For multimedia servers, data independence is as beneficial as it is for databases. It means that users access the data without referring to the storage format, and the server returns them in many different formats and qualities. The storage format can then be chosen at will, and it should be selected to support a large variety of accesses. When looking at video, some of the accesses even require real-time processing. LLV1 is a layered video format for storing videos without loss of information. Its layers can be read separately, so that scalability is achieved in terms of bandwidth and computational resources. LLV1 has been developed on the basis of XviD, a state-of-the-art implementation of the MPEG-4 Part 2 standard, and is designed for use in multimedia servers to facilitate real-time format conversions, a requirement to reach data-independent access to media objects. Thus, XviD's advantages in efficient video compression are inherited by LLV1. Orthogonality of the layering is provided by the different enhancement layers in respect to temporal resolution and spatial properties. The compression efficiency is comparable to other lossless formats, however only LLV1 provides scalability features, which can be exploited in real-time processing. Moreover, the scalable design of the decompression algorithm allows for adaptable execution and thus makes QoS control possible. Additionally, the coding algorithm is asymmetric, which further reduces the computational requirements for delivering the multimedia content from storage to the end user.