DVA-Profession („Digital Video Archive – Profession “) is a workflow management system for the digitization of tape based video recordings, designed for the purpose of digital long term preservation.
The process of digitization constitutes a massive change of the analog original – but in the long term only a digital representation of the analog tape can be sustained for the future.
Respecting this massive intervention, accurate documentation of every step in the process of conversion is necessary.
For public memory institutions a precise documentation of every operation guarantees the authenticity of the original analog source in the digital age – a necessity for future research respecting the verification of sources.
DVA-Profession manages the whole digitization process and offers precise documentation of all tasks in the process (XML METS). Access copies and preview images of the digitized videos are generated automatically in the process. DVA-Profession provides the video operator with analysis data of the digital video files which are used for accurate quality control of the digitization. MD5 hashcodes are generated in the workflow to offer full control over the integrity of the produced files. When the digitization process is complete and the quality control shows a success, the created files are accurately written to their final storage location.
The archive master files and metadata produced by DVA-Profession constitute a solid foundation for successful digital long term preservation.
Based on the metadata created in the DVA-workflow the whole history of the digitization and the signal chain can be reconstructed years after the conversion of the original tape: software, tape replayers, A/D converters and their settings, problems of the original tape as well as corrective measures taken in order to create the best copy possible.
What does DVA-Profession do?
a) Accurate Documentation of the Digitization Process
DVA-Profession provides an interface that allows for the documentation of any task in the digitization process (automated and manual operations). Video operators have the possibility of commenting every task in the workflow.
What Metadata are collected?
- Condition of the videotape (type, brand, runtime, defects, …)
- Manual interventions (e. g. tape cleaning, tape splicing, …)
- Signal chain of equipment used (replayer, A/D converter, A/D converter-settings, …)
- File metadata (codec, container, aspect ratio, color subsampling, runtime, …)
- Time and success status of automated tasks
- Creation of analysis graphs for quality control
b) Parallel Digitization on Multiple Streams
DVA-Profession simultaneously manages multiple ingest processes. The browser based interface is provided by a server which also executes the automated tasks of the workflow. The digitization itself is effected on individual ingest clients.
c) Quality Control
DVA-Profession contains a special task for quality control. An automated process creates analysis graphs, which provide the video operator with information about the digital recording. Based on those graphs errors in the digital as well as the analog video can be quickly detected so that corrective measures can be taken, if necessary. The information of the analysis graphs gives the video operator control over the quality of the digitization process without the necessity of real time assessment.
d) FFV1 – Lossless Archiving
DVA-Profession was developed in regard of using the open source video codec FFV1 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FFV1 ; https://www.loc.gov/preservation/digital/formats/fdd/fdd000341.shtml) for long term preservation.
The codec FFV1 offers mathematically lossless compression of video data. Depending on state and content of the analog video (e. g. noise) the video data can be reduced by the factor 2-3 while staying true to the principle of lossless archiving.
In the early years of the development of DVA-Profession, FFV1 was not a very well established codec in the archive community. Because of its stability and reliability, FFV1 is increasingly spreading as a best-practice codec-choice for video archiving in memory institutions.
An important contribution to that development is the standardization process of FFV1 conducted in the project “PREFORMA” (www.preforma-project.eu).
e) Open Source
DVA-Profession was published under a Free Software License (GPLv3 – GNU General Public License) and can be downloaded here (https://sourceforge.net/projects/dva-profession/files/). This software is free to use, study, share and improve. Documentation and installation manual can be accessed through the following link: http://www.av-rd.com/products/dva-profession/
DVA-Profession was developed as part of the project „Österreich am Wort“ by the Austrian Mediathek (Österreichische Mediathek). This project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK). The development process took place in the years 2010 – 2011 (Team). Since then DVA-Profession is used for the digitization of tape based video recordings at the Austrian Mediathek.