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Old March 27th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #16
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
Not that I can find on the UK site. There are lots of promises, but when you actually go in to this in detail, many of the hits are for other products. Have a look at this typical result below - there's only one single 3 pack available here. Some websites are still listing JVC tapes but when you try to order them, they don't actually have them. Are you saying you have actually managed to get JVC tapes from Amazon in the last couple of weeks?
No, I bought Sony Mini Dv's.

But JVC tapes seem to be available.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B000ANH0AK/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&qid=1301256920&sr=8-13&condition=all
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B0000YVMN0/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&qid=1301256920&sr=8-15&condition=all
At least I was able to put the above items in my shopping basket (but didn't want to buy them). More options on the US site, which will deliver to the UK.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #17
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

Still finding out about the first link, but here's what happened when I tried to order more than one pack on the second link (this is what I've been finding is happening most of the time - also the delivery is more than the cost of the tapes - this is also a common problem).

EDIT: Checked out the first link - there are currently 7 packs (the most I've seen so far). Don't know about the delivery though - it is often per pack I have found.

Believe me, JVC tapes are getting hard to find - I've spent some time on this recently and have cleared out all the stock in 3 UK suppliers.
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Last edited by Colin McDonald; March 27th, 2011 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Completed research
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Old March 27th, 2011, 10:36 PM   #18
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

I just placed an order with B&H for 100 Panasonic tapes ( they are limiting amounts you can order at a time) and noticed they have the Maxell red label dv tapes in stock... I added qty 100 to my cart with no issues (but removed them ) So if you want them this seems like a good supply source ( for now.. )
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Old March 28th, 2011, 09:59 AM   #19
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

The Panasonic PQ series tapes I ordered from B&H last week came in on schedule and with no backorders.

Thanks for all the input! I knew I'd get the inside scoop on this forum.

I had no idea Flash media would be impacted so much. Isn't a large percentage made in Korea?
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Old March 28th, 2011, 12:43 PM   #20
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

Chipmaker Micron focuses on Japan wafer suppliers | Reuters

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20042212-64.html

It's a tough situation. Even if the memory makers are elsewhere, a lot of the raw wafers come from Japan. And for the offshore makers to ramp up they would need new fab process equipment, a lot of which comes from Japan. So it bites at several levels.

We have a plastic supplier in the immediate area - in fact in one of the towns that suffered major damage, but the factory is on high ground. Biggest issue now is rolling power outages and shortage of trucks and gasoline.

Plastic is one thing - you can work around power outages - but semiconductor fab needs continuous power - you can't just stop and start.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #21
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

So is it still wise to invest in an HD camera that uses mini DV?
I have an HMC40 that is great and a T3i. I have been looking for a 2nd traditional video camera and have seen XH-A1s and V1Us going pretty cheap. Just wondering if its worth picking one up or if tape will soon be extinct.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 09:34 AM   #22
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

I had struggled with that same question. I posed it to both some buddies of mine and customer service at B&H. My buddy said he's not worried. In his mind you can still buy VHF tapes and Hi 8 tapes and both are formats older then Mini DV he said he could see them being harder to find, but not just going away. B&H's view on it was that it's a very common format and they do not see it going away in the next 10 years.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 10:42 AM   #23
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

Thanks for the reply Paul. I still have a Panny DVC60 that I haven't been able to part with. I started getting worried when I couldn't buy the Sony tapes I like at Costco. They had a real good Price. Wal-Mart is still carrying them although not as cheap.
There just seems to be some smoking deals on used HD cams that use tape.
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Old April 14th, 2011, 12:27 PM   #24
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

A little different from the DV market, but in the commercial tape backup space, we see media sales actually peak around 14 years AFTER the tape drive has been withdrawn from marketing. Generally speaking, it seems that as you approach the ten year after withdrawal mark, customers start stocking up on media. Media availability tapers off after 15 to 20 years as I recall.

I would expect DV to follow the same trajectory but somewhat accelerated as the drives themselves are far less robust than enterprise computer drives so wear out is sooner which would depress the demand curve. And workflow advantages to solid state will also accelerate the demand fall off.

I think the B&H guesstimate is pretty close - I don't see any reason to really worry about media availability for quire a few years - price may increase, but it will still be around. Heck, I can still buy film for my 5 X 7 view camera and my 1930's era Zeiss folding camera. I think if you buy a tape based camera now, it will wear out long before the supply of media dries up. I have no plan to replace my JVC 110 any time soon.

