Frustrated by the fact that you can't share your in-game Halo 3 movies without a video capture setup? Bungie is beta-testing a service that will set your clips free, for a price.
When you record a video in Halo 3, it doesn't take up much hard drive space. This is because the video is encoded in game data instead of actual media. When you playback a video, the game renders it in real-time. This is great for sharing your favourite moments with your Xbox Live buddies, but not so good for those wishing to broadcast these moments to the world. Enter Bungie's render-to-video service. First announced in October of last year, the render-to-video service does just what it says. It takes the game data and creates an actual, downloadable video from it. Bungie has wired together a number of rendering systems, lovingly referred to as the Hydra Contraption, which are dedicated to creating such videos for paying customers of their Bungie Pro storage service.
Of course video rendering and file storage aren't free.
On top of the cost of maintaining a Bungie Pro account, those wishing to use the Render-To-Video Feature will have to pay for their files using Bungie Points. Prices and availability are still being determined, but they are leaning towards giving Bungie Pro subscribers a set number of points per month, with high-definition videos costing more to process than standard definition, which certainly makes sense. Users who wish to upload more than their standard point allocation will be able to purchase "point packs".
Bungie is also looking into obtaining enough bandwidth to allow for public video embedding, but for now the service will remain a download only affair.
So how do you get into the beta test of the service? You had to have been a Bungie Pro subscriber as of Monday, May 11th in order to qualify, so needless to say if you aren't in already you probably won't get in. Luckily Bungie only expects the beta test to run until July, so it won't be long before every paying Bungie Pro customer can get in on the action.
Render-to-Video Public Beta [Bungie - thanks Smidget!]