Deposition Video Formats – What format do I want? Many times at the conclusion of a deposition when I ask the attorney what format they would like to receive their deposition in, I get the blank stare and the response, “what are my options and what is the difference?”  I will go through my usual spiel (“well, you can get an MPEG-1, a video synch or a regular DVD”), at which point I am usually directed to call the attorney’s paralegal or “tech guy.”  To help in the decision making, here’s a quick summary of the three most popular formats and what they do…
  • MPEG-1 :  These files have the smallest file size, but also the lowest resolution and lowest quality.  Think VHS quality.  The standard resolution size of an MPEG-1 is 352×240 pixels.  The advantage of this format is the smaller file size will enable you to fit an entire day’s deposition on a single DVD.  Because of the lower resolution, it is not the best format for viewing various exhibits such as photos, x-rays or other fine documents. This format is the most commonly used by makers of various trial presentation software packages (Trial Director, Summation, Livenote, etc.).  A disadvantage of this format is that you will have to use a computer to watch the video as it is not compatible with standard DVD players.  This format is currently the most common deliverable.
  • MPEG-2 (DVD) :  This is the standard used on the DVDs (not BluRay) that you rent or buy at Walmart.  It has better resolution (720×480 pixels) and is compatible with standard DVD players.  Because of the larger file size, MPEG-2 DVDs are limited to about 2 hours per DVD.  An all day deposition will take up 3-4 DVDs.  The higher resolution makes this format ideal for viewing the exhibits that MPEG-1 isn’t cut out for (X-rays, documents, photos, etc.).
  • Video-Transcript Synchronization :  This will likely be the most useful format, especially if the deposition video will be used in court.  Like the title suggests, the imgDepoView1video and transcript are synched up in special software that will allow you to watch the video on one side of the screen as the transcript scrolls on the other side.  This makes it much easier to follow along, especially with a witness who was hard to understand.  If exhibits were marked and mentioned in the transcript, those can be added as well.  When an attorney mentions “exhibit one”, there will be a hyperlink added.  Click on the link and Exhibit One will open on the screen.  The software included with the Sync will allow you to make your own clips, especially useful in trials or hearings to impeach a witness’ testimony. Again, these are the three most popular deliverable formats.  If there is another format that you require, just let us know.  We can deliver it.