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  #1  
07-05-2012, 12:22 AM
kcmom kcmom is offline
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I am trying to transfer many 8mm and hi8 tapes of my children to some kind of digital form. I have been reading as much as I can on this subject and finally came across your site. I have many questions and need to learn a lot because I do not know much about transferring analog to digital, or about photography or videography. It seems like I have been reading a lot of contradictory information from various sites concerning what is the best way to preserve the family historythat is on these tapes that were made beginning around 1990.

I have already learned much information from your site regarding dvd media, how to copy dvds, etc. I am trying to read as much info on this site regarding the type of transferring I want to do, before I begin asking questions. There is a lot of it I don't understand, but if you can point me to the most important things to read first, I would really appreciate it. I have read most of the guides you have posted and will continue reading the remainder of them. I love to learn new things, but seem to digest things at a slightly slower pace now that I past the half century mark and have so much junk cluttering up my brain!

I once had to learn how to write programs in assembly language on an Apple IIe (omg that is old) in a one week course, because I had students in my high school class that knew WAY more than I did. Now all I do is simple, basic computer tasks like email and word processing. This is the first forum I have ever signed up for, and I hope I can figure it out! Please give me step by step directions, when possible. I know how to do some things, but don't have a clue what you are talking about some of the time.

Thanks for taking the time to have such an informative site!
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  #2  
07-05-2012, 10:40 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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first off use a good Sony Hi-8 Camcorder with TBC to play the tapes.
your also going to want a inline TBC like a TBC-1000 or AVT-8710

do you want to capture on a PC or use a stand-alone DVD recorder?
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  #3  
07-05-2012, 11:26 AM
kcmom kcmom is offline
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I prefer to capture to PC so that I can edit some of the "junk" before putting on dvd for family members. I am in process of typing up info and question on what equip I currently have access to, what I tried, and what I would like to do. It is kinda long! but I thought it might be better to put all the info out there and see if I can find out what I really need. I will post details soon. Thanks.

-- merged --

I am sorry this is so long!!! If anyone actually reads the whole thing and answers, I will really, really appreciate it!!!

I am so happy to find this forum. I have been reading all I could for several weeks concerning transferring 8mm and hi8 tapes to digital and finally came across this site a few days ago. I have gained so much good information from this site! I don't understand it all yet, but am gaining much insight.

I want to transfer the 8mm and hi8 tapes we have of our children and extended family to a digital format, but probably have > 100 tapes from my family and inlaws. I don't think I can afford to have them professionally transferred, and would like to do it myself, if it is possible to get reasonalby good results. I would also like to be able to edit out some of the "junk" that is "boring" or the times we filmed the ground or inside of the camera bag. I have made my first attempt at transferring a tape with a video camera I already had and a capture device given to me by a friend. The results weren't bad, but the file was huge! That is when I started trying to find HELP other than friends that couldn't believe how huge the file was!

Below is what I did. I know a lot more now that when I did this, but I still don't know near enough. Please let me know what you think is feasable and what is not. What I need and what I don't. What to do and what not to do! I really don't have a lot of $ to sink into this, but preserving memories is important to me, so I will put some $ into it if necessary, although it may be a little at a time.

Current Computer:
hp Pavilion g7 Dual Core Notebook windows 7 home premium
AMD E-450 APU with Radeon HD Graphics 1.65 GHz
4 GB RAM
64 - bit operating system
500 GB Hard drive
hp DVD A DS8A5LH SATA CdROM Device
ST950023 5AS SATA Disk Device (don't know what this is - is it the hard drive?)
the computer has several usb ports and hdmi,but NO firewire

