CatDV Server does not store any media itself, either full quality on-line media or low-resolution preview versions. Instead, the database holds metadata about the media, such as clip and tape name, video and audio format, log notes, thumbnails, and media file location. This metadata allows clips to be searched and identified, even if the media is currently unavailable.

Once the desired clips have been located using this metadata, the client application can then request the corresponding media. If the media is available online on the local disk this will be via the filename, and the media can be played within CatDV. Alternatively, the user can export a batch capture log of selected clips so the media can be recaptured from tape at full online quality and used within your non-linear video editing software (NLE).

The CatDV Pro Client Application can also create and manage low-resolution preview or proxy versions of original media. These proxies act as “video thumbnails” to give a rough indication of the contents of a clip for those situations when the original full-resolution media are not available online. Although primarily intended for previewing clips within CatDV Pro, the preview files can also be exported and used as low-resolution video editing proxies if so desired.

Proxies are referenced using a search algorithm based on the tape name and timecode value of the clip, rather than a fixed file or pathname, which means they don’t need to be explicitly associated with a clip but are available for any clip referencing that tape.

Previews are normally stored locally on the client machine, but they can also be shared via the file system by configuring the preview directory to be on a remote volume. However, even though the preview movies are by their nature compressed and much smaller than the online media files, careful thought still needs to be given to both fileserver and network performance if the preview media are to be stored on a remote volume.

If previews are stored on a file server then they can also be made available to web clients via a web server. Again, careful consideration needs to be given to the performance requirements. CatDV does not aim to be a media server by itself but will support this configuration if used in conjunction with a suitable media file server. It is also possible to configure the Tomcat application server to serve up media files if desired.