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FAQ - What files do I send and what's the best way?

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What files do I send and what's the best way?
For the best results, always provide your files in their native format. DO NOT CONVERT OR EDIT YOUR FILES BEFORE SENDING THEM TO US. This is because common formats toss out details to save space (lossy) and, every time you resave a file, you degrade its forensic value. The loss in quality is similar to a fax of a fax. Copying a file is fine, just not re-saving or editing it.

Simply copy the desired files directly from the Digital Video Recorders (DVR), Network Video Recorders (NVR) or audio recorder on to a computer thumb drive or data CD/DVD. Whenever possible, send us the raw files so we can provide the maximum benefit. If you absolutely must "export", "save as", or "convert" video files, then try EVERY option available on that recorder, and then mail or upload all of these versions so we can select the best format to work with. If you need assistance, call (818) 375-1700 or email us.

Best results are achieved from videos that:
• Are too dark, or too bright, to see events, objects or people.
• Have video noise or streaks that prevent a clear view of the objects or persons of concern.
• Are out of focus or suffer from focus and/or motion blur.
• Have slatted fencing, or other foreground object, that prevents a full view of a moving person.
• Need higher resolution to identify parked cars or people.
Minimal results are achieved from videos:
• When the object to be enhanced is extremely small, fuzzy and barely distinguishable.
• When working from a recording of a recording (i.e. camcorder aimed at DVR playback screen).
Still images can always be extracted from any video

NERDY NOTE: MPEG (e.g. MPG, MP2, MP4, MOV, VOB, h.264 or h.263 file extension) is the dominant choice for surveillance video. MPEG offers superior size/quality ratios by periodically saving the full camera image and then only saving "what changed" until the next full image. On playback, the video is reconstituted into a complete scene in every frame. Each successive generation and variation of MPEG reduces file size by detecting repetitive image patterns (lossless), removing details the human eye may not notice (lossy), and replacing details with predictive estimates (potentially very lossy). With so many variants, each manufacturer can, and often do, create their own compression method. Unless you have this CoDec (compression - decompression) software, your computer will not know how to read the video file's contents. Sometimes the DVR's video appears to be unplayable because it is within a proprietary format and you don't have the required CoDec.

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