Digital Media FAQs

What is Digital Media?

Digital media is a wide-ranging term describing any form of digital communication. Video, Web, graphics, and audio are all forms of digital media.

What formats are available to me for my finished project?

We can deliver video-based projects on DVD, CD-ROM, VHS, DVCAM, DVCPRO, miniDV, and Betacam SP. For Web, we can deliver material for Flash Player, Windows Media Player, Quicktime Player, MPEG1, and MPEG2. We can also support and troubleshoot playback in all major Web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari). Regardless of format, we will work with you to select the most appropriate delivery method for your material.

What will a typical project cost me (or my department)?

Since the Digital Media team is part of the Office of Instructional Technology, our services and equipment are available to the Penn College community at a significantly reduced cost. Most approved instructional projects will cost nothing or next to nothing for you (the client). Some projects that are grander in scope or that require high-volume distribution may require some costs to be offset by the client. Each project’s budget is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

How long does it usually take to finish a project?

This depends on several factors. The scope of the project will be the primary determinant of the finishing date. The more ambitious the production, the longer the project will take. Classroom lecture tapings can typically be turned around within a few days of the recording. Web-based projects that require troubleshooting and extensive testing may require more time to develop. Full-scale instructional video projects require significant editing and compilation time and may take several weeks.

The existing Digital Media workload affects the development time of each project as well. Since we do work for every department at the College, it’s not uncommon for us to have 8-10 projects active at a time, each of which requires specific, detailed attention. We pride ourselves on producing the highest-quality product for each client in the most efficient and effective manner.

How does the Digital Media team acquire the media it uses for each project?

For video projects, our team primarily uses high-definition Sony HVR-Z1U cameras to capture images. In addition to our array of field video equipment, we have a fully-functional bluescreen studio in SASC Room 2120, which is used for interviews, special effects, and audio recording. We also have access to the College’s vast still photo database.

I have some videos and multimedia that I've been using in my classes for years that I'd like to have put on a website. Can you help me?

We can recompress existing media into any desired format and help you integrate them into an existing website or WebCT page, or we can work with you to design a new site built around the media.

I’d like to use video clips from a popular TV show in my class or presentation, but I’m not sure if it's legal. Can Digital Media help?

Many copyrighted materials can be used for instructional purposes under 2002's TEACH Act legislation. We can review your desired use and material and help to determine if it's legal to use.

During what hours is the Digital Media team available?

Members of the Digital Media team are on campus from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are also available evenings and weekends by appointment.

I'd like to see the kind of work you do. Where can I find some examples?

Feel free to contact us directly for specific requests.

I'm a little confused by all of these abbreviations and acronyms-how do I make sense of them all?

Our Definitions of Commonly Used Digital Media Acronyms document may help. If you have a question about something that isn't defined in the document, feel free to contact us.

I'm representing the College at an event off-campus, and I'd like to have the event videotaped. Is this possible?

With sufficient advance notice, the DM team can be available to document events anywhere in the world. We also have handheld consumer video equipment available for use by members of the College community. Contact us for reservations and details.

How can I help develop my project?

We count on you to be the content expert for whatever subject your project covers. We know quite a bit about video production, Web design, media compression, and Web streaming, but we know very little about molecular biology, automotive repair, radiography, or computer-aided drafting. It’s up to you to insure that the information in the media that we produce is accurate, up-to-date, and relevant to your field of expertise.

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