One of my clients made an absolute killing manufacturing 8 inch floppy drives - they were the last maker and it became a very profitable business indeed. It seems that outfits that really make money in the computer biz are the first to enter the market - and the last to exit.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 04:38 AM   #25
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

To anybody who cannot get tapes but has a stock of old tapes where the footage on them is no longer required as an archive:

Re-use is no problem whatsoever. If the existing footage is still intact and plays without dropouts, recording over it will be just as good. Dropouts occur when the tape is mechanically drawn through the mechanism and over the heads. It makes no difference whether you are recording or playing back. There is no wear-out mechanism in the magnetic domains.
Indeed, some professional organisations actively seek used 'cleaned' tapes (including DV) as they are 'known good'. The DV system was designed in the early '90s when the problems of tape were well understood, (i.e. 20 years after the introduction of Betamax and VHS), and the tapes are designed for hundreds of head passes. Consumer Mini DV tapes have ISTR 29 components each (Tom Hardwick has counted them personally), all for a manufacturing cost of a few tens of cents. So a new tape is more likely to have a defect than one which has already been successfully used.

I have several hundred DV tapes where I can check their content and re-use if necessary for HDV. I actually bought one Sony 'chipped' tape for my TRV900E. It has been used many times over the last 13 years as a hack test tape and I have never had a dropout on it.


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Old April 16th, 2011, 02:07 PM   #26
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

There seem to be two "religions" about tape - the "Use Once" and the "Use Often" religions.

But I know that no tape maker designs their product to be used only once. Although of course they make more money if nobody re-uses it.

This is one of the major differences between tape and toilet paper.

By the way, there is firm evidence that a tape drive that is exposed to only new media will wear faster than one that is exposed to a mix of used and new media. The slitting process leaves exposed grains of magnetic material and, when viewed at ultra high magnifications, the edges of new tape look remarkably like hacksaws. Very highly abrasive to tape guides etc. A few passes through a tape drive will burnish the edges.

Tape edge abrasivity varies among manufacturers depending on their tape composition and slitting processes.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #27
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

Quote:
This is one of the major differences between tape and toilet paper.
Hahaha - nearly spayed a mouthful of a rather fine Chilean red over my Macbook pro there Jim.

OT: Just to be bad - has anyone else still using tape noticed a certain schadenfreude over reports of unreliable cards, buffer overruns and other card woes? Makes up for some of the more smug comments from those who have left tape behind. (I've been recording tapelessly on some jobs for 4 years now BTW).
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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:20 AM   #28
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

I'm using both tape (HDV) and cards (550D). I've never had a tape dropout on record and only one instance of a playback glitch (which disappeared the next time that I played the clip). Nor have I had any loss of card files.
So far, all my tapes are kept with the original takes as archive and they seem to play just as new from over 12 years ago.
I take care to back-up card files on a NAS before I re-use the chips, but I've yet to have the results of a shoot disappear, nor a HDD failure. Critical files are backed up again on another HDD.
The rush to ditch tapes by some is more of a lifestyle decision than one based on engineering logic, and I'm sure that some will regret it one day. Unless the footage is being shot for instant use and distribution, e.g. news footage, the real-time ingestion of tapes is hardly a major issue.

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Old April 17th, 2011, 02:22 PM   #29
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

Hi Steve

I understand the image problems that tape faces these days - I'm in the LTO tape business and most people are surprised when I tell them that tape is still around - most people seem to assume that you can only find a tape drive in a museum or something.Well, the industry is still shipping around a half million LTO drives a year, so SOMEBODY must still be using it!

I think you have a trade-off here - HDV has higher capture time, but it's a reasonably archive friendly medium. Memory cards don't have the up front capture issue, but they're much too expensive to just toss on the shelf so sooner or later you need to invest some time and energy in transferring the contents to a more archive-friendly medium. In the end, I'm not sure that the trade-off between the ingest time of tape and the archiving and archive management issues of solid state is all that favorable to tapeless.

Unless of course you just copy the card to a HDD and leave it on the shelf hoping that you won't be a victim of "bit rot" or mechanical failure induced by just storing the disk. Which after all is designed to spin, not to moulder away on a shelf in someone's closet.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 05:25 PM   #30
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Re: Time to hoard mini-DV tapes?

You are right Jim.
Tape definitely does have an image problem in some areas.
It's considered dead in the consumer market because the marketeers have been leading the lay buyers along the path that generates new product sales.
It's regarded by some in the prosumer and low-end professional market as inferior, partly because of the overlap in consumer-targeted marketing, and partly because many of them see the ENG market moving to file-based capture. What I can't see is why those who don't have the ENG world's overbearing need for speed, tying themselves into a burdensome backup regime, (or worse, just taking the risk with their assets), just to save a few minutes ingest time per hour of footage.
As I said above, in a true professional environment, where a high level of asset reliability is required, tape is still considered a viable and cost-effective storage medium. Gone are the analogue tape issues of print through, noise modulation and mechanical tape stretching; digital tape systems have designed-in tolerance of the physical medium's shortfall.
Tape will survive for a few years more, although techno-fashion will probably relegate it to products outside the volume sales arena.

Steve
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