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  1. Hello,

    I am looking for a capture guide that details the proper steps to transfer hi8 to PC using the hardware I mentionned belolw. I have around 36 hi8 tapes that I'd like to transfer to my PC.

    My PC has the following specs:

    windows 7
    ivy bridge i5-3470 3.2 ghz quad core cpu
    16 gigs of ram.
    3 terabyte drive (I can purchase more if needed)
    PCI firewire card (VIA VT6306 card).

    Capture Software Installed:

    WinDV
    ScenalyzerLive 4.0

    I currently possess a sony digital 8 DCR-TRV520 handicam. THis handicam has an ilink dv interface, TBC, DNR. It has a firewire port and I have been able to transfer video to my PC using a firewire cable, windows movie maker and the sony handicam. What is a practical video quality size to choose when transferring video to my computer? I once transferred 30 seconds of video and the file amounted to 300 MB.

    Thanks
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  2. Capture as DV AVI. Convert to some other format later if you want something smaller.
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  3. Member
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    Forget WMM, use WinDV and as jagabo says, keep it as DV-AVI. DV-AVI is around 13GB per hour. Depending on what you want to do with the footage will depend on what you convert it to later although I always convert to DVD compliant mpeg2.
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  4. I am looking to store the files on my PC. What is a standard format I can convert to in order to reduce disk space without losing noticeable video/audio quality. Also, what software can I use to achieve this?
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  5. Hello, I am not sure if I should make a new thread for this post.

    I have successfully captured 2hrs03 min. of hi-8 onto my computer in the AVI format using WinDV 1.2.3. The total size of all 10 files is 25.8 GBs.

    When I was capturing the movie, WinDV is split the movie into 10 files by default. I know how to change the settings in order to prevent this from happening but my question is:

    Is there any advantage to splitting the files or keeping them as one big 25 GBs file?
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  6. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Easier editability = larger file

    Greater compatibility w/ other apps = smaller files

    Storage, transfer = depends on what you're going to do with them

    Scott
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  7. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    If all space they are using is just 25.8GB, do not delete those originals if/when you do convert to another format.

    Scott
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  8. is it easy and time consuming to join all the 10 avi files to make one big movie file (25.8gb)?
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    I've done something similar as you are trying to do. I have the TRV720. I bought it specifically because it was backward compatible with 8mm and Hi-8 but used the DV codec for Digital-8 recording and it served me well all the way up until I went full 1080i digital.

    As mentioned, your unit basically has an analog to digital converter built into it to digitize the 8mm or Hi-8 analog tapes directly into DV on the fly allowing capture via a firewire port. The quality isn't perfect because DV is a lossy codec though most people will not be able to tell without freeze-framing as the artifacts are far smaller than MPEG because DV has a ridiculously high bitrate (it's actually the same bitrate as my AVCHD hi-def camcorder). The only way to achieve "perfect" quality is to capture with something like a Hauppauge in a lossless codec, but honestly it's not worth it IMHO because the artifacts of DV are far less than the analog noise of VHS/SVHS or 8mm/Hi-8 so I think you have the right setup.

    I would use Scenalyzer (it's free now) and capture to an NTFS hard drive in single files. Most of my captures are 15-gig-ish in size depending on the tape length. I usually burn the raw DV-AVI files to a data Blu-Ray for archiving or keep it on 2 sets of hard drives (I have around 1TB of home movies). Once everything is captured, you can look at editing it. I usually use Scenalyzer to trim my files of excess footage before editing it in a video program.

