The Ins and Outs of Video in Court Reporting

At Ellen Grauer Court Reporting, we strive to be up-to-date on the latest technology in the industry.  Since video is one of the most commonly used formats during depositions, we have highly trained professional videographers available on demand.  In response to our client’s inquiries, Blair Drager, EGCR’s Video Production Specialist, outlines each format in the blog below to help our client’s make informed decisions about their video needs.

The most popular and commonly used format that we offer is the DVD Sync.

This format provides the video, exhibits, and transcript together on one disc.  As the video plays, the transcript scrolls in time on an adjacent screen.  As an exhibit is mentioned during the proceedings, a link is available on the transcript that, when clicked, will open the correlating exhibit in a separate window.  Clients often choose this format because it can be helpful when preparing for trial and also allows for clip editing.

The final product of the DVD Sync loads the video and transcript into its own viewer; a free viewer that doesn’t require purchasing additional software.  The software is already loaded into the DVD SYNC Disc and will install that free software automatically when input into your computer.  This software allows you to view synchronized transcripts, edit video clips, present the clips in the courtroom, and export them directly to case preparation or presentation software. This format will not play on a DVD player; it requires a computer to be viewed. Although this format is not limited to a physical DVD, the files can also be emailed.

Below is a sample view of the final product along with a few brief tags to show the full functionality of the program.

The next format that we offer is a DVD Video, also known as MPEG2.

This is a simple plug and play disc that, when input into either a computer or DVD player, will simply play the video.  This format is similar to a DVD movie from a retail store.  It has the most compatibility but the least functionality.  It can be played on multiple devices, but it cannot be used for synching to a transcript, nor to excerpt clips for trial presentation. 

Each DVD Disc is the Plug & Play version of a tape from the deposition. This format cannot be emailed or uploaded so it is produced and sent out on a physical DVD Video Disc.

Below is an example of what the final product of a DVD video MPEG2 looks like.

Blair SYNC JPEG WITNESS - DVD MPEG2

The least commonly used file option that we offer is the MPEG1.

Since this is also included on the DVD SYNC, most clients do not often request this format by itself.  DVD MPEG1 is a ROM-DISC containing only digital video files on the disc.  Transcript or text synchronization from the deposition is not included.

This format is strictly a computer format, used for loading into legal databases. The client will be provided DVD-ROMs containing “raw” MPEG1 video files. It’s important to note that this format cannot be played on a DVD player. 

The MPEG1 file format is commonly used as a basic load file format for systems including synchronization of video, audio and other data with Compressed Video content and compressed Audio content. What that means is, if you have an in-house video production team, you’d likely request this format.  These files will provide your in-house team with the necessary info to create your own syncs and clips. 

This type of file can be emailed or burned to a DVD-ROM Disc. 

Below is a sample of the files you would receive if you requested MPEG1s.

Blair JPEG WITNESS - MPEG1 Final

All Ellen Grauer Court Reporting videos are securely archived and readily available for purchase at any time after a deposition.  If there are any questions about video formats, or you’d like to clarify your video needs, our video production staff is always available to help you at 212-750-6434.

Blair Drager

Blair Drager, Video Production Specialist