Tape Backup vs Blu-ray Backup

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iGrant, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

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    #1
    Hi,

    I do a ton of video editing and encoding, and I am finally getting to the point where I am running out of space on my hard drives on my Power Mac G5. I don't want to get more hard drives for two reasons.

    1. It is only a temporary solution.
    2. I don't need access to all these videos at a moments notice.

    Now I am trying to decide wether I should get a blu-ray burner from FastMac to keep backups or should I go to a tape media using CoolaToola application DV Backup for Mac which turns your firewire enabled Camcorder into a tape backup solution for Mac.

    I am leaning towards the DV Backup for Mac because I can buy a Mini DV Tape for around $1.39 online and that one tape can hold about 16gigs. Right now the cheapest blu-ray media I can find is about 9.99 for 25gb disc.

    Also I have never had good luck with Optical Media, it just never seems to work that well and I always end up losing files that I backup onto those discs.

    Just wanted to hear ya'lls opinion.

    Thanks
    iGrant
     
  2. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

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    Are we there yet?
    #2
    You are comparing two ends of the spectrum for backups. Keep in mind that tapes will go bad over time, stretching, limited number of uses, etc. You also have to be careful of the environment that you have for storing them. And it is slow.

    Instead of looking at using blue ray why not look at something in the middle, such as re-writables. Less expensive and you can recycle them over time.
     
  3. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

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    #3
    I guess I should have said this, I am not going to reuse the media after I have backup my videos to it. I record tv shows and edit out the commercials. So if I used a Mini DV tape, I will only record the onto the tape itself once.

    I am currently using DVDs, but I don't like how little space they hold (the strange thing is in 1999, I had a 10gb hard drive and I could never fill it . . .) I would like to keep an entire season on a tv show on one piece on media and the Mini DV tape would allow me to do that. The only time I would ever use the tape again is to restore the files back onto my machine for viewing again.

    I would go blu-ray but its expensive, and I don't want to spend 10 bucks on a disk that hold 25gb and have the disc fail to burn. Thats a waste of 10 bucks where as I can get a DV Tape, if its not successfully for any reason, erase it and try again and then if it still doesn't work, it was only 1.39.

    Also on the slow part, yeah its slow, but I don't use my computer during the day I could start a backup right as I left.
     
  4. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
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    Canada
    #4
    hi igrant,

    so if i get this straight, you're not really doing editing - you're recording TV shows right? If that's the case, buy a larger external HD. They are cheap and instead of keeping a full hour's worth of DV, compress it to a format with handbrake or another program. You can still edit out the commercials prior to compression. compression saves space and can be great quality if done right. ie. a dvd movie rip can be 5 - 7 GBs, but a quality HB h.264 file can be awesome at 3 GBs.

    Maybe if you could explain what types of shows and the general nature of what you're doing. ie. is it for work or for an itunes content library?

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  5. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

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    Abingdon
    #5
    Hey Keebler thanks for your reply!!!

    I should start by saying that I am a TV show and Movie fanatic. I love TV shows and Movies, I watch them all the time once it gets dark outside. I have since I was a kid. I remember when S-VHS came out. I had a S-VHS recorder at one point to record TV shows that were on while I was at school (which at the time was mostly Macgyver).

    I do edit the shows I record AND I do compress them into H.264 which does save on space. I don't rip DVDs at all. I record TV shows and movies with Elgato EyeTV 3. I have an EyeTV 200 firewire capture device along with Elgato's Turbo.264 which I absolutely love. I can encode video that I have recorded in real time. Also I like EyeTV 3 because I have a script that goes through and marks where it "thinks" commercials begin and end which cut my editing time to almost nothing. I literally went from spending 20 minutes editing an hour TV show to less than 2 minutes.

    All of this is for an personal use and I use iTunes to watch all the video. I don't like hard drives because lately they just don't seem reliable. I have personally had new hard drives fail on me from all the major brands, Western Digital, Seagate, and I even tried Hitachi. And to add to that, I watch shows in sequence, I don't jump around. Good example I have recorded season 4 and 5 of Star Trek Voyager. I just finished Season 4 so I really don't need it on my hard drive in iTunes, but at the same time I would like to backup that entire season to one piece of media so in a year or two when I start watching Voyager again, I can pop in the media that has that season and restore it to watch it again.

    I want a more prevent solution that I can easily add too. Hard drives have a high cost compared to a Mini DV tape. I could spend about 14 bucks and have around 160gb of new storage. Same thing could be said for Blu-ray Media being 9 bucks for 25gb.