    If you just want to archive the files and edit them later, but DV-AVI is just "too big" then I suggest you use h.264 as your archive format. I use x264 via MeGUI. Google "Blu-ray compliant" to find the exact settings. Keep the file as 480i/60 as analog video is interlaced. 480p/30 is not Blu-ray compliant. 480p/24 stutters too much. In reality, 480p/30 is throwing away spatial information (you're averaging 2 fields to get one frame). NTSC DV uses bottom field first. Most DVD's and blu-rays use top field first. You can keep it bottom field first in h.264 as either is Blu-ray compliant, or in your AVS script for MeGUI do AssumeFrameBased, SeparateFields, Trim(1,0), Weave, AssumeTFF to basically drop the first field and reorder the video as TFF. There are other more complicated plugins to do it like JDL_ReverseFieldDominance, but I haven't found any value over simply dropping the first field. I usually use a value of 16 for my x264 quality setting which yields nearly visually lossless for DV frames (looks almost identical frame by frame with the DV original). It cuts the file size down to about 1/4 of the original DV size. h.264 is much harder to work with in video editing programs because the compression runs across multiple frames vs. DV which compresses each individual frame. It's easier to edit in DV and then compress your final product, but if hard drive space is a premium, archiving in h.264 is a perfectly valid option.

    You can also do your encoding with something like Adobe, but x264's quality beats the living crap out of the encoder that comes with Adobe's software. I have yet to find a good GUI-frontend other than MeGUI that yields Blu-ray compliant output (something that Adobe Encore doesn't recode because it's detected as compliant on import).
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    I forgot to mention one other issue when capturing interlaced...

    Sometimes the fields don't land right. It's really obvious for screens that cut to black. Instead of one frame being the last full frame of a scene and the next one black, you get what looks kinda like a fade where 1/2 the screen is black and the other 1/2 is the last frame. I think this is because of the field dominance. When I capture analog via the Sony, it almost always records with a TFF field dominance but in BFF format (NTSC DV) so when scanning through the DV all of the cuts are in the wrong place because the frame split incorrectly across the two fields. When I do the TFF conversion above, it restores the proper field dominance. There are times when for whatever reason it records the opposite (BFF field dominance as BFF). Doing my routine above of dropping a field will mess that up. I usually just rerecord the scene when that happens or leave it BFF. I'm using a JVC via s-video into the TRV-720 and out via firewire. No idea why the Sony can't figure out the field dominance on it's own.
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  11. Originally Posted by buyabook View Post
    I am looking to store the files on my PC. What is a standard format I can convert to in order to reduce disk space without losing noticeable video/audio quality.
    High bitrate DVD compatible MPEG 2 is a good compromise. That will let you keep the interlacing, play back properly with most players, and reduce the size to about 1/3 that of your DV AVI source. A further benefit of this is that you can easily author the MPEG video to a DVD that will play in any DVD player, without any quality loss.

    Another choice would be h.264 in MKV or MP4. That will give you similar quality with even smaller file sizes. The trouble with h.264 is a lot of tools don't want to encode it interlaced so you have to work a little harder.

    Originally Posted by buyabook View Post
    Also, what software can I use to achieve this?
    I use HcGUI to make MPEG2 when I want it. But it must be fed with an AviSynth script. That's pretty simple with DVI sources, the script is as simple as AviSource("filename.avi"). You might need to add ConvertToYV12(interlaced=true). Try one of the simpler GUIs for h.264, say, Handbrake. Handbrake doesn't let you specify interlaced encoding via the GUI but it lets you add flags to the x264 encoder's command line in its "Extra Options" field. Just add "bff" there.
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  12. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    It's not 1998 - 25GB is, what, $1's worth of HDD space these days? Keep the original DV-AVI transfers. You will want to go back to those when you realise you want to edit/restore/upscale/whatever your videos.

    I would keep them one file per tape, or split them into one file per scene/day/event - whatever works for you. It's trivial to re-join the split files - open append all the files in VirtualDUB and re-save the whole lot (make sure you select direct stream copy of video and audio otherwise you will damage the video quality) into one file. You can also rejoin the files in an NLE as part of further editing, so it's no big deal.

