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  1. Member
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    I have a large collection of home video which I have archived as AVI files.
    I would like to convert the entire collection to a format that will:
    a- be playable on TV connected to device like WD media player, roku, or apple TV
    b- create smaller files - although I am fine with 1-2 gb/hour if needed
    c- provide best quality playback on TV or computer

    My goal is to provide copies in whichever format I chose for each family member. If I keep the size under 2gb/hour I can fit the entire collection on a small harddrive - less than 250 gb.

    I was leaning towards MP4 - h264 but was wondering if there are better choices. Also, what are the settings I should use to optimize output. Is this something that can be accomplished with Handbrake or DVD FAB? Are there better software choices?

    Lots of questions. Any help appreciated.

    thanks
    Chuck
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    Your relatives and friends will need a BluRay player if you encode with h264, unless you're willing to show them how to operate (and buy) an external media player.
    Many BluRays players wont play mp4.
    Your choice for universal-compliant playback anywhere would still be MPEG (DVD).
    Otherwise can't say much concerning your source. AVI is a container, not a codec.
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    You did not give enough info for more precise help.. What kind of players you are using, do you have a DVD player.. I suggest if you have a huge collection of videos, it's better to use a DVD to compile all of your collection. And if you have a large collection of AVI, why not just convert it to dvd format, and then burn it to a dvd - You can convert by using Avi2Dvd or FAVC. You can also use Hybrid to convert DVD or Blu-ray from whatever containers you have.
    Leo99
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    I did a little more digging using gspot

    My AVI files were created by directly importing from MiniDV tapes
    Here is the info from Gspot

    Container: compatability note DV type 1 AVI
    multipart open DML AVI 5 parts
    Codec: dvsd Name DVC/DV Video
    Status: codecs are installed

    There is also a note under Container that "7.41 GB unneeded bytes at end" the entire file is about 12.5 gb for about 1 hour of tape which seemed correct

    1- I am not sure what the the reference to unneeded bytes is about. The file was straight MiniDV to AVI conversion which I thought was a straightforward copy of the data on the tape.
    2- I would like to convert these AVI's to a compressed format that can be played from a harddrive or thumbdrive to a TV or IPAD like device without the need for DVD player.
    3- A new question: I have been trying to convert the AVI to mp4 h.264 using Handbrake 10 - I find that it stops the conversion at 4minutes 56 seconds even though the files are all about 1 hour. Tried several AVI files and they all resulted in mp4s that were different sizes but ended at exactly 4min 56 seconds?

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Chuck
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    #1, stop using Gspot for this kind of thing, as it is being more than unhelpful to you now, it is giving you tangential info as conflicting info.
    I have a guess about it (muxed audio) but won't comment until we've seen a MediaInfo report.

    #2 If they're all DV format (I doubt, but you never know), they'll need to be converted to be usable by most HW media players. I'd go with AVC+AACinMP4 as most are quite comfortable with that. However, understand that generic media playback still varies WILDLY among hardware players, so YMMMV.

    #3 Hard to say. We'll need more thorough/detailed description of process, files, etc. Probably not a 2GB/4GB AVI filetype limitation (as the one says "openDML"), but maybe a FAT 4GB limitation (though at DV bitrates, you are hitting ~1.068GB, so that doesn't make sense). It's possible there is corruption - are those files all still playable by you? Maybe you could upload a short sample.

    Scott
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    Scott

    Here is the report from Media Info on the AVI file that I am using
    This example is similar to all of the AVIs that I have created.

    .................................................. .................................................. ...................

    General
    Complete name : C:\Users\Chuck\Desktop\A08-03.10.01-05.18.01.avi
    Format : AVI
    Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
    Commercial name : DVCPRO
    Format profile : OpenDML
    File size : 12.4 GiB
    Duration : 1h 1mn
    Overall bit rate mode : Constant
    Overall bit rate : 28.9 Mbps
    Recorded date : 2001-03-08 12:40:43.000

