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Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!

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Peter DeCrescenzo
Re: NO p2 for me! Forget it!
on Apr 4, 2005 at 8:17:16 pm

Hi Graeme,

[Graeme Nattress] "News people regularly re-use tapes. They don't seem to have a problem with it. ..."

Just because that makes economic sense for TV news managers & executives doesn't mean it's an appropriate model for everyone else. Starting this month, Panasonic begins marketing P2 to essentially all video shooters & their clients, everywhere. Worldwide TV news field production is significant, but it's a relatively small number of shooters compared to P2's new emerging market. Is it possible -- likley? -- "the rest of us" answer to a somewhat differernt economic model than TV news?

[Graeme Nattress] "... As for erasing your original footage - wiping P2 memory after making a backup is no more dangerous than hitting "save" in your word processor, backing up what was in memory to hard drive, and regularly making CD backups. Everyone does this all the time. ..."

However, most of us don't _originate_ hundreds of thousands of frames of _original_ video frames per hour on our PCs & Macs with anywhere near the frequency equal to the amount of P2 acquisition soon to begin (lord willing! so Jan can retire early!) There's a huge difference in quantities of original data we're discussing, word processing or what have you vs. digital video.

Video data volume accumulates much faster than most any other type of date we commonly deal with. In the face of that, do we know if typical "reasonably priced" P2 transfer & backup hardware & software (and multi-vendor operating systems and multiple device drivers) will prove reliable enough to handle the task? It might be all good -- that's the word so far from some TV news organizations -- but the jury is out concerning typical reliability AT THE SCALE OF emerging non-TV news P2 production.

[Graeme Nattress] "... With the current tape process there is NO BACKUP. At least with P2 you have to consciously make one. The weakest link in the current tape process is shooting onto tape. There's no confidence record, you can't just plug your data into a laptop to see if it's all come out all-right. You don't know if you had a head clog, or some dirt got in, or whatever. ..."

I agree with you that P2 and videotape acquisition are very similar in terms of the kinds of things which can go wrong, unnoticed, during recording. But they are utterly different -- in the case of non-TV news production -- in that we rarely plan to routinely erase original videotapes. That's a HUGE difference.

Also, my sympathies in advance to any videotape-based production executives (some of which are my clients!) and their staffs which do not follow data backup procedures such as I described earlier. It is at their peril if they don't backup their videotapes at least once, eyeball-verify them at least twice, and secure them off-site at least once.

But, notice how the videotape people have one less task than the P2 people? The tape people only have to make at least one backup, not the two the P2 people must make, because the original tape is one of at least two copies.

[Graeme Nattress] "... You seem to be trying to make P2 meet higher standards of data security than everyone already applies to tape. ..."

Tape, P2, hard drive, optical, paper & pencil, whatever: All require the same level of data management and data security, but with one big exception: The original recorded "object" is not preserved in the case of use-once tech such as P2 & hard-drive acquisition! So in almost all cases (except maybe TV news), videotape producers have one less worry concerning their data backup & security processes. And it's a big one!

"Backup" does not equal "preservation". Ask an archivist. It can come close, if people work really hard at it, but it's not the same. And it only comes close if people put time & effort & money into it.

None of this means P2 isn't worthy -- it is. But it isn't magic.

P2-style acquisition will work out fine, as long as people -- oh well, you know the drill by now ...

All the best,

- Peter

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