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  1. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2007
    Location: Hong Kong
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    My MiniDV tapes and Sony DV Camcorder have ageing problem. I have to convert them to my computer and then those tapes and the camcorder will be recycled!

    I thought everything would be automatic. But then I found that I need to make decisions on choosing software, file size, file format, screen size and etc. When I connnected the Sony Camcorder with Firewire to my computer, the Windows Moive Maker popped up.

    My available hard disk space includes: C: 80GB, D: 100GB for this purpose.

    My wish is simple: I want to convert my home video with least time, reserve my home video with best and affordable quality and long-lasting file format so that I can edit them on my computer and watch them whenever I want to in the next twenty years.

    My series of questions are:
    - how can I keep the most of quality from my miniDV tapes into the converted file?
    - which software should I use, keep on the Windows Video Maker or something else?
    - which file format should I choose, DivX, WMV or something else?
    - what settings should I specify in the software recommended?

    Thanks a lot in advance for help.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: Central IL
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    Difficult to see the future is. Dark side clouds everything.

    There, now that I've got that out of the way...My point is that technology is changing so fast we don't really know what will be viewable 20 years from now. Judging by the amount of space you have available, and your desire to maintain editability (and I assume quality as well), you don't have nearly enough disk space.

    For best quality and editability, you'd want to keep the video in its original DV format. That's approximately 13GB/hour. You didn't say how many tapes you have, but I would suggest either a) split them into 4GiB chunks and back them up on Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden DVDs, or b) buy a couple external hard drives and put the video on them. 500GB external hard drives are fairly inexpensive now - I think I saw one at Best Buy a couple weeks ago for under $200. That would store about 38 hours of video in DV format. I'd suggest 2 drives that way if one fails, you can still read your video from the other drive, as you've indicated that you're not keeping your original tapes.

    The simplest (and in my opinion the best) way to get your movies from the camcorder to your hard drive is a little 98KB application called WinDV. It does one thing - it transfers DV between camcorder and computer. It does it very well. It's free and can split your DV (or not, depending on how it's configured).

    If you've gone this route (either optical media or hard drive), you'll always have your movies readily accessible and can convert them to DVD (or whatever the then-current format is) at your leisure and view them on your TV.

    CogoSWSDS
    Old ICBM Coordinates: 39 45' 0.0224" N 89 43' 1.7548" W. New coordinates: 39 47' 48.0" N 89 38' 35.7548" W.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: United States
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    Absolutely, positively stay with DV (as recommended by CogoSWSDS). Yes, it takes space but you're storing the footage in the same format in which it was shot; no loss of quality.
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2007
    Location: Hong Kong
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    Thanks so much for your information.

    I suppose WinDV will convert DV into MPEG4 when storing in the computer, isn't it? Is MPEG4 same as WMV or DivX format? If not, which one is more preferable and why?

    I understand staying on DV is the best to keep quality, provided the tapes do not get old. Is DV format (or form factor??) still current?

    I ask so, because I am still keeping hundreds of Hi8 and Video8 tapes but I could not find any machine to read them. Any place I can but a Hi8 player so that I can convert them to PC?
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  5. Always Watching guns1inger's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Location: Miskatonic U
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    WinDV doesn't convert the format at all. It simply transfers the data from the tapes across to the computer, storing it in an AVI container in the DV format. This is the best storage format if you ever intend to do anything with this video in the future, as it does not change the video in any way. Any conversion to another format that will give you smaller file sizes will also produce a reduction in quality due to the higher compression used, and make the files much harder to edit in the future. You will also incur a further quality hit down the track when you have to convert them yet again to either DVD or some future format.

    As for you old hi tapes - look for a refurbished camera on eBay or at a local trader. Chances are they will be cheap. Transfer your tapes, then sell it on. If you can, get a digital8 camera that can output your Hi8 tapes as DV to save you buying a DV converter.
    Read my blog here.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2006
    Location: Central Illinois
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    I will never say good buy to my VHS, Hi-8, or MiniDV Tapes. Keep your original source material until it falls apart.

    Archiving a copy in DV AVI to multiple hard drives is fine. That way you can edit and encode to what ever the prevailing format might be.

