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-   -   Why so many against the use of tapes? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasonic-p2hd-dvcpro-hd-camcorders/43204-why-so-many-against-use-tapes.html)

David Gomez April 18th, 2005 10:47 PM

Why so many against the use of tapes?
I record concerts, and keep a huge collection of the shows I have recorded.

Archiving to HD would not be practical. Prefer my shows on separate tapes than multiple shows on one drive. What happens if the HD fails? I can't afford so many P2 cards. Why can't Panasonic use larger size tapes or create a new format with larger more robust tapes to record HD?

Rob Lohman April 19th, 2005 04:43 AM

Personally I don't like tapes for the following reasons:

- reliability (as in dropped frames or bad tape) / compatability (reading tapes in different systems)

- speed to capture the footage (realtime)

However, why not record to tape and another medium? Then you directly
have a backup (on tape) and can start editing from the P2 card (might need
to transfer that, but it should be much faster than realtime) or from an
attached harddisk.

Much faster workflow and much more secure.

K. Forman April 19th, 2005 05:09 AM

While I don't have any real love for tapes, I have more faith in them than a HD. I personally can't imagine doing an event, and not having any hard copy to shelf. It's a cool concept, but just not really safe.

Rob Lohman April 19th, 2005 05:33 AM

That's why I would use both at the same time.

Kevin Dooley April 19th, 2005 06:19 AM

There's other options for archiving as well, chief among them, I would think, would be some sort of optical disk (Blu-Ray or HD DVD as they become available). I know, there's concerns about how long they last, but honestly, unless tape is stored perfectly, it's not gonna last any longer either...

Brandon Greenlee April 19th, 2005 07:31 AM

Although I don't know actual prices - I'm going to suppose its not going to be anywhere near cost effective to obtain a DVCPROHD deck to back up these projects / raw files to once they are in your NLE...?

Anthony Marotti April 19th, 2005 07:47 AM

Hello :-)

I wish that I could afford the equipment to record to a tapeless system. My projects are typically using 20-60 hours of tape and that is a lot of HDs!!

If these HD recording systems had larger capacities and the ability to swap out inexpensive 100Gb drives in and out of the camera mounted docking bay, that would work for me, but for now $700 - $1700.00 for 80Gb is not practical.

Diskless systems are great if they had a unit that could connect to most cameras (mounted like some of the HD units on the cameras batt. mounting plate) and could handle the amount of data that I go through. And yes I would be worried about data loss from the flash cards, so I would record with tape as well for archival purposes.

So where is a $2500.00 unit that had a terabyte of capacity, or could swap 250Gb flash cards??

II would appreciate any info in this area.

Thanks !!

Bob Zimmerman April 19th, 2005 08:03 AM

Tape will be around for years,,,Some of these people who think that tape is now dead need to wake up from their pipe dream. You say to record on P2 cards that are really expensive right now, then tranfer to tape! More cost and more time. Panasonic did a great thing with both tape and P2 cards.

I can get the HVX start shooting 16:9 24p which is what I wanted. Maybe some software upgrades and I'm ready to go. For probably under $5,000. With only the P2 cards I would need several thousands of dollars in P2 cards, alot more computer upgrades. Over $10,000 easy.

So stop your complaining about tape and don't use it. But I bet you will!!

Jeff Kilgroe April 19th, 2005 09:55 AM


Originally Posted by Bob Zimmerman
So stop your complaining about tape and don't use it. But I bet you will!!

Any of us who will actually be shooting HD with this camera won't be using tape... Because it can't record HD to tape at all, only DV... I'll be very surprised if it can even record DVCPro25 to tape.

There are plenty of archive options available now and in the future that make A LOT more sense than HDD. I have yet to see anyone on here mention DLT as an archive option and many of us who have been producing DVDs for a while already have DLT available to us. Until very recently, most DVD fabricators would only accept dual-layer DVD projects on various forms of DLT or other magnetic media. +R|DL discs just weren't available or an accepted part of most production pipelines. We're talking about storing 70+GB on a digital tape with a shelf life of 20 years if properly stored - every bit as good or better than storing on DV tape.

