Quantcast Best Hi8/Video8 archival method? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
02-04-2017, 03:38 PM
RyfromNY1 RyfromNY1 is offline
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Hi,

I have a series of Hi8/Video8 home movie tapes ranging from 1990 to 2001. I am curious as to what the most long-lasting archival method would be. I notice some here work in Hollywood, even on film editing and such so I'm sure some of you could probably give me the best answers of just about anywhere. I already have VHS copies (done in the 1990s) and DVD copies of them, but I want what would be the best archival for long-term preservation and viewing.

So, what route should I go? What route would offer:

1) The least image/data compression/pixellation from the original tape?

2) The longest lasting medium overall - a medium with say roughly 50 years lifespan before any image loss sets in?

3) The most easily transferable medium (IE - say in 100 years DVD players are of course extinct, the format most likely to be compatible with future technologies and thus the most easily transferable)?

Also, say I have copies made of the existing DVDs, will there be any data/signal/image loss on the subsequent copies (and will copying the DVDs lower the data/signal of the original DVD?). By copies I mean literally just taking the Video_TS folder and copying it over onto multiple DVDs?

What are good lossless, long-lasting and easily compatible digital formats I can have these films transferred to? Something that will basically capture the image on tape perfectly, and not suffer from any compression/pixellation the way DVD does?

My ideal is to have these films outlive me in terms of being able to be viewed by descendants and such.
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  #2  
02-13-2017, 12:12 AM
Roquefort Roquefort is offline
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Hi Ry,

First of all - I am very new to all of this, so I may not be the most qualified to answer your questions. However, I am an IT professional with many years of experience, so maybe I can help.

1) Chances are that you won't be able to see a noticeable difference in quality based upon your chosen format. Analog-to-digital conversion is going to lose quality no matter what. The difference in quality largely comes down to how much money you want to spend on the hardware to capture your videos.
2) Digital formats don't inherently lose quality over time. Just keep multiple copies of your digital files - preferably on different mediums - and your videos should last indefinitely. It's always worth following the 3-2-1 backup rule.
3) I think it's highly unlikely that any of the current popular video formats will ever really go away. Digital formats will remain around for many years/decades after their prime, simply out of necessity. Just pick a common format like MP4, MKV, etc. You will have more than enough time to convert them to something else if need be.
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  #3  
02-13-2017, 08:21 AM
bever bever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyfromNY1 View Post
Hi,

I have a series of Hi8/Video8 home movie tapes ranging from 1990 to 2001. I am curious as to what the most long-lasting archival method would be. I notice some here work in Hollywood, even on film editing and such so I'm sure some of you could probably give me the best answers of just about anywhere. I already have VHS copies (done in the 1990s) and DVD copies of them, but I want what would be the best archival for long-term preservation and viewing.

So, what route should I go? What route would offer:

1) The least image/data compression/pixellation from the original tape?

2) The longest lasting medium overall - a medium with say roughly 50 years lifespan before any image loss sets in?

3) The most easily transferable medium (IE - say in 100 years DVD players are of course extinct, the format most likely to be compatible with future technologies and thus the most easily transferable)?

Also, say I have copies made of the existing DVDs, will there be any data/signal/image loss on the subsequent copies (and will copying the DVDs lower the data/signal of the original DVD?). By copies I mean literally just taking the Video_TS folder and copying it over onto multiple DVDs?

What are good lossless, long-lasting and easily compatible digital formats I can have these films transferred to? Something that will basically capture the image on tape perfectly, and not suffer from any compression/pixellation the way DVD does?

My ideal is to have these films outlive me in terms of being able to be viewed by descendants and such.
In the span of 50 years is it a wise thing to include the effects of an EMP due to a flare from the sun or man made. lets include a lightening strike that occurs near your storage area for media. I have ham radio gear which is all tube except for the power supply uses semiconductor diodes in the supply so even that is not immune from emp damage. I think if you had a basement to store your media (hard drive thumbdrive and mag tape) it could give you some additional insurance. I dont know about DVD it may or may not be immune from a magnetic pulse. there is something called a faraday cage which could be of use also. The lo tech way would be to bury stuff several feet undergorund. I am not a gung ho prepper but it interesting to consider.
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  #4  
02-14-2017, 03:32 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyfromNY1 View Post
1) The least image/data compression/pixellation from the original tape?
Least compressed is lossless. Huffyuv probably has the longest shelf life, being the most common. Lagarith, UtVideo and MagicYUV are other options, though odds are most will wither away in 10 years.

