The goals of an audiovisual archive project often include offering expanded access to collections, adapting assets to new uses, and providing long-term protection of assets. Since each of these goals carries a different set of technical requirements, no single technological solution can satisfy them all. It is therefore necessary to employ multiple solutions.
Long-term protection is commonly achieved by limiting access to archived assets. Protection or master copies may be kept in multiple geographic locations and stored in secured areas. The highest possible level of rendition quality, data stability, and technological accessibility are sought for this purpose. Protection copies must be usable in the foreseeable future and be able to provide accurate reproductions of the original content without degradation.
Production or mezzanine copies are used for adapting assets to new uses. They must be of high enough quality to withstand, without noticeable degradation, the transformations to which they will be subjected during editing and transcoding processes. They must also be compatible with the systems that will be used to perform these transformations. Mezzanine copies act as accessible substitutes for protection copies.
Viewing or access copies are distributed in a form that is readily useable by a collection’s primary audience. This means they must be suitable for common media players and can be accessed via limited bandwidth networks. These requirements stipulate that data rate reduction, or compression techniques be employed to make these copies useable while maintaining as much quality as possible.
Video Transfer stays abreast of state-of-the-art technology as well as published best practices and industry trends and can offer recommendations for each collection’s unique requirements.