Will Blu-Ray ~25/~50GB discs become the standard ?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Gene, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. Gene

    Gene Guest

    I've finally concluded that there is NO good way to convert all my thousands
    (literally) of VHS, 8mm, H-8, D8, and MiniDV library to DVD 4.7GB discs
    at this time. They simply are too tiny, and double layer are too small &
    Blu-Ray ~27GB & the ~50GB discs will work arithmetically, or so it seems.


    1. Will Blu-Ray become the new standard, or is there another VHS out there
    that will make Blu-Ray the Betacam?

    2. Any thoughts on how long it will take the generic ~25GB discs to get to
    $0.50/USD range in 1K quantities?

    I'm guessing that something similar to the above will be available in 2
    and probably less.

    My library has survived this long on tape, bet it will last another two
    BTW - all of my old tapes, both audio & video, that are > 30 years of age
    play just fine. I do, however, have to be careful with the tapes separating
    off the reels when rewinding.

    Sure hope someone markets a camcorder that uses Blu-Ray discs (50GB size) -
    and not tape:)
    A camcorder with a removable 250GB hard drive could work, but writing
    directly to the final media
    makes a lot of sense to me.

    Gene, Feb 4, 2007
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  2. Gene

    Bucky Guest

    Out of curiosity, what data capacity to you feel you need to digitize
    each of those formats (say in GB/hr)?
    Even if blu-ray becomes the standard over HD-DVD, there will be
    another generation in 10 years to render blu-ray obsolete.
    That would be a pretty bulky camcorder. I don't consider a CD-R, DVD-
    R, or bluray-R as final media. Those things have finite lifespans too.

    Have you looked into tape backups? I don't use tapes, but I heard that
    they are the most cost effective.
    Bucky, Feb 5, 2007
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  3. Gene

    Gene Guest

    It would be nice to preserve the MiniDV data as it is recorded onto tape,
    which I think is already compressed by a factor of 5 or so ( before it exits
    the camcorder via 1394). ~11.5GB (SP) and ~17.5GB (LP) capacity per hour
    for the MiniDV or D8 tapes will easily fit on a ~25GB Blu-Ray. You can do
    the math and see that you can stuff a lot of the old VHS SP tapes onto one
    disc at their max quality. It would be nice to see a camcorder that records
    onto a 25/50GB Blu-ray disc. It would not be the best 2/4 hours of digital
    A/V, but
    a lot better than I have now - and no extra work for me, other than creating

    LOL - I agree. When I first started writing code, the IBM computer had 4K
    of memory. That was 4,096 characters (not K characters, just characters)
    that you could place BOTH program and data. We have come a long way
    since the mid 60's :) I fully expect to need, and see, a 1TB disk in the
    I suspect they have something like a 1TB media in a lab somewhere as we
    The bottom line is that the existing 4.7GB is too small, and the ~25GB is
    enough to preserve the quality of the current MiniDV (DV) tape. The Blu-ray
    is the
    only inexpensive random access solution that I see for the next few years.
    I'm sure there
    are prototypes of larger capacity media in the labs, but we probably will
    not see
    it for many years, IMHO.

    Hmmm - can't agree that it would be too large, or heavy. As you know, they
    make plenty
    of the crummy little 8CM camcorders, and 12CM really is not that much
    larger. Look at
    some of the professional camcorders, they are a LOT heavier that a 12CM
    camcorder would be.
    I think they had prototypes of Blu-ray in the lab long before the 8CM
    camcorders were
    shipped. It's a marketing decision, and a bad one for me, as I would have
    burned up a lot of
    reasonable quality (and low cost) one hour DVD-Rs if I had one.

    I have tape back-ups now, what I need is a random access storage media that
    is inexpensive,
    allows for some editing, small in size (storage), easily duplicated, and has
    at least a 25
    year shelf life. Blu-ray 25/50GB is not the final answer, but if they get
    to $0.50 or so in price, it will
    be another nice step up.

    I started out shooting B&W 8mm reel film (the kind you send out to have
    developed), and used a hand held
    tape recorder for audio. Talk about a sync problem when I convert these to
    LOL - I firmly believe that I will never see a final A/V solution, as there
    is always a better
    method just over the next hill...
    Gene, Feb 5, 2007
  4. Gene

    cbx Guest

    My 2 cents:

    I would be leery about archiving any important material on new
    technology, as no one knows how long the media will last. I would
    never trust any type of DVD to archive important data.

