AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Better Options Have Been Found, But They Are Still Not Affordable
Tape is dead, long live tape. Almost since the beginning of video and television, there has been videotape--some sort of iron-oxide-coated plastic polymer racing its complicated path through a camcorder's spinning pulleys, wheels, gears and levers, while madly twirling electromagnetic heads transfer fragile magnetic signals onto the tape.
Digital or analog, it doesn't matter, tape transfer and storage is a fragile and power-wasting medium. In the last few years, video enthusiasts have savored the advent of digital video recording, better batteries with longer lives, flip-out LCD screens, automatic focus and exposure that really work, and a variety of other camcorder improvements. The next big change will be how camcorders actually record and save the video and audio information they capture.
So What's Wrong With Tape?
Let's start with tape itself. Have you ever ripped or crinkled or broken a videotape? Modern videotapes are more resistant to physical damage than they were years ago, but they are not close to being immortal.
Modern videotape, regardless of whether you are using DV, VHS, 8mm or professional grades like DVCam or Betacam, still suffers from dropouts and stretching. In addition, recording onto tape can generate time-base errors. Every videotape recorder records tape at a slightly different speed, and its heads lay down the video and audio data at a slightly different angle. Even with the same model from the same manufacturer, these differences occur. Sometimes, the errors are significant enough to not allow you to play back the tape at all on a different VTR. Other times, the differences in tape speed and head recording angles create minor discrepancies known as time-base errors. These include incorrect color, color banding, flagging or wiggling at the top or bottom of the screen, to name a few.
Tape has a limited life, and most videotapes begin to disintegrate after a few years. If you are lucky and store them at the correct temperature and …