    Video
    ID : 0
    Format : DV
    Commercial name : DVCPRO
    Duration : 1h 1mn
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 24.4 Mbps
    Encoded bit rate : 28.8 Mbps
    Width : 720 pixels
    Height : 480 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 4:3
    Frame rate mode : Constant
    Frame rate : 29.970 fps
    Standard : NTSC
    Chroma subsampling : 4:1:1
    Bit depth : 8 bits
    Scan type : Interlaced
    Scan order : Bottom Field First
    Compression mode : Lossy
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 2.357
    Time code of first frame : 00:00:00;03
    Time code source : Subcode time code
    Stream size : 12.4 GiB (100%)
    Encoding settings : ae mode=full automatic / wb mode=automatic / white balance= / fcm=manual focus

    Audio #1
    ID : 0-0
    Format : PCM
    Muxing mode : DV
    Muxing mode, more info : Muxed in Video #1
    Duration : 1h 1mn
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 768 Kbps
    Encoded bit rate : 0 bps
    Channel(s) : 2 channels
    Sampling rate : 32.0 KHz
    Bit depth : 12 bits
    Stream size : 338 MiB (3%)
    Encoded stream size : 0.00 Byte (0%)

    Audio #2
    ID : 0-1
    Format : PCM
    Muxing mode : DV
    Muxing mode, more info : Muxed in Video #1
    Duration : 1h 1mn
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 768 Kbps
    Encoded bit rate : 0 bps
    Channel(s) : 2 channels
    Sampling rate : 32.0 KHz
    Bit depth : 12 bits
    Stream size : 338 MiB (3%)
    Encoded stream size : 0.00 Byte (0%)

    Does this help with question #1?

    In terms of #2 - would you recommend software that is best for what I am trying to accomplish?

    Thanks again for the help
    Chuck
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  7. Can you open some of the files in vdub directly, and scrub past 4min 56 second mark ?

    Also try playing it in software media player like VLC, same test, check past that mark to see if it plays
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    I have tried playing the files on vlc - stops at 4:56
    Checked file size and allowing for compression it is consistent with a video length of about 5 minutes
    Have watched handbrake as it does conversion and it stops before reaching 100%

    Chuck
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Have they ever been playable throughout their length in ANY player at any time?

    You have 32kHz 12bit audio, which is going to be a bother to deal with no matter which software you use, but it still is possible. If that's what you recorded with in cam, that's what you're stuck with (specs should never have been anything but 48kHz, period). But that would not affect playability up to only some point (if your app works with 32kHz it does so the whole time)...

    ...unless, your camera switched samplerates and your digitizing app didn't accommodate the change? No, that should just crap out the audio at that point, not the whole thing.

    At this point, you should not worry about which app to convert with nor which destination format to choose. You need to worry about if those files are not already corrupted beyond repair.

    Do you have your original footage still on tape? (may have to go back to the drawing board)

    Scott
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    I do have all original tapes. About 60 all together.
    The AVI files are all about 12 gb/hour of tape and they all play without problems on Windows Media player. Is it possible the files are corrupted if they play without problems on the computer?
    I would prefer not to repeat the process of downloading to computer but I will if necessary or if there is a way to improve on the output.
    In the past I downloaded directly from camera to "firewire" port on my PC using windows movie maker to capture the entire tape. There were no "setting choices" to be made. I assumed I was making a lossless copy of the tape for the purpose of archiving.

    Chuck
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    Originally Posted by chuckaug View Post
    In the past I downloaded directly from camera to "firewire" port on my PC using windows movie maker to capture the entire tape. There were no "setting choices" to be made. I assumed I was making a lossless copy of the tape for the purpose of archiving.
    Sorry to say, you assumed incorrectly. DV is not lossless.

    IMO most members here would recommend that you forget Windows Movie Maker is installed on your computer. DV via Firewire is captured with WinDV, which works in XP.
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    It sounds like it is worthwhile re-downloading the tapes.
    I will use WinDV which seems fairly straightforward to use.
    It allows a choice between type 1 or type 2 - it seems that type 2 is preferable?
    Will this create a lossless copy?

    Thanks
    Chuck
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    DV is not lossless. Type 1 is probably easier for most NLE editors -- but you should recompress it to lossless (with huffyuv or Lagarith, or similar lossless compressor) if you intend to do any extensive editing such as color correction, denoise, etc. DV is PC-only playback, so extensive editing and multiple stages of re-encoding plus yet another re-encode for your final output has a quality cost. If all you're doing is simple cut and join with DV, it shouldn't be a problem with a good editor.

    If your source is DV, using WinDV is a straight 1:1 copy, no re-encode at that point.