    Magnetic Tapes stored properly seem to be holding up quite fine.
    Early quality VHS tapes are holding up just fine, and I suspect the
    lifespan of the Mini DV tapes may even be longer due to improved
    technology and higher coercivity tape.
    cbx, Feb 5, 2007
  5. Gene

    Gene Guest

    Yes, I agree with you 100%. I have tapes (audio cassette) that I made
    in ~1966 that are in perfect condition today. The only problem that I have
    found is
    that if you hit EOT real hard, some may break. They are easily repaired by
    opening the plastic case & re-attaching the tape end to the reel.

    Based on my personal experience storing both audio cassette & A/V tapes
    of all types for the last 40 years is:

    1. Do not expose them to light of any kind, keep them in the dark
    2. Store then in a good quality ice cooler. I use the 100 quart off-shore
    fishing ice coolers - same ones we use on the boat. I use the ice coolers
    these reasons: they are well insulated so there is no violent temperature
    swings, they are reasonably moisture proof, the chemical composition of the
    plastic is less likely to give off gas fumes that could damage the tapes,
    and they stack well.
    3. Keep the ice coolers inside your climate controlled home, not in a garage
    where they are exposed to temperature swings & moisture, etc..

    LOL - it's worked for me so far .. guess I can wait a few more years for
    Blu-ray discs, or whatever :)

    But it would be nice to have the my tape library on random access media,
    with chapters.

    Gene, Feb 5, 2007
  6. Dunno why people want to take mag tape (which has proven
    archival qualities) and bet on lame field-writable optical discs
    (which have proven to be flaky). There is no field-writable optical
    format that will have the archival life expectancy of mag tape.

    Now, if you want to dub your various tape formats to video DVD
    discs for convienence of viewing, or sharing with relatives, or for
    easy indexing, that is fine. But expecting ANY writable optical
    disc to be "archival" is just demonstrably nuts.

    If you REALLY have video tape that is that valuable, make
    DV dubs of it and let a relative in another state keep them
    in an old military-surplus ammunition box in their hall closet.
    Richard Crowley, Feb 5, 2007
  7. Gene

    HerHusband Guest

    Hard drives maybe? You can get 250 gig drives for less than $100 now. Using
    your stat's above, you could probably fit around 15-20 hours of DV video on a
    250 gig drive. Buy two or three drives, and make backup copies of the first
    (keep one off site, in a safe deposit box or something).

    The advantages include instant access (no fastforward or rewinding needed to
    find the movie), easy backup, and once it's in computer form it's easy to
    transfer to new media as technology changes.

    However, you may want to consider how necessary that quality is in the first
    place. I struggled for years trying to find efficient ways to keep backups of
    DV video. Then it dawned on me I was never going to edit the old videos
    again, I just didn't want to lose them. So, I reencoded all of our old home
    movies using 9000kbps MPEG2 Video with 192kbps audio. This results in about
    70 megs per minute, or just over 4 gig per hour. I save them to my hard
    drive, but keep backups on DVD-R disks (data not video) too.

    While some quality is lost with the MPG approach, it still provides more
    detail than the original VHS tapes or 8mm tapes did. I ran a few tests and it
    is relatively easy to convert the MPG back to DV if I absolutely had to edit
    the old videos for some reason. And the quality degradation is virtually
    undetectable even with a couple of generational conversions.

    A newer format like MPEG4 could provide more compression, but I opted for
    MPEG2 because it is already very common with DVD video disks. This increases
    the chance that the video will be readable by some software package in the
    future, and also lets me create DVD disks quickly if someone wants a copy for
    some reason.

    You could fit more than 55 hours of 9000kbps MPEG2 video on a 250 gig hard

    HerHusband, Feb 5, 2007
  8. Gene

    Gene Guest

    Thanks, Anthony.

    I agree with your observations. I too just want to preserve
    every foot of my tape library, and really do not care about
    editing anything - at least for now. I just would like to find
    a scene (like Christmas 1987, or whatever) and copy out a
    few minutes from time to time. Random access media with
    chapters every ~ 5 minutes would make that a LOT easier.
    It's more for convince and distribution to family, than archiving for me.

