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  #1  
  04-14-2014, 08:29 AM
 
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Please help or spread the word:


I have just started a Kickstarter campaign to underwrite the transfer of some vintage “David Susskind Shows” that are currently stored at USC. I am not affiliated with USC or a relative of Susskind’s. I’m just a TV fan. I hope to raise $10K in the next 60 days. Would appreciate your help in forwarding this message or contributing.

Here’s the Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ion-not-profit
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  #2  
  04-14-2014, 09:08 AM
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Videotape is fragile, videotape decomposes. Eventually, these tapes will crumble and turn to dust.
^ This is overdramatic and not really true at all. Professional video archivists will see this as the BS it is.

That said, saving shows is always a good thing.
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  #3  
  04-14-2014, 09:32 AM
 
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I am an audio-visual archivist and I've seen many a videotape flake off into nothingness.

We can argue decomposition later but the improtant thing is let's work to spread the word and get these tapes preserved. They are in danger.

Thank you.
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  #4  
  04-14-2014, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by codell76 View Post
I am an audio-visual archivist and I've seen many a videotape flake off into nothingness.
Oxide shedding is not that common unless it was stored in dreadful conditions. And 2" tape is far more durable than standard 1" tape (VHS, etc). I'm guessing the 2" is Ampex? As with VHS, older Ampex is better.

- Is it Ampex?
- What's the exact age of the tapes? (to determine Ampex tape types)
- What were the earlier storage conditions?

If you want to be taken seriously, give details on the current condition, not boogeyman scare tactics. I can help spread the word in some seriously video circles, but I need more to go on.

I've worked with videotapes professionally for many years now.

Quote:
Today, literally only a handful of machines are still in existence which can still play 2”.
I don't think I'd agree with that, either. I have several contacts with the gear to play these tapes.

I see that you've worked for LOC (Library of Congress) in the past, but honestly, I've never been impressed by LOC archiving information. Consider optical media. DVD-R alone *is* one of the most archival formats we have available, yet LOC bought into that IBM propaganda puff piece back in the early 2000s. (Of course, it needs to be a quality disc!) They heavily relied on NIST, who's own study was flawed. The testing was fine, but the samples used were heavily suspect amongst serious hobbyists and peer professionals (C't magazine, etc).

Anyway, I'll be glad to help spread the word. But I'll need more than "the sky is falling" to get any traction in the video circles I travel in.

It does look quite interesting, and my favorite genre of shows is B&W from the 1950s to 1960s. So I'd be very interested in seeing the early episodes. But...

Quote:
Pledge $1,000 or more
0 backers
Free DVD copy of "The David Susskind Show: How to Be a Jewish Son."
Estimated delivery: Jun 2014
Most collectors of TV are not going to fork over $1,000, especially when there are so many unknowns.

- How many discs?
- Was any restoration done?
(I'd guess none with a June 2-14 completion!)
- What sort of compression is on the discs?
- What discs are being used?
(manufacturer, not brand)

Honestly, if you want these to be good, I would at least use 15 Mbps MPEG-2 on SD Blu-ray (720x480), or H.264 AVC on BD. Not DVD. The masters should be lossless, of course, at minimum, since Blu-ray is not an archival format. (No MP4, DV, MPEG, etc.)

Again, if you want to attract some serious TV/video fans, you're going to need to submit far more details.
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  #5  
  04-14-2014, 02:48 PM
 
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Sorry for any "boogy-man scare tactics."

I also understand that the reward premium is quite high but I'm not the copyright holder for these works and I can't promise things I don't own. Additionally, the idea was to raise money for the collection not put myself into personal debt.

That said: it has been many years since I examined any of these tapes. I live in Virginia; they are in California. I do believe the tapes are Ampex. They are on 2". I'm sure you will agree with me that 2" is a rapidly dying format? Because the tapes are the property of USC I cannot dictate the specs of their transfer.

As stated before, I have no profit motive in this project. I am not affiliated with USC or the Susskind Estate. I am simply an individual who hopes to prevent the possible loss of some very valuable television artifacts.

Oh, the danger of good intentions.....
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  #6  
  04-14-2014, 05:04 PM
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Good grief LS, how about either getting behind this or quit wrecking the thread by nay-saying? I know next to nothing about the whole business but one thing that I do know is that videotape, like cassette tape and reel-to-reel tape before it, is nothing but RUST PARTICLES bound to a plastic strip. Now how not arguing the word 'plastic' and let the guy get back to his cause?
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  #7  
  04-14-2014, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codell76 View Post
I'm sure you will agree with me that 2" is a rapidly dying format?
Yes, I think so...

It's not really "dying" as a format, but rather an issue of the playback hardware getting scarcer over time. Same for the people that can operate the equipment, and are experienced with the format. The format obviously isn't in use, and hasn't been for years, thus "died" years ago. We're already seeing this in the S-VHS/VHS realm, for the highest quality S-VHS decks. Betamax was there years ago.

Although I don't agree with the idea that only "handfuls" of the 2" decks exist. Granted, it gets harder to locate each year, but it's still not gone -- especially outside the U.S. Same for U-matic and kinescope. (Others formats, even newer ones like D-2, are arguably rarer.)

I've been warning people of this for years. DVD may be archival for 30+ years (or 100+, if you believe the manufacturers), but it's all moot when you realize that most DVD drives die in 2-5 years. I have digital formats from the 90s (Real, etc) that are almost impossible to play digitally now. Archiving means nothing if the hardware to use it no longer exists.

