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Old March 5th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #1
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Long term storage w/o Blue Ray? Is this a solution?

I started thinking about this last night and the costs of the blue ray or HD burners speculated to be around $2000 is another thing pushing the cost of the hvx200 way past the initial $6000. I already own a Wiebetech TrayDock, which is basically a firewire hard drive that you can put your own hard drives into. These days you can buy a 250 gig drive for around $100. Considering that it probably has closer to 240 gigs of actually storage, that's about 10 hours of 720p24 material. Compare that to 10 x 1 hour HDV tapes at around $10 a piece and it's basically a dead heat.
I was planning on going this route anyway, so I'm not sure how Blue Ray burners would help me. I already get old VHS or mini Beta SP tape cases and store my old hard drives in them, so perhaps this could be a solution ona larger scale for the hvx200.
I'm very good at missing something obvious, so perhaps I'm missing the advantage of the Blue Ray. But, presently, could someone explain to me how the HVX200 would be more expensive to run than an HDV can in this setup (other than the initial cost of the TrayDock)? Unless I'm missing something, it seems the same to me.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #2
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My guess is you're right. You would probably want to double back-up so if one drive dies you are safe, but that is still pretty inexpensive. Its more of a hassle to hand off drives to a client like this, but if people get used to it, it makes sense to me.
I assume that this is the workflow for now at least.
I think most people like the idea of getting off hard drives to something optical and smaller but until that comes around, the tray dock or any other hot swap device is a the cheapest solution.
Not too hard really.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley Cooper
These days you can buy a 250 gig drive for around $100. Considering that it probably has closer to 240 gigs of actually storage, that's about 10 hours of 720p24 material. Compare that to 10 x 1 hour HDV tapes at around $10 a piece and it's basically a dead heat...could someone explain to me how the HVX200 would be more expensive to run than an HDV can in this setup (other than the initial cost of the TrayDock)? Unless I'm missing something, it seems the same to me.
The biggest problem with the HVX200 is the cost of the storage required to capture the video you need out in the field in the first place. But setting that aside, let's examine your archiving cost estimate more carefully. As Leonard pointed out you'll need to make two copies of anything important, since you won't have a tape backup copy and hard drives are inherently unreliable. So now you need two 250 GB drives at $100 each to back up about 13 hours of 720/24pn video, which works out to around $15/hour -- plus the value of your time required to transfer and duplicate the footage. (But let's call that a wash compared to capturing raw footage from HDV tapes.) Most people using HDV cameras aren't bothering with the expensive HDV tapes, they're using regular miniDV tapes costing ~$3-5/hour. If they then capture that footage to the same 250 GB hard drives you're talking about, that costs them another $5 or so per hour of source footage, so a total of let's say $10 per hour.

So for each hour of footage you shoot on the HVX200 at the lowest typical bandwidth setting, your archiving costs are at least 50% higher than shooting HDV, and that's assuming the HDV shooter keeps the hard drive copy of their footage. (Which most don't since the tape backup copy is sufficiently reliable.) If you shoot full-bandwidth DVCProHD, your archiving costs jump to $37.50/hour, or almost four times the cost per hour of HDV. (Or eight times as much as for HDV shooters who only keep the master tape after finishing a project.) That's a potentially significant cost difference if you shoot at least 100 or more hours of footge per year.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 05:35 PM   #4
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Well true, the cost of p2 cards etc is a whole another thing to consider. But, that's interesting, there's always different ways of playing with numbers. I actually thought most people were using the HDV tapes, but if not then that does make a difference. I was always told though that the 1st thing you should do when you shoot is make a backup of your tapes, so I thought this too might be a wash. But, I know very few people who actually do that, so that might be unfair and this may be another problem of the comparison.
Still, in my own observation, it's miles that kills hard drives rather than age, so I feel pretty comfortable on short projects using a drive for a few months to possibly a year then putting it in storage. Would I do this on long projects, like a feature? I don't know, probably not. An extra backup hard drive there would probably be a good idea.
Anyway, this was kind of food for thought.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 06:09 PM   #5
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Or you could look at it this way: for many people the cost of HDV tapes isn't going to exceed the cost of P2 cards or Firestore hard drives for the HVX200, so take the initial recording cost out of the equation. Now the cost of archiving anything shot in HDV is inherently cheaper than archiving anything shot on the HVX200, since the storage requirements are smaller for a given amount of recording time. And since you can use DTE drives to eliminate the need for tapes with HDV, there's no advantage to the HVX200 there either.