Diamond VC-500 capture device with EZ grabber and ARCSoft Showbiz software

Sony Digital HandyCam DCR-TRV120 with firewire, composite and s-video ports

I decided to start with a hi8 tape (also have regular 8mm tapes). I attached the capture card to the camera with s-video and composite audio cables, then attached the capture card to the computer usb port. I turned off the antivirus program, and the internet connection and connected to power cord so battery would not die. I also changed the settings that the computer would not go to sleep or screen saver. I don't really know how to turn anything else off. I first tried the EZ Grabber software that came with the capture card (instructions for ez grabber and ArcSoft Showbiz were very limited), but the video was "jumpy" and the audio was "stuttery". I then decided to use the ARCSoft Showbiz program. I set it to capture as avi file (just because I read somewhere it was a good uncompressed way to capture,) with source as capture card, s-video, then turned the camera on to play the tape and clicked on capture. I think there was 1 hr and 40 min of tape. The capture seemed to look great except for a small line (?noise?) at the bottom of the picture (which doesn't really bother me). The main thing that shocked me was that the avi file was 124 GB. I really don't understand the settings too well, I am sure I set something wrong or did something wrong. The file looks pretty good when played in VLC player, and it looks pretty good after I split it into two parts with the ARCSoft Showbiz program, added chapters to the menu, and burned it to a DVD to watch on tv. I chose to burn it with setting of DVD Disk and chose high quality. I think I chose 4x for drive speed, but might have been 8. Had to use memorex dvds because that is all I can get in our small town. I will order some better soon. Setting showed that it detected 525 lines. The screen showed the following info: video encoder: MPEG-2, 720 x 480, 29.97, 5200 kb/s, Audio encoder: PCM, Fit to Disk - No. I left the color settings alone because it looked good to my untrained eye and i figured I would just mess it up.

Can you tell me what I need to do differently, please? I would like to be able to edit the orginal file to create dvds tailored to what each person would like to have. I will continue reading and learning, but any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks to your site I now know how to make copies of the dvds for my kids (once I get the orginals made)!
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  #4  
07-05-2012, 12:15 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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i have no experience with that capture card - maybe some others can chime in on that.
i like the ATI600USB for laptops and windows 7

i cant tell you you are not going to want to use that Arcsoft software

avi files are going to be huge
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  #5  
07-06-2012, 09:05 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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The Diamond VC-500 is essentially a knockoff or rebadged EzCAP/EasyCap device. It's a cheap $25 USB dongle, and not very good. The Arcsoft software is even worse. Honestly, that needs to be replaced, if you want high quality. Preferably replace both the hardware and the software. With such a low-quality device, you'd want to do no more than capture with VirtualDub -- if the card's drivers are seen by it, that is.

The biggest reason you see contradictory information from various sites is because most people have no idea what they're doing. Some simply suggest the 1-2 methods that they have tried, while others suggest methods that give them a financial kickback (fake "top 10" type sites). You need look no further than Youtube, and its mountain of butchered videos to see that play out. However, some of us have been doing this for quite a long time, and are willing to share what we know.

What volksjager mentioned is the most important advice -- you absolutely MUST have a good camera. Not "good" as in you think it's good, but one that is known and generally accepted by others as good. (Therein lies the rub.)

Using a DVD recorder does not exclude the use of a computer from your workflow.

Because the posts are rather long, and my time today is limited, I will revisit this over the weekend for more in-depth analysis.

Welcome to the site, and thanks for being a Premium Member.

Also...

Sometimes it's financially low-cost, break even, or even a reasonable premium to pay a known-excellent service to transfer a box or stack of old videos. (Our current Hi8 and Video8 project queues are at zero. Mostly VHS and S-VHS transfers going on lately. Should you want to consider that option.) Never feel as if you have to buy equipment, learn something new, risk making mistakes, and do everything on your own. You're not alone, if you don't want to be.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
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  #6  
07-06-2012, 09:23 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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im not sure about the DCR-TRV120
it might be OK, but ive never used one or checked the manual
look in the manual to see if it has TBC.

these are cams i know to be good
they have TBC , S-Video and also stereo audio(stereo isnt super important)

CCD-TRV62
CCD-TRV65
CCD-TRV66
CCD-TRV70
CCD-TRV72
CCD-TRV82
CCD-TRV85
CCD-TRV87
CCD-TRV99
CCD-TRV101
CCD-TRV615

there are quite a few others that are good too
these are just a few ive ID'ed
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  #7  
07-06-2012, 01:01 PM
Zerowalker Zerowalker is offline
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Do these have TRUE S-video?
Meaning, no unwanted noise caused by bad Y/C or something else?

