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Archive Codec

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Eric Hansen
Archive Codec
on Apr 29, 2013 at 3:49:50 pm

Hey All

I'm looking for the ideal archive codec, no matter the file size.

Years ago, at an old employer, I was capturing Beta SP tapes to Uncompressed 10 bit SD for storage on SDLT, since the analog Beta tapes were showing signs of wear and dropouts. In the time since, they've pulled a few of those files off SDLT and had some that have come back corrupt. They were not corrupt when I wrote them (I pulled a few files as a test and everything was verified after write). Either way, I'm concerned because even a few bytes out of place will corrupt a 2 hour movie file.

So now I'd like to consider single frame codecs such as DPX. So if there's any corruption, it's limited to a single frame. Assuming there's a few copies of the media, the odds that this single frame would be corrupt on all backups would be extremely low.

Thoughts? Any other codecs I should consider? Motion JPEG 2000? OpenEXR?

At my current company, we work primarily with Red Epic, Alexa, Phantom Flex, Cineflex, so we have a mix of raw and ProResHQ-based camera formats. All the edits are currently mastered at ProResHQ. I would be looking to apply this archive codec to just the finished projects, in the same way we would print an HDCAM tape for an episode of a TV show. We are starting to do onlines in Resolve from the original camera raw files. We can export just about anything from Resolve, but I'm thinking ProResHQ and whatever this archive codec will be.



Eric Hansen
Production Workflow Designer / Consultant / Colorist / DIT

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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Archive Codec
on Apr 30, 2013 at 1:31:28 pm

I would look at uncompressed TIFF. I consider it the most universal archival format - encompasses the web, photography and video worlds.

On the other hand, if you have multiple channels of data, then nothing beats openEXR.

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