    I have cassette tapes that are now over 40 years old, and
    play just fine. (See my other post as to how I am preserving tapes.)

    For many years now, I have realized that the ONLY way to back up
    my PC was to use a large SCSI or IDE hard drive, and copy over
    ALL of C: by booting to a floppy & copying ALL of C: to the backup
    hard drive with DOS. Once all of C: has been copied, then I remove the
    signal & power
    cables to the backup hard drive - for permanent backup. I do not care what
    anyone tells you - this is the ONLY way to KNOW that you can
    restore your C: / XP drive if it crashes. It is impossible to back up XP,
    when running under XP - it's a gamble at best. So I am well aware of the
    stability & almost bullet-proof method of preserving bits on a hard drive.

    Having said the above, you got me to thinking:) I assumed that it was
    impractical to use a hard drive as media storage. It's clearly a good choice
    for folks with 100 or so hours of footage. However, I probably have close to
    5,000+ hours, I'm really not sure, could be a lot more.

    Let's use 10GB per hour as an average. So 10 x 5000 = 50,000 GB of
    data. That's roughly 200 hard drives of 250 GB each. I just purchased a new
    250GB drive for $20 (with rebates:), so they are definitely coming down in
    It probably does not make sense now, but if we see low cost 10000GB:) hard
    drives in the future, you are 100% right on. Obviously, I could compress the
    and cut the required hard drive space WAY down. That's something that I will
    think ~ ...

    I was convinced in 1968 or so that IBM had discovered a way to store bits (0
    by using a natural molecular structure of some kind. It was a consistent
    rumor back then.
    I am amazed that we have never found a naturally occurring material, that at
    molecular level, can store on & off conditions. It will happen some day, and
    problems will be just another fond computer memory:)

    Gene, Feb 5, 2007
  9. On 2/05/2007, Gene posted this:

    The 1401 wasn't the only IBM computer in the 60's...

    The 7090 and 7094 and related others had 32K words at 36 bits per word
    (which in the 6-bit code used then was 6 characters). So the memory was
    192K characters, but we always just counted the words, since that was
    more natural in the addressing scheme used on that machine.

    The 360 came out in the mid 60s, but I now forget how much memory they
    had. I believe the minimum size was 256 KB (and they were 8-bit bytes).


    I am a different Gene :)
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 5, 2007
  10. Gene

    Rick Merrill Guest

    1. You're right.
    2. you're wrong (think outside the box) - media itself is obsolete
    BECAUSE your valued data should be mirrored on the internet - the data
    will migrate to hard drives and to whatever the latest and greatest
    (read cheapest and most widespread) media there is. I.E. you don't
    really CARE what "media" it's on - ok, maybe I'm too far ahead of the times.
    Rick Merrill, Feb 5, 2007
  11. Gene

    Gene Guest

    I was on the Scientific side - 1401s,etc. were on the Accounting side:)

    LOL - I started coding on the CADET - remember that one?
    It was the IBM 1620. It had 4,096 "characters" of main memory.
    A few of the instructions were one character in length. You used the entire
    4,096 characters for program & data. If you needed more program
    or data, you typed it in on the selectric typewriter, or fed in 80 column
    punched cards. Output was punched cards, which we took over to
    an IBM 402 and printed out. I was one of the very first individuals to
    actually "purchase" an IBM 360 computer system for my personal use
    (service bureau) - normally you just
    rented from IBM. IBM had the computer world by the whatever back then,
    until some genius in upper IBM management said: "These little micros will
    replace the mainframe lease business, let that new group in Boca Raton
    just go out and buy something, anything, nothing will ever come of this.."

    BTW - the name CADET was unofficial of course, it came from the fact
    that the IBM 1620 did not have a hardware multiplier, and did multiplication
    by successive addition/subtraction.
    CADET stood for: Can't even Add, Doesn't not Even Try.

    Do you remember the little plaque thing that the IBM salesman,
    (or CE) gave to us. It had something to do with the word "Stupid".
    I can't remember the quote, but wish I had kept mine - as it sat on my
    desk for many years.

