The CatDV Pro client application is a standalone desktop application, providing video logging and media cataloging capability and available for both Macintosh and Windows PCs. It is based around a catalog or database of clips, where each clip represents either a media file (identified by filename) or a scene within a movie file or video tape (identified by tape name and timecode values). Each clip is annotated with a rich collection of metadata, including name, log notes, date of recording, a thumbnail image, video and audio format, and so on, which can be used when searching for clips or to provide a record of the contents of a tape even if it’s not currently online.

In addition to its well-established standalone mode of operation (whereby files and catalogs are stored on the local file system), the CatDV Pro application can also operate as a network client to CatDV Server.

The CatDV Server product is a separate program, running on a server machine and accessible over a local area network from one or more client machines. The server stores the clip metadata in a relational database, rather than a local flat file. This allows the clip database to be searched and updated by different clients concurrently, and permits much more sophisticated searches to take place.

Using a CatDV Pro client communicating with CatDV Server, users can search for existing clips in the database, update these clips (e.g. by adding further log notes) and create new clips in the database (e.g. by scanning a new tape, importing new media files, or by creating secondary clips from existing clips). Exactly the same operations, with exactly the same user interface, can be performed as when CatDV Pro is being used as a standalone application, the only difference being that the clips are saved and loaded over the network into a shared database.

With the Live HTML Publisher, the same clip data is further made available through a web interface, allowing it to be viewed from any web browser without requiring the CatDV client software to be installed on that machine. The database can be browsed or searched but in the current implementation this interface is read-only – unlike with the full client application it is not possible to input data via the web interface.