capturing assets,  digital storytelling,  tips

Bug eats VHS

Anyone who filmed home video from the 1980s -90s will is likely to have that footage in the VHS tape medium. I’ve just seen an item on a TV programme called Sunday Life which warned that fungus is attacking these old tapes. So now may be a good time to digitise these old recordings.

The way I’ll probably do this is to make real-time recordings from VHS to miniDV and then use Firewire to ingest that footage onto my hard disk where I can import it into an editing package and then render it out as a DV PAL file. I should probably use an open standard like DIV-X in an AVI container, because .mov is tied to the Apple Quicktime backward-compatability blind spot.

What should I do next:  burn that file as data on a DVD? Well that’ll give me up to another 25 years of not worrying. Until a story comes out warning about the flaking of DVD coatings after 25 years.

And then I’ll start all over again…
I asked an experienced editor once: “What’s the most future-proof medium for archiving digital stories”.

He replied: “Film”.

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