Appendix 5-E. Best Formats for AHRQ Video Products

AHRQ Publishing and Communications Guideline

Prior video format requirements are available at: Projects that began prior to May 1, 2012, may adhere to either version. Projects that begin after May 1, 2012, must use the formats described here in Appendix 5-E.

AHRQ requires that videos produced on behalf of the Agency be delivered in the formats below. Before beginning a video project, consult with an Office of Communications and Knowledge Transfer (OCKT) managing editor to determine which formats will apply to your project. The managing editor will help determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether other formats will meet AHRQ's requirements.

Agency Master

An uncompressed .MOV file at one of the following resolutions:

  • 720x480 (NTSC) for SD (Standard Definition).
  • 1280 x 720 (NTSC) for HD (High Definition).
  • 1920 x 1080 (NTSC) for HD (High Definition).

Master .MOV files should not contain embedded captioning. AHRQ requires uncompressed .MOV files to produce files in other sizes or formats as required for Agency use. These files will be large and are likely to require a thumb drive or hard drive to deliver the final product to AHRQ.

Presentation Version

A compressed Windows® video file, such as Windows Media® 640x480, with captions/subtitles embedded in the video file. These videos may be used for public presentation or viewing, which require captions/subtitles. For example, Agency staff may use them with a PowerPoint® presentation.

Web Version

Flash video for the Web should meet the following requirements:

  • Video File Type: .FLV (Flash) without embedded captioning.
  • Caption file: .XML (or .dfxp) with time codes linked to video file. Time codes must indicate elapsed time measured from the beginning of the video. Preferred format is 00:00:00.00, corresponding to HH:MM:SS.00.
  • Video display size: Approximately 720 x 480 (SD), preferably the same size as the source video
  • File size: 5 to 12 MB per minute, depending on video size and resolution.

Examples of Flash videos demonstrating these requirements are found at:


All delivered videos must be captioned. Captions must be synchronized with the video content. Additionally, AHRQ requires time-stamped captions of the audio portion of the video. Captions should be sent in a Microsoft® Word® document or other Windows®-readable format.

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Current as of February 2013
Internet Citation: Appendix 5-E. Best Formats for AHRQ Video Products: AHRQ Publishing and Communications Guideline. February 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.