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Magnetic Videotape Recordings: Preservation, Assessment, and Migration

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Presentation delivered by Sarah Stauderman, Smithsonian Institution Archives' Collection Care Manager, at the Smithsonian Archives Fair on October 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. ...

Presentation delivered by Sarah Stauderman, Smithsonian Institution Archives' Collection Care Manager, at the Smithsonian Archives Fair on October 22, 2010 in Washington, DC.

Highlights basic information you need to know about your videotape collections in order to make good decisions about preserving them.

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    Magnetic Videotape Recordings: Preservation, Assessment, and Migration Magnetic Videotape Recordings: Preservation, Assessment, and Migration Presentation Transcript

    • MAGNETIC VIDEOTAPE RECORDINGS:Preservation, Assessment, and Migration
      Sarah Stauderman
      Collections Care Manager
      Smithsonian Institution Archives
      1
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Key Concepts for Video Preservation
      Identify Collections
      Attributes
      Materials – technical issues and connoisseurship
      Content
      Identify Preservation Strategy
      Storage
      Selection through survey and assessment
      Implement Preservation Reformatting
      Documentation
      Collaboration
      Expertise
      2
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Attributes
      What is the videotape format?
      What are the known materials for this format type?
      Is the format considered a professional, consumer, or “prosumer” format?
      What is the date of the videotape?
      What is the content of the videotape?
      What are the known storage needs for this material?
      What is the obsolescence rating for this format?
      3
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Magnetic Media Cross-Section
      Polyurethane
      with magnetic particles and additives
      Polyester
      Back-coat
      2-5 m
      10-40 m
      4
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Magnetic Component
      Gamma Ferric Oxide - stable
      Barium Ferrite (BaF) – very stable
      Chromium Dioxide (Cr02) – early forms unstable; later forms stable
      Metal Particle (MP) – earliest form unstable; later forms stable
      Metal Evaporated (ME) – unstable
      5
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Videotape Deterioration
      Physical Structure: Base, Binder, Pigment
      Binder Failure: “Sticky Shed Syndrome”
      Life Expectancy: 10 – 30 years
      “Magnetic Tape Storage and Handling” (1995) Commission on Preservation and Access and National Media Lab
      R1-NH-C(=O)-O-R2
      6
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Agents of Deterioration
      Heat
      Light
      Excessive Moisture
      Extreme Mechanical Stress
      Dust
      7
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Appropriate Storage for VideotapesISO 18923 and 18933
      10-year storage: 46°-73°F and 15-50% RH
      50-year storage: 51°F and 50% RH and pollution controls
      Never place magnetic media below 46°F
      8
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Basic Preservation Guidelinesfrom Magnetic Tape Storage and Handling
      Replace tapes every 10-30 years (when 12% of binder hydrolyzed)
      Store at 59°F (+/- 5°) and 40% RH
      Treatment such as baking advocated for damaged tapes
      Visual examination leads to quality of playback diagnosis
      When do you know that 12% has hydrolyzed?
      Why can’t tapes be frozen? (lubricant)
      What are the long-term effects of baking or other?
      No conclusive methods to show correlation of physical state to sticky shed
      9
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Basic Housekeeping
      Dust free
      Grounded metal shelves
      Upright, like books
      Wound (or rewound) position
      Remove record tab
      Find out what you have – and label it –before it gets put on a shelf.
      10
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Format Proliferation
      Reel-to-reel
      Cartridge
      Cassette
      Each requires specific playback machinery and has different qualities
      11
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • VR - 1000
      The VR-1000 was the first videotape recorder ever sold. It achieved its success by separating the “writing speed” (the speed at which information is recorded on the tape) from the tape speed through the use of spinning heads, a principle that has continued in every videotape format to date.
      12
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Format Proliferation~over 60 separate formats~
      13
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Format Identification Guides
      http://videopreservation.stanford.edu/vid_id/index.html Videotape Identification Guide produced in 1998-99 to help curators, collections managers, and conservators identify formats
      http://www.arts.state.tx.us/video/pdf/video.pdf
      Texas Commission of the Arts Videotape Identification and Assessment Guide 2004
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videotape_recorder
      14
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • OBSOLESCENCE
      ExtinctCritically endangeredEndangeredThreatenedVulnerableLower risk
      15
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • SMPTE STANDARDSSociety of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
      16
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • NTSC
      National Television System Committee
      Established the specifications for resolution of display of the video signal on the television picture tube in the United States (used in Canada and Japan too)
