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Transcoding technical services (video, audio, image)

A service to transfer old, obsolete or diminishing formats in video, audio and image technologies to up-to-date digital formats to preserve the material in currently viable states to preserve them for the future

Transcoding technical services

There are many different types of video, audio, and image formats extant, and not all are easily manipulated, transferable or appropriate for use in the lecture theatre, or for a presentation, or a business meeting.

Media Services, being staffed by experts in the field of video, photography and audio, are knowledgeable in the editing, storage, transcoding and transfer of all the major formats currently in use, as well as older formats no longer widely in use. Examples of current transcoding or transfer activities which can be undertaken by the team are:

  • VHS transfer to DVD, BluRay, or computer file for classroom presentations (typically a clip from the original VHS file) (see NB1)
  • DVD transfer to computer file for classroom presentations (see NB1)
  • Analogue audio cassette to digital computer file (typically ‘CD’ format 44.1 Khz 16bit) or MP3 audio (the audio format most currently–used on smart-phones, Ipods, or computer audio files) (see NB1)
  • Minidisk digital audio file to computer digital file (see NB1)
  • High resolution digital video files to web-appropriate formats such as MP4 video
  • Video file types (Such as QuickTime)  to a Windows Media Player format for inclusion in a classroom presentation
  • Analogue 35mm negatives, slides, prints, contact sheets to digital images
  • Glass-plate negatives to prints or current digital image formats (Jpeg, Tiff)

Other formats and file types can also be transferred, go to the appropriate section of the Media Services Booking form  and put the format you wish to transcode from in the section ‘Transcoding Technical Services’ and we will respond.

An outline of possible costs that might be incurred for some transfers of material are detailed on this link: Costs for transcoding services

NB1 It may not be possible to transcode from an original VHS tape , audio cassette, reel to reel audio tape, or other older format if the material on it is currently available in a later format on a current format, such as DVD or Compact disk (CD). Copyright laws state that the transfer is not allowed legally unless copyright has lapsed, was originally recorded from a public broadcast, or the copyright owner has given permission for the transfer to occur. If the conditions for legal transfer are not met, then Media Services will not be able to undertake copies of such copyright material, as to breach this would be a reputational issue for the college

NB2 In busy times, especially during term times, a solution may be for the department to pay for an assistant to carry out the transcoding under the supervision of one of the permanent members of Media Services staff, which would be quoted for and organised by the Media Services manager

Contact Mansour Shabbak on 020 7631 6133, or email 

m.shabbak@bbk.ac.uk