I don't see much point in comparing costs for the HVX200 to HDV. If you really want what the HVX200 has to offer then you shouldn't be too concerned about the cost, except compared to other options for shooting and processing DVCProHD. If you care about cost, HDV is the way to go.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #6
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The Blue-ray route is very expensive although costs will obviously come down. One things that doesn't get mentioned frequently is that the blank disks are VERY expensive, around $90 each in small quantities. That's not any better than archiving via DLT. And at this point Blue-ray is notorious for the high failure rate of the finished DVDs. The large DVD duplicators are all concerned about the duplication costs for Blue-ray. On the other hand HD-DVD, an extension of the existing format, is easier. That is one of the reasons the computer industry is behind HD-DVD over Blue-ray: cheaper burners, cheaper media and sooner to be on the market at reasonable prices.

Personally, I plan for now to go with the hard drive option but expect to be able to go to HD-DVD later in the year.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Or you could look at it this way: for many people the cost of HDV tapes isn't going to exceed the cost of P2 cards or Firestore hard drives for the HVX200, so take the initial recording cost out of the equation. Now the cost of archiving anything shot in HDV is inherently cheaper than archiving anything shot on the HVX200, since the storage requirements are smaller for a given amount of recording time. And since you can use DTE drives to eliminate the need for tapes with HDV, there's no advantage to the HVX200 there either.

I don't see much point in comparing costs for the HVX200 to HDV. If you really want what the HVX200 has to offer then you shouldn't be too concerned about the cost, except compared to other options for shooting and processing DVCProHD. If you care about cost, HDV is the way to go.
I don't really get that post. It was pretty much taken as a given that HDV would be cheaper to use and archive.
But as far as comparing the costs, man that's standard operating proceedure for companies of any size. You weigh the pluses and minuses of the various options and the costs associated with each. Something might be out of your range or it might not, depending on different solutions. My only point posting this was that the cost difference might not be as much as had been previously believed when comparing the 2 formats. Depending on your workflow, it may or may not be, but I don't understand dismissing it out of hand like that.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 08:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ashley Cooper
My only point posting this was that the cost difference might not be as much as had been previously believed when comparing the 2 formats. Depending on your workflow, it may or may not be, but I don't understand dismissing it out of hand like that.
Sorry, I didn't mean to make light of what you were trying to say, but when you add up all the costs the HVX200 simply can't compete with HDV for now. It is interesting that the cost of hard drive space has dropped to the point where archiving DVCProHD footage isn't impossibly expensive, but it's still ~$1500 for 100 hours of low-bandwidth footage or ~$3750 for 100 hours of full-bandwidth material. Compare that to as little as $300 for 100 hours worth of HDV recording on miniDV tape, and HDV wins by a mile in any sensible cost comparison.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 09:42 PM   #9
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This is the bleeding edge.. when I got my digital rebel the first month it was out, I paid 550 bucks for a one gig slow poke CF card... and did one job with the digital camera and figured it was worth every cent because of the workflow and immediacy.

I will be shooting low volume high deadline stuff with this camera and hope to never shoot tape again. I don't even plan on recording to P2 initally. I'll be streaming to a laptop and then handing off master quality DVDs to the client as well as a FCP project file.

Great shifts in thinking will be costly...
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Old March 5th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #10
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More ideas, please.

I jumped into this thread hoping it would rattle out some ideas on long term storage for HVX footage ... no offense, but I didn't think the original intent was to explore HDV vs. HVX expenses.

So, any ideas out there from people who are currently using an HVX and are dealing with the reality of long-term storage?

Or, if I'm off here, should I start a different thread? Thanks!
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Old March 5th, 2006, 11:05 PM   #11
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I can't help but get the feeling that somewhere in the storage plan will be.. <gulp> .... a large digital tape storage drive of some type.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 11:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Damkoehler
I jumped into this thread hoping it would rattle out some ideas on long term storage for HVX footage ... no offense, but I didn't think the original intent was to explore HDV vs. HVX expenses.
Well, that was the original intention of this thread... I think. But it seems a lot of forum members have been crapping in HVX threads lately with HDV comparisons. Anyway...

Quote:
So, any ideas out there from people who are currently using an HVX and are dealing with the reality of long-term storage?
For right now, the most reliable and cost-effective means of backing up, long-term storage or archival of your HVX footage is tape. No question about it. There are several options for tape drives and formats and it can admittedly get very confusing. The primary formats available are DLT, LTO and AIT and there are several versions of each. A good tape drive which can store 160GB of uncompressed data (always go off the uncompressed number) will run about $500 to $1000 with tapes in the $20 range. After a dozen tapes or so, the numbers will start to work in favor of tape and it will gradually prove to be cheaper than hard drive storage. But even at the same or similar price point, I would trust a tape, more than a hard drive as it doesn't have all the internal parts, heads, motor, etc... that can fail.

If you're only shooting 20GB or video each week or so, then take a look at simply backing up to DVD-R. A 4GB P2 card backs up perfectly to a single layer DVD-R disc. An 8GB P2 can span 2 discs with most decent disc burning/backup software. Good quality DVD-R media can be had in bulk for $0.35 per disc for 8X capable. There are 16X capable discs out there, but I have yet to find any that have a 100% burn rate and cost under $0.80 per disc.

