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FFV1

A lossless intra-frame video codec.

FFV1, which stands for "FF video codec 1", is a lossless intra-frame video codec. It can use either variable length coding or arithmetic coding for entropy coding. The encoder and decoder are part of the free, open-source library libavcodec in the project FFmpeg since June 2003. FFV1 is also included in ffdshow and LAV Filters, which makes the video codec available to Microsoft Windows applications that support system-wide codecs over Video for Windows (VfW) or DirectShow. FFV1 is particularly popular for its performance regarding speed and size, compared to other lossless preservation codecs, such as M-JPEG2000. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) lists FFV1 under the codec-family index "31" in their combined list of video codec references.

For long-term preservation of digital video sustainable container formats as well as audio/video codecs are necessary. There is no consensus to date among the archival community as to which file format or codecs should be used for preservation purposes for digital video. The previously proclaimed encodings were Motion JPEG 2000 (lossless) and uncompressed video.

FFV1 has turned out to be a viable addition to that choice and was added as a suitable option for preservation encoding in 2014. With compression ratios comparable to JPEG 2000 lossless and its lower computing requirements, it is already being used by professional archives as their long-term storage codec. Especially archives where the collections do not feature extensive broadcast materials but rather consist of, oral history-, ethnographic-recordings and the likes, "favored the lossless FFV1 encoding" in communications with the "Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative" (FADGI) team.

As of 2015, standardization of FFV1 through the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is work in progress as part of the European PREFORMA Project, as well as implementation of a conformance checker for FFV1/PCM in a Matroska (MKV) container. Details of FFV1's standardization plan have been prepared by MediaArea (authors of MediaInfo) as part of their conformance checking tool "Media CONCH".

It is also listed as a format option for long-term preservation of moving images on sites of the U.S. Library of Congress', State Records NSW and others. The Society of American Archivists has published a paper in August 2014, suggesting only FFV1 as preservation codec for video.

The Digital Preservation project at the U.S. Library of Congress identified AVI and Matroska as common container formats for FFV1.

Key Terms

arithmetic coding entropy coding
definition
ff video codec
ffv1
library congress
lossless
lossless intra frame video codec
part
usage
variable length coding

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Synonymns

FFV1
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Last modified on April 28 2020
Content adapted from Wikipedia
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