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  1. 愛の戦士 Saburo's Avatar
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    Ordering a firewire card for my Windows 10 desktop so that I can begin archiving old 8mm and Digital 8 tapes. Any recommendations for a video capture program? Is Windows Movie Maker good enough? (i.e. produce the best quality videos.) Anything that can rip to h.264/265 automatically?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
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  2. WinDV or DVIO is usually recommended.
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  3. Digital 8 is DV. Firwire captures the data stream directly to the computer unaltered as DV. The simplest program is WinDV. Windows Movie Maker will work as will almost any NLE. You do not want to go to h.264 directly.
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  4. 愛の戦士 Saburo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info! Now to research this stuff Type 1/Type 2 AVI files...
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  5. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Just look on this site for my past (detailed) posts about it...

    Scott
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  6. First of all smrpix is absolutely correct: "capturing" DV is actually just copying a file from one disk drive to another. In this case you are either copying the bits directly from the DV tape, or when using the passthrough to capture analog video from a VHS or 8mm tape, you are simply copying the bits from that same output. The software on your PC actually has no way of knowing whether the bits are streaming off a DV tape, or are coming from the A/D converter inside your camera. On the PC side, either one looks like a file copy.

    As for what software to use, you really do NOT want to use a capture program because most (not all) of them are designed to digitize the incoming stream into some other file format, like h.264 as was already mentioned. There is no need to do this, no upside to doing this, and you therefore do not want to do this.

    Instead, you want to use an application that is dedicated to "capturing" (i.e., copying) DV. Which program? Well, back when DV was the mainstay for digital video the "go to" program was Scenalyzer. I've recommended it hundreds of times, and everyone loved it. Andi, the programmer, gave up on development a few years ago when DV became passé, and put this paid shareware product into the public domain. You can now download it for free from the shell of his old web site:

    Scenalyzer Download

    This was last developed for Windows XP, so I don't know if Windows 10 will complain when you try to run it, but I expect you'll be able to run it in "compatibility mode." It was (and is) a marvelous piece of programming, with all sorts of hidden gems and features. The guy not only knew how to program, he understood which features would really make the program useful. He actually understood his customers.
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  7. DV video from a camcorder has video and audio muxed together. When computers were slow it was common to write that combined stream into an AVI file marked as video. No processing time was wasted separating the audio and video and writing them into separate streams. That is a type 1 DV AVI. In a type 2 DV AVI a copy of the audio is demuxed from the DV stream and written to the AVI file as an audio stream. So there are two copies of the audio in a type 2 DV AVI, the one that's in the video stream and the separate audio stream. Some editors/converters require type 1, some require type 2. Use whichever type your downstream applications support.
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  8. 愛の戦士 Saburo's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all the info! Doing all this primarily for archiving purposes. Later on we'll try to make stuff to watch on the teevee...
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  9. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Just emphasizing on the points mentioned.

    Yes, all you need is the tiny free utility WinDV, and a firewire cable (and, of course, the firewire interface card in your PC). It's really simple, and the term "capture" sounds too overwhelming when it's much more of a "copy" than anything if going straight to DV. Yes, it will be a 1:1, bit-for-bit, lossless transfer this way.

    For best results, don't use a capture device, or capture software not suited to this as you may compromise alot of quality, especially if going digital->analog->digital - lots of damage - along the way. And don't use any other format other than DV, including H.264/"H.265". (You can use lossless, in theory, but there's absolutely no advantage to it, only overkill.)

    As for type I/II, use whichever suits your application. Conversion to either is simple and lossless if you need to switch.

    Also, since you mentioned H.264/H.265 and archiving: If, in the end, you want H.264, such as for convenient playback, or even H.265, that's fine, but always archive the DV as your Source and Master.

    (Note: Do they officially call HEVC also H.265 now, or is "H.265" still closer to street talk encoding?)
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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    I've tried using WinDV and Scenalyzer to get video of my old Sony DCR-TRV22E (via Firewire cable), but the frame rate is terrible. Presumably when you're talking about "1:1, bit-for-bit, lossless transfer", you're referring to digital camcorders where the file is stored on the camera's HDD (or DVD if its a DVD camcorder)? I can't imagine this can be done practically with Mini DV tapes.
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    Scratch that. It was more a problem with the player I was using than the video file itself. I'm new to this stuff, so I'm still playing around with things.

    Am I right in saying that the tape just has a bunch of frames on it and WinDV and Scenalyzer copy these frames "1:1, bit-for-bit" as they are delivered to the PC via the Firewire cable? They're not just capturing the video feed from the camcorder and saving away frames at whatever pace they can manage.
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  12. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Transferring DV and digital8 tapes to computer with a camcorder using a firewire port and an app like WinDV is 1:1 backup, no transformation or transcoding has been done to the original video, Not to say that DV is lossless it is not, It is a lossy compression in its nature but you get what's already on the tape unaltered.
    Capturing video8 and Hi8 using a camcorder with firewire is a lossy capture not 1:1 backup because the tape is originally recorded in analog not digital and a conversion from analog to digital DV during capture is happening on the fly. Hope this helps.
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    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    the term "capture" sounds too overwhelming when it's much more of a "copy" than anything if going straight to DV.
    I'd like to find the computer nerd that first borrowed/stole/usurped the term "capture", in relation to DV transfer, thus misusing it, causing decades of confusion, and hit him upside the head with a shovel.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    the term "capture" sounds too overwhelming when it's much more of a "copy" than anything if going straight to DV.
    I'd like to find the computer nerd that first borrowed/stole/usurped the term "capture", in relation to DV transfer, thus misusing it, causing decades of confusion, and hit him upside the head with a shovel.
    It's the other way around, actually. "Capture" was first used to refer to the transfer of data from digital tapes to a computing platform. This is why Sony (which knows a thing or two about video) called its DV transfer program "Sony Video Capture." The term was then extended to what is more properly called "digital conversion" of analog signals.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Transferring DV and digital8 tapes to computer with a camcorder using a firewire port and an app like WinDV is 1:1 backup, no transformation or transcoding has been done to the original video, Not to say that DV is lossless it is not, It is a lossy compression in its nature but you get what's already on the tape unaltered.
    Capturing video8 and Hi8 using a camcorder with firewire is a lossy capture not 1:1 backup because the tape is originally recorded in analog not digital and a conversion from analog to digital DV during capture is happening on the fly. Hope this helps.
    Sorry for the necro, just want to show that I have been searching around before starting a redundant thread

