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post #1 of 32 Old 03-26-2017, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Media resolution, should I digitize?

Hi all,

Well its been a long time since I visited. Since then I bought a Philips DVDR3575H. And now I am finally ready to actually use it. I also have a SVHS vcr.

I have VHS-Cs, 8mm and 8mm digital tapes.

My question should be basic but I have only found 1 place on the internet that vaguely gives the resolution for each medium. And no where can I find the resolution that the Philips will record in.

So naturally I am wondering is it worth it to burn the 8mms and the 8mm digital tapes with the Philips DVDR.

Hopefully it will be instructional too for anyone else curious to know. I can't believe I can't find this info anywhere.

Thank you so much.

I guess they never came out with a hidef dvd?
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post #2 of 32 Old 03-27-2017, 05:34 AM
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Full D1 DVD resolution is 720x480i, with your Philips you will have full D1 resolution on speeds through SP, any speeds longer than SP will be 1/2 D1 resolution and not positive about your Philips but some mfgs. drop even lower for the 8hr or even longer speeds(which look atrocious IMO). Personally I always try and record in full D1, I believe regular VHS is supposed be somewhere around 240 resolution, which in theory should be around 1/2 D1 resolution and should be a good fit for 1/2 D1 but whenever I tried it and compared it to VHS I never liked the results so I always stuck with full D1. S-VHS and Hi8 resolution more matches with full D1 and again is the only speed I'd personally use for dubbing. IMO if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right
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post #3 of 32 Old 03-27-2017, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
Full D1 DVD resolution is 720x480i, with your Philips you will have full D1 resolution on speeds through SP, any speeds longer than SP will be 1/2 D1 resolution and not positive about your Philips but some mfgs. drop even lower for the 8hr or even longer speeds(which look atrocious IMO). Personally I always try and record in full D1, I believe regular VHS is supposed be somewhere around 240 resolution, which in theory should be around 1/2 D1 resolution and should be a good fit for 1/2 D1 but whenever I tried it and compared it to VHS I never liked the results so I always stuck with full D1. S-VHS and Hi8 resolution more matches with full D1 and again is the only speed I'd personally use for dubbing. IMO if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right
I like your adage!

So we use the last number 480 for the resolution for the Philips, right?

I think VHS-Cs would be a no brainer. Even though you would definitely want to get them out of that format, they are not going to improve any. In the past I have recorded SP on the Philips to get a 2 hour movie on a disc. Then I would use High Speed dubbing to burn the DVD. So it took 26 min to high speed dub 1:32 min video. Not sure if other machines can high speed dub. They don't say anything about high speed dubbing degrading the video.

So when you use D1 resolution, just to be clear, you are using HQ to record your media to the HDD? Then you use HQ dubbing mode to burn your DVDs? Is that correct? So you are getting 1 hour of video per disc?

Now about the 8mm. Its analog. That should be HQ recorded and high speed dubbed.

And the Digital 8mm. Yes I went out and bought a Sony digital camcorder, DCR-TRV350 at a pawn shop some years ago for $200. And this is where I get confused. Shouldn't digital media be burned on a computer? The Philips is only standard definition. Wouldn't I get a better picture if I kept the digital, digital all the way through? Or am I mixing apples with oranges?

And we haven't even started yet on the phone video :eek

thanks so much
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post #4 of 32 Old 03-27-2017, 10:20 AM
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Yes 480i is the normal resolution of a standard MPEG2 DVD, 480 interlaced lines and no I really never use HQ(for several reasons) I use SP which gives the same resolution but less bitrate. If you starve bitrate to much you'll see macroblocking(picture breaking up into small squares in areas of fast movement) but IMO SP is still very good. Standard VHS(or VHS-C) is ~240 interlaced lines but IMO is closer to full D1 DVD quality than the numbers might suggest(if you used SP on VHS and recording/playing back on a quality recorder).
Basically all HDD DVDRs can HS dub and your right, no quality lost on a HS dub, 26 minutes is a bit on the high side, my Panasonics can HS a full DVD(2+hrs SP) in anywhere from 10-15 min(depending on a setting) but I think this is somewhat faster than the norm, I've heard other machines taking almost 30 minutes also.

AFA digital 8mm, does your player have a digital output you can record from? My guess is not, if that is the case even though material may be stored digitally on the tape it's still converted to analog on your players output, if thats the case then recording to a analog input DVDR is still about as good as it can get. True if your digital 8mm player had a digital out you could record to your PC then that would be the best, but I don't think thats the case. If your digital 8mm had component output thats also analog but much better quality than composite or even S-video. If your 8mm player had component outputs then you might be best recording through a Hauppauge device directly to your PC, DVDRs don't really have component inputs. Note if your tapes are at all "iffy" in quality you still might be better going through a DVDR as DVDRs are much better at handling iffy tapes due to better filtering than a PC has.

Last edited by jjeff; 03-27-2017 at 10:23 AM.
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post #5 of 32 Old 03-27-2017, 01:50 PM
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There really isn't any need to worry about precisely matching analog consumer videotape "resolution" - it doesn't have any real resolution to speak of. It was designed for analog CRT display: the minute we start forcing it into nasty digital formats, its best to pretend we never heard of "resolution" (to preserve our sanity).