    Personally, for VHS and Hi-8, I went straight to MPEG2 via a hardware encoding card (ATI Wonder Elite). Then cut-edit, Authored and chaptered with Tsunami DVD Author Pro and then burned two (2) copies to dvd. I sometimes wonder who the hell will care when I'm dead and gone anyway.

    MiniDV goes to the PC via WinDV and firewire. Cut-edit and encode to MPEG2 with TmpgEnc Express, Author and Burn to DVD as aforesaid. I shoot my home movies the way I want them and will not be bothered with extensive editing........I just do not have the time nor the inclination to do so. Only back-up is the original tapes. If extensive editing is your bag, write the finished product back to a NEW MiniDV tape.

    I think Sony still makes a Digital-8 that will pass Hi-8 to the PC in digital format. Not sure because I went from Hi-8 to MiniDV.

    Most people converting their movie tapes want them on DVD to watch on their TV, not MPEG4 or whatever to watch on their PC.
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  7. Member thecoalman's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Pennsylvania
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    Consider your tapes as negatives, they shouldn't be converted to anything. My suggestion would be as posted by others, transfer as DV-AVI with winDV or other DV capture application. This is an exact duplicate of what is on tape, you could for example transfer to your computer then export it back to the cam, back to the computer.... 1 million times over 1 million tapes and it would be exactly the same as the original copy providing it didn't get corrupted along the way. Also note the same is true for your digital-8. The hi-8 requires as suggested a digital-8 cam that accepts hi-8 tapes or a hi-8 cam in which case you would need a capture device of some kind. Your mini-dv cam itself may be able to do this if you had a hi-8 cam to connect to the RCA jacks, that option varies by models.

    These captures are quite large at 14gigs per hour, store on a external HDD or internal HDD if you have the knowledge to switch them out. This will get a little expensive but it will provide you with immediate access to them for watching on your computer, creating DVDs or other export format like WMV or Divx. These are source videos and should not be changed in anyway, editing/authoring applications will use them as such.

    Take your tapes and box them up, store in a separate location such as a relative, trusted friend, safe deposit etc. This will will almost insure you have backup copies in the event the HDD fails or is destroyed, digital tapes have so far proved to be a very effective storage format but they are not going to last forever.

    Move the video on the external drive to new and better storage methods as they become available in the future. DV is a very popular format and will most likely be with us for the indefinite future and/or the ability to convert to modern format before it becomes obsolete
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  8. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    Hi,

    Just thought I'd comment since I too am almost finished converting over 300 VHS tapes to a digital format. Oh, how beautiful the feeling is when I chuck out another one of those cruddy old things. I could care less about keeping these horrid, clunky, rotting, dusty dinosaurs, even if it's the "best source". I even hated the format when it was the "standard" years ago.

    I agree with the transfer to DV in your case, and the previous posts in this thread pretty much covered it all.

    But I will comment since I sense that you want to compress this format, as well as future-proof it. Before you do so, accept the fact that you will sacrifice a little quality. However, reducing them down to 25%, 20%, or even 10% of DV size may be worth it for a small hit even with the bigger hard drives of the future. As well, make sure your final edits are complete since changing it further will be a hassle and another quality hit.

    My best advice is use MPEG-2/DvD, or if you want even further compression use H.264. The latter is a modern format - a standard like MPEG-2 - and destined to replace MPEG-2 in a few years as THE thing. In fact, despite its funny name, H.264 *IS* an MPEG codec, so you can feel safe with it. And it compresses over twice as efficiently as MPEG-2 (less than half the file size for the same quality). At any rate, both will be supported for at least another 20 years, as you wanted.

    Keep in mind that although DivX, and even WMV, can compress better than MPEG-2/DvD, they are proprietary formats based on the older MPEG-4 Part 2, and certainly not as good as H.264. Both are still good though, especially DivX, and both will certainly convert with much less processing power than H.264, but I do believe that the law of diminishing returns has applied to these formats today. I would say stick with MPEG standards - either the more "bloaty" MPEG-2, or the leaner, meaner H.264 if you really want to compress AND future-proof your content.

    As my final advice, whatever format/converter/encoder/software you choose you should invest in a good video editor (ex:Ulead VideoStudio, Sony Vegas, etc.) because you will need it. Understand that you will be spending some time on this project, and if your editor isn't reliable, or even fun to use, you will have a very, very unhappy life trying to get this project done. No joke.

