YesLaw Online

Is DVD Dead?


The number one web activity for all web users is viewing of streaming video content. Although DVD is not dead yet it, the majority of users are moving away from DVD video delivery of content. The world has become accustom to having this immediate streaming access to video content on any device, TV, tablet or phone.

Broadcast and consumer markets have been steadily moving towards mmeting the demand for streaming delivery of content. Streaming services and devices are abundant; Youtube, Netflix streaming, Amazon, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Hulu, just to name a few.

Q: Where does this leave the legal videographer and delivery of deposition video going forward? Is DVD dead for deposition content?

A: Not yet, but it’s not hard to see it coming sooner than later.

Online video access alone is not appropriate for the courtroom or mediation. Dependence on an internet connection to deliver deposition testimony into a courtroom can reduce the effectiveness of presenting video to the judge and jury.   No problem, YesLaw Online provides fast download of selected clips for playback from a local storage device. It’s the best of both worlds, online access to case material with local storage of selected content and playback without an internet connection in the courthouse.

YesLaw expanded its online video technology to include synched video download. Delivery of video with synchronized captions no longer requires physical delivery of a disc. Fast download of just what is needed or download the entire deposition.

This new download feature eliminates the requirement for disc delivery of video. YesLaw Online now enables attorneys and other legal professionals to work with video more efficiently, to collaboratively edit video online and then export video clips for trial, mediation and settlement.

With the added security requirements that attorneys expect, YesLaw Online provides encrypted download of a variety of video formats. Available formats include MPEG2 (if original upload is MPEG2), MPEG1, MPEG4, and WMV, each is transcoded and delivered to any internet connected device. Attorneys using the YesLaw Online interface may search, create a clip, and download directly to their iPad, desktop or laptop. The file is then stored locally and is ready for playback with captions, independent of an online connection.

YesLaw has provided industry standard deposition video on CD and DVD for over 12 years. When disc was a quantum leap over tape technology we provided the tools. The next leap will be streaming delivery and once again we are providing the software to meet the change.


YesLaw® provides software for the advanced publishing and delivery of deposition content as PDF transcripts, synchronized video and with the YesLaw Online repository. Users can review, search, highlight, edit, and download transcripts, documents, and now video.

 Over 600 reporting firms are publishing over a million depositions per year with YesLAW® technology. To learn more, or become a reseller visit:

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Posted in Attorneys, ipad video, Legal Video, streaming video, Synchronized Legal video, trial presentation, Trial technology, Uncategorized

A true story of ill-behaved MPEG files

Here’s the story…

An in-house Trial tech was provided MPEG-1 video files for upcoming trial, naturally just the week before Monday court date. With everything else going on, the trial tech outsourced the job to be synchronized. But while attempting to play back video clips in presentation mode, the video would “freeze”, would not play, no video, no audio. We call such MPEG files ill-behaved because the file if played from beginning to end, may very well play back without issue, but if you are trying to play selected portions of the video with in and out points (clips), the video will not work. Variable bit rate encoding is often blamed and can be the cause, but it is not the only issue we see.

Anyone working as a trial tech knows to check the video playback before you get into the courtroom. Fortunately these problematic videos were caught in advance by the tech. The hope was that the videos could be “corrected” without re-synchronizing.  Fortunately in this case it was possible to re-encode the video, give it the exact same name as the original video file(s) and just substitute the “well behaved” video for the problematic ones.

A New Trend
When this problem is brought to the attention of our tech support team, the first question is always: “where did this video come from?” Well, the videos in this case were a new trend for video which is to record streamed video. The recorded stream was provided to a videographer for synchronization as an ASF file (think wrapper – who knows what’s inside).

In this case the video was processed into an MPEG-1 file using a Mac and StreamClip. We have not had a positive user experience with such files. They look good and play well within QuickTime within Mac OSX, but are quite ill-behaved when played within DirectShow (roughly Windows equivalent to QuickTime). If the attorneys are using Windows software for  trial video preparation or presentation, they are using DirectShow infrastructure.

A file that plays fine within a Mac will not necessarily play well within a PC. Simply starting to play a file from the beginning is inadequate to test how well a file will behave in trial prep/presentation software.

