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Tape is dead ???

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Herb Sevush
Tape is dead ???
on Jul 2, 2012 at 9:04:48 pm

On a minor note, just finished up my preview reel for this season's cooking shows for APT & PBS and guess what the deliverables are for the preview reel they satellite to the stations later this month - Beta SP, DigiBeta not accepted. Not only is tape not dead, I can't even get rid of my Beta SP deck. For those of you who will suggest trying to "educate" my clients, feel free trying to educate the education network.

Just sayin'.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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alban egger
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 2, 2012 at 9:10:45 pm

I have a BetaS deck in a closet since 2007.....tape died 5 years ago for me.
Over here DigiBeta and IMX are still in use by some public stations though.



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Craig Seeman
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 2, 2012 at 9:17:36 pm

In the early '90s I was involved in a preservation project for PBS. They were just getting around to dubbing their 2" tapes to another format. What format did they choose? D2.
Apparently they're not the company to look at for decisions on the use of modern media devices.
Someone is going to make a huge amount of money when they get around to BetaSP preservation . . . made possible by donations from "viewers like you." Sorry about that.



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Dustin Parsons
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 2, 2012 at 9:53:00 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I can't even get rid of my Beta SP deck."

Ouch, I would hate that. I had to rent a Beta SP deck 2 years ago for nightly show I was doing covering NY Fashion Week, the issues I ran into laying off to tape were worse than having to get up at 6AM and edit until midnight. I made the decision then that if I ever work on a show that requires I deliver on tape that I'm outputting to ProRes and bringing a hard drive to a facility so they can do it there. Luckily, I haven't had to touch tape since then.

I know a lot of people like tape or at least don't have problems using it, for me, I'll take digital files over tape any day. I think the majority of people agree with me and it's only the facilities that can't afford new hardware that are stuck using tape for the time being.


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Brian Mulligan
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 2, 2012 at 10:52:41 pm

What is their HD delivery format?

Brian Mulligan
Senior Editor - Autodesk Smoke
WTHR-TV Indianapolis,IN, USA
Twitter: @bkmeditor


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 2, 2012 at 11:31:15 pm

Tape is not going to be dead for a long, long time. At least until the last machine dies and there are no parts for it. The broadcast station I worked at for fourteen years had its main news archive on 3/4 inch and beta SP tape, and also had some early stuff on 1 inch and 16mm film. It's too expensive (and you have to have an archivist on staff - that ain't gonna happen at a broadcast station, believe me) to put all of that footage on digital media. Even most of their commercial production archive (raw footage, masters with no graphics, that sort of stuff) is on 3/4 and Beta.

I read somewhere once that the only valid archival medium is 35mm film, because there will always be machines to play it back, and it doesn't degrade the way tape stock does. A lot of what's in the Library of Congress is on paper prints - I don't understand how that works, I'm guessing it's like a contact print in still photography - I'll have to read up on it.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 2, 2012 at 11:52:55 pm

Tape archives will exist until the stock and the machines fall apart but tape delivery is going to fade when "the delivery chain" finally accepts file rather than HDCAM.



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Michael Gissing
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 12:03:42 am

I just played out HDCam and digi beta masters of a 90 minute drama doco for loacl broadcasters plus I am about to do another set of HDCam and digi betas for ZDF in Germany & ARTE France.

Although 'tape is dead' is a catchy mantra, many of us will be playing out tapes as standard broadcast deliverables for a few more years for sure. Broadcasters know tape works. Files are fraught with so many variables that although many broadcasters say they want files, the reality is that they will probably want files plus tapes for at least a few more years.

I bought my HDCam deck four and a half years ago and only expected it to be in use for five years max. I think it will be more like 6-7 years before it is my jilted lover.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 12:47:25 am

[Michael Gissing] "I bought my HDCam deck four and a half years ago and only expected it to be in use for five years max. I think it will be more like 6-7 years before it is my jilted lover."

I think it'll be a couple of years for the transition to go through to file.



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Bob Woodhead
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 12:51:56 am

Tape? No, it's here to stay! Why, I go through more now than ever before..... and every format, too - I use masking, Scotch, gaffers (black and white mostly), painter's, electrical....


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 12:56:14 am

What utilities are out there that allow for punching-in replacement video and/or audio into an already existing file? I assume this would only work with all I-Frame codecs since doing a punch-in on a GOP codec would screw up the compression cadence.




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Michael Gissing
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 1:11:51 am

I've not heard of anything that does on the fly inserts into a file format. I can do it easily with my Fairlight bouncing audio but I have to then render a continuous file afterwards.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 3:00:51 pm

[Brian Mulligan] "What is their HD delivery format?"