    Good luck.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  9. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    If you go that route, be sure to view a sample on a 65" HDTV which will be a small screen in 20 years. DV will upscle with much better quality.
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  10. Member Marvingj's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2004
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    Rule of thumb, You always kept the original never know if you may need another copy.
    http://www.absolutevisionvideo.com

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  11. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2007
    Location: Hong Kong
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    Wow!

    I didn't expect to get so many valuable advices and I really thank you so much.

    In fact, I must admit that I am a real newbie. All you guys have far away from my worries.

    My real fear is whether DV is a fading standard, just like the Hi8. I spent months and couldn't find a brand new or used Hi8 (or digital8) player which can play my hundreds of Hi8 tapes. That's why I am so worry about my DV tapes. New camcorders are using DVD or hard drive. They give me an impression that DV format camcorders are fading out. In fact, I do not aware any new camcorders are using DV.

    Another reason to convert them all is about the sluggishly slow process playing a tape back during conversion. Unless you guys tell me that there is a faster way, I'd assume that a DV tape uses real time speed during conversion, i.e. a 90 minutes LP mode DV tape needs at least 90 minutes to convert into any other data format. I cannot fast forward a tape and record it in my computer at one-fifth of the original recording time. And thus every time I want to convert a part of it I need to spend the same amount of time, plus overhead time in rewinding and forwarding the tape to the right position. When the video files are stored in a computer, I can access it quickly.

    My children are growing up quickly. I just want to make a film for each of them about their life from birth till 15; and a film to my wife about the precious time we have together. It seems to me that WMV at 640 x 480 is good enough. So, DV is a problem that I have resolved so far. The rest is all about Hi8 and video8 tapes that I really have trouble finding a player for conversion. I'll try eBay, but if you guys have the exact links for me, I'd be very much aprpeciate. I wish I can get a used one in Sydney, at cheaper and affordable price.
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  12. Member thecoalman's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Pennsylvania
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    Originally Posted by iho
    My real fear is whether DV is a fading standard, just like the Hi8. I spent months and couldn't find a brand new or used Hi8 (or digital8) player which can play my hundreds of Hi8 tapes. That's why I am so worry about my DV tapes.
    You have concerns about the tapes however the two difference bewteen mini-dv and hi8 is once you transfer DV to another storage medium you no longer need the physical device to access it and it doesn't have the inevitable generational loss associated with analog copies providing you keep it as DV. The DV file format itself will be around for decades to come IMO, you only a copy you can access such as one on HDD. As I mentioned just move the files to new and better storage devices, if need be you could always convert it to more modern or better format in the future. As of right now the best you have or are going to get is a direct DV copy.

    New camcorders are using DVD or hard drive. They give me an impression that DV format camcorders are fading out. In fact, I do not aware any new camcorders are using DV.
    DVD and cosumer HDD cams are toys compared to DV cams. Poorer quality video, poor software support etc. New DV cams are coming on the market, the move now is towards high definition but HDV cams still use the same tapes but instead of DV-AVI they record using a high bitrate MPEG.

    Another reason to convert them all is about the sluggishly slow process playing a tape back during conversion. Unless you guys tell me that there is a faster way, I'd assume that a DV tape uses real time speed during conversion, i.e. a 90 minutes LP mode DV tape needs at least 90 minutes to convert into any other data format. I cannot fast forward a tape and record it in my computer at one-fifth of the original recording time. And thus every time I want to convert a part of it I need to spend the same amount of time, plus overhead time in rewinding and forwarding the tape to the right position. When the video files are stored in a computer, I can access it quickly.
    Again if you are capturing as DV-AVI there is no conversion at all, it's not much more different that copying files on your computer from one folder to antoher. You should take advantage of some of the things DV transfer offers, your tape has timecode on it, this is also present in the file. Transfer the entire tape then you can split by scene, e.g where you have stop and started the cam.

    You should not use LP mode for recording if you value what you are recording, LP mode slows the tape down. The toleraces for error control are decresed and it may not play in another machine or even in the machine it was recorded on in the future.

