This term refers to digital files on your computer.
Think of the container as a wrapper of a chocolate bar. The chocolate is the actual video and the container gives it a recognisable format. Some examples of a container are .AVI, .MOV, .MP4 and .FLV. Video within a single container can use a vast array of codecs.
A codec is a set of instructions on how the computer should compress and decompress a video file. There are many codecs available, perhaps the most common and well known is Apple's H.264. It is a complex set of instructions which is designed to make the file size of a video tiny, but still retaining its quality. The H.264 codec is usually used in an .MP4 container.
On completion of your film, in order to provide you with the correct files, all we need to know is what you want to use the files for (web etc...) or what container you would like them to have (i.e. .FLV). We will sort out the more complex stuff such as the codec and data rate, so you don't have to worry.
Blu-ray is a new(ish) disc format, designed for use with Full HD video.
HD refers to the size of a video image. Full HD is 1920x1080 in pixel resolution. By comparison DVDs and Standard-Definition television is 720x576 (widescreen is the same size and is 'stretched').
This means that High-Definition has almost 4x the resolution and makes the video look much sharper and defined.
HD is great if you want a Blu-ray disc as part of your production. Video sites such as YouTube are also now supporting HD and we can provide you with the files for uploading them to your site.
DVD is the most common disc format for film and video. It's similar in application to Blu-ray apart from it only supports Standard-Definition video.
We have been creating DVDs for the last 10 years. We design, author, duplicate and print and find that DVD is still a very popular format.
XDCAM is our main recording format.
XDCAM is a recording format which uses a file based recording system. It uses 50GB protected discs, giving up to 185 minutes footage per disc.
We can film in Full HD with chroma subsampling of 4:2:2 (nice, rich colours) or 720p HD at 50fps.
This format will deliver great picture quality and is very versatile and robust.
Commonly known as DigiBeta.
DigiBeta is a high quality Digital Tape format. It was first launched in 1993 and superceded Betacam SP. It's high quality and records 10-bit 4:2:2 chroma subsampling at 90 Mbit/s. It's Standard-Definition only and is used by most television broadcasters. A DigiBeta L tape (L for large) can record up to 124 minutes of footage.
We have extensive knowledge of DigiBeta as we have been working with it for approximately 10 years. We still use our DigiBeta camera, and regulary record to this tape format.
Both DVCAM and MiniDV are derived from a recording standard called DV. Although launched in 1995, it's still used extensively today.
DVCAM is a professional tape format developed by Sony in 1996. It is standard definition and is similar to MiniDV. It advances the DV format by using a locked audio track, meaning that the audio will not go out of sync when several generations of copies are made.
MiniDV was originally developed for cameras used by amateur video makers. Due to their small size they became popular with professional video makers. DVCAM and HDV formats can also be recorded onto MiniDV magnetic tapes.
We have the equipment and technical ability to record onto both DVCAM and MiniDV.
Betacam SP or Beta SP was developed in 1986 and is an advance on Betacam. It was used as standard by most production houses and broadcasters until the late 90's.
The 'SP' stands for 'Superior Performance', giving greater picture quality. The magnetic tapes are similar to Betamax (for those who can remember the VHS/Betamax war!), but they record in very different ways.
We still have Beta SP equipment as this was once our main format and we are able to view and record on this format.
U-matic was introduced in the early 70's and was one of the first video formats to contain videotape inside a cassette.
U-matic tape format was one of the first affordable professional recording formats and had durable plastic cassettes, meaning that it was easy to take on location.
Not much about this format really! It's rare that this format is used today, but if you do stumble upon some legacy footage, then it's good to know that we still have the hardware to play it.
You remember VHS, right? Great fun to pause and watch people dance!
VHS was first introduced in the late 70's and quickly became involved in a format war with betamax. VHS was victorious and quickly flooded living rooms all over the world. It was popular as you could record TV at home, fitting up to a staggering 5 hours on one tape!
We're sure you know everything there is to know about VHS. In the past decade DVD has replaced VHS in almost every living room. We do still have a VHS recorder if required.