MiniDV Tapes and Safety Deposit Boxes?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Justin, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Justin

    Justin Guest

    I converted all my old 8mm analog videos to MiniDV. Easy enough with a
    D8 cam that reads analog tapes.
    I took the raw DV footage and dumped it to a portable hard drive. Now
    the MiniDV tapes are sitting around. Would it be OK if I stuck the
    tapes in my safety deposit box? Do bank vaults int he US use some sort
    of super magnet that would erase my tapes?
    Justin, Jun 6, 2008
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  2. Justin

    xeaglecrest Guest

    Probably a question you should ask your bank.
    xeaglecrest, Jun 6, 2008
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  3. Justin

    Rick Merrill Guest

    Stick 'em in a ziplock (airtight) bag
    and wrap 'em in lead - well the bank vaults
    OUGHT to be made of metal...
    Rick Merrill, Jun 6, 2008
  4. "Justin" wrote ...
    The hard drive is convinent for going back and re-editing
    something (as I am doing right now for a series of 24
    hour-long programs). But hard drives are NOT any kind
    of "archival" medium. They are known for just freezing up
    if left sitting for too long (where "too long" is undefined!)

    I would certainly preserve the original 8mm tapes along
    with the miniDV copies. I wouldn't go out and rent a
    safety deposit box just for the tapes. Unless they have
    some unusual intrinsic value. Cheaper to make a couple
    of (identical clone) digital copies, put them in zip-lock
    bags, and let friends or relatives stow them in the back
    of their closet.

    Zip lock bags are a good idea no matter where you
    store them. I've read too many horror stories about
    people whose tapes/discs/whatever survived the fire,
    but not the associated water and/or smoke damage.
    Zip lock bags are the cheapest form of insurance
    against water/smoke/insect/etc. damage.

    It is very unlikely that there is anything environmental
    in a bank that would erase modern digital tapes. Even
    putting them through the scanner at an airport is unlikely
    to have any ill effect unless you do it 50 times in a row,
    or something silly.
    Richard Crowley, Jun 6, 2008
  5. Lead doesn't protect against magnetic fields.
    Mu-metal shields magnetic fields. However it
    would take an extraordinaryly high magnetic
    field to erase a modern digital magnetic tape.
    You'd have to put it inside an MRI tunnel or
    someting very unusual. It takes very large and
    expensive bulk erasers to erase digital mag tape.
    None of the home bulk erasers we used for
    analog tape will even make a dent in a digital
    Richard Crowley, Jun 6, 2008
  6. Justin

    webpa Guest

    My Radio Shack 44-233A "High-Power Audio/Video Tape Eraser" works just
    fine on miniDV. Completely erases the tape in about the same time as
    a VHS cassette. Unfortunately, this machine has been out of print for
    about 10 years.
    webpa, Jun 6, 2008
  7. "webpa" wrote in...
    Yes that was the one notable exception.
    Alas, long out of circulation. :-(
    Richard Crowley, Jun 6, 2008
  8. Justin

    Justin Guest

    I bought one off ebay. Interesting little device. I keep it away from
    Captain Winkey... as I would like to father a child someday.
    Justin, Jun 6, 2008
  9. It's a magnet, not a source of gamma rays...

    How come he's a captain? I though he was a private ;-)
    Gene E. Bloch, Jun 6, 2008
  10. Justin

    Rick Merrill Guest

    You're absolutely correct. I was confuzing lead
    with tinfoil hats ;-)
    Rick Merrill, Jun 7, 2008
  11. But, perhaps, not against mold, which loves anything
    with a gelatin base (like film and tape emulsions). Sealing
    these up without adding a periodically reactivated desiccant
    is asking for eventual trouble if the ambient humidity is high,
    I think (likely not, in a bank vault...;-). I prefer storing tapes
    upright on a high shelf with a sheet of plastic formed over
    the top (or on a shelf in a cupboard, with the doors left
    open somewhat). Not perfect, but what is...?
    David Ruether, Jun 7, 2008
  12. Justin

    Justin Guest

    He joined the officer corps and was promoted! Extraordinary service and
    Justin, Jun 11, 2008
  13. Justin

    les Guest

    interesting stream of thoughts about archiving medium.......

    If tape is anything like film, with the exception of the additional
    problem of halide degradation due to light, the base substrate
    will do best in LOW humidity (like 30%), but not zero. Apparently
    the base becomes brittle and there goes your archive.
    Adding a dessicant like silica gel, IMO given what I've read,
    might create a more a brittle tape.
    What about the print-thru of stored tape? Could digital suffer from
    insurmountable noise thresholds from stray fields printing thru?
    I suspect that any digital "front-end" has an optimum signal level
    that could be desensitized in a scenario as above, hence making
    the tape harder to decipher.

    les, Jun 16, 2008
  14. Justin

    PTravel Guest

    I'd suspect print-through is a concern, which is reason to avoid the
    thinner, extended-length miniDV tapes. However, I'd expect digital to be
    more robust in this regard. For what it's worth, I have 30+ year old analog
    video tapes that have been stored in the dark in reasonably low humidity
    that are as pristine as the day they were recorded.
    PTravel, Jun 16, 2008
  15. "les" wrote...
    Remember that modern tape (and film, for that matter) is made
    from petroleum-based plastic media and are much different than
    the acetate film from 100 years ago. Note that the environmentalists
    are complaining about the longevity of plastic in our landfills.
    Digital tape is less affected by print-thru for two reasons. First,
    digital media generally have higher coercivity and are more difficult
    to magnetize (or demagnetize) than tape made for analog recording.
    Second, the way digital information is detected during readback
    tends to ignore weak signals in favor of the primary data.
    Actually, digital is actually better at surviving degradation because
    it tends to keep its integrity over a range of signal stength. Also,
    note that digital storage almost always includes one or more kinds
    of error detection and correction mechanisms. None of these are
    practical with analog recording with the possible exception of
    Carver's autocorrelation attempts a decade (or two) ago.
    Richard Crowley, Jun 16, 2008
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