In the age of the 4K smart TV, audio-visual companies are looking forward to ever-greater digital innovations. Few are looking back at the cavalcade of tape formats that came before, which never had the same desirable aesthetic that made film so enduringly popular.
Mr Ficker says it is “very unlikely” that archives around the world could raise the capital to have tape machines manufactured again, even if they worked together.
But he said he “hadn’t written it off”, because “if that’s what it takes, will then we will be pursuing those strategies”.
He also suggests future digital innovations might make it possible to read the data off magnetic tapes in a different way, using software to reconstruct the images.