[MacDV] Re: -Digital8 to MiniDV conversion-MacDV- MacDV Digest #3553

Richard Brown richard at go2rba.com
Fri Aug 6 11:57:05 PDT 2004

Just to chime in...

As to the archival nature of DV tape...

Just to add to the string: Disney, which owns ABC Television (and at 
least half of all that's good on cable), is in the midst of an 
archiving campaign where they are duping Beta SP tapes to DVCAM, which 
is MiniDV style tape recorded at the DVCAM spec, which essentially 
matches Beta SP for picture with locked audio.  DVCAM tapes are 
available in larger sizes than consumer MiniDV, up to 184 minutes, BUT, 
MiniDV (consumer size) DVCAM grade tape is available from companies 
like Sony.

You simply need to ask for a 40 minute DVCAM tape, which is identical 
to a 60 minute MiniDV tape (DVCAM just runs FASTER than MiniDV to 
accommodate its specification) which means, in MiniDV format, the DVCAM 
40 runs 60 minutes.

The Sony DVCAM tapes work fine in MiniDV equipment, and are 
professional grade, not consumer grade. Simply, the mechanism is 
professional, which is matched by the larger, professional case, which 
puts an air cushion between your tape and the heat of the day, not to 
mention the higher quality in general with bona fide, write-worthy 
inserts, UNLIKE MiniDV tapes, which scoff at proper record keeping 
given their intended amateur perspective.

DVCAM tapes, given the due diligence a company like Disney goes through 
prior to making archiving decisions, should likely give anyone 
considering archiving to MiniDV the best possible longevity. Digital 
recording, in general, is more robust magnetically than analogue.

Like any tape, however, STORAGE becomes a central issue in making an 
archive. Tapes should always be stored ON EDGE (the spools of tape are 
VERTICAL) and never flat. Tape is very delicate and the weight of a 
spool, plus gravity, can cause physical damage over the long (and 
sometimes short) term. Next, HUMIDITY is a concern. Control it to limit 
oxidation. Finally, store away from speakers and magnetic sources. 
Magnetic fields, even at a distance, will slowly erase a tape, but this 
is a bit esoteric. Again, digital signals will be more robust than 
analog regardless of storage methods, all things being equal.

Richard Brown

> Ted Langdell
> Ted Langdell Creative Broadcast Services
> Marysville, CA
> By "lifespan" do you mean the expected amount of time that 8mm, Hi8 
> and D8 tapes may be physically playable before deterioration occurs?
> One might argue that the larger tape width of 8mm/Hi8/D8 would make 
> that format more "robust" since the data is spread over a larger 
> surface area on each track, making the system more likely to be able 
> to play back a deteriorating tape.
> Mini-DV/DVCAM/DVCPro tape is roughly half the width of 8mm/Hi8/D8.
> I can understand your feelings that Mini-DV decks will be produced 
> after D8 decks may be off the market.
> Ted,
> On Aug 6, 2004, at 5:41 AM, Macintosh Digital Video List wrote:

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