In the professional broadcast world, an end-to-end workflow (from ingest to playout) is called tapeless when part, or all of it, is made without any tape; video and audio sources being ingested, recorded, edited and played out on digital systems.
Analogy and advantages
To illustrate the differences, we can take the analogy with a classic video recorder and a hard disk recorder. With the tape based system, you need to wait for some mechanical operations such as forward, rewind, eject, copy, etc. In the other case, tapeless one, you instantly and directly go to the selected part of the media.
These advantages are the same in professional workflows and can be added to reach easiest, fastest and more secure systems.
The tapeless advantages are the following:
- Direct and instant access to a precise time code
- No mechanical wear
- No waiting time : forward, rewind does not exist
- Easiest and fastest editing : insert, delete, copy, (see Non-linear editing system)
- Edit requiring less machines (with a tape-based workflow, you need at least two machines, one player and one recorder)
- Easy adding of metadata (thumbnails, timecode, remarks, rating, ...)
- Researches on media are easy with those metadata
- Costless storages
- No tape wear