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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