For about a year there has been talk about a clever new tape filesystem for LTO5 that will allow users to record video straight to data tape (how the old is new again). This NAB I finally got to see it working in such a way as to believe it actually is a solution for some people in some circumstances.
If you have an LTO5 drive, and the firmware is bang up to date, you can download the free software from IBM and see what its all about. This NAB they finally got the Windows 64bit version out and so you can use it on Linux, Mac OS X and on Windows 32 and 64 bit.
Effectively the tape cartridge mounted in the LTO drive (and it has to be LTO 5) appears on your machine as a folder. You can treat it just like a firewire drive but it is MUCH FASTER. On a SAS attached device you should see about 100MB/s transfer speeds. As Pro Res 422 is about 28MB/s you can play QuickTimes off tape in realtime. DNxHD 185 is about 24MB/s so it too can be played in realtime.
I think you could record video to tape if you set the folder as a target drive in your NLE but I haven’t tried it. But I definitely hope that if things work out OK it is possible we could see LTO 5 cartridges and LTFS kill the convenient but sluggish (usually about 30MB/s) Firewire and USB drives for moving data from set to post and from post house to production co.
I can dream!