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Old September 25th, 2010, 05:31 PM   #1
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AVCHD footage: data DVDs or External HD?

For purposes of long-term storage, is it better to burn data DVDs or save AVCHD footage to an external hard drive?

I use Sony Vegas for editing, and Cineform to capture (which brings it in as avi). If I go the HD route for storage, should I capture it to my desktop first, and then copy it over to the external hard drive for storage? Or should I copy the footage from thecamcorder directly to the external hard drive without using Cineforn?
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Old September 25th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #2
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I've had DVD-R's expire on me, and have already had a few Blu-ray burns (all with name-brand media, mind you), go mysteriously bad after a short time. On top of that, it's considered relatively common knowledge that the lifespans of recordable discs are not particularly long. Though a few manufacturers (e.g., Delkin) have begun selling "archival quality" discs with "100-year guarantees," I still prefer a stack of external HDs for my backup needs. An HD, especially one that sits idle and turned off 99% of the time, ought to last a long, long time.

Best,
Aaron
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Old September 25th, 2010, 09:58 PM   #3
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I backup to Quantum Ultrium LTO3 tape drive. Fast economical and better than video tape for reliability. Drive cost less than my family AVCHD camera ( XR500) and a lot less than the NX5U. The 400G tapes are $25 or so. I can back up everything to this tape, original AVCHD files, project files and finished SD DVD and Bluray iso.

Tapes backup or restore at 65MBps on my system so its very fast. An hour of AVCHD( between 8G and 10G) is backed-up and verified in a few minutes. I use ROXIO ( used to be EMC) Retrospect 7.7

Ron Evans
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Old September 25th, 2010, 10:36 PM   #4
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Rob: The Ultrium looks like a nice solution. I should have mentioned that, for me, "backup" and "backlog" are often one and the same, so being able to pop a USB cable into a cold drive and drag the clips to Premiere is important. If "backup" truly means "backup", then tape is still hard to beat!

Best,
Aaron

Last edited by Aaron Holmes; September 25th, 2010 at 10:38 PM. Reason: misread prior post
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Old September 26th, 2010, 06:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
I backup to Quantum Ultrium LTO3 tape drive. Fast economical and better than video tape for reliability. Drive cost less than my family AVCHD camera ( XR500) and a lot less than the NX5U. The 400G tapes are $25 or so. I can back up everything to this tape, original AVCHD files, project files and finished SD DVD and Bluray iso.

Tapes backup or restore at 65MBps on my system so its very fast. An hour of AVCHD( between 8G and 10G) is backed-up and verified in a few minutes. I use ROXIO ( used to be EMC) Retrospect 7.7

Ron Evans
If I'm using a flash media rather than tape-based camcorder, how does the Quantum fit in? How would I later get the backed-up media from the tape to my computer if I needed it for a future project?
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Old September 26th, 2010, 08:58 AM   #6
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I have Sony camcorders and use the Sony software that comes with the cameras to transfer files to the PC. Since I edit with either Vegas 9 or mainly Edius I edit native AVCHD mostly so there is no intermediate like Cineform unless I am doing multicam in which case this is always in Edius and I then convert some of the tracks to Canopus HQ.

When transfer from the camcorder I direct the Sony software to a directory created on the hard drive for the project. Finished project files also go to this directory and I then backup this whole directory to LTO3 tape using the Retrospect software that keeps track of where things are etc. I usually keep a few projects on the hard drive in cases I need to make a few changes in the next few weeks and then the oldest project gets deleted.

The sustained transfer rate to and from tape is the same as the hard drive ( the tape is faster than any of my hard drives) about 65MBps is as fast as my hard drives will go sustained though they will burst to over 100MBps to start. That is almost 3 times faster than a typical external USB 2.0 drive can manage for instance.

IF I want to recover the whole project or just some files I use Retrospect to find file, it tells me which tape to load and I choose where to put the file(s) on the PC. IT will then copy back to the PC again at the maximum rate the PC allows limited mainly by the hard drive speed. Compared to video tape this transfer is about 20 times faster and unlike backup of the video file I can get back to the complete project as it was if I choose.

Until I went tapeless I had a mix of video tape from my FX1 and AVCHD files stored on two hard drive ( for backup) of the XR500 and SR11 files. Since moving to the NX5U from the FX1 I am now all AVCHD and the amount of files has of course increased for backup. That is when I changed to LTO3 and wondered why I hadn't done it before!!!!

Ron Evans
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Old September 26th, 2010, 10:23 AM   #7
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Thanks for the explanation. That helps!
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