Choosing the right format or formats 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 view it, then MP4, DVD or BluRay is the best format. So, there are viewing formats and editing formats.
You can have both. You can specify up to 3 different formats on the order form. So, if you want a few viewing formats like MP4 and DVD and then an editing format like HD-AVI or ProRes you can do that.
MP4/HD-MP4 Files. MP4 is replacing DVD and Bluray as the format of choice for easy viewing on the many digital devices including PCs, Macs, Laptops, iPads, Android or Apple phones. You can also upload them YouTube and other sharing sites. In addition, today's smart TVs can play them by either playing them off a USB device or by streaming it to the TV from a computer or the internet.
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) .
There are 3 different types of DVDs and BluRays and it is important to understand them.
1) Retail -These burnable DVDs/BluRays are sold in Retail stores and regardless of brand will have a lifetime of 10 years and may fail as early as 2-5 according to the US National Archives.
2) Professional - These disks are bought in bulk and are primarily used by businesses. They last on average about 25 years.
3) Archival -
These disks are ISO certified and are rated at 100 years or longer.
Most customers might say why would I need an Archival disk? There probably won't even be a player to play them 100 years from now. True, but we get more 8mm film in than any other format. The average age of the 8mm film is 55 years old. If film only lasted 25 years most people that shot on film would have lost those memories forever. This is the reason we recommend getting at least one set of 100-year disks. It will give you time to get them transferred to another format before you can't any more.
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: SD MP4/AVI/MOV, HD MP4/AVI/ProRes, 2K or 4K AVI/ProRes/DPX
Pro 2K Process: SD MP4/AVI/MOV, HD MP4/AVI/ProRes, 2K AVI/ProRes/DPX
Pro HD Process: SD MP4/AVI/MOV, HD MP4/AVI/ProRes
SD Process: SD MP4, AVI, MOV
Pro 2K/4K Scan Process:
2K/4K DPX Master Files. These are professional editing files, 1 file per frame of film. It runs about 2 TB for 1 hour of film at 2K or 4 TB per hour of film at 4K. It does require a computer workstation built for high-end video editing with RAID 0 disks systems to be able to edit them. 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.
2K/4K AVI/ProRes Files. These are slightly compressed 2K/4K resolution files that are much easier to edit than DPX and does not require a full high-end editing workstation. However, you would still need a high-end gaming or consumer video editing machine to edit 2K/4K AVI/ProRes files. 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 MP4, AVI, ProRes or DPX files.
Pro HD Process:
HD-MP4 files. HD-MP4 files are becoming the defacto standard for viewing video on all digital devices. They are quickly replacing DVD and BluRay as the format of choice for viewing video. They can be played on virtually any device like PC, Mac, Laptop to iPad, Android or Apple phones and can be uploaded to streaming sites like YouTube. You can also play them back on a smart TV that has a USB slot or can be streamed to from a computer or the internet.
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.
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.
Writing DVDs. You will be able to write regular DVDs or Blu-Ray DVDs with either the HD-MP4, 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.
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: Music