Hi all, I have a big job ahead and would appreciate a few pointers, amongst a raft of information out there. Part of my issue is what is the latest and best way to get the best results. I have about 70 tapes to convert.
I have a canon hi8 camera that play 8mm tapes (I have about 35 of these tapes), and I have a sony trv33e which has mini dv (I have about 35 of these tapes too).
The canon has svideo out and the sony has svideo in, as well the csony has analog to digital pass through, and the sony has ilink out to my firewire connection on my computer.
I think I'm ready..
Now the questions start
1. Is the video passthrough going to give me the best results, or at least near best for my video 8 and Hi8's. I can buy an alternative card for my computer for example and sell again after I'm done if thats a better way to go
2. I have windows 7, and an 'Import video' app pops up when I plug the firewire in. Is this a good option to use, or should I get my hands on another software package. Also, what format is the best, ie is avi the best and only option now?
3. Once imported I want to be able to just watch it via my media player (wd live streaming). or my my computer. Would also like the flexibility to edit it and make a finished product if I find the time. For editing any suggestions, not a big deal on this one, as there are plenty of reviews, unless I need it in a particular format to user it with that package. Also , how should I save the results, I have found in the past that I have lost a lot of quality for some reason, tried imovie and one other.
4. For some reason on the couple of my movies I have captured as testers I've found the result seems a little grainy on the pc. The last one shows
720x576, 25 frames/sec, data rate is 28901, total bit rate is 29925, audio bitrate is 1024kbps are these relevent?
Thanks for any helpt o get me started!
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1 it's about as good as you'll get
2 use windv to capture (it's free)
3 you say win7 but list mac in computer specs. which one? what format do you want them in? original, dvd or computer stored video. the originals are going to be 13GB/hr. any conversion will lower quality, how much is a factor of how small you want to make them.
4 sounds like DVavi. that's what it's supposed to be if captured over firewire. hi8 wasn't high quality to start with.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
3. Many (most?) standalone media players including WD will not play DV video directly, so you will have to convert it. H.264 video + aac audio in an mp4 container should give excellent results and be widely compatible. On your computer it will be fine.
Thanks for the updates gents, my work continues. I have a mac and a windows pc so thats why the mixed messages above. I can use either but the mac is getting a little long in the tooth.
A couple of follow-up questions:
1. Does windv do anthing extra than the supplied windows 7 capture app, otherwise I might as well just use that one
2. The capture produces many avi files, which I assume will be usefile if/when I do some editing. My first test was to use vidcoder to produce mp4's from the avi's. This does not merge them however, but the results look good, and I'm able to play them via my media player. What would be good though is the merge all the peices into 1 for each tape I have. I have tried avidemux now that gets all the peices and makes 1 mp4 file and it's pretty quick. Am I on the right track for my first objective which is..
1. copy a mini dv / video 8 / Hi 8 tape to my computer, in a form that I can later edit if I choose, and archive them away for backups
2. produce pretty much a like for like media file (ie mp4) of much smaller size (eg up to 3gb) that I can put on my nas and playback on my tv via a media player. I can then fast forward through the boring bits, and its going to give me some pretty quick results for the 80 odd tapes I want to capture. Is there a better / easier way to achieve any of what I'm doing?
(re: WinDV) Sometimes it is not that it does something extra, but rather that is does strictly the one thing and does that well (many other apps carry excess baggage).
However, you may find that WinDV doesn't work well for you in Win7 (or 8). Worse if you have 64bit OS. This is one area where, to me, it makes sense to get a full blown NLE, such as Vegas Movie Studio. Their product, unlike WinDV, ScenalyzerLive, etc, is still being updated - including their DV capture tool, and so is fully Win7/8 and 32/64-bit compatible.
The multiple files thing probably has to do with the fact that whichever app you tried that with is set to segment the files. This is necessary for OLD, OLD versions of AVI, or when using hard drives that are formatted as FAT/FAT32, or when the app is set to make "separate clips based on scene changes" (default?), but this should not be happening on Win7 boxes that have NTFS HDDs and you're just capping the whole tape as one clip.
Scene-change clip cutting is meant to make things easier for consumers. In a sense, it "pre-edits" the clip so that you can then do simple drag-and-drop assemble editing. For anyone beyond casual use, it actually is a hindrance & annoyance. In those cases, you WANT to have handles on either side of a clip boundary so you can precisely adjust your exact in and out points (often differently than some software might guess at).
If you intend to edit (which it sounds like you do), you do NOT want to be capping and/or saving directly to MP4, nor MPEG2. You should be doing DV, or a lossless (or near lossless) codec. Once you've created your edited master copy, then you should encode a distribution copy in MP4 (or whatever) for use on your settop device(s).
Weird, my last message seems to have disappeared...
I am importing via firwire in dvavi format (Via windows live). Is there an app that I can cut noise form the end of it and save it back as dvavi ?
Seems the current windows live will open it but wont save it back in the original format...
My recording often runs over when importing via 2 cameras using the digital converter.
Also, if anyone knows, any idea why I have a thin line of noise at the bottom of all imported videos, not a big deal but not sure why I'm getting it
Windows Movie Maker. For anything. Period.
If quality is your concern (and you obviously plan on some "editing" work), capture to DV or to losslessly compressed media (such as lossless compression with huffyuv, Lagarith, etc.) as recommended. DV or lossless should be able to handle "edits" and re-encoding to AVCHD, BluRay, or DVD with good quality retention. Working from DV or lossless, you have your choice of delivery formats, including UTube, without screwing up your original capture.
Having seen results from a number of users of Windows Movie Maker in various OS setups, all I can say is: if you value your original videos, stay away from WMM.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
If it truly doesn't, VirtualDub handles DV->DV losslessly in Direct Stream copy mode, so you can delete the end and copy the rest to a new file.
Last edited by smrpix; 23rd Nov 2013 at 09:02.
Another reason DV or lossless compression is recommended for analog capture is that problems such as head switching noise can be cleaned without inflicting damage. Usually that noise is cropped away and replaced with black border pixels, or simply masked with black. Take a look at older SD movies or TV shows when broadcast on your HD channels: they often have a black border on all 4 sides, not just on the left and right.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
something tells me you are very inexperienced in all these things. if i were you, i suggest this:
1. get yourself a 1TB external usb2/3 hdd
2. transfer all the tape in original raw dv to that hdd
3. keep thost files indefinate
4. begin the trial n error processing of obtaining the best quality conversion to other viewable formats you are willing to learn about. there is dvd (mpeg-2) and avc (h264) and very soon there will be hevc (h265) which no doubt will be better quality, and a few others though older formats to play with.
5. decide on what final viewable format you want to convert to and begin the conversion process for all the dv files on the hdd.