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Best codec for long term vaulting

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Dale Larsen
Best codec for long term vaulting
on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:41:07 pm

I was wondering what is the best codec to use, to "vault" my final product in.

the original footage is a combination of XDcam, HDV, and P2. which end up in the same final project in apple pro Res. From this I output a final master.

This is a big file when rendered out at 1920x 1080 in Pro res, as my programs are 2-3 hrs.

I would like to vault these finished programs in a codec that is a bit more space efficient but still

H 264 comes to mind.

any other suggestions I should consider?


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Paolo Esposito
Re: Best codec for long term vaulting
on Apr 21, 2011 at 1:01:48 am

Interested in thoughts of this as well. Thanks!

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Michael Gissing
Re: Best codec for long term vaulting
on Apr 21, 2011 at 1:09:11 am

I would stick to ProRes as H264 or any other compressed codec will require a transcoding. With hard drives so cheap these days, you will be costing more money in time to transcode than the value of the storage. And as time goes on, this will become even more apparent.

I archive finished masters this way and I am onlining around 10-15 one hour programs per year. I always ask clients to buy a drive for the grade/ online and archive a copy on that drive for them as well as keeping a local copy. I have done the maths and my time is worth more than drive space.

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walter biscardi
Re: Best codec for long term vaulting
on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:41:22 am

We archive all our projects in the native format. Why compress the file again to H.264? What if you need to edit from it in the future? I would rather have the original ProRes file than something that was compressed from that.

And when we archive, we now save the entire project via Media Manager. 1TB drives are $60 and 2TB drives are generally $100 or less these days. So we simply archive the entire project, raw media and all now. Why limit ourselves to just the finished project when drives are so cheap?

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Elijah Lynn
Re: Best codec for long term vaulting
on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:53:12 pm

ProRes 422 (HQ) - if the project is worth anything to you, which hopefully it is! However, it you were even considering H.264 then you would probably be fine with normal ProRes 422 or even ProRes 422 (LT).

One option is to buy a HD dock from newegg and two internal HDDs and archive it to both then split them to two different geographic locations. Not cheap & not expensive but a very high quality solution and extremely robust + the price per backup would go down the more backups you put on the disk.

Ideally, I want to upload stuff to Google Docs but they have a 2GB limit right now. You can also use Amazon's Simple Storage Service to upload files up to 5 TB but it will cost you $0.140 per GB/month which would be about $5/month for a 40 GB file.

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