SPEC Kit 329: Managing Born-Digital Special Collections and Archival Materials · 151
RUcore. Video and Moving Image Objects
RUcore Media Standards Working Group: RUcore and NJDH Standards Analysis for Moving Image Objects
I. Beard, I. Bogus, E. Gorder, N. Gonzaga, B. Nahory, R. Sandler Version 4 – Last Reviewed 9 August 2010 Last update: 8/9/2010
Recommended Standards for NJDH and RUcore Video Digitization
For analog preservation masters (when possible):
File format: Uncompressed, Full Frame Video (AVI file format) or DV Source for digital video.
Frame rate for analog Standard Definition (SD) video, NTSC: 29.97 frames per second, 640 x 480 resolution (assuming
square pixels). 4:2:2 quantization, 25MiB/s data rate.
We recognize this sampling scheme as the best practical standard to ensure a good preservation master of analog SD
video archives, and will be the most common digitization sampling rate for objects that come to us as SD analog video.
This standard is based on our experiences with digitizing videotaped objects.
For Digital objects (i.e. DV/HDV), including high definition video: Use and preserve same frame rate, resolution and bit
rate as the original.
For born-‐digital video objects such as DV or MPEG-‐2, the logical course of action is to preserve the exact specifications of
the original. It will not be wise to downsample the original as that will cause a loss of object data, and no improvement
in quality will be gained from upsampling.
All other objects: Make best effort to preserve frame rate and resolution of the original content. The goal in digitizing
the various analog formats that may come to us will be to create a digital master file that preserves the content of the
analog original as accurately as the digital media permits. A wide degree of flexibility and some experimentation may be
required to determine accurate settings for each unique case.
Presentation video files:
• One streaming/progressive downloadable video clip:
o MPEG-‐4 H.264 video (.MOV, .M4V, .MP4), encoded for hinted streaming
o For 4:3 – Minimum of 640 x 480 resolution (square pixels), 30 frames per second, multi-‐pass encoding
o For 16:9 -‐ Minimum of 854 x 480 resolution (square pixels), 30 frames per second, multi-‐pass encoding
o Recommended Data rate of 640 kbps minimum, and up to 860 kbps.
Use higher bitrates for videos with more detail and greater motion.
o Key frames inserted every 30 frames at minimum, or auto-‐select. This rate should be adjusted when
necessary for best results.
This recommendation is aimed at balancing the file size, and the amount of bandwidth required to play the
video, while trying not to sacrifice video quality. This specification necessitates the use of a broadband
internet connection, but is configured so that basic Home DSL or casual WiFi users should still be able to
view the content.
MPEG-‐4 Video, particularly MP4, is cross-‐platform and can be accessed by desktop computer users of
varying operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux), using free software and established web standards.
H.264 video is also viewable on a multitude of internet-‐connected mobile devices.
Starting in late 2010, the MP4 container format is recommended, as this format permits us to use a single
H.264 video file to provide service for mobile devices as well as progressive download and streamed video.