    So, I haven't captured anything from tape since about 2004, when I still had a PD-150 -- the good old days! My goal is to digitize old Hi8 & MiniDV/DVCAM tapes to my computer & I'm looking for the absolute best quality/preservation without regard to disk space utilized or capture method. These are family memories that I procrastinated on digitizing for up to 26 yrs, and I'm just hoping and praying they are still okay.

    Where I'm at now: I purchased a firewire PCI card (with the original TI chips, not VIA) and I found a Sony DCR-TRV460 on eBay that has the 1394 out. I have not played back any of the old cassettes, as I've read you might only get one shot before they flake. -- anyone tried the bake in oven method to prevent flaking? -- Now after reading this thread, I'm concerned that the in-camera conversion from analog to digital is a lossy process, and perhaps I'm better off using something like the Blackmagic Intensity 4K capture card, with the breakout analog pigtails, and connecting the camera via the RCAs.

    I sincerely appreciate any guidance & criticism as I want to try and save these priceless family memories in the best way possible!! Thanks all!!
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    Update: I just tried capturing a tiny bit of test footage with WinDV and there is a strange genlock looking issue at the bottom, that isn't visible on the camera's flip out screen.

    Here's the example vid: https://youtu.be/1-MXvobDK4s

    Method used: Sony DCR-TRV460 into PC via firewire. Tape was left mid spool -- FF it to the end & then full rewind to stack it. Plays almost perfectly as viewed on flip out screen after 24 years!!
    Last edited by Atlantic Studios; 15th Jun 2020 at 13:42.
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  17. That head switching noise is normal. You don't see it on the camcorder screen because it doesn't show the entire frame.
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    Ahh, so that's not indicative of poor settings in WinDV or the analog to digital conversion happening in-camera?

    Do you suggest any particular settings in WinDV, or suggest a more preferred method to digitize?

    Thanks again!!
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  19. Nothing wrong with WinDV. You can capture with any program that recognizes DV -- including Premiere and Avid and get exactly the same results since it is a digital transfer. The only thing that might need setting is if your audio goes from 12 bit to 16 bit. If you have it set wrong, you'll know very quickly because the capture will stop.
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  20. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Yes as said, that noise is normal, You do have a significant line jitter on all vertical lines, You could benefit from a camcorder that has line TBC or if the one you have has one just turn it on and try DNR as well if equipped.

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    Just checked -- TBC & DNR are both on . Is this perhaps a symptom of capturing analog footage via firewire?

    I have a few other questions:
    • Is there a major or noticeable difference between doing the transfer via firewire when dealing with analog tapes, vs. using a proper capture card?
    • If I go the ATI AIW route (I have an old PC I built in 2002 that can take an AGP card) is there a prefered model in the Theater 200 series?
    • A lot of this footage was shot in Hi8 on a Sharp Viewcam; is it a good idea to aquire the same camera it was originaly recorded on, and is s-video out advantageous when dealing with Hi8 material?

    Thanks again for humoring the rookie!!
    Last edited by Atlantic Studios; 16th Jun 2020 at 09:55.
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  22. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    It's hard to tell from a youtube video, post a sample here so we can take a look.
    - Yes capturing analog tapes from S-Video in lossless AVI 4:2:2 is better than DV even if you compress the lossless AVI to H.264 afterwards, because H.264 is much more efficient than DV.
    - I don't know much about ATI AIW
    - Only if the camcorder that shot the tape was miss aligned, otherwise use the best camcorder for playback.
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    Thanks again for all the input!!!

    Here's a link to the clip from youtube: http://atlanticstudios.com/hi8capture/FL1996.20-06-15.avi

    Is the TRV460 considered a good camcorder for capture?
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  24. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    I could not confirm if the TRV460 is the best camcorder but if it has S-Video and Hi-Fi Stereo for analog tapes and line TBC/DNR it should be adequate, those are basic requirement for a decent capture of the analog 8mm format, I just want to note that Sony back in the later days of the format made some Video8 and Hi8 camcorders with an extra feature called XR (extended resolution). If you have some of those recordings you may want to consider an additional Hi8 camcorder with that feature. XR tapes can be played back on a normal camcorder including the D8 but you don't get the benefit of that 10% extra sharpness in luminance.
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  25. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Just like another member here, you have the same problem with those large alternating dark and bright lines, His were in certain areas, yours are across the whole video. As I mentioned before this may have something to do with the primitive imaging sensors used on those old camcorders, What camcorder shot those tapes?

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