Digitizing VHS Tapes with EyeTV
Subject:   Are DVDs the right media to archive with?
Date:   2006-02-20 11:01:20
From:   DaveLentz
I believe that you've provided the tools to use the best archival media we have at present -- an assemblage of hard drives (duplexed to redundant copies or RAID-5 or something that offers some protection against disk failure) -- but your iniital premise of moving from VCR to DVD is a path to disappointment.

Sooner or later, the chemical dye based DVDs will break down, and the DVDs will become unreadable. While there is a lot of variance as to exactly how long you can count on a personally-burned DVD lasting (manufactured, or "stamped" DVDs should last a very long time, this pertains only to those DVDs that we can burn on our own PCs), I believe that no one would disagree that burned DVDs will fail a lot sooner than the VHS tapes would have.

High density media (Blu-ray or HD-DVD) burned on a desktop system will likely be no better, as the burnable forms will also be dye-based, exactly like existing burnable DVDs, just with smaller dye-filled pits.

Sadly (because a disc array is not as portable as one would like -- but small external discs or even large USB flash drives provide portability), this is not something that is likely to change in the forseeable future, as it is in the content distributors' interests as well as the device manufacturers' to keep burned media as a (slowly) volatile media.

But DVDs will still be useful as small portable media -- just dont't count on them for indefinite storage.

BTW -- I love my eyeTV 500! It was an excellent way to enter the realm of HDTV. And the disc drive industry should salute them as well. Stored mpeg-2 will carry that industry well into the 21st century.

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  1. Are DVDs the right media to archive with?
    2006-02-20 11:06:30  DaveLentz [View]

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