AVI is the most universal format for video. It supports one video stream and one audio stream.
Virtualdub can usually produce uncompressed AVIs if you allready have the codecs installed to view your videos. It can also produce compressed video and audio AVIs, if you have the codecs.
The only compression format that wouldn't result in more compresion distoriion is one that employs zero-loss. HUFFYUV is one, there are others. None of them compress very much, perhaps on the order of 4:1.
DV is a lossy compression but adds very little distortion and compresses better than 4:1 . It can only be used on video that has a certain frame size though. 720x480 and 720x576 work fine. Other commonly encountered web video sizes like 320x240 or 352x288 may not.
All other compression formats will add substantial distortion to the distortion allready present in previously compressed video.
Fav quote - "Experience is whatcha don't get 'till ya don't need it no more."
System - Athlon 1.4GHz, Win98, Hauppauge PVR250 receiver and compressor.
Software -Magix Movie Edit Pro 10, Nero 6 + NeroVision Express, Moho 4.61, PSP 8.1, Bryce, Quicktime 6.52 pro, Goldwave 5, DVD-Lab.
Cameras - Panasonic GS9, Canon ES8400V, Canon EOS D20 and Canon A70