Preservation

Video Median Capture - HD [VID-R2]

Record Type Digital Moving Images from Video Source Material
Expected Use Reproduction Master
Product Name Video Median Capture - HD [VID-R2]
Product Purpose

The purpose of this product is to respond to reference and reproduction requests.

Nature of Source Material

Future Workflow: TBD

File Properties Data Format

Future Workflow: TBD

Capture Information

Future Workflow: TBD

Other Information

Audio and video levels may be adjusted as appropriate during the initial capture process but otherwise, the preservation files are unaltered. Reproduction and distribution files may have additional image improvements such as minimal color correction if necessary.

Quality Control Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Digital Imaging Products

The Digitization Services Branch’s Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QA) program is evolving as new tools and resources are acquired and implemented. We are moving towards more automated and integrated systems to assure the products we make meet the specifications outlined. Digital products created by the Digitization Services Branch are validated against standardized format specifications and signature files when possible. We use a variety of format specific batch evaluation and validation tools both open source and vendor supplied, to assure technical quality level specifications are met. All files, but especially distribution system specific files, are inspected for successful playback in a variety of tools and environments. Additional quality control workflows are in development.

Equipment/System Evaluation
NARA implements scheduled service and calibration protocols according to manufacturer recommendations as well as on an "as needed" basis.

Metadata
Embedded metadata: NARA is working on embedded metadata guidelines for all file types.
Technical metadata: NARA is finalizing technical metadata schemas for all file types.

Customer Level Evaluation / Order Completeness

NARA is developing an in house job tracking order system to better coordinate work at the Branch level.

Item Level Evaluation: Automated File Characteristics Analysis
Fixity: NARA is evaluating workflows to create and validate checksums for each digital file.

Rationale

For digital products created from video source material, the specifications are dictated to some extent by hardware and software capabilities.

Currently, the Video Preservation Lab creates uncompressed video streams in an AVI (Audio Video Interleaved) wrapper for the SD preservation master product option. All video is ingested on equipment that is calibrated to allow for ITU-R Recommendation BT.601 compliance, but also to allow for safe capture of graphics and other computer-generated materials that may contain luminance values in the superwhite range. This method of calibration and capturing supports the most authentic replication of the original source material.

  • The choice of a wrapper was one that NARA staff looked at very critically. According to an in-house international survey conducted in the spring of 2010 of over 50 institutions involved with film and video reformatting, the three main choices for preservation products were AVI, QuickTime (.MOV) or MXF (Material Exchange Format). Each has pros and cons. Based on the feedback we received, NARA has decided to use the AVI wrapper for a variety of reasons including:
  • Both the robotic capture system as well as the manual capture system can natively capture in AVI. (Only the robotic capture system has the option to capture in MOV; the manual capture system cannot natively capture in MOV.)
  • While the AVI wrapper has somewhat limited support for timecode, we are able to capture a start timecode from which the remainder of a timecode track could be generated if required.
  • AVI files are playable in a wide variety of open source tools including VLC.

We will continue to monitor codec and wrapper use within the professional community as well as toolsets development and reevaluate our products as needed, especially when HD video reformatting comes to the fore.

NARA’s options for reproduction masters are in line with peer institutions.

Top of Page

Preservation >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.