So let's say (well, I do, but still let's say) that I have a bunch of home video that I've digitized from Hi8 and VHS sources. The proper "archive" format is, obviously, the DV codec, because that's what it is right now, so it's at its highest quality and the DV codec is very well established, so I'm sure to be able to open it up well into the future. But the DV codec also takes up about 12 GBs for an hour of footage. This is about 12 hours, so far, so that'd be 120 GB just to have this footage sit around -- that's a lot of spinning disk or even DVDs (and for DVDs it'd be annoying to chop all the source video down into half-hour chunks).
LazyWeb: Archivish format for Home Videos?
So... what if I decide not to archive it, but archivish it -- compress it down into some flavor of MPEG4 at an acceptable bit rate. My goals here are to have something that's a) of an acceptable quality so that I could open it up in FinalCut (or whatever) and edit together some clips and b) is a common enough codec that it's likely that in 10 or 15 years I will still be able to open it up. My use case, I guess, is thinking ahead to wedding reception videos for the 5 year olds in thee videos. Anyone have a codec, bit-rate, etc that they're already using?
And here's a set of settings I'm trying out:
Framerate: 29.97 fps
Keyframe: Every 24
Datarate: 1500 kb/s
Dimensions: 640x480, not deinterlaced
Sound: AAC, Sample rate 48 kHz, Bitrate 192 kbps
This results in files that look OK, and take up about 750 MB per hour. I guess I'm going with Quicktime because I am pretty standardized on FCP for editing, but I could be persuaded that I should move to a plain MP4 file or something.