The only real hold up is going to be the cost of P2 cards. I'm predicting about $600~$700 for an 8GB card when the HVX200 is released this fall. Yes, it's expensive, but what option do we have if we want to shoot HD? If Panasonic doesn't include a P2 card with the camera (and I would be very surprised if they don't), then it won't even be capable of shooting DVCPro50, let alone HD right out of the box.

As the industry moves into HD, tape will most certainly die. On the prosumer end of things, DV tape will continue to exist for some time to come and on the high end of things with major broadcasters we will see a lot DV and HD tape stock as well for several years. However, the cost of solid state storage is plummeting rapidly... And with the current trend in consumer electronics, I'm willing to bet that as 8GB and larger SD/CF media becomes common, consumer palmcorders and the like will move away from tape almost overnight. I can buy 1GB CF cards for under $60 at the local store any day of the week and 2GB SD cards are about $140. In another 6 months or about when the HVX200 should arrive, I will be very surprised if it costs much more than $700 to buy an 8GB P2 card and if 16GB P2 cards are not common within a year, then something will have gone horribly wrong.

I have little concern about archiving my HD video with 50GB rewritable BluRay media and drives already seeing limited availability in Japan with full release worldwide planned for sometime by the end of this year (and projected prices of <$500 for the drive and ~$15 per disc), plus I already have the ability to archive to 70GB (uncompressed) DLT tapes. My main focus is 3D animation and I already have adopted a HD 1080p workflow in that realm in order to future proof my work and leave the possibility of going to film wide open and DVD transfers look phenominal. My DLT archival system is already in place, so throwing HD video into the mix isn't going to matter one bit, just some more tapes to buy. For me, having a camera that brings me another step or two closer to working the way I'd like to work is just icing on the cake. The DVX100 was wonderful in that I could shoot in 24p to match my animation workflow. Now I can get the same out of the HVX200 while more than doubling my resolution and increasing color depth of the video. I still want to know if the camera definitely has a 1280x720 CCD block or if it's only 960x720 and I'm not overly thrilled with the 960x720 encoding for 720p, but hey it works for the varicam so it can't be all that bad, eh? Especially at the announced price. Who knows, maybe I'll take a serious look at the HVX400 since it's supposed to have interchangeable lenses, but that could get me into real trouble as I'd be inclined to spend too much money on more lenses and accessories... Hehe.

Bill Pryor April 19th, 2005 12:48 PM

At the rate of 8 minutes HD capability on the chip, that's a pretty expensive way to record. And the 60 gig hard drive they sell would only hold an hour's worth of footage at that rate. For me, a typical show runs 10 to 20 hours of tape, and I have to save it indefinitely. I have Betacam tapes that are 20 years old, and even still have 3/4" tapes that are older than that. I've gone back into DVCAM tapes that are right at 10 years old with no problems.

I don't doubt that our world will eventually move away from tape, and it may be to optical disc or to something like the P2 chips, but for now, for me, anything but tape is too expensive. Also, I do not want to transfer my footage to a hard drive, then erase the original and reuse the chip. If I did that, I would then have to buy tapes and make copies of all that footage to give me tape originals to store indefinitely. Hard drives are still too expensive and too unreliable to store indefinitely as I do tapes.

I'm not trying to be a luddite here, and I do think eventually there will be some device as cheap as tape on the market. It would be great to be able to store all the footage from several shows in a child's shoe box rather than in numerous big file boxes. But for the moment, those P2 chips are too expensive. If I wanted to convert to HD, I would be financially better off to buy a Varicam and use tape, rather than buying the cheap camera and all the expensive media I would need.

There's also the time factor and the additional stuff you have to take on location to make the P2 thing work, unless you can afford dozens of P2 chips. Because of the type of work I do (documentaries, educational and training shows), I have to stick with tape for the near future. As far as predictions about declining prices--I'll wait till those lower prices are real.

