The Challenges and Rewards of Open Source Video Digitization

The Challenges and Rewards
of Open Source Video
Identification and Discussion of Proper Methods for
Videotape Preservation when no Standards Exist
Society of American Archivist – August 11, 2012
 Topics Covered
Challenges faced by archives
Pros / Cons of Open-Source compared to
“solutions for sale”
Formats to consider for preservation and access
Discussion of use of formats in real-world
What Will You Have in Your Archive
 Extinct formats (equipment no longer manufactured, hasn’t been made in
2” Quad, ½” EIAJ, ½” CV…
 Endangered formats (equipment no longer manufactured, but can still be
found…no longer in common use)
1” Type C, ¾” U-Matic, Betamax, D-1, D-2, MII (M2), Laser
disks, Motion picture film
 Outdated formats (equipment no longer manufactured, but still
supported/commonly used)
Betacam, Betacam SP, VHS, S-VHS, Hi-8mm
 Current formats (equipment still manufactured)
 Digital Betacam, DV tapes (DV-Cam, DVC-Pro, Mini DV),
HD formats
Challenges faced by archives
 Problems related to your physical assets
 Obsolescence of equipment
 Degradation
 Other problems
 Can’t “Wait and See”…or risk loss of assets
 Problems with what to create
 No set standards exist for film or video
 Preservation is contrary to access
 Cost for digitizing
 Cost for storage
Decision criteria
 What are my goals
 Does the chosen format capture all the
potential quality of the original (audio and
 Is it future-proof (at least as much as it can
Comparison of different options
 Lossless
 Uncompressed (QuickTime, AVI)
8-bit, 72 GB per hour
10-bit, 100+ GB per hour
Compressed (FFV1, JPEG 2000, other)
8-bit, 25-30 GB per hour
10-bit, 45-50 GB per hour
Comparison of different options
 Lossy
 MPEG 2 (could range from DVD quality to 50 Mbps
high quality)
DV (DV25)
Not easily editable
3.6 GB per hour to 25 GB per hour
Easily editable
12 GB per hour
Easily editable
Range from very low to very high quality (originally
designed for “smart” devices”
300 MB to ???GB per hour
Open Source vs. Purchased
 Open Source – Benefits
 Widely available
 Usually free or low cost
 Developers tend to be passionate…develop for what
market needs
 Should be less prone to market changes
 Tends to be more flexible with respect to users needs
 Open Source – Disadvantages
 Often requires technical background, programmers
 Choices can be overwhelming
 Support can be difficult to obtain…can get wrong
Open Source vs. Purchased
 Purchased – Benefits
 Financial incentive to deliver what mass audience
 May be easier to use (GUI)
 Generally, good technical support available
 Purchased – Disadvantages
 Subject to Manufacturer’s whims (for example,
Final Cut X)
 What is good for masses may not be what you
 Usually not as flexible/customizable
Real World examples
 Uncompressed QT
Files very large, difficult to play back on all but fastest
8-bit or 10-bit option…but 10-bit requires special software to
play back
Widely supported / widely used
QT container offers additional capabilities
 Uncompressed AVI
Files very large…not as difficult to play back as QT.
8-bit or 10-bit option
Widely supported / widely used
AVI more limited in what “container” can do
Real World Examples…
 FFV1
Open-source, standardized
Reasonable file size
Supported on all operating systems (MAC, WIN, Linux) with
various players
Can be played in software
Users (City of Vancouver, NCSU, MediaTek)
Gaining acceptance
Real World Examples…cont
 JPEG 2000
Available for about 12 years
Benefits mostly same as FFV1, but can’t be played in
Few encoder manufacturers support…but gaining
Users (Library of Congress, Digital Cinema (lossy), various
 Summary
 Contact:
Scene Savers
424 Scott Blvd
Covington, KY 410100