I agree with everything jjeff told you, and more-or-less digitize my own tapes following those loose guidelines. Original camcorder tapes in exceptional condition, that look really REALLY clean, may benefit from using the HQ (1 hour per dvd) speed of your Phillips. Camcorder tapes will usually fit a one hour capacity just fine, and encoding quality is slightly better. But run a couple of tests first: analog tape is a crappy, crappy source material that most dvd recorders encode with approx the same playback quality at either HQ or SP. I make such decisions based on the tape(s) running time and how the camcorder vids will be viewed. If a taped family event fits neatly within an hour (not much shorter or longer), I'll use the HQ speed in hopes of eking out a tiny bit more quality. But more often, a set of family tapes fits more naturally on a two-hour SP dvd.

jjeff uses Panasonic dvd recorders, I use Pioneer. Both brands offer finer-tuned custom control over recording "speeds/quality" than your Phillips. So if you happen to read older posts by us, you may notice we mention MN or FR speeds with odd running times like 90 or 135 minutes per dvd. The Phillips recorder design does not permit such "to-the-exact-minute" quality settings: you are limited to either HQ (1 hour) or SP (2 hour). Any Phillips speed setting beyond SP will noticeably drop the encoding quality of analog tapes, so you might occasionally need to trim a few minutes here and there on the hard drive before burning to dvd. Fortunately, everybody's camcorder footage can usually benefit from some editing so this isn't a dealbreaker.

Your Digital-8 tapes are the outlier. You may or may not want to handle these the same as VHS, VHS-C and analog 8mm. If your Digital-8 camcorder includes a DV aka Firewire (IEEE1394) connector, you can patch this directly into a PC or Mac computer with corresponding Firewire port, and make a direct digital file copy from the tape. This would be an exact "lossless" dupe of the original tape, but as a video file that you can edit or play on different devices (or convert to other formats like MP4 or DVD).

The catch is that Firewire died out as a PC port ages ago: most laptops starting with Windows 7 dropped Firewire and/or the mini expansion slots that allowed adding a Firewire port. Apple Mac still supports Firewire via Thunderbolt, but its a bit klugy (and if you don't have access to a Mac, irrelevant). Also, the resulting video file is huge and not always practical to play until you convert it to some other format.

So you may want to just use the camcorder analog connections to your dvd recorder, and dub the Digital-8 tapes as if they were analog. Or, connect the camcorder Firewire to the DV port under the front panel flap of your Phillips, and make a direct digital copy to its HDD (where you can edit before making a dvd). This can be a little tricky, since not all dvd recorders and camcorders are completely DV-compatible, but worth a try. Note the camcorder might also permit playing your analog-8 tapes to the Phillips via DV: in that case, the camcorder does the encoding and sends the pre-digitized video direct to your Phillips hard drive. Some experimenting might be in order, to see what works best for you.
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post #6 of 32 Old 03-27-2017, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by airspeed View Post
I like your adage!

So we use the last number 480 for the resolution for the Philips, right?

I think VHS-Cs would be a no brainer. Even though you would definitely want to get them out of that format, they are not going to improve any. In the past I have recorded SP on the Philips to get a 2 hour movie on a disc. Then I would use High Speed dubbing to burn the DVD. So it took 26 min to high speed dub 1:32 min video. Not sure if other machines can high speed dub. They don't say anything about high speed dubbing degrading the video.

So when you use D1 resolution, just to be clear, you are using HQ to record your media to the HDD? Then you use HQ dubbing mode to burn your DVDs? Is that correct? So you are getting 1 hour of video per disc?

Now about the 8mm. Its analog. That should be HQ recorded and high speed dubbed.

And the Digital 8mm. Yes I went out and bought a Sony digital camcorder, DCR-TRV350 at a pawn shop some years ago for $200. And this is where I get confused. Shouldn't digital media be burned on a computer? The Philips is only standard definition. Wouldn't I get a better picture if I kept the digital, digital all the way through? Or am I mixing apples with oranges?

And we haven't even started yet on the phone video :eek

thanks so much
Guess wha-at, the Sony does have a DV output known as IEE34 better known as firewire! Its 4 pin. And the Philips has a DV input in the front of the unit, they call it E3.

BUT

Last night I tried to dub something and I got a "NO DISC" message. I tried other discs, all kinds of discs and got nothing. The dubbing menu was grayed out. So Philips suggested I try a lens cleaner. Same result, NO DISC.

So today I brought it into an electronics repair shop. This thing is virtually new. I used it twice. I don't know if they sell dvdr's anymore but I paid 400 bucks for this thing and I am peesed. So I can't check the pins for it. It would also have to be 4, correct? SO when I get my Philip back, I should be able to burn my 8mm digital tapes and have just as good a resolution as my computer import and burn. right?

These particular tapes were part of a project that involved 3 different video formats and a separate audio channel as well. I never got around to putting it all together, so I want to digitize the raw video on discs so that I can work on it at a later date right where I left off.
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post #7 of 32 Old 03-27-2017, 03:16 PM
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As CB said DV or firewire recording has lots of gotcha's, if it doesn't work I wouldn't jump to the conclusion there is anything wrong with either your camcorder or Philips, it's just one of those gotchas The DV input on DVDRs was mainly meant for hooking up to cameras and maybe select camcorders, again if it doesn't work I wouldn't blame anything other than incompatibility.
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post #8 of 32 Old 03-27-2017, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post
There really isn't any need to worry about precisely matching analog consumer videotape "resolution" - it doesn't have any real resolution to speak of. It was designed for analog CRT display: the minute we start forcing it into nasty digital formats, its best to pretend we never heard of "resolution" (to preserve our sanity).

