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Video, Audio, and Multimedia

Small Media IconContent authors should contact their Web Communication Office (WCO) during the planning phase or as soon as possible to provide basic information about the product including:  general content, estimated timeframe for delivery, whether the content is time sensitive, and the planned promotion on VA and/or VA related websites.  Your WCO will work with you on agency and federal requirements, and cross-promotion on VA websites.

VA created video, audio, and multimedia content is presented first on va.gov websites as the authoritative source.  This means sending potential visitors to a VA webpage with an embeded player rather than an extenal link on a non-VA website (e.g., YouTube). To take advantage of the increased capabilities of YouTube, it is recommended, not required, to add public facing files to the VA’s YouTube channel.  Please contact your WCO to have the video added.

Content must conform to all Section 508 accessibility requirements at the time the content is released.  This includes, but is not limited to closed caption; audio description; text transcripts; broadcast title contains topic. The use of auto-genreated closed captioning is not allowed except to create a starting point to finalize the captions.

All video and audio content must be identified as U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs products, with proper use of the VA parent signature.  There should be limited, if any, use of other logos and/or identification of internal offices.

Content must be audience-focused.  Consideration will be given to use the best format for conveying the content.  Excessive and unnecessary audio, video, and multimedia products will be avoided.  All products must use plain language and avoid use of acronyms.

Best practices include, but are not limited to, content should be concise, non-training videos should be short (i.e. between 1-3 minutes), avoid talking heads, video and multimedia images need to be of the proper resolution, properly lit, shot, and in focus, and audio products should be clear and of high quality.  Consideration should also be given to what is the best format to convey a message.

Contact your WCO for general questions and guidance pertaining to the process for uploading audio and video content.  Contact the VA Section 508 office to discuss 508 accessibility compliance issues or visit the Section 508 website for guidance.

Supported Formats

The following are file specifications for the media file types that are supported by the Enterprise Web Infrastructure Support (EWIS).  These specifications are based on testing playback functionality on the VA network and failure to comply with these specifications, or smaller, may result in the media file not playing properly and could lead to end user frustration.

For VBA, see additional information and guidance in the M27-1, Part III, Subpart i, Chapter 2, Section 15, Multimedia Content.

Video Specifications
Type File Extension Frame Rate Data Rate Max Size
Moving Picture Experts Group h.264 Part 102 .mp4 29.97 Fps Mbps 640x480px
WebM .webm 29.97 Fps Mbps 640x480px
Ogg Theora Vorbis .ogg/.ogv 29.97 Fps Mbps 640x480px
Audio Specifications
Type File Extension Audio Settings
Moving Picture Experts Group Part III .mp3 Mono/AAC/44.1K 96 Kbps
Ogg Audio .ogg Mono/AAC/44.1K 96 Kbps
WebM Audio .webm Mono/AAC/44.1K 96 Kbps
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