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  1. Member
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    I did a quick search here, but most threads seem to be about converting with an older Sony DV camcorder with pass through.

    I've got a couple of shoeboxes full of tapes, some were taken with one of the first sony 8mm camcorders, some with a hi-8 later on. I already converted a few by simply running rca cables from the old camcorder to rca inputs on my DVD recorder, and simultaneously pressing record and play on the units. The result was OK, but I want to know if there is a better way.

    I have also since misplaced the old hi-8 camcorder, I have a newer one someone gave me, but it has no AC power supply back for it. It is not a DV camcorder.

    Right now I'm considering my options:
    • purchase an AC adapter for the existing camcorder & just continue to record direct to DVD
    • look for a used Sony DV camcorder with pass through & either record to DVD with it or to my PC
    • look for a used Sony 8mm deck & record to DVD directly.
    Did Sony make an 8mm deck with digital pass through? A quick ebay search turned up many different decks, however few details were provided.

    Am I going to get better end results with DPT? Or should I just go the cheapest route and get an AC adapter for the analog camcorder and record direct to DVD?

    thanks in advance
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  2. One of the better ways is to use a digital 8 camcorder or deck to play the tapes directly out to DV. Provisos: D8 player must be the same system (PAL or NTSC) as tapes, and sometimes slower speed recordings will not play.

    Avoid realtime encoding to DVD. Convert the captured DV files to DVD compatible MPEG instead. AVStoDVD is an excellent authoring software.
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    Thanks - it's NTSC, afaik all done at the same speed (I thought there was only one)

    I have an external capture device for the PC - it's older than my current PC (5 years old) but I'm assuming it will do the trick since we're not talking HD content here.

    If memory serves I think it is an older Hauppauge WinTV - I also have an internal card on an older PC, but I don't think I have a free slot for it.

    Any particular reason for avoiding real time encoding to DVD? Even if I can't find a used DV camcorder or deck and I better off sending the analog tape to be captured on the PC?
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  4. Member
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    One of the better ways is to use a digital 8 camcorder or deck to play the tapes directly out to DV. Provisos: D8 player must be the same system (PAL or NTSC) as tapes, and sometimes slower speed recordings will not play.

    Avoid realtime encoding to DVD. Convert the captured DV files to DVD compatible MPEG instead. AVStoDVD is an excellent authoring software.
    Nonsense. Send analog tape through two lossy encodes? That's mighty damn silly.

    Play analog 8mm/hi8 with the proper analog camera, directly to a DVD recorder. There's no way you're going to put you time and effort into three or more extra steps on a PC to get garbage output. You can get slightly cleaner garbage going directly to high-bitrate DVD.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Not silly. Has been successfully done that way for a decade.

    Yes, there are 2 generations of loss, but you are giving up very little (dv compression @25 mbps is good enough for many types of material and it works well as a realtime codec) for simplicity, efficiency and control in sd editing and for highly optimized 2pass vbr encoding for dvd output.

    Yes, there is an extra colorspace/subsampling conversion, but there are methods that can make that inconsequential.

    Other than that and the filesize/bitrate/capacity requirements (pretty pedestrian these days), there is NO downside.

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 23rd Nov 2015 at 20:25.
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  6. Since the D8 camera also acts as a TBC and the initial processing is simply playback through the camera it's not silly at all. If you prefer, feed the DV out from the camera directly into the DVD recorder if it accepts it.
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    Not silly. Has been successfully done that way for a decade.

    Yes, there are 2 generations of loss, but you are giving up very little (dv compression @25 mbps is good enough for many types of material and it works well as a realtime codec) for simplicity, efficiency and control in sd editing and for highly optimized 2pass vbr encoding for dvd output.

    Yes, there is an extra colorspace/subsampling conversion, but there are methods that can make that inconsequential.

    Other than that and the filesize/bitrate/capacity requirements (pretty pedestrian these days), there is NO downside.

    Scott
    Well, then, if the O.P.'s standards and regard for his tapes are as low as yours, he'll be in artifact lover's hog heaven.

    Say, haven't we seen this discussion and several just like it only recently? Maybe, like, three or four of them? Isn't one of them still in the "new post" lists? WTH, another repeat won't hurt I guess. You guys enjoy yourselves.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  8. .
    I never got a better result — besides playing tapes in the proper device of course (as advised above), i.e. an Hi-8 camcorder in this case —, than:

    — by sending the analog signal via "S-Video", or even "Composite" (yellow) * through a capture card:

    — to "VirtualDub capture option" or any other software that saves to: .avi and compresses using a lossless codec, such as "HuffYUV" [ or even "PicVideo MJPEG" set to its "19" quality, and that's NOT lossless, but close / btw, note that all MJPEG codecs canNOT be trusted... ].

