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  1. Member
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    or are those not good options and is there a better one? I'm looking to get the best image quality possible in a digital format from my tapes.

    I just picked up a used DCR TRV460 Digital8 camcorder so that I could use the firewire to connect to my home PC.

    I was assisted here a year or so ago with good advice as I was transferring over my DV tapes to my computer. I was using WinDV, but was shown that HDVSplit was the much better and obvious choice. Hoping for some more good insights from the pros here.

    Thank you

    Bruce
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    Transferring Digital8 via firewire with WinDV will give you an exact standard definition DV copy of the data on the tape.

    Transferring with HDVSplit will give you an error message because the source isn't HDV -- not a better choice at all.
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    Hi8 is like VHS -- it's analog source. You won't get "highest quality" capturing analog source to DV. It's best captured to lossless YUY2 AVI using lossless compressors like huffyuv or Lagarith. The recommended capture device nowadays would be an ATI 600 USB adapter or an ATI 600 series PCI capture card, with VirtualDub as the capture software. Lacking the means or skill to do it that way, you can record with one of those aforementioned copy devices directly to high-bitrate MPEG2. Anything else will be lower quality, especially if it involves multiple re-encoding steps to get the final output you want. Period. Good luck trying to use Windows 7 for many video tasks. But I hear it can be done.
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    @Bruce, did you change your subject heading or did I misread Hi8 when I originally answered?

    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Hi8 is like VHS -- it's analog source. You won't get "highest quality" capturing analog source to DV.
    Though analogue capture from a high quality deck through a TBC and analog capture card is theoretically better, if your playback device is Digital 8, you will usually get better results via firewire to DV.

    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Good luck trying to use Windows 7 for many video tasks. But I hear it can be done.
    @LMotlow, is this actually what you meant to say? It's utter nonsense.
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    The -<ONLY>- 2 factors that could be considered lesser than "Highest Quality" of doing a DV transfer vs. a Lossless/Uncompressed SD capture, are:
    1. Color sub-sampling - DV uses 4:1:1 vs. LL/UNC of 4:4:4 or 4:2:2. Theoretically this is worse, but in practice, if the clips are just being captured only and decoding is done right, there should NO visible difference. Things change when editing/compositing/FX/titling/processing (and possibly re-compression) enters the picture.
    2. Compression (artifacts) - DV's 25Mbps uses 5.5:1 DCT compression vs. UNC SD 4:2:2. While there are compression artifacts, the VAST majority of consumers (not counting video/cinema/photo, color, scientific professionals) will not notice them, excepting in cases of very high detail/noise.

    And, smrpix is right: Digital8 (not Hi8), is ALREADY in DV format, with all of it's benefits & baggage (including the above points), so it makes NO sense to go D->A->D and LOSE QUALITY compared to a simple digital 1:1 transfer.

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 30th Jul 2014 at 18:59.
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  6. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I am confused by the replies.

    If the OP is using analog Hi8 tapes albeit in a dual-system camera, connecting that thro firewire is not gonna magically convert them to DV and be able to transfer them as-is though WinDV.

    Or did I miss something on the way to the forum ?
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  7. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Yes it is. Hi8 tapes played out through a Firewire port on a Digital8 camera will automatically, in realtime, convert to DV prior to piping down chain. It has ALWAYS been able to do this. That is one of the major benefits of going Digital8 vs. a separate (standard) DV cam: instant forward compatibility through conversion!

    You must have missed something.

    Scott

    <edit>It ought to be possible to play the Hi8 tapes out the analog ports of that Dig8 cam to an analog capture card, as well. Don't know for sure whether that totally bypasses any digital circuitry or not.</edit>
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  8. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Oh shucks.
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Hi8 is like VHS -- it's analog source. You won't get "highest quality" capturing analog source to DV.
    Though analogue capture from a high quality deck through a TBC and analog capture card is theoretically better, if your playback device is Digital 8, you will usually get better results via firewire to DV.
    Nope. Forget theoretical. DV was never designed for encode-to-encode conversions. I have to go along with folks like lordsmurf who strongly disagree with VHS to DV. Especially since I tried it myself.