The Solutions
The first set of  deposition video files were “corrected” with a pass through TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5 which is our go-to tool for creating “well behaved” video files. You can only use this method to re-encode the original video that was used to create the synchronized transcript,  to ensure that the file length and start time are matching.

*(TIP)You’ll have better re-encode if you remove a couple of frames from the beginning of the file to force TMPGEnc to remux  (think reconstruct the file from scratch). Two frames are approximately 1/15th of a second so the synchronized transcript is not affected.

The second set of deposition video files had audio-to-video sync issues. Unfortunately this will become increasingly common as video is passed through highly compressed MPEG-4 stages during production, as was this source streamed ASF file. I often see such audio-to-video sync issues when I watch high-def television and the lips don’t match the audio. This  too was corrected with TMPGenc using the “Audio Gap” feature you will see on the Clip Addition Cut-edit window. Either increase the audio gap to delay the audio with respect to the video or move the video forward. Or decrease the audio gap to delay the video with respect to the audio.

*(TIP) The “Audio Gap” function  provides ms (millisecond) precision, but to my untrained eye, it takes a couple hundred millisecond adjustments to see the change clearly. You’re not going to see a 1 ms nidge (think less than a tiny nudge).

Luckily we sync to the audio and audio is the master time keeper within the video files so very often no sync redo’s are required. Just swap out the video files being sure to name the corrected file exactly as the bad file was named.

Quality control 
It is important to fully QC a file, so your clients don’t have problems.

1) On a computer other than the computer on which the file  was created check the finished disc for functionality. Your production computer may have CODEC’s that allow a file to play that are not on the end user’s standard windows computer.

2) Establish  ”standard delivery” output profiles for various delivery formats, i.e. MPEG1, MPEG2 and MPEG4. Test your standard delivery by making a clip or a few clips to check functionality. And whenever you change from your standard delivery output, test for clip functionality.After all playing clips is the most common use of synchronized video, rarely is an entire deposition played from start to finish.

Although an unanticipated problem can be an opportunity to go “above and beyond” to help a client, repeated problems are a reason for the client to find another vendor.

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Posted in Attorneys, Legal Video, Synchronized Legal video, trial presentation, Trial technology

New Features in YesLaw Transcript software

If you are a YesLaw Transcript software user we have a new release that you will be prompted to download. You may skip the update but if you accept the update there are a whole list of new features. If you are not currently a user this is in no way a complete list of features but you may find some abilities that you wish your production software included.

It has been a while since our last Transcript Generator release so this release is loaded with new features. Here is a quick summary of the new features. Each feature is described in more detail below the summary list.

Included in this release 3/19/2013:
• Option to attach condensed transcript inside full-sized transcript (a single PDF file contains both full and condensed transcript)
• Custom Cover Page configuration and review tab within Template Editor
• Custom Disc Label configuration and review tab within Template Editor
• Custom disc label PDF file creation for standard disc sticky label printer stock
• Custom disc label graphic file creation for disc labeling
• Automated disc dispatch to robotic disc burners
(Primera – PTBurn Server and Epson – Total Disc Bridge currently supported)
• Option to paginate word index with (caps or lowercase) Roman numerals
• Option to paginate word index with continuous numbering
• Support for many additional ALL CAPS replacement fields
• Additional {{format3}} replacement option
• Independent on/off control of top, bottom, left and right page borders
• Configurable default additional files location: current transcript directory or last additional files directory