1080i HDCAM and letterboxed DigiBeta. I deliver DVCPRO HD 720P60 to a facility that supplies all the deliverables to APT from that, but for the preview reel uplink all they want is Beta SP and because I can master that here it helps with the tight deadlines for the preview reel.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Baz Leffler
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 1:14:04 am

We do a lot of tape duplication for a major international distributor and it doesn't look like its going to let up anytime soon.
ALSO, we are doing a whole mass of memory card (ex1, P2 etc) playouts onto HDCAM for archiving.
Tape is definitely not dead here.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 1:23:51 am

[Baz Leffler] "ALSO, we are doing a whole mass of memory card (ex1, P2 etc) playouts onto HDCAM for archiving.
Tape is definitely not dead here."


Seems somebody should be using LTO. Yes that tape is definitely not dead.



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Tim Wilson
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 4:02:18 am

Joseph Bourke A lot of what's in the Library of Congress is on paper prints - I don't understand how that works, I'm guessing it's like a contact print in still photography - I'll have to read up on it.

The Library of Congress was in charge of copyrights 100+ years ago, when people were first trying to copyright movies. Moving pictures? Well, the way we copyright pictures is two copies on paper. So yeah, there was a process created that had rolls of paper with sprockets to print the entire reel of film onto paper.

There are a bunch of early films whose only "original" prints are on paper, including The Great Train Robbery and a bunch by Melies, whose son had brought many of Dad's movies to the US for copyrighting in a country whose film business was starting to pick up steam.

The process for both paper and nitrate prints is classic DI - scan, clean, etc. - then printing back to film. Following a fairly basic protocol (25 degrees, 30% humidity), film can last thousands of years. It's not even a matter of having film projectors in the future. As long as you have a light, a lens and a wall, you can get a pretty good idea of what's happening.

Anyway, we ran a fantastic article written by the Library's Ken Weissman that goes through the process, talks about the technology (including their consideration of digital) and generally finds a dozen ways to blow your mind. Great pictures of the archive, too.

It's one of my smallest handful of favorites from among the thousands of articles in the COW library. You really, really need to check it out, kids. The Library of Congress Unlocks the Ultimate Archive System

Tim Wilson
Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou

The typos here are most likely because I'm, a) typing this on my phone; and b) an idiot.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 4:32:59 am

Staying a little more on topic (WTF???), saying tape is dead is like saying SD is dead. Of course it is. Absolutely, indisputably true.

Except where it isn't, and won't be for the foreseeable future.

That includes an awful lot of broadcast, which tsunamis notwithstanding, is still making broadcast masters on HDCAM SR. (We ran a whole article on hoarding...uhm, I mean supply management, of HDCAM SR last year.) It's stable, reliable, and relatively inexpensive again, and you don't have to worry about whether the NLE supplying your digital file is going to screw you.

Kind of interesting that Sony's big push is for recording HDCAM SR to DISK -- the format and the medium being two different things. Some of that is driven by their desire to advance technology rather than pushing old stuff that people don't want...but like I said, there's a lot more tape being used in places you might not expect.

Except where tape is dead.

Tim Wilson
Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou

The typos here are most likely because I'm, a) typing this on my phone; and b) an idiot.


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eric pautsch
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 4:42:17 am

Working in digital services for one of the major Studios.... I can tell you with extreme confidence that tape is alive and well.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 5:47:34 am

What's tape?


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Chris Harlan
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 5:51:08 am

Actually, tape is still valuable for archiving, having a long shelf life. Of course, you can only hope there will still be machines to play them down the road.


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alban egger
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 8:01:44 am

[Chris Harlan] "Actually, tape is still valuable for archiving, having a long shelf life. Of course, you can only hope there will still be machines to play them down the road."

Yep, I have a HP tape-backup device here that I used in the 90s when I was still on PC. The device works, the tapes are fine, but I have no Windows machine anymore....never tried if Apple had a driver for that old thing, but probably not.....I wonder of any client will ever need those files :-P



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Tom Prigge
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 1:15:20 pm

Since tape is not dead, let's resurrect Panasonic's M II.


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Doug Beal
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 3:00:07 pm

HDCam Dbeta BSP DVCProHD all day everyday, bump 3/4 and D2 to more modern formats haven't touched a 1" in years since we got rid of the 1100As and the 3100
I love tape!!!
I get files that couldn't go to tape.. they're illegal gamut.. illegal audio levels.. mixed cadences and framerates..If folks who bring me those files brought me a tape I could put it in a machine and play it..The files need to be repaired first before they hit tape..sometimes I have to hit tape in order to provide files
I love tape!!!

