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Forums Compression Techniques Good archival format for DV

  • Good archival format for DV

  • Jonathan Capra

    May 13, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    I’m wondering if there is a codec I can use on my Windows system to archive a bunch of standard-def DV footage. I’m looking to save space on stuff I want to keep hanging around for a rainy day. But I’d like it to be easily editable and still retain the AVI file format.

    Is there some codec that would be, say.. halfway between MPEG-2 and DV quality-wise, could be embedded into AVI files (so that it will be mostly transparent to NLE projects that refer the media) and still as editable as DV?

    I’d even settle on MPEG-2 quality if there was a way to embed it in order to maintain the AVI file format.

  • Daniel Low

    May 14, 2007 at 9:54 am

    To be perfectly honest, considering all your requirements, you are best off keeping it as plain simple ol’ DV.

  • Jonathan Capra

    May 15, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    I had always understood the DV codec to be a fixed data-rate of about 3.5 megabytes/second. But I’ve seen software where the DV output requester has a 1-100% quality slider. Does this imply that you can actually variably compress the DV codec?

    Also I’m wondering if I can revisit the software Motion-JPEG codec again for this level of archiving. I remember it being a bit hurky-jerky, but last time I used it CPU speeds were way slower. And if I remember correctly MJPEG could be encoded into AVI files and it was not an interframe codec. What do y’all think?

  • Rich Rubasch

    May 16, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    I have used MPEG Streamclip to make AVI movies with PhotoJpeg codec embedded. I kind of agree with Danny that archiving your DV clips is the easiest way to do this….they’ll be good for a long time.

    You don’t gain much by transcoding really.

    Rich Rubasch
    Tilt Media

  • Jonathan Capra

    May 17, 2007 at 12:06 am

    Well I’ll give it a try..

    These clips are stored on a big-but-slow hard drive for potential retrieval in a near-line fashion. So drive space is the top concern here, rather than video quality.

  • Jonathan Capra

    May 30, 2007 at 5:54 am

    What do you all know about the on2 VP3 or VP6 codecs? Could this be a good compromise codec?

  • Daniel Low

    May 30, 2007 at 7:08 am

    Nope, both of those CODECs are designed for delivery, not archive. If you are determined to use another CODEC (a waste of time IMHO) try Sheervideo

  • Jonathan Capra

    May 30, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    I did a couple experiments.. and VP3 was decent quality at half the size.. and VP6 was very good quality at 1/4 size of the original DV clip.

    The key was, the codec options actually allow you to set as low as one key-frame per frame, thereby essentially opting out of any interframe compression. This seemed to make it highly editable/joggable in my NLE. Response time to a jog was pretty instantaneous. I assume that this is a big factor in what makes a codec ‘delivery-only’ since the viewer will more-or-less watch a clip sequentially.

    I’m gonna do a couple more tests and report back. That SheerVideo looks good, but probably in cases where quality loss of any level is unacceptable. This is stuff where I dont want to delete, but still want to keep around just-in-case.. I wonder if Sheer might be ideal for VJ’ing where jog-latency is crucial.

  • Daniel Low

    May 30, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    I guess it comes down to expectations.

    VP3 is a 6 year old CODEC that subsamples at 4:2:0 where NTSC DV is 4:1:1.

    For me, archiving at anything less that native DV25 quality, (with fast storage as cheap as it is) would be a false economy.

    That said, here’s another route for your R&D:

  • Jonathan Capra

    May 31, 2007 at 12:25 am

    Yeah I guess I had a hard time describing my expectations. I guess in retrospect, I was looking for something that has intraframe compression that is slightly better than MPEG-2, but would be highly reactive when editing/jogging when layed into an NLE.

    If it weren’t for the latter requirement, I would have used something like DivX. VP6 seems to fit the bill (at least when you set it to 1 keyframe for every frame).

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