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  #1  
08-07-2017, 08:50 PM
nicholasserra nicholasserra is offline
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Hey everyone, thanks for reading. I'm here to ask some questions on capturing various formats for archival. I do a lot of capturing of tapes of bands and want to perfect an archival system. I'll jump right into some questions, thanks in advance!

Current gear:
- Windows 7 PC
- Sony DSR-25 miniDV deck (with firewire and s-video)
- JVC HR-S7900U SVHS (with TBC, s-video)

I've read a lot of threads on here about how DV-avi is not ideal for archiving. Such a shame because it's so easy to capture firewire with the DSR-25 and Premiere Pro .

Should I be concerned about capturing miniDV tapes to DV-avi with the DSR-25? Is it better to run this s-video out into a capture card and capture huffyuv?

Wondering if anyone has any recommendations for solid capture cards for windows 7 here in 2017.

For capturing: I'm used to firewire into Premiere Pro. If I go s-video and capture card, will Premiere still handle it? Or will I have to switch capture software too?

I'm used to using Adobe's media encoder to render any formats for online video. Is Huffyuv compatible with anything that plays AVI in general or am I going to run into issues?

I'm planning on picking up some gear to transfer 8mm formats (8mm, hi8, digital8). I've seen the big list of dcr-trv cams that I should be looking for. Wondering if I should also be looking for cameras with s-video and audio output to bypass dv-avi firewire for these tapes too?

Also wondering on whether to pick up one of the better dcr-trv digital8 cameras or instead grab a nice deck like the EV-S3000 and EV-S7000.


I know this is a lot of questions, so thank you again to anyone who can chime in on any of this!
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  #2  
08-08-2017, 05:33 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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This site has a DV capture guide. http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/video/capture-dv.htm
Don't use an editor app for capture of anything, whether digital or analog source, even if the app has "Pro" in its name. That's not the way it's done. It's an inferior and buggy method for any kind of capture.

What do you mean by "8mm"? 8mm is a film format. Perhaps you refer to hi8 or Videoi8? They are analog formats that should be played on analog machines or cameras with pure analog pass-thru, and captured to lossless formats using capture devices that are optimized for analog source, not for digital source.

It's not to difficult to find USB capture devices for analog to lossless capture. Two that are recommended are the Hauppauge USB Live-2 and the Diamond VC500, both of which are good performers. If you were using an XP machine you would have many more choices, but I see you're stuck with Windows 7. There are also cheapo spinoffs of the above capture devices -- stay away from them, the few bucks you save won't be worth the damage. Software recommended for lossless capture would be Virtualdub or AmarecTV. Lossless capture is designed for repair, restoration, and complex editing tasks. DV is not a restoration format. It's shoot-watch-and-re-encode for final play format only, or use your PC for DV playback.
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08-08-2017, 10:22 AM
nicholasserra nicholasserra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Don't use an editor app for capture of anything, whether digital or analog source, even if the app has "Pro" in its name. That's not the way it's done. It's an inferior and buggy method for any kind of capture.
Nice, noted.

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
What do you mean by "8mm"? 8mm is a film format. Perhaps you refer to hi8 or Videoi8? They are analog formats that should be played on analog machines or cameras with pure analog pass-thru, and captured to lossless formats using capture devices that are optimized for analog source, not for digital source.
I mean the 8mm video format, including video8, hi8, and digital8.


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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
It's not to difficult to find USB capture devices for analog to lossless capture. Two that are recommended are the Hauppauge USB Live-2 and the Diamond VC500, both of which are good performers.
Are there advantages to getting a PCI card for this? I see some from ATI.


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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Lossless capture is designed for repair, restoration, and complex editing tasks. DV is not a restoration format. It's shoot-watch-and-re-encode for final play format only, or use your PC for DV playback.
Got it. But in regards to one of my questions, should I avoid transferring to DV-avi using firewire for miniDV and digital8 tapes? Or is the firewire to dv-avi process as good as it's going to get for archival?
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08-08-2017, 11:17 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholasserra View Post
I mean the 8mm video format, including video8, hi8, and digital8.
Digital8 is DV, Video8 and Hi8 are analog. You can capture analog to DV but lossless capture with an analog device is recommended for analog sources. DV capture of analog source is lower quality and difficult cleanup.

