I stumbled upon this talk by James Snyder of The Library of Congress on YouTube. I found it very interesting and very well done, with lots of tid-bits and even trivia sprinkled in for both novices and those more familiar with these subjects. The whole talk is well over 2 hours long, so I decided to excerpt portions that might be helpful to customers or those just looking to get a better understanding of what moving image archiving actually entails. There are many variables to consider throughout all phases from inspection, preparation, playback, conversion, encoding/compression/formatting, post-production, access & archive file creation, metadata research/migration/management, data storage and backup, and storage of original vintage materials.
The talk is aimed at institutional archives, but smaller organizations and individuals have the same challenges and considerations to make. The talk is also pretty technical, and skewed toward the more advanced processes that preserve data at the absolute highest quality (totally overkill for most of us) as you would expect from the Library of Congress. For the rest of us there are more practical solutions out there that will provide the same perceptual quality and overall benefit. My bigger concern continues to be the lack of a permanent or at least long-term reliable and affordable storage medium. Note that the final segment I've excerpted dismisses recordable optical disks (CD-R and DVD-R, etc.) as inherently unstable due to the dye layer that fades over time.
So please remember that "digital is forever" is only true of the one and zeros, that if not stored in a stable medium for their retrieval, become a meaningless jumble in a worthless piece of plastic or silicone or whatever...
Excerpts begin at these run times:
0:00 Basic Concepts of Video Digitization
2:33 Cost Versus Quality
5:33 Progressive V. Interlaced, Color Space/Colorimetry, Signal Integrity/Stability
8:36 Color Sampling Choices: 4:4:4, 4:2:2, 4:1:1, 4:2:0
13:41 Why you should backup all of those CD-Rs and DVD-Rs to iso image files