Are We Losing Some Historic TV Images?


 A major earthquake leading to a tsunami that swallows not just homes, but people and everything in its wake -- that may seem incomprehensible. Now it seems the laws of nature want to extend collateral damage to some TV news history.

The supply of Sony's professional videotape started getting tight within days of the earthquake that rocked northern Japan. Sony has a major production plant in northern Japan for all sorts of tape, digital storage material, and other products.

TV coverage of major traumatic events puts all the frivolous stuff we get serious about -- the NCAA Men's Tournament, "American Idol," Sheen, you name it -- into a different light.

For the moment, we look at images of ultimate destruction and wonder what those locations looked like before. TV news channels now show us many before-and-after results, giving us a historical perspective. Storage of those historic images is key. Pixels need to be stored somewhere -- disks, portable storage devices, whatever.

Professional video businesses might be affected by the Sony shortage, but in the short term, the likes of YouTube and other venues for for non-professional video keep growing.

In that light, the distribution of those newsy, historic images won't really be lost. But that's not the real story.



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