Quantcast Capturing Video 8 tapes to digital format? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
08-20-2014, 03:40 PM
daman4x4 daman4x4 is offline
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Hi,
Got around ~50 8mm PAL tapes. Need to capture them in digital format for archival (AVI DV format is preferred). After searching I found the following 4 ways:
  1. Capture using Digital8 Camera -> Firewire
  2. Capture using MiniDV (8mm Camera -> MiniDV passthru -> Firewire)
  3. Capture using DAC converter (ADVC-100/300 OR AVT-8710) -> ?
  4. Capture using a deck DMR-xxx -> ?
I only got a MiniDV, the other 3 ways need to buy equipment (Digital8/DAC/Deck). The question is, whats the absolute BEST way. I tried using MiniDV passthru but the results were not optimum. I got flickering line at the bottom and the image was slightly dark.


Current gear:

8mm
Sony CCD-TRV35E (got both S-VIDEO and normal video out)

MiniDV
Sony DCR-TRV22E

MiniDV
Panasonic NV-DS50

HDD
Sony DCR-SR200

Flash Drive
Sony DCR-SX43

Firewire capture card.


Your thoughts are much appreciated.
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  #2  
08-20-2014, 04:32 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daman4x4 View Post
The question is, whats the absolute BEST way.
Welcome to digitalfaq.

Pwople always specify the "absolute best" way, until they find out what it means. It wouldn't be analog-to-DV, nor would it be with an ADVC110. But considering that you're apparently new to this, I'd say you're not ready for the "best" way to capture analog video. So DV might be easier. I assume you know that DV-AVI is PC-only and camera playback. It's not recognized as a disc format like DVD or some others or for set top players. I'll let the analog-to-DV fans take over. I don't recommend analog to DV capture, so I'll step aside for those who are into it. They can help you get better results, at any rate.

What's the AVT-8710 for? Do any of the tapes have commercial copy protection or bad physical damage?

Last edited by sanlyn; 08-20-2014 at 04:46 PM.
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  #3  
08-21-2014, 11:04 AM
daman4x4 daman4x4 is offline
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Thanks sanlyn,
I guess you figured out that I'm not a pro. DV might not be an optimum archival format for professionals. But I can't find a better format (as much lossless) as AVI-DV to store digitally. And yes, I only want it on PC, once I need to view it I will author it/edit the AVI file(s) into DVD and/or H.264.

So...looking for the "best" way to archive those 8mm tapes.
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  #4  
08-21-2014, 11:30 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Good luck. Of course, "authoring" via DVD or h264 means re-encoding a lossy capture. But I think you'll get the idea of what that means, once you see the results. Best wishes. Any problems, just post.
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08-21-2014, 12:55 PM
daman4x4 daman4x4 is offline
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Not sure what you mean by "re-encoding a lossy capture" I thought DV-AVI as lossless as it gets, if not what's the alternative?
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  #6  
08-21-2014, 01:33 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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DV is not lossless. If you want DVD, re-encode to MPEG. If you want BluRay, it can be either h264 or MPEG. DV has to be re-encoded for all delivery formats other than DV itself. DV can't be "authored" to any other delivery format.

There are those who like to say that DV "looks" lossless, is "nearly losssless", "almost lossless", etc. It's still lossy. It loses about 10 to 20% of the original analog detail, loses 40 to 50% of the original chroma resolution, etc., etc., and so forth. Everyone knows that. But it's the way typical users process analog tapes. Of course, they all get the same results. But most say it's "good enough". Whatever that means.

Last edited by sanlyn; 08-21-2014 at 02:12 PM.
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  #7  
08-21-2014, 01:40 PM
premiumcapture premiumcapture is offline
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My biggest complaint spending time with the Canopus was mosquito noise by far. Colors are a bit squashed but the mosquito noise was the worst.
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  #8  
08-21-2014, 01:57 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Don't despair. Copy one tape at first, or get a sample that's large enough for a checkup -- say, half an hour or so. Put it through the software and processing you intend to use. Then check the results. If you're satisfied, you're home free.
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  #9  
08-21-2014, 02:16 PM
daman4x4 daman4x4 is offline
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premiumcapture, I've ruled out the canopus line, its down between digital8 and a deck.

sanlyn, do you recommend another format other than AVI-DV for archival?
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08-21-2014, 02:19 PM
premiumcapture premiumcapture is offline
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You are better off going uncompressed with Lagarith. It makes DV look like crap in many ways, though I still believe DV is not as terrible as its made out to be.

http://www.diamondmm.com/vc500-diamo...it-stream.html

I have been using this with VirtualDub and Windows 8.1 with good results, and its PAL/Secam compatible as well (and $40).
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  #11  
08-21-2014, 02:27 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Note that daman4x4 is using PAL tapes, so nthe color loss isn't so evidenmt (although I still think it looks a little tepid. Maybe it's the slightly different YCbCr->toYUV matrix ??). The mosquito noise is till a plague, although there are ways to clean it up. But that means going to Avisynth, which effectively means working with decompressed lossless media on the way to the final result.

I believe there's some free software out there that uses Avisynth and maybe ffmpeg filters for DV cleanup on the way to other formats, but I haven't used that stuff in so long I wouldn't know where to start to make a list.