    I like the tape media because I can store them correctly. They can last a long time and as long as you do not re-record over a tape, you really are not going to damage or hurt it.

    However, that being said, if I can get a Blu-ray to burn correctly and I handle that disc with care, I should always be able to insert that into my blu-ray drive and restore that content back to my machine when I want to watch it. However I have discovered with my DVDs, I record a dvd, I have it checked, went to restore some movies last night and my Mac could not copy the files because it said the disc of errors. I really don't like optical media, I just have never had good luck with it.

    Thanks
    iGrant
     
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #6
    I can get 500 GB internal drives for £55. That is cheaper than Blueray disks, faster, and likely more reliable. And I'd rather trust a hard drive than a DV tape.
     
  7. the vj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    #7
    I would go Blu Ray

    Is becoming an standard, I have tape backup that I can not use because the technology is not there any more.

    I do semi pro video editing and I have an external 2 terabite hard drive to store all the unused material that I may use randomly sometimes. But I am waiting for blu ray to be standard in Macs to burn the projects I do not really use but I may need in the future as references or demo reel.

    But I won't step out of the stream again.
     
  8. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

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    #8
    Ok yes I could get a 500gb drive for about $100. I tried that I had three different drives fail . . . might just be me.

    However look at spending $100 (roughly £55) bucks my way. $100 can get me 71 Mini DV tapes. A Mini DV tape that you record data too can store 187mb for every minute on the tape so at 90 minutes thats 16.8gb of space. So I could spend 100 bucks on Mini DV tapes and get 1192.8gb or 1.2ish terabytes of Storage. And I am not even buying that all at once, probabely buying that media in a set of 10 tapes at a time whenever I need them.

    I guess it just comes down to personal preference. I like tape media, I have used it all my life ever since I was a kid (I'm in my mid 20s). I used tape media to backup network information at my last two jobs where I was an Assistant Network Administrator and I saw how well they worked. I also have seen how long Mini DV tapes can last if you store then correctly and don't use them constantly.

    I am surprised no one has said anything about blu-ray . . . does it not work that well? I know movies look stunning from what I see in the stores. I do not have HD, al the stuff I record right now is coming in Standard which looks great to me.

    Again I record a ton of video each week and I want a system where I can easily backup an entire season of something to a piece of media. I don't like it right now with DVDs because I have to spread the information over 3 to 4 discs. I just want to be able to pick up a piece of media have an entire season store on that one piece it being Blu-ray disc or Mini DV tape.


    Yeah but how much did that 2tb external drive cost you? I just don't have that kind of money at the moment, however I can spend 14 bucks to store 160gb right now and buy another 10 Mini DV tapes when I need them.

    Again its all preference.
    Thanks
    iGrant
     
  9. msbsound macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #9
    Kinda sounds like you made up your mind towards tape.

    I will kinda reiterate what someone else touched upon. Blu-Ray looks to be the new standard(who knows which format within, but ignoring that for now).

    So right now the discs are a bit pricey, much as CD-Rs and DVD-Rs were 12 years ago and about 4 years ago respectively. Point is, the media is gonna drop as they get more common, etc etc, and you are then(for the time being) future proof.

    BD's will allow you to lend one to a friend, load onto other machines, etc and you will be able to readily restock them for the near future.

    All in all though, you know your needs best, and if tape does it for you, and seems to be overwhelmingly cheaper, then do it. In the end, if you need to switch in 6 months for some reason, blu-ray will be cheaper and you'll just be out a couple hundred bucks for the tape backups you did(and of course the time you spent dumping them)
     
  10. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

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    #10
    Thank you Thank you Thank you.

    I agree with what you are saying 100%. I am kind of being future proof at the moment I agree with you on that however I have not decided on tape yet, I just am leaning 60/40 on Tape/Blu-ray. I guess I should be asking how good is blu-ray support right now for the Mac and can I get a blu-ray burner for the Mac for under 500 bucks.

    I do agree with you that when DVDs first came out they were expensive as were CDs. Blu-ray media will get cheaper and cheaper. I just worry about how will I add a Blu-ray burner to my Power Mac G5 and do I want to get a DL burner so I could burn 50gb disc, or should I just focus on 25gb. I know I have never dealt with DL DVD-R media because was cheaper just to burn two DVDs.

    Thanks
    iGrant
     
  11. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #11
    Although it seems you're determined to go the taping route, I'll add one more recommendation for hard drives. You can purchase 1TB of storage for $200 now @ Newegg.
     