I'm a big proponent for archiving our TV past -- hence the site name! -- but it has to be done right. That means restoration, quality conversions -- not 6-hour SLP mode with a Walmart-grade DVD recorder on Memorex (Memorsux) discs. And sadly, if you don't specify the output, many college "archivists" and video amateurs will do just that.

You're probably going to have to work out the details on that first, before you'll get any serious Kickstarter interest.

FYI: Being that old, much of the content likely falls into public domain now. I would not automatically assume there is a copyright owner. Many times, especially for non-scripted content, there's not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funnybook View Post
Good grief LS, how about either getting behind this or quit wrecking the thread by nay-saying? I know next to nothing about the whole business but one thing that I do know is that videotape, like cassette tape and reel-to-reel tape before it, is nothing but RUST PARTICLES bound to a plastic strip. Now how not arguing the word 'plastic' and let the guy get back to his cause?
Because this was one of the reasons I got into video 20+ years ago. And in that time, I've made some serious contacts -- all of whom would require more details before taking a project like this seriously. Remember my profession, before I became temporarily disabled? It was in video production with studios. For one, the ETA on project completion (June 2014) is simply insane ... unless a really rough/crappy job was being done. Hence my need for details. That's the first thing the others would want to know as well -- especially for a $1k investment.

It's not rust. That's a laymen description. The "rust" type also changes depending on the tape age (manufacturing at the time), and hence affects the condition variable.

The "plastic" can also vary.
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  #8  
  04-14-2014, 05:10 PM
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= It's not really "dying" as a format, but rather an issue of the playback hardware getting scarcer over time.

Yes, yes, yes, and the same is true of 8-Track ... for crying out loud, you've completely bashed this whole thread to bits. I hope the new guy doesn't just leave forever, what with being met with all this garbage and hair-splitting over a simple 'save the shows' post.

= It's not rust. That's a laymen description.

codell76, if I were you I'd delete this entire thread and start over, with a PM to LS to please stay out of it. Busybody nit-picking crap will wreck a thread like this every time. Now I've let him drag me into it.
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  #9  
  04-14-2014, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funnybook View Post
over a simple 'save the shows' post.
$1k is not simple.

Quote:
codell76, if I were you I'd delete this entire thread and start over, with a PM to LS to please stay out of it. Busybody nit-picking crap will wreck a thread like this every time. Now I've let him drag me into it.
codell76 and myself are having a serious discussion. Whether he hears it from me, or elsewhere -- he will get these questions. And if not answered, the Kickstarter campaign will simply die. KS is not the "free money" that it once was, especially after assclowns like John K (yes, that John K) have tainted the video project scene with never-finished (never refunded) projects.

In case you weren't reading my posts above, I would like to see something like this. I really enjoy B&W 50s-60s era content with politicians and celebrities of the era. ("What My Line?" is one of my top 10 favorite shows ever.)

Perhaps you should leave moderating to the Site Staff, and there's several of us here.
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  #10  
  04-14-2014, 05:45 PM
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I'll thank you not to edit my replies, LS. All you did was combine the two above, in this case, but you know I hate that and you're doing it just to push my buttons in the middle of an argument.

= The "plastic" can also vary.

I said "Now how about we don't argue the word plastic" but you just couldn't resist, could you?

It isn't plastic? WHO CARES? It's rust particles (oxide=oxygenated, iron oxide=RUST) and even if it wasn't, WHO CARES? It's PARTICLES - witness the brown dust that builds up on the pinch rollers. WHO CARES? Is that what this thread was supposed to be about? The guy wants to save some shows, and all you can do is this kind of anal-retentive thread-wrecking nit-picking.
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  #11  
  04-15-2014, 07:34 AM
 
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Thanks for the spirited discussion, guys.

I won't be doing the transfers myself. I'm not an engineer. I don't have a 2" machine. And, as mentioned, the tapes are in California and I am in Virginia.

I will leave the transfers to USC and trust them to do a responsible job and, in time, make these tapes available for viewing by historians and other interestest parties.

I don't see the number of 2" machines increasing anytime soon so I do still believe it is necessary to gather funds and see that these programs get off of their 2" format.
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  #12  
  04-15-2014, 08:10 AM
 
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Based upon discussion here in this forum, I have edited the Kickstarter. I never wanted to spread misinformation.

I have also adjusted the rewards.
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  #13  
  04-15-2014, 05:47 PM
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= Thanks for the spirited discussion, guys.

You're a good sport, Codell76.

I watched a "Save the old celluloid movies" special once, and they made a great case, opening old film cans to show the glob of melted goo that used to be a movie from the '20s or whatever. Give this much, donate by that method, together we can save these old movies... but not a word about distribution (or the lack of it) once they were saved.

So my question is, once these Susskind shows are saved and preserved digitally, who gets a copy? I mean a complete copy of everything saved. Might a person give them a few hundred dollars and a few months later be told to stand in line and buy the set retail?
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  #14  
  04-16-2014, 07:19 AM
 
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I hope that once some of the Susskind shows are transferred (assuming I meet my goal on Kickstarter), USC will eventually make the available at least for download via Youtube or Hulu or other outlet. But, again, I'm not affiliated with USC and I don't own the rights to the shows so those decisions are out of my hands. Sometimes we just have to do a good thing without expecting too much in return.
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