I agree with everything jjeff told you, and more-or-less digitize my own tapes following those loose guidelines. Original camcorder tapes in exceptional condition, that look really REALLY clean, may benefit from using the HQ (1 hour per dvd) speed of your Phillips. Camcorder tapes will usually fit a one hour capacity just fine, and encoding quality is slightly better. But run a couple of tests first: analog tape is a crappy, crappy source material that most dvd recorders encode with approx the same playback quality at either HQ or SP. I make such decisions based on the tape(s) running time and how the camcorder vids will be viewed. If a taped family event fits neatly within an hour (not much shorter or longer), I'll use the HQ speed in hopes of eking out a tiny bit more quality. But more often, a set of family tapes fits more naturally on a two-hour SP dvd.

jjeff uses Panasonic dvd recorders, I use Pioneer. Both brands offer finer-tuned custom control over recording "speeds/quality" than your Phillips. So if you happen to read older posts by us, you may notice we mention MN or FR speeds with odd running times like 90 or 135 minutes per dvd. The Phillips recorder design does not permit such "to-the-exact-minute" quality settings: you are limited to either HQ (1 hour) or SP (2 hour). Any Phillips speed setting beyond SP will noticeably drop the encoding quality of analog tapes, so you might occasionally need to trim a few minutes here and there on the hard drive before burning to dvd. Fortunately, everybody's camcorder footage can usually benefit from some editing so this isn't a deal breaker.
Hi there, yes that is a great idea, if I can trim a little here and there I can do a 1 hour dvd. But if the resolution is the same with HQ as SP then does it matter??

Your Digital-8 tapes are the outlier. You may or may not want to handle these the same as VHS, VHS-C and analog 8mm. If your Digital-8 camcorder includes a DV aka Firewire (IEEE1394) connector, you can patch this directly into a PC or Mac computer with corresponding Firewire port, and make a direct digital file copy from the tape. This would be an exact "lossless" dupe of the original tape, but as a video file that you can edit or play on different devices (or convert to other formats like MP4 or DVD).

The catch is that Firewire died out as a PC port ages ago: most laptops starting with Windows 7 dropped Firewire and/or the mini expansion slots that allowed adding a Firewire port. Apple Mac still supports Firewire via Thunderbolt, but its a bit klugy (and if you don't have access to a Mac, irrelevant). Also, the resulting video file is huge and not always practical to play until you convert it to some other format. I do have a little mac airbook, I used iMovie I think once before and I bought the attachment to import it in. So which is going to be better, connecting the camcorder to the DV input on the Philips or the Mac? I would definitely want as lossless of a file I could get. There are places where one might want to do a frame grab to print out in the future.

So you may want to just use the camcorder analog connections to your dvd recorder, and dub the Digital-8 tapes as if they were analog. Or, connect the camcorder Firewire to the DV port under the front panel flap of your Phillips, and make a direct digital copy to its HDD (where you can edit before making a dvd). This can be a little tricky, since not all dvd recorders and camcorders are completely DV-compatible, but worth a try. Note the camcorder might also permit playing your analog-8 tapes to the Phillips via DV: in that case, the camcorder does the encoding and sends the pre-digitized video direct to your Phillips hard drive. Some experimenting might be in order, to see what works best for you.
Now this is a absolutely interesting point I didn't think about. Yes the Sony has pass through so it will play the analog 8mms. That could really be beneficial to those tapes.The only thing now is I put the Philips in the shop today cause it was telling me I had no disc. This is unbelievable! The thing is practically brand new. Anyway, this will just give me a little more time to plan this project. Thank you for any help. You guys are the best. I am so glad I found this forum again. TKS Moira
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post #9 of 32 Old 03-27-2017, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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As CB said DV or firewire recording has lots of gotcha's, if it doesn't work I wouldn't jump to the conclusion there is anything wrong with either your camcorder or Philips, it's just one of those gotchas The DV input on DVDRs was mainly meant for hooking up to cameras and maybe select camcorders, again if it doesn't work I wouldn't blame anything other than incompatibility.
would it be lossless though?
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post #10 of 32 Old 03-27-2017, 04:41 PM
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If it works it should be, with the big emphasis on if....I've never been able to get it to work although I believe at least one old Pioneer model has reported success.
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post #11 of 32 Old 03-27-2017, 06:06 PM
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Whether to use HQ or SP depends on
1) Your own discretion
2) The content that is to be digitized.

I have a Sony RDR-HX780, which is considered to be a pretty good quality DVD recorder using a decent encoder. Although most material, especially very clean material will encode in virtually identical quality using HQ or SP but if you encode something that has lot’s smoke, fog, changing light level conditions, shaky movement etc then I see a pretty big difference between HQ and SP. Also I notice that noisy material (as in noise in the picture) will encode better with HQ speed.

As for the DV firewire – unfortunately there is lots of incompatibility between digital 8mm decks firewire out and DVD recorders firewire in. It’s usually as simple as a software driver expecting different instructions. You can’t do anything about this.

If you really want to go digital to digital your PC should have an empty slot and certain manufactures may have new enough firewire cards to work with modern computers – you may have to hunt for a compatible driver. But IMO you are better off using the digital 8 S-video out into the S-video in of the DVD recorder.

Finally - resolution is only one out of many specs. Also VHS, Beta, SVHS, 8mm and Hi8 all have virtually the same color resolution – very low. The difference between the formats resolutions is mostly in the luminance. I beleive digital-8 has equal to DVD both color and luminance resolution. Resolution aside there are many specs and many of them are different specs for analog signals and different specs for digital signals.
When digitizing – it is always best to use the best encoding bit-rate you can afford (space wise)

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Whether to use HQ or SP depends on
1) Your own discretion
2) The content that is to be digitized.

