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Old March 17th, 2006, 04:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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video archive recommendations

My question: What hardware systems for media storage to recommend?

Current Equipment: HVX200, Mac G5, FinalCut. Iím hoping to get a Powerbook for capture.

Purpose is for archiving and long term preservation of oral history interviews in high def video: so at 20-40 gigs per hour of interview. This year we plan to take on the order of 300 hours of interviews.

My current thinking is that Iíd like to have the following kind of system: One portable raid drive for use in video captureóso speed is an issue. Multiple firewire drives for storage of the archival copy of the HiDef video file. A tape backup of these drives.

Workflow might work like this:

Capture onto high-speed external drive.
Copy onto internal drive for manipulation with FinalCut pro.
Create DVD and web-streaming files for distribution and access.
After processing, copy onto reliable drive (speed not as important) and make a data backup on tape.

Working with the HVX200, I wonít have the usual security of the original media tape. On the other hand, I believe that storing to HD tape will become cheaper in a few years, so rather than invest now in a deck and the greater expense of HD tape, I was thinking that a data backup on tape would give me security for at least 5 years. At that point, the media could more cheaply be recorded to HD tape or some other new media and the formats might be under reconsideration anyway.

Any feedback on any aspect of this is welcome. Is this the best configuration of hard ware to keep the costs down and still store HD? What specific hardware would you recommend?

Also this is for a client in Japan so if anyone knows products that are available in Japan that would be awesome.
Kathy Nielsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2006, 10:45 PM   #2
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At the moment, DVDs are becoming more of a pain to backup to. As you'll want to store full quality video.

Bluray is set to have drives released soon from different manufacturers, not sure of exact drive prices or media prices. A figure of about US $500 has been suggested. Not cheap (although not too bad for a new format), but then you can backup 25GB at a time, instead of 4.7GB with DVDs.

Or keep bying more HDs until they bring out the holographic drives, that should be capable of storing 300-500GB, 800GB, and 1.6TB in successive versions. But that will be a while off till the retail market. But it's the real deal for video storage - then you can finally backup a few HDs at once.

I'm waiting to see how the Bluray technology emerges - discs store more than the HD-DVD discs. And should be more feasible for project backups than several DVDs at once.
I think a lot more people will be facing this issue with ever increasing data accumulation. It would be nice to be able to ditch tapes and record straight to hard disk, then backup to high volume storage, and then have plenty of room to backup successive stages of the project incase of HD failure. Then you don't have to compromise on quality. An MPEG2 format DVD backup loses way too much in the conversion. Video DVDs are only good as an end product, where minimal noticeable damage is done.
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Old March 28th, 2006, 10:58 PM   #3
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one terabyte for $500, or less:

just use removeable drawers for the hdd's, then shelve 'em as you fill 'em up... re-visit the issue in a couple of years, when your storage options will be much better.
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Old March 29th, 2006, 05:30 AM   #4
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I would go with a prebuilt NAS instead. The Buffalo terrastation for example is only about 750 but it has backup software and all kinds of other goodies built in. I use a ReadyNAS from Infrant which is a little more expensive.

Both of them also have USB ports to plug in external drives as well

Run it as Raid 5. You end up with 750GB (on the infrant you can also have 2TB instead of 1TB) but with the safety that any one of the 4 drives can die and you dont loose any data

Then use external USB drives for longer term archiving

The built in backup software can be used to back up anything else that needs backing up on your PC as well. It also has a built in print server if you have a need for that.

The drives in these NAS drives are quality drives not some low cost no name hard disc which i wouldnt trust my valuable data
Michael Salzlechner
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Old March 29th, 2006, 08:28 PM   #5
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Dan's got a good idea there.

For the time when I eventually start shooting with a P2-based system, I was thinking of using mirrored Level-1 RAID. Getting a DVCPro HD deck is outside my budget right now.

Firmtek has a relatively low-cost Serial ATA solution that features hot-swappable trays that work with SATA drives. Changing out drives and building a library consisting of terabytes of material is not too difficult to do and it's relatively economical.

I'm using these right now for my working RAID as well as for backups. The trays are about $20 and you can get 250 GB Hitachi/IBM SATA drives for about $120. That's about 50 cents per gigabyte. $1/GB if you keep duplicates for backups.

Too keep track of what's where I'm using a simple program called CDFinder. It tells me where each file is. As I move files to the hard drives I drag/drop them to the CDFinder window and it instantly creates a simple database of what's in each drive. And it's just as easily updated.
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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Old January 27th, 2008, 08:17 PM   #6
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I hope it's okay to resurrect this older thread, but I have the same questions about backing up the tapes. I've searched this site and have really only found this thread that discusses it good.

Since this thread is a year old or so, are there any new developments to backing up HD video to disc? I know that a 1TB harddrive is a lot cheaper now, but still not really that practical since even 1 TB fills up quick with HD.

I have accumulated hundreds of hours of HD video and will have close to 1000 hours by the end of the year. I'd sure like to have all my tapes backed up and in a better, safer place.

Are there any newer suggestions to how this can be practically done now?

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