obsolete PCs gathering dust in the back office? Well wonder no more, because you can put them to work using ArraySync and videos encoded in older QuickTime video codecs.

You may notice that modern videos encoded with H.264 or other contemporary codecs are too much for your old PC or Mac to playback smoothly, but here’s a trick that might save you some money and keep perfectly good systems out of the landfill.

Export your videos using an older codec, such as Sorenson 3, a lower-compression codec that will often play perfectly on your obsolete or outdated computer, albeit take up more hard drive space. Expect your high quality Sorenson 3 version of your video to occupy four times the hard drive space – not ideal for web distribution or storing a collection of films on your primary computer, but often perfectly suitable for a dedicated ArraySync server or client that does nothing other than power a display for this purpose.

In my own little curiosity test, I was able to play an HD 720 video compressed with Sorenson 3 and AAC 256 audio perfectly on an outdated AMD Athlon 2400+ PC with only 256 MB of memory. Lower resolutions would perform even better. I had this setup running for several hours without problems of any sort.

Sorenson 3 and other older codecs are less processor intensive for computers to display, because they have a much lower compression ratio than newer codecs which results in larger file sizes but less work for your CPU to decode and display as a series of moving pictures.

So give it a try, it’s worth a shot!

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