Do you copy & Store your home movies on your computer? If so, I need advice please. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I store all of my movies I take on my camcorder to my hard drive. As I am sure you know, these files take up a tremendous amount of disk space.

I was wondering what the "norm" is with regard to what format you store your videos in, do you convert them? Do you lose any quality?

Or, do you do something completely different?
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 04:03 PM
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I keep them in original m2ts form on at least two hard drives. I have a folder for the video of each event that is named by the date and some very short description, e.g., 20100226BaseballGame

Hard drives are currently very cheap: 2tb costs about $150.
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 04:17 PM
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Old home movies from VHS, Video-8, Hi-8 and Mini-DV, i use DV codec, sometimes in the MOV container. For HD, I use Apple ProRes 422 or Apple Intermediate in the MOV container because that's what iMovie and Final Cut Pro prefers.
Just be sure you pick a format that is uncompromising in quality and works best for you.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 04:25 PM
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the norm is probably to have 1 other drive they are on.
I like as many backups as possible. I aim for 3 backups. Image (saves a little room) the .mts files & my video editing software 'saves' onto 2 different drives. Drives are cheap, time is not. I also test my images to make sure nothing is corrupt....made that mistake once.
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I probably should have stated that I am using a PC.

I guess ultimately what I am asking is, do you keep your videos on your PC in their purest format (huge file size) or do you convert them? If you convert, what format do you convert them to and how much quality loss is there?

Currently, I am using a Mini-DV camcorder but I do plan on purchasing an HD camcorder in the somewhat near future and I would expect that HD video takes up even more drive space.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realdeal1115 View Post

I would expect that HD video takes up even more drive space.

No.
HD on tape (HDV) takes up the same amount of space as SD on tape
HD on avchd (hard drives/Flash card) takes up less space.
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 04:46 PM
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I have an external western digital 2 TB hard drive, got it for 180. Stay away from seagate, read the reviews if you don't believe me
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 07:23 PM
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Pair down the crap footage and delete it (and stop telling yourself it is all worth keeping because you may just use it some day...) you will be amazed how much less storage space you need.

Keep the good footage at native format. Copy it onto multiple places for redundancy, rinse and repeat.

-Suntan
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post #9 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realdeal1115 View Post

Sorry, I probably should have stated that I am using a PC.

I guess ultimately what I am asking is, do you keep your videos on your PC in their purest format (huge file size) or do you convert them? If you convert, what format do you convert them to and how much quality loss is there?

Currently, I am using a Mini-DV camcorder but I do plan on purchasing an HD camcorder in the somewhat near future and I would expect that HD video takes up even more drive space.

1. I never reduce the original resolution of the video for my own use since my target output devices are all 1920 x 1080 (like a Full HD HDTV or my PC monitor). I also don't change formats from AVCHD to something else as I'm perfectly comfortable with the AVCHD quality. As someone else noticed, hard drive space is very cheap now.

2. Until recently, I was re-rendering the 1080i video at 720p for YouTube uploads. But I have stopped doing that now that I know what format to use to upload at 1080p (MPEG-4 HD in the Corel software).

3. HD on mini-DV is 1440 x 1080; Standard definition is even lower. "Full HD" is a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and you definitely want that for HD now as opposed to anything lower. So the HD files will definitely be much bigger than any mini-DV files you've created to date, but also much more efficiently compressed. So a lot more data will be packed into the files than the linear increase in file size would indicate.

Once I started watching HD video, I had zero desire to downgrade it and watch it at any lower resolution. If you don't have the right playback devices, OK. But drive storage prices have dropped so much that keeping poorer quality video to save space is a really short-sighted approach, in my opinion.
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post

1. I never reduce the original resolution of the video for my own use since my target output devices are all 1920 x 1080 (like a Full HD HDTV or my PC monitor). I also don't change formats from AVCHD to something else as I'm perfectly comfortable with the AVCHD quality. As someone else noticed, hard drive space is very cheap now.

2. Until recently, I was re-rendering the 1080i video at 720p for YouTube uploads. But I have stopped doing that now that I know what format to use to upload at 1080p (MPEG-4 HD in the Corel software).

3. HD on mini-DV is 1440 x 1080; Standard definition is even lower. "Full HD" is a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and you definitely want that for HD now as opposed to anything lower. So the HD files will definitely be much bigger than any mini-DV files you've created to date, but also much more efficiently compressed. So a lot more data will be packed into the files than the linear increase in file size would indicate.

Once I started watching HD video, I had zero desire to downgrade it and watch it at any lower resolution. If you don't have the right playback devices, OK. But drive storage prices have dropped so much that keeping poorer quality video to save space is a really short-sighted approach, in my opinion.

Do you have a lot of videos stored? How much HD space do you have available? Also, are you streaming the content to your TV? If so, what are you using to get the media to the TV?
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post #11 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realdeal1115 View Post

Do you have a lot of videos stored? How much HD space do you have available? Also, are you streaming the content to your TV? If so, what are you using to get the media to the TV?

1,039 video files (about 100 are old home movies commercially converted to DVD quality). 333 GB all told. My personal video dates from 1994. Files in 2007 and part of 2008 are that 1440 x 1080 resolution. Files since August 2008 are AVCHD 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Some 12,800 picture files, only 20 GB in those total.

In the PC itself, these are on a 600 GB drive that came with the PC two years ago. I also keep three USB drive backups - two attached to HDTVs and one at work to have it out of the house. Two of those are 500 GB drives and the third is a new 1 TB drive. Each of those cost less than $125 when I bought them (they are of different ages).

For our larger HDTV, there's a Sony PS3 attached. One of the USB drives is hooked into that for playback of the video and pictures. We have a smaller HDTV and I bought a Western Digital Media Playback device for it (the 1 TB drive is there).

