Solid-State Storage Trend Masks Hidden Costs
Buyers beware: there is a costly drawback to these IT-centric systems
Yet there is a costly drawback to these systems, especially for professional users and consumers on a tight budget. Where do you store the video? Well, of course, you store it on hard drives. But how many of these drives do you need? How much do they cost? And what about backup?
David Pogue, technology reviewer for The New York Times, wrote recently that he has accumulated 200 MiniDV tapes over time in his library. He said he would need a total of nine 300 GB hard drives to store that much material in files. And that’s without backup.
Nine 300GB drives, even at discount, would cost more than a $1200. A single professional-quality HDV tape-one that holds an hour of HD content-costs as little as six dollars. No hard drive has ever approached the low cost of videotape.
The alternative to an all file-based system is to use videotape for recording and then play the video real-time to a computer for making the file. Then, one has a back-up of the video on the tape and the ability to do a full IT-based workflow. The tradeoff is the time it takes to digitize the tape.
Of course, better-funded videographers can use tape and record uncompressed video to a hard drive simultaneously. That’s an ideal, but still costly, solution.
Before we allow manufacturers to fully eliminate tape cassettes from the video recording process, users should do a cost-versus-time comparison. For heavy, well-funded users, a tapeless environment may be just fine. However, for those on a lower budget, a tape-based hybrid with an IT-based workflow might be the most cost-effective method.