Doctoral candidate Jimi Jones successfully defended his dissertation, "So Many Standards, So Little Time: An Analysis of Two Video Digitization Standards Groups," on June 19.
His committee included Associate Professor Jerome P. McDonough (chair); Associate Professor Lori Kendall; Assistant Professor Peter Darch; and Howard Besser, professor of cinema studies at New York University.
Abstract: This dissertation focuses on standards for digital video—the social aspects of their design and the sociotechnical forces that drive their development and adoption. This work is a history and analysis of how the MXF, JPEG 2000, FFV1 and Matroska standards have been adopted and/or adapted by libraries and archives of different sizes. Well-funded institutions often have the resources to develop tailor-made specifications for the digitization of their analog video objects. Digital video standards and specifications of this kind are often derived from the needs of the cinema production and television broadcast realms in the United States and may be unsuitable for smaller memory institutions that are resource-poor and/or lack staff with the knowledge to implement these technologies. This research seeks to provide insight into how moving image preservation professionals work with—and sometimes against—broadcast and film production industries in order to produce and/or implement standards governing video formats and encodings. This dissertation describes the transition of four digital video standards from niches to widespread use in libraries and archives. It also examines the effects these standards produce on cultural heritage video preservation by interviewing people who implement the standards as well as people who develop them.