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RE: [AV Media Matters] SVHS Correction & Preservation

1) What about going digital?  DVD seems to be gaining acceptance as a
reasonable storage medium, although its archival suitability is not yet
proven.  However, reputable companies like Mitsui promise life
expectancy of more than 30 years on their discs.  The media is
reasonably priced and becoming cheaper all the time, so creation of
backup copies every five years or so as an added measure will not be too
costly or time consuming.

The biggest benefit is that the software for recording, editing and
restoring digital video has improved dramatically and has also become
affordable.  Products like Sonic Foundry's Vegas Video are well priced
and easy to learn and even AVID software can now be purchased separately
without having to opt in on the whole turnkey package.  Current hardware
available to the general consumer is now powerful enough to run this CPU
and HD intensive software without breaking the bank.

This is the route we are considering for the videos in our archive, but
are still considering other options before we make our final decision,
so I will be watching this discussion with interest in case in case we
missed something.  

Several other archives are using DLT or a combination of DLT and DVD,
although we have less than 200 hours of video and found this option
rather costly for our purposes.  We calculated our costs for media,
software and additional hardware required at less than $5000 US, with
our time roughly calculated at three times that for a total budget of
less than $20000.

2) We are considering direct transfer and creation of masters without
any modification.  The benefit of digital is that any correction or
editing that may be required can then be performed in the digital realm
and another master created.  This way a copy that is as close as
possible to the original is retained and can be used again at a future
date should superior technology become available.  This is a cheap
safeguard (less than $4 per DVD) against poor or erroneous correction
procedures during the transfer process.

Wayne Williams

W. Williams
Project Manager, Digitising
International Library of African Music
Rhodes University
6140, Grahamstown
South Africa
TEL: +27 46-603 8547
FAX: +27 46-622 4411

-----Original Message-----
From: Eli Shmotkin [mailto:eli@jemedia.org] 
Sent: 22 January 2003 09:59 PM
To: AV Media Matters
Subject: [AV Media Matters] SVHS Correction & Preservation

Hello All,

I have a historically valuable 1,000 hour videotape archive on SVHS. I'd

like to duplicate the entire archive to a different format for 
preservation and work tapes.

What format should I be going to for least quality loss, without 
spending more than I need to? For reasons of economics, I'd prefer to 
use the same format for both my editing and preservation copies. If, 
however, there's a compelling reason to do otherwise, I could be 

In addition, would it be best to process and color correct the videos as

I duplicate them, or should that be left for the editing process? I'm 
afraid that if I leave it for editing, I'll lose vital information in 
the dubbing stage, and I will not have as much flexibility in correction

as I'll have if I correct when I copy from the original masters.

So, two questions:
1. What format?
2. Color/sound correction during dubbing, or no?

Eli Shmotkin
Jewish Educational Media
784 Eastern Parkway
Suite 403
Brooklyn, NY 11213
718-774-6000 x241
fax: 718-774-3402

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