      525 horizontal lines per frame of video
      Frame rate is 30 frames per second
      ULTIMATE picture quality = 210,000 pixels
      Distinguished from SECAM or PAL
      600 horizontal lines per frame of video
      Frame rate is 25 frames per second
      ULTIMATE picture quality = 300,000 pixels
      Much better color fidelity
      17
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • NTSC Composite (or, how to broadcast color on a black-and-white system)
      Color Video Signal (RGB Signal) consisting of red, green, blue
      Color information generates a Luminance Signal (“Y” or black and white) and phase-alternating Chrominance Signal (“C” color information)
      Thus COMPOSITE indicates 2 signals coming from 3 sources
      If information coming from “C” is out-of-phase, can generate major image color shift, thus “never the same color”
      18
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • NTSC Component
      Color Component Video exists as three separate electric signals (plus synchronization): Red, Green, Blue.
      Each color signal is processed through its own isolated path.
      Some systems use a Y, R-Y, B-Y configuration in order to eliminate unnecessary color information.
      19
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Analog vs. Digital
      ANALOG
      Continuous waveform representing the size and shape of picture information
      Can be component or composite
      DIGITAL
      Video signal exists as a set of numbers representing analog voltage values
      Quality of video is determined by the precision and frequency of sampling of analog values
      Can be component or composite
      20
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Preservation Strategy
      What to Preserve:
      Preserve the object, migrate, emulate? Defer action?
      Selection
      Why Preserve: Documentary, Intrinsic, Artistic Value?
      How to Preserve: For instance, if choose to migrate In house or outside vendor? What preservation “format”? How to incorporate duplicates into collections?
      For whom: General public through the Internet; lone scholars on-demand; to generate programming?
      21
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Preservation Priority Surveys
      Host of new tools (see Audio Preservation handouts)
      Needs diagnostic data points
      22
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Diagnostic Data Points
      Dust or dirt on container or on item
      Wind of the cassette (popping, spoking, etc.)
      Presence or absence of record tab (housekeeping)
      Anecdotal evidence that a tape brand is poor quality or aging rapidly
      Degree of information on label
      Storage history
      No strict correlation between physical condition and playability
      Playback issues (skew, tracking, balance)
      No easy diagnostic tool forthcoming
      23
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • A Preservation Priority Worksheet
      Undergoing the exercise is as important as the methodology
      Uses a matrix to determine priorities
      Emphasizes intellectual control and obsolescence
      Based on “An ‘Angels Project’ of Dinosaur Proportions” http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/bpg/annual/v15/bp15-18.html
      24
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Overview of Survey Tool
      Identify the Collection – Don’tsurvey unless content has been determined
      Value Assessment – Ask multiple colleagues about collections; don’t give all collections a high value
      Risk Assessment – Condition, Obsolescence, Level of Risk, Master/Element
      25
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • 26
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • 27
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • 28
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • 29
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • RESULTS of SURVEY at SI ARCHIVES
      10% NO NEED [received a low-priority score of 8 or 9 based solely on age of the collection ≤10 years]
      80% SOME NEED [received a moderate priority score of 4 to 7 based on a combination of age ≥ 10 years and format obsolescence: ¾” U Matic]
      10% URGENT NEED [received a high-priority score of 1 to 3 based on a combination of age ≥ 20 years and format obsolescence: ½” EIAJ reel-to-reels and 1” SMPTE Type C]
      30
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Reformatting Video
      Preservation Formats
      Same or better quality than original
      Proven track record of use
      Seek the highest sampling and least compression
      Choose reputable technologies and machineries
      Consider purpose of reformatting (for broadcast, digital asset management, migration, etc.)
      31
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Analog vs. Digital
      Most analog formats are quickly becoming obsolete
      Analog has unacceptable degree of generational loss and poor quality
      Digital tape formats have capture and compression issues
      Digital files have management and expense issues
      32
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Digitization: Ideal Color Sampling
      4:4:4
      4 = Luna (brightness, darkness) sampled at every pixel
      4 = Chroma (Red) sampled every pixel
      4 = Chroma (Blue) sampled every pixel
      1 hour of NTSC analog video 140 GB
      1 hour of HD video 840 GB
      33
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • REALISTIC COLOR SAMPLING
      4 : 2 : 2
      4 = Luna (brightness, darkness) sampled at every pixel
      2 = Chroma (Red) sampled every other pixel
      2 = Chroma (Blue) sampled every other pixel
      34
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • DIGITAL TAPE FORMATS WITH 4:2:2 SAMPLING
