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Michael Bigda
best format to archive video and save space.
on Mar 28, 2012 at 11:44:43 am

I am looking to find what is the best format to archive all of my video to save space on my external hardrives while keeping the quality as close to the original footage as possible. My company is still using SD and most of my footage is currently either AVI or MOV. As of right now it seems that MPEG4 keeps the quality close to the same and shrinks the original footage by almost 80%. Any other suggestions or am I on the right path?


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Shane Ross
Re: best format to archive video and save space.
on Mar 28, 2012 at 4:39:18 pm

Yeah...don't recompress. Archive the camera originals. Those should be fairly light. the format you convert those to, ProRes, has a higher data rate, so not the best for archiving. Archive the full tapeless card structure, that allows you to be able to reimport as ProRes should the need arise, and the file sizes will be small.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Michael Bigda
Re: best format to archive video and save space.
on Mar 28, 2012 at 5:12:56 pm

Shane,
You would not be happy if you saw how we are using the Macs where I work. We are using tapeless (P2) but also using DVCPRO as well. And all the old footage has been saved on externals and are in AVI format. So some files are huge and some are not. Due to how our control room is set up I have to export all my shows with IMX30 so I am not allowed to use ProRes plus we are still working in SD and not switching over to HD for another year or two.


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Mark Suszko
Re: best format to archive video and save space.
on Mar 28, 2012 at 6:56:14 pm

Our shop's policy is evolving, but this is what we do now:

We shoot DVCPro25 and DVCProHD. We are soon to add P2 to the mix (over my strong objections)

We have multiple levels of archive:
Raw tapes on shelves
Raw tapes dubbed to DVD-R
HD Tapes dubbed to Blu-Ray
A server farm with near-term and deep storage.

The current policy for the server space, which we rent, is to export from our FCP timeline to the server as h.264, if there is little chance the footage will ever need to be re-edited. If it might need re-editing relatively soon, we save it off as ProRes, so that it is ready to rock with our editing systems without further transcoding.

The P2 stuff, we will archive to the server as h.264 if it will just be kept for stock footage, and native or ProRes if we anticipate an edit.

Here's a link to a handy video space calculator>

http://www.digitalrebellion.com/webapps/video_calc.html

If you plug in the numbers you will see that you can save more video, while saving more dollars, if you are smart about the codec choices you make.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: best format to archive video and save space.
on Mar 28, 2012 at 7:34:26 pm

[Michael Bigda] "...all the old footage has been saved on externals and are in AVI format."

Now, that's puzzling. If you work in an FCP environment, why would you save old footage as AVI, which is no good for editing in FCP?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael Bigda
Re: best format to archive video and save space.
on Mar 29, 2012 at 11:12:06 am

We were using Premeire Pro up until a year ago. We needed to save all the footage from that system to use in FCP. I have really not had problems using any avi in FCP but then again we havent used FCP for how it is supposed to be used. My render times have been the same on FCP as they were on Premeire which seems like this shouldnt happen in FCP. Unfortunately I am stuck with what I can do since the company really hasnt intergrated properly with FCP.


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Shane Ross
Re: best format to archive video and save space.
on Mar 28, 2012 at 7:34:20 pm

Archive the master shoot files. Just like you archive master shoot tapes. This way you future-proof yourself. Not many apps work with AVI files...on the Mac anyway.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Steve Eisen
Re: best format to archive video and save space.
on Mar 29, 2012 at 12:34:04 am

Since you are still shooting SD, just archive the original P2 data onto hard drives. A 2 TB HD will hold many many hours of original P2 data.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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