I have a Sony RDR-HX780, which is considered to be a pretty good quality DVD recorder using a decent encoder. Although most material, especially very clean material will encode in virtually identical quality using HQ or SP but if you encode something that has lot’s smoke, fog, changing light level conditions, shaky movement etc then I see a pretty big difference between HQ and SP. Also I notice that noisy material (as in noise in the picture) will encode better with HQ speed.

As for the DV firewire – unfortunately there is lots of incompatibility between digital 8mm decks firewire out and DVD recorders firewire in. It’s usually as simple as a software driver expecting different instructions. You can’t do anything about this.

If you really want to go digital to digital your PC should have an empty slot and certain manufactures may have new enough firewire cards to work with modern computers – you may have to hunt for a compatible driver. But IMO you are better off using the digital 8 S-video out into the S-video in of the DVD recorder.

Finally - resolution is only one out of many specs. Also VHS, Beta, SVHS, 8mm and Hi8 all have virtually the same color resolution – very low. The difference between the formats resolutions is mostly in the luminance. I beleive digital-8 has equal to DVD both color and luminance resolution. Resolution aside there are many specs and many of them are different specs for analog signals and different specs for digital signals.
When digitizing – it is always best to use the best encoding bit-rate you can afford (space wise)
Thank you Super, I probably should go with HQ for the home movies. Everything else really is not that important. To tell you the truth my eyes couldn't tell the difference between HQ and SP. The main reason to do it right is for those who come after us.

Lets see what happens on this repair tomorrow. I should have an estimate. I bet anything they say I need a new laser lens.

tkuvm!
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post #13 of 32 Old 03-28-2017, 11:34 AM
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Since you have a MacBook (and apparently the Thunderbolt>Firewire dongle), definitely try connecting the DV output of the camcorder to it and see if iMovie recognizes and imports the footage. If so, this will give you the easiest, most-flexible, purely digital workflow. Your chances of the MacBook co-operating with the camcorder are somewhat greater than with a PC, and much greater than the Phillips.

The issue with the MacBook might be exactly how it imports the video, what kind of file results, and what the final file specs would be after editing with iMovie. I can't remember whether iMovie insists on doing some lossy compression of the imported video or not: you should look into the documentation or help menu to check on this. Compression is not necessarily a bad thing: pure DV from a camcorder can be unwieldy to work with. This stuff isn't cut-and-dried, one has to tinker a bit.

The HQ (1-hr) vs SP (2-hr) debate is endless, yet another instance where personal experimenting will provide you with far more useful info than anything you read in a forum post. Each dvd recorder is different, and taped material comes in an infinite variety of quality. Combined, these two factors may or may not show dramatic differences between HQ and SP encodings. Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony and Toshiba DVD/HDD recorders put a bit more "oomph" into their HQ mode than Phillips, so owners of those decks will naturally have sharper opinions on the speed difference.

When I owned a Phillips and compared its VHS dubbing against my recent Pioneers at various speeds (and samples from Panasonics owned by others), my impression was Phillips ranked slightly lower at HQ and SP than those decks, but slightly above earlier Pioneers and Sonys. The Phillips/Magnavox DVD/HDD models are optimized for off-air ATSC recordings from their tuners: in this they have no equal (the quality beats anything you can possibly get connecting an external digital tuner to the otherwise-"better" analog-tuner units). But for tape dubbing, the older non-Phillips models still have a slight edge. IMO, that edge will be trivial to most people.

In practical terms, most camcorder footage is not the "smoke + fireworks + rock concert" encoding torture test Super Eye specializes in. He is of course correct that such material needs all the help it can get, but your average birthday party or wedding or childrens recital is not that challenging to encode (nor does its inherently "blah" appearance require "Citizen Kane" levels of effort). Most of this is going to look indistinguishable at HQ or SP. And like it or not, family members lie their asses off about their enthusiasm for viewing this stuff - it seems harsh to say, but the reality is nobody seriously gives a damn about the family archives after their first viewing.

The novelty wears off, the itch is scratched, then the discs will go into a drawer, never to be retrieved again. Its BORING, and largely been rendered irrelevant by the immediacy of in-the-moment phone videos and social media sharing. Trust me, even your mother and grandmother will be planning meals and mentally running their appointments within fifteen minutes of any family video presentation. Unless you're the Osmonds, these videos are fun to make but a total snoozefest to watch. So don't stress over obtaining the nth degree of quality: not even *you* will care once its all done.

A key point we should get into is your end goal for these digital transfers. As a general rule, one uses a DVD/HDD recorder if the end goal is an edited dvd (and nothing else, ever). Dubbing to PC/Mac is better if the end goal is lossless preservation of originals with the expectation you will re-purpose multiple times in future to different formats (or most of the family today wants to view these archives on an iPad instead of a DVD player). DVD recorders use compression to digitize analog video, and the files they write to dvd are in the convoluted configuration required by the now-ancient dvd player spec. These dvd-format files are a pain to convert to editable format in a PC, and conversion to tablet-compatible video format will noticeably erode picture quality.

This additional work and loss of quality is pointless unless the primary format needed is dvd: if the final viewing platform is much more likely to be tablets, laptops, or a thumb drive plugged directly into the TV, skip the dvd recorder and dub directly to PC/Mac. The workflow of converting the PC/Mac files to dvd (when needed) is more flexible, easier and better quality than the workflow of reverse-engineering the already-compromised dvd format to common tablet, phone and computer formats.

I personally made the decision to compromise and use a dvd recorder, because I prefer standalone devices to PCs, and dvd recorders are less fussy about analog video input than PC/Mac (computers work great with digital DV, but can be balky with analog input accessories). A great many AVS members in the past did prefer the compromise of dubbing to dvd recorder first, then ripping the dvds to their PC/Mac for editing or conversion to other video formats. But this was back in the days before ubiquitous tablets and affordable 60" HDTVs: today that workflow delivers disappointing results unless your expectations are very realistic. If you think you'll go this route, it does make sense to use the HQ speed of your Phillips to minimize the inevitable quality loss after you rip and convert on the computer.

