[kwlug-disc] Codecs for Video Archiving

Chris Irwin chris at chrisirwin.ca
Wed Feb 3 11:55:29 EST 2010

I've been following a bit of the issue regarding <video> in HTML5, and the
drama on codec selection. Personally I favour Mozilla's stance on Theora.
This article (which I read. Twice. Honest :) outlines some serious licensing
limitations of h264, even if you have an actual licensed encoder to produce
your videos.


But that brings me to another topic: Theora may be favourable for streaming,
but what about archival? I have about 40GB of video filmed by my Uncle on a
digital video camera. It has many issues (Interlaced and fairly poor
compression ratio) and I was looking to reencode that. Obviously I am
targeting long-term storage rather than bandwidth-friendly streaming, and I
want to have decent-quality videos I can still watch down the road.

Are there any codec recommendations for this purpose? What about sharing
them with non-linux relatives? This brings up other digital media issues as
well: Do I have to re-encode in another ten years to escape then-abandoned
codecs for new ones? What about ten years after that? What are we supposed
to do to preserve this footage?

Chris Irwin
<chris at chrisirwin.ca>
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