Doug Beal
Editor / Engineer
Rock Creative Images
Nashville TN


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 3:24:59 pm

Another interesting facet of the whole tape vs file delivery is that with tape, you know what you're getting delivered. At my old station it was Beta SP, lower field first, 29.97fps.

With file delivery, the encoding is all over the place, even though the station posts a list of the possible digital submission specs. I see spots that are so burning hot, that the cones practically jump off my speakers, judder and frame errors that cause moving images to stutter all over the screen. It's pretty lame - the level of commercial playback quality has dropped through the floor. I don't know whether anyone even uses bars and tone any more - it doesn't look that way.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Joseph Owens
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 6:01:26 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "I don't know whether anyone even uses bars and tone any more - it doesn't look that way."

You said it. Given the chaos that I experience receiving edited file-based projects, I cannot imagine anything ever passing QA. For broadcasters and distributors, the "on-line" digestive process is their first, last, and only line of defence to unify the deliverable on a format that is guaranteed to play when you mount it and push the button.

With delivery deadlines and revision cycles there is no room for error. Or especially trying to fix a "baked" file that is riddled with tech errors. So from this corner of the world, you can still get HDCam/SR, DBeta, and (I'm as surprised as anybody) BetaSP and will for the foreseeable future. With anarchy the rule with codecs and a shocking lack of technical knowledge standard in the production world these days, I don't see that ever changing, because its getting worse, not better.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Bill Davis
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 6, 2012 at 5:22:38 am

[Joseph W. Bourke] "I don't know whether anyone even uses bars and tone any more - it doesn't look that way.
"


Most of the modern digital delivery "broadcast" specs I see specify no bars, no tone. :30 (not 29.9!) frames wall to wall as a digital file.

It's going to get dumped to a play-out server by some 18 year old "technician" overnight and the computer just triggers the file - whatever it is.

I even have a few deliverables that specify the very specific file naming format and I'm pretty sure that these aren't even seen let alone touched by humans. They go from the FTP server directly to air without any human intervention.

FFWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Chris Harlan
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 10, 2012 at 7:48:01 am

[Bill Davis] "Most of the modern digital delivery "broadcast" specs I see specify no bars, no tone. :30 (not 29.9!) frames wall to wall as a digital file. "

I still B&T whenever I lay off to tape, as does everyone I know. I would be shocked if any of my clients accepted work without it. Remember, however, that B&T were devised for analog reproduction, and though they can be occasionally useful with digital files, their main reason for existence is to provide calibration for analog playback and duplication.

[Bill Davis] "It's going to get dumped to a play-out server by some 18 year old "technician" overnight and the computer just triggers the file - whatever it is.
"


That's not what I'm seeing. I'm actually seeing the reverse of that. I find that my technical skills are an advantage over competitors who get technical rejections on a regular basis. I'm seeing more people in the field who don't understand the technical side, which is costing them. I'm also not seeing any relaxation of delivery standards, though they've changed as analog has become moribund.

[Bill Davis] " even have a few deliverables that specify the very specific file naming format and I'm pretty sure that these aren't even seen let alone touched by humans. "

File naming formats have replaced box and tape labels. While they certainly can be useful for automation, they are equally useful for run-of-the-mill identification, as well being able to easily autofill a spread sheet. I'm having trouble seeing anything sinister about them.


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Michael Hadley
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 6:41:45 pm

Yes. Tape is dead.

I've been working the higher-end corporate vein for nearly 20 years. In fact, as an intern, I can recall portable 3/4" and 1" record decks. Beta, BetaSP, DigiBeta--great tools for many years.

Have not shot (or cut with) tape for at least two years.

In my neck of the woods (NY metro), tape is pretty much dead.

(Although a great shooter I work with does work with the BBC and they apparently still like tape).


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Herb Sevush
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 6:56:26 pm

[Michael Hadley] "Yes. Tape is dead. I've been working the higher-end corporate vein for nearly 20 years."

If you'll peruse this thread I think you might come to the conclusion that, while tape may be dead for corporate and web based material, when dealing with broadcasters tape is very much still with us; as even you noted when talking about the camerman ( I hate the term "shooter" when not referring to cattle rustlers and bank robbers) who works with the BBC.

I made corporate videos for years and it is not surprising that they are still ahead of broadcasters in adapting new technologies, since they often have no investment in infrastructure and no library of media content to protect.

So while it may be dead to you, the way Discreet/Autodesk is dead to me, it is not dead to everyone.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Chris Harlan
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 8:20:26 pm

[Herb Sevush] "So while it may be dead to you, the way Discreet/Autodesk is dead to me, it is not dead to everyone."