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Originally Posted by nicholasserra View Post
Are there advantages to getting a PCI card for this? I see some from ATI.
There is no particular advantage. The HD 650 PCI is the only PCI device recommended and tested (don't even think about using the inferior HD 650 USB version). Used for lossless capture of analog tapes. Drivers for Windows Vista 32-bit are available and work with win7, but I'm not certain they can be used for lossless capture with Virtualdub or AmarecTV, and installation in Win7 64-bit is iffy. You can't mix 64-bit drivers with 32-bit software, which is recommended for a great deal of the capture and processing software you'll see at this site. You can work with Premiere Pro in 64-bit but as lossless media, and PP is not recommended as a restoration platform -- It's an editor and encoder, good for color correction but not for cleanup and restoration. The aforementioned Diamond VC500 is a USB device, a good performer for analog source, and is easier to use and configure for analog source capture.

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Originally Posted by nicholasserra View Post
But in regards to one of my questions, should I avoid transferring to DV-avi using firewire for miniDV and digital8 tapes? Or is the firewire to dv-avi process as good as it's going to get for archival?
Firewire and direcft copy as DV is the best and ONLY recommended way to transfer MiniDV and Digital8 to a PC.

You can archive as DV using that method, which is a 1:1 direct and true copy without modification. Any other way is lower quality and usually involves another stage of lossy re-encoding. DV can be post-processed using lossless media for cleanup, color work, fancy edits, etc., and re-encoded using other software to whatever final delivery format you want: DVD, standard definition BluRay/AVCHD, customized for flash drive/HDD external playback setups, and/or web posting.

Digital source and analog source are two different worlds with different requirements and methods. If you're accustomed to clicking icons in an NLE, I think you'll find that this sort of work requires more than an NLE. They're good for what they do, but they're not a complete or ideal solution. Hi8 and video8 look pretty good and aren't that difficult to work with, but when you see your first analog captures you'll have different ideas about DV.
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08-08-2017, 11:27 AM
nicholasserra nicholasserra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Digital8 is DV, Video8 and Hi8 are analog. You can capture analog to DV but lossless capture with an analog device is recommended for analog sources. DV capture of analog source is lower quality and difficult cleanup.
Ah, gotcha

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
The aforementioned Diamond VC500 is a USB device, a good performer for analog source, and is easier to use and configure for analog source capture.
Nice, i'll start looking into those.

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Firewire and direcft copy as DV is the best and ONLY recommended way to transfer MiniDV and Digital8 to a PC.
This totally clears this up for me, thank you.


So basically for miniDV and digital8 I should stick with firewire transfer to DV-avi, using my DSR-25 and probably a digital8 camcorder.


For VHS, VHSC, video8 and hi8 I should do analog transfers via s-video using a capture card of some sort into virtualdub.

Hopefully whatever 8mm camcorder I pick up will have s-video out? Anybody have opinions on my first post question about digital8 camcorder vs a deck like the EV-S3000 and EV-S7000?
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08-08-2017, 11:34 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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I'm not completely familiar with the EV-S3000 or S7000 but 've seen in this forum that they are excellent players, if in good condition. If they have Firewire output you're set to go for DV transfer.

If your DS-25 can play digital tapes via Firewire, why do you need a digital8 camcorder?
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08-08-2017, 11:39 AM
nicholasserra nicholasserra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
I'm not completely familiar with the EV-S3000 or S7000 but 've seen in this forum that they are excellent players, if in good condition. If they have Firewire output you're set to go for DV transfer.

If your DS-25 can play digital tapes via Firewire, why do you need a digital8 camcorder?
The DSR-25 is miniDV and dvcam only.
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08-08-2017, 11:42 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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OK. It's been a while since I even saw a DSR-25 or anything like it. Takes me back a ways. I could never afford one back then.
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08-08-2017, 11:49 AM
nicholasserra nicholasserra is offline
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OK. It's been a while since I even saw a DSR-25 or anything like it. Takes me back a ways. I could never afford one back then.
Prices have definitely come down. Thanks for all your answers! I think i'm going in the right direction now.
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  #10  
08-09-2017, 10:10 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Yes, DV25 is not at all archival for NTSC, due to 4:1:1 compression. PAL 4:2:0 is passable, like MPEG-2.

However, MiniDV/Digital8 was always DV, and is therefore fine left as DV-AVI. You can't make it any better. Shooting DV was not converting to DV. Shot footage tends to look quite nice. DV was always intended to be a shooting format, never a capturing format.

