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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old November 22nd, 2008, 10:18 PM   #1
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Is their a new best choice for archive media?

My Z7U absolutely insists on using higher quality tape (@$6) in order to prevent dropouts. I'm simultaneously recording to the CF unit and this is what I use for production. The tape is just for archive. I dug out the calculator and realized that - per Gb - hard drives are half the price. Has anyone run across a good discussion of the merits/issues of switching to hard drives as an archival media?
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 12:59 AM   #2
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Tapes are a much better choice for archiving. At $6/ea. for 60 minutes worth of footage, you're buying $3 worth of peace of mind. Hard drives fail at a much higher rate - it's just a basic truth. I am sensitive to every dollar spent in the operation of my business, but those extra $3 should be a given in your situation - at least until it's time for you to upgrade when (hopefully) a better alternative comes along.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 04:54 AM   #3
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In agree tape is a more long term archive solution, I still have my betamax archive and a machine to play it on.
Having said that I mainly just keep camera tapes and a master cut as an archive, all working material is kept in the file domain with a cheap 1tb usb drive as a back-up to the raid 2 master drive.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 09:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Eric Darling View Post
Tapes are a much better choice for archiving. At $6/ea. for 60 minutes worth of footage, you're buying $3 worth of peace of mind. Hard drives fail at a much higher rate - it's just a basic truth. I am sensitive to every dollar spent in the operation of my business, but those extra $3 should be a given in your situation - at least until it's time for you to upgrade when (hopefully) a better alternative comes along.
I agree a hard drive may fail however MiniDV is an acquisition tape not an archival tape. You will start getting drop out within a few years (or less depending on storage type). If you make DVD data copies you should get at least 20 years. Also the cost would only be about $1.50 per-hour (3, 4.7 gig DVDs @ $.50 each) which is less than tape.

Just a thought...

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Old November 23rd, 2008, 09:19 AM   #5
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I agree a hard drive may fail however MiniDV is an acquisition tape not an archival tape. You will start getting drop out within a few years (or less depending on storage type). If you make DVD data copies you should get at least 20 years. Also the cost would only be about $1.50 per-hour (3, 4.7 gig DVDs @ $.50 each) which is less than tape.

Just a thought...
Agreed, however I'd triple the price as I always make three identical copies which statistically never fail all three at the same time. That said, this till is a low price for peace of mind.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 11:36 AM   #6
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Agreed, however I'd triple the price as I always make three identical copies which statistically never fail all three at the same time. That said, this till is a low price for peace of mind.

But wouldn't your tripled price be tripled no matter what the media?
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 07:38 PM   #7
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Thanks

Thanks for the input. The DVD idea works but I'd rather wait until we can get BluRay or whatever succeeds it so that I can get most of the project put away. So I'll stick with the ease of simultaneously recording with a tape for now (even though it's not archival media). The LOT4 media has the density but gets pricier than I want. Given the licensing fees mess with BluRay it isn't likely to make into a low run environment anytime soon (if ever).
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 10:16 PM   #8
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Given the licensing fees mess with BluRay it isn't likely to make into a low run environment anytime soon (if ever).
I might be missing something here and if I am, I hope someone will explain it to me before I get into trouble. I have a friend who owns a stand alone BluRay recorder (Approx $500 from a local computor store) and I can get BluRay recordable discs from my local Office Depot for about $16.00. I have burned projects to BR discs and I am sure I could archive my stuff to BR discs if I wanted to. The discs I have made will play in numerous consumer BR players with no problem. So far, I have not paid any licensing fees nor have I received any threatening letters from Sony. So what gives?
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Old November 24th, 2008, 12:45 AM   #9
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OK, but how is a $16 disc a better option than a $6 tape? It's going to take longer to create, given that his original media is recorded live at the time he shoots, not to mention that if the Blu-Ray disc contains converted video, you've lost quality due to transcoding. So, you're losing money and time, and potentially, quality as well. Not a winning alternative, if you ask me.