Certainly not. But, the Japanese earthquake created such a lengthy shortage of HDcamSR that the conversation about tape's inevitable demise and a move to LTO for archiving is happening quite a bit earlier than it might have.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 4, 2012 at 2:35:22 pm

[Chris Harlan] " a move to LTO for archiving "

Having started the LTO process for myself, the one thing I will say is that there is very little standardization with this technology. I'm using BRU archiving software, which runs on Mac and Linux. This means if you have a PC system, or id you don't have the right software, you can't read my files. Until something like LTFS becomes the defacto standard, LTO5 will not replace videotape. A successful archiving standard requires that any tape can be played on any machine.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Chris Harlan
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 4, 2012 at 6:31:35 pm

[Herb Sevush] "[Chris Harlan] " a move to LTO for archiving "

Having started the LTO process for myself, the one thing I will say is that there is very little standardization with this technology. I'm using BRU archiving software, which runs on Mac and Linux. This means if you have a PC system, or id you don't have the right software, you can't read my files. Until something like LTFS becomes the defacto standard, LTO5 will not replace videotape. A successful archiving standard requires that any tape can be played on any machine.
"


Oh, yeah. I'm still a tape advocate. It was just tough to be one when you couldn't get any.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 4, 2012 at 8:21:35 pm

[Herb Sevush] "A successful archiving standard requires that any tape can be played on any machine."

This is possible today, but it's all about the software.

You can't stick a digibeta in a dvcpro hd deck and expect it to just work.

Cache-A in their lto4, for example, writes to a tar format and can be read by other drives.


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Michael Hadley
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 5, 2012 at 12:43:52 pm

Well, indeed. Broadcast is a whole 'nuther mutha. Tape is also the cheapest (best?) long term storage medium (for now).

But I think it can be safely said that if tape is not dead, it is being politely shown the door. No one will be using tape in 10 years.

I know of two small post houses who moved into new locations. In each instance, they decided to sell off some of their decks. Devices that cost $35-45K were sold for peanuts. It was painful.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 5, 2012 at 2:37:56 pm

[Michael Hadley] "But I think it can be safely said that if tape is not dead, it is being politely shown the door. No one will be using tape in 10 years."

On that point no one can argue. But 10 years is a long time away, and software that works on the premise that tape is dead as of now is somewhat limited.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 3, 2012 at 10:45:58 pm

ESPN London still likes them.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3421180/espn_pic.jpg

Seriously, it had been a while - I plopped this up on facebook today. I missed the sight of some indestructible storage. In this case they held really good tennis.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 4, 2012 at 2:52:08 pm

Tape, as a delivery method, is alive and well. There's nothing that can beat it at the moment in terms of ease of shipping in a short time frame.

If we had huge bandwidth pipes, we'd be having a different conversation.

We delivered over 175 spots last year, all tapeless. Of course spots are easy as they are 40 seconds (with slate, etc) so even in HD the files sizes are fairly manageable. Episodic shows is another matter.

Tape as an acquisition format is certainly dying. I don't see camera manufacturers rushing out to develop tape based cameras.

Ironically, we archive everything back to tape (LTO). What's nice about it is that you can store absolutely everything, not just pictures/audio in a specified format/frame rate.

I don't think the general "lowering of quality" has anything to do with tapeless. If tape was still around, you'd see the same mess of quality, it would be on tape instead of hard drive.

With the absolute fragmentation of HD formats and frame rates, and having NLEs that aren't very good at handling these types of conversions in the timeline very well, and perhaps the people operating them not knowing the best way to convert multiple formats in to a common and acceptable container, or don't want to spend the money and have it sent out to do a true standards conversion contributes to the problem as well.

It was much easier, as has been mentioned, when everything was D1 29.97 (for the US) as you didn't have to think about it, much like 50Hz based countries don't have to think about frame rate still today.

Coupled with the fact that people will not spend any amount of money to actually hook their NLE up to a monitor as the NLE viewer window is "good enough". You simply just don't see any problems when your canvas is at 38% of a 1080 frame. Getting all of this correct is much harder than it was in the NTSC only days.

I recently had to resurrect a very old project that was shot on tape, a lot of it at night, on a very expensive NTSC camera for someone's archive. After watching that, it was a great reminder of the remarkably decent quality you can get from much cheaper cameras these days. Quality has actually gone way up.

There are certain ways that a lot of the confusion could be curtailed, but I don't see any one "governing body" going out and forming tapeless recommendations to standardize around. Who has the time and money for that?


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Herb Sevush
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 4, 2012 at 3:02:32 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Tape, as a delivery method, is alive and well. There's nothing that can beat it at the moment in terms of ease of shipping in a short time frame. "

Which is why it's nice to be able to export to tape from within a NLE, with the ability to punch in corrections from a timeline directly to tape.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 4, 2012 at 4:22:42 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Which is why it's nice to be able to export to tape from within a NLE, with the ability to punch in corrections from a timeline directly to tape."

