At NAB 2005, producers and directors of photographers wondered what would become of the video cassette recorder (VCR), as solid state flash memory devices usurp the legacy tape based formats like DigiBetacam, DV, HDV, and DVCPRO 50. Sony has chosen a proprietary XDCAM format, based on a magneto optical disk, while Panasonic is going to a SD format PCMCIA card called P2.
As a VCR replacement one would have to consider these factors:
- Speed must be near real time (one hour video transfered in around an hour or less)
- Media should be around the same form factor as a video tape
- Drive price must be near VCR price or lower
Cloak Media has run some tests using published transfer rates and data capacity. The results for a sample four hour project (250 GB):
|VCR Information Technology Replacement (4 hour project, 250 GB)
|Storage Media||Backup Time (hr)
||Media Count||Drive & Media Cost*||Media Only Cost*|
* prices from summer 2005 survey
Today, the only viable VCR replacment on a small four hour project is the LTO series, AIT 3/AIT 4/SAIT, and the DSLT 600. In the IT industry, data centers have gravitated towards the multivendor LTO. Quantum is the sole provider of DSLT. Sony maintains a strong following for the AIT and SAIT series.