As for MiniDV tape not being "archival," well, that's just not true. It might not promise the same shelf life as a well-cared for optical disc (especially a replicated one - which your burned DVDs are not). But realistically, we should be able to expect decent shelf life for videotapes. At least 20 years, given proper storage and a winding once or twice during that time. Besides, archiving to anything other than what you shoot or edit with is wasting time, which also means money. I'd like to see a controlled study that proves videotapes (or MiniDV tapes in particular) develop dropouts after sitting on a shelf for 5 years. Where are you buying your tapes? From that guy in a van down by the river? Or maybe just your shelf is in a van down by the river? :)
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Old November 24th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #10
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OK, but how is a $16 disc a better option than a $6 tape? It's going to take longer to create, given that his original media is recorded live at the time he shoots, not to mention that if the Blu-Ray disc contains converted video, you've lost quality due to transcoding. So, you're losing money and time, and potentially, quality as well. Not a winning alternative, if you ask me.

As for MiniDV tape not being "archival," well, that's just not true. It might not promise the same shelf life as a well-cared for optical disc (especially a replicated one - which your burned DVDs are not). But realistically, we should be able to expect decent shelf life for videotapes. At least 20 years, given proper storage and a winding once or twice during that time. Besides, archiving to anything other than what you shoot or edit with is wasting time, which also means money. I'd like to see a controlled study that proves videotapes (or MiniDV tapes in particular) develop dropouts after sitting on a shelf for 5 years. Where are you buying your tapes? From that guy in a van down by the river? Or maybe just your shelf is in a van down by the river? :)
Your point is valid. I just don't agree with you.

I tend to listed more carefully of what is being said by people that don't have the need to hurl insults with their arguments.

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Old November 24th, 2008, 09:41 AM   #11
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Sorry, Keith, the "down by the river" thing is a bad joke not intended to be an insult. Just an homage to Chris Farley. I'm sure you've got it figured.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 09:55 AM   #12
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But realistically, we should be able to expect decent shelf life for videotapes. At least 20 years, given proper storage and a winding once or twice during that time. :)
I am not taking a side on what the best archival methods debate, I am just relaying some of my experiences. I used to be heavily involved in the tape duplication business. And most video tapes do not have a 20 year life expectancy. Actually, many tape manufacturers will claim a 10 year life expectancy. And that is probably under "ideal" storage conditions. It can be much less. Digital tape formats are not going to slowly loose information like the old analog tapes. But the new small digital tape formats have their own issues. The tapes are much more prone to damage and stretching due to their small size. And because we are playing them on tiny tape transports with microscopic record/playback heads, that invites a great deal more issues. I am waiting until something better comes along because I really would like to see some storage format that will last 100+ years, not just 10 or 20 years.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #13
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Why should hard drives fail, when they aren't powered up?

Personally I use IDE drives, lots and lots of them sat on a shelf.

When I need to pull archive footage/graphics/whatever I fire up the drive through a Wiebetech Firewire adaptor. The drive sits over a small pair of computer fans powered from the Wiebetech adaptor. Most jobs will only be about 50-100GB and take no time to bring in. The drive doesn't even get warm.

99.7% of the time these drive sit on a shelf, unused and unpowered.

And just to be safe the whole lot are mirrored and larger slower drive and kept at home, of course I still have the original rushes tapes too. The thought of batch digitising clips back in, with the problems DV can have is a real turn off. The thought of splitting a job up across DVD-Rs and then working out what to rearchive, what was amended, what to get rid of from those disc is something I couldn't handle.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Eric Darling View Post
Sorry, Keith, the "down by the river" thing is a bad joke not intended to be an insult. Just an homage to Chris Farley. I'm sure you've got it figured.

oh...okay. I've never seen a C. Farley movie so I did not get the reference.

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Old November 24th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Duncan Craig View Post
Why should hard drives fail, when they aren't powered up?

Personally I use IDE drives, lots and lots of them sat on a shelf.

When I need to pull archive footage/graphics/whatever I fire up the drive through a Wiebetech Firewire adaptor. The drive sits over a small pair of computer fans powered from the Wiebetech adaptor. Most jobs will only be about 50-100GB and take no time to bring in. The drive doesn't even get warm.

99.7% of the time these drive sit on a shelf, unused and unpowered.

And just to be safe the whole lot are mirrored and larger slower drive and kept at home, of course I still have the original rushes tapes too. The thought of batch digitising clips back in, with the problems DV can have is a real turn off. The thought of splitting a job up across DVD-Rs and then working out what to rearchive, what was amended, what to get rid of from those disc is something I couldn't handle.
The only issue I can see is that my understanding is that if disk drives are not run periodically, the lubricant in the motors can have issues. Also If you have loss on a part of the disk you can lose entire files not just a drop-out. If you lose the MBR (master boot record) the entire disk may fail.

Keith
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