AVS Club Gold
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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In the past 5 years, tape costs for new stock has very affordable. I can't fathom anyone risking their expensive machine on what you refer to as one pass tape. I used to be a proponent of buying "evaluated" betacam SP tape. The reason I bought this was for what we call "air dubs" I would never shoot on it and never master to it. I would only use it for making air dubs.
What is one pass tape anyways? I know of no responsible tape dealer selling an advertised "one pass tape" How can they claim it was only one pass? They can't. Instead, most of these dealers will see an "evaluated tape" This is where the tape is cleaned to remove labels, bulk erased, recorded to on a special machine that tests for dropount count at the beginning, middle and end of the spool. This machines prints out a tape like a cash register receipt that lists the dropout count. Then the tape is again bulk erased and set for sale as a grade A or B or Fail. Grade A or B has two different prices. I have seen Grade A svhs stock go for about 1/3 the price of new and Grade B (one that shows a few dropouts) go for about 50cents each. The two biggest evaluated tape suppliers in the country are Carpel and Edgewise Media.
Back to the one pass issue- Several years ago I bought some bulk advertised two pass tape from Disney. The tape still had the recordings on it. These tapes were used to record those pictures of you on the rides and they scan the tape after recording to grab a still for a quick photo to sell you. Disney, in this way can guarantee it only had two passes. The tape was excellent quality. When I went to reorder more betacam stock, they declined. Seems their legal got wind of the sale and shut it down. My guess is they should have bulk erased the tape. The funny part was that those tapes were bought at very cheap prices and they sold it off in bulk for about 50% on the dollar. This meant that the tape for those rides cost Disney nothing. Later I heard Edgewise Media was buying it up and guaranteeing it would be bulk erased and sold as evaluated tape. I don't know where the eval tape stock comes from today. Tape has gotten so cheap that I don't buy eval anymore.