    [EDIT]I see from your MediaInfo that the DV source described is probably Type 2 (has a copy of the audio track). WinDV will probably let you bring that in as Type 1. Been years since I used WinDv.
    Last edited by LMotlow; 24th Nov 2014 at 12:35.
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  14. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Instead of WinDV, I now prefer recommending Scenalizer. Both are deprecated, but SL is both newer, fuller-featured, and less buggy. Whatever else, WMM is NOT the preferred app.

    Most NLEs prefer Type2. I've gone into that discussion in the past.

    If your are going to recapture, I would first check each tape in the cam PRIOR to hooking up the Firewire cable. What audio sample rate & bitdepth is shown?

    I just don't want your caps to mismatch your audio, which is a common occurrence if your source happens to be 32kHz/12bit.

    *********
    Again, DV is not a lossless compression. However, the firewire transfer from tape->PC is a lossless process, so you should be getting an identical copy of the lossy compression that already exists on tape (just now encapsulated within an AVI container).

    Scott
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    Yep, Cornucopia, I stand corrected. Type 2 it is. Had to go look that up. DV now lives only in my dim dark past.
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    Thanks to both of you for all the advice
    I am slowly becoming educated.
    I will follow your advice but I am not sure about how to check the audio rate and bitdepth on the tape. If it turns out to be 32khz and 12 bit what do you suggest I do - is it still worth re downloading?

    Chuck
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  17. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Check by playing the tape with the "Info Details" display turned on. It should tell you (might not say 12bit, but I'm pretty sure it will say 32kHz, possibly #of Channels also - in 32kHz/12bit's this is usually 4ch). Turn off that display overlay once you are ready to capture (shouldn't affect it, but just to be sure).

    If you have 32kHz/12bit, I strongly suggest your re-sample your material into 48kHz/16bit (uncompressed LPCM) once re-captured. It will NOT improve the quality (in fact, because of the interpolation process, it will be very slightly degraded), but now at least you will have your audio in a standard expected format which all apps should have no trouble working with.

    Let us know, however if (by checking with MediaInfo) the re-captures don't save the audio in the appropriate way...

    BTW, you aren't really "downloading", you are capturing/transferring (sometimes known as "capsfer"). It is sometimes called "digitizing" but in this instance that is not strictly true, as it is already digital on the tape.

    Scott
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  18. I am also in the process of trying to convert home movies (.avi) to .mp4 via Handbrake 0.10.0.6534 64-bit. The files are the same size as the previous person who posted (12 GB). My conversions are also stopping at exactly 4:56. I have tried multiple conversions and all are stopping at 4:56. I had to post to this thread because there is no way it is a coincidence that we are both stopping at the same spot.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
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  19. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Yes there is the possibility of coincidence, but we don't really know for sure because you haven't really given us details regarding your source cam model, your capture/transfer process & apps (workflow, methodology), your resulting file properties, your conversion apps & settings, or even your machine's hardware & OS details.

    12GB is equivalent in size, but that only is comparable with bitrate if the runningtime is equivalent.

    Scott
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  20. Sorry for responding with very little info. I was just shocked when I did a search and found someone with exactly the same issue. I threw a quick response out there because it sounded like the exact same thing.

    I am using a Sony DCR-TRV27 MiniDV Handycam. I used the import function within Microsoft Photo Gallery choosing to keep as 1 file. The file is 12.6 GB. I am using an HP Pavilion Elite with an AMD Phenom X4 910 and 8GB of memory (Windows 8.1 64-bit). To convert from avi to mp4 I used Handbrake 0.10.0.6534 64-bit and used the Apple TV 3 preset. The bitrate of the avi is at 1024 kbps and it converted to 383 kbps. The first one I tried ended at 4 minutes and 56 seconds with a size of 89,115 KB. I tried another file that was 12.5 GB and it to stopped at 4:56 with a size of 108,732 KB.

    I did not tweak anything on the import or for the conversion. I am basically doing this so I can have a manageable file size to play on my network via PLEX.

    Any insight you can provide would be appreciated. Let me know if there is other information you would like me to gather.

    Thanks!
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  21. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    I would say using MS Photo Gallery to capture and aggregate the file was a particularly poor choice. Choosing instead a tried and true DV capture app, such as WinDV or ScenalyzerLive, etc. Those are well kown to output valid DV files.

