Digital video, which has many formats, is a very beneficial tool. Businesses can harness their forgotten power for internet marketing (the 24/7 process of promoting, selling and distributing a product or service on the internet). There is no better way to sell in a global marketplace that makes purchases 24 hours a day than with a well-designed website that includes this beneficial tool. It is also involved in many litigation cases and is quickly making its way in courts around the world.

In the following paragraphs, my goal is to help you understand digital video as it relates to CCTV systems and its many formats.

In its simplest terms, digital video can be defined as video that has been recorded using a software program and stored digitally on a computer. A CCTV system is a computer. That digitized information can be controlled from a computer and displayed directly on a computer monitor.

All current digital video file formats, listed below, are based on PCM, or pulse code modulation. PCM is a digital representation of an analog signal where the magnitude of the signal is regularly sampled at uniform intervals, then quantized into a series of symbols in numerical form (usually based on binary code).

Here is a brief catalog of digital video file types to give you a better understanding of how it is used.

CCIR 601 (or RE 601) is a file used for television broadcast stations due to the conversion of analog and digital television. This digital video file format converts and encodes interlaced analog video signals into digital video.

In the old days, television commercials were first distributed on analog tape and then on digital tape. Today, television commercials can be distributed electronically over wireless networks using digital video technology.

Services like SpotMixer allow companies to create their own commercials online and distribute them through a myriad of mediums, including television and the Internet.

MPEG-4 is good for online distribution of large videos and videos recorded on flash memory. This is a digital format used for video iPods and for uploading to YouTube and other social networks, but keep reading.

MPEG-2 (used for DVD) is a digital file format used to make DVDs. An MPEG-2 digital video file burned to a DVD will play video on a DVD player and on a computer, as long as the computer has the ability to play DVDs. Some computers with older DVD technology will have difficulty reading DVDs that have been recorded with newer technology.

MPEG-1 is used for video CDs and was the first mass-commercialized digital video format. It is rarely used today, but does occasionally appear. Many DVD players will play MPEG-1, but not all can read this digital file format.

H.261 was the first really practical digital video encoding standard. In fact, all subsequent international encoding, such as MPEG-1, H.262, MPEG-2, H.263, MPEG-4, and H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10), have been closely based on the H.261 design, which is now rarely used.

H.263 is a video codec standard originally designed as a low bit rate compressed format for video conferencing. Since then, H.263 has found many applications on the Internet: Much of Flash Video content (as used on sites like YouTube, Google Video, MySpace, etc.) is encoded in this format.

The original version of Real Video (which I recommend you run away from) was based on H.263 until the release of Real Video 8. In other words, I’m telling you about H.263 so you can see the legacy.

H.264, also known as MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC, is the next enhanced codec developed for sharing digital video over the Internet. H.264 provides a significant improvement in capability over and above H.263. The H.263 standard is now considered primarily a legacy design (although it is a recent development).

Most new video conferencing products now include H.264, H.263, and H.261 capabilities. Primeau Productions uses H 264 digital video in a Quicktime format to submit to webmasters for use in encoding Flash video on client websites.

Here’s the bottom line: The above files are created using computers, including CCTV systems, and can be viewed with video editing software and digital video file converters.

H.264 technology is a great starting file format for creating Flash videos. Video editing software programs can generate various sizes of H.264 and can be used in various ways:

1. A source digital video file to create a Flash video for your website

2. A digital video file that can be sent via email

3. A digital video file that can be uploaded to social networks like YouTube, Yahoo, and Viemo

4. To view a summary converted CCTV video codec

Flash video is a web-based digital video player. It is cross-platform, so I recommend using it for delivering digital video content on your website.

Although many editing programs such as Final Cut, Vegas, and Premiere are capable of exporting finished video productions to Flash video (.FLV), there is more to creating a complete Flash video than just the video file.

When a digital video file is created as H.264 (encoded with specifications under 10 minutes and 1 Gig) and uploaded to YouTube, Yahoo, MetaCafe and Viemo, the H.264 file is converted to Flash video during the upload process.

Many services that post PR videos to their websites now only accept Flash Video (.FLV) files. HTML 5 is out now and almost supersedes Flash, but it still has a ways to go.

If you are interested in publishing a Flash video to your website, the following are the components you need in addition to the .FLV video file:

1. The .html part: the html web page that the flash player loads

2. The .swf part: the compiled flash file for the web (contains the flash video player)

3. The .flv portion: the actual video file for the flash player

4. ac_runactivecontent.js – the javascript file that loads the player in browsers

A non-video production based software program created by Adobe called Flash is used to create graphics and video for web sites.

Flash Video is a file format used to deliver videos over the Internet using Adobe Flash Player. The format has quickly established itself as the format of choice for embedded video on the web. Notable users of the Flash Video format include YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo, MetaCafe, Viemo,, and many other news providers.

Flash Video can be viewed on most operating systems, through the widely available Adobe Flash Player.

Lastly, standardized Theora is still under development and not used very often, but it’s worth mentioning to round out your understanding of the various file formats available today.

An important takeaway is an understanding of file formats and the many uses of digital video.