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Old 09-22-2010, 01:55 PM
LoopyWolf LoopyWolf is offline
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Archival Media

Ah, my community, you probably share this problem, and I hope you have advice!

I've got a media center with SageTV, one large internal drive (500G) for recording TV shows, and a 1TB external USB for archiving shows

Little by little of course, despite the best efforts of my (wonderful) video-encoder that the community helped me set up, the disks are filling up, so naturally I want to burn stuff off to media and free up space

The problem is that the logical separations of the shows are far too large for current DVD media.. eg a full season of half-hour or one-hour shows is much bigger than 4.7G

I was wondering: Has anyone found a way to deal with this? Two ways that suggest themselves are: Find a convenient larger media and use that, or 2. get some friendly software that breaks things up for you in a nice way that's easy to find later.

Has anyone got some good advice?
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:41 PM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
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Forgive the soapbox, but you do realize that archiving that which you record to DVR is not actually legal, right? Okay, with that out of the way...

The obvious first response is simply to buy more hard drives. You'll probably find that ~5TB is plenty and drives are pretty cheap.

The second option would be to move over to Blu-ray media, which will give you 25GB of storage per disc.

The "last" option I'll throw out there is to trascode the files to lower quality, so that they take up less space. You could do that within SageTV and have all your recordings default to that or transcode them when you go to archive them to disc.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:51 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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Personally I don't see the point of "archiving" recorded TV shows to optical media. Discs you burn yourself are not archival quality and will probably not last more than a few years. If the shows or movies in question are readily available on commercial DVDs, buy the boxed sets and be done with it. If a disc goes bad, you can always buy it again.

If the recordings are irreplaceable rarities that you can't get commercially and would hate to lose, then don't entrust them to home-burned media. Keep them online in a RAID array or other redundant storage system where you'll find out immediately when media start to go bad, before any data is lost.

All media fail eventually. The point of storing things digitally is precisely so that the data can outlive the fallible media. Burning something to disc and sticking it in a drawer defeats that purpose, since you won't know until it's too late when a disc has become unreadable.
-- Greg
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:23 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Originally Posted by GKusnick View Post
All media fail eventually. The point of storing things digitally is precisely so that the data can outlive the fallible media. Burning something to disc and sticking it in a drawer defeats that purpose, since you won't know until it's too late when a disc has become unreadable.
Even a RAID array can lose data. Particularly static (unchanging) data (i.e. archives). Bit rot can effect RAID arrays making them unrecoverable. The very nature of video and audio is that a single bit error could creep into a file and you'd never know it because the player would probably gracefully recover from the error. But say that file is on a RAID 5 array and there is a single bit error located in the parity. As soon as you lose the drive that matches that parity data and try to recover it will inevitably fail because there will be an error in the parity. Happens all the time.

RAID arrays do not and have never guaranteed data integrity. That's what frequent backups are for. The purpose of a RAID array is to minimize downtime in the event of a drive failure. If you're using a RAID separate from the live data that is probably ok, but using a RAID array on the live data as a "backup" is asking for trouble.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:01 PM
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lobosrul lobosrul is offline
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RAID is not backup! Thats very true. However, bit rot is not really much of a problem on a raid array, so long as you run a consistency check periodically. I do once every summer when theres nothing worth watching on TV. I've been using Raid 5 now for over 3 years without any data loss (that I know of), and lost quite a lot before using RAID. Its jut not practicable for me to make a periodic backup of several TB's of data.

From what I've read, bit rot has become a very rare problem on newer disks, so long as they are kept spun up. A drive sitting idle for a long time is prone to it however. Also, I would replace disks every 7 or 8 years at the most.

Last edited by lobosrul; 09-22-2010 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:58 PM
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markds markds is offline
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use DL = 8.5g
covert to dvd
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:47 PM
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lobosrul lobosrul is offline
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Originally Posted by markds View Post
Nah, DVD is not a good solution for backup, just from a per gigabyte perspective. Dual layer DVD's cost around 80cents a piece if bought in bulk, unless your going bargain brand. Thats 9.5 cents per GB. My latest HDD purchase was 1.5 TB for $75. Thats 5 cents a GB. Then if you have a large archive you need to keep track of hundreds of discs which is a PITA. And don't think DL layer burned discs are fail safe. I had a whole batch fail on me years ago.

Also are you suggesting he convert his existing archive to be compatible in a DVD player? That would require encoding back to MPEG-2 from h.264 (I think thats what he's compressed to) which is a time consuming, lossy, less efficient endeavor. And would also require downscaling if he has HD recordings.
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