Best video compression format for archiving? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I was curious fpr some opinions on the best video compression codec to use for archiving. Ive been doing video journals, which doesn't require the best video quality, and they are recorded in AVI format with my digicam. I want to reduce the space, which compression codec is "future proof" in your opinion?
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 03:42 PM
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If space is your primary concern, h.264 would be my vote.

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post #3 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 04:00 PM
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I would go h.264 if you need to encode

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post #4 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Any recommendations on an encoder?
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spydermonkey311 View Post

Any recommendations on an encoder?

Handbrake and ripbot are two excellent encoders

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post #6 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips.

So using Handbrake, use the Quicktime setting, .mp4, .h264?
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spydermonkey311 View Post

Thanks for the tips.

So using Handbrake, use the Quicktime setting, .mp4, .h264?

I would recommend using the latest SVN (the current release is almost a year old). You can get the SVN here - http://handbrake.fr/snapshot.php

Play around with the settings, i like the High Profile setting under Regular, keeps the file size small but quality very good

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post #8 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 08:03 PM
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As far as "archiving" is concerned, I wouldn't recommend converting them at all. It's like cutting up your paintings into smaller squares so they fit in a box. Or, perhaps a better metaphor is converting your reel to reel recordings to cassette. Sure, they take up less space, but later down the road you are sure to regret it. Unless you take the time to learn all the ins and outs of compression methods, (and I assure you, that's a college coarse in itself!) there are so many ways you can degrade the quality without realizeing it, and losing the fidelity of your media. Imagine finding out that you were to receive your Great, Great, Great Uncle's copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independance, only to find that being a gadget freak, he embraced newer technology and had it converted to moveable type with a smaller font so it would fit on a document he could carry in his pocket!
I copy all my recordings to DVDrom in their original, un-recompressed format and store them away. That way, I've always got the original at hand to convert into any other format I may need later, and I can always be sure that the conversion has the best chance of retaining the original fidelity.
If, on the other hand, you are talking about just having a copy of the original to store for easy retrieval on a hard drive, I would first look at what kind of software or hardware you're going to use to play them, and try to go for a balance between storage density and compatibility. Sometimes if you go with the highest compression, you end up finding that it's incompatible with your portable device or proprietary software, and trying to convert it back leaves you with garbled audio or stuttering video.
And keep in mind, storage space is getting cheaper and cheaper. I did an hour and a half long video a while back that came from a DV recording, complete with title sequences, fades and other effects, but I compressed it to an SD Divx format that looked fine at the time, and saved a lot of space. But if I play it on a newer TV, it looks like garbage, even though the original DV footage looks great. I'm really glad I kept those, but all the work I did was pointless. I had no idea.
So, save every detail, just like Nixon did, at least the rest of us will be glad you did!
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 09:25 PM
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True AND False. . . Of course you can really screw up your encode if you don't know what you're doing and don't pay attention to the settings. Storage is also becoming cheaper and cheaper.

However, to ignore the advances in video compression in the last decade just doesn't make sense. You can make an h.264 recording with the same quality as a DVD with about 30-40% of the space requirements. So why wouldn't you take advantage of it?

Also, the OP mentioned that quality wasn't the primary concern - storage space was. Additionally, the source videos were from his digicam - so they're probably not going to need the same quality as that DVD of Fifth Element.

My questions for the OP would be:
* Is encode speed a priority? Some of the h.264 options will allow a better picture or smaller filesize (or both) at the expense of encoding time. On my E8500 it can take up to 2.5 hours for a 42 minute TV show.
* What will you play it on? Some of the h.264 options will require more horsepower to decode. Something old, like the XBMC on the original Xbox will choke on h.264 encoded videos depending on the options.
* How much time do you want to spend learning the encoding tool? Something like Handbrake is pretty much "click click next" whereas MeGUI requires a lot more time to learn.

Personally? I use Handbrake for Windows. It provides really good quality encodes with minimal effort. The latest SVN I believe is 2845.

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post #10 of 10 Old 10-15-2009, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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zimbda,

yep, quality is not my concern. Ive been creating daily video journals, for my eyes only. 9 min in AVI format takes about 1GB. Way to much space for a daily video journal.

Handbrake is nice, nice an easy. Im using the Regular - High Profile setting and it looks just fine.

Regarding what I will play these back on, just my computer right now. Since these are video journals, I may want to watch them 20-30 years from now. What will I be using by then, who knows Hopefully I will be able to play these back...lol

Thanks.
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