Option to Attach the Condensed Transcript to the Full Size Transcript File
The Transcript Generator now allows users to create a single PDF file that includes both the full size and condensed transcripts. The condensed transcript can now be optionally attached to the full size transcript along with (optionally) the MDB, LEF, AMICUS and ASCII transcripts. Some prefer to deliver a complete transcript package with both full and condensed in a single PDF file.
Index Pagination with Roman Numerals and Continuous Numbering with Transcript
Among the more minor improvements to the Transcript Generator is the option of lowercase or uppercase Roman numeral numbering of index pages. Also index pages can be numbered consecutively with the transcript pages or can begin at one and can include preceding text such as an “i” for index or the word “index.” The numbering options now include: 1, 2, 3… and i, ii, iii… and I, II, III… and i1, i2, i3… and index 1, index 2, index 3…
Individual Border Configuration
Previously the Transcript Generator allowed 4-side page borders, left-right page borders, or no page borders. This new version allows individual enabling/disabling of the left, right, top, and bottom page borders.
Default Additional Files Location
The Transcript Generator now provides the ability to select a default location for additional files to be uploaded or added to disc deliverable. The default location selections include the current source transcript directory or the last location browsed for additional files. It’s a simple item requested by a user to speed transcript production.
Additional ALL CAPS Replacement Fields
Users also requested some additional ALL CAPS format replacement fields that have been added to the replacement fields available.
Custom Cover Page Configuration Tab
The Transcript Generator provides two cover page options. The first option reproduces the caption page but nudges it upward slightly to allow the addition of a branding graphic banner below. The second option – the custom cover page option – allows users to select a background graphic and then apply selected job-specific text using replacement fields over the background graphic. This release includes an updated Cover Page tab that allows both selection of the text applied, font and font size as well as graphical review of the resulting cover page.
Custom Disc Label Creation
Entering job information into a stand-alone disc label application is time consuming and error prone – not efficient. This release of the Transcript Generator will produce both a customized graphic file to be used with your own labeling application as well as two PDF files that can be printed to the two standard CD/DVD disc sticky labels. Each can be customized with a background graphic and contains job specific text information (case, witness, proceeding date, job number, etc.. The Template Editor Disc tab allows selection of the background graphic, placement of the job-specific text on the disc auto-filled with replacement fields, and the font, color and size of the text fields. The label can be reviewed before producing files by clicking the Review Label… button added to the third production wizard page.
The two disc label PDF files are created in the DiscMenu folder when creating a disc image. The files are named AlignLabel.pdf and OffsetLabel.pdf. The disc label graphic file is also created within the DiscMenu folder as a file named DiscLabel_xxxxxx_xxx.bmp. The complicated name is to ensure it is unique for robotic burn dispatch. The template editor allows entry of nudge factors to fine tune the image placement on the printout to allow for subtle printer differences.
To further increase efficiency, disc production can be reduced to a single click utilizing robotic disc burners that burn the files to the disc and then label the disc surface.
Disk Label Configuration

Disk Labels PDF File – Offset Labels

Disk Labels PDF File – Aligned Labels

Automated Disc Dispatch to Robotic Disk Burners
This version of the YesLaw Transcript Generator premiers an important, new time-saving feature – robotic disc burner support. The software will now automatically burn and label CD/DVD discs using a robotic burner to speed your disc deliverable production. Disc images may now be dispatched to a network-shared, robotic burner including the customized disc label.
Currently the only robotic burners supported are Primera robotic burners running their “PTBurn™ Server” software and the Epson Discproducer Series burners running their TD Bridge software. We do not recommend a particular robotic burner as we are not entirely happy with any of the available options, however these are currently used by our customers. We will entertain support for additional options upon request.
Before you can use the Transcript Generator disc dispatch function, you will need connect the robotic burner to a networked computer, install and configure the PTBurn Server software on that computer, disable “disc autoplay” on that computer, and provide network access and privileges to the location where the disc images will be created by each production client machine. Then you will need to browse to and select the PTBurnJobs folder within the Template Manager of the Transcript Generator software (Tools > Template Management > Discs).
The PTBurn Server software runs in the server computer connected to the robotic burner and monitors a PTBurnJobs drop folder that can be shared on the network such that multiple production machines may utilize a single burner or group of burners. Job request files are dropped into this PTBurnJobs folder, and the PTBurn Server software queues and processes the jobs in priority order. The job request files are simple text files that includes a list of files (file paths) to be burned to the disc. Note that the Job request file includes a path to the files and not the files themselves. The computer hosting the PTBurn Server software must have network and privileges access to the location of the files to be burned.
A job is submitted to the burner by copying a job request file into the PTBurnJobs drop folder. Upon submittal of the job request file, the filename has a JRQ extension, but the PTBurn Server software changes the extension to QRJ upon recognizing the job. The extension is changed to INP to indicate the job is “in progress” and then changed to DON when the job is “done.” An ERR extension indicates that an error occurred while attempting to process the job. If the job request file includes a path that cannot be accessed by the server computer, the job will result in an error.
Other disc burn jobs can also be created with the PTBurn Client software and SureThing CD Labeler software that comes with the purchase PTBurn Network Software package. The PTBurn Client and Labeler software allows a user to create and dispatch a job request to the burner. The Transcript Generator automates the job creation function without requiring the Client and Labeler software. However the Client software does allow remote monitoring of the job queue and burner status.
Making the robotic burner server computer available on the network requires the production computers have access to the PTBurnJobs drop folder. And the Server computer must have access to the location of the files to be burned.
The printed disc surface is configurable with a starting color background graphic and customized text fields. The text fields can be a combination of static text and job-specific replacement fields. The disc surface label is configured within the Template Manager under the Disc tab.
Anticipating some of your questions:
Can additional files not produced by the Transcript Generator be included on the discs burned?
Yes, the additional files option allows you to add files not created within the Transcript Generator.
Can I have the Transcript Generator create the “job” but add files to the disc image folder later?
Yes, enter the share drive drop folder location as a directory on your computer and not the folder being “watched” by PTBurn Server. Add any files as necessary to the disc image folder. When you are ready, copy and paste the JRQ file from your folder into the drop folder or watched folder (PTBurnJobs). Copying the JRQ file into the watched folder will trigger creation of the disc. The JRQ file only includes the path to the disc image folder and not a list of the files to be burned so you may embellish the disc image as you wish with additional files up until you copy the JRQ file into the PTBurnJobs folder.
Do I have to go through the Transcript Generator to burn additional discs at a later time?
The JRQ file and Disc Label file are copied into the DiscMenu folder within the disc image. As long as you retain/archive the disc image in its current location, you may burn additional discs using the JRQ file by copying it to the PTBurnJobs folder.