    Every time I tried to encode directly to MPEG-2 DVD format, even at ~9500 kbs, the result was visibly MUCH worse! than recoding LATER (and using at least two passes) to MPEG-2, from the .avi files.

    * "S-Video" vs. "Composite": despite all that I've read — i.e. "Use S-Video if possible of course! " —, I could never SEE any improvement, due to "S-Video", and although sending separate Y & C signals SHOULD make a difference...

    About the capture card the PC should be equipped with, you'll find advice here (other topics cover that). What I observed (several times) is simply: even a gadget USB capture device (if you don't want to add a PCI board) plus the ".avi method", do better — visually —, than trying to encode to MPEG-2 directly, and that, even using fairly good equipment. Note than I'm only mentioning amateur equipment, NOT professional.


    Now, "two shoeboxes full "... probably mean quite a few tapes... So, if you are used to convert directly to DVD (to a standalone DVD recorder), you will probably find "my" method (way) too long and tedious!..

    It all depends on what you aim at: medium if not "medium lousy", OR as good as you can get, quality wise.

    With friends, we compared many results, tests, etc. (dark videos, or bright with a lot of movement + interlaced of course, sometimes deinterlaced in real time ), obtained on the fly via pretty good capture devices, with "my" SLOW method. The step by step method WAS indeniably better — but I insist again on the fact that those friends who encoded to DVD on the fly, got their discs... in real time; while it took me MUCH longer...

    That said, may be one, or you, will prove me wrong, by recommending a piece of equipment — affordable, please — that works both in real time AND very well (on visual quality) : I'd be happy to learn... [ I didn't cite any brand / model, as I'd rather not raise some endless technical argument or debate. ]
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    I have yet to see a DVD-recorder whose MPEG2 encoding rivals the quality of (most) software MPEG2 encoders. With difficult to encode material I can still see plenty not-so-minor artefacts even at XP speed (1 hour per DVD5) with my Panasonic DMR-EH 575, and isn't the Panasonic encoding engine supposed to be better than most competitors?

    I would only use it if I absolutely have to do it in real time (that being said, with a decent CPU you can easily encode MPEG2 faster than real time).
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  10. Member
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    thanks for the replies - a couple of things I am still wondering:
    • For any of the above scenarios, am I going to get better results with a DV camcorder with digital pass through?
    • If I decide, because of time constraints, to go the direct to DVD encoding, is the DV pass through still relevant, or am I just as well off with analog camcorder?
    • Are there any of the Sony 8mm decks that offer digital pass through?
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  11. Originally Posted by glen_s View Post
    • For any of the above scenarios, am I going to get better results with a DV camcorder with digital pass through?
    • If I decide, because of time constraints, to go the direct to DVD encoding, is the DV pass through still relevant, or am I just as well off with analog camcorder?
    Completely depends on the quality of the analog playback device.
    Originally Posted by glen_s View Post
    • Are there any of the Sony 8mm decks that offer digital pass through?
    Digital 8 cameras/decks. In which case you don't need passthrough because you can play the tapes directly from the D8 deck or camera.
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  12. Hello glen_s,
    I was in the same situation a while ago, a box of video8 tapes to convert to a digital format.
    (TLDR : use a Digital8 camcorder, edit the DV files, convert to whatever format you need)

    After some research I decided that the better method was to buy a Digital8 camcorder. This will give you synced DV files very easily : pop tape in get digital file out. You will need a firewire 400 card on your PC though.
    Once you have those DV files you can easily edit them and cut any unwanted footage.

    The main advantage of that method over direct to DVD is that those DV files will become your archive. You will be able to preserve them, DVDs will rot within a few years depending on storage environment. Also you will be able to convert those files to any delivery format you might need with no loss of quality, now and 10 years down the line.

    Since those DV files will be interlaced video you might want to look into QTGMC, if you decide to convert to MP4 this will give you a stellar jump in quality.

    Here are my threads, complete noob to decent result
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/369719-How-to-edit-DV-avi-files-without-transcoding
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/370064-Preserving-anamorphic-aspect-ratio-while-cropping
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/371577-Encoding-Video8-with-Megui-and-QTGMC
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