There's always Avid and Legend for tape transport.

Hopefully, AJAs Control Room comes out of vaporware.

In my opinion, there needs to be a major rethink on how media is handled. NLEs need to become better managers then they currently are. They are based on a old and antiquated "reel" system that doesn't make any sense in a tapeless acquisition environment. That is not to say that a "reel" isn't important, it just needs to be redefined.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 4, 2012 at 6:38:40 pm

I agree that proper media management is of greater importance now than in the past, but I think the physical 'reel' will make a comeback in the relatively near future as the price of flash media falls to the point where we won't have to keep dumping and reusing cards. A card, just like tape cassettes and film reels before it, will be able to be shot once, ingested, then put on a shelf.

I really, really, really hate the 'card dance' that must happen to proper recycle a card for shooting. So much more room potential for error and total loss of media.




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Bob Zelin
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 4, 2012 at 7:44:43 pm

I agree with Andrew - once the price of solid state media (whatever that becomes) is inexpensive, we will have hard media just like tapes. LTO Tapes, or inexpensive SATA drive backups is the equivalent of having a "beta tape" on the shelf.

As for the requirements of the networks, etc. who still want a D5 tape, this is all based on union labor, whose 55 year old morons refuse to learn anything, and it's easier for management to say "send us a tape" as opposed to retraining these guys. Do you think that if a network facility or TV station had all guys under 30, that anyone would actually say "send me a Beta SP tape" ? Being 56 years old myself, I can tell you that these idiots at the TV stations have died, but no one has told them that they died, and they are still alive only because the Unions prevent them from getting fired.

Bob Zelin
(can you say Aspera and Signiant ?)



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 4, 2012 at 8:08:26 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I agree that proper media management is of greater importance now than in the past, but I think the physical 'reel' will make a comeback in the relatively near future as the price of flash media falls to the point where we won't have to keep dumping and reusing cards. A card, just like tape cassettes and film reels before it, will be able to be shot once, ingested, then put on a shelf.
"


Perhaps.

For some media types, this is already possible, but it still doesn't make much sense to name something "Card_55" when the footage from that card might get repurposed, broken apart from its native structure, or transcoded.

It needs to move beyond a physical medium and space on the shelf, but that's just my opinion. It's too easy to make a copy/duplicate and the physical medium becomes less important.

Also, the user metadata might change, so it'd be nice if a reel could be a unique ID that lives with that file.

In the case of op-atom MXF, that reel needs to be assigned to video and multiple audio files.

I agree that it would be great to have the camera card originals to hang on to as a deep archive if they were cheap enough. It would logistically make things easier as well if you need to hand off footage to another person.

As far as the price of cards, I have never ever ever had a problem with the more expensive cards in p2. We used to shoot a whole lot of it. I've had issues with cf cards (from Red and others) more than I care for. When you compare the cost of an expensive card to the cost of a reshoot, it's small.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 5, 2012 at 12:09:44 am

Until the EDL is dead we still need reels. That you can use reels to refer to folders of tapeless files is useful and it means EDLs, our last great hope for system to system transfer can live on.

Tape will be long gone but I suspect reels may survive, even if as a novelty way to describe folders, cards, SSDs etc.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 5, 2012 at 12:47:46 am

[Michael Gissing] "Until the EDL is dead we still need reels. That you can use reels to refer to folders of tapeless files is useful and it means EDLs, our last great hope for system to system transfer can live on.

Tape will be long gone but I suspect reels may survive, even if as a novelty way to describe folders, cards, SSDs etc."


Of course. That's why I said it needs to be redefined, it could point to an actual file, and the files physical location on a hard drive/SAN/server would not matter. A file structure can and will change over the course of it's useful life. A more modern reel naming system will help keep track of the files, as well as, tc and other metadata, even file name, but file name isn't even unique enough.

Like this:



themodernreel.png

This is a unique ID of a p2 file (generated by an XML send to fcp7). I can copy and paste this in to spotlight and find the file. It's not pretty but it's highly accurate.

Jeremy


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Bill Davis
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 6, 2012 at 5:53:40 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's not pretty but it's highly accurate."

Accurate in a system trying to keep track of the number of grains of sand on a beach, perhaps.

I see the strings of nulls and simple binary directors - but still, sheesh - something like 65 potential alpha numeric places? 36 choices per slot, factorial? Great if you need to separate one file out of a few hundred quintillion or so.

Wouldn't it have been easier to just do a time stamp down to the nanosecond and add a 15 character string to that and call it a day?