Some purists insist DV must be digital-out only via Firewire, but I've long be fine with capturing it over s-video. The quality loss will be minimal to non-existent, as most DV cams (especially consumer models) were not perfect anyway. All you need to ensure is that the capturing hardware is passing a clean signal. In my experience, DV "capturing" (transferring) over Firewire tends to lose more frames (and be bigger PITA) than simply s-video analog transfer. I'm not a purist, I'm a realist. Pros usually are. We want quality first, ease second. We gain nothing by making our job harder simply to brag about methods.

All that said, when you capture DV via analog, you do so as Huffyuv/lossless (maybe lossy ProRes422 at most), not DV. If you want the smaller DV stream, you must transfer/"capture" it.

For archives, the original DV stream is probably more prudent.

Note that I'm not disagreeing with anything sanlyn has posted. He's spot-on.

The hardware seems fine to me.

I also think you're good so far.

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08-09-2017, 10:19 AM
nicholasserra nicholasserra is offline
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Thank you for your response. Can you clarify what you meant by this point below? I'm not sure i'm grasping the meaning:

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For archives, the original DV stream is probably more prudent.
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08-09-2017, 10:23 AM
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Non-capture (analog), but "capture"/transfer via Firewire/IEEE1394.

Two methods exist to get the video off:.
(1) Analog, which is often fine.
(2) Digital transfer from the tape. For archival, I'd opt for this, even though it's a bigger PITA in many cases.

Quality really depends on needs.
- For my home DV tape archives, I capture direct to MPEG-2 15mbit.
- When I worked for studios, those archives needed to be the original DV25 signal via Firewire.

How important is the footage? How will it later be used? That also determines methods. Makes sense?

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09-28-2017, 10:00 PM
rok_ej rok_ej is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Non-capture (analog), but "capture"/transfer via Firewire/IEEE1394.

Two methods exist to get the video off:.
(1) Analog, which is often fine.
(2) Digital transfer from the tape. For archival, I'd opt for this, even though it's a bigger PITA in many cases.
I've been reviewing this thread - thank you - and couldn't find another that addressed my issue like this one does . . . I'm attempting option #2 (the PITA route) on have several Hi8, Video8 and Digital8 tapes (about 100 of them) that I'd like to convert to digital files. I'm a Mac and iMovie user and hoping to just use the Firewire on my Sony camcorder to make it all happen . . . most of this threads comments are centered on Windows platforms. Any advice for a Mac user?

If it's helpful, my Sony camcorder has the IEEE 1394 4-Pin jack and my Mac has a Thunderbolt 2 jack. I've got the right cable (plus one dongle) to go from firewire 4-pin to firewire 9-pin and then the dongle gets me from the 9-pin to thunderbolt 2 . . . I think I've got the right setup. Do you recommend any equipment to utilize between the camcorder and the Mac, like a Canopus ADVC110?

I've got time on my hands and like the idea of doing this myself. It sounds like the quality will be as good as possible if I do a straight "capture" from the analog to digital as described above.

Two issues I face --
1) this is a big project for 100 tapes. Maybe you can recommend a service to use instead of doing it on my own? According to your services page you don't offer this service but could make a recommendation on another service provider?
2) I've heard that firewire has been known to blow/fry components (like camcorders) at times . . . any known issues to be aware of here?

Thank you.
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10-01-2017, 08:21 PM
nicholasserra nicholasserra is offline
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Funny, I find doing the digital tapes via firewire to be the easy route. I'm relieved when I pop in an 8mm tape and it's Digital8, because the software handles beginning and ending the capture automatically for the most part.

To restate the above, for the digital8 and minidv tapes, use firewire to capture correctly. I can remember trying to do this on a mac years ago with an adapter cable for firewire->thunderbolt and it not working right. Hopefully it has improved.

If you're transferring a digital tape, use straight firewire to do this. No need for something in between.

If it's an analog tape (hi8, video8), you're gonna want to use some kind of capture card like you stated. There's a bunch of threads on those, but no idea what would work for mac. I bought an ATI tv wonder 600 USB for this.

In regards to firewire blowing up equipment, i've never heard that. I've been only using firewire on digital tapes for a decade and never had an issue.

100 tapes isn't a big deal if they're digital. Like I said, it's set it and forget it with the right software on PC. Hopefully there's some for mac too. I did 30 hours of tape in 3 days last month. Popped a tape in, and when i noticed it was done, popped a new one in, all while I was working on other projects.
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