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The Long Black Line
Tape, tape and more tape; and decks; HDV, DV, VHS and more.


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Old January 17th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #1
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RIP Magnetic Tape.

Looks like 2010 will go down as the year new DV TAPE cameras really did disappear from the consumer and prosumer markets.

At this years CES there's a mix of Standard and HiDef, with your choice of hard drive, SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. Zoom lens can now go out to 78x, very advanced image stabilisation, face recognition, scene detection, night vision, wireless upload and more.

Panasonic released 6 new models, Sony 13, JVC 10, Canon 9, Samsung 3, Sanyo 2, Toshiba 2 and Yashica 1 .. are there any others?

So that's 46! NEW DV cameras with only ONE running tape .. it's the current Canon HV40 so it's not a new release it's still in production from last year.

But it looks like being the very last mini DV tape cam .. and I think that signals the end of magnetic tape as a recording medium. If so it's a historic year bringing a tear to many an eye including mine.

Of course tape cams are still on sale and in use by TV and production outfits but they'll dry up ... and faster after folk read this.

My point is .. crunch time is coming for all DV camera owners who have a tape camera and a library of valuable tapes and who among us doesn't.

To continue to be able to play that library you've got to make some choices, not right away but soon.

1. Put a tape camera aside only for playing the library.
2. Edit and transfer all tape videos to DVD, too hard for most folk.
3. Cull the library then transfer to DVD at a camera shop somewhere.
4. Set up and start a business doing this.
5. Forget it.

But have folk lost interest? Is there a head in the sand attitude to these new cameras? Is the choice of CMOS or 3CCD together with solid state storage too difficult for people? Has the economic downturn affected things?

The introduction of the Canon 5D and 7D still cameras that shoot great quality video hasn't made the choice easier for folk and has just confused the issue even more.

So where are we now?

Cheers.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 05:24 PM   #2
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Interesting but I'm having a little déja entendu here.

When CDs were introduced, that was going to be the cue for throwing away all audio cassette tapes. I didn't, and they all still play. The audio recording of my wedding in 1979 was transferred to CD in the mid 1990s. The CD no longer plays, but the audio cassette does. (It is backed up on HD and remote server as well).

I remember reading nostalgic articles about how turntables and vinyl disks were once used to reproduce music, and how everyone ditched their LPs. I didn't, and am interested to observe the healthy number of USB turntables currently on the market.

My Super 8 film archive was backed up on VHS, and more recently on DV tapes and hard drives. I still prefer to watch them on the original film. It is useful to have these backups though. I can still buy lamps for the Standard/Super 8 combo projector which I bought in 1980, and if the joints in the film come apart, it's fun to cement them back together. The cement and editing kits are still available.

All my 9 years' worth of DV tapes survive in perfect health to the best of my knowledge. Not so the hard drives in the cameras of a couple of unfortunate acquaintances, and three USB flash drives and two CompactFlash cards of mine.

Where I am now? About to buy an HV40 to add to the 2 work owned HV30s I use and I have been thinking about option 4 for a wee while now.

I did ditch quite a few films on VHS because the DVD version was better quality, easier to use and had extra features so I'm not a total Luddite, more of a realist.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #3
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All change is not progress. But some really, really is. I won't wax nostalgic about cheap consumer video tape, or the myriad of professional tape formats out there. They have/had their place. But for those of us trying to deliver product via tape it was an absolute nightmare. This one only could read DVCPro ($8k deck), that one could only handle DVCam ($10k), the other had some proprietary thing I couldn't deliver to so everything had to be transcoded. BAH!

Tape can be ok for archival purposes, but for moving things around from production to post, or post to broadcast, it was the pits. I'll take tapeless any day over that mess. And amazing, I don't have to buy any decks. And it doesn't matter what kind of computer the two parties may have. It all just works.. even though it may take a little massaging sometimes. And I can make copies without loss. And I can review my archival material without causing further degradation.

During production, I can put 24 hours of footage in my jacket pocket. Try that with pro tape or film. I can make copies of an hour of footage for $30. How much does an hour of film cost? And what's the cost to copy it?

So we can walk down memory lane all we like. There is a reason that we move forward. And often they are good reasons. Or maybe you guys would like to hand back your 52" plasmas for a B&W Philco.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 07:47 PM   #4
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Perrone wrote:

Quote:
During production, I can put 24 hours of footage in my jacket pocket.
Yes, but i can also lose 24 hours of production from my jacket pocket..:)
I couldn't resist that one..It was too easy.

