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  #1  
09-27-2010, 04:53 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winsordawson
Dear......Lordsmurf,
I seem to be getting conflicting information about degaussers on this topic I posted at http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/3...31#post2019531
I wondered, given your expertise, if you had any way of clarifying the problem, if you have the time.
Yours sincerely, Winsordawson
Hi, thanks for writing. I'm answering here instead of via PM, to help share the information with others that may be looking for it.

I'll have to agree with one of the first responses you received:
Quote:
Originally Posted by edDV View Post
The main issue is who is paying for these tapes? You or the client/employer? If budget isn't an issue and the client agrees to pay, use the Digital Master. If they don't care and this is out of your pocket, get Sony HDV tapes at http://www.bhphotovideo.com?BI=3167&KW=&KBID=4166

Truth be told, you could go lower to PQ Panasonic with no compromise in video quality but it may expose you to blame if something goes wrong. http://www.tapestockonline.com/pamidv.html

Bottom line, tape stock choice should be part of the contract. The client chooses and pays for the tape stock. Price range is $3 to $16+ for 63 minutes. I'd spend the extra money on better lighting.
edDV is competent, and that's his typical good advice.

Same for this tip:
Quote:
No need to degauss anything. Your camera original tapes are the most important. You can always re-edit from those. You would save your edited program to a separate tape and keep them all. If you can't afford to do that, buy cheaper grade tapes. It is dangerous to erase anything.
I agree with that, too.

After about a dozen posts, however, the conversation gets rather complex, and then a peanut gallery gets involved. Just read what edDV has written, and ignore everything else.

But I also want to add this...

Degaussing is a fancy way of saying "erase" as far as I'm concerned.

DV tape is, quite honestly, crap grade tape even compared to VHS. It's flimsy and there are issues. The format is already pretty well dead, and this was one of the primary reasons -- nobody likes tape. Now shooting with it was fine. Playing it for "capture" (transfer) to computer was fine. But when you want to treat a DV tape like a VHS tape, and play it over and over, you run into issues where the tape starts to break down like any other. Only due to the nature of DV tape, it's more easily worn down. Degaussing/erasing the tape is probably one of the most abusive things you could do to it. Although the information being stored is digital, you'll get digital dropouts instead of the magnetic streaks we'd see on analog formats.

Let's keep this simple...
  • Can you degauss a tape? Yes.
  • Will it be "good as new" to use again? No. Each use of the tape degrades it.
  • Does this matter? Maybe, maybe not. For projects where tape problems can be tolerated, there's nothing to worry about. I re-use tapes for testing all the time. For experiments, fun projects, etc -- re-using tapes is fine. For something important, I'm opening a brand new high grade tape.
Another issue with degaussing is that degaussers can be expensive. It will look better than recording over a tape, but more costly.

I think the problem you had in your other post was people were getting these mixed up:
  • Can you?
  • Should you?
  • How do you go about doing it?
I'll answer these separately for you:
  • Can you? Yes.
  • Should you? Most will say no. I'll say "it depends".
  • How do you do it? Buy a degausser. Be ready for it to cost a few bucks.
And I think that's really all I have on that.

If there are more questions, ask away, reply to this post. Thanks.

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  #2  
01-17-2011, 08:48 PM
Winsordawson Winsordawson is offline
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Now I see how pathetic DV is. Well, I do have a degausser, although it was intended for use on VHS. Does it matter if it was made for Metal Oxide tape rather than the ME/MP type used for DV?

What if I made a recording on a DigitalMaster tape, edited it in a non-linear fashion, degaussed the DigitalMaster, and then saved the edited tape on it. Would there be a significant decease in quality, despite having another magnetic layer? If I tried to black the tape instead (or in addition), would that be more effective? I am hesitant to black the tape since it would put excessive wear on the tape heads of my camera.

Or do you think I should record HD on cheap tapes and save the final on a DigitalMaster?

Wait a minute! If VHS tapes are any indication, perhaps I would be better off keeping a final copy on a DVD? I believe it was this site that said a well-stored DVD can be safely kept for about 30 years.

