1.n. In mass media production, a distinctive structural and stylistic design template, notably for a particular programme or magazine.
2.n. In radio or television, a plan of a series which defines the content as well as the look and feel of the programmes. In recent years, the process of formatting has been refined to such an extent that the formula of a successful series is offered as a ‘kit of parts’ (including running order, set design, and music cues) to broadcasters around the world. A notable example of this trend is Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, first broadcast in the UK in 1998: see also franchise.
3.n. In relation to advertising, see advertising format.
4.n. For newspaper formats, see newspapers.
5.n. (television engineering) The technical specifications which distinguish one kind of recording process from another. This includes different television systems like PAL and NTSC and different products used within those systems: Digi Beta, VHS, etc. In tape-based systems, the ‘footprint,’ or the way in which the electromagnetic information is laid down onto videotape.
6.v. To prepare a videotape for insert editing: see striping.
7.v. (computing) To prepare a hard-drive or disc for use by specifying the structure for data storage and retrieval.