By the Numbers

This is Part IV of our series on research of the State of the Industry. This month we look at facilities' plans for storage technology. The results show that while there is strong interest in server technology, tape is a long way from dead.

Beta SP still top house tape format

Betacam SP is used most often as the primary house tape format for all facilities, except post production. Those facilities use Digital Betacam more than any other format.

DVCPRO is the second leading house tape format for TV stations. Production and cable facilities have an even mix of Digital Betacam and DV as their second most popular format.

Beta SP the primary ENG/field tape format

Approximately one-third of all facilities use Beta SP as the primary ENG/field tape format. DVCPRO and Betacam SX are used by many of the TV stations as the primary ENG/field format. For production and cable facilities, DV is the second most used format. Post facilities rely on a mix of digital formats including DVCPRO, DV and Digital Betacam.

Few plan to change formats

Only about 14 percent of facilities intend to change tape formats this year. This low number may be due in part to the change to digital operation. As was reviewed in the February issue, page 30, the average analog-based station does not plan to complete the digital conversion of its production facilities until 2004.

Selecting ENG and house tape formats

Of the 14 percent of facilities planning to change tape formats this year, the most popular house format selected will be DVCPRO, with D-9 second. The most popular ENG/field recording format will also be DVCPRO, followed by DV.

How much will you spend?

The average expenditure for a new house format will be $155,429. The average expenditure for a new ENG/field format will be $118,026.

Video server purchases and budgets

Just over one-third of the TV stations report they'll buy new video servers this year. A slightly lower number, about 30 percent, of cable facilities and post houses say they'll buy new video servers. Measured overall segments, just over 30 percent of facilities report they'll buy new servers in 2001.

TV stations plan on spending an average of $241,193 for new video servers this year. That's just slightly higher than the overall average budget for all facilities of $213,441.