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  1. I am trying to figure out the best way to convert my Video8 and Hi8 tapes to digital. My old Sony camcorders no longer work, so I have just bought a Sony EV-S7000 on ebay. Now I need some ideas on how best to capture the s-video or composite signal it produces and convert it to some form of digital. I would like to be able to do some basic editing of the footage at some point in the future and I think that I will probably be storing the digital files on hard drive, but am open to better ideas on that too. I don't mind spending a little extra to be able to salvage the best quality possible from my old tapes. I have read some of the threads here on this subject from several years ago, but figured that there might be newer/better options available now. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about working with video. Your suggestions and guidance would really be appreciated.

    Regards,

    pvrbulls
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Where do we start ?

    If anything, current day options are even more limited than in the past. Then one could install internal capture cards. But most of these never had any driver support beyond XP. There are still internal capture cards and I do suggest, unless anyone comes on here to suggest a model, that you look at the capture card section on the site - the Hauppuage Collosus is one that comes to mind but I do not know of its capabilities.

    Otherwise you either get a usb capture device. These range from a $10 easycrap to $200+ Black Magic. The other option is to go down the DV road with a Canopus ADVC.

    Putting the ADVC to one side right now, you should get a card that supports lossless capture rather than lossy mpeg2. DV sits between these two. Lossy but not so much as mpeg2.

    BTW the very act of 'capture' creates that digital file on your PC.

    Now to the PC itself. If you have only one HDD inside, I would also suggest you get another just to capture the video. Even with a fast SSD there will be OS interruptions that can affect the completeness of the capture.

    As for editing, if you have 'zero' knowledge about video then I do suggest that you actually read up on that. We do help but few will hold your hand through the whole process. There are plenty of free editing tools but some all have a learning curve. Some steeper than others. Or you can go down the commercial road with programs such as Sony Vegas which will have manuals to guide you.
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    Originally Posted by pvrbulls View Post
    I am trying to figure out the best way to convert my Video8 and Hi8 tapes to digital. My old Sony camcorders no longer work, so I have just bought a Sony EV-S7000 on ebay. Now I need some ideas on how best to capture the s-video or composite signal it produces and convert it to some form of digital. I would like to be able to do some basic editing of the footage at some point in the future and I think that I will probably be storing the digital files on hard drive, but am open to better ideas on that too. I don't mind spending a little extra to be able to salvage the best quality possible from my old tapes. I have read some of the threads here on this subject from several years ago, but figured that there might be newer/better options available now. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about working with video. Your suggestions and guidance would really be appreciated.

    Regards,

    pvrbulls
    Some members here like these USB SD capture devices, which are all still in production, for analog tape capture using composite video or S-Video connections:
    Startech SVID2USB2
    Hauppauge USB-Live2
    http://www.amazon.com/EZCAP-TV-Converter-Camcorders-Satellite-Supports/dp/B003YGJLWU

    The Canopus ADVC 110 is also very popular DV capture device (it too is still in production), but it requires a FireWire 400 (also known as a IEEE 1394a) on your PC. If your Windows computer does not have one, a good IEEE 1394a add-on card can be purchased for $40, maybe less.

    There is also one HD and SD capture device, the Hauppauge Colossus which one member here likes for VHS capture on account of its hidden TBC feature, but it captures video in H.264 format, which is a little more difficult to work with than lossless AVI, DV AVI or MPEG-2. You will also need an adapter for S-Video capture. http://www.hauppauge.com/site/webstore2/webstore_avcable-pci.asp

    There are a few other good SD capture devices that have fans on this site which are discontinued by the manufacturer but still work with Windows 7 64-bit. I'll leave those to somebody else.
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  4. Well, after hours of research, I decided to give the Canopus ADVC 110 a try. I would have gone for one of the USB devices, but couldn't find one that didn't have significant numbers of negative reviews. The ADVC 110 seems to have mostly satisfied buyers. Now I just have to get a Firewire card so I can plug it into my PC. I guess just about any card will do?

    Thanks for all your suggestions.
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  5. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I am surprised with that spec of PC that you do not already have a firewire aka IEEE1394 port.

    Or have they diminished that like other legacy stuff ?
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  6. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    I am surprised with that spec of PC that you do not already have a firewire aka IEEE1394 port.

    Or have they diminished that like other legacy stuff ?
    Exactly!

