Re: THAC XII - Coming January 2015!
Internet speed could give an advantage of 1 or 2 hours for some.
Even on modern dial-up internet it shouldn't take more than 4 minutes to upload a megabyte of film (33kb/s upload speed roughly), meaning you could upload a 15MB film in around an hour. On older contests we used to require that films be less than 3MB per minute, and people still managed to submit at reasonable SD quality.
People with more LEGO can build better sets and people with large families may have better access to voice actors, but there's no setting a level playing field here- what it boils down to is that folks need to do the best with what they have. We can't have people submitting films that are borderline unwatchable because of compression and then releasing a crystal clear version to the public during the judging period for the reasons Smeagol mentioned. It's having your cake and eating it too. If someone wants to make a prettied up version of their film after the judging is over, that's completely fine.
The fact of the matter is that if you're uploading your film at 144p, you need to give yourself more time because you're uploading at a standard below what was used 10 years ago when we had rules regarding max file sizes as half the site was still on 56k.