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Old March 24th, 2004, 06:01 PM   #1
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DV tapes as file backup solution?

I was watching The Screen Savers on Tech Tv tonight and heard one of the hosts say that he heard about software in the works that would allow files to be transferred through firewire to a deck or camera as a file backup for your hard drive. Is this even technically possible? I guess it would be like tape backup already in use with computers. How much data could be stored on a 60 minute tape and could you record in LP without any issues?
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Old March 24th, 2004, 06:23 PM   #2
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I have seen a review and I think you will find it in the archives at Tom's Hardware. A 1 hr. tape will hold about 13GB.
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Old March 24th, 2004, 06:35 PM   #3
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I had a quick test and it seemed to bugger up and considering i got busy with other things i gave up due to its buggy-ness. If it was stable and fail proof then it'd be perfect. Unforutnatly its anything but stable. :(

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Old March 24th, 2004, 11:19 PM   #4
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Here's something that uses a conventional DV camera as a data drive. It's for Macs.


With the price of hard drives and DVD's coming down, I don't know how cost effective this would be.

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Old March 24th, 2004, 11:26 PM   #5
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> With the price of hard drives and DVD's coming down,
> I don't know how cost effective this would be.

I see your point, but with cheap software it's pretty cost effective if you don't have a DVD burner or removable hard drive but there's a DV cam sitting near your computer already.
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Old March 24th, 2004, 11:42 PM   #6
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Everything old is new again

8mm digital tape drives were popular during the early to mid-1990's as a data backup medium. The cassettes looked identical to mini DV cassettes, although the substrate was formulated differently. (I think I still have a drive in a closet.) In those days drive sizes were expanding steadily and DAT drives featured a higher capacity than other tape styles.

But it turned out not to be a very robust medium. Large sites needed an array of these drives for daily backups, generally fed by autoloaders. If the loaders didn't jam, one of the drives surely would. It was also a pretty darn slow medium. I believe that this type of tape has largely been abandoned, although it's been several years since I've been in touch with IT operations.

Although it may seem to be a curiosity, I'd suggest forgetting about the prospect of using your camera to back-up data files. CD's and DVD's represent a far more efficient and reliable medium. For that matter, Firewire drives cost less than many of the old tape drives, store far more, and offer instant online access.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 02:48 AM   #7
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There are numerous applications out there that can do it. A lot of
free utilities as well. If you only have a DV camera I would
definitely not look into this since it will put a lot more stress and
strain on the heads in your camera. If you have a seperate DV
VCR that should be less of an issue.

However, I wouldn't trust (and thus use) it myself. The tape and
the hardware isn't made for it. Sure you can use it for it, but it
doesn't have the same design principles and requirements that
a professional backup solution has. In other words, I wouldn't
be so sure you can get your data back 100%.

Companies usually use DLT drives (quite expensive) for this. The
more data the more drives and at some point you get into tape
robots with multiple drive cabinets and tapes.

Harddisks are still one of the cheapest and fastest backup
solutions in the world. One neat thing you could do is install a
RAID card and have it running in RAID 1 mode (mirroring). Then
install the second device in a removable mounting system. Now
when you turn of your computer (if this is a business) you can
take the removable drive with you to home (for safe keeping).
You can't modify data on the drive when it's at home ofcourse,
due to it belonging to a RAID set. It's purely for safe keeping.

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Old March 26th, 2004, 04:13 AM   #8
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You know, a 700MB CD actualy holds about 800MBs of data, where the extra 100MB is used for data recovery/error protection - or something like that. This is not the same when back-uping to miniDV. So, don't think about back-uping software on miniDV. Just stuff that doesn't suffer from (when) data loss. Stuff like pictures and the like....
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