    It seems to me that WMV at 640 x 480 is good enough. So, DV is a problem that I have resolved so far.
    It's not even close to the original.... WMV is fine for viewing on your computer, uploading to the web or other circumstances where a lot of compression is required but you are intoducing many artifacts and other problems. It's not a long term solution for storage. If anything take the advice of the one poster and store it as standard DVD compliant MPEG .
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  13. Keep the tapes.

    Y? tape life = about 30 years. DVDR...!!??
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  14. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by iho
    ...
    My children are growing up quickly. I just want to make a film for each of them about their life from birth till 15; and a film to my wife about the precious time we have together. It seems to me that WMV at 640 x 480 is good enough. So, DV is a problem that I have resolved so far. The rest is all about Hi8 and video8 tapes that I really have trouble finding a player for conversion. I'll try eBay, but if you guys have the exact links for me, I'd be very much aprpeciate. I wish I can get a used one in Sydney, at cheaper and affordable price.
    All that work should be done at full format quality. Those children will be passing these tapes to the next generation. Standards of video quality will be going up not down.

    The industry hasn't given us a good archive medium yet. For now the options are DV tape and hard disk.
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  15. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    It seems to me that WMV at 640 x 480 is good enough. So, DV is a problem that I have resolved so far.
    If you're worried about a fading standard then you couldn't have found a better one than WMV. Even Microsoft themselves, the creators of the format, are divesting from it to concentrate on their VC-1 with their partners.
    WMV is fine for viewing on your computer, uploading to the web or other circumstances where a lot of compression is required but you are intoducing many artifacts and other problems.
    Fully agreed. And comparing a 640x480 WMV doesn't stand a chance against a 640x480 H.264 clip at the same file size/bitrate. Keep in mind, you will always lose something when you compress to a lossy format, even H.264. But if you must compress, I would say the least lossy the better off you are, especially if the better one is actually an approved, accepted and supported future standard as is H.264. In fact, in your case, I would much rather compress to a bigger filesize format like MPEG-2 if it has better support than something that is only a bit more efficient like WMV which has diminishing support. That's my dealbreaker in the tradeoff.
    It's not a long term solution for storage. If anything take the advice of the one poster and store it as standard DVD compliant MPEG .
    The poster was referring to WMV and (probably) referring to my earlier post. I will iterate that if you want supported future formats, although nobody knows for sure, your best wager is sticking with MPEG standards like MPEG-2 and H.264. WMV is anything but.

    But if you like WMV, and liking your results, then who am I to stop you?
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2007
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    You guys have persuaded me to keep ALL DV tapes...and even invest in buying more of them. Too bad.

    Having said that, I can convert my tapes to a lesser quality for the time being, and keep the size of each converted tape under 1.5 GB. Then a hundred tapes take only 150 GB that my existing harddisk can handle in one batch.

    Thank you to all of you!
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  17. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by iho
    You guys have persuaded me to keep ALL DV tapes...and even invest in buying more of them. Too bad.

    Having said that, I can convert my tapes to a lesser quality for the time being, and keep the size of each converted tape under 1.5 GB. Then a hundred tapes take only 150 GB that my existing harddisk can handle in one batch.

    Thank you to all of you!
    New DV tapes are cheap !~$2.50/14GB.
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  18. Member CrayonEater's Avatar
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    I do agree fully with most of the advice here: Keep your original tapes (they don't take up that much space, do they? Also, back up to a hard drive. But consider a couple of critical points with respect to any kind of backup method or format:

    1. You need your data to be reliable, so consider making parity files. There is a program called Quickpar (totally free, and there are others which work with the same format) which creates redundant, but smaller, data. It allows you to rebuild files. In it's original format, PAR (which is outdated), it would create a certain number of files based on the amount of safety you choose; if you had an hour-long DV video (13 Gb), and lets you created 40 parity (PAR) files, and you had 40 sectors (spots) on your hard disk go bad, you'd still be able to regenerate the original hour-long DV file (if 41 or more went bad, you'd be SOL, but since DV is a raw, uncompressed format, you still have some options though.) The more modern PAR2 breaks things down even further, into "blocks", so if you created, let's say just for example, 125 "blocks" (but in the same number of files), and 125 spots on your hard disk went bad, you'd still be able to recover everything. (Again, if 126 sectors on your disk went bad, you'd still be SOL, but it's a lot more likely that 40 sectors on your HDD will go bad than 126+). Ultimately, the amount of PAR2 "blocks" you'd want to create depends on the amount of redundancy you want, but PAR2 a good security tool. The biggest caveat is that it takes a long time for Quickpar to generate those files, especially when you're working with many-gigabyte DV files.

