P2 is the MOST SECURE…

16gp2.jpgIt really bothers me when corporate marketing drones get so caught up in their own chest-thumping that they fail to recognize the hypocrisy of the stuff spewing out of their mouths.

For example, this is a quote by a Panny rep on a video mailing list:

P2 is reusable thousands of times
and is the must secure form of digital storage on the planet.

continuing on…pan32gbsdhc.gif

It can be xrayed 500 times in a row with no data loss.
It can even withstand 15 G’s.
You would be dead, but your clients would get their shot.

I’m sorry, but I’m far, far more worried about not being dead than client’s needs.

Also, “most secure?”

P2 is 4 SD cards in a RAID-0, if one fails, out of four, then all your data is gone.
The average mean of one flash media card failing is lower than four.
So, mathematically, a camcorder with one flash media card is more reliable than a P2 card.

Microsoft’s own tech bulletin about using flash media, in this case, compact flash, as a boot drive says:

These devices are usually more reliable as they have no moving parts. The downside of using CF is that it has a limit to the number of times one can write to a storage location. Over time, the CF media will fail.

Storage Search also notes that Solid State Drives suffer this same problem:

Write Endurance: – The number of write cycles to any block of flash is limited – and once you’ve used up your quota for that block – that’s it! The disk can become unreliable.

Then, consider that military and space applications require radiation hardened chips and flash media because radiation on earth and in space not only causes errors, it kills data.reel.gif

Like this:

Radiation hardening is required to “immunize” systems and applications from radiation, such as cosmic rays, which affect the reliability of conventional electronics.

or how about a paper which explains:

While FLASH Memory offers a significant power advantage for interplanetary missions, there are several constraints intrinsic to FLASH memory devices that must be resolved by the system design. These features include; radiation sensitivity, slow read/write speed, bad memory blocks, limited write cycles, and electro-magnetic noise.

Now, aside from the fact that I’ve never seen a single not about P2 media being “hardened” to resist radiation, it is flash media and all flash media basically self-destructs with each read-write cycle. So lets just say that flash media is not the panacea that some corporate marketing gobblygoop tries to make you think that it is.

Also, Videotape can be x-rayed because x-rays are not magnetic. ref ref

Lastly, how often do I need media that can withstand a 15g shock: never. I do not see why this is constantly touted as an advantage. I need media that can survive a fall from the production table to the floor. What media can’t do that?

If you think that the P2 cards cost too much, then consider this:
I spent $22,000 in tape stock last year.

Hey, think of all the extra time and money you DIDN’T spend in archiving your raw footage.
To archive P2 you have to buy hard drives, or other media (like blu-ray disks) and spend the time to copy the footage over.

Moreover, the big advantage of digital tape media was… IT IS REUSABLE!
So that’s $22,000 you don’t have to spend this year… unless of course, your are archiving it, or handed it off to clients as part of the shoot, or it rests as a “backup” to the media on the hard drives- where the tape, in essence pays for itself. ALL advantages of tape / optical media that flash media proponents constantly overlook.

So, let’s be careful out there, there’s FUD everywhere.

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