Help with HDV, ProRes, and archival

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Alucardx03, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #1
    I've been shooting some family events on HDV since 2007ish. The tapes have always been valuable, obviously, and I don't feel comfortable having them on tape alone. I'd like to create a lossless backup of everything on the tapes, archive them to an HDD or Blu-Ray and store them off location.

    Storage space is not a concern, as I've got about 12TB that I could use. If need be, I'd invest in more as storage is so cheap.

    I've been ingesting the footage into Final Cut Pro X, dragging it into the timeline, and clicking Share and then Export Movie. From there, I leave it as "Current Settings." Is this going to give me a "lossless" file? The resulting file is ProRes 422, which I understand is a lossy format. But, the original tape is HDV, which is also a lossy format, right? So, is ProRes the best quality that I can get from the tape?

    Any insight as to the best method or archival would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. hsilver macrumors regular

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    I'm dealing with the same issue. Just bought an HDV deck to have as an archival source for reading HDV tapes in the future (of course Firewire and component video outputs may be obsolete in a few years) but I think ProRes is a safe bet for the next several years. It's high quality and should be around awhile. Other option is to ingest native HDV and save those files as well –much smaller and have the option to (possibly) transcode them to something else in future (eg. the latest FCP or AVID or Adobe codec). I don't want to go through the digitizing twice so I won't do that.
     
  3. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #3
    Do you know what format FCPX ingests the footage as? Is it native HDV?

    I can't seem to find any answers about the format it uses.
     
  4. hsilver macrumors regular

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    Jul 17, 2002
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    New York
    #4
    It gives you a choice whether to ingest natively or transcode -it transcodes to ProRes.
     
  5. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #5
    And if the option is grayed out, that means that it's ingesting natively?
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    I would actually store the tapes offsite and keep the HDDs on hand as HDDs are more prone to failure if they are not spun up periodically.


    Lethal
     
  7. DisMyMac macrumors 65816

    DisMyMac

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    #7
    Don't forget silica gel. Although I read somewhere that ultra-low humidity isn't good for everything (such as books). And I'm pretty sure oiling has been proven to be bad.
     
  8. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #8
    Makes sense. Good call. Thanks, Lethal.

    Being one of the resident experts around here, is encoding it to ProRes a solid idea? Again, I'm looking for something that's a 1:1 copy of the tape. And, if it gives me flexibility for editing in the future (as ProRes does, so I've read), all the better, right?
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    ProRes 422 will be more than sufficient for the HDV footage. You can't get any better than the quality that's already on the tape, but Apple uses a proprietary HDV codec that is only available with FCP and that makes it less than ideal to use for archiving. ProRes is proprietary as well but a read-only version of the codec is avaible for QuickTime on both Mac and PC. The rule of thumb with digital media is to plan on copying everything onto new storage and possible transcode into new codecs (open source preferably) every 5 years or so.

    I would still hang onto the HDV camera though just in case. Even as capture technology changes I'm sure you'll be able to find adapters for decades to come. Heck, there are still adapters and converter boxes out there that will let you hook up a composite video connection and capture it to a computer.


    Lethal
     
  10. Alucardx03 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #10
    Thanks for the great wisdom and advice, Lethal!
     

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