Knowledge & expertise

The potential of FFv1 as archiving format

september 2016 - december 2016

European projects such as Preforma have shown that the FFv1 codec has great potential for the long-term preservation of video. A broad community within our field supported this idea.  To get a feeling of this type of codec, we set up a test project at VIAA within our own archive.

A study was carried out on some technical properties of FFv1 and MKV in collaboration with Media Area and PACKED vzw. We investigated whether files can in fact be converted from the current archiving format (JPEG2000/MXF) to FFv1 in MKV without loss of data. Also some technical properties of both codecs were compared. Finally, the performance of the decoding was measured to gain insight into the capacity requirements.

These tests give us a first understanding of the new formats, and some practical experience with them as well. Of course, this is only a first step and many questions remain unanswered. For example, there is the pending standardisation of the format and the support of the format - within our own archive software, as well as for the export of fragments. VIAA will continue to monitor the developments around this codec and organise further tests.