    This is the first PC I've had in about 10 years that didn't have Firewire. It's got USB3 and USB2; more USB that anyone needs!
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    Originally Posted by pvrbulls View Post
    I think that I will probably be storing the digital files on hard drive
    Well, since you're honest enough to admit that you don't know anything about video, keeping your DV captures on a hard drive isn't a bad idea. Analog tape to DV isn't the "best way", but it's covenient and it's editable in lots of the cheap software that most people use. Keep some space reserved on your hard drive, or maybe archive them on an external drive. Keep in mind that DV format can be played only on a computer.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  8. Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Originally Posted by pvrbulls View Post
    I think that I will probably be storing the digital files on hard drive
    Well, since you're honest enough to admit that you don't know anything about video, keeping your DV captures on a hard drive isn't a bad idea. Analog tape to DV isn't the "best way", but it's covenient and it's editable in lots of the cheap software that most people use. Keep some space reserved on your hard drive, or maybe archive them on an external drive. Keep in mind that DV format can be played only on a computer.
    I really had not thought about playing the DV files on anything other than the computer; I did not, therefore, realize that it was not possible. I would assume that the DV files can be converted to other formats. I am not permanently locked into DV. What would you suggest is the "best way" to get analog tape into a digital format?
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  9. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Of course they can be converted.

    Consider DV as you archive format - the one you keep for future editing.

    If you want to play the files on other equipment you could simply create a dvd from a recording. It also depends on what you propose to play them on. Some addit info in that respect will help.
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    I doubt you'd care to get involved with the best ways of handling analog source. It would involve more hardware such as a line tbc, better capture devices, lots more software, tons of learning and time, and all that rigmarole, not to mention more $$$. DV can be re-encoded to other formats. That does involve a quality loss -- not that there's anything wrong with other formats, it's re-encoding that's the soft spot. A lot of the software for that is free, but a newcomer might get better use out of something like SONY Movie Studio Platinum, which is decent, re-encodes passably well to something like DVD, is popular, and is always found at steep discounts on the 'net.
    Last edited by LMotlow; 5th Oct 2014 at 17:28.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  11. Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    I doubt you'd care to get involved with the best ways of handling analog source. It would involve more hardware such as a line tbc, better capture devices, lots more software, tons of learning and time, and all that rigmarole, not to mention more $$$. DV can be re-encoded to other formats. That does involve a quality loss -- not that there's anything wrong with other formats, it's re-encoding that's the soft spot. A lot of the software for that is free, but a newcomer might get better use out of something like SONY Movie Studio, which is decent, re-encodes passably well to something like DVD, is popular, and is always found at steep discounts on the 'net.
    You are probably correct in that I don't have either the time or the inclination to get as deeply into video as you indicate would be required to do it the "best way." I am just wanting to get the best results I can... given the time and effort I am willing to expend; while money is certainly an important consideration, it is not necessarily my most limiting factor. If I have missed something that would give me better results without a great deal more time and effort involved than the Canopus ADVC 110 entails, I would really like to know about it. Heck, for all I know, there may be a USB device that I failed to look at or properly understand that would provide better results than the option I chose. I really am chasing around in the dark here.
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    Originally Posted by pvrbulls View Post
    If I have missed something that would give me better results without a great deal more time and effort involved than the Canopus ADVC 110....
    "without a great deal more time" is the key phrase. It's either DV for capture, archive, and editing in decent software, or that, uh, "other way". There's not much in between. You wouldn't want to copy to lossless or losslessly compressed media -- the 110 can't do it anyway, and you wouldn't know what to do with huffyuv or Lagarith, etc., lossless files. I wouldn't suggest directly to DVD or h264 either, those aren't designed for editing. DV is probably the beginner's better choice.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  13. I couldn't figure how to get to a lossless format other than the USB devices, which appeared to be less than reliable/accurate for my purposes.
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    Hi, I found this thread and the first post completely describes my situation! My dad was obsessed with getting everything on camcorder when we were young. We hated but now I know we'll love to look back.

    @PVRBull, how was your experience? If it worked out well I'm inclined to follow in your footsteps.

    At the experts, in the past 2-3 years since this post, has there been any other developments that I should consider?

    Thanks in advance for your time. I'm glad I found this site as it look so like there's some great information to learn from.

    Newb for Now,
    Kosta
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