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My experience roughly matches that, @profgreen. The only way I’ve ever made animgifs smaller than the same video in MP4 is to drastically reduce the image quality.
For comparison purposes, I can get a 5 min 720×576 (DVD-PAL) video file down to less than 40 MB at reasonable quality using MP4. The problem is, many participants are not going to have the software or the technical know-how to do that.
That works out to about 8MB per minute. If we have 20 participants, posting an average of 1 minute each for 12 dares, that’s workable.
If the competition turns out to be be more popular (as we all hope!) and we get 30 participants that increases storage needed by 50%. If the videos average longer and take more space per minute (potentially MUCH more) then across the entire competition, the server space needed balloons out of control and the bandwidth used to play the videos increases dramatically too.