Best video format/settings to archive 8mm and Digital-8 tapes? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-07-2008, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently got a video capture device for my PC so that I can archive all of my old 8mm tapes, and then get rid of my old camcorder. I have some that were from my original 8mm camcorder, and some that I made with the Digital-8 one that I still have. I have a 750GB hard drive that I can use to store these files, which should be more than enough for about 30 tapes (about an hour each for the digital, about 2 hours each for the non-digital). I'm just wondering what is the best video format to use, and what video quality and bitrate settings I should use? Since I'm planning on getting rid of the camcorder, and even though I'll put the tapes in a box in the attic, I'd like to treat the backups as though the tapes were lost or destroyed.

Even though I think I'll have plenty of hard drive storage, I don't want to take up more space than necessary if there wouldn't be any noticeable difference. I'll probably do some editing of clips and make some DVD's from them when I can find some time in the near future.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-07-2008, 12:06 PM
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It also depends on the software app you're planning to use to extract from the tapes. For instance Studio 9 version have option to extract in MPEG2 or DV. Hi8 worked best with MPEG, but when using DV it cause capture instability.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-07-2008, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I've done a couple so far just to try it out, just using the software that came with it - it's a Turtle Beach product and the software is Power Director. If by DV you mean the DV connection, then I understand. If not, I'm confused. I was able to use that for the Digital-8 tapes, but not for the others (I forget if I actually had Hi8 back then or just regular 8mm). It would only run for a few seconds then stop, so I had to switch to S-Video and analog audio cables. I'm pretty sure I have some software from Roxio that I could use, too.
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-08-2008, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I have a little more info on this. There are actually two capture programs that came with the hardware - my choices for the format among the two are DV compressed, AVI uncompressed, mpeg-1 and mpeg-2. If I understand correctly, DV is the format used on the Digital8 tapes, so it seems like that would be the way to go for those tapes, although compressed vs. uncompressed makes me not so sure of that. Does the biggest file size necessarily = the highest quality?
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-09-2008, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff125va View Post

Ok, I have a little more info on this. There are actually two capture programs that came with the hardware - my choices for the format among the two are DV compressed, AVI uncompressed, mpeg-1 and mpeg-2. If I understand correctly, DV is the format used on the Digital8 tapes, so it seems like that would be the way to go for those tapes, although compressed vs. uncompressed makes me not so sure of that. Does the biggest file size necessarily = the highest quality?

Generally true that big=higher quality , if comparing apples with apples only. But among formats it becomes more of the code's efficiency. So large does not necessarily mean better image. D8 is digital format so DV is the preferred. All codecs you listed are all about compression.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-12-2008, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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OK - I did one Digital8 tape with the DV/AVI format. Took up about 3x as much hard drive space than the one I had done with high quality mpeg-2 settings, but I could see a difference and I do have plenty of space on the drive.

Question is, does it make sense to do the analog 8mm tapes in this format? I don't mind using the disc space but if it's a complete waste then I'd rather not.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-12-2008, 09:07 AM
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Check out the arstechnica guide on how to capture analog video from tape. Here is the URL (in the format that I am allowed to use for my first three posts for your safety):

arstechnica DOT com SLASH guides SLASH tweaks SLASH vidcap DOT ars

If you want a high quality transfer from your 8mm tapes, you may wish to consider using a player with Time Base Correction to improve the digital sample. For example, the Sony EV-S7000.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-12-2008, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff125va View Post

OK - I did one Digital8 tape with the DV/AVI format. Took up about 3x as much hard drive space than the one I had done with high quality mpeg-2 settings, but I could see a difference and I do have plenty of space on the drive.

Question is, does it make sense to do the analog 8mm tapes in this format? I don't mind using the disc space but if it's a complete waste then I'd rather not.

For analog tapes like the Hi8, use the Mpeg2 format. It will reduce frame drop-outs. The timing problem causes this, audio to the video looses synchronicity.
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