No, seriously, this is a topic that keeps coming up, and an issue that keeps going around in circles.
I strongly believe that it's up to each individual's industry, needs, workflow and output..There isn't any finished forumula..
Tape is still viable to many people, including myself. But until all the manufacturers abandon tape, it will still be around for many people.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 09:22 PM   #5
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I will be giving up that massive time spent putting data into the computer in real time, then turning around and meticulously working on seconds of the video for minutes, taking 60-100 times as long as it takes to toss the video onto the computer.
then outputting it to BruRay for 24 HOURS. wow i am soo gratefull they improved the "workflow" to save me that 2 hours out of the month :-)
now i will have to figure out how i am going to spend that extra 1-1/2 hours i saved , what will i do?? i know figure out how to archive it without tape :-)

not everyone tosses out thier camera the day the new kid comes to town, some people hold onto things untill all the bugs are worked out. as professionals we might be forced into playing the $$$$ game to stay up to date, but there are still consumers out there who thier single closet camera will last 8-10 years, and who arent going to replace it on a whim.

Who can make us feel that tape completly dissapeared this year better than the people selling/reviewing the new stuff. but since when did reviewers/sellers actually have to pay for anything or even use it :-)
SD DVD is going to be running for a lot longer, making viable still recording on any good ol stuff out there, unless your feeding broadcasters.
Look at the STUFF on youtube that has 1 million + views do they Require chips to do that? the web still dont know if you used tape or chip, because it cant deliver what the tape could even.

These Video SALES shows dont live in reality, just because THEY are trying to re-sell us all the new round of equiptment doesnt mean that they will immediataly. If i was to believe everything i saw on the sales floor i would have 2 perpetual energy machines running my house :-)
I could go to a home show and have someone show me a $2500 refridgerator, and be wowed by it, it doesnt mean i will own one, or even EVER will. shows dont define what everyone does, even if they define what we might like to have.

I have spent over 1 Million dollers on equipment throughout the ages, and can still pull up tape stuff done 20+ years ago for a customer, it is still Good if the content and the work were done well, even if the master it is on is fully obsolete. If your script is good, if your content is good, if you put the work and thought into it, it wont die as quickly at all.
no i dont watch 50 year old black and white films or use the word classic :-) but people do.

So while digital takes over eventually, and tape beomes obsolete, except for the 7000 hours i have stored , i think it would be good for everyone to remember the Quaility of the content they deliver, can be more important than the media it comes on this week.
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Last edited by Marty Welk; January 17th, 2010 at 09:54 PM.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #6
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It's a bit like the Mac vs PC (and related software) argument for doing graphic design layout work. You can't tell by looking at the finished art.

In the end, it's just a toolset. The artist is where the difference is.

Andrew
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Old January 17th, 2010, 10:31 PM   #7
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I defy anyone here to name 1 HD tape format that meets broadcast muster that a person NOT in broadcast can afford at home.

Sure, you've got mini-DV, SVHS, and even the odd person with a Betamax or whatever. But MODERN TV is HD. And sorry, the average person is NOT going to drop $18k on a DVCProHD deck or $80k on HDCamSR, or $50k on basic HDCam hardware. It's a no go for *TODAY'S* production.

Even in the world of modern SD production, with IMX and similar standards you're still talking about $30k decks. You guys really consider that an option for the wedding guy? For the guy doing docu, with an HMC150, or even with a DVX100, when he has to deliver?

@Marty Sounds like you need to spend some of that $1M sorting out your HD workflow. My BluRay's are done in 2 hours with a 1.5 year old burner. Not sure why you're having issues.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 10:47 PM   #8
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""@Marty Sounds like you need to spend some of that $1M sorting out your HD workflow. My BluRay's are done in 2 hours with a 1.5 year old burner. Not sure why you're having issues.""