  12. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

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    #12
    ??? Can you post a link and is it an internal or external drive? If its external is it FireWire or just USB.

    Thanks
    iGrant
     
  13. heatmiser macrumors 68020

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    #13
  14. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #14
    When you get tapes, if one of them fails you only lose 16GB of data, but if the hard drive fails, you will lose all of the 500GB. :)
     
  15. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

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    #15
    Thanks Heatmiser for posting the link, but what I was afraid of is what I am seeing in the reviews for practically all of those external drive. They all have a high failure rate, some are higher than others.

    However they are least average a 20% failure rate. Some are even higher than that. I just worried about that, I don't want to store my data on a hard drive that has that high of a failure rate.

    Plus the upside of Tape Media or Blu-ray media is that you do not have all your media on device or media. If I were to just keep all my videos on that drive and it crash . . . well then there gone . . . not good.

    EXACTLY. Plus I was planning on making doubles of each tape . . . so yeah. thanks theBB!!!

    -iGrant
     
  16. iSee macrumors 68040

    iSee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #16
    Just another comment on Blu-ray: AFAIK, the archival properties of BD-R discs aren't well known. That is, how long will a BD-R disc you burn today remain readable? What storage conditions affect its lifetime?

    It's probably a long time if they are not exposed to light or humidity, but there is some risk until this kind of thing is well known. Manufacture's are giving out numbers in the 30-50 year range, which is good for many purposes. However, these are estimates based on analysis and simulated age tests. There's a good possibility many discs will fail more quickly than this. But how much more quickly? And at what rate?
     
  17. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

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    #17
    Exactly iSee. We do not know the archival properties of Blu-ray. I know you can buy special archival DVD-r but they cost more. I use to know the archival properties of mini dv tape but honestly can't find/remember it anymore.

    -iGrant
     
  18. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #18
    The whole point of non-destuctive editors like FCP and FCE are that at any point you can simply DELETE your media files. Later you can re-capture the footage and the time code wil be the same and the media will match up with your EDLs. There is really no need to keep old footage on the disk, just delete it. This assumes that you have all the tapes filed away.
     
  19. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

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    #19
    I think there is some confusion that I need to fix. I do not have video on Mini DV, I want to store digital data on the Mini DV. You can store approximentally 186mb on a minute of Mini DV tape media.

    -iGrant
     
  20. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #20
    What hardware/software do you use to put data onto the MiniDV tapes?


    Lethal
     
  21. iGrant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iGrant

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    #21
    The software is called DV Backup from www.coolatoola.com. There are two versions, a DV Backup LE and DV Backup Standard. As for hardware that you need to store digital data onto Mini DV tape media, there is a yahoo user group that has a list on compatible hardware. Here is the link http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/dvbackup/.

    -iGrant
     
  22. warwickt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    #22
    Hi Guys, I just saw this post as I'm actively looking for an archive solution for all my HVX-200 P2 footage DVCPROHD 720 and 1080 MXF and material produced from FCP suite.

    Simply I just lost 640GB on the past weekend from a 14month old 1TB Le Cie external drive due t a faulty power supply. (yes I own DATARESCUE™ II and TTP4 and put another la cie powersupply) but that file system was hosed. So I lost a lot of stuff. I have 9TB of disk storage in here (not a lot) but the notion of keeping irreplaceable content on a spinning disk doesn't cut it anymore for me. I just ordered a new FX800 DROBO for this.

    I am currently looking at OSX archiving software from a company called Tolis called BRU "Producers Edition: http://www.tolisgroup.com/products/macosx/pe/ that looks like a desktop OSX native .app that performs some archving using a data tape (and or robotcs). Its yet to be made available as it is in BETA testing they say.

    FOR this issue of NOT using spinning disks for irreplaceable content (as we are all seemed to be doing) I am considering purchasing a QUANTUM ULTRIUM 4 LTO desktop tape drive with a SAS i/f and an HBA. With a current 800GB tape volume media being availalbe as $USD81 +, this is reasonable cheap storage. ( uncompressed naturally)
    I plan to make two instances over two tape volumes. using the BRU PE. At this stage this looks very cool and economically viable and I am prepared to manually manage this.