    I still agree that having two or more duplicate HDD's is a good idea, even with PAR2. I use 25% redundancy, which means 75% of my disk is the original DV video and 25% is PAR2 recovery files. With two disks, it's unlikely that even if both disks have major problems, that I won't be able to recover everything. If your computer supports RAID1, then you don't have to manually create a duplicate disk; all the data you save, as well as any PAR2 files you generate with both drives installed, gets duplicated automatically.

    2. Hard drives do age, and go bad. Sectors go bad, and the reasons are not fully understood, but as drive capacities increase, life expectancies of drives decrease proportionately. What this means is, don't be lulled into thinking you can stash your backup drives away in a cool, dry, dark place and expect them to work in 20 years; I suggest moving the data off the drives onto new drives every 5 years or so. And if you've generated PAR2 recovery files, Quickpar provides a convenient way to check the integrity of your data. After the fifth year, I'd check at least every year, and transfer everything to a new drive if you start seeing a lot of bad blocks.

    3. Remember that disk technology itself changes. IDE drives, for instance, are still available now, but they won't be in 5 years; newer connections methods, like SATA, are all the rage. If you bought IDE hard drives now anticipating that you can use them as archival backups for your tapes, well, you might find that you'll have to buy an old computer off of eBay just to connect those drives 5 years from now. No doubt, SATA will go the way of the dodo eventually, being replaced by better connection technologies (almost certainly, optical cable), so you have to keep your data on a hard drive (or whatever technology comes next) that can be used by the computer hardware that's available. I have lots of data on old MFM and RLL drives (circa the late 80's, and they still work!) but there are virtually no computers, even on eBay, that even have adapters that will even accept such drives (computers which will even take the adapters haven't been made in almost 10 years!) The point is that you must periodically move your precious data off the technology that's "in" now onto whatever technology is "in" down the road. So, don't assume that, even if your hard disk/DVD/HD/Blu-Ray backups are still working 20 years from now, that the computers of the future will even be able to connect to them.

    It's a constant game and you have to keep up. The only good news is that the storage densities will go up and will probably be cheaper per gigabyte of data in the long run.
    I do believe that a format will come soon that will be sufficient enough to store your DV tapes. HVD promises 1 terabyte, which is roughly enough to store 90 hours worth of DV tapes. It'll probably be commercially viable in about 5-10 years. But, no doubt, even HVD will become outdated in 20 years. And if you get into shooting hi-def video, you'll be set back way further, and the vicious cycle of "technology catch-up" will continue.

    The point of all the critical information I've given is you have to have redundancy, and you have to periodically check your backups and move them off to whatever the "in" technology is at the time. Even Quickpar may not run on computers in the far future, so you'll have to recover your data and start over with whatever recovery program is the standard at the time. Good luck.
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  19. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Just in case I may be misinterpreted. I do agree fully that the original DV source - maybe not on tape but definitely in its original quality, should be retained.

    This is more truer still when it's precious family video that is priceless and irreplaceable, and especially more so when storage is getting massively bigger and bigger and even much cheaper by the GB.

    I was just suggesting tips in case a compression format was desired. MPEG-2 and H.264, in my opinion, are the best formats for this if compression AND future-proofing is needed where WMV would be a horrid choice. Then again, MPEG-2, H.264, WMV and DivX make suitable and manageable PC viewing files (and better-than-nothing backups).

    So to the original poster: I say keep the DV as digital source, and as your last post said, I don't think your storage needs are that much of a concern. You can back it up with minimal effort as well. And if you're ever worried that DV is a fading standard, or will one day die, I can assure you and bet my life that there will be a very good (even virtually lossless) format that you can convert to easily by then.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  20. Member
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    If you re-use or toss converted tapes we can assume you throw out your picture negatives once you get your prints from the photo shop. Why keep them? You already have the prints!!

