The formats are generally divided into viewing formats and editing formats. Viewing formats include DVD, BluRay, MP4 and HD-MP4. Editing formats include, AVI, ProRes and DPX.
Choosing the right format depends on your goal. If you want to be able to delete footage, re-arrange the order, add your own music, etc. then you need an editing format (see below). If you simply want to archive the film and be able to easily play it, then MP4 or our archival DVD or Blu-Ray is the best format.
MP4/HD-MP4 Files. MP4 is replacing DVD and Bluray as the format of choice for easy viewing on the many digital devices in our lives. They can be viewed on PCs, Macs, Laptops, iPads, android or apple phones. They can be uploaded to sharing sites like YouTube and can be streamed or played on TVs setup for streaming or playing from a USB device.
DVD and BluRay. We use Professional Archival DVDs and BluRays. These Archival disks will last 100 years under normal conditions (non-archival DVD-R and BluRay-R disks last about 10 years) . We do include easy listening music on our DVD and BluRay products. If you would prefer not to have music, please let us know when you order.
Example DVD Menu:
- 5 minute chapters
- Thumbnail picture per chapter
- Start on any chapter
We offer the following formats for editing purposes:
Pro 4K Process: HD-MP4, HD-AVI (MJPG), ProRes HQ Files, 2K/4K AVI/ProRes/DPX
Pro 2K Process: HD-MP4, HD-AVI (MJPG), ProRes HQ Files, 2K AVI/ProRes/DPX
Pro HD Process: HD-MP4, HD-AVI (MJPG), ProRes HQ Files
SD Process: MP4, AVI, MOV
Pro 2K/4K Scan Process:
2K/4K DPX Master Files. These are completely uncompressed 2K/4K resolution DPX files. DPX is a professional film scanning industry standard. Beginning with Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5, DPX can be edited natively without any other expensive tools or add-ons. This is the cheapest editing solution for DPX today. DPX is completely uncompressed, is 1 file per frame of film, takes up a lot of disk space (2TB per hour for 2K or 4TB per hour for 4K) and requires a computer workstation made for high-end video editing.
2K/4K AVI/ProRes Files. These are slightly compressed 2K/4K resolution files that are much easier to edit than DPX and are much less demanding on a computer system. AVI uses a Blackmagic MJPG codex. ProRes uses the 422 HQ codec.
HD-AVI and ProRes HQ files: See below.
Writing Disks. You will be able to write widescreen DVDs or BluRays using AVI, ProRes or DPX files.
Pro HD Process:
HD-MP4 files. HD-MP4 files are quickly replacing DVD and BluRay as the format of choice for viewing video. They can be played on virtually any device from PC to Mac, Laptop to iPad, Android or Apple phones and can be uploaded to YouTube and other streaming sites. You can also play them back on a TV that you can stream to or that has a USB connection (so you can connect a thumb drive to the TV).
HD-AVI files. HD-AVI (Motion-JPEG or MJPG codec) files are considered a good master quality format for the average consumer. AVI has been the industry standard for decades and HD-AVI follows in those footsteps. Our HD-AVI files are mostly intended for editing on a PC but will generally work on a Mac as well. If you need help calculating the disk space you'll need for the transfer, click here. Download a small (1 second, 12MB) example of typical 8mm film here. Download a larger (15 second, 170MB) example of typical 8mm film here.
Apple ProRes 422 HQ files. Apple ProRes HQ 422 files are considered a good master quality format for the average consumer. These files are most intended for editing on a Mac using Final Cut Pro but they work with Premiere Pro or Sony Vegas on PCs. They will work with the latest version of iMovie as well. If you need help calculating the disk space you'll need for the transfer, click here. Download a small (3 second, 39MB) example of typical 8mm film here.
Writing DVDs. You will be able to write regular DVDs or Blu-Ray DVDs with either the HDV, HD-AVI or ProRes files.
MP4, AVI, MOV files on an external Hard Drive. You must ship us an external hard drive or purchase one on the order form if you choose AVI/MOV files. Our AVI files are compatible with all Mac and PC editing tools. MOV files can only be used on a Mac. If you need help calculating the disk space you'll need for the transfer, click here.
DVD and an Editing Format
You may want to consider getting a copy on a playable DVD in addition to the format you choose to edit from. This way you archive the film and have a format you can edit. If you want to do this, choose the format for editing as the master format and the DVD as the copy format on the order form. Our copies are master quality. We go back to the master file and completely render the video to the copy format. We never make one format using another (making the DVD from MiniDV tape) like many other companies do. So, we charge a little more but the quality will be better.
Sample DVD/BluRay Music