    You and I are probably the only two people reading this that has a clue as
    what I just said:)

    Gene, Feb 5, 2007
  12. Gene

    Gene Guest

    Thanks, Rick.

    I guess I do not understand what you said in #2 ?

    The internet is just a collection of nodes (hard drives, etc.)
    connected by various telephone, satellite, etc. - it's simply
    an expansion of the university / NASA thing that started
    years ago. Are you saying that I should spread my family
    videos over this network of nodes? Really do not think that I want
    complete strangers looking at my family A/Vs for any reason.

    If that is not what you are saying, then what specific random
    access media do you suggest that I go out and purchase today?

    Gene, Feb 5, 2007
  13. I forgot about the 1620; and I don't think I ever even knew about

    I recall that the internal number representation was biquinary, and I
    even once did some coding in Fortran (II, naturally) for a 1620.

    Your description of the machine architecture does remind me a lot of
    the 1401, though, with its small memory and character-oriented coding
    and variable length instructions. However, I never got that familiar
    with the internals of the beast - just the one Fortran thing, and it
    was a very small job.

    Actually, I thought it was the Feds that made IBM stop doing its
    lease-only marketing scheme, but ~40 years can do a lot to muddle my
    memory of some details...

    I don't know if there are any other codgers around these parts, however
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 5, 2007
  14. Gene

    Gene Guest

    LOL - bringing back old memories.

    After the 1620, I started coding FORTRAN for the IBM
    1130, then my partner & I purchased the first
    IBM 360-30, so I had to learn COBOL, etc. I sold
    all the 360-30, 40, and a 50 in ~ 1977 & retired
    to play with the new little micros. I intended to write
    an application similar to Excel, as well as convert
    a bookkeeping system to the 8080, or whatever
    the kits were back then. After I wrote some code to make
    a cheap tape recorder work as a tape drive, I decided
    that it was too boring, so went to play with timberland.
    Geesh - if I had only known what the Gates kid and
    crew were up to ...hind sight is 20/20 :)

    Gene, Feb 5, 2007
  15. How many people here have maintained and even modified
    a 1620? I designed and installed the (essentially "Centronics
    parallel") interface for a non-IBM drum line-printer on our
    1620 for a fraction of what IBM wanted for a much slower
    printer. We had to keep the computer room at 69F because
    we would start getting random memory errors at warmer

    The logic "gates" were fibre PC boards, each with no more
    than 6-8 transistors in TO-5 metal cans. And the wiring was
    done with yellow #24 solid wire, routed diagonally over a
    ~4-ft square backplane and terminated by wire-wrapping.
    And the roll-around wire cart of enormous ring-binders with

    My predecessor figured out how to hack the diswasher-size
    10MB hard drives do bi-directional seek (with a single wire).
    The IBM guys were amazed :) He also used the rub-on
    words to label one of the console buttons "WARHEAD ARMED".
    We could control the light programmatically. :)

    Although installed in the "Scientific Computation Center" it
    was used much of the time by the university registrar for
    doing grade reporting, etc. because it was easier to use
    than the newer 1130 machine on the other campus. IBM
    offered me a job keeping their other 1620s running because
    they had nobody left in the regional office who knew how
    to fix them.
    Richard Crowley, Feb 6, 2007
  16. Gene

    davesvideo Guest

    I started programing on a PDP-8, with 8K words. The words were 12
    bits, so that is like 12K bytes, but with an added 32K disk one could
    do quite a lot. The input was either paper tape or machine code on the
    toggle switches.The 12 bit word divide nicely into 4 groups of 3, so
    machine code was in octal and I got so octal was as easy to do as
    decimal. It was a big step up when I later got to work on a IBM 360
    with punch cards. It is easy to change one card, but punched tape
    means you have to do it from the scratch.

    That first little lab computer system cost about $50K and took up rack
    space the sixe of 2 refrigerators. The computer now on my desk is
    about 1/50 the size, cost $2K, has 43,000 times the memory, 1 million
    times the disk space, and is way faster. It has indeed come a long

    davesvideo, Feb 6, 2007
  17. Gene

    HerHusband Guest

    Random access media with chapters every ~ 5
    Most video editors (VirtualDub, VideoRedo, etc.) will let you position
    the start and end of the clip you want anywhere in the video. No real
    need for chapters, just scan the video quickly. To have chapters, you
    would need something like a DVD that provides this additional
    information. Alternatively, just save the various segments as individual
    video files. That's the approach I use, since most of our videos are
    short 5-10 minute segments.
    I guess it depends on how important an emergency backup is to you.
    Personally, if I ever need to do a complete restore like that, I'd rather
    reinstall the operating system anyway to start with a clean slate.