Posted in Uncategorized, YesLaw PDF Transcripts

Creating MPEG-4 Files for Playback within iPads

Although deposition video is normally produced in MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 format for compatibility with litigation preparation and presentation software, neither of these formats will play within an iPad.  If the attorney would like to play the video on their iPad, the video format must be in MPEG-4 format.  To prepare your video for iPad playback, we suggest you use Video Mastering Works 5 – our recommended tool for litigation video preparation.

Begin, by selecting the Source Wizard and use the “From files” selection to import MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 video files.  Use the “From DVD…” option to import video from an authored DVD video disc.  If the source is an authored DVD video disc, we recommend you copy the VIDEO_TS folder from the disc to your hard drive before you import for faster processing.


When importing from a authored DVD, you do have the option of including the “captions.”  So if you first create a synchronized YesLaw DVD disc (ISO option), we include the transcript text as subtitles.  So within a DVD player, you can turn the display of the subtitles on or off with your DVD remote.  These captions can be included in the MPEG-4 file, by selecting “English” with the Caption pull-down menu.  The captions are either included or not and cannot be turned on and off within the iPad using this method.


The captions will appear as shown below.  A semi-transparent gray box at the bottom of the video will provide contrast so that the captions show on light backgrounds, but the video is never totally obscured by a fully black box.  The captions position can be adjusted within the YesLaw Generator before the disc ISO is produced.


Use the “Mobile and portable device MPEG file” as the output format and be sure to select “iPad” as the target device using the pull-down menu on the right.


With iPad selected as Target device, the software provides a number of default sizes for the output video.  Select “640 x 480” for standard definition (authored DVD) source video.


The produced MPEG-4 file can loaded into an iPad using iTunes.  Clips might be more conveniently loaded using Dropbox.

Posted in Legal Video, Uncategorized

YesLaw in the Courthouse -“Official Transcript Generator”

YesLaw Expands into the Courthouse as a Cloud Solution for Storing and Sharing Official Transcripts Online 

With an industry push toward a paperless courtroom, YesLaw, the technology leader in deposition publishing and hosting, unveils its “Official Transcript Generator” solution, first seen at NCSC Court Technology Conference

Today, YesLaw publicly unveiled its “Official Transcript Generator”, a new solution for cloud delivery of official transcripts. YesLaw gave a demo of the Official Transcript Generator at the National Center for State Courts bi-annual Court Technology Conference (CTC) in Baltimore this week. This year’s conference featured paperless workflow for all aspects of the judicial system, and YesLaw’s Official Transcript Generator provides an important link to going paperless in the courtroom. The Official Transcript Generator allows court records to be securely stored and distributed within the court system while available to all parties involved.

