Hollywood may seem like the largest benefactor of digital technologies of anyone. While their classic movies were fading away on celluloid, computers came around and offered a means to import the images, make them beautiful again and save them for years to come.
Along the same lines, digital cameras allow for instant editing of acquired material and cheaper materials to capture images (tape as opposed to film). But digital isn't an end all solution for Hollywood's media preservation, according to a recent study by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—it's hugely imperfect while costing far more than traditional storage methods. Check out these crazy totals:
Yearly cost of saving film master
Yearly cost of saving digital master, converted from film
Yearly cost of saving a digital master, born from digital
One of the biggest factors is not just changing digital technologies, but that hard drives storing old media need to be operated annually to stop the heads from freezing up. And where degradation of an analog signal equals a bad recording, degradation of a digital signal equals no recording.
Not so long ago I wrote a piece over on our video game sister site Kotaku regarding the LoC's preservation of old video games. Unfortunately, there's no great digital solution out there at this time to preserve any media value...giving stone tablets of yesteryear plenty of credence in my mind. [DD via theinquirer]