Video Digitisation...

Video Digitisation

Max's video, film and audio department is one of the fastest-growing areas of the business and video digitisation is one of our core digitisation services. We believe this is due to the wide range of equipment at our disposal, as well as the expert skills within our talented and dedicated team.

We are able to digitise a wide variety of professional and consumer video formats. All video decks used for digitisation are regularly calibrated and serviced to ensure that the quality of capture is at its optimum. We run all recordings through time-based correctors to eliminate errors caused by mechanical instability present in the analog recording. This ensures that we obtain the best possible authentic digital copy of the video tape.

Project Management

Our service covers all aspects of a successful A/V project:

  • For all tapes we record an image of the physical tape along with the case as they often hold vital information about the contents. This information can then be included within the archival metadata for the item
  • We complete an initial conservation review, proposal and any remedial work, for example mould removal and cleaning
  • If required we can undertake colour grading and enhancements to improve the output quality (restore colour due to shift/casts, frame drop-out, remove noise distortion etc)
  • For all recordings prior to delivery we provide access to a secure online compressed version of the recording to allow our clients to review and assess the digitised results
  • For clients who are unsure of the content of their video tape(s) we provide a sampling service where we capture a short segment of the tape. We find that this often helps our clients to determine the value of the contents before committing to full digitisation
  • To enhance the digitised recording we are sometimes asked to produce a searchable transcription. Furthermore, using AI we can recognise and record objects and scenes from the video. This improves the discoverability of the content, providing direct access to words or phrases within the digitised video, either to read the transcribed text or to listen to or watch the video at the point where the words or phrases appear
  • The videos are of course fully insured both while at our premises and in transit.

Output Formats

For the majority of our clients we provide two output formats: one for preservation purposes; the second for access and dissemination. Typically these formats include:

Preservation specification (minimal or no compression):
  • MKV (Matroska)
  • FFV1 codec
  • PAL 10-bit 720×576 image sequence (Native)
  • ProRes422-HQ format
Access specification (compressed and optimised for on line viewing)
  • H.265 High Quality 720×576 image sequence
  • MP4 format

We are always happy to go through these options and help you to select the best fit for your requirements.

Input Formats

Standard video formats regularly digitised include:

  • Betacam
  • Betamax
  • Blu-ray
  • D1
  • DigiBeta
  • DVCam
  • DVC Pro
  • HDCam
  • Hi8
  • PAL & NTSC
  • Sony HDCam
  • SVHS
  • Umatic Low Band & High Band
  • V2000 (VCC)
  • VHS

If you have a format not included within this list please do contact our team to discuss. If we are not able to accommodate it ourselves we might be able to guide you to an alternative supplier.


We are privileged to have undertaken video digitisation for numerous clients, some listed here:

  • Royal Museums Greenwich
  • National Gallery
  • English Heritage
  • Transport for London
  • Cartier
  • National Army Museum
  • National Theatre
  • Foster + Partners
  • News UK
  • Wallace Collection
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • Royal Collection
  • Royal Academy of Art
  • Royal Aeronautical Society
  • Scout Association
  • Queen Mary’s University, London
  • IET

If you'd like to get in touch to find out more about our services please use the buttons below or call us on 020 8309 5445


I have worked with Max Communications and the team for some years. In recent work with their Archivematica iteration in the College Archives and Corporate Records Unit, and other digital work required by varying cohorts in Imperial, Max Communications have been responsive, innovative and demonstrated great problem-solving abilities. The Max Communications team, from the top down, is approachable, friendly and keen to help.

An example is in their engagement for some major confidential scanning projects. The projects were discussed, scoped and agreed to a high standard of hand scanning. Benchmarking was agreed to our satisfaction when the project started, with a fast progress time for the work. They provided rapid access to files, including digitising out of sequence, e.g. one such turn around for hand scanning, editing and proofing a large file was within 3 hours. The digital delivery was by secure online transfer, and the hard disks and hard copy delivered securely by courier.

On a lighter note, digitisation of 1960s academic cine film was carried out promptly and to a high standard, such that it can be reshown at a major conference

--Anne Barrett | College Archivist & Corporate Records Manager | Imperial College London