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Best Format for Archiving big AVI files?

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Bill Swersey
Best Format for Archiving big AVI files?
on Apr 16, 2009 at 2:15:50 am

We use a SONY Anycast to record video programs at work. Anycast records AVI direct to HD and the files are huge ~ 16GB/hour (some of our programs are more than 2 hours long). I'm filling up hard drives fast, need to find a way to cut down the size of these files.

These files are primarily for back up. We may come back to some of them later and re-edit in FCP, but even so, the use is usually web so don't need super quality.

Looking to develop a workflow to easily make these files smaller. I have a couple of Mac Pros w/ Squeeze 5. It would be nice to set up a folder and let the files compress overnight.

Recommendations for a good, not necessarily amazing, compression format to knock these files down to reasonable size?

Bill
AsiaSociety.org


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Chris Blair
Re: Best Format for Archiving big AVI files?
on Apr 17, 2009 at 3:05:03 am

16GB for an hour HD program actually isn't that large. That's around 4.5 to 5MB/sec on the data rate, which for HD is pretty heavily compressed. We regularly get half-hour programs from a client's show that airs on ESPN, compressed in preparation for our encoding, and they're 12GB (24GB for an hour).

If my math is correct, an hour-long ProRes HD program would be more than double that size.

If web is definitely the only potential destination for these, you could scale them down to SD (720x480 widescreen) and use H264 at 2-3MB/sec data rate. That would maintain reasonable quality and cut your file sizes by maybe half. Otherwise, I'd leave them the size they are. 1TB external drives are down to around $250-$300 and you could fit 62 hours of programming on one at those rates.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Bill Swersey
Re: Best Format for Archiving big AVI files?
on Apr 17, 2009 at 3:17:47 am

Chris,

Thanks for your reply. Actually these are SD files, not HD. It is true 1GB drives are getting cheap, I have a bunch. Don't know, maybe I'll leave as is. I was just hoping I could make 'em smaller so they'd be easier to deal with, move around the network, etc.

...Bill


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