Quote:
2) The longest lasting medium overall - a medium with say roughly 50 years lifespan before any image loss sets in?
That's not how it works. Digital is off or on. There is no image loss or degradation. The files are either intact, or corrupt. It's not the same as analog formats, which could incur image quality loss, but were often still viewable in the degraded state. At best (of the worst scenarios) is partial data loss, meaning some sections of the video files are intact, while others are lost. That's data recovery.

CD and Blu-ray are not archival. That leaves DVD for an optical format. Hard drives and magnetic tape get a bad reputation, but are generally no worse or better than optical media. In 50 years, the bigger question is this: what hardware can still read the media? For example, working Betamax players can be hard to come by, even if you have viable tapes. This will get worse for optical, as lasers have finite lifespans far less than 50 years. And good luck extracting data from the old magnetic data tapes and drives -- you often cannot easily extract anything from even 10 or 20 years ago. Try finding an ESDI interface (1980s hard drives) these days!

Quote:
3) The most easily transferable medium (IE - say in 100 years DVD players are of course extinct, the format most likely to be compatible with future technologies and thus the most easily transferable)?
Although it is small, only 4gb, it's really hard to be the longevity of quality single-layer DVD-R or DVD+R. So only use it to backup the most important of data, images and videos. Of course, in 50 years, good luck finding software to read those old documents, view the old images, and play the videos. I have trouble getting defunct 1990s formats to cooperate.

Quote:
Also, say I have copies made of the existing DVDs, will there be any data/signal/image loss on the subsequent copies (and will copying the DVDs lower the data/signal of the original DVD?). By copies I mean literally just taking the Video_TS folder and copying it over onto multiple DVDs?
The beauty of digital is you can copy a copy, and repeat it 100 times, and the 100-times-removed copy is as perfect as the master.

Quote:
What are good lossless, long-lasting and easily compatible digital formats I can have these films transferred to? Something that will basically capture the image on tape perfectly, and not suffer from any compression/pixellation the way DVD does?
"Pixellation" is due to the video starving of bitrate. DVD is often highly compressed video. The DVD-Video MEPG-2 spec max was about 10mbps, but 5mbps was more common. An ideal MPEG-2 bitrate is more along the lines of 15mbps, which is only available for Blu-ray and broadcasting. You can, of course, store the files on a DVD, but it simply will not play on a DVD-Video player ("DVD player"). Computers won't have an issue with file playback.

Quote:
My ideal is to have these films outlive me in terms of being able to be viewed by descendants and such.
"That's my great grandpa when he was younger? Huh. Neat. Can I go play virtual baseball now? I'm practicing to be like that new female-identifying rookie who plays MLB in Nashville. She's going to be in the Earth vs. Mars Series!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roquefort View Post
Analog-to-digital conversion is going to lose quality no matter what.
That's not true. In fact, it's why I established this site 15 years ago. Digital copies can and should look better than the analog source material.

Quote:
The difference in quality largely comes down to how much money you want to spend on the hardware to capture your videos.
This is true. But experience is also a factor.

Quote:
3) I think it's highly unlikely that any of the current popular video formats will ever really go away. Digital formats will remain around for many years/decades after their prime, simply out of necessity. Just pick a common format like MP4, MKV, etc. You will have more than enough time to convert them to something else if need be.
Matroska (MKV) is popular with the underground "scene", but it's never been popular professionally, or with widespread releasing. MPEG-4/MP4, however, is. MPEG-2 will be a very long-lived format, due to how wide the spec is. All of my archival captures are MPEG-2 at 15mbps, saved on multiple hard drives and optical medias (aka, a good redundant backup).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bever View Post
effects of an EMP due to a flare from the sun or man made.
I dont know about DVD it may or may not be immune from a magnetic pulse. there is something called a faraday cage which could be of use also. The lo tech way would be to bury stuff several feet undergorund. I am not a gung ho prepper but it interesting to consider.
Yep, Faraday cage. Also print all photos and documents, don't rely solely on digital versions. DVD is not affected by magnetics. The readers, of course, are, making the disc moot. When the discs cannot be read, it'll make a nice drink coaster.

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  #5  
02-14-2017, 06:46 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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When the discs cannot be read, it'll make a nice drink coaster.
Except for the hole in the middle and slick surface that allow for cold glass sweat to reach the table surface. I prefer to use them for mobiles and suspend them from strings outdoors to scare birds from a garden. <g>.

Advantages of the digital format is as the available readers/display system change you can do lossless conversion from one digital form to another; e.g., from CD to DVD media, and to make new copies when you start to detect excessive read errors in the aging media (if you do periodic testing for it and make the new copy while the errors are still correctable).

Because digital is sampling, its resolution is limited by the sample rate, (think bandwidth in analog signals). But that is generally not an issue given it was limited by the original image/audio acquisition device anyway.
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