lifetime of miniDV tapes

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Dave Jones, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones Guest

    what is the safe usage lifetime of a miniDV tape please


    Dave Jones, Jul 2, 2003
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  2. All of my Sony evaporated metal Hi-8 tapes from as far back as 15
    years still play back in good order.
    These tapes have the same type base and coating that is used for DV and
    if they can carry an unflawed analog signal that long, digital
    recordings may hold up even better. How you and your equipment treat
    your tapes is a big factor in their longeivity.

    Steve McDonald
    Steve McDonald, Jul 3, 2003
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  3. Yeah right. DVD's can be eaten within a very short time by a fungi,
    which has a healthy appetite for them. Tapes also can be affected by
    fungi (very common problem here for instance in Sydney). Tapes also
    evaporate some kind of acid thing, which makes them stick together, so
    it is recommended to wind and rewind the tapes once a year to 'vent'
    the tapes.
    Only proper storage in tightly controlled temperature and humidity
    conditions can help tapes live longer.


    Martin Heffels, Jul 3, 2003
  4. Dave Jones

    AnthonyR Guest

    Joe, the beauty of dv format is that you can copy the tape 1000 times with
    no generation loss. So instead of waiting for imperfections like you said,
    just do a dv to dv copy after 15 years and you're good for another 15 years.

    I am not so confident with DVD, I hear a lot about dvd rot. This is when the
    glues used to bind the plastic substrates together losses it hold and the
    two halves separate and become worthless. But we'll have to wait and see
    about that. I have VHS tapes about 20 years old and they still play, so I am
    confident dv tapes will last at least as long.

    AnthonyR, Jul 3, 2003
  5. Dave Jones

    Steve Guidry Guest

    When considering the lifetime of any medium - - if you're doing archive
    work - - "How long does the media last?" is absolutely the wrong question.

    The _real_ question is : "How long can I keep the playback mechanism

    Steve Guidry, Jul 3, 2003
  6. So, do a film-out of all your material to 16mm, and your safe for a
    couple of hundred years ;-)

    Martin Heffels, Jul 4, 2003
  7. Dave Jones

    Joe Sacher Guest

    Why would there be? If you copy it soon enough that there are no dropped
    frames, then there should never be any dropped frames, even in the 1000th
    copy. That is what digital is all about.
    Joe Sacher, Jul 4, 2003
  8. Dave Jones

    AnthonyR Guest

    Exactly what I was thinking! :)
    AnthonyR, Jul 4, 2003
  9. Dave Jones

    AnthonyR Guest

    I think eventually we will have an ideal storage medium, it isn't here yet,
    so all we need to do is keep the stuff around long enough till its invented.
    Maybe it will be a bio-digital solution, you know where the digits are
    stored in living cells. I read about this.
    The good thing about that is, if its damaged, maybe it can heal itself? LOL

    AnthonyR, Jul 4, 2003
  10. Dave Jones

    sgordon Guest

    : DVD does have the longest life expectancy. The reasons for that
    : should be obvious and they have been proven repeatedly.

    I have no doubt that DVD will last a LONG time.
    However, I have some doubt as to the lifetime of DVD-R.
    sgordon, Jul 6, 2003
  11. Dave Jones

    Hughy Guest

    Do you mean for a single recording onto the tape? In my experience,
    "lifetime" takes on a quite different meaning when you record new source
    material on the tape a couple of years down the track. You can
    unintentionally destroy the tape - at least for the first few minutes ...

    Formulations change, trying to re-use an old Panasonic EB (or EK) series
    tape in a camcorder that has had a recent exclusive diet of PQ series tape,
    will reliably and almost immediately cause recording failure in any of our
    cameras. If you then take that old EB (or EK) tape and try to use it in a
    camera which has had EB's and EK's exclusively, you will probably find that
    the first three or four minutes will suffer dropout. At least on the first
    pass. I haven't actually tried further passes to see whether the effect is
    permanent (I suspect it is - I've just tossed them out because I can't be
    sure they're reliable anymore).

    Although it stretches the imagination, I surmise that the PQ fed camera
    transfers minute quantities of it's lubricant onto the EB tape,
    contaminating its (different formulation) lubricant and setting it up for
    dropout even when it is then loaded into it's "own" camera. How much of the
    tape is effected depends on how much tape was run over the heads in the PQ
    fed camera. Presumably, after a few minutes, the PQ lubricant would be
    removed from the head and spread out along a length of the EB tape. But
    long before the lubricant has been dispersed, the heads are no longer able
    to do their job.

    We've separated almost all of our tapes now, with EB and EK (and older DVM60
    Canons) being reserved for one camera, whilst PQ series are reserved for
    several others.

    I pursued this incompatibility with Panasonic in Australia, USA and Japan.
    It was like hitting a brick wall. No one was prepared to comment. I have
    over five hundred miniDV tapes now, with not a single Sony amongst them (due
    to the 1990's formulation conflict between Sony and all others). I wonder
    whether I might have been better off paying their premium pricing and buying
    Sony tape ... but I'd have found that a bitter pill to swallow after seeing
    some of the tricks that Sony have pulled on their consumers (like the
    DSR-250 shutter speed problem, for example).

    I suspect the PQ series tape uses the same lubricant as the Panasonic "Pro"
    grade tapes (which Panasonic admit are incompatible with their other

    I wish the manufacturers would be open and honest with us. LOL.

    Hughy, Jul 9, 2003
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