    ******Insert sarcasm here******

    If this site is still around in 10 years (and I'm sure it will) we are going to be flooded with posts like....

    "I backed up 100's of old video tapes years ago to DVD now my DVDs won't play. I tossed all the originals since I didn't need them anymore. Now what do I do? Need help. These videos included my children's first steps, first birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc....."

    When we get those posts we can link them back to this thread.
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  21. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    @rijir2001:

    ******* Some Sarcasm Inserted **********

    Even if it's a cruddy old VHS tape that you converted to a clean DvD, then H.264, then H.264/blue disc, then H.269, then H.269SuperDuperUltra3D, etc., then whatever, I agree that, in theory and in practice, the best "source" is the first one in the chain that you (still) possess - the cruddy old VHS tape.

    But even if its lifetime is forever, the bottom line is that it's a cruddy old VHS tape that you don't want anymore. It's bulky, it's old, it smells bad, it cues terribly and takes unnecessary space behind the toilet.

    In other words, you want to get rid of it as long as you extract the "information" from it.

    And the whole point of this Web site pretty much is getting the most information out of one source format the best and optimal way into another format that you like better, accepting the fact that there is a quality sacrifice for better format in a generational migration, hoping for the most minimal loss in this information transfer, which will be the issue even ten years from now on this site. Otherwise we'd keep our cruddy tapes and closets full of photo negatives and Web sites as this would cease to exist.

    Why even bother to convert then if you will be keeping this cruddy tape and adding more headaches (encoding/conversion/etc), and additional clutter (hard drives/discs) to your lifestyle?

    And the "information" is really what it's all about, not defective storage vessels - a distinction that shouldn't be blurred. The fact that these DvDs in your example don't work anymore has nothing to do with the "information". That is a storage issue really - actually one that I agree with. The lifetime of DvD-R/etc is very subject to quick expiration and I too wouldn't recommend it, or any storage medium, without backups.

    But that is another topic. Anyhow, my point is that most people convert so they can unload the old format/vessel and reduce clutter instead of create more of it.

    (...you can tell I throw the negatives out when I get my pictures. In fact I digitized all my photographs and chucked the prints too... but hey, whatever bloats your boat... )
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  22. Going Mad TheFamilyMan's Avatar
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    Location: south SF bay area, CA USA
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    My two cents:

    1. How many times do people who shoot hours and hours of family footage actual reach back in their vault and watch something they shot a year or more ago?
    2. Does anyone beyond yourself (and maybe your spouse) really care about watching all of that footage someday?

    I've also shot many hours of family 8mm and DV footage over the years. All of it has ended up on DVDs that are nicely annotated with dates, events, places and chapter marks for quick access. Maybe two or three times a year do we watch any of it, and having it as a DVD is really nice. I don't worry about future standards, or whether it will look like crap in 20 years on a 120" UHD (ultra high def) screen. The memories captured are what is important, and how that footage can take you back to when you shot it. I'd imagine that DVDs will be around for a while, and when they go away, there will be a way to up-convert them to the latest format. And by then, I doubt if I'll have the gumption to go and reconvert all those VHS and DV tapes to that format. Those DVDs that we have now will be just fine with my wife and I, and if my kids give a hoot, hurray! BTW, I'm keeping all those old 8mm and DV tapes JIC.
    Usually long gone and forgotten
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  23. Very interesting discussion! Thanks for the question and thanks for the answers.

    I have a sony TRV350 and a canon hv20. I would like to transfer my Hi8 and 8mm tapes to minidv tapes. Now the Hi8 tapes are 120 minutes long, whereas minidv are 60 minutes. Do I need to use 2 minidv tapes for each Hi8 tape or is there a one-to-one recording procedure?

    Thanks for any info.
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  24. Member
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    Great thread!!!

    iho, if I may add my two cents, I strongly suggest that you archive your minidv tapes in raw DV format. Your comment about how you want to create movies for your family (i.e. EDIT) can lead you to no other conclusion about which format to use. Sure, you could edit mpeg files, but DV was made for editing (or maybe most editing software was made for DV ) WMV...not a chance...scrap that idea.

