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Subject: Reformatting video

Reformatting video

From: Scott Campbell <ScottCampbell>
Date: Monday, June 15, 1998
Jim Lindner <vidipax [at] panix__com> writes

>For archival purposes we normally recommend composite digital
>formats that use no compression--these formats are known as D2 and
>D3. Sometimes we migrate using component digital video formats that
>have no compression (or little compression) such as D1, D5, or
>Digital Betacam. There are several formats that do compress the
>video information using "lossy" compression and these formats do
>indeed throw out information and for this reason we do not normally
>recommend them. The formats that have very heavy compression are
>generally less expensive, but in general the machines that provide
>high levels of quality and low or no levels of compression a class
>of "professional" videotape recorders that are relatively expensive.
>The way the information is reformatted is also critical because an
>accurate representation takes a great amount of technical skill as
>well as a significant amount of equipment other than the recorders

I am the archivist for the Adidam Pan-Communion, a non-profit church
located in Northern California. We have a rather large (for us)
collection of videotapes, in varying formats, going from the present
back to 1973 (these oldest tapes are 1/2" reels).

I am in the process of having 60 B&W 1/2" reel tapes from 1973-1974
transferred to BetacamSp, but I have begun to consider that we
should also make a simultaneous transfer to an uncompressed digital
format as well. The facility we are using here in San Francisco has
digital Betacam capabilities.

Based on your posting, I have a question about the difference
between composite digital and component digital for archival
transfers. Why do you "normally recommend" D2 and D3 composite over
component D1, D5 ,or digital Betacam? What are the advantages of
composite versus component digital. What are the pluses and minuses
of digital Betacam? Thanks for your help,

Scott Campbell

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:3
                  Distributed: Tuesday, June 16, 1998
                        Message Id: cdl-12-3-009
Received on Monday, 15 June, 1998

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