Final note on your "like-new" but broken Phillips: this is unfortunately a common scenario with dvd recorders of all brands. Their dvd drives are an atrocious Achilles Heel: possibly the single most aggravating (and unnecessary) failure point of any consumer electronics product ever marketed. They die if they don't like a particular blank disc, they die from overuse, and they die from sitting in a closet or store shelf unused for too long. They die for no reason at all, usually at the worst possible time, yet are perversely unrepairable. Every recorder uses a flimsy, proprietary dvd drive that has little to no parts in common with standard PC drives. When they croak, the only option is mfr repair, which is no longer available (and when it was, the cost of replacing a burner was typically close to the cost of buying a complete new dvd recorder).

You may find that replacement dvd drives for your 3575 are no longer available, or the repair fee hideously expensive. There is some discussion on this in the permanent Phillips Magnavox recorder thread (above): I believe drives for the Phillips 3575 and 3576 were discontinued, but drives for their Magnavox "sisters" are still available and might be usable by a clever repair technician. If it were me, I think I'd just look on eBay for a mint Magnavox MDR-513 DVD/HDD recorder. This was the last really well-made "Phillips" recorder, and operates almost exactly like your 3575. The MDR513 sells for approx $225 in perfect condition if you shop carefully (it may take a couple weeks patience: many delusional sellers are asking a ridiculous $350-$450). Or, consider a Sony 780, Pioneer 450/550/460/560, or Panasonic EH55 if one turns up for less than $300 (unlikely, but it happens, more often on Craigs List than eBay).

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post #14 of 32 Old 03-28-2017, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Since you have a MacBook (and apparently the Thunderbolt>Firewire dongle), definitely try connecting the DV output of the camcorder to it and see if iMovie recognizes and imports the footage. If so, this will give you the easiest, most-flexible, purely digital workflow. Your chances of the MacBook co-operating with the camcorder are somewhat greater than with a PC, and much greater than the Phillips.

The issue with the MacBook might be exactly how it imports the video, what kind of file results, and what the final file specs would be after editing with iMovie. I can't remember whether iMovie insists on doing some lossy compression of the imported video or not: you should look into the documentation or help menu to check on this. Compression is not necessarily a bad thing: pure DV from a camcorder can be unwieldy to work with. This stuff isn't cut-and-dried, one has to tinker a bit.

The HQ (1-hr) vs SP (2-hr) debate is endless, yet another instance where personal experimenting will provide you with far more useful info than anything you read in a forum post. Each dvd recorder is different, and taped material comes in an infinite variety of quality. Combined, these two factors may or may not show dramatic differences between HQ and SP encodings. Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony and Toshiba DVD/HDD recorders put a bit more "oomph" into their HQ mode than Phillips, so owners of those decks will naturally have sharper opinions on the speed difference.

When I owned a Phillips and compared its VHS dubbing against my recent Pioneers at various speeds (and samples from Panasonics owned by others), my impression was Phillips ranked slightly lower at HQ and SP than those decks, but slightly above earlier Pioneers and Sonys. The Phillips/Magnavox DVD/HDD models are optimized for off-air ATSC recordings from their tuners: in this they have no equal (the quality beats anything you can possibly get connecting an external digital tuner to the otherwise-"better" analog-tuner units). But for tape dubbing, the older non-Phillips models still have a slight edge. IMO, that edge will be trivial to most people.

In practical terms, most camcorder footage is not the "smoke + fireworks + rock concert" encoding torture test Super Eye specializes in. LOL He is of course correct that such material needs all the help it can get, but your average birthday party or wedding or childrens recital is not that challenging to encode (nor does its inherently "blah" appearance require "Citizen Kane" levels of effort). Most of this is going to look indistinguishable at HQ or SP. And like it or not, family members lie their asses off about their enthusiasm for viewing this stuff - it seems harsh to say, but the reality is nobody seriously gives a damn about the family archives after their first viewing.

The novelty wears off, the itch is scratched, then the discs will go into a drawer, never to be retrieved again. Its BORING, and largely been rendered irrelevant by the immediacy of in-the-moment phone videos and social media sharing. Trust me, even your mother and grandmother will be planning meals and mentally running their appointments within fifteen minutes of any family video presentation. Unless you're the Osmonds, these videos are fun to make but a total snoozefest to watch. So don't stress over obtaining the nth degree of quality: not even *you* will care once its all done. Good Advice, my big concern is getting a shot of old uncle xxx for generations to come. There always ends up to be some historian in the family.

A key point we should get into is your end goal for these digital transfers. As a general rule, one uses a DVD/HDD recorder if the end goal is an edited dvd (and nothing else, ever). Dubbing to PC/Mac is better if the end goal is lossless preservation of originals Yes that is my goal with the expectation you will re-purpose multiple times in future to different formats (or most of the family today wants to view these archives on an iPad instead of a DVD player). DVD recorders use compression to digitize analog video, and the files they write to dvd are in the convoluted configuration required by the now-ancient dvd player spec. These dvd-format files are a pain to convert to editable format in a PC, and conversion to tablet-compatible video format will noticeably erode picture quality. I also want to show these videos to my dad in his dvd player

