Choosing the right format depends on your goal. If you want to be able to pick out scenes for a custom DVD you would produce, delete unwanted footage, make your own DVDs, etc., then you need an editing format (see below). If you simply want to archive the video and be able to easily play it, then our DVD (holds 2 hours) or BluRay (holds 4 hours) is the best format.
There are 3 types of DVDs and BluRays. They are 1) Retail, 2) Professional and 3) Archival. Retail disks will have a lifetime of 10 years and may fail as early as 2-5 according to the US National Archives. Professional disks are made with better dyes and material and will generally last 25 years on average. Archival DVDs and BluRays are ISO certified and are rated at 100 years or longer. We offer both 25-year and 100-year DVDs and 25-year and 200-year BluRays. We do not use Retail disks.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that 25-year disks will be long enough. Our biggest volume format we convert today is VHS. Most of these tapes are over 25 years old. The advantage of a 100-year/200-year disk is that you don't have to worry about when it gets converted. It will give you and your family the time you need to convert it to another format.
Example DVD Menu:
- 5 minute chapters
- Thumbnail picture per chapter
- Start on any chapter
We offer the following formats for editing purposes:
Pro HD Process: 720p HD-AVI (MJPG Codec), 720p ProRes
SD & Pro SD Process: 480 line AVI (DV Codec), 480 line MOV (DV Codec)
Pro HD Process:
HD-AVI master files. HD-AVI (Motion-JPEG or MJPG codec) files are considered a very good master quality format. AVI has been the industry standard for decades and HD-AVI follows in those footsteps. Our HD-AVI files are compatible with all Mac (iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express) and PC editing tools. If you need help calculating the disk space the order form will calculate it for you or click here.
Apple ProRes master files. Apple ProRes files are considered a very good master quality format very similar to our HD-AVI files. These files are intended to be used with Final Cut Pro only. If you only plan to edit in Final Cut Express or iMovie it is recommended that you order HD-AVI or MOV files instead. These can be imported without issue into Final Cut Express or iMovie. However, you can edit ProRes in Final Cut Express or iMovie with the right codec pack and Quicktime components. Please contact Apple technical support for details. If you need help calculating the disk space you'll need for the transfer, click here.
Writing DVDs. You will be able to write regular DVDs or BluRay disks from HD-AVI or ProRes files.
SD & Pro SD Process:
AVI files: You must ship us an external hard drive or purchase one on the order form if you choose AVI files. Our AVI files are compatible with all Mac and PC editing tools. If you need help calculating the disk space the order form will calculate it for you or click here.
MOV files: You must ship us an external hard drive or purchase one on the order form if you choose quicktime MOV files. MOV files are intended to be used in either iMovie, Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro. If you need help calculating the disk space the order form will calculate it for you or click here.
DVD/BluRay and an Editing Format
You may want to consider getting a copy on a playable DVD/ BluRay in addition to the format you choose to edit from. This way you archive the video 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/BluRay 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 like many other companies do. So, we charge a little more but the quality will be better.