I have a bunch of DV-AVI files, about 13GB each from mini DV tapes. What is the best format/compression to store them. I am looking for space, but I would like to minimize the loss of quality. Any suggestions?
The format depends what you want to do with it later on (editing/playback). But to be honest archiving DV stuff on tapes is a great way... Durability is at least as good if not better than DVD's. And no compression loss. But if you're worried you would not be able to transfer later on I can see you want a 2nd backup.
Best quality obviously is to store it unchanged (3 DVD's). But assuming you don't want to store on an external HDD but on single (durable Taiyo-Yuden silver) DVD's, you probably want to compress it 1:3 for smallest loss of quality.
For SD and 1:3 compression I don't think it matters too much if you would either use MPEG2 or newer H264. Typical for SD is MPEG2 and at 1:3 it should look close to original. It's also a format that almost all editors/players support.
Tmpgenc Xpress is a great program for recompression and fairly easy to use. It will show you a bitrate calculator so you can get proper DVD file size. Free 30 day trial is available on their site.
There are also programs to recompress with free encoders like virtualDub and Media encoder.
If priority is to be able to play it back on any blu-ray player then I also would check out TMPGenc Authoring works which will recompress and burn on compatible blu-ray DVD (in that you get H264). For pure editing I'd probably though stick with other formats.
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