Videos on tape (Travan, not VHS)
Oh and while I'm writing about watching video files on my TV, I've been thinking of getting myself a tape drive. Sure, I'll use it to actually, finally, back up all the important things I have littered around my handful of machines. Having established a backup routine at work, I've gotten to thinking.
How bad an idea would it be to use a tape drive to store TV shows? I've been capturing them with the VCD format, which gives me around 600MB per hour of show. This fills up my drive pretty quickly, obviously. I know I really should take sometime to revisit things and try another video codec, since originally I used VCD because I burned everything to CD for my DVD player, but now I'm streaming files to my Powerbook over the network which gives me a lot more flexibility in recording options.
However, not burning to CD leaves me with a hard drive full of video that I'm hesitant to delete yet have no good reason to need laying around on a high speed hard drive. But, burning all that to a spindle-worth of blank CDs without a Lego Mindstorms based CD-changer robot leaves me shuddering. I recall reading about a DJ-bot that did this for playing music, and I notice via Slashdot that someone with a decent woodshop has provided plans for such a beast for a CD writer. But I can't afford the Legos at the present moment, and I'll only end up hurting myself working with power tools.
Then, I remember that high capacity tapes make backing up lots of data easy at work. I know that the tape trade off is capacity and price for speed of access. But, if all I need to do is skip from one file to the next and only need relatively low bandwidth to stream the file from the tape, this sounds like a great way to archive video. Depending on the video compression, maybe I could fit a whole season or two of a show onto a single tape.
Seems like a good idea, though pricey. But maybe the price and cost of media would offset the pain in the ass of any other method. I probably should look more into the price and pain of a DVD burner, but the idea of more disc-like things laying around worries me.
What do you think?