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  #1  
01-14-2015, 02:15 AM
videoconverter11 videoconverter11 is offline
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Hi, I currently have a Sony handycam I am using to convert Hi-8 tapes into a digital file. I am having a ton of trouble with iMovie/FCPX having issues with my timecodes inside the tapes. Therefore, I have resorted to using Quicktime player as a video capture software by choosing "New Movie Recording" under the "File" menu. However, I am curious how the quality would compare to that of iMovie/FCPX if they actually worked for me. Additionally, how might this compare to a windows AVI type capture software? The video capture currently in Quicktime takes up a lot of memory, at the tune of 56 GB per 2 hour tape. Any comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks!!
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  #2  
01-14-2015, 07:08 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quality will most likely be determined by the device used to digitize the analog Hi8 tape information into a digital stream that is recorded to the computer.

Not all Hi8 recordings have time code and not all Hi8-capable players support time code.

What is your signal path from tape to computer, including the Hi8 player, connection type, A/D converter, codec & file type, and on what equipment were the Hi8 recording made?
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01-14-2015, 08:27 AM
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What is your signal path from tape to computer, including the Hi8 player, connection type, A/D converter, codec & file type, and on what equipment were the Hi8 recording made?

The signal path I have is a Sony Digital 8 Handycam -> 4 pin firewire to 9 pin firewire -> firewire to thunderbolt -> to Quicktime in Macbook Pro. The Digital 8 player I have is a DCR-TRV310 camcorder. I dont have an A/D converter, and I believe the equipment it was made on was a standard Video 8 camcorder.

The problem I have is that when the camcorder goes over a bad area of the tape, it starts to do tracking, which I see as the video resizing. At this point, the Quicktime app tells me that the recording has stopped when in fact it was just a bad frame. Do you have any idea what I can do? thanks!
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01-14-2015, 09:29 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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I'm not a MAC person, do not play in the MAC world, so I cannot speak to MAC specific issues.

In general, the more capable capture software allows you to configure how it deals with breaks in the video stream. Options may include stop (as yours is doing now) or resume starting a new clip when a valid data stream is sensed. Check to see if you have those options available.

The Digital8 camcorder output from a Hi8/8mm tape via Firewire is a standard DV signal similar to that from a MiniDV source. The camcorder should provide time code for Digial8 recordings, but likely will not reflect any time code on the 8mm or Hi8 tapes. Your capture software might have options with respect to providing time code.

A standard Video 8 (8mm) camcorder would not have recorded a Hi8 signal on tape, even if a Hi8 tape was used. The view finder display should indicate if the recording is Video8 or Hi-8

56 GB for 2 hours of NTSC SD video is about 62 mbps, about more than 2x the typical native DV data rate (~25 mbps). Sounds like your software may also be transcoding the input to another format, e.g., Apple ProRes (HQ) 4:2:2. Windows capture of DV via Firewire to standard DV AVI files would run about 26 GB for 2 hours.
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01-15-2015, 05:16 AM
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Quicktime is Quicktime -- no difference between programs.

What WILL cause a difference in quality is the hardware in the workflow -- external TBC (when analog), the playback VCR/camera, and the capture card.

But if we're talking Digital8 here (DV on 8mm tape), then the only real issue is the quality of the camera.

On Windows/Linux ("PC"), you'd also have to worry about the chipset and/or drivers on the IEEE1394/Firewire port. But for Mac, that's not an issue.

dpalomaki made an excellent post.

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