Cause i am also on the look for one
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  #8  
07-06-2012, 09:18 PM
kcmom kcmom is offline
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I have a CCD-TRV99 but it gets an error everytime we turn it on that the manual says must be serviced by sony. I can't remember exactly which error. So far I have found the manual for the camera, but must figure out where we have put the camera. From what I can see when I google the DCR-TRV120 it does have TCB, but what do I look at in the manual to determine whether it does?

I would like to learn to do it myself, but that depends on how expensive it will be. We have so many tapes there will be expense either way! If you can give me an idea of what I really need, I will be able to make an informed decision. I have not purchased anything specifically for this project so far because I have been looking for some good info, and this site seems to have a great deal of that. Thank you

The manual for the Sony DCR-TRV120 says that it does have TBC, DNR that have to be turned on through the menu, and it has s-video, composite and firewire connections, as well as stereo audio. I don't know whether that means it is a "good" camera.
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  #9  
07-07-2012, 11:22 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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have you tried playing back a 8mm or Hi8 tape in it?
a DCR is a Digital8 cam - not all of those can playback analog tapes.
if it does than you are good to go - it is a good cam.
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  #10  
07-08-2012, 10:43 AM
kcmom kcmom is offline
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It does play back both 8mm and Hi8. I found out my son's computer has a firewire port. Is is better to use the firewire than a capture card? Also, what capture software is best? Thank you.

--merged--

Have you had a chance to look this over yet?
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  #11  
07-14-2012, 08:05 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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using firewire does not allow you to you an inline TBC like a TBC-1000 or AVT-8710

firewire is probably fine for a digital media - like mini-DV or Digital8
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  #12  
07-14-2012, 08:56 AM
kcmom kcmom is offline
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This is what I think and what I know so far. Please let me know if I am wrong.

I know:
I have a Sony DCR-TRV120 Digital8 Handycam with TBC and DNR. I can play both Hi8 and 8mm tapes with this camera.

I think:
? I should play the tapes with this camera, making sure to turn on TBC and DNR using the RCA left and right audio and s-video cables (rather than the firewire connection), connect to a good capture card like ? ATI TV Wonder HD USB2 Capture Card.

Do I need to add either TBC-1000 or AVT-8710 in somewhere (before the cature card?), and if so where and if so do I still have the camera's TBC turned on?

Do I use same procedures with both Hi8 and 8mm tapes?

What capture software is good to use? And what software is good to use to burn to dvd?

I downloaded virtualdub 1.9.8 from this sight the other day after comment from lordsmurf, and experimented with it a little bit using instructions I found on this site. I think the instructions must have been for a slightly different version, because I had to make a few guesses as to exactly what it was talking about, but it worked fairly well using the vc500 capture card I had been given by friend. (The software showed the card to be Conexant Polaris Video Capture) and the settings I used were the only one that worked with that card: compressiom HuffYUV, configuration - best on both, fieldd threshold was set on 288 lines - did not exactly follow what these needed to be from instructions I had found. 720 x 480, data format UYVY YUV 4:2:2 interleaved. Seemed to work fairly well, but was not sure I set it all up as needed.

If you know this info is elsewhere on site, please help me find it. I have read a lot, but can't always find it again easily.

I appreciate all help very much!
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  #13  
07-14-2012, 09:00 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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the built in TBC of the cam and an inline TBC serve 2 different functions

see LordSmurfs post on TBC: What is a TBC? Time Base Correction for Videotapes

Hi8 and 8mm would be the same procedure
the software part isnt my forte - hopefully some others can help you there
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  #14  
07-14-2012, 09:40 AM
kcmom kcmom is offline
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Thank you very much!