    My computer is always on and running (I use it as a DVR in addition to my
    computing needs), so I can't afford to reboot to DOS to make backups. DOS
    generally can't handle NTFS drives anyway.

    I use external USB hard drives to backup my programs and data. The most
    likely scenario is when a file is corrupted or accidently deleted. This
    allows me to restore just the files I need to get back up and running

    I still like to make a backup using one-time recordable media (like DVD-
    R) one or twice a year and keep several generations back. A data file
    like a photo or video could be corrupted and you may not discover it for
    years. If you're backing up to hard drives, you're probably deleting the
    old backups. If the file is corrupted, you end up backing up the
    corrupted file. So, I like to have "emergency" hard copies of these files
    I can go back to. Optical media like DVD-R can also fail over time, so I
    like to keep numerous copies around to increase my likelyhood of

    Also, I always keep additional backups offsite, just in case we have a
    house fire, theft, or some other disaster than wipes out the entire house
    and it's contents.

    Of course, it's also important to clean the drive occasionally to reduce
    the amount of data you have to backup. Eliminate all the useless files
    you have on your drive (Cookies, Internet Cache, etc.), data or text
    files you're no longer using, photo's and/or video you never watch
    anymore, etc.
    Geez, that's like filming four hours every single day for three years
    straight! You spend way too much time behind the lense. :)

    Does anyone really even have time to WATCH that much video? Just a
    thought, but maybe you could reduce your storage load by deciding if all
    that video is really worth keeping? If nobody ever watches it, why back
    it up?

    Could you reduce the size of your collection by editing the video down,
    clipping out dull scenes and whatnot? A lot of work, but it's better than
    trying to backup 5000 hours of video. :)
    I've seen examples of storing data at an atomic level, but I think it
    required expensive electron microscopes to accomplish the task. And it
    was a manual bit-by-bit storage method. The potential is there, but I'm
    betting it'll be many decades before it even has a chance of becoming an
    efficient method of data storage.

    There have been many "promises" over the years, fluorescent disks, bubble
    memories, holographic crystals, etc. Most fail to costs, speed,
    longevity, etc. But, they often form the basis for new technologies that
    DO make it to market.

    HerHusband, Feb 6, 2007
  18. Overnight, I was thinking back to my post below, and I began to wonder
    if I actually programmed the 1620... I might be mixing up the numbers.
    As I said, one can forget a detail or two in 40+ years...and I only
    went to that site a few times.

    I do remember that it was a box a little bigger than the 1401, that it
    used biquinary arithmetic, that it was used for scientific programs in
    Fortran, and that it had a 4-digit name :)

    IIRC, the long axis of the box was running N-S (I really do store such
    data, oddly enough, although I'm not always correct).

    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 6, 2007
  19. Actually, the Pocket PC at my hip has a lot more memory, is much faster
    and more powerful than the 7090/94, and has a much nicer user interface
    - and it's out of date too!

    It doesn't fill a room, it doesn't require kilowatts of air
    conditioning, and it takes two kinds of memory cards, with capacities
    up to the equivalent of about 45 of the high-density 12" tapes (per 4GB
    card; I don't have one that big, but you get the idea). Come to think
    of it, it's easier to code too - I don't have to wait for the
    twice-daily courier run to get to see my latest results - though all I
    have at the moment is a little visual basic package that cost about $25
    - which is good enough for the tiny utilities that I might want.

    It has been an interesting experience, living in these times!
    Gene E. Bloch, Feb 6, 2007
  20. "Gene E. Bloch" wrote ...
    My optical mouse likely has more memory and computing
    power than the IBM 1620 or 1401 computers I first used.

    And my cell phone has more memory and CPU horsepower
    than the shiny new IBM 360 that replaced them. More
    memory even than the 360 including its bank of hard drives
    the size of a travel trailer.
    Richard Crowley, Feb 6, 2007
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