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Old June 3rd, 2010, 12:06 AM   #1
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DV tapes hard to get?

A friend of mine, just finishing production on her most recent feature, reported a strange phenomenon to me: whereas, a month ago, she had no problem finding (mini)DV tapes at the usual big-box stores in the area, two weeks later, there were none to be found at any of them, merely at dedicated camera stores (for exorbitant prices). Further, she was told by the sales staff at these national and regional chains that they were no longer stocking DV tapes.

Has anyone else encountered this phenomenon? I know tapes are obtainable online, but this is the first time I have heard of the supply drying-up or being phased-out by bricks-and-mortar retailers. I'm not seeing the same thing in my local area (although I notice that Walmart is now only selling them online, not in stores). Has such a sudden "vanishing act" been happening in your area?
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 12:24 AM   #2
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It certainly does seem to be getting more difficult to find MiniDV tapes in many consumer stores. I have a feeling stores are experiencing less demand for MiniDV tapes with all the solid state devices flooding the market. My experiences recently trying to buy some in Madrid, Florence, Hong Kong & Shanghai were slightly problematic. Even in the U.S., I'm seeing less stock in the stores.

I do a lot of traveling and editing on the road, and an HDV / tape-based solution is still the best solution for me (instant backup, easy to edit original files, low disk space usage). But I'm hoping for a laptop with a CS5 accelerated CUDA graphics chip, so I can edit native AVCHD/h.264 on the road and leave the tape world behind.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 12:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
But I'm hoping for a laptop with a CS5 accelerated CUDA graphics chip, so I can edit native AVCHD/h.264 on the road and leave the tape world behind.
Why are you waiting? I bought one 2 years ago.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 11:06 AM   #4
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Perrone, which laptop is that? It has an NVIDIA GPU that will accelerate H.264/AVCHD using the Mercury Engine?
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 11:10 AM   #5
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Perrone, which laptop is that? It has an NVIDIA GPU that will accelerate H.264/AVCHD using the Mercury Engine?
Dell Mobile Workstation... M6300. It's been superseded now by the M6400. I bought it specifically for Avid use since Avid specified a Quadro. Any Avid certified machine will accelerate H.264/AVCHD since they use the same technology in Avid and have for over a year, maybe 2 years now.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 05:26 AM   #6
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I can still happily get tapes in Brisbane, Australia. No problems with retail (even if they don't stock my preferred Sony blues).

Professional tapes such as the Sony PHDV276 are easily available at my professional video shop, though I do have to order in advance for decent quantities. Would need to give a good week of notice if I needed to purchase a large number of tapes. They are simply managing how many dollars they have tied up in stock.

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Old June 7th, 2010, 05:31 AM   #7
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Back to the OPs question about availability of tapes. Why are you buying them at big box stores? First you will always pay more than needed, 2nd, they are available in quanties large and small at various online retailers and for less than what you pay at big box stores.

Tape is still a viable form of media and will likely be around for a lot longer than some people would want to admit and yes tape is everywhere.

If you want a couple of names of quality vendors PM me.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #8
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Do DV tapes have an expiring date?

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Old June 7th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #9
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Wouldn't surprise me if this occured. I've read where someone went into their Best Buy & they no longer had a CD's section!! Which is surprising and ironic, since they put all the indy chains & music shops out of business. I've noticed the one by me the cd section is extrememly reduced, with a large Ipod/Iphone kiosk in much of it's place.

So yeah, wouldn't surprise me a bit. As to Dom's statement, sometimes I just run low. I'm not a full professional enough to where I always have tapes. Although yeah now I have about 30 extras stocked up here.

Stelios I don't think they have expiration dates (within reason), but they would need to be stored properly (avoid extreme heat/humidity)
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Old June 9th, 2010, 11:22 PM   #10
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In the Nashville area Best Buy, Wal Mart, and all the major dedicated Electronics stores still cary DV tapes but unless it is an emergency I buy them online. I can buy Sony DV tapes from the internet for around $2.20 each, less than half the best price locally.

I do believe it will become harder to get DV tapes over the next year or two as most new camcorder purchases will probably be for tapeless ones.

I know I will still be able to buy them online. I only hope demand stays strong enough to keep the prices down. My next cameras will record to SD cards but seeing as I have a lot of $$$ invested in two great Sony V1U cameras that are only a couple of years old I think that will be down the road a bit. Besides I like the safety of having the raw footage outside of a hard drive if something bad happens!
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Old June 10th, 2010, 12:33 AM   #11
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No problems here. Walmart still has them, as well as Costco and Fred Meyer. It's nice to be able to
pick up some tapes locally if you have a unplanned shoot, ordering off the internet just doesn't work
for everything, because of the time it takes.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 02:48 AM   #12
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My Future shop here in Canada has about 3 mini dv tapes at any one time :( Usually JVC never any sony. Which ended up being a blessing because I discovered B and H online and have never looked back.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 10:16 PM   #13
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Good evening,

why would you ever buy tapes over the counter at 4 times or more the cost of buying them bulk. Walmart and other conclomertaes carry them but they arre expensive. B7H sell them in bulk cheap!!
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Old June 14th, 2010, 02:49 AM   #14
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http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mini+dv+tapes&x=0&y=0where is it hard to get hold of them, certainly not here.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 02:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
Good evening,

why would you ever buy tapes over the counter at 4 times or more the cost of buying them bulk. Walmart and other conclomertaes carry them but they arre expensive. B7H sell them in bulk cheap!!
Hmmm.....because you live in Juneau, Alaska where EVERYTHING comes in by boat or plane and
even Fed Ex won't honor their shipping time guarantees? And say maybe you have a client call
you and want you to do a shoot in 3 or 4 days? And say you don't have enough tape stock
on hand to do a 4 camera shoot of a 3 hour event (12 tapes needed at least). And say this
gig pays 5 grand? Might that be worth stopping by the local Walmart? I buy tapes at the local
stores all the time because I don't get enough advance notice from clients.....I need at least a week
advance notice to ensure that I will get any internet ordered tapes on time. Having local stores
that carry tape is absolutely vital to my business.
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DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
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