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I want to store some videos for long term. But I'm not sure what is the most compatible video format. I don't want to wake up one day in the future when computers use some totally different architecture and realize that a particular codex needed for the video is no longer available for the platform that I'm using.

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closed as not constructive by random, quack quixote, BinaryMisfit Mar 11 '10 at 5:56

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How far in the future are you wanting the answers to predict for? Need to work out how big a crystal ball to get. – random Mar 11 '10 at 3:07
You don't have to be a smart a*** :-). Well, a popular open source solution would probably be good. I did some research and Ogg/Theora seems to be a good one. I want to see what the superuser community thinks. – 7wp Mar 11 '10 at 3:21
He's not being a smart ass (well, much). Science and computing will inevitably take a path we don't currently expect, and attempting to guess where we will be technologically in 50/100/1000 years in any detail is basically voodoo and hand-waving. Probably your best bet is something open source. – Fake Name Mar 11 '10 at 4:27
it's a good question, or at least a fair one, but far better suited to a discussion forum than for this site. perhaps rephrase it to ask what formats are used in current best practices for video archiving. – quack quixote Mar 11 '10 at 4:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The most wide-spread digital video codec is found in DVDs (MPEG-2). Because it has become so ubiquitous, I would expect the codecs to be available for a very long time. Even as newer formats become available, people will want to be able to access DVD's archival material for the foreseeable future.

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Thank you, that't the kind of info i was looking for. – 7wp Mar 11 '10 at 5:02

Theora with Vorbis are theoretically good, due to their Open nature. However, they have yet to see really widespread acceptance (especially Theora). There are not that many implementations, and not that much material encoded with them, so for now, at least, I have to agree with Robert that MPEG-2 is probably the way to go.

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