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 our archival DVD or BluRay is the best format. 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.
HD-AVI editing files. HD-AVI (Motion-JPEG or MJPG codec) files are considered a good quality format for editing on today's PCs or Macs. 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 you'll need for the transfer, the online quote tool (and order form) will estimate it for you.
Apple ProRes 422 HQ editing files. Apple ProRes HQ 422 files are considered a very good 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 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, the online quote tool (and order form) will estimate it for you.
DPX Uncompressed 4:4:4 2K/4K master files. Working with DPX fully uncompressed 2K/4K files today requires access to professional post production tools (Diamant, Film Fix, Moving Image Retoucher or Autodesk tools). DPX is an intermediate file format intended for further work (dust busting, color correction, etc.) at an editing studio. Some customers that want a master of their film will order 2K DPX files even though they can't work with them today. Eventaully your average PC or Mac will be able to work with DPX files.The Disk space required for 2K DPX is about 1TB per hour of film. 4K DPX files require about 4TB per hour of film. You must ship us an external hard drive or purchase one on the order form if you choose DPX files. If you need help calculating the disk space you'll need for the transfer, the online quote tool (and order form) will estimate it for you.
DVD and BluRay
You may want to consider getting a copy on a playable archival DVD or BluRay in addition to the format you choose to edit from. This way you can easily view the film on DVD or BluRay and have a format you can edit from.