YesLaw developed this version of their popular deposition transcript delivery suite to meet the unique needs of the state-level court system. The Official Transcript Generator offers simple software tools to court reporters to publish electronic court transcripts. Flexible options meet the requirements of each state for distribution in a highly secure cloud interface, where the records are accessible from any device, desktop or mobile, through any browser with internet connectivity.

Stephen Zinone, official reporter in the 7th Judicial District of State of New York said, “YesLaw is bringing innovative technology to the stenographic reporter, and making it easy to meet our needs as we move toward a paperless courtroom. The open platform and features of a YesLaw PDF are important to me for delivering my stenographic record.”

YesLaw creates PDF transcripts with a hyperlinked word index, and makes exhibits available for review online or via download. The transcript is uploaded by each official reporter and aggregated with other transcripts from any reporter assigned to the case, at any time during the process. Permission for subsequent distribution may be granted by the reporter to any recipient of the record. Access can be easily granted at any point in the adjudication process – from the moment a new judge or prosecutor is assigned, to the time the record is sent up to an appellate court.

“As the management of data in the court system goes paperless, YesLaw is committed to providing an advanced solution for state courts,” said YesLaw Vice President Brian Clune. “This year’s CTC conference gave us a great opportunity to showcase our Official Transcript Generator to state court administrators from around the United States, and other countries.”

To learn more, visit:

Posted in Uncategorized

DVD Compatibility

Creating Compatible Disc for Your Clients

To provide maximum compatibility of the DVD discs you produce for your clients, we suggest:

  1. use -R media (not +R, +RW etc.)
  2. we recommend Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden (now JVC) media stock
  3. we recommend 8X media over 16X media although it is becomming increasingly difficult to source
  4. burn discs slowly at 4X (preferred) or 8X burn speed, no higher even though it takes more time 
  5. if you must use paper stick-on lables, be sure the lables are exactly centered

If you are creating an authored DVD product, create a disc image (ISO file) and burn using the burn disc image option within your DVD burn software.  This will ensure the files are burned onto the disc in the proper order expected by DVD players.  Burning the files using the burn data disc option, provides no certainty of the file burn order on the disc – the files will be burned in random order.

Reading Discs from Others

If you receive a disc from another that gives a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) error, do not immediately assume the disc is corrupt.  Turn the disc over and look at the non-lable side of the disc.  Look for deep scratches or other physical damage that may prevent the disc from being read.  Light scratches will not generally prevent the disc from being read.  If you see something that looks like a water spot beneath the plastic disc surface, the ink has blead and you will be unable to read the disc.  Lastly look to see if any data was written to the disc – sometimes discs are labled but no data has been written to the disc.  Look for a very subtle color shade change to indicates some data has been written to the disc.

If the disc looks normal, try reading the disc in a different computer.  You will find that certain disc drives are more robust than others.

Posted in Legal Video, Uncategorized

Time of Day Timestamps -

We have a question from a YesLaw video synch software user. “Last week a court reporter asked about timestamps and I told her that either way was fine. But is there a preferred condition? She’s a stickler…”

Let’s start with background. Time-of-day stamps, or timestamps as some reporters refer to them, are an indication of the time within a transcript and not dependant on whether it is a video deposition. The time can show up on the right or the left of the page, before the line numbers or right justified after a line of testimony.

Time-of-day can be helpful for attorneys when looking for testimony, they have a reference to help them find a certain exchange by using the universal interface of time on the clock. Although not precise the time-of-day will get an attorney into proximity of the line of questioning they are searching for, but only if they noted the time of day that a question was asked during the deposition.

Also time-of-day stamps were used for a short period, prior to the release of auto-synch, for the synching of the transcript to video files. With the prevalence of auto-synch software being used for video to transcript synching any request for time-of-day stamps is now no longer for the purpose of video to text synching. The use of time-of-day indications may still be helpful to attorney’s requesting only a printed transcript.

