I have an issue. We have a limited amount of space in our server. Currently we have a mix of video formats, ranging from apple pro res, Xdcam, dvcprohd, HDV, SD, H264. We are currently using FCP 7 and thinking about switching to Avid due to its handling of H264 editing. A few questions:
1. To create more storage, is the idea of transcoding all footage to H264 a good idea?... especially due to its size and quality?
2. The transcoding from H264 to other formats, such as apple pro res, mpeg2 and broadcasting... how will the quality differ?
3. What solutions are people using to archive large amount of footage?
I can't speak for editing Avid as we use FCP7... editing h.264 is not an option. As far as I know, if you transcode from say, ProRes to h.264 you won't save any significant space unless you lower the data rate - which would mean you lose quality. The more you compress the smaller your file.
We store our media uncompressed on LTO drives if we don't intend on using the media very often. Backup/long life speaking.
H264 should not be an option and I do agree with you. Our next idea is to convert all HD files to one specific format, Apple HDV. We can always upconvert from Apple HDV 1440 x 1080 to Apple Pro Res 1920 x 1080 when needed. Any thought on this? Will the quality of the footage make a difference to the average consumer?
This all depends on what you guys are shooting and doing with your footage. ProRes is much higher quality than HDV, yes bigger file sizes, but also higher quality, color depth, and bit depth. While HDV is still used, it mostly used by consumers, if at all and will likely not be around in the future.