The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence – IEEE Spectrum

January 18, 2018

The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence
https://spectrum.IEEE.org/computing/it/the-lost-picture-show-hollywood-archivists-cant-outpace-obsolescence Lots of useful stats on the costs of data storage for movies: $1k/Tb for 20yr store. 1 big budget film is ~350Pb & $20k/yr to store (1hr TV episode is $12k). Maj archives have >10k hrs.

QT:{{”
Sam Gustman, associate dean of the USC Libraries, says that the Warner archives are now part of 50 petabytes of archived data at USC, which also includes nearly 54,000 video interviews with Holocaust survivors gathered by the USC Shoah Foundation. For 20 years of storage, including power, supervision, and data migration every 3 years, USC charges $1,000 per terabyte, or $1,000,000 per petabyte. That works out to a relatively affordable $2.5 million per year for its current 50-PB holdings. It’s not a money-making business, Gustman adds.

Meanwhile, the motion-picture studios are churning out content at an ever-increasing rate. The head of digital archiving at one major studio, who asked not to be identified, told me that it costs about $20,000 a year to digitally store one feature film and related assets such as deleted scenes and trailers. All told, the digital components of a big-budget feature can total 350 TB. Storing a single episode of a high-end hour-long TV program can cost $12,000 per year. Major studios like Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony, and Warner each have archives of tens of thousands of TV episodes and features, and they’re adding new titles all the time.

Meanwhile, the use of higher-resolution digital cameras and 3D cameras has caused the amount of potentially archivable material to skyrocket. “We went from standard definition to HD and then from HD to UHD,” Peter Schade, NBCUniversal’s vice president of content management, said in an interview. Pixel resolutions have gone from 2K to 4K and soon, 8K, he adds. Codecs—the software used to compress and decompress digital video files—keep changing, as do the hardware and software for playback. “And the rate of change has escalated,” Schade says. “}}