Sony's Program to Recycle Professional Videotape

Sony was one of a few vendors who covered green initiatives in their NAB 2010 show booth. It responded to my post-NAB query by telling me about a program that is a good example how just about any business can find an industry-specific contribution to make to Green ICT.

All aspects of communications technology have been going digital and video is no exception. As the video production industry converts is workflow - acquisition, postproduction, and distribution - to digital and as videotape libraries are being transferred to data storage, responsible disposal of legacy media becomes an issue.

Sony describes its Pro Media HDCAM SR Recycling Program: "In Nov. 2009, Sony launched a new program that works with key customers to responsibly dispose of confidential tape media at end of life...Media is disposed of in a secure and environmentally responsible way, which results in reduced landfill deposits."

HDCAM is one of many professional videotape formats offered by Sony over the years. I look forward to this being both a model for Sony to apply to other formats, as well as for other videotape vendors.

More about Sony's "Road to Zero" environmental program.

More about Green ICT at NAB

Update 2011.03.17
TV Technology reports that

The supply of Sony’s professional videotape started getting tight within days of the earthquake that rocked northern Japan. Users are reporting a shortage of HDCAM SR tape particularly, because there are no ready substitutes. However, the supply of all types of magnetic professional videotape is tight, according to Mark Schubin, engineer in charge at New York’s Metropolitan Opera...One user said Hollywood studios are falling back on LTO, a linear open-standard format tape that handles full HD 4:2:2 resolution, similar to HDCAM SR. It, too, may become hard to come by.

We have previously noted that tape-based storage is said to consume ~20% of the electricity of disk-based storage.


Thank you to Honey Mae P. Kenworthy of Sony for informing me about the program.