MAGNETIC VIDEOTAPE
RECORDINGS:
Preservation, Assessment, and
Migration
Sarah Stauderman
Collections Care Manager
Smithsoni...
Key Concepts for Video
Preservation
• Identify Collections
– Attributes
– Materials – technical issues and connoisseurship...
Attributes
• What is the videotape format?
– What are the known materials for this format type?
– Is the format considered...
Magnetic Media Cross-Section
Polyester
Polyurethane
Back-coat
with magnetic particles and
additives
2-5 m
10-40 m
4Digit...
Magnetic Component
• Gamma Ferric Oxide - stable
• Barium Ferrite (BaF) – very stable
• Chromium Dioxide (Cr02) – early fo...
Videotape Deterioration
• Physical Structure: Base, Binder, Pigment
• Binder Failure: “Sticky Shed Syndrome”
• Life Expect...
Agents of Deterioration
• Heat
• Light
• Excessive Moisture
• Extreme Mechanical Stress
• Dust
7Digital Directions, August...
Appropriate Storage for Videotapes
ISO 18923 and 18933
• 10-year storage: 46°-73°F and 15-50% RH
• 50-year storage: 51°F a...
Basic Preservation Guidelines
from Magnetic Tape Storage and Handling
• Replace tapes every 10-
30 years (when 12% of
bind...
Basic Housekeeping
• Dust free
• Grounded metal shelves
• Upright, like books
• Wound (or rewound) position
• Remove recor...
Format Proliferation
• Reel-to-reel
• Cartridge
• Cassette
Each requires specific
playback machinery
and has different
qua...
VR - 1000
The VR-1000 was the
first videotape recorder
ever sold. It achieved its
success by separating
the “writing speed...
Format Proliferation
~over 60 separate formats~
13Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
Format Identification Guides
http://videopreservation.stanford.edu/vid_id/index
.html Videotape Identification Guide produ...
OBSOLESCENCE
Extinct
Critically endangered
Endangered
Threatened
Vulnerable
Lower risk
15Digital Directions, August 18, 20...
SMPTE STANDARDS
Society of Motion Picture and
Television Engineers
16Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
NTSC
• National Television System Committee
– Established the specifications for resolution of display
of the video signal...
NTSC Composite (or, how to broadcast
color on a black-and-white system)
• Color Video Signal (RGB Signal) consisting of
re...
NTSC Component
• Color Component Video exists as three
separate electric signals (plus
synchronization): Red, Green, Blue....
Analog vs. Digital
ANALOG
• Continuous waveform
representing the size and
shape of picture
information
• Can be component ...
Preservation Strategy
• What to Preserve:
– Preserve the object, migrate, emulate? Defer action?
– Selection
• Why Preserv...
Preservation Priority Surveys
• Host of new tools (see Audio Preservation
handouts)
• Needs diagnostic data points
22Digit...
Diagnostic Data Points
• Dust or dirt on container or on item
• Wind of the cassette (popping, spoking, etc.)
• Presence o...
A Preservation Priority Worksheet
• Undergoing the exercise is as important as the
methodology
• Uses a matrix to determin...
Overview of Survey Tool
I. Identify the Collection – Don’t survey
unless content has been determined
II. Value Assessment ...
CONDITION MATRIX Unstable
Materials
A
High
B
Mod
C
Low
A
High
A A B
B
Mod
A B C
Physical
Damage
C
Low
A B C
26Digital Di...
CONDITION MATRIX Unstable
Materials
A
High
B
Mod
C
Low
A
High
A A B
B
Mod
A B C
Physical
Damage
C
Low
A B C
27Digital Di...
CONDITION MATRIX Unstable
Materials
A
High
B
Mod
C
Low
A
High
A A B
B
Mod
A B C
Physical
Damage
C
Low
A B C
28Digital Di...
CONDITION MATRIX Unstable
Materials
A
High
B
Mod
C
Low
A
High
A A B
B
Mod
A B C
Physical
Damage
C
Low
A B C
29Digital Di...
RESULTS of SURVEY at SI
ARCHIVES
• 10% NO NEED [received a low-priority score of
8 or 9 based solely on age of the collect...
Reformatting Video
• Preservation Formats
– Same or better quality than original
– Proven track record of use
– Seek the h...
Analog vs. Digital
• Most analog formats are quickly becoming
obsolete
• Analog has unacceptable degree of
generational lo...
Digitization: Ideal Color Sampling
4:4:4
4 = Luna (brightness, darkness) sampled at every pixel
4 = Chroma (Red) sampled e...
REALISTIC COLOR SAMPLING
4 : 2 : 2
4 = Luna (brightness, darkness) sampled at every pixel
2 = Chroma (Red) sampled every o...
DIGITAL TAPE FORMATS WITH
4:2:2 SAMPLING
• D1
• DCT
• DVC Pro
• D9
• Digital Betacam
• HD-Cam
• HD-D5
• D6
35Digital Direc...
COMPRESSION RATIO
Lossy vs. Lossless
• No compression would be best but is difficult
and expensive
• Lossless compression ...
COMPRESSION RATES OF
SOME VIDEOTAPE FORMATS
• D1 (no compression; obsolete)
• DCT (2:1)
• DVC Pro (5:1)
• D9 (3.3:1)
• Dig...
A Word about DVDs
• Sampling and compression rate uses
MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 sampling and
compression [encoding]
• 4:2:2 or 4:2...