Jeff Kilgroe April 19th, 2005 02:15 PM


Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
There's also the time factor and the additional stuff you have to take on location to make the P2 thing work, unless you can afford dozens of P2 chips. Because of the type of work I do (documentaries, educational and training shows), I have to stick with tape for the near future. As far as predictions about declining prices--I'll wait till those lower prices are real.

Yeah, I understand your point of view completely... A P2 based workflow is going to add some extra expenses to those converting from tape, especially early on. It is also a different workflow that could be boon or bust to an already established production pipeline. However, I don't belive it will be as bad as many think. I also get the impression that many people are blowing the whole P2 transition way out of proportion. A lot of it will depend on what is being shot though... Those doing live events and to some extent documentary work with tons of video shot on any given day won't benefit from a P2 workflow until the capacities climb to at least 64GB. As for lower price predictions, it's a certainty either way you look at it... As is the nature of the industry, it's always a mathematical certainty that storage capacity is continuously increasing as prices continue to decrease. If for some strange reason Panasonic can't keep their P2 card prices in line with common SD memory (on which P2 cards are based), then P2 will most certainly fail. As long as we have independent offerings for P2 from companies like Lexar, Sandisk, Crucial, Kingston, etc... as we do with SD Memory, then I think we'll be OK.

Why anyone would even consider archiving their P2 video to HDD is beyond me. I brought up DLT before and right now that is one of the best technologies available. A 70GB DLT will store about 90 minutes of DVCProHD-100 with a per tape cost of about $38 for a 70GB tape or $42 for a 80GB tape, depending on your exact setup. That's less than 1/3 the price for tape stock when compared to DVCPRO tape! Decent DLT units can be had for a couple hundred $$$ as opposed to buying a DVCProHD deck for what $7500? At 1/3 the price of DVCPRO tape, it's still nearly 3x the price of good miniDV tape like the Panasonic MQ tapes, but hey, I guess that's the price of moving beyond miniDV.

DLT, LTO and AIT tape is the most common large backup and archival storage format used around the world. It backs up everything from world governments and financial markets to Fortune 500 companies... Why would we not trust it to back up our video? Most major Hollywood studios and large production environments use a form of high capacity digital tape to archive all their digitized film reels, uncompressed HD masters, etc...

And yes, there's the upcoming HD-DVD and BluRay technologies due by the end of this year, not to mention HVD (holographic 250GB to 1TB per disc) that will be targeting the corporate data archiving market sometime next year.

IMO, the the biggest hurdle for moving over from tape to something else will be the cost of the something else, like the P2 cards. If the HVX200 can also record to a USB or firewire HDD, then P2 becomes a nifty alternative for those that can benefit from its workflow, but not a required tool by any stretch of the imagination.

I think moving away from shooting video on tape (and miniDV in general) is a good thing. It won't really save us any money, but it won't really cost us any more either if Panasonic and others handle the market right. But it is a different workflow and mentality to be sure.

Bob Zimmerman April 19th, 2005 02:28 PM

So Jeff you won't ever shoot Standard DV again? Your only going to shoot HD? If so thats great, but you have the option to use tape. You can even shoot HD then downcovert to tape. This camera has a lot of choices. If Panasonic would have done P2 only sales would be sluggish,,,,now they will really take off.

Jeff Kilgroe April 19th, 2005 04:07 PM


Originally Posted by Bob Zimmerman
So Jeff you won't ever shoot Standard DV again? Your only going to shoot HD? If so thats great, but you have the option to use tape. You can even shoot HD then downcovert to tape. This camera has a lot of choices. If Panasonic would have done P2 only sales would be sluggish,,,,now they will really take off.

