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Re: arsclist DAT Longevity (a question)

At 11:19 AM 07/16/2001 -0500, you wrote:

On Mon, 9 Jul 2001, Richard L. Hess wrote:

> At 03:18 PM 07/09/2001 -0500, Karl Miller wrote:
> >Does anyone have a source for information on the longevity of DAT tapes?
> Karl,
> The short answer is I have less faith that I'll be able to play the DATs of
> the old tapes I've transferred 55 years from now than my ability to play
> the original 55-year old tapes.
> The narrow track width and the long-term availability of machines are my
> major concerns. Some are also concerned about the thinness of the tape and
> the type of coating.
> If you noticed Parker Dinkins's post about the tape wandering--my transfers
> of 55-year old tapes had the tape doing a bobsled run on the heads. That
> kind of deformation would be pretty hard to track on a DAT!

I have had problems with new DATs. The slightest alignment problem seems
to cause significant problems.

My main concern has to do with the density of the oxide and the nature of
the scan. Since the recording process is similar to the VHS, are DATs not
just as likely to suffer the same fate as VHS and have a similar life


Karl, I'm not sure what kind of life expectancy you're seeing with VHS, but I would suspect that DAT would be at least as bad as VHS, and being digital, it has the "cliff effect" of being completely unusable after a certain error rate.

I don't think anyone considers DAT to be an archival format, although I know of archives that are replete with them!



Richard L. Hess email: rlh@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Vignettes Media web: http://marielynnhammond.com Glendale, California, USA

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