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  1. Member
    Join Date: Dec 2003
    Location: United States
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    I've finally gotten ahold of a Hi8 camcorder that I can use to playback (eg. transfer) my hold Hi8 / 8mm tapes onto a DVD or VHS tape.

    However, I have a few questions...

    1) Should I transfer these tapes to DVD or VHS? VHS has really lousy quality so I'm thinking I should go for DVD.

    2) If I transfer to DVD, how should I go about transferring it to my PC? I have an older Happaugae Win-TV GO card (Bt878 chipset I think) that I can use or I can use my Canon MiniDV camcorder (through Firewire) to transfer it to my PC.

    3) Which way is FASTER to transfer the video? (MiniDV or capture card) Are they both the same speed? (eg. 1x playback? UGH!)
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  2. Member SingSing's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2001
    Location: U.S.A.
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    Every intermidiate transfer will induce quality loose, so direct is the best answer.

    Ideally, you want to get a hi-8/8mm player ( maybe thru a video enhancer )and transfer straight to a DVD recorder.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2005
    Location: United States
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    Yeah, you don't want to go to VHS tape; tape degrades over time.

    As far as speed is concerned, SingSing is right - get a DVD stand alone recorder. You just play your tapes while it records in real time, and you have your DVD.

    If you use the firewire transfer, you'll still have to convert the resulting AVI file (13 GB per hour) into MPG2 format before you can author a DVD with it.
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  4. Member jlietz's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: Illinois, USA
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    3) Which way is FASTER to transfer the video? (MiniDV or capture card) Are they both the same speed? (eg. 1x playback? UGH!)
    It doesn't matter if you use MiniDV passthru, capture card, or DVD recorder, you can not capture at greater than 1x speed (real time). It can't be done.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Dec 2003
    Location: United States
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    Unfortunately I don't have a standalone DVD recorder and can't justify the purchase for transferring these 8mm tapes...

    With that said, can't I use my capture card to capture directly to MPEG-2? Wouldn't that be the best way? (the easiest I'd think would be using MiniDV --> MPEG-2 but then I know there would be AVI --> MPEG-2 conversion)
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  6. Member SingSing's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2001
    Location: U.S.A.
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    Sound like your existing capture card can't capture in DVD mpeg-2, and no budget for a $99 DVD recorder.

    In your situation, transfer to miniDV is better. The PC can control a miniDV cam directly, and it won't have the audio/video sync issue often associated with video only capture card.
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Dec 2003
    Location: United States
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    You're talking about MiniDV pass-through right? (and not recording to the MiniDV and THEN transferring it to the PC)

    Is that going to be the best quality? (using MiniDV over capturing it straight to the PC in RAW AVI or whatever)
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  8. Member SingSing's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2001
    Location: U.S.A.
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    I mean record it in miniDV first.
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  9. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by sofakng
    I've finally gotten ahold of a Hi8 camcorder that I can use to playback (eg. transfer) my hold Hi8 / 8mm tapes onto a DVD or VHS tape.

    However, I have a few questions...

    1) Should I transfer these tapes to DVD or VHS? VHS has really lousy quality so I'm thinking I should go for DVD.
    Forget VHS. Hi8 can double VHS performance.

    Originally Posted by sofakng
    2) If I transfer to DVD, how should I go about transferring it to my PC? I have an older Happaugae Win-TV GO card (Bt878 chipset I think) that I can use or I can use my Canon MiniDV camcorder (through Firewire) to transfer it to my PC.
    Are you captuing the Canon MiniDV over IEEE-1394 (aka firewire/i-Link) currently? That is your first step.

    Second, does the Canon MiniDV support "analog pass-thru"?
    If so use that.
    If not capture to DV tape and then transfer to the computer over IEEE-1394.

    Originally Posted by sofakng
    3) Which way is FASTER to transfer the video? (MiniDV or capture card) Are they both the same speed? (eg. 1x playback? UGH!)
    All 1X.
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Dec 2003
    Location: United States
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    Actually a friend of mine has a Panasonic GS-250 that he just bought. I think it supports analog pass-through so I can use that as look as I can find a way to connect it to my old 8mm camcorder.

    Just to make sure though, I should NOT use my PC capture card? I'm just wondering why...
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  11. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2002
    Location: CA,USA
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    Originally Posted by sofakng

    Just to make sure though, I should NOT use my PC capture card? I'm just wondering why...
    Because 9 times out of 10 transfering DV-AVI via firewire will look better.Also you don't have to worry about Macrovision,blurry picture and ugly scan lines at the top or bottom of screen*.I gave up on analog capture a long time ago,strictly firewire for me.
    *But the "garbage in...garbage out" rule still applies.
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  12. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Is quality an issue?
    What are your computer specs and what software do you plan to use?

    A Bt878 has no hardware assist. Realtime encoding using just software requires an extremely powerful computer or a huge quality tradeoff..

    The other approach to uncompressed capture requies a fast, tuned hard disk subsystem and quite a bit of learning curve and trial and error. Fully uncompressed video requires ~70 GB/hr. Lossless compression techniques (e.g. huffyuv + CPU) can reduce disk storage about 3x but you still need to expand it back out to filter.

    Pass through to DV is more likely to succede with a normal computer but will still require 13.5 GB/hr disk space.

    Figure one 2hr. Hi8 tape. You will need 27 GB for capture and ~ 16-18GB to process the DVD. The intermediate DV format will be good for editing and creativity.

    If all you want is a direct copy, it starts to make a DVD recorder or a hardware encoding capture card look like a good investment doesn't it.
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