      D1
      DCT
      DVC Pro
      D9
      Digital Betacam
      HD-Cam
      HD-D5
      D6
      35
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • COMPRESSION RATIOLossy vs. Lossless
      No compression would be best but is difficult and expensive
      Lossless compression is OK but also difficult and expensive, not “robust” (yet)
      Most Videotape formats and Advanced Television System Committee [ATSC] formats employ compression that is LOSSY
      Compression ratios of 4:1 may be considered OK for archival purposes
      36
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • COMPRESSION RATES OF SOME VIDEOTAPE FORMATS
      D1 (no compression; obsolete)
      DCT (2:1)
      DVC Pro (5:1)
      D9 (3.3:1)
      Digital Betacam (2.3:1)
      HD-Cam (7.1:1)
      HD-D5 (4:1)
      D6 (no compression; obsolete)
      37
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • A Word about DVDs
      Sampling and compression rate uses MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 sampling and compression [encoding]
      4:2:2 or 4:2:0 sampling
      10:1 or greater approximate compression ratio
      In a VOB container format
      About 4.7 GB
      38
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Good-enough Formats
      Preservation of Video in the Conservation Laboratory (PPT)Tim Vitale, June 2005 http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/emg/library/
      Any digital videotape format’s “resolution” is better than your average analog videotape collection and can capture all the information necessary
      Systems using ITU-R.BT601 standard are able to capture on a computer at high resolution and low compression (using MPEG4 compression and .mov codec [Quicktime])
      Cost of loaded system $50-60K
      39
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Some Video File Formats
      .mj2
      .mov
      .avi
      .wmv
      .vob
      .mpg
      40
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • What about PERFECT video duplication?
      Preservation-Worthy Digital Video; or, How to Drive your Library into Chapter 11 (PDF)Jerome McDonough, June 2004 http://cool.conservation-us.org/coolaic/sg/emg/library/pdf/mcdonough/McDonough-EMG2004.pdf
      Placing video onto hard drives or robotic-type systems at the highest sampling rate
      41
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Motion JPEG 2000?
      Lossless Video Compression for Archives: Motion JPEG2k and Other OptionsIan Gilmour, Media Consultant, National Film and Sound Archive, Australia and R. Justin Dávila, Technology Consultant, Media Matters LLC January 2006 http://www.media-matters.net/docs/WhitePapers/WPMJ2k.pdf
      An Evaluation of Motion JPEG 2000 for Video Archiving
      Glenn Pearson and Michael Gill, National Library of Medicine 2005 http://archive.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/pearson/MJ2_video_archiving.pdf
      42
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • A Practical Solution for the Smithsonian Archives (SIA)
      Digital Betacam as a preservation medium
      DVDs or VHS as a use copy
      Most duplication done by vendor using specifications written by SIA
      Experimenting with SAMMA solo machinery that places video content onto LTO-3 tapes in JPEG 2000 format
      43
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Reformatting Guidelines
      Document your actions including strategy
      Ideally, tapes should be cleaned prior to transfer using a “buffer-winder” system. Excessive cleaning should be avoided.
      Baking should be avoided as a routine operation, but may be necessary for tapes that show “sticky shed.”
      Tape machines should be immaculately maintained.
      Slates, color bars*, and sound tones* should be placed on new copies to identify the videotape and calibrate it.
      *indicating calibration occurred prior to transfer
      44
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Reformatting Vendors
      Resources
      Independent Media Arts Preservation http://www.imappreserve.org/info_res/services/treatment.html
      Association of Moving Image Archivists (listserv) http://www.amianet.org/
      Local post-production companies
      45
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Reformatting Vendors
      Bay Area Video Coalition http://www.bavc.org/
      Crawford Communications, Inc. http://www.crawford.com
      Safe Sound Archive http://www.safesoundarchive.com/
      Scene Savers http://www.scenesavers.com
      Specs Brothers http://www.specsbros.com/
      SAMMA http://www.media-matters.net/aboutus.html
      46
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • An In-House Duplication Rack
      47
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • $40,000 +/-
      Equipment rack and shelves $ 2,000
      Matrix router for dubbing and monitoring $ 1,500
      Audio monitor panel $ 500
      Sync Generator $ 500
      Hardware, cables, connectors $ 500
      Waveform monitor and vectorscope $ 1,500
      Timebase Corrector $ 1,000
      Betacam SP deck $ 8,000
      13” Color Monitor $ 1,000
      Digital Betacam deck (used) $17,000
      Original videotape decks $ 1,000
      Engineer to design and put it together $ 2,500
      48
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Plus
      Tape stock @ $20 per tape
      Cleaning machine(s)
      Qualified staff person(s)
      NYU Film Preservation Program http://cinema.tisch.nyu.edu/page/miap.html
      Selznick School of Film Preservation http://www.eastmanhouse.org/inc/education/selznick_school.php
      49
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
    • Thank you!
      Sarah Stauderman
      Collections Care Manager
      Smithsonian Institution Archives
      staudermans@si.edu
      50
      Digital Directions, August 18, 2010