This additional work and loss of quality is pointless unless the primary format needed is dvd: if the final viewing platform is much more likely to be tablets, laptops, or a thumb drive plugged directly into the TV, skip the dvd recorder and dub directly to PC/Mac. The workflow of converting the PC/Mac files to dvd (when needed) is more flexible, easier and better quality than the workflow of reverse-engineering the already-compromised dvd format to common tablet, phone and computer formats.Ok this makes great sense

I personally made the decision to compromise and use a dvd recorder, because I prefer standalone devices to PCs, Me too and dvd recorders are less fussy about analog video input than PC/Mac (computers work great with digital DV, but can be balky with analog input accessories). A great many AVS members in the past did prefer the compromise of dubbing to dvd recorder first, then ripping the dvds to their PC/Mac for editing or conversion to other video formats. But this was back in the days before ubiquitous tablets and affordable 60" HDTVs: today that workflow delivers disappointing results unless your expectations are very realistic. If you think you'll go this route, it does make sense to use the HQ speed of your Phillips to minimize the inevitable quality loss after you rip and convert on the computer. [COLOR="red"]I currently do not have a device that ca import the analog videos in my MAC. I had a dazzle some years ago but it doesn't work with a MAC and not sure if my old Dell running XP is up to the task. It only has 1 gb of ram.[COLOR="red"]

Final note on your "like-new" but broken Phillips: this is unfortunately a common scenario with dvd recorders of all brands. Their dvd drives are an atrocious Achilles Heel: possibly the single most aggravating (and unnecessary) failure point of any consumer electronics product ever marketed. They die if they don't like a particular blank disc, they die from overuse, and they die from sitting in a closet or store shelf unused for too long. They die for no reason at all, usually at the worst possible time, yet are perversely unrepairable. Every recorder uses a flimsy, proprietary dvd drive that has little to no parts in common with standard PC drives. When they croak, the only option is mfr repair, which is no longer available (and when it was, the cost of replacing a burner was typically close to the cost of buying a complete new dvd recorder). OK this is where we are now. The repair shop says I have a corrupted eprom that is not sending the instructions to everything else. Everything else is working perfectly. Philips won't sell the eprom. They insist you need to buy a whole new "motherboard". They don't have any. The repair would cost $364, I paid 374 for it new. The repair shop is only allowed to install new parts. I found one on eBay. If it has the same firmware as mine, the guy says its plug and play. I am so upset I want to cry.

You may find that replacement dvd drives for your 3575 are no longer available, or the repair fee hideously expensive. There is some discussion on this in the permanent Phillips Magnavox recorder thread (above): I believe drives for the Phillips 3575 and 3576 were discontinued, but drives for their Magnavox "sisters" are still available and might be usable by a clever repair technician. If it were me, I think I'd just look on eBay for a mint Magnavox MDR-513 DVD/HDD recorder. This was the last really well-made "Phillips" recorder, and operates almost exactly like your 3575. The MDR513 sells for approx $225 in perfect condition if you shop carefully (it may take a couple weeks patience: many delusional sellers are asking a ridiculous $350-$450). Or, consider a Sony 780, Pioneer 450/550/460/560, or Panasonic EH55 if one turns up for less than $300 (unlikely, but it happens, more often on Craigs List than eBay).[/quote] Also I did a google search for a brand new one. Magnavox is still selling them but they don't have the dv input. I guess thats ok, if I will be importing the digital 8mms into the mac. And I can import the analogs into the S-video jack. OR I can find a NEW dazzle or whatever that will play with my MAC.

Thank you CB, your fantastic!
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... I did a google search for a brand new one. Magnavox is still selling them but they don't have the dv input. I guess thats ok, if I will be importing the digital 8mms into the mac. And I can import the analogs into the S-video jack. OR I can find a NEW dazzle or whatever that will play with my MAC.[/COLOR]
The Mag 513 does have a DV input, pg 56 in the manual.
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By the way if you go the digital-to-digital firewire route, it won’t be lossless. Digital-8 uses DV compression while DVD uses MPEG-2 so you’re going from one compressed format to another. It may be better than going from the analog S-Video or it may not. But it won’t be lossless.
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The Mag 513 does have a DV input, pg 56 in the manual.
Thats great, Thank you
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post
By the way if you go the digital-to-digital firewire route, it won’t be lossless. Digital-8 uses DV compression while DVD uses MPEG-2 so you’re going from one compressed format to another. It may be better than going from the analog S-Video or it may not. But it won’t be lossless.
This is indeed something to factor into your workflow choice, airspeed: I touched on it but didn't clarify as well as Super Eye just did. The compression or "loss" interactions will vary depending how you hook things up and what you use as the final files.

Going from Digital-8 firewire to Mac firewire, there should be little to no loss because its a digital>digital copy. Depending on the capture software you use, this original version will be lossless or have whatever compression that software applies. Its been years since I used iMovie, so I can't remember how it handles DV capture, but I'm pretty sure it does let you capture the unaltered Digital-8 output and save it as a backup (while compression might later be applied to any edited or retouched version). I also don't remember if iMovie wraps the original camcorder capture in a Mac-specific file container, or a more compatible format like AVI.

One way or the other, the original Mac capture can be converted to something cross-compatible like AVI, MP4 or MKV without much difficulty or quality loss. From this you can make smaller-size compressed files for tablet or phone use, and/or DVDs compatible with dvd players. (As Super Eye said, converting to dvd player format from camcorder DV will incur some additional MPEG2 loss.) The original capture files might be playable in a BluRay player if burned as a plain backup data dvd.

