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  1. Member 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. Member 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. Member 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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  13. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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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.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank DiscsBest TBCsBest VCRs for captureRestore VHS
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  14. Member
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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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