Well, it's difficult to say for sure with the HVX200 being a good 6 months away. However, I will probably shoot only HD as the means to do so become available. As I've mentioned previously, my animation workflow is already HD and I will be offering my clients HD via BluRay and HD-DVD as soon as it becomes available. Most of my animation work that is delivered to the networks is on HDCAM tape at 1080i. I produce everything natively at 1080p24 (24p is the only way to go for 3D animation) and then take my data on DLT or removeable HDD to a local video facility that I work with (I do all their graphics work in trade for my conversions and some rental credits and other things), they give me my HD version on tape and I deliver to wherever it needs to go. HD-DVD and/or BluRay will eliminate this step for me once the networks are on board, which all the locals (including HD Net, which is based here) are..

Anyway, back on topic. The only SD portion of my pipeline is the video I shoot through my DVX. Anything more than what I want from the DVX, I have been renting Sony HD cameras lately as that's what is available and most widely accepted amongst the networks I deal with... I haven't yet taken an F950 CineAlta for a spin, but I've been itching to do so. I've only run across a Varicam once and have never used one, the whole world of DVCProHD is new to me, but a lot of the people I work with are eagerly waiting to see what Panasonic actually gives us this fall.

So yeah, as soon as I can go all HD, then I will kiss SD (and definitely miniDV) goodbye forever. HDTV is about to explode in most markets. DirecTV will be offering local channels in HD into most markets by the end of the year if all goes well... HD-DVD/BluRay will be here in time for the holidays with over 100 movie titles available between the two formats. Over 95% of all TVs larger than 36" sold in the past 2 years have been HD ready - this according to multiple sources, including Consumer Reports. Belive me, it's not going to be much longer (like no more than another year or two) that people will start wanting their weddings or other big events shot in HD. I've already got my corporate video clients pestering me for info on when I can start shooting new training videos in HD so they can show full res computer graphics within the video and to take advantage of that new projector I just installed for them. Yuppie soccer dads are buying Sony FX1s and JVC HD1s at a slow but steady pace from stores like Best Buy. Do you think that in 2 to 3 years from now when their oldest kid gets married that they will even consider a wedding videographer that can't shoot and deliver HD when they can shoot HD on their own home video camera that 'gadget dad' just had to buy???

I think a lot of the long-time video people are underestimating the speed at which the shift to HD is going to occur. Another thing we're seeing with HDTV is the consumer is the driving force behind the shift and not broadcasters or Hollywood (who have both been dragging their feet). By this time next year, most decent new desktop PCs/Macs will be able to create, edit and record (onto HD-DVD or BluRay) HD video content. You can bet that people are going to be screaming that they want HD capable camcorders to go along with it... What I think we're going to see more than anything is another media battle, similar to what happened with digital still cameras and CF, SD, XD, and other memory card types. With video, we'll have HDD solutions, P2, other flash memory types, HDV hack jobs onto DV tape, etc..

David Gomez April 19th, 2005 10:32 PM

My concern with tapeless systems...

1) Future HDD/P2 compatibility with computers down the line, the media and interface is constantly changing, upgrading. Long ago I had a Colorado backup tape drive system, I am not sure if XP even supports it. 5.25 inch floppy drives are not even around.

2) I have over 200 mini DV tapes of footage. How many hard drives or P2 cards would be required to archive those tapes?

3) When video taping weddings, ceremony and scenery, 2 hours, reception, up to 4 hours. I can't afford that many P2 cards. Hard drives is an option but when on the run, I prefer having to protect one item from bumps and bruises, that's the camera, I don't want the hassle of protecting a hard disk drive rack, it's just too much for a one man shoot.

4) Since moving to thunderstorm heavy Georgia, I lost 2 Maxtor hard drives, all of my tapes are in perfect condition. HDD failures are too common.

Jesse Bekas April 20th, 2005 12:39 PM

I like many others, I think, am not so anti-tape, as I am pro-solid state. All that's missing is a cheap back up standard.

I don't really see why everybody's so afraid of HDD back ups, though. My PC has been using the same HDD for video for 4 years now. I use it everyday, for several hours a day, and I've never had a problem with it.

When archiving footage onto a HDD you would be using it far less, and so it's expected life span should increase, and on top of that as long as the data isn't corrupted via a computing/software error, even if the HDD stopped spinning, there are ways to get the info off of them.

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