Going from camcorder firewire to dvd recorder firewire will involve automatic conversion/compression from original camcorder DV to dvd-compatible MPEG2. This is the big reason some people prefer to start with a Mac/PC capture instead: with the computer, you always have the original digital-8 quality archived, but with the recorder, you suffer an immediate conversion loss (that will become worse if you decide you want "tablet" or other files later). This is a subjective decision, of course: the ease of use of the recorder may be more important to you than the potentially slight loss of quality going from camcorder to dvd to tablet file (doubled conversion).

A tablet or phone screen isn't big enough to make double conversion loss really glaring, so it may not be a problem. Double conversion is a bigger issue if everyone involved eventually abandons dvd players, and instead starts viewing the smaller files derived from the dvds on a huge television. In that scenario, you may wish you had captured the original camcorder quality with a computer instead.

One clever compromise trick that works for some people is to rip the dvd thru a utility like MakeMKV, which will wrap the dvd MPEG2 video into a more-compatible MKV file (with no compression or loss of the dvd quality). MKVs will play in almost any media device, with no need for a disc player. The drawback is the resulting MKV file will be huge, the same 4.3 GB size as the source dvd. This may be impractical to play on some devices, also you lose the menu from the dvd (the copy just plays as one continuous movie file).

The above applies to your Digital-8 tapes: analog-8, VHS and VHS-C are a different sort of compromise. These will be messed with by conversion to digital regardless, and in many cases a DVD/HDD recorder will make easier/less troublesome analog captures than any computer setup. You will still face the double conversion loss if you convert the dvds to tablet-type files, OTOH you might encounter issues with analog> computer capture that negate any advantages of starting with a computer file instead.

Capturing analog video to a MacBook is a bit more difficult than with a Windows PC, mainly because the most-discussed software is Windows-only, and the dozens of Chinese analog>usb video devices tend to come with only Windows drivers. There are a few Mac-centric USB capture dongles like the original, genuine EZcap and Elgato. But they might not be necessary: you might be able to use your Digital-8 camcorder as a makeshift firewire "capture card" instead.

If your camcorder has an analog A/V input port, you should be able to patch your VHS vcr thru it. The camcorder would then convert the analog VHS signal to digital DV and pass it via firewire to your Mac (capturing with iMovie or whatever). The camcorder does the same thing if you load it with an analog-8 tape: converts the signal to digital, and sends it out the firewire port. You'd just need the correct firewire cable, and a Thunderbolt>Firewire adapter if your MacBook only has Thunderbolt and USB. If you lost it, you might also need to replace the special cable that came with your camcorder (red-white-yellow VCR A/V connections on one end, and usually a mini-headphone-type plug on the other).

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post #19 of 32 Old 03-28-2017, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Well thank you again citibear and super eye,

I just about had my plan but I think I need to think on this more. I do need the best quality from these tapes and future proof it for any format that may come around. So I thought I might run the analog tapes through the computer.

My camera doesn't have an A/V input. So they either have to go into the DVD recorder via S-Video jack or into my MAC somehow.

Right now my recorder is down and I am working on that situation. I refuse to throw this machine in a landfill, pay an enormous amount of money to get it fixed or put it on eBay for parts. I want to get it working again very much.

It sounds like the recorder would be the easiest route for the analog tapes, which is why I bought it. I didn't realize the loss of quality, different formats etc at that time.

While I am resolving the recorder problem, I can run a analog tape through my old Dell or might be able to use a laptop I have that is more powerful. I'll let you know how that goes.

Do you have any thoughts about the broke Philips? Anybody here work on em?

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If its really the eprom, there is no affordable way to fix your 3575. You could try to find a broken 3575 on eBay or Craigs List, but even if you track one down for $70 it will still cost another $100 or more for technician's labor to harvest the eprom and install/test it in your unit. This is roughly what it would cost to purchase a replacement Magnavox MDR513 recorder, which is more sensible. Sorry not to have any cost-effective suggestions for you, but this is the curse of dvd recorders: they work until they don't, then they can't be repaired.

One long shot hail mary pass you can attempt is returning it to a Wal Mart, if you originally bought it there. I have heard of people returning things they bought years earlier that broke down, and getting an exchange credit or refund if the stars align and the customer service rep is in a good mood. Its worth a try, anyway. Of course, if you did not buy it from Wal Mart don't try this: they keep a record of serial numbers. You can return without a receipt, but it needs to be from a serial number lot they actually did once sell.
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I am gonna have to make a decision soon about the analog tapes but right now I need to know what program I can use
to change the creation dates on videos to the original creation dates as a batch if possible, on the mac.

I have been looking for hours. And I have never used the terminal prompt thing.

thanks moira
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OK I tried the terminal thing and on this particular video, vid00038.mp4 from a flipshare camera, the creation date remains the same as it is in finder. the wrong date. it is not the original date.

just for kicks I tried it on some pictures of a canon camera, canon 001.jpg and it did the same thing. The original creation date is not showing.

is this something that only a windows machine can do? please shoot me now.
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post #23 of 32 Old 03-31-2017, 07:35 AM
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is this something that only a windows machine can do? please shoot me now.
bang . . .

If you were using a PC, I would tell you to do the following:
  • Digitize your video tapes with the DVDR using the highest quality setting (I believe it is HQ).
  • Burn the titles to DVD-RW (or +RW).
  • Use Video ReDo to:
    • Transfer the titles to a PC.
    • Make any edits
    • Assemble the titles you want on a single DVD-R or DVD+DL
    • Generate a custom title menu that could include the original recording date in the label
    • Burn the titles to the DVD-R or +DL with 2-pass recoding set so it will get shrunk to fit on a single disk at the highest quality possible

Obviously, if you try to squash too much on a single disk your quality will suck. In general, no more than 2.5hr on a DVD-R and no more than 4.5hr on a DVD+DL.