Then again, I'm not a programmer or a math geek, so my opinion is, once again, worth what's being paid for it.

Anyway, the big issue in my thinking isn't the medium of archiving, it's more convincing all of us that so little of what we're all working so hard to create really even needs to be archived...

Not to make too fine a point of it, but I was once again looking at NetFlix on my iPad (holiday schedule after all.) And of the 100 choices I scanned there was probably 5 about which I'd care if they disappeared from the great content cabinet in the sky forever. I know everybody else's 5 bill be different - but there shurly IS a painful lot of absolute dreck out there a short click away.

And that's just in the category of "big money was spent to produce these" files.

What does that mean to me as I sit here convincing myself that I've got to protect my latest Corporate opus for the next millennium via multiple, secured, backups.

In reality - in 3-5 years, maybe half of 1% of whatever I do today has a rats chance in hell of being still valuable as anything other than a personal curiosity.

Welcome to the era of "content churn" folks. If it ain't monitized in the first 90 days after birth - it probably never will be since the modern digital content tsunami has become as relentless as the tides.

Sigh.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Michael Gissing
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 6, 2012 at 6:43:53 am

[Bill Davis]"In reality - in 3-5 years, maybe half of 1% of whatever I do today has a rats chance in hell of being still valuable as anything other than a personal curiosity."

I am just finishing up a six part series based almost entirely on three natural history docos that I worked on 15 years ago, plus two other docos, one from 1995 and another from 2009. Augmenting that is library footage. Whilst there is a churn & burn attitude out there, quality program and outstanding footage has a long shelf life.

I appreciate our work experiences may widely differ but ignoring the importance of archiving and valuing the longevity of material that may appear trivial to you will simply deny the next generation the experience of such archive. TV and the internet is full of snippets of old shows that constantly get revived. The biggest problem in the future will be the myriad formats. All these docos were shot on super 16mm and they look fantastic with modern telecine to HD.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 6, 2012 at 4:08:19 pm

[Bill Davis] "Accurate in a system trying to keep track of the number of grains of sand on a beach, perhaps.

I see the strings of nulls and simple binary directors - but still, sheesh - something like 65 potential alpha numeric places? 36 choices per slot, factorial? Great if you need to separate one file out of a few hundred quintillion or so. "


Well, Bill. Let's talk about this. The screen grab I gave is from a P2 file. I really really enjoy the P2 format as I see it as a true tape replacement. It is not exactly an easy format, in fact it's rather complicated to deal with sometimes if you don't have the proper tools, but it does the job very well. AVC-Intra (and now Ultra) has made huge waves in broadcast and stands to be around for a long time. If 4k broadcast becomes a reality, who is more poised to have an interchangeable format that broadcasters are already familiar with? Panasonic. I would imagine that the AVCUltra format will be the same P2 MXF structure, and most modern NLEs deal with P2 very well. The only difference will be an upgraded codec, and bigger frame sizes. Instead of reinventing yet another format, Panasonic will simply update the existing infrastructure.

So, let's pretend for a moment that you're Panasonic, and you are going to sell a gagillion cameras at a pretty good price to big box broadcasters, and independents who work for big box broadcasters. When working in news or sports with P2, you have a massive database of footage. If you're Panasonic, and you want to deliver a format that is going to be able to stand in a giant database for a very long time, what does a reel number become? Do you develop a format that's going to cause problems, or do you try and build a format that might mitigate these problems? "This_Card_Number" is meaningless. Instead you need a very unique ID number to identify and describe that file, and in the case of P2, that ID will also help to identify the separate 2,4 (or more) channels of audio that go with it.

Our little shop, which used to shoot a lot more P2 than we do now, has had dupe P2 file names. How does FCP keep them straight? Unique ID.

I know you like to espouse the power of a database, P2 is quite literally built for just that.

And Apple, Apple themselves have a Unique ID system in FCP7, and have stepped that game up in FCPX.

For example, this is unique ID of one QT movie that is embedded in an FCPXML export of an Event: uid="F8CB1B667598971B458CEDF85109BD63"

So yes, it is tracking grains of sand, and it is this kind of detail that computers are really good at keeping track of as long as the humans that write the software know what's up.

I know what you're thinking, "this is all disposable". Well, for some of us, it isn't. The more detail the better, even if there's no use for it for your particular needs, it is good practice and will only help in the long run. Yesterday I unarchived a video that we shot 4 years ago, they are updating it. Last week I unarchived a video we shot 10 years ago. They are updating it. We have shot so much footage, that we rely on some of it to go in to other videos, our own stock library if you will. We need to keep track of all of this. We are certainly not going to lay this off to video tape and assign a tape number.