lordsmurf or anyone else have any suggestions?
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  #15  
07-15-2012, 03:10 PM
Steve(MS) Steve(MS) is offline
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Imgburn for burning.
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  #16  
07-19-2012, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmom View Post
I think: I should play the tapes with this camera, making sure to turn on TBC and DNR using the RCA left and right audio and s-video cables (rather than the firewire connection), connect to a good capture card like ? ATI TV Wonder HD USB2 Capture Card.
Correct. In review:
- TBC on
- DNR on only as needed -- use your eyes, see which is best.
- RCA = audio output
- s-video = video output
- ATI 600 is a great card

Quote:
Do I need to add either TBC-1000 or AVT-8710 in somewhere (before the cature card?), and if so where and if so do I still have the camera's TBC turned on?
Usually, yes. On Video8 and Hi8, you can sometimes get away with using a DVD recorder as a pass-through device. I use an Panasonic DMR-ES10 when the other TBCs are being used. It's a quick cheat. The video is passed through the ES10 and into another recording device (either computer based or another good DVD recorder).

Quote:
Do I use same procedures with both Hi8 and 8mm tapes?
Yes, same workflow.

Quote:
What capture software is good to use?
For MPEG capturing (NTSC only, not PAL), use ATI CMC with the ATI 600 card.
For AVI, use VirtualDub.

Quote:
And what software is good to use to burn to dvd?
ImgBurn.

But that's ONLY the burning of ready-to-burn DVD-Video folders. You have to author before burning. DVDWS2 is highly suggested. TMPGEnc Authoring Works is another one. For free options, Simple DVD Creator works nicely. Each of these has a bit of a learning curve, but that's why you're a forum member. Plus we have some guides for these already, so search the site (use the search function).

Quote:
I downloaded virtualdub 1.9.8 from this sight the other day after comment from lordsmurf, and experimented with it a little bit using instructions I found on this site. I think the instructions must have been for a slightly different version, because I had to make a few guesses as to exactly what it was talking about, but it worked fairly well using the vc500 capture card I had been given by friend. (The software showed the card to be Conexant Polaris Video Capture) and the settings I used were the only one that worked with that card: compressiom HuffYUV, configuration - best on both, fieldd threshold was set on 288 lines - did not exactly follow what these needed to be from instructions I had found. 720 x 480, data format UYVY YUV 4:2:2 interleaved. Seemed to work fairly well, but was not sure I set it all up as needed.
I need to update some guides. There's actually a newer VirtualDub "kit" ready, too, that's not yet been uploaded.

Quote:
If you know this info is elsewhere on site, please help me find it. I have read a lot, but can't always find it again easily.
The forum has gotten so big, that even I can find things anymore, including my own writings. I use search, too!

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
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  #17  
07-25-2012, 11:50 AM
kcmom kcmom is offline
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Quote:
For MPEG capturing (NTSC only, not PAL), use ATI CMC with the ATI 600 card.
For AVI, use VirtualDub.
Which is better, MPEG or AVI?

Quote:
You have to author before burning. DVDWS2 is highly suggested. TMPGEnc Authoring Works is another one. For free options, Simple DVD Creator works nicely.
I saw you have guide for DVDWS2, I will watch video and read. I have this downloaded.
so I think I am beginning to get it...after capture, I can author with DVDWS2 and burn with Imgburn...does this sound correct?

Quote:
There's actually a newer VirtualDub "kit" ready, too, that's not yet been uploaded.
Looking forward to this, thanks.
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  #18  
07-26-2012, 03:22 AM
Zerowalker Zerowalker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmom View Post
Which is better, MPEG or AVI?
I can easily say that AVI (as in lossless) is beating mpeg by Far, even if you were to encode to MPEG afterwards (as you can 2 pass etc).

If i were you i would go with AVI, meaning Virtualdub or other capturing software that allow your choice of codec.
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  #19  
07-26-2012, 08:03 PM
Steve(MS) Steve(MS) is offline
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Does your laptop have usb3 or only usb2?

Don't know if you can capture back to the OS hard drive without any problems though if the CPU has enough horse power it is possible but it is not ideal at all. Maybe Lagarith instead of huffyuv?
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  #20  
07-27-2012, 10:11 AM
kcmom kcmom is offline
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I only have usb2.
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