    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Good luck trying to use Windows 7 for many video tasks. But I hear it can be done.
    @LMotlow, is this actually what you meant to say? It's utter nonsense.
    Lots of stuff that worked in XP won't work in Win7. Many VirtualDub filters, for instance, just crash. I use Windows 7 myself, but not with a lot of old software that still works in XP. OF course, if you don't do that much restoration but spend most of your time just capturing and letting it go at that, and you only want PC playback, you're more or less home free.
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  10. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    2. Compression (artifacts) - DV's 25Mbps uses 5.5:1 DCT compression vs. UNC SD 4:2:2. While there are compression artifacts, the VAST majority of consumers (not counting video/cinema/photo, color, scientific professionals) will not notice them, excepting in cases of very high erratic motion (waterfalls, etc).
    It's not motion - DV is an intra-frame codec and doesn't care about motion at all. It's detail and/or noise and/or (in some DV capture HW) single-field details that brings out compression artefacts.

    Discussed in this thread:
    http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/352864-advantages-of-capturing-analog-video-to-lagarith-vs-dv-avi

    And in this thread where someone posted a sample showing these "artefacts" (look very very closely!!!)
    http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/360804-DV-vs-lossless-capture-of-VHS?p=2288304&view...=1#post2288304

    TBH, I'd just use whatever works. There are far bigger issues than this. The reason I always defend DV is because so many people seem to hit problems when they try to capture lossless. Both can go wrong of course, but if you have either one of them working well, count your lucky stars and get on with capturing. IMO. YMMV

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    David.
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  11. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Yeah, you're right. I wasn't thinking - distracted. Squirrel!

    Changed it...

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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    Originally Posted by Bruce/Fl View Post
    or are those not good options and is there a better one? I'm looking to get the best image quality possible in a digital format from my tapes......

    Bruce
    Sorry, Bruce, but questions like this are generally ignored nowadays, especially the parts I emphasized. Let's re-write it more appropriately:
    Originally Posted by Bruce/Fl View Post
    or are those not good options ? I'm looking to get whatever I can in a digital format from my tapes......

    Bruce
    Try recording directly to DVD with a new DVD recorder. Very convenient, and most folks can't tell the difference.

    That'll teach me to not get involved in quality issues. There are too many posts that are exact copies of this thread, anyway.
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    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post

    Try recording directly to DVD with a new DVD recorder. Very convenient, and most folks can't tell
    Nowhere in this thread does Bruce say he wants to end up with a DVD. Hi8 -> D8 Camera -> FireWire -> DV capture is going to give significantly higher quality than SD MPEG2 capture.
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    First of all, thank you for all the replies and information. A lot of it is way above my head at the moment, but I am always learning.

    Now here is a little bit more background and what are my goals.

    A few years ago I did exactly what was mentioned earlier, I hooked up a Hi8 player to a DVD recorder and make DVDs of my tapes. What I like to do is, is sometimes edit out small parts of my films, and put them together and such. I use Vegas. I felt that there was probably a better way than having to go get my DVDs for a source, as I thought I already lost some quality in doing that transfer. I felt that any kind of a file I could get to my hard drive more directly from the source was probably a better option.

    Basically, I want a source that I can use in Vegas with the least loss of quality. The files I've been getting off of my DV camera using HDVSplit are excellent. I was hoping to get a very good replication of what's on the Hi8 tapes to my computer in a somewhat similar manner.

    I hope this clears it up a little. Again thank you for all the replies. Let me know if there is a better process for me to use.
    Last edited by Bruce/Fl; 30th Jul 2014 at 21:17. Reason: Typos, slightly more info
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    You can edit and output DV losslessly with Vegas. Obviously you later incur a loss going to DVD compliant mpeg2, but you have a lot more control over quality than an on-the-fly encoder.

    If you have been capturing with HDVSplit you have not been using a DV camera. What camera were you using?
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post

    Try recording directly to DVD with a new DVD recorder. Very convenient, and most folks can't tell
    Nowhere in this thread does Bruce say he wants to end up with a DVD. Hi8 -> D8 Camera -> FireWire -> DV capture is going to give significantly higher quality than SD MPEG2 capture.
    Yeah, I guess you're right. Considering Bruce's most recent post, it looks like analog defects and cleanup are off the table. So I think I was OK in suggesting that references to "highest quality" and such would be irrelevant. That being the case, Vegas would be as good as anything. In that regard Vegas Pro or the other "Pro" stuff would be a waste of money.

    So, is PC-only playback the final goal here? If so, DV would be the easiest and cheapest time-labor option, since further lossy re-encoding isn't in the cards. Apps like Vegas can smart-render DV without much damage --- unless you try to fix colors and exposure, or denoise, or stuff like that, in which case smart-rendering is out the window. The more detail you can tell us about what you want for your final output, the more info you can get from users of those popular NLE's. But if you've used them to edit your earlier DV work, there's not much new to add.
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    You can edit and output DV losslessly with Vegas. Obviously you later incur a loss going to DVD compliant mpeg2, but you have a lot more control over quality than an on-the-fly encoder.

