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Old October 12th, 2009, 01:39 PM   #1
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Archiving: MP4(H.264) or MPEG2

I want to archive my growing library of AVI footage. I have searched the internet for several hours and either through my ignorance or the fact there may not be much information out there haven't been able to find a definitive answer. Found lots of links to MP4 editors and articles that were 5 year old, dead threads. :)

I would like it in a format that we can edit for DVD's at a later date. I understand with both these formats there will be a loss in quality but am trying to minimise that to some extent. Some old articles I saw mentioned that MP4 is not a good format for editing. Is that still the case?

From what I understand at the same quality MP4 will give me a smaller file than MPEG2 but if it is not as good for editing then that defeats the purpose.

I am using Vegas 9 and DVDA 5 for production. The footage is all SD. Mostly 4:3 but increasingly anamorphic 16:9.

I would love any advice on which format would best suit my goal and what bitrates etc. I should use.

Many Thanks
(I know disk drives are cheap these days but I am approaching 400hrs of footage)
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Old October 12th, 2009, 05:25 PM   #2
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As I'm sure you realize, it's best to archive your video in its native format which, in your case, is DV-AVI (right?).
400 hrs. of footage stored on tape would cost you around $1,000.00
That same footage could be stored on 5 1-terabyte hard drives for under $500.00.
Videotape is still the best storage medium there is so, if you have the original tapes, back them up and then put them somewhere safe from fire, flood, theft, etc.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #3
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After a very busy period of work and a long vaction over Christmas I am finally getting back to this task.

I understand that it is best to archive video in it's native format but am looking for a compromise. I work with a non-profit so funds are at a premium. HD's are getting cheaper but $1,000 ($500 for storage and the same to back it up) is going to be a bit steep to justify to those who authorize the checks, especially as I am trying to negotiate an upgrade for my 3yr old editing PC.

Let's just say that if you couldn't keep the footage in it's native format what would be a good compromise (with the understanding that no matter what is done there will be a loss in quality)? What I am producing is the odd promotional video for DVD or our website, nothing for high quality broadcast. Adds during the Superbowl are just too expensive. ;)

I was looking at 10Mbps MPEG. Should I keep the bitrate higher? Any thoughts and/or specifications in relation to a compromise would be greatly appreciated
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Old January 25th, 2010, 11:51 AM   #4
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There are some options for this. I'll get back to you in a little while. But I do want to ask what physical media you are thinking about storing this on? DVD? BluRay? Hard Drive?

-P


Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Burns View Post
After a very busy period of work and a long vaction over Christmas I am finally getting back to this task.

I understand that it is best to archive video in it's native format but am looking for a compromise. I work with a non-profit so funds are at a premium. HD's are getting cheaper but $1,000 ($500 for storage and the same to back it up) is going to be a bit steep to justify to those who authorize the checks, especially as I am trying to negotiate an upgrade for my 3yr old editing PC.

Let's just say that if you couldn't keep the footage in it's native format what would be a good compromise (with the understanding that no matter what is done there will be a loss in quality)? What I am producing is the odd promotional video for DVD or our website, nothing for high quality broadcast. Adds during the Superbowl are just too expensive. ;)

I was looking at 10Mbps MPEG. Should I keep the bitrate higher? Any thoughts and/or specifications in relation to a compromise would be greatly appreciated
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Old January 25th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #5
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Thanks Perrone.

Hard Drive. I suggested backing up to DVD (don't have a blu-ray drive... yet) but was overruled.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #6
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Ok, I wanted to test some things in Vegas with DV...

1. Hard Drives are a backup medium, not an archival medium. I realize that you may have been overruled on this, but a choice needs to be made. If you don't archive this to a real medium, the data will be lost down the road. If that is personally OK with you, then proceed. If not, then protect the ignorant from themselves and archive it to DVD anyway, as well as whatever HDD they choose to use.

2. DV is pretty highly compressed stuff. There are not many ways to leave it in an format that you can still edit cleanly, and make it smaller. Most recognized formats for dealing with SD video are larger than DV. These won't help you.

3. Sony Vegas comes with a nearly ideal codec for this work. It is called Jpeg2000. The only gotcha is that it is in the .MOV container. This has some ramifications, but nothing heinous, or anything that should stop you from using it. You should be able to preserve your quality and cut your file sizes in half or so.

I can try to lend you some assistance with it if need be, but it's the route I'd choose in your shoes, and it's the route I chose for our archive needs.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 08:24 PM   #7
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Where is the Jpeg2000 codec found?
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Old January 28th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Where is the Jpeg2000 codec found?
Select Quicktime .MOV, then hit Custom. It will be one of the Codec choices.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 09:41 PM   #9
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In what format (codec, not container) and on what medium is the footage right now?
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Old January 29th, 2010, 05:36 PM   #10
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I found the JPEG 2000 under video format after hitting the custom buttom (when the default template is selected on the "Render As" box. Some of the footage I have is widescreen (720x480 par 1.212). I have been playing with the settings and I can't get a MOV file where the par is set to 1.212, it is always .909 (from the properties shown in vegas project media). The project template is set to NTSC DV widescreen. Am I missing something or is this a quirk of JPEG 2000.

Leaving the quality at medium I get a file that is a little over 10% smaller. What setting do you use Perrone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
In what format (codec, not container) and on what medium is the footage right now?
The codec is DVC/DV Video (captured from MiniDV using Sony Video Capture 6.0). The footage is currently on external hard drives.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #11
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Why not just leave the footage where it is?

You could make highly compressed backups on DVD disks, using H264 encoding with really long GOPs (like 300 frames) and other aggressive encoding settings. You wouldn't want to edit that directly, but you could get quite good quality backups at very low bitrates, as essentially a safeguard against losing your primary copies, and fit it all on a couple spindles of disks (a couple hundred disks total) for less than $50. If it's ever needed, simply transcode to something more suitable for editing.
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