Choosing the most suitable codec and wrapper for your content ingest can be a complicated decision, especially when you are looking to monetise your assets. It is something that can have a huge bearing on the commercial success of your library migration – and hence it is vital you get it right.

Opting for a codec that is too proprietary will have the effect of making your downstream infrastructure unwieldy, and with that costly. Choosing something with too high a data rate likewise increases your storage costs to an unacceptable level. But going too far the opposite way will risk compromising the quality of your assets, which will limit the markets you can sell your content to, and drive down your potential revenue.

At LMH, we are very experienced in helping define the most appropriate codec and wrapper for your content, as part of your library migration workflow design. This gives you the assurance you need that your content will be suitable for all your intended usages, while optimising the amount of data you will need to store so that can maintain control of your expenditure.

FFV1 lossless intra-frame codec

FFV1 is a lossless intra-frame codec that allows us to achieve a significant reduction in file size and therefore storage. At the same time, there is no compromise on quality as this codec retains quality equal to an uncompressed file. This has seen FFV1 become very popular with video archivists.

As an example, we have been able to obtain compression ratios ranging between 1.5:1 and 5.5:1, and an average of 2.5:1, on recent projects. At the average rate, that equates to a 60% reduction in file size – or put another way, it would reduce a 100TiB archive to something more like 40 TiB. Reducing the data size this much will realise a significant saving over time.

We are able to provide total reassurance about the quality of the output files using a framemd5 process. This checks every single output frame against the source to ensure each frame is identical.

Thanks to the excellent flexibility of the Matroska (.mkv) container, we can also store all associated metadata within a single video file.

One downside to be aware of with FFV1 is that the codec isn’t natively supported by commercial video digitisation hardware. FFV1 systems therefore rely on operators with specialist skill sets to drive them, for instance via FFMEG command line control. You can rest assured that at LMH our team has a wide range of experience and practical knowledge in this area.