Jargon buster

Our technical service is full of jargon that may mean little or nothing to the layperson visiting our site. We want to deliver a clear uncomplicated service for our clients and we have a set standard for each of the products we provide. So here is our Scanning jargon buster, if there is anything you want us to include – tell us!

The vast majority of calls we get are about the differences between jpeg and tif so a brief explantation is given below together with links for you want to delve deeper.

jpeg – This is a form of image compression used to save computer memory and make your pictures easy to handle on your computer, tv or on the internet. At the time of writing most images from your digitial cameras will be saved as jpegs. This is the most common format we provide to our customers. https://techterms.com/definition/jpeg On our memory sticks we provide a set of jpegs for tv, computer and archive plus a set for using on the internet to share with friends family and colleagues.

Tiff – This is an uncompressed format with higher colour depth than jpeg. The files are larger, take more disk space and more difficult to handle. These are often preferred by professional photographers as the editing can be more precise than with jpeg. https://techterms.com/definition/tiff

USB stick – These are memory sticks which plug into your computer, or modern DVD player or TV. They are easy to handle and can hold much more data than dvd’s. We use these for all of our digital projects but can provide dvds by request.

Standard 8mm was the original popular cine format. The frame is smaller than Super 8mm. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_8_mm_film

Super 8mm film was the successor to regular, or standard 8mm. This was a very popular format. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_8_film

VHS was the large tape format popular in the 80’s 90’s and early 21st century. Lots of people have family movies in this format transferred from their video camera. NOTE – if you have the original camera film we can use that in preference to the vhs copy. The VHS copies are usually inferior and if we can use the source material results may be way better.

Betamax – A better quality recording format than VHS but in the vhs / betamax war – betamax came second. We may be able to copy betamax tapes, depending on their quality. A lot of material we have received has demonstrated excessive deterioration with the oxide literally falling off the tapes and ruining our equipment.

Digital-8, Hi-8 mini-dv. These are much smaller tapes than the vhs and betamax alternatives and are our favourite formats to work with. The quality is good and generally provides a better result that the VHS tapes.

As you can see from above – technology changes and will continue to change. We aim to keep on top of the changes and stay as up to date as possible.

If there is something you don’t understand or are concerned about do not hesitate to give us a call or even drop by for a chat. We have customers from all over the UK and Ireland who drop their material off in person, yes even in these trying times!


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David – last updated January 2021