Tape is not dead yet, but it will be. I don't know if this is right or wrong, worse or better, but it's a reality. So, media management has to be though of with a digital storage and future in mind. NLEs manufacturers have to adopt this line of thinking as well. Having a system that relies on the metaphor of having media on a shelf space is in my opinion, becoming less and less of a reality.

So, now that we have to build a new system and metaphor, do you do it half assedly, or do you build a really robust system?

Perhaps I am being dramatic? Maybe.

We have a small shop, but we have at least a 50TB archive (double that for the backup copies) and 21TB of footage that is "active" and online. I can't imagine what a bigger and busier shop has to manage, or a TV network, or a movie studio. With all of those files, grains of sand sounds about right.



Jeremy


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Bill Davis
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 6, 2012 at 6:30:09 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I know what you're thinking, "this is all disposable". Well, for some of us, it isn't."

Jeremy.

I'm fine with this. So long as everyone also understands that while "for some of us" is a worthy condition - "for few of us" is an equally valid one.

I'm NOT actually seeing the people who truly need archiving rushing towards doing too little archiving. Are you?

But I AM seeing people who truly don't need much archiving in a real sense - the casual editor - rushing toward saving every little iteration along their creation path.

And wondering how much effort is being expended tracking and storing stuff that has little or no real value.

Very much as with generating X keywords - the hard part is telling in advance what you're going to want to find later.

And I truly think there are two competing forces at play here. The desire to "save everything just in case" and the desire to "simplify and reduce complexity as much as possible."

Unfortunately, we want BOTH.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 6, 2012 at 7:45:42 pm

[Bill Davis] "And wondering how much effort is being expended tracking and storing stuff that has little or no real value."

It's like we are talking to bizarro Bill today.

The thing is, if you've ever had a client call back, and then if you've ever had four clients call back, then the cost of the archive is worth it as it can actually turn in to work and therefore money. There's no way to predict what projects will come back, what footage you will need, what might be of value in the future. In that case, it's probably best to be all or nothing. Either you have the footage or you don't.

[Bill Davis] "And I truly think there are two competing forces at play here. The desire to "save everything just in case" and the desire to "simplify and reduce complexity as much as possible."

Unfortunately, we want BOTH. "


I don't see this as a huge dichotomy. Storage is cheap. There's no penalty for having too much archive, but there is a chance of losing out with too little archive. It's a personal decision.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 5, 2012 at 2:36:08 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "There's always Avid and Legend for tape transport."

Yes, I know. I guess that was my point, the fact that an EOL'd software is one of my 2 best choices, while it's successor, even after a year of release, can't handle it. Sometimes the future is in the future.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Michael Gissing
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 6, 2012 at 12:08:37 am

Bottom line Herb is that regardless of what Apple speak says about tape being dead, it simply isn't. Dying? Sure?

Apple may want us to think tape is dead and lack of support for tape shows their opinion clearly. So the lie often told still isn't the truth.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 7, 2012 at 6:12:40 pm

All I know is that my sprinkler system was acting up this weekend, and I don't know what I would have done without Christies Plumbing Tape.

And kids, don't forget: unless you're actually taping a duct, there's almost always a better tape to use than duct tape. In particular, never use duct tape when the job calls for gaffers tape.

Tape dead? I don't THINK so.

Tim Wilson
Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou

The typos here are most likely because I'm, a) typing this on my phone; and b) an idiot.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 7, 2012 at 6:23:41 pm

[Tim Wilson] "never use duct tape when the job calls for gaffers tape."

Hee Hee


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Walter Soyka
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 7, 2012 at 6:32:18 pm

[Tim Wilson] "unless you're actually taping a duct, there's almost always a better tape to use than duct tape. "

You can strike through that qualifier -- duct tape actually isn't even good for sealing ducts! [link].

So... duct tape is cheap, "good enough" and leaves a gross residue on everything it touches. I'd say that makes it the miniDV of adhesives.

There is always a better tape to use.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 16, 2012 at 6:13:44 pm

I work for an non-profit organization that has archives going all the way back to the 1930's. We still have film. I have thousands of Umatic, Beta, VHS, Hi-8, and DV tapes in storage. I'd love to dump most of it, but I have been asked to pull stuff from the 1980's often enough (to use in presentations, historical productions, etc.) that I don't throw anything out. And different departments often call me and say, "can you convert this Hi-8 tape that I have?" So I don't want to know how many tapes exist that I don't know about. Because our machines are on their last legs, I'm trying to convert the "important" stuff on Umatic, Hi-8, and VHS (like Bozo show clips - I cannot tell you what a find that was!) to DV.