    I cannot see how on earth we can continue to maintain high large objects on spinning disk as we progress further down the road of using contemporary media formats. With issues of power and likely loss due to file system corruption and additionally corruption of a 'backup' file system. Additionally whilst using more advanced codecs such as LMJP2K maybe we can stem the need for more and more storage , but I doubt it. especially with say shooting 2 x RED ONE R3D @ 288Mbs (2 x 2.4GB/mmin = 5GB/min).. so I dont think buying more and more disks (or disk array with "super duper RAID-XXYY") is a real option. I can buy 1TB SATA2 DDM's here (disk drive modules) here in HK for $HK1900 each that's less than $USD0.23cents/GB! But the thought having them spinning around until I migrate to the NEXT voluminous disk storage seem only some years away.

    BD's are nice but the price / GB is too high and the data rates for RW is very slow compared to what's out there. These need to be in exceed of 400GB to be viable for data storage I think.. (opinion)

    In any case I am going down 'this road" of using DATA TAPE for my PAnasonic HVX-200 P2 archives.

    Lastly contrary to some posts on this forum, the life of the DATA if quite long and only suffers form the fact taht there is no media device to read the old format (similar to trying to read hybrid formats of 120mm floppy disks. a la Imation™ 100MB 120mm disks for example)..

    If anyone is interested, I will post my results. ;)
    cheers

    warwick
    HK
     
  23. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #23
    Data tape storage is painfully slow to retrieve, which makes it an offline storage media only, not online (hard disk) or near-line (Directly readable DVD/BD)

    You have to worry about tape formats -- there have been dozens and dozens of different formats of tapes and backup drives, most of them incompatible with each other. Once a format fails on the market, and the drives go out of commerce, good luck on reading all your tapes when your drive breaks down. Oh, and you have to have the right software to read the archives, too.

    Good tape drives are also expensive tape drives -- it's nothing to spend $2K - 3K on a tape backup mechanism.

    Using a MiniDV for data backup -- I would be afraid of wearing out the camera, frankly.
     
  24. warwickt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    #24
    IN regards to ARCHIVING retrieval, it can easily be shown that after putting a tape volume (ULTIUM LTO4) into a tape drive that the access tostart reading (ready_+ a locate block) to first read is around 65-80 secs ifthe tape is 600m and the locate bock speed is 8-10metres/sec .

    The tape drive data rate is inexcess of 80MB (650Mbs) .. so to read 10 minutes of say RED ONE footage in (that is around 10 x 2.3ishGB.min [ @ 288Mbs]) .. some 200GB+ is probably a lot faster that the average FW800 disk (say 2.5mins/GB).

    In any case I can wait for a few minutes for it, especially if I have say 50TB of archives (with multiple instances) sitting on 60+ Ultirum tapes in a shelf.. and is way cheaper too.

    As for archiving anything on a mini-dv (not foe me!) .. as you say the heads are an issue, but more likely it is unreliable (go try dvbackup.app etc). good cheap but not for production where your living depends on it .. :)


    fwiw
     
  25. CU10 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    #25
    Excellent Thread.

    LTO, DLT/SDLT, & DAT/DDS will be your main options, I have DLT & DAT (but on a PC).

    Tapes on Macs will be a lifesaver IMHO if you rely on data for your business, although there's more than one way to back up (eg, online, etc.)

    Money is an issue but shop eBay carefully and you can get seriously great deals.

    Cheap way: DAT/DDS. Use DDS3 or 4 tapes (12GB & 20GB respectively). 4GB DDS2 tapes, although obsolete & slow, are dirt cheap (try $0.10 per tape). I'd be careful though because DDS2 can only be used by DDS4 drives or less. I'd stay with at least DDS3 if you use DAT/DDS.

    MiniDV- unproven as a backup medium IMHO.

    You will experience frustration and waste money initially in your pursuit.

    Tips: only buy new drives & tapes. NOT REFURBISHED, NOT USED, or you will regret it, despite low prices for them- they are junk.

    LTO-2 can be had for $200 shipped on eBay, brand new drive kit with 200GB tape, cleaning cart, and Backup Exec, IF you take time to look.

    Connectivity is SCSI, USB, SATA; I went the SCSI route, Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard probably have limited support for SCSI (Adaptec cards don't work post-Jaguar 10.2), but I go for the best value and I run it on a PC so SCSI works for me.

    Learn before you buy, then buy cheap NEW good-quality stuff. Eg, understand the difference between helical scan vs. linear serpentine recording.

    Read Scott Mueller's book from your library "Upgrading & Repairing PC's" section on tape drives on 16th Ed on the DVD or in print (although Scott prefers DDS I disagree).

    Hard drives rarely fail in my experience, but I don't have any >250GB capacity, I think the larger it is the denser the data is packed in there & failure rates increase, but that's just my guess about it.

    GOOD LUCK
     

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