    Make copies in whatever format you want to view them in. jagabo has given good suggestions. I wouldn't worry about changing the field order unless you really know what you're doing and why you want to do it.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  13. About the only time you would care about field order is when capturing progressive video that's transmitted as interlaced. In that case you can get better compression by capturing with (or converting to) the same field order as the source in order to restore the original progressive frames and compress them as progressive frames. That's not an issue for you since Hi8 is a true interlaced format. Every field is from a unique point in time (unless you recorded a TV broadcast or some film based source) and there are no progressive frames to restore. So it doesn't matter whether you capture TFF or BFF. As long as you flag the video properly it will play back properly.
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    @Jagabo

    I disagree... In theory you are correct, but as I've already mentioned above, I have seen instances where the field dominance doesn't match the field order when doing analog-to-DV passthrough at least on the TRV-720. I imagine the TRV-520 would suffer the same problem. The easiest fix is to scrub through the video of the DV avi file and if it looks correct at a split, then the field dominance is BFF and matches the NTSC DV field order (BFF) and you can simply encode as BFF to h.264. If the frames are split incorrectly, then the field dominance is probably TFF so you drop a single field and encode as TFF to h.264. You can use the JDL filter to actually change field dominance if you want consistency as it shifts the field rows up (convert a BFF field dominant video with a BFF field order to both have TFF). Another trick is you can deinterlace the video (make sure the field dominance matches first) and then encode as interlaced. You will lose spacial information, but you pretty much guarantee whatever device plays back the video matches the correct fields and deinterlaces as you intended since Blu-ray doesn't support progressive 480 video (other than 24P). It gives the functional equivalent of 30P. I prefer to keep the spatial information so just make sure your field dominance matches your field order and you'll be fine.
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  15. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    ybarra,

    I understand perfectly what you're saying.

    However, it doesn't really matter. The only potential problem is that, with some encoding, it's conceivable that the quality may be worse (or the bitrate will be higher) on the frame where there's a cut between two different scenes, i.e. where field 1 is from scene 1, and field 2 is from scene 2. The lower the bitrate, the worse it will be. You'd barely notice it when watching it though - your eye would be distracted by the scene change. For every frame where there isn't a scene change, it makes absolutely no difference.

    I agree that a perfectionist would get it right, but sometimes the extra step to do so will introduce it's own problems (depends on your workflow), and suggesting this extra step to a non-expert is just inviting disaster for no significant benefit.

    Example: I sometimes do rough lossless edits of DV-AVI BFF captured TFF VHS in VirtualDUB. The result is that new cuts are BFF (frame-aligned), but original cuts that were on the VHS are TFF (field-aligned). I know the way to avoid this discrepancy, but that's not lossless and it's not quite as quick or simple. Worrying about it wouldn't make the result look noticeably better, but would make life harder. So I don't worry about it.


    btw, it's temporal resolution (far more than spatial information) that you loose by deinterlacing 60i to 30p or 50i to 25p - at least with a decent deinterlacer. I would never do that for DVD etc, only for uploading to the web.

    Cheers,
    David.
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    David,

    Sure, I can agree with that. I guess I fall under the perfectionist group since I used to do pure analog edits on 3/4" Umatic and trained myself to see dropouts. The brief flash at the scene changes irks me .

    Also correct on Temporal. Spatial would be relative to space or resolution and Temporal would be time. So losing half the video rate would be a loss in time and with the blurring done by the deinterlacing interpolation you might lose a little visual resolution as well depending on the quality of the deinterlacer so the loss would primarily be in temporal resolution with a possible hit on spatial resolution.

    For the record, I'm not entirely sure the issue is with field dominance or just simply the 1/60th of a second when the analog to digital conversion takes place. It may be due to the fact that there is no genlock keeping the exact field clocking in sync.
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  17. The reason i am doing this is because I want to capture these family videos to my computer in order to preserve them. It seems like too much of a hassle to convert to h.264 format considering that the tapes only amount to 25 GB and disk space is not an issue. Buying another 4TB drive is not an issue for me. I am going to try to use scenalyzer to capture to a single avi file per tape. I don't think I will be editing the video files anytime soon. I mightsplit the video files to post to facebook but nothing fancier than that when it comes to editing.
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  18. @ybarra: do i use type 1 dv-avi or type 2 dv-avi in scenalyzer?
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    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:43.
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  20. i only intend on playing it back on PC. I would never burn any of these videos onto dvds. I am curious to see the difference in quality in between a dv-avi capture and high bitrate mpeg/h264 in order to assess whether its worth the trouble.. If anyone has video files floating on the internet that exemplify the clear difference in quality in between a bare dv-avi capture and high bitrate mpeg/h264, please post it.
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    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:43.
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  22. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    Yes, it does look like crap sometimes playing on a PC and there is always something screwy about interlace playback with analog-to-DV
    I don't know where you get this from Sanlyn. The standard Windows Media Player that comes as part of Windows 7 will play VHS captured to DV, and DV camcorder footage, just fine. The deinterlacing is OK, and happens by default. The upscaling is passable. You double click the file on a virgin OS installation and you get perfect playback.