The Diamond gear is a better device, but I don't think daman4x4 is very enthusiastic about taking that route. A lossless captyure file would be about 33% bigger than the same DV, give or take some MB's. Of course, a noisy DV capture can always be spiffed up through various means. I'd just rather avoid that headache to begin with. Old VHS and VHS-C tapes, losssless or not, have their own problems even with a top-flight player.
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  #12  
08-22-2014, 05:47 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by premiumcapture View Post
You are better off going uncompressed with Lagarith.
Lossless != uncompressed! Don't confuse the terms!

The 4:2:2 is uncompressed. The file compression is (A) uncompressed, or (B) lossless.

And the you lossless. Uncompressed wastes space and causes dropped frames unless it's RAIDed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Note that daman4x4 is using PAL tapes, so nthe color loss isn't so evident
Correct. PAL DV is 4:2:0, not NTSC's yucky 4:1:1.

___________

@OP

You really have two main method to choose from:
1. computer to MPEG, DV or lossless
2. DVD recorder straight to DVD, though quality may be reduced and you're stuck with DVD specs (ie, no Bluray 15mbps bitrates)

If you do the recorder path, only use an LSI equipped JVC.

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  #13  
08-22-2014, 09:08 AM
daman4x4 daman4x4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by premiumcapture View Post
You are better off going uncompressed with Lagarith. It makes DV look like crap in many ways, though I still believe DV is not as terrible as its made out to be.

http://www.diamondmm.com/vc500-diamo...it-stream.html

I have been using this with VirtualDub and Windows 8.1 with good results, and its PAL/Secam compatible as well (and $40).
I'm not sure I understand the rational here. Digital8 camera supposed to capture the raw information on the analog tape and convert it to DV after TBC & DNR. AVI-DV stores that information without alternation. For the me, that's the best possible format. I'm not quite confident that a $40 VC500 (sans TBC) can do a better job than a $400 Sony camera of converting analog tape into digital format. I could be wrong though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
I believe there's some free software out there that uses Avisynth and maybe ffmpeg filters for DV cleanup on the way to other formats, but I haven't used that stuff in so long I wouldn't know where to start to make a list.

The Diamond gear is a better device, but I don't think daman4x4 is very enthusiastic about taking that route. A lossless captyure file would be about 33% bigger than the same DV, give or take some MB's. Of course, a noisy DV capture can always be spiffed up through various means. I'd just rather avoid that headache to begin with. Old VHS and VHS-C tapes, losssless or not, have their own problems even with a top-flight player.
You mentioned some tools that can clean up a DV-AVI file (like Avsynth), any pointers to more in-depth discussion on this matter? BTW, the tapes I have are 8mm, not VHS or VHS-C.

Do you think Diamond VC500 is a better device than a digital8 cam for digitizing 8mm tapes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post

@OP

You really have two main method to choose from:
1. computer to MPEG, DV or lossless
2. DVD recorder straight to DVD, though quality may be reduced and you're stuck with DVD specs (ie, no Bluray 15mbps bitrates)

If you do the recorder path, only use an LSI equipped JVC.
So, the two methods you recommend are:
1- Computer to MPEG (software/hardware required?), DV (I guess I know this), lossless (software/hardware required?)

2- Regarding the DVD recorder, do you think this is a good choice for archiving analog 8mm tapes? I thought DV is better than MPEG2 (DVD)/MPEG4 in terms of it being less distortion/compression and closer to being lossless. I'd rather store the archive in RAID-5/6 rather than DVD. Its easier to manage.

Cheers
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  #14  
08-22-2014, 12:51 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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If you capture to very high bitrate MPEG, you approach DV bitrates. The problem lies in the fact that you want a DV capture, but you also later want another encode to a more portable and flexible format. Re-encoding DV to MPEG/MPEG4 is the Achilles' heel here. But you can do well choosing good software with higher quality encoders.

I think many of your questions will be answered on their own, once you get a capture and have it evaluated. Remember, we have no idea what any of your tapes look like. Some can be very problematic, others not so much.
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  #15  
08-22-2014, 02:20 PM
daman4x4 daman4x4 is offline
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@sanlyn,
My understanding that DV is 25Mbits, MPEG ranges between 4Mbits and 8Mbits. DV seems superior. Having said that:

1. Can't see a reason why I need to capture higher than 25Mbits from an analog source (8mm home video).
2. I believe it's better to capture analog to DV rather than MPEG. (less compressed capture = easier to edit and re-encode)

Is there a way to capture MPEG @ 25Mbits or higher?

Honestly speaking, I'm more worried about the equipment used fore capture (Digital8 vs deck vs MiniDV passthru).

Please let me know if I'm missing anything here.
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  #16  
08-22-2014, 02:55 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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If you like what DV and the Canopus card and software does to analog video, go with it.

I wouldn't discard the tapes. Not just yet.
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  #17  
08-24-2014, 09:11 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daman4x4 View Post
MPEG ranges between 4Mbits and 8Mbits.
No.

The MPEG-2 spec is very large.
- DVD is typically 2.5 to 8.0, though 5.0 is typical for 2-hour content on SL media.
- Broadcast specs are 10 to 50, with 15 being almost transparent to the tape source on most consumer VHS source.
- I forget where the spec ceiling is -- at least 100 mbps is possible.

DV is poo by comparison.

Many capture cards, such as the ATI All In Wonders suggested here, can capture at 15 mbps, and then the 720x480 capture fits perfectly on Blu-ray media at 3 hours per 25gb. I do this all the time now.

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