Now back to the question. When the videographer said that “either way  is fine” (with time-of-day stamps or not). The consideration is if the attorney requests a time-of-day indication on the transcript. For the purpose of synching the text to the video, the time-of-day stamps only complicate the process. This is why YesLaw strips the timestamps off every transcript before performing the synch process. They can easily be added back to the display of transcript information through a simple click of a box. With the simple YesLaw process of selecting timestamps for display in the transcript, the presence of time-of-day indications is only limited by whether the court reporter provides them within their ASCII file.

Be aware that time-of-day stamps may cause problems with some litigation support software. The problems we have experienced include the time-of-day clutters the margin before the line numbers and may sometimes run right into the line numbers making the transcript hard to read. Also time-of-day stamps may cause software to improperly number the pages or improperly indicate the lines per page. This occurs because the time is indicated by numbers and so are page and lines. Depending on the placement of the time-of-day number text, the transcript formatting function may falsely pick-up the time-of-day as a line or page indication.

In conclusion, for YesLaw software the use of time-of-day stamps gives the attorney the option of ordering a printed transcript with the time displayed. The time-of day will not disrupt the synching process or the creation of a YesLaw PDF transcript. With current technology the time-of-day stamps have very little value in creating a synchronized transcript.  Although time-of-day may be helpful in the printed transcript for the clients that are familiar with using the information.  So, time-of-day stamps are for printed transcripts where time is used for the purpose of finding testimony. It no longer has any value in video-to-text synch requirements but they will not interfere with the synchronization. Therefore “either way” is a valid answer from a videographer, as it depends on what the client wants in their printed version of the transcript.



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Posted in Uncategorized

Deposition Video Formats – What to Order?

Attorneys are often uncertain as to what video format they should order for their video-taped depositions.  MPEG-1 or MPEG-2?  Synchronize?  To enable better decisions, I have tried to summarize the available formats in a few sentences:

  • MPEG-1 files are lower resolution (352×240 pixels) with less-than-YouTube quality, but have a smaller file size conveniently allowing a whole day’s deposition on a single DVD-data disc.  This format has been commonly used in trial presentation applications, but is not compatible with stand-alone DVD players/televisions.  The lower resolution does not enable viewing details on documents, x-rays, photographs or other demonstratives.  The MPEG-1 standard has been around for a very long time and is the most compatible format making it the most common deposition deliverable.
  • MPEG-2 DVD-video provides better resolution (720×480 pixels), Hollywood-movide quality and are compatible with stand-alone DVD players/televisions but the larger file size allows no more than about 2-3 hours of video on a one, single-layer DVD-disc (5 hours on a dual-layer disc).    The higher resolution enables viewing more details on documents, x-rays, photographs, and other demonstratives.
  • Synchronize the final transcript to the video files to quickly word search transcripts, locate and play corresponding video, and easily make video clips to export to PowerPoint (or other trial preparation software) for settlement discussions, hearings, and trial.

The YesLaw player-editor software enables attorneys to best leverage their synchronized transcripts and video by providing text search of the transcript to quickly find key passages, allowing instant playback of the video and transcript as captioning, or enabling export of the video clips to play in PowerPoint, Windows Media Player or trial presentation software.  The YesLaw software does not require installation but can play directly from the disc deliverable.  The YesLaw player-editor software is compatible with MPEG-1, MPEG-2, or authored DVD-video files the latter making it also compatible with stand alone DVD players.  The software is also compatible with WAV, WMA and MP3 audio-only files for recorded telephone calls, 911 emergency calls, financial reporting calls, etc.

Posted in Legal Video

A streaming video quality question.

YesLaw answers a user question about picture resolution for the Online experience. YesLaw Online creates multiple files in two formats Flash for PC users and H.264 for Apple users. These formats are also created at various bit-rates to match the connection speed as detected when the user logs in. This user question is about HD which is not widly used in legal applications but the answer contains general streaming information.

Q: If you compress HD down to something that can stream in YesLaw or on the Internet through YouTube, does it become standard definition by default as the resolution changes?