Good-enough Formats
• Preservation of Video in the Conservation
Laboratory (PPT)
Tim Vitale, June 2005
http://aic.stanford...
Some Video File Formats
• .mj2
• .mov
• .avi
• .wmv
• .vob
• .mpg
40Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
What about PERFECT video
duplication?
• Preservation-Worthy Digital Video; or,
How to Drive your Library into Chapter 11
(...
Motion JPEG 2000?
• Lossless Video Compression for Archives: Motion
JPEG2k and Other Options
Ian Gilmour, Media Consultant...
A Practical Solution for the
Smithsonian Archives (SIA)
• Digital Betacam as a preservation medium
• DVDs or VHS as a use ...
Reformatting Guidelines
• Document your actions including strategy
• Ideally, tapes should be cleaned prior to transfer us...
Reformatting Vendors
Resources
• Independent Media Arts Preservation
http://www.imappreserve.org/info_res/services/treatme...
Reformatting Vendors
• Bay Area Video Coalition http://www.bavc.org/
• Crawford Communications, Inc.
http://www.crawford.c...
An In-House Duplication Rack
47Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
$40,000 +/-
• Equipment rack and shelves $ 2,000
• Matrix router for dubbing and monitoring $ 1,500
• Audio monitor panel ...
Plus
Tape stock @ $20 per tape
Cleaning machine(s)
Qualified staff person(s)
NYU Film Preservation Program
http://cinema.t...
Thank you!
Sarah Stauderman
Collections Care Manager
Smithsonian Institution Archives
staudermans@si.edu
50Digital Directi...
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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.

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

  1. 1. MAGNETIC VIDEOTAPE RECORDINGS: Preservation, Assessment, and Migration Sarah Stauderman Collections Care Manager Smithsonian Institution Archives 1Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  2. 2. 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 2Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  3. 3. 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? 3Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  4. 4. Magnetic Media Cross-Section Polyester Polyurethane Back-coat with magnetic particles and additives 2-5 m 10-40 m 4Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  5. 5. 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 5Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  6. 6. 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 6Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  7. 7. Agents of Deterioration • Heat • Light • Excessive Moisture • Extreme Mechanical Stress • Dust 7Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  8. 8. Appropriate Storage for Videotapes ISO 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 8Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  9. 9. Basic Preservation Guidelines from 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 9Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  10. 10. 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. 10Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  11. 11. Format Proliferation • Reel-to-reel • Cartridge • Cassette Each requires specific playback machinery and has different qualities 11Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  12. 12. 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. 12Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  13. 13. Format Proliferation ~over 60 separate formats~ 13Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  14. 14. 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 14Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  15. 15. OBSOLESCENCE Extinct Critically endangered Endangered Threatened Vulnerable Lower risk 15Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  16. 16. SMPTE STANDARDS Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers 16Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  17. 17. 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 17Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  18. 18. 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” 18Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  19. 19. 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. 19Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  20. 20. 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 20Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  21. 21. 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? 21Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  22. 22. Preservation Priority Surveys • Host of new tools (see Audio Preservation handouts) • Needs diagnostic data points 22Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  23. 23. 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 23Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  24. 24. 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 24Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  25. 25. Overview of Survey Tool I. Identify the Collection – Don’t survey unless content has been determined II. Value Assessment – Ask multiple colleagues about collections; don’t give all collections a high value III. Risk Assessment – Condition, Obsolescence, Level of Risk, Master/Element 25Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  26. 26. CONDITION MATRIX Unstable Materials A High B Mod C Low A High A A B B Mod A B C Physical Damage C Low A B C 26Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  27. 27. CONDITION MATRIX Unstable Materials A High B Mod C Low A High A A B B Mod A B C Physical Damage C Low A B C 27Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  28. 28. CONDITION MATRIX Unstable Materials A High B Mod C Low A High A A B B Mod A B C Physical Damage C Low A B C 28Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  29. 29. CONDITION MATRIX Unstable Materials A High B Mod C Low A High A A B B Mod A B C Physical Damage C Low A B C 29Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  30. 30. 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] 30Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  31. 31. 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.) 31Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  32. 32. 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 32Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  33. 33. 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 33Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  34. 34. 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 34Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  35. 35. DIGITAL TAPE FORMATS WITH 4:2:2 SAMPLING • D1 • DCT • DVC Pro • D9 • Digital Betacam • HD-Cam • HD-D5 • D6 35Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  36. 36. COMPRESSION RATIO Lossy 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 36Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  37. 37. 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) 37Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  38. 38. 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 38Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  39. 39. 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 39Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  40. 40. Some Video File Formats • .mj2 • .mov • .avi • .wmv • .vob • .mpg 40Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  41. 41. 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/mcdonou gh/McDonough-EMG2004.pdf • Placing video onto hard drives or robotic- type systems at the highest sampling rate 41Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  42. 42. Motion JPEG 2000? • Lossless Video Compression for Archives: Motion JPEG2k and Other Options Ian 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_arch iving.pdf 42Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  43. 43. 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 43Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  44. 44. 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 44Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  45. 45. 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 45Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  46. 46. 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 46Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  47. 47. An In-House Duplication Rack 47Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  48. 48. $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 48Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  49. 49. 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_sc hool.php 49Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
  50. 50. Thank you! Sarah Stauderman Collections Care Manager Smithsonian Institution Archives staudermans@si.edu 50Digital Directions, August 18, 2010
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