[Tig] Data Tape Formats

Peter Swinson peter_swinson
Tue Jul 9 11:24:59 BST 2002

On Sun, Jul 07, 2002 at 08:34:39PM -0400, Richard Torpey wrote:

> Data tape formats seem to change even more often than video tape formats
> with computer systems guys much more willing to toss the old slow drives
> in favor of the new fast drives that let them get their backup/restores
> done that much faster. There is a mindset that old
> hardware/software/data isn't useful that will be tough to overcome. 

Who will win the day, Videoites or Dataites.

A listing elsewhere on the TIG refers to a considerable number of vtr types
and configurations, all of these recorders were designed for  a relatively
few video formats. PAL, NTSC, Composite analog or D2, component, component
digital and around 24 HD versions at the last count. Plus SECAM and really
way back 405 Black & White,  I don't think the French 819 line TV system
ever got to tape but I am happy to be corrected. Remembrer that until
recently each recorder was dedeicated to a particular video standard 

Meanwhile the data (computer based) industry, largely oblivious to the
video industry was developing from, stills formats, moving image file types
like AVI, MPEG, and Motion JPEG. If we include most of the stills digital
image types known to man, (Xnview at Xnview.com offer a free image file
converter, that recognises them all, including DPX) then I guess there are
more than 300 image data file variants flowing around the computer based
imaging industry.

Now I haven't sat down and calculated this, but I reckon from the humble 8
inch Floppy to the latest  magnetic or optical storage gizmo there have
still been less storage "systems" in the computer based image data industry
than VTR types.  The big difference is that any of these computer storage
systems can store any data file type.  And if Xnview is an example of the
future, there will always be means to translate one image format to another
transparently, regardless of the type of storage developed in the future.

Where is this line of thought going ?

Video recorders will dissapear when computer based storage systems have the
bandwidth for real time operation while offering  affordable, convenient
removable media.

In 100 years time, there will be no such thing as a video recorder, or
magnetic storage medium. Long before then I reckon we will be storing bits
at the atomic or even single electron level, today research has produced
experimental systems with  a capacity of around 1 Terabyte per square inch.
Using Moores law, in 100 years the packing density could be around 2 to the
power of 66 terabytes per square inch, now 1000 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte,
1000 Petabytes= 1 Exabyte, I don't know what comes next but suffice to say
that 2^ 66 Terabytes =  73,000,000,000,000,000 Petabytes. Now if a 2 hour
movie scanned uncompressed at 4K =13 Terabytes then that's 
5,600,000,000,000,000,000 movies per square inch !  So no need for
Satellitte, or  VOD then !   
Realistically Moore's Law can't hold up as I think the preceding number is
probably approaching the number of atoms in the universe. So let's modestly
say that the terabyte per square inch in 100 years is 1mm,that's 0.040",
thick, so a 1 inch cube coluld hold around 25 terabytes of data, two full
length feature films at 4K resolution, still impressive by todays

No-one will remember video formats with all the sync systems. Every movie
archive will be stored as individual frames with metadata to aid recovery.
Yes, even in 2103, I will be able to pull a TRS80 graphics image and view
it in its original form. I reckon you will be able to pull DPX 4K images of
100 year old film. Because these files will be duplicated, each time, as
required, to a newer, faster and smaller medium without any loss. And what
of SDI and HDSDI, well why would anyone wish to keep copying from a
dedicated transport to some new dedicated transport, indeed why build a new
dedicated transport at all if the real master images of those Hollywood
Greats resides as 4K dpx, or whatever,  files in one small corner of  a
Ozangleblonk MK 6b 1000 Petabyte removable sugar grain sized storage system
( if Moore's law holds true),that plugs straight into 22nd centruy man's

Save it as data and it will migrate intact. Save it as video and it will
die over a very few generations of machinery.

Else, and I would take this view,  keep it on film, just in case some
method of storing film images comes along that is today unimaginably
different and totally loss free.

And will we still be shooting film in 2103 ?   I'll let someone else answer

I feel better for that. 

Peter Swinson 

Cintel International

BTW Regarding how many telecines.

These numbers are based on built volume.

About 900 MKIII's, around 330 Ursas, 60 C-Realitys, 10 Rascals and so far 3
DSX  are out there somewhere.   
Plus Cintel's CCD scanner ADS, of which about 45 were made.     

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