Thanks again.
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  #3  
01-21-2011, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Does it matter if it was made for Metal Oxide tape rather than the ME/MP type used for DV?
I don't really know the answer to this one. I would guess that it does NOT make a different, but I would not swear an oath on it. Like most professionals, I never reuse tapes -- I get new ones. I've never seen a good quality reused tape. The metal particles tend to shed with each use, leave you with tapes that have analog or digital dropouts.

Quote:
I am hesitant to black the tape since it would put excessive wear on the tape heads of my camera.
This is a valid concern. Plus I don't know that "blacking" the tape would be any better or worse than a degauss. I'd assume it to be worse, actually.

Quote:
Or do you think I should record HD on cheap tapes and save the final on a DigitalMaster?
Not sure that any of us would ever suggest using "cheap" tapes or discs -- or any other kind of media. One of the founding principles of this site was to steer people away from the "cheap" crap out there, and to use known-good quality media (regardless of price, be it higher or lower).

Quote:
If VHS tapes are any indication, perhaps I would be better off keeping a final copy on a DVD? I believe it was this site that said a well-stored DVD can be safely kept for about 30 years.
I would keep a "viewing" copy on DVD as DVD-Video (MPEG-2), and then save master copies to hard drives. Indeed, there are several optimal lifespans to consider:
  • Tapes: 30-65 years
  • Discs: 25-75 years
  • Hard drives: 5-10 years
Those numbers reflect average-to-optimal indoor conditions, with proper storage and handling over the entire life of the media. Much of the propaganda against tapes fails basic weather science (avg indoor RH). And most of the disc propaganda is a failure due to inclusiveness of poor handling (only an careless idiot will have a disc "die" in 2-5 years). Hard drives are doomed to fail from their mechanics.

The idea is to move data (or audio/video) to new media every 10 or so years -- even if it's a new blank from the same tech (i.e., burn another DVD copy in 2020, copy it a new hard drive, etc).

There's also something to be said for the "non-mechanical" state of discs/drives, rather than tapes. And then reliance on hardware that may be gone -- whereas software to access discs/drives is far more likely.

Keep tapes for one backup, sure, but not the ONLY archived version.

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  #4  
01-25-2011, 01:38 PM
Winsordawson Winsordawson is offline
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Thank you for the help.

I meant cheap(er) tapes, as in comparison to the more expensive DigitalMasters. Have you used both DVCAM for HDV and DigitalMaster and have seen the latter to be worth the extra bucks? Would you also happen to know a reputable wholesale dealer for either of them?

In addition, since most of the advantages of DigitalMasters occur in the recording stages, is there any significant difference in storing a less expensive DV tape as the archive?
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  #5  
01-31-2011, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Have you used both DVCAM for HDV and DigitalMaster and have seen the latter to be worth the extra bucks?
Generally speaking, better grade tapes almost always give better results. That was true of S-VHS, VHS, DV2 (DV25), Hi8, 8mm tape, etc. Only in a few select cases were so-called "better" tapes crap. Fuji Pro VHS tapes and Maxell S-VHS tapes are two perfect examples of overpriced junk advertised as "high grade" videotapes.

From what I've read, those DigitalMaster tapes are made from better materials, so yes -- it's likely better for truly important archival quality. However that's not to say other tapes won't be "good enough". Unlike analog formats, there's not as big a gap between good and best signal quality on digital format tapes. Unlike analog grain/noise, you're mostly left worrying about dropouts and the "eatability" of the tape.

Overlooking issues of digital tape in general, of course, as discussed earlier. (i.e., more flimsy than analog tapes)

Quote:
is there any significant difference in storing a less expensive DV tape as the archive?
It's all about the quality of the tape materials. But again, you may be talking about a small difference across a span of decades -- meaning it's minimally important. Without knowing the goals of the project, it's hard to say how urgent longevity is. With the ability to backup to secondary media, like hard drive, this may become moot over time.

Quote:
Would you also happen to know a reputable wholesale dealer for either of them?
Yes.
http://www.taperesources.com/VIDEO_F...AL_MASTER.html
http://www.tapeonline.com/digital-master
http://www.thetapecompany.com/Items....F+HDV+%2FDVCam

I've used each of them since the 1990s, back when I bulk bought S-VHS and VHS tapes. I recommend each of them quite highly.
Amazon and B&H are two other options, for smaller purchases.

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The following users thank lordsmurf for this useful post: Winsordawson (02-08-2011)
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