I spent 1 Million on Stuff over Years, that now i couldnt get $500 bucks for, its a money PIT, i am not spending 1 million in any single year just to pleasure japan :-)

you Fully Encode a 2 hour blue ray in <2 hours? when it takes me some 4+ hours to fully 2 pass encode Plus 30+min to properly write a regular DVD master DVD-RW. with 2 processors running floored at almost 4Gig. they must have made some amasing advancements, or some major corner cutting.

and let me guess, it only takes you an hour to color and luma correct 300 seperate clips too right? 15 minutes to edit a movie ?

we used to do tape to tape analog edting, in 1/10th the time it took to shove stuff into the computer and piddle with it there. Live color and luma correction, live sound and equalisation, live cuts edits, even live transistions when done right.
so now they are saving us an hour or so with Flash chips, i am just saying that for vast quantities of people, the difference between chip and tape isnt all the difference in the world, its 2 lunch breaks :-)
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Old January 17th, 2010, 10:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Welk View Post
""@Marty Sounds like you need to spend some of that $1M sorting out your HD workflow. My BluRay's are done in 2 hours with a 1.5 year old burner. Not sure why you're having issues.""

you Fully Encode a 2 hour blue ray in <2 hours? when it takes me some 4+ hours to fully 2 pass encode Plus 30+min to properly write a regular DVD master DVD-RW. with 2 processors running floored at almost 4Gig. they must have made some amasing advancements, or some major corner cutting.

and let me guess, it only takes you an hour to color and luma correct 300 seperate clips too right?
I thought you were talking about burning. Encoding can take a while depending on source material. Especially if you are doing 2-pass. I rarely use VBR so I don't do 2-pass often.

I've never had to do 300 clips in one sitting, but it would certainly take longer than an hour.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 11:06 PM   #10
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oh :-(
i am just saying people shouldnt fret about thier tape being obsolete tomorrow, there is much and much Stuff beyond getting it in the computer working on it and getting it out again. a few hours extra feeding it into the computer isnt going to be the thing that destroys a video.
Potentially you can even use those hours of feeding into the computer to View the thing, take notes, or see what needs to be done. Can you even watch the video when feeding in a chip?
the tape to chip change ONLY doesnt make a world of differance.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 11:17 PM   #11
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the tape to chip change ONLY doesnt make a world of differance.
My contention is that it does, when you've got to foot the bill. What is the cost for a single tape and a deck that can play 1080p. Any full raster format will do...

An hour's worth costs me $38 on the EX1. Assuming I don't reuse it.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 11:26 PM   #12
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And the opposite is also true
why would you pay for someone to do Nothing?
say i have an editor hired for $50 an hour, if the data is painfully slowly going into the computer in real time, and i am paying $50 for it, then they better be taking notes, and watching for what they are going to do.
if the chip is going in in 1/4th that time, am i going to pay them to sit there watching the data move, when they cant even SEE it?

yes good HD cost a billion dollers, but many people are making much and much good stuff in HDV , so there still is HD on tape, mabey it doesnt meet your specs for being up to par, but it is still HD and looks pretty good.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 11:59 PM   #13
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yes good HD cost a billion dollers, but many people are making much and much good stuff in HDV , so there still is HD on tape, mabey it doesnt meet your specs for being up to par, but it is still HD and looks pretty good.
It has zero to do with *MY* specs. I still shoot HDV (tapeless) when necessary, but it doesn't meet broadcaster's specs for HD. For the home shooter that's immaterial. But in the big boy game, that equals a no-sale. And you know this.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #14
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Everybody is right

in what they are saying and all valid points. But it still comes down to JVC tape based camera owners are stuffed if this is the way its heading. Stuffed because depending on the punter they can't afford to now buy a solid state recorder to continue using their camera, or simply they can afford it ,but now I got to fork out $5000 for a Nano flash to keep working, plus another $1000 for CF cards, and then a CF reader.

I buy the HDPro tapes at $10 each, so $6000 is a few years worth of safe and secure tape shooting.
True tapes are a pain to capture, I use the DRDH100 recorder to dump onto my computer for editing, but firewire is a little unreliable and the connector losses contact easy causing drop out or stopping of recording, that's where ol reliable tape comes back into it to save the day. Sure dropouts do occur, but honestly with the ProHD tapes i very very rarely do get a hit

Until solid state media is priced the same as tapes, and then can be used as a viable archiving medium, I think tape demise is still premature.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 11:43 PM   #15
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Until solid state media is priced the same as tapes, and then can be used as a viable archiving medium, I think tape demise is still premature.
Remind me again what it costs to shoot full raster 1080p onto tape like we do to solid state...
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