Originally posted by Mr. Belvedere
Real time fast enough playback on DDS-4 ? Which SCSI is the minimum requirement ?
If i had such a tape drive i’d be quite interested , but alas… they’re usually in servers only. Only got a DDS-1 [/B]
Ha! Big mistake! You asked me about it! Now you have to read the blubber…
I use an OEM HP-DAT40 drive (don’t now the model number, something HP’ish cryptic) which has wide SCSI, but I use it on the cheapest Symbios Logic 8 Bit PCI SCSI Controller I could find, and it is still much faster than needed. Works like a charm with DDS3 (12 GB) and DDS4 (20GB) Tapes, DDS2 is too slow, forget DDS1. Note that this HP drive is pretty fast even with DDS3, I don’t know if a HP DDS3 drive would be fast enough.
You need a sustained transfer rate of about 1 MByte/s uncompressed, this should be enough to watch a DVD in realtime from tape. Forget compression, the MPEG2 stream can’t be compressed any further with the in-built hardware compressor. The random access time is fine for watching, having three movies on one tape it needs about 1 Minute to seek to another movie. Much faster than VHS, and with better quality of course. Skipping chapers is a matter of seconds.
Only problem are random accessing menus back and forth, and the tape drive itself, which decides to clean its heads every 20 minutes of watching for about 30 seconds.
My wife constantly complained about the “30 seconds of picture freeze every 20 minutes” using more-or-less harsh words, so elbyTape got a “Media Mode”, which does not only cache all the DVD Menus, but does also read ahead caching, so it is no problem if the drive completely stops for several minutes. It uses temporary files on the harddisk for that.
elbyTape uses the NT/2000/XP tape drive interface, so it should work with every drive, which is supported by NT/2000/XP, if it can deliver the data fast enough.
Drawback - no 9x support (as long as this thing is no product and only for me, myself and I, no problem)
elbyTape can emulate a DVD-ROM, so any DVD player software (WinDVD, PowerDVD, Cinemaster, ZoomPlayer) plays directly from the tape. Some trickery had to be done, as random access is much slower than a real DVD-ROM and the requests tend to time out, but this problem is solved and this knowledge is very benificial for DVD Region Killer Pro.
(Maybe you can guess now where Virtual CloneDrive originated? I actually needed it for this purpose! It was only a small effort to adapt it and include it with CloneCD)
The real disadvantage is - who has a fast tape drive, or is willing to buy one to watch movies? And you can only watch on a Home Theater PC, the tiny DDS tapes won’t fit in a VHS deck
This is not a problem for me, I have a projector connected to the VGA output on my PC and the Digital Amplifier connected to the SPDIF output of the motherboard.
BTW, I use elbyTape to record digital Satellite programs as well. I use a DVB-S PCI card for this purpose. As DVB MPEG2 usually has a low transfer rate, I can record about 8 movies on a single tape.
I believe I am probably the only person on this planet who likes such strange things…
Oh dear, now you know what I do in my almost non existing spare time