A short guide to choosing a digital format for video archiving masters

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Emanuel Lorrain
Digitisation, Audiovisual, Broadcast Organisations, Archives

Hundred of thousands of hours of audiovisual material are still being held by Flemish cultural heritage institutions and broadcast archives on already – or soon to become – obsolete carriers. From the end of 2013 the Flemish Institute for Archiving (VIAA) will operate as a service provider who will organise the digitisation and storage of audiovisual contents for owners and caretakers. The digital files produced will ultimately replace old tape-based formats and become the new archiving masters.

In the framework of the preparation for the VIAA digitisation projects, PACKED vzw has conducted some research, looking at common practices in broadcast organisations and audiovisual archives in order to see what would be the best solution for the digitisation of audiovisual collections in Flanders' cultural heritage institutions. The following document gives an overview of the different elements that should be taken into account when choosing the destination format and related specifications, listing the various options available.