I wasn't going to worry about any of the Beta footage, but one of our decks just broke and the replacement part is $700, which isn't exactly in our budget, so now I'm down to one machine. According to our supplier (who deals a lot of used equipment), decks in good condition are getting difficult to find, so that makes me nervous. Our Hi-8 deck broke a few months ago, and we're still looking for a replacement. I wish we could just buy up a ton of decks, but when your budget is extremely small, you want to be spending money on things like converting to HD, not antiquated decks!

One thing about going totally tapeless that worries me, though, is archiving. Technology moves along so quickly, how do I know that a .mov file that I save today will be playable in 25 years? And what happens when the file gets corrupted? (I know I sound like I'm 80. I'm 100% digital in my home life, but at work, where I need to be concerned about someone needing a file in 25 years, archiving is a big deal.) But that's a whole different thread.

So no, tape is not dead, at least not for everyone. (Shoot, we still have to send material to some stations on Beta.) However, its eventual total demise is a huge source of stress for me.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 2:40:08 am

[Lynette Gilbert] "and VHS (like Bozo show clips - I cannot tell you what a find that was!)"

Bozo?! I don't suppose any of those clips would be of Pinto or Vance Colvig, would they? Pinto originated the role, and his son, Vance later played the part Live here in LA. Vance was a close friend of the family, and I thought of him like an uncle. A very funny guy. I miss him a lot.


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 1:18:35 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Bozo?! I don't suppose any of those clips would be of Pinto or Vance Colvig, would they? Pinto originated the role, and his son, Vance later played the part Live here in LA. Vance was a close friend of the family, and I thought of him like an uncle. A very funny guy. I miss him a lot."

No, sorry; these are clips from the Chicago Bozo show.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 4:14:21 pm

[Lynette Gilbert] "No, sorry; these are clips from the Chicago Bozo show."

The Chicago show was supposed to be terrific.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 4:24:20 pm

[Chris Harlan] "The Chicago show was supposed to be terrific."

When I heard Bozo show, I immediately thought of WGN Bozo.

Man, that show was a treat.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/2001-06-11-bozo-show.htm

Thanks for that walk down memory lane.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 4:43:01 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Thanks for that walk down memory lane.
"


Hey, when I was a little kid, Bozo came to my birthday parties. Because it was my uncle Vance, I don't think I realized what a mind-blower that was for the other kids until many years later.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:20:38 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "When I heard Bozo show, I immediately thought of WGN Bozo."

Chicago Bozo remains one of the highest-rated local programs ever.

Somebody needs to do a full-on Bozo documentary. The whole idea of a franchised character is phenomenal to me. Even the Wikipedia entry is mind-boggling - over 200 Bozos around the world. The best thing you'll read all day, I promise.

tw

Tim Wilson
Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou

The typos here are most likely because I'm, a) typing this on my phone; and b) an idiot.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:25:44 pm

[Tim Wilson] "The whole idea of a franchised character is phenomenal to me. Even the Wikipedia entry is mind-boggling - over 200 Bozos around the world. "

Romper Room, with the Do Be's and the Don't Be's, was also a franchised show in the late 50's early 60's, with different hosts in every city.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:46:10 pm

[Herb Sevush] "Romper Room, with the Do Be's and the Don't Be's, was also a franchised show in the late 50's early 60's, with different hosts in every city."

I had no idea that Romper Room was franchised! I loved that show.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:50:01 pm

Great memory, Herb!

Although it was syndicated rather than franchised, I think of New Zoo Revue along these lines because it ran after shows like Bozo and Captain Kangaroo in my market. I think that was fairly typical in most markets.

Doug and Emmy Jo (Emily in real life) were married in 72, and are still together as the owner of Laguna Productions in Las Vegas -- commercials, corporate, docs and the like. Classic COW stuff. While I haven't seen Doug post in the COW, others at Laguna pop in now and again.

I was "too old" for this kind of thing at the time, but boy howdy, I really enjoyed it.

Tim Wilson
Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou

The typos here are most likely because I'm, a) typing this on my phone; and b) an idiot.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 6:12:17 pm

My then girlfriend, an Emmy Award winning news editor was Mr Do Bee one morning in NYC (WOR-TV 9). She walked in to do her morning news shift and the producer ran up to her in a panic that the regular Mr Do Bee was sick and they needed a replacement immediately.



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Lynette Gilbert
Re: Tape is dead ???
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:36:17 pm

[Chris Harlan] "The Chicago show was supposed to be terrific"

My older sister when, but by the time I was old enough to go, the wait list was 8 years. I work for a zoo, and I found tapes from 1985-1987 where they had animals on the show every few weeks. It was definitely a find, and something that would be gone forever if I'd just thrown out the box they were in (they were poorly labeled).


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