    Speaking of valid real DV files, they run with a constant bitrate of 25Mbps (more if you count Audio, UserData/Timecode, and wrapper & stream overhead).

    Since you still havent given us the runningtime nor a MediaInfo report, there's no way to corroborate or refute the DV legitimacy of your files. If your 12.5GB file was ~1hour, that checks out as equivalent to DV's bitrate (it would calculate to 28.4Mbps) - though there still isn't assurance that it actually IS DV. Yet your 4:56 cutoff file with a size of 108732KB would calculate to ~2.87Mbps which is neither 25Mbps nor 1024kbps nor 383kbps.Similarly, your 89115KB calculates to ~2.35Mbps. Could be that those match up with the intended bitrate of the AppleTV3 preset, but if that is a VBR file it could wildly vary from intended at that particular point. No good way to tell without MediaInfo readout reports (or similar) on those as well.

    The major question is: is the reason for the shorting of the target file the fault of corrupt source, improper settings, a short source, a bug in the decoder or encoder or OS/system, or something else altogether?
    So let's define all those clearly to rule them out.

    Scott
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  22. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I re-captured the video via WinDV and I was then able to convert to MP4 with Handbrake.

    Thanks again for the assistance.
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  23. The reason why Handbrake stops encloding your DV at 4:56 is because its DV Mode 1, change it to Mode 2 and it will enclode the whole clip.
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  24. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    That's dubious.

    Scott
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  25. Its a strange one, at a guess it has something to do with the video/audio splitting used by Handbrake that timesout at 300 seconds and wraps back to 4:56.

    Mode/type 1 DV stores the video and audio as one stream whereas mode/type 2 splits the video and audio streams within a single file.

    Even if you load mode/type 1 DV in to Handbrake and clear the audio stream it will still fault at 4:56.

    From what I uderstand it is still better to capture DV in mode/type 1 and split it out after if needed
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  26. I too have started to encounter the 4:56 Handbrake problem.

    However until recently I had been capturing old mini-DV tapes from my Canon via FireWire (using Windows 8's native video capture interface), then converting via Handbrake to .mp4 x264 using the High Profile preset with no issues.

    Given that I had only recently upgraded to Handbrake 0.10.1 that change seemed to be the source of my problem. Uninstalling & reverting to 0.10.0 did not rectify the situation, but reverting to 0.9.9.1 appears to have done the trick.

    The large file size dialogue box is selected in Handbrake. When installing I also disconnected from the internet as Handbrake appears to want to update presets & I did not know whether this was part of the problem. I have also prevented Handbrake from checking for future upgrades. I place no store by these actions, but merely mention them for completeness!

    Like chuckaug I have already captured a large number of tapes & did not want to repeat the process using WinDV or other software if at all possible. I appreciate my post is low on technicalities, but is high on pragmatism, and this is the solution I prefer!

    If it helps someone to avoid recapturing their entire video collection then it may be of some assistance.

    Cheers, Andy
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  27. Thanks for the pragmatic advice, XWiseHed. It worked like a treat!
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  28. Member
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    Registered here just to reply. The same 4:56 problem with Handbrake 0.10.2 also happened to me converting AVIs of home movies imported from MiniDV tapes. Downgrading back to Handbrake 0.9.9 also fixed the problem for me.
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    Hi, I have exactly the same problem. I switched to using AVC for this job (BTW my video was captured through Windows Photo Gallery from a Sony TRV530). AVC, although slower did the job. Wish I knew what the Handbrake issue was. I thought it might be a 2GB file limit thing even though all my drives are either NTFS or whatever the hell my Mac uses. It made no difference on either platform. I could try recapturing the video using different software, although I don't see the point for ~15-10 year old home videos!
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    I also had the same 4:56 minute avi problem with Handbrake. I have a Sony DCR-TRV350 and I have been importing video using IEEE 1394 and the Windows 8.1 import video feature. Because of this tread, I was going to download and downgrade to 0.9.9, however, I noticed that Handbrake has a new 0.10.5 (2/11/2016) version and the notes say 'Few minor bug fixes since the 0.10.3 release. This includes improvements in large AVI file handling.' I downloaded the 0.10.5 version and it seems to have resolved my 4:56 problem. I was able to encode a 55 minute 12GB avi successfully to H.264 mp4. I thought I would share. Thanks.
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