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Old April 10th, 2006, 07:21 PM   #1
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HVX-200 Archiving

So, the HVX-200 looks pretty nifty, but...

How are you going to archive your footage? Keeping it on a hard drive is not a long term storage option, drives die and are pretty unstable. Ultimately, you're still going to have to back up to tape. The Panasonic AJ-HD1200A is $21K and writes onto DVCPRO-HD, the AJ-SPD850 is $15K writes to a DVD. Prices go up from there for better decks. The only other option is to take your hard drive/Firestore/P2 Store to a post house that can make your ephemeral files into a hard copy for long term archiving.

Clients have a hard enough time getting the correct tape stock, or remembering to call the sound guy, how are they going to be able to reliably back up and transfer footage?

I'd like to hear how HVX users are archiving and backing up your footage.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 07:57 PM   #2
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Storage

This has been discussed quite a bit and you can find some good info by using "HVX" and "Storage" in your search.

Personally I'm still looking for that long-term solution. Currently I'm burning selects to DVD and waiting for Blu-Ray. The rest is sitting (precariously) on a 1 TB drive that is about half-full.

Good luck in your search!
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Old April 10th, 2006, 08:13 PM   #3
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As Hans said, this has been well covered earlier however, I'll add these quick tips:

The notion that "hard drives die and are unstable" just isn't true with current drive technology. There are literally tens of thousands - if not millions - of HDD's each with thousands of hours of failure-free time living in servers around the world. 10 years ago, it was common to find drives that died or would lose stability within just a few hundred hours. The MTBF tables that manufacturers claim today are near-gospel truth. Sure, there's always going to be the one bad apple in the bunch just like anything else (how many times have you run across a CD/DVD that just wouldn't burn or read?) but 99.9% of the time you can rely on HDD tech to carry the load.

Lastly, I have a 1TB external drive that I'm using strictly for archiving purposes. It only gets turned on when it's time to add more "raw" clips and, to save a current backup of the full project. Outside of that it stays in a powered-off state. With that little amount of usage the drive will become obsolete before it fails - probably within another 10 years - then it would be time to rotate the archives to the newer media type, whatever that becomes.

I'd say a 10-year archive-migration schedule is not only prudent but provides the most robust, cost effective and safe storage method there is.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 03:35 PM   #4
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I have to agree with everything Robert posted... Also take a look at some of the newest tape solutions, they're not all that bad either in terms of price per GB and are also super-reliable.

For overall ease of use and cost though, a hard drive archive solution isn't bad. I would say that with the current cost of storage, it would be wise to not place all your eggs in one basket... Double up on HDDs and keep duplicate storage volumes or keep a tape/DVD/BD/HDDVD/whatever archive of what's on your HDDs. And worst case scenario, if your HDD does go down just remember that because a drive won't work, doesn't mean your data is lost forever. Many HDD failures can be repaired by a skilled geek.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #5
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Hard drives are very reliable. The is how we are archiving our footage...hard drives wrapped in plastic on a shelf next to the Varicam tapes.

DVDs are far more fragile, and prone to scratching and flaking. I'd use them as second redundant backups, but that is it.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 09:01 PM   #6
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The problem with hard drives is that (a) they can and do fail unexpectedly, and (b) when they fail the data is unrecoverable for any reasonable fee. But if I was backing up data from an HVX200 I'd probably use redundant hard drives because that's the quickest and easiest thing to do, plus then you can edit straight from the drives.

Archiving to DVDs or HD DVDs sounds cost-effective until you consider the time required to do that, plus the effort required to keep track of all the discs. Tape backups are good because tapes can sometimes be salvaged for just a few bucks with minimal loss of data when they break, but then what's the point of having a non-tape-based acquisition format?

Hopefully in a few years the cost of flash memory will drop enough that it will be cost-effective to just keep HVX200 data on the recording media and buy a big stack of that.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 11:03 PM   #7
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Tape: LTO. About half the cost of a DVCPRO HD deck, and it preserves the P2 metadata.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 12:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Tape: LTO. About half the cost of a DVCPRO HD deck, and it preserves the P2 metadata.
If someone were to search this forum for archival solutions (as has been suggested), they would probably find a really good discussion on tape backup solutions. But to summarize, current LTO-3 and SDLT tape drives can be purchased for less than $2500 and tape media when purchased in bulk can be 75% cheaper per gigabyte vs. hard drive storage. And right now, a great option for archiving DVCPROHD footage would be the Exabyte VXA-2 tape drive. It sells for $995 and connects to Mac or PC via FireWire. The tapes are 160GB (native uncompressed capacity) and can be purchased in bulk for about $20~$22 each. If you run the numbers on that, it's pretty easy to see that this tape setup can pay for itself pretty quick and for someone shooting and archiving 10+ hours of video every week, this can be as cost effective as shooting and archiving with MiniDV tape.

