Hi, Chris, The standard for archival preservation today is managed digital storage with content stored as computer FILES. Files can be losslessly copied from one carrier to several others. Most NAS units today will report disk errors via email. My philosophy has been three copies in at least two locations. Two of my copies are on NAS units (I have lost my lease on the off-site location, so both NAS units will be back in the same building, but one will be in a fairly secure "bunker-esque" location) and the third copy is on portable USB drives in a steel ammo case in another location a few km away. There is about 6 TB of data on the redundant NAS systems (capacity is currently about 8 TB), another 1 TB of data on a single NAS (not life-threatening if it goes away, just inconvenient), and about 4-5 TB in the ammo case. The only other real alternative to long-ish term storage is LTO tape. I do not know how to capture HDMI to files, but that seems like the best route, but probably not efficient storage-wise as HDMI is an uncompressed display format. You really need to figure out how to get the FILES off the HDD in the Panasonic. Burning to DVD and then copying (ripping) the files to the managed storage system would be one (horrible) option. Isn't there any way you can get the files off the internal HDD? I would think that a playback machine, possibly through a time-base corrector into a computer audio/video capture card would be more appropriate for an archive transfer than the stand-alone Panasonic unit. I see you've been ranting on the Interwebs about this with no satisfaction. http://www.weybridge-audio.co.uk/panasonic-dmr-ex99-dvd-vhs-freeview-recorder.html says it will write rewritable discs at perhaps 6x and one-write discs at up to 16x. If you go that route, you will have the DVD as one copy and then the ripped files on multiple HDDs as backups for the long haul. Still ugly, but possibly the best option without changing the workflow. Good luck! Cheers, Richard On 2013-04-13 12:51 PM, Chris J Brady wrote: > There is a thread debating about dubbing all in sight from LPs / 78s / cassettes / reel2reel tapes. > > But dubbing to what? > > Optical DVDs / CDs rely on the changing of the chemical properties of the substrate to retain digital recordings. DVD / CD pressing is beyond most peoples means. > > Further magnetic media such as hard-drives is reliant on the integrity of a spinning mechanism and read and write head to say nothing of the magnetic particles glued to the surface. > > Solid state devices seem reliable - after all if a camera lost at sea for years can eventually be returned with the images on the flash card still extant and downloadable - then something must be right with this media. > > So just what are all these folk dubbing to? What end-media are they using? And what is the retention-life of that media? Is it really suitable for archival recordings? Is anything suitable for archive recordings? > > As an aside I have just purchased a Panasonic EX99 combi deck to digitise and archive unique and culturally valuable recordings on gradually deteriorating VHS tapes. Reading the manual before setting it up - as you do - I was alarmed to read the statement that the 250GB hard-drive was fragile and not intended for the storing of archival recordings. Help!!! > > What can I use as the end dub media? > > So what about dubbing to optical disks? I can dub to RAM and then download to a computer - hard drive. But then what. > > Also it appears that I cannot make back-up copies of the hard-drive which as a computer professional I find rather alarming. > > Any ideas folks? > > Chris B. > > P.S. I am using self-bought domestic equipment for this project because funding was refused from the very Fund that should have supported it. I could have got professional dubs done. But now the urgency is to digitise the VHS tapes as best I can whilst they are still playable. The results will go to the BFI, BLSA, and other archives for visual and audio media. > > -- Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask] Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800 http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.