On the PC itself, I have Vista so I'm using Sony's Picture Motion Browser for organizing the files, trimming when they're first imported, and playback on the PC at any point. Windows 7 has native support for AVCHD playback through Windows Media Player; Vista doesn't. I haven't hunted down "better" software for the PC as Picture Motion Browser is fine for playback.
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post #12 of 18 Old 02-28-2010, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post

1,039 video files (about 100 are old home movies commercially converted to DVD quality). 333 GB all told. My personal video dates from 1994. Files in 2007 and part of 2008 are that 1440 x 1080 resolution. Files since August 2008 are AVCHD 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Okay, I only have 123 videos (all home movies) and they take up a total of 311gb... almost as much as you but you have 10 times the amount of videos... So I must be doing something wrong.

For example, 1 two-hour home movie I copied from Hi-8 tape to my computer is 24gb. It's in the .avi format. Is it me?
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realdeal1115 View Post

Okay, I only have 123 videos (all home movies) and they take up a total of 311gb... almost as much as you but you have 10 times the amount of videos... So I must be doing something wrong.

For example, 1 two-hour home movie I copied from Hi-8 tape to my computer is 24gb. It's in the .avi format. Is it me?

Up until the last paragraph, I would have said you just do longer clips . But using the .avi format instead of AVCHD may be the issue. The latter is a highly compressed format. I think .avi is commercially older (not necessarily proposed or defined earlier) and was intended to be a Windows standard for a while. As such, it ran OK on hardware that AVCHD would bring to its knees. To get the tight compression, you need horsepower.

The longest clip I've done was 115 minutes of continuous filming of soccer from a tripod. That took up about 13GB. Note that the background never changed as I just left it and went to play, so this helps reduce the size some. But it still sounds like the .avi of roughly the same length is noticeably bigger. Hopefully someone else knowledgeable about the formats will chime in.
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post #14 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realdeal1115 View Post

Do you have a lot of videos stored? How much HD space do you have available? Also, are you streaming the content to your TV? If so, what are you using to get the media to the TV?

I do almost nothing but streaming now... it's so much easier.

I have 3TB of drive space hooked up as network drives on the router. I import my files from the cam to my computer, do my editing, then upload to my network drives. From there it's a just a couple of button presses and I watch it on the bigscreen through the PS3.

Like Tom, I keep commercial movies as well as home video on the drives. I now have well over 400 videos/movies and in excess of 3000 high quality stills on the drives and it's not even 1/2 full yet.

I keep everything as a M2TS format (either with mpeg2 or avc).... certainly not avi. As already stated, mpeg2 and in particular avc are far more efficient tha avi. A one hour tape of SD (avi) is about 13 gig while a one hour tape of hdv (HD with mpeg2) is the same. In other words more info in being held with the same amount of space.... and avchd is even more efficient than this.
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

.....

Like Tom, I keep commercial movies as well as home video on the drives. I now have well over 400 videos/movies and in excess of 3000 high quality stills on the drives and it's not even 1/2 full yet.

My "commercial" reference was to home movies from the 1940s through 1980s commercially transferred from their original media to digital formats (MPEG-2). It is possible to do this yourself with the right equipment but there were so many of these that I opted to pay for having a video transfer company do the work.

Having all our personal stuff on a drive vs having a bunch of DVDs shows why I really think the latter will disappear at some point. I can fire up my PS3 and browse and view our own video and photos really easily. If I want to watch a commercial movie from disk, first I have to find it, then I have to load it, then I have to wait for startup, etc...
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 07:32 AM
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I store them on external HDDs and access them with a docking station. If I run out of space, I go buy another HDD ($100-ish for 1TB+). I also store DVD variants of everything. It's easy to do and to make sure that everything is there I just make sure that the file counts between locations matches. I keep the originals, I'm always finding different ways to make things look slightly better and there's extra information in the original that gets lost if you don't keep them. I've had my cam almost a year and I've yet to fill a single 1TB drive with content. Not to say that I don't have 1TB drives that aren't full, but all of my HD footage in on one drive and accounts for about 50% of that drives contents.

Even if you use your camcorder for an hour plus every weekend for a year. That's what 52 weekends x 1 hour (15GB an hour) == 780GB a year. I've actually started taking more pictures than videos now. Let's face it, you probably don't rewatch said videos more than once, and convincing someone else to watch your stuff is sometimes difficult. I could probably delete 75% of my stuff. But storage is cheap these days. $100 a year? I wish my cable or internet or any of my other bills were that cheap PER YEAR.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 08:19 AM
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Just FYI, "AVI" is a container, it is not a compression codec. Saying your video is in AVI format is like someone asking you what type of fruit you are carrying and then answering that you have a bag of them.

AVI is an older container (like .ts, .mkv, .mov, etc.) and it can accommodate many different types of compression codecs, from uncompressed video to losslessly compressed, to the older h263 (dvix/xvid, etc.) as well as H264 (AVC) I believe.

Saying that video is in AVI format doesn't really tell much about it.

-Suntan
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-01-2010, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow! Thank you guys for all of your help so far. I am learning a lot.

Like I said, most of my videos are on the AVI format. I checked the codec info using VLC and here's the details from one of my files:

Stream 1:
Type: Audio
Codec: araw
Channels: Stereo
Sample rate: 48000 Hz
Bits Per Sample: 16

Stream 2:
Type: Video
Codec: dvsd
Resolution: 720x480
Desplay Resolution: 720x480
Frame Rate: 29.970029


From what I can tell so far, it looks like .AVI is not the format of choice. (I used Windows Movie Maker to import my videos from tape).

So what is the format of choice for SD video? HD video? What program do you recommend I use to convert my current collection?
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