    If you have been capturing with HDVSplit you have not been using a DV camera. What camera were you using?
    A Canon HV30
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    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post

    Try recording directly to DVD with a new DVD recorder. Very convenient, and most folks can't tell
    Nowhere in this thread does Bruce say he wants to end up with a DVD. Hi8 -> D8 Camera -> FireWire -> DV capture is going to give significantly higher quality than SD MPEG2 capture.
    Yeah, I guess you're right. Considering Bruce's most recent post, it looks like analog defects and cleanup are off the table. So I think I was OK in suggesting that references to "highest quality" and such would be irrelevant. That being the case, Vegas would be as good as anything. In that regard Vegas Pro or the other "Pro" stuff would be a waste of money.

    So, is PC-only playback the final goal here? If so, DV would be the easiest and cheapest time-labor option, since further lossy re-encoding isn't in the cards. Apps like Vegas can smart-render DV without much damage --- unless you try to fix colors and exposure, or denoise, or stuff like that, in which case smart-rendering is out the window. The more detail you can tell us about what you want for your final output, the more info you can get from users of those popular NLE's. But if you've used them to edit your earlier DV work, there's not much new to add.
    I'd like my tapes to be converted over to something that I can easily edit them with, and output a file that I could use not only on a computer, but also use the capabilities of media PCs and other things to ultimately watch the final product on a large screen (65") Plasma. Additionally, I could see the need for also taking the final product and putting it on a DVD to share with others who don't have the same display capabilities as I do.

    On a somewhat related question, would the final product that I can hopefully come up with be of a quality high enough that it clearly exceeds the capabilities of DVD, and that I could put on a Blu-ray instead? I realize that it obviously won't be true HD but it might be much better than DVD playback?

    Just wondering.
    Last edited by Bruce/Fl; 31st Jul 2014 at 00:10. Reason: Typos
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  19. Member
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    That's HDV. 4x the resolution of DV and 4-8x the information available on Hi8.

    Your Hi8 will never look as sharp, but capturing it as DV from your digital 8 camera with WinDV or directly into Vegas is as good as you're realistically going to get.

    You can output x.264 encoded SD files that will look closer to your original capture at similar bit rates to DVD. For Blu-Ray you must output to BR (or DVD) compliant specs.
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  20. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    You can edit and output DV losslessly with Vegas.
    You can edit and output DVD MPEG-2 losslessly with VideoReDo. It's hardly the same flexibility of editing (no fades, transitions, text overlay etc), but it depends what you mean by "edit" (cut/paste/chop supported easily and, except at the instant of the cut, losslessly).

    Originally Posted by Bruce/Fl View Post
    On a somewhat related question, would the final product that I can hopefully come up with be of a quality high enough that it clearly exceeds the capabilities of DVD
    "clearly exceeds the capabilities of DVD?" No.

    However, if you make a poor job of the DVD encoding it will look worse than it should. If you have a very noisy source and try to encode it to DVD without care it can look worse than the original. If you are ultra picky and freeze frame the video and look for MPEG artefacts you can usually find some. Using a high bitrate on BluRay would avoid these "problems" - but so would creating the DVD properly and watching it normally.

    Cheers,
    David.
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    So it's looking like WinDV or Vegas? Would either one have a clear cut advantage over the other in regards to variety/selection of output files? (or some other factor I haven't thought of?)
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    WinDV is a capture utility, not a converter. Vegas, after capturing and editing, has pretty much every output option you could reasonably want.
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  23. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Assuming you capture to DV, you would normally:
    1. keep the original DV capture files unless/until you were absolutely sure that you had all the material you ever wanted from them copied into an edited file
    2. edit and render the project to DV. archive that DV edit as-is
    3. encode from the project or the DV edit to whatever you want (DVD, mp4 for YouTube, etc). You might do that in Vegas (from the project), or elsewhere (from the DV edit you saved).

    If you do loads of colour correction etc or any other process that changes pixels in most frames, you might render stage 2 to lossless.
    If you were sure of keeping your original capture files and your NLE, you might not bother with stage 2.
    If you do a complex edit and you want to go back to it in 10 years time and encode it to some newer format, you absolutely would do stage 2 because there's little chance you'll be firing up your NLE in 10 years time to do stage 3 again: it won't work on the new PC and new OS you'll have by then.
    If this content isn't that important, you might just render the edit to DVD MPEG-2 and delete everything else.

    Cheers,
    David.
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