Compare storage options to archive 2TB of data:
4 x 500GB Hard Drive - $1300 (bare SATA drives)

VXA-2 Tape system - $995 w/1 tape and software
Additional 12 tapes (13 tapes total = 2080GB) $300

Cool, eh? So at the 2TB mark, HDD and VXA-2 tape are even in price. From there on out, VXA-2 is cheaper and it can hold 2.5 hours of DVCPROHD 100 on a single tape. At the 4TB mark, or roughly 50 tapes, the VXA-2 archival system has an operational cost of $0.40 per gigabyte. At 100 tapes, (yeah, after you shoot 250 hours of video), your archival media cost would be about $0.28 per gigabyte. 8TB of hard drive storage will cost you $0.60 per gigabyte if you buy a bulk carton of those 500GB SATA drives at about $299 each.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 12:14 AM   #9
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Excellent. Very fine post there, Jeff, thank you.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #10
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People frequently bring up video tape (i.e., DV or even DVCPRO HD tape stock) as being more reliable than hard drives, but honestly, where's the data to back that up? (--rimshot--) I have had more tapes in various formats fail for me over the years than I'd care to remember. And in this HD world, DVCPRO HD tapes can cost nearly a buck a minute, which is a lot more than a hard drive at 1 gig a minute.

I still just see data when I see this kind of discussion, and as a tech worker for most of my life, it's not any different than any other data other than the volume. Too much fear and and a false sense that good old fashioned video tape was a great archive medium.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 09:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
Compare storage options to archive 2TB of data:
4 x 500GB Hard Drive - $1300 (bare SATA drives)
VXA-2 Tape system - $995 w/1 tape and software
Additional 12 tapes (13 tapes total = 2080GB) $300
Not bad, but note that it's pretty easy to find bare hard drives at prices of ~30-35 cents/GB or $300-350/TB, so the break even point is closer to 6 TB. If you shoot a lot of footage that could still work out in favor of tape storage, but hard drives aren't a bad deal these days.

Last edited by Kevin Shaw; April 13th, 2006 at 07:37 AM.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 12:02 AM   #12
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You cant edit with DLT tapes - you can with HDDs.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 12:40 AM   #13
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Not an issue. The DLT holds your original archived, protected material. You wouldn't want to be changing that. Simply ingest what you need into your editing system and do your editing on your NLE's drives.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 02:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
And right now, a great option for archiving DVCPROHD footage would be the Exabyte VXA-2 tape drive. It sells for $995 and connects to Mac or PC via FireWire. The tapes are 160GB (native uncompressed capacity) and can be purchased in bulk for about $20~$22 each.
While there are solutions that seem to be cost effective in terms of media -- what about time? Blu-ray, for example, has acceptable capacity PLUS random access retrieval (important to me), but has only a 2X write speed.

How many accumulated hours will it take to copy P2 cards every few minutes to hard disk (RAID 1) and then copy the contents of hard disk to tape?

These "time costs" must be added to the media (tape) cost, and only then compared to self-archieving media like XDCAM HD and miniDV tape. On the other hand, with XDCAM HD you need to consider the Player's cost compared to the cost of P2 plus a P2 reader. A "wash?"

However, if you are alone -- it's not simply $$$. You need to find the time to write AND verify the tape before you erase your hard drive files. Likewise, before you erase each P2 card, you need the time to copy AND verify to a hard disk.

Assuming you can "find" the time --what would be neat is a Shuttle like PC with dual HD drives (RAID) plus a Exabyte VXA-2 drive. Or, a box with these components and a USB connection.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #15
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Well said, Steve. It's this very issue that is the sole determination whether or not this camera is usable in the field. If you're on a distant location and shoot for ten hours (which is the equivalent of what? 2.5 cineporters?) and then, after a long day have to sit up and write the data to tape at best at 2X realtime... it just doesn't add up.

Tape/XDCAM media is here to stay until Flash/P2 is throwaway media under $50/hr.

mg
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