    WMP won't touch HuffYUV or Lagarith by default. Even if you install (and force it to use) the right codecs (which I haven't) it can never deinterlace them properly automatically because they lack a field order flag.

    Apart from a PC and a DV camcorder (or a DV capture box), it's true that nothing will play DV.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  23. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by buyabook View Post
    i only intend on playing it back on PC. I would never burn any of these videos onto dvds. I am curious to see the difference in quality in between a dv-avi capture and high bitrate mpeg/h264 in order to assess whether its worth the trouble.. If anyone has video files floating on the internet that exemplify the clear difference in quality in between a bare dv-avi capture and high bitrate mpeg/h264, please post it.
    By high bitrate MPEG-2, people usually mean 15Mbps. For VHS, this doesn't look better than 25Mbps DV. It's slightly more compatible than DV, but is too high a bitrate to go onto DVDs. At max DVD bitrate (~9Mbps), MPEG-2 is visually inferior to DV with raw VHS captures (and pretty much any other content too unless you use an expensive and/or slow encoder on a clean and reasonably easy to encode source).

    I haven't tried encoding raw VHS captures to H.264. It's a wonderful efficient format for encoding decent quality progressive sources. I'm not sure you're looking for efficiency though.

    Cheers,
    David.
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    Originally Posted by buyabook View Post
    @ybarra: do i use type 1 dv-avi or type 2 dv-avi in scenalyzer?
    Type1 files are smaller. Type2 files have a 2nd copy of the audio. If you're archiving I'd stick with Type1. The only reason to use type2 is if that's the only format your video editing software accepts.

    Regarding the various files and video quality. I've done frame-by-frame between DV and uncompressed and honestly the DV artifacting only affects the analog noise and not enough that you'd ever notice. MPEG 2 (DVD) at 9Mbps will definitely show mpeg artifacts in frame-by-frame, but again at full speed it blends in with the analog noise. x264 using quality of 16 (or 15 or 14) will yield frame by frames that are indistinguishable from the original assuming you use the -grain setting.

    @sanlyn - I've always used the DV passthrough because of ease of use and consistency in the hue/contrast/saturation/etc as it's the functional equivalent of recording from one consumer device to another. Do you have a good workflow and suggestion for programs for recording lossless via a Hauppauge? Especially for setting the initial color, brightness, contrast, etc. Most of my analog material does have color bars at the lead of the tape. Also, how can I guarantee the analog stays in sync and doesn't drift over time?
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  26. whats a popular user friendly video editing software i can use to make video clips.
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  29. Originally Posted by buyabook View Post
    whats a popular user friendly video editing software i can use to make video clips.
    For your DV AVI files? Use VirtualDub. Select Video -> Direct Stream Copy mode. That will give you clips without any recompression.
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  30. Originally Posted by ybarra View Post
    Type1 files are smaller. Type2 files have a 2nd copy of the audio. If you're archiving I'd stick with Type1. The only reason to use type2 is if that's the only format your video editing software accepts.
    Disagree. Type1 is actually the newer DV type (numbering always caused confusion) and as a result has less compatibility. It was made to benefit capture performance but being the ancient format that it is, it's totally meaningless now. Converting from Type1 may even cause issues (although the Enosoft converter worked fine for me in those rare cases). I always advise to stick with Type2 for max compatibility.

    For a complete, free solution for DV capture and lossless cutting, I recommend Sclive. Or if investing in an NLE for editing, Sony VMS.
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