    Not sure what your finances are, but I also strongly suggest that you buy one or more external hard drives (as has already been suggested), and capture the DV to those drives. I went through this exact same exercise last month, mainly because I wanted backups of my minidv tapes. I used Scenalyzer Live to capture (very simple to use, and it splits the target avi files into scenes, which is a great thing), and my one (so far) external drive is a Seagate FreeAgent 500gb usb 2...no need for firewire or eSATA for the backup drive(s). I fit 39 tapes (all recorded in SP) on the 500gb drive, all in raw DV format (some tapes had less than 60 minutes of video).

    Please please PLEASE archive to DV. Remember...every time you archive a minidv tape to DV files, an angel gets his wings.

    Gary

    PS...Another suggestion...while your camcorder is playing back the video during the captures, sit down at the desk and take a few minutes to watch and listen to the video. I got such a big kick out of watching the videos of my daughter at her various ages...I couldn't stop watching all those wonderful memories of my family.
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  25. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2005
    Location: LOST in the USA
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    I just wish the hardware (players)' working condition will match the long life of the tapes. I have two camcorders ( a Panasonic and Sony) that died just after three years of occassional use.
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  26. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    I, and several others here obviously, don't have an issue with the (much) bigger DV files instead of compressed formats to retain the source quality best as possible. Storage capabilities and prices have never been more favorable - and will continue to be amazingly better.

    I personally would compress part of it, the not-so-important stuff, only because I like small files. But not saying it's the best method, only me.

    But the physical tapes?

    <shudders>
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  27. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United States
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    I would like to store my videos to a hard drive. I am finished editing. I may want to make a DVD later. Iam looking at using H.264.

    My question is: What video kbps is best to convert DV to H.264 and archive to a hard drive?
    What is the H.264/AVC Levels for (i.e. 1 ; 1.1 ; 1.2...)? Will changing this help?

    How can I deinterlace it for good viewing on the PC?

    I am using SUPER to convert them.
    I used magix Movie Edit Pro to edit the DV (I don't know how to output directly to H.264)
    I may look into www.100fps.com to de interlace it
    CSBK
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  28. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by CSBK
    I would like to store my videos to a hard drive. I am finished editing. I may want to make a DVD later. Iam looking at using H.264.

    My question is: What video kbps is best to convert DV to H.264 and archive to a hard drive?
    What is the H.264/AVC Levels for (i.e. 1 ; 1.1 ; 1.2...)? Will changing this help?

    How can I deinterlace it for good viewing on the PC?

    I am using SUPER to convert them.
    I used magix Movie Edit Pro to edit the DV (I don't know how to output directly to H.264)
    I may look into www.100fps.com to de interlace it
    Issue #1: DV is 720x480 interlace @25Mb/s. h.264 is not yet adequate for interlace regardless of bitrate. VC-1 supports 480i interlace but with "Advanced Profile L1" @10Mb/s.

    Issue #2: Deintelace is highly destructive to interlace video and this applies double to hand held home camcorder video.

    Conclusion: Keep important material in DV format until a better archive is proven.
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  29. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United States
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    Thank you for the good advice.
    I put my fished edited project on miniDV as suggested. I do not want to edit it again. I would like to make another copy on a hard drive for convenience. Using this convenient copy, I may want to just watch it, distribute to a DVD, Web, or other media in the future. I would like to use some compression. What is recommended?

    The reason I was thinking of H.264/AVC is because I heard it was good for High Def. And it is a new standard. What I don't know about, is some good settings to use. The two settings I would like recommendations for is the kbps and the profile settings Levels. I used H.264/AVC Main profile at Level 3 and got a file larger than the original.
    CSBK
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  30. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
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    Originally Posted by iho

    My real fear is whether DV is a fading standard, just like the Hi8. I spent months and couldn't find a brand new or used Hi8 (or digital8) player which can play my hundreds of Hi8 tapes. That's why I am so worry about my DV tapes. New camcorders are using DVD or hard drive. They give me an impression that DV format camcorders are fading out. In fact, I do not aware any new camcorders are using DV.
    For those who have old 8, Hi8 and digital 8 tapes, have you considered the Sony model GV-D200 VCR which they still sell from the Sony web site? It plays back and outputs all three of these formats on it's i.link DV interface port.
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