Video Disc Formats for the Legal Practice
by Nolan Church Jr., CLVS
Digitization has revolutionized todays legal practice. Trial presentation programs
like Sanction® and Trial Director®
are powerful tools for organizing your
case materials and presenting them in court but these materials come in a wide variety of
Video File Formats
Is it a DVD or is it a CD? Aren't they the same?
If your computer has the latest software
and hardware it may seem so, but there are some important differences. The "DVD" can
actually be one of two very different things. The Digital Video Disc
contains video information and is played in the DVD player on top of your TV.
The Digital Versatile Disc contains data intended for your computer. They look
just alike and have the same acronym but are very different animals.
Likewise the CD comes in two flavers, data for the computer and audio for your music. Again they have the same name and look just alike.
The "Video" DVD
.. is the highest quality and best choice for playing depositions and other
video recordings to a jury. It is the natural replacement for the VHS tape.
The "Data" DVD.. can contain a variety of data including documents, pictures, transcripts,
synchronization information and of course (to confuse us all ) video!!! This is the type of video (usually MPEG files) you
use in your trial presentation programs. It, along with the "Data" CD, replace the floppy disc.
|The "Data" CD.. contains the same type of computer files as the
data DVD, just a lot less of them. A data CD holds 650 MB equal to about 400 floppy discs
while the data DVD holds about 4 GB or the equivalent of almost 3000 floppies
Now that we understand the various disc formats, lets take a look at the files on them.
The recommended video format for everyday legal work is MPEG1. It is a well supported format across
computer platforms and operating systems. Up to 2 hours or more will fit on a data CD and
CD is the recommended medium for maximum compatibility. It is also the standard for
synchronization of transcript and video for use in trial presentation programs.
Ask your videographer for a "Video" DVD and MPEG1 synchronized with the transcript on a "Data"
CD and you can't go wrong!!!
This format was developed for digital and satellite TV and is used in the "video" DVD
Somewhat lower quality than MPEG2 but much more universally compatible and requires less computing horsepower.
The newest standard from The Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG).
It boasts better quality than MPEG1 and smaller file size than MPEG2.
Microsoft's version of video file compression. Maybe your best choice if you are using
Power Point and Windows®.
The digital video standard. High quality but very large file sizes. This is the
preferred format for most video editing programs.
The original video streaming format for the internet. Widely compatible
across computer platforms and very small file size. Requires Real Player software