BluRay and HD-DVD seem like a good format of choice for backup. However, they won't be cost-effective for initial buyers and just like DVD-R and CD-R it will take a while for prices to settle down. Probably a year or two before the first major price drop. Drives will start off at $995 MSRP and media will be initially priced at < $20 for single layer HD-DVD ($65 for dual-layer). BluRay will be < $50 for single layer and about $90 for dual layer. Ouch.

That pretty well sums it up. Personally, I would look into one of the new LTO-3 tape drives. They use the LTO-3 tapes which store 400GB uncompressed and have a transfer rate of 40~80MB/sec if your system can handle it. Drives are a bit pricey, but at about $75 to $95 per tape (the 400GB ones), that's roughly 1/4 the cost of HDD storage. If you will be doing a significant amount of archiving, that tape drive could pay for itself relatively quick compared to just buying hard drives to back up your stuff.

Some of the newer SDLT tape units from Quantum are worth looking into as well.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 12:04 AM   #13
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I have a feeling this is going to be very much like a rerun of VHS vs Beta, with HD-DVD playing the part of VHS and BluRay playing Beta. I'd almost bet the HD-DVD format wins in the consumer marketplace, and Sony, with BluRay, once again winds up with the higher end video production industry market.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 12:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
Well, that was the original intention of this thread... I think. But it seems a lot of forum members have been crapping in HVX threads lately with HDV comparisons.
The original premise of this thread was that archiving footage from an HVX200 could somehow be as cost-effective as shooting in HDV, which calls for a direct comparison between the two formats. I've tried to keep my comments in that regard straightforward and to the point, so please don't interpret them as crapping on the Panny camera. As I've noted in other discussions, I think the HVX200 has a lot of potential for those people who can find a way to work it.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 01:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
The original premise of this thread was that archiving footage from an HVX200 could somehow be as cost-effective as shooting in HDV, which calls for a direct comparison between the two formats. I've tried to keep my comments in that regard straightforward and to the point, so please don't interpret them as crapping on the Panny camera. As I've noted in other discussions, I think the HVX200 has a lot of potential for those people who can find a way to work it.
Yeah, re-reading this thread, I guess the HDV comparison was present right from the very first post. As for the thread crapping, I wasn't targeting you in any way. You have been very straight-forward with such issues. There has been a lot of whining in some other threads though by others and that's what I was thinking of... Stuff like people chiming in out of nowhere with incomplete and irrelevent posts like "the HVX sucks because it can't do HDV".

But keeping this thread on topic... I don't think there is any way to squeeze HVX backup options into a DV (HDV) price model. This is also going to apply to any other new cameras coming out that use tapeless recording, be it solid state, HDD or optical disc for their primary media. Obviously the situation will improve with time, but how much time is anyones' guess.

FWIW, I think one of the best HVX backup/archive solutions right now in terms of cost, and ease of use would be the Exabyte VXA-2 unit that attaches via FireWire. It can be purchased for about $1K and includes Dantz Retrospect software (good stuff) and a tape. Each tape holds a native 160GB and going rate for tapes is about $28 purchased individually, as low as $20 in reasonable bulk packs (like 25 count). Right now, the best price | capacity ratio for HDDs is at about the 250~300GB mark or about $0.38 per gigabyte (roughtly $96 for 250GB for a quality drive). This Exabyte firewire unit plus a box of 25 tapes at $22 per tape (plus the unit includes a free tape) figures out to $0.37 per gigabyte for those 26 tapes. Oh and if anyone is wondering, those 26 tapes hold 4160GB, or the equivalent of 520 8GB P2 cards (over 173 hours of 720pn24 footage). Top quality DV tape at $4 per tape will cost $696... Making the price difference about $854 between VXA-2 archiving DVCPROHD 720pn24 as compared to HDV or DV.

Now here's the kicker... Another box of $25 VXA-2 tapes will cost about $550 and will provide storage for 166.6 hours of 720pn24. To shoot that same amount of time to miniDV tape will cost about $668 using $4 tapes. So VXA-2 is about $0.70 per hour cheaper than DV tape in terms of video storage costs. The break-even point for equipment costs with the VXA tape system vs. HDV would be somewhere around 1430 hours of video (yikes!).

So, not as cheap as miniDV tape when considering the investment as a whole. But tape drives are probably the most logical and cost-effective solution for those of us who are traveling the HVX road. Besides, the tape system can be used for all other backups. And, if you do use it enough to reach tape #215, that's the magic number where this system should have repaid its investment (assuming it was a cash purchase to begin with) and from there on out will save money vs. DV tape. ...By that time it will probably be worn-out anyway and you'll need a new drive. Heh. :)
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