A: Available viewing format is dependent on two factors the quality of the uploaded original and the connection speed of the user.  HD will down convert to be delivered at lower quality when delivered on a low bandwidth connections. The YesLaw Online site determines the best bandwidth for user connection which is automatically “sensed” and streamed out. On YouTube a user can override the initial playback bit-rate in the bottom right corner of the viewer but if you do not have the connection speed the viewer experience will be herky jerky due to delivery of less than 30 FPS. YesLaw does not give the end user the ability to override the bit-rate of a video deposition stream which avoids the delivery of a herky jerky file.

YesLaw and YouTube will not up-convert SD frame sizes and bit-rates to 16X9 with the higher HD bit-rates. A user will be limited in the highest quality available for viewing by the quality uploaded. Rule-of- thumb: upload the best quality you can so the viewer will receive the best quality their connection can handle. If they have the bandwidth they will enjoy the higher quality picture. At slower connection speeds they will still receive an acceptable playback experience but at lower resolution. YesLaw accepts video uploaded in the MPEG1 or MPEG2 format, both formats are converted to streaming optimized file formats. The only downside to uploading the higher quality MPEG2 file is the time it takes to send the larger file over the available connection.  YesLaw has no practical limitation for incoming file connection speed, the limitation is from the send side only.

The final comment/observation is: If you must upload low quality/low bit rate video, just stand far enough back and it will look good.

Do you have a question you would like to ask YesLaw? You can post your question on our Facebook page!/

or email


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Posted in Legal Video

How can we look the same, but be so different? DVD vs Blu-ray

A guest blog from Eber Legarreta of YesVideo consumer services addresses the issue of Blu-ray. With the recent discontinuation of the Sony VRD-MC6 and VRD-MC10 DVD recorders and a move by Sony to a Blu-ray recorder, VBD-MA1, we thought this article may be of interest to the Legal Videographers that read the YesLaw blog.


How can we look the same, but be so different?

The differences between a DVD and Blu-ray disc

Authored by: Eber Legarreta, YesVideo consumer division 

Side by side, DVD and Blu-ray discs look identical. The main visible difference is the color on the bottom recordable surface of each disc. A DVD is bluish purple, and a Blu-ray is dark gray. While they may look the very similar, these two disc formats are unique in their capacity and function.

Disc Capacity

Capacity is one of the main differences between the two disc formats.

Single layer DVD:              4.7 GB

Single layer Blu-ray:        25 GB

Both discs are 8 cm in diameter, but a Blu-ray disc can hold five times as much information as a DVD. This is due to two key characteristics of each format –the compression of the information stored in each disc, and the laser that reads each format.

Data Compression – packing it all in!

A Blu-ray disc stores data in a far more compressed space than a DVD disc. Ever packed luggage for a long vacation? Pile all your clothes in one suitcase, and the zipper barely closes – that’s a DVD. Fold, organize and compress the same pile of clothes in the same suitcase. You have room left over, and the zipper closes just fine – that’s a Blu-ray disc. This compression (at a microscopic scale!) is what allows a Blu-ray disc to hold so much more data than a DVD.


The Lasers – Red vs Blue

Due to the compression of data in Blu-ray, the laser required to read these discs also needs to be more concentrated. The red lasers used to read DVDs can’t read Blu-ray discs because they are not concentrated enough to process the tiny data particles of a Blu-ray disc. This is similar to trying to read very small text without a magnifying glass.

The blue lasers used to read Blu-ray discs are focused to read the compressed data, as well as the data on a DVD disc. This is why most Blu-ray players are able to play both DVD and Blu-ray discs, but DVD players are limited to only playing DVDs.


So…Blu-ray is the best format, right?

Overall, Blu-ray is a major upgrade over DVDs and there are many technical details to support this.

From a video standpoint, they allow the storage and playback of large, rich, high-definition video – which looks amazing on an HD display. However, not all video is recorded in high definition.

For all the standard definition video out there (which is the majority of personal video recorded before 2008), DVD is a perfect media format. SD video doesn’t require the capacity and HD-playback capabilities of a Blu-ray disc. And while Blu-ray and HD televisions have recently become more affordable, not everyone has the equipment to play Blu-ray discs.  (YesLaw note: The Sony VBD-MA1 records DVD in addition to the added capability of Blu ray).

So hold on to your DVD players. Whether they are on your living room or your computer, DVDs have not gone away just yet.

Posted in Legal Video