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What preservation format for video to use when digitizing VHS tapes?

+2 votes
asked Jan 5, 2015 by Branko (150 points)

1 Answer

+2 votes

From a pure technical standpoint, AVI, MOV (QuickTime), Matroska, MXF, and MPEG-2 come top of mind and you can read more on these from the Federal Digitization Guidelines' source at http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/guidelines/video_reformatting_compare.html  

Also, these can influence your decision: 1) relative value of the content in your context, 2) future access/use needs, 3) preferred/available expertise for digitization and/or curation, 4) available tools's capabilities 5) funding available for curation and storage, etc.

This is not related to format, but can impact the size of digital content you will get: It may be useful to consider the quality of the original recording and select an appropriate digitization resolution (video/sound) to achieve an optimal rendering. 

Overall, there are choices--overkill and choices--lacking. With your project's most important justifications  and means, select the format and resolutions that best fit your use case, as there are no absolute answers.

answered Jan 8, 2015 by tibaut.houzanme (780 points)
Many thanks for the thoughtful answer. Yes, we definitely need to make a balance between value of the documents and our technical capabilities, mainly in terms of storage space. Which is probably the issue many other small archives like ours struggle with.
My pleasure. Your comments are well taken, thanks.