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Need some good arguments regarding archival quality media

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Mark Suszko
Need some good arguments regarding archival quality media
on Sep 12, 2011 at 8:02:47 pm

I need some expert advice and support for an argument at the office.

We've been bumping old tape formats in our library to DVD-R and then recycling the tapes. That was step 1. Just getting everything off obsolete formats before the taspes rot or the decks die. And we've done that.

I am getting push-back on going on to step 2, which would be making backup dubs of the DVD's to archival-quality media, and storing those securely off-site. The guys here think it is "good enough" to just burn a second copy using the same 15 bucks per spindle generic brand disks, and the Taio's I want are more like $35 per 50-unit spindle. So there IS a strong financial component to the argument that is holding the most sway right now.

My counter-argument is that the cheap DVD's may be good for a year, maybe five, but they might stop working as soon as next month, becasue you don't know what kind of longevity you get with an off-brand commodity-based product. And then all the time and effort that went into making the dubs is wasted, and the footage is lost forever.

Before anyone suggests it, there is no money for the size of hard drive array our library would take up. We have to do something based on DVD-R technology on shelves. Though I think BluRay would be better, I get even moer resistance to that idea than the gold-backed archival quality DVD media.

Any thoughts? Specific recommendations as to brands? Are we even in agreement with my overall premise?


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eric pautsch
Re: Need some good arguments regarding archival quality media
on Sep 12, 2011 at 8:31:48 pm

Its hard to say since Ive seen "quality" wear out and "cheap" media last. I wouldnt be doing any back ups to DVD-R - id be going to LTO. How much space are we talking?

And why are you recycling your master tapes? Always keep those as the very last resort.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Need some good arguments regarding archival quality media
on Sep 12, 2011 at 8:41:29 pm

Well... 20 years worth of stuff... maybe... 20 tb? I'm not good at estimating these things. However, hardware-based stuff like LTO or raids or servers or stacks of dumb drives are off the table for purposes of this discussion. We had bad experienced with LTO and those are not welcome here, plus, they also don't capture in real time, AFAIK, and that is a deal breaker. Hardware is funded thru another line and unavailable, but blank disk stock is paid out of another department. Assume for the purposes of this argument that the only choices are dirt-cheap DVD-R, gold-backed archival DVD-R, Or BD. Because those are my only choices.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Need some good arguments regarding archival quality media
on Sep 12, 2011 at 8:48:42 pm

The master tapes have been recycled because they took up way too much room, and they were old obsolete formats we no longer would have machines to play them on.. the machines lasted *just * long enough for this one last run, and died. We had left it un-done as long as we could. The tape library and overspill into the hallways looked like the ending warehouse scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. We needed to make room for the next 20 years worth of stuff. Cheaply. Burning to DVD-R reduced our volume and got rid of the shelf space taken up by three or four full size automobiles. Now I want to protect what's on those DVD-R's, but the boys in the shop think we should just call the job done at this stage. That the additional cost outweighs the value of what's being archived.


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eric pautsch
Re: Need some good arguments regarding archival quality media
on Sep 13, 2011 at 1:09:41 am

20 Terabytes isnt a whole lot.

Capture in realtime? LTO is just a tape back up system not for injesting video. LTO is the most reliable back up there is at the moment....thats well documented.

On your original question, Id go with a good quality media like Verbatim. All that gold plated, hog wash, mumbo jumbo is all BS :)



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