But . . . you are using a mac . . .

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The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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Moira,

Mac is great at some things but not at others. Once upon a time, it was THE audio, video, and graphics platform of choice: but that day is gone ( I say that sadly as an ex- Mac administrator). For the past ten years, Apple has systematically screwed the pooch with Mac thru neglect and bad decisions. Windows caught up and then far eclipsed Mac in terms of software options for handling video (especially discs). As Kelson proposed, you'll want a Windows PC for any serious post-capture processing of DVDs. Mac is still the easiest, most reliable platform for capturing from FireWire devices (mainly because all FireWire devices were designed around the Mac FW spec), but once the video is captured you'll have far more software solutions if you copy the video to a windows PC. This would also leave your MacBook free for all the other tasks you enjoy using it for.

Re the file creation date mess: this is not something easy to fix. Both the Mac and Windows file systems have an annoying tendency to corrupt or inexplicably alter file dates, and once that happens it can be hard to reverse or override. Sometimes the terminal (command line) tricks work, but not always: the file dates remain stubbornly, recursively wrong. Often the simplest workaround is to append your preferred date as part of the file name (six digits at the end, like "Yellowstone Geyser_032917". I'm not familiar with any batch utilities that can do that for you with videos, but the freeware photo utility IrfanView includes a handy batch rename feature that I've made use of for years.

For video, Kelson suggested another workaround: when you author a DVD with a computer, you can name the clips whatever you want in the resulting title menu, including your preferred date. Some standalone dvd recorders also let you do this, but not Phillips/Magnavox: their dvd menu always includes the date they recorded the video themselves.
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Thank you. Once I get the original creation dates of the digital files, I am just going to rename the files including the original creation date. Import them into iMovie to get a smalller file size, and burn a DVD. The captured uncompressed digital file will live on a hard drive somewhere and will always have the original creation date in the file name. I only have 4 digital 8mm tapes.

I have decided to use the dvdr to digitize the VHS-C AND 8MM analog tapes. I have a lot to do and I don't have the time to check each video import. There are just too many problems with running them through the computer with mass pixelation and audio sync issues. The DVDr will be much simpler. So right now I am trying to figure out how to get the Philips 3575H fixed or buy a new one.

VideoSpec software worked with the files from the Flipshare camera VID000XX.mp4 and the Canon .AVI files. Just be sure to check out all three views: simple, complete and expert. It did not work with the .mpg files. It can do multiple files at a time although it could get a little confusing as the name of the file is way at the top of the page and the encoding time is way at the bottom. And it is displayed in columns. You have to manually change your file names to include the actual creation date. Then you will never have that problem again. The encoding time is the one you want (except for the .avi in which case the creation date was accurate). Ignore the UTC label (Universal Coordinated time also known as Greenwich time or Zulu time) It is displayed in local time (and day) the time and date you set the camera on. Unless of course you live in Greenwich England then local time is equal to UTC time.

I will try the Mediainfo software for the .mpg files and report back.
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Media info did not work with the .mpg files.
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Thank you. Once I get the original creation dates of the digital files, I am just going to rename the files including the original creation date. Import them into iMovie to get a smalller file size, and burn a DVD. The captured uncompressed digital file will live on a hard drive somewhere and will always have the original creation date in the file name. I only have 4 digital 8mm tapes.

I have decided to use the dvdr to digitize the VHS-C AND 8MM analog tapes. I have a lot to do and I don't have the time to check each video import. There are just too many problems with running them through the computer with mass pixelation and audio sync issues. The DVDr will be much simpler. So right now I am trying to figure out how to get the Philips 3575H fixed or buy a new one.

...
You can get dateless DVDs with the Philips/Magnavox line of HDD recorders using external dubbing. The 3575/3576/2080 are the only ones that you can use internal dubbing to maintain dateless titles as long as you don't set their clocks. If you get the 3575 fixed, you can get a dateless DVD following the instructions here.
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post #28 of 32 Old 04-02-2017, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all. I have put the Philips aside momentarily while I burn the digital 8mm dvds.

I had to get the original creation dates cause the clips have to be played in a certain order. I was dealing with time zone changes and incorrect times on the 3 cameras that made up the project. I was not able to use VideoSpec or the MediaInfo or the Terminal thing to get those dates. I just ended up identifying a known time on the tape and then counted backwards...

So I got all of that done, it took 2 days and I was just about to burn when I discovered that a ,mpg video was so much better than a ,mp4 video I had. That was used for the .DV files that came off the camcorder. So I started converting my other .DV files to that.mpg format. Only problem is when they converted, the video had black sidebars. The other one didn't.

So then I decided that it must be the converter I used along time ago. So I spent all of today trying to find out what converter I had on my MAC at the time. I had AVC, Quicktime Player, and iMovie. None of these converters seem to be the one that converted the original back when. I am just perplexed.

I have spent all day trying to convert the same digital 8mm .DV files to ,mpg from the same camera. One has a full screen and the other has black sidebars. I am at a brick wall. Could it be how it was imported? They were all imported at the same time, Im guessing with the same settings.

You guys got any ideas? I need a break.
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post #29 of 32 Old 04-02-2017, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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There has got to be a way to find out how a video was converted....
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post #30 of 32 Old 04-03-2017, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Well after 2 days of trying every setting imaginable, I learned that you cannot convert a video on a MAC using free Any Video
Converter and get a 16:9 output. It is only available on the Windows version.

Done with that, now I just need to burn these digital files. I'll probably have to import them with the camera in the Windows machine cause they are too big to transfer them with a thumb drive or something.

Im having fun now.....
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