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11-09-2010, 09:35 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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I ran across these guys when looking around for 8mm film transfers. Some choice quotes, but this one sticks out.

"writable DVDs have a shelf life of only 2 to 5 years"

Further on in the site, they proclaim MiniDV is the archival media of choice!


Ironically, MiniDV is the one format I have seen tapes start to degrade in as little as 5 years. I'm sure the quality of their service is good, but the sales pitch could use some work.

FWIW, I will have some more to add to this section of the site. My parents had a ton of 8mm film transferred to DVD a few years ago. Needless to say, it could have been done a little better.

Last edited by kpmedia; 11-09-2010 at 11:15 PM. Reason: fixed thread title typo
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11-09-2010, 11:03 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Yeah, that's one of those sites where it's harder to find correct information than it is to find myths and inaccuracies. Pretty much everything written there is a skewing of facts and agreed-upon consensus in the professional community. This is what happens when somebody who apparently does not understand video (or the related topic of optical media) writes down information that was likely gleamed from heresay and non-authoritative sources.

The 'Who We Are' page shows a lineage of education that would preclude any knowledge on media -- video or otherwise. Working for a TV station at some point in the past also doesn't prove command of the subject matter -- he could have been a janitor, for all we know. (And based on the odd information you see written there, floor mopping is more believable than anything that dealt with video content.)

And what's with the huge photo on the homepage, and smaller photos of himself all over the site? Narcissism, much?

You find many generalities on the site. For example, the statement that they only "hire some of the best people in the world." As supposed to what? Hiring the worst ones? Doesn't every boss strive to hire the best people? Do all of them have his same self-proclaimed lack of formal education in the subject? Is that what "best" means? I'll agree that a degree doesn't equate to skill or knowledge, but video isn't an easy topic and formal education helps.

Pay close attention how the homepage has slowly filled itself with backpeddling statements, while still attempting to rigidly adhere to ridiculous claims. For example, stating how they are not anti-DVD, yet still believe DVDs only have a lifespan of 2-5 years. Really? (Like that new MS phone commercial: "REALLY?!")

Let's focus on that 'Dirty Little Secrets' page...

NOTE: I'm not linking to his crap, so you'll have to copy/paste the URL if you want to read the original version.
#1 - "Digital Copies" are not the "Digital Equivalent" to Your Original Film
This is semantics. If you scan 35mm film at 4K, you have a digital negative. If you doubt my assertions on this topic, feel free to debate it with George Lucas and others, who have pioneered the field of digital production. Obviously a Youtube encode is not a "digital equivalent", but a DVD could very well be a digital version of VHS (seeing how VHS is lower in every way to even moderate DVD specs, to say nothing of max Full D1 specs).

#2 - DVDs are not "high resolution".
Again, semantics. DVDs were considered high resolution 10-15 years ago. Then HD was "high resolution". Now it's 2K and 4K. In the future, something else will be high res. DVDs are the highest "standard" resolution (greater than CIF, lower than HD). I don't know what sort of game he's trying to play here.

#3 - DVDs are NOT made up of "full frame pictures" -- like your film.
This is completely wrong. DVDs can be created with I-frame only MPEG frames. Each MPEG frame is a film frame. End of story. Beyond that, he's sort of mushing together the complexities of MPEG-2 GOP encoding, for some unknown anti-MPEG/anti-DVD rambling reason. Sure, you can create max/long GOP MPEG-2 encodes, which is predictive from a reference I-frame, but that doesn't really mean you're losing pictures. That's just the way information is stored and regenerated. He's oversimplifying something -- it's distorted.

Each one of the "little pictures" in your film is made up of hundreds of "little lines". If I throw out every other "little line" to fit your film to a DVD, I have thrown away half of your film, haven't I?
To me, this is the most glaring example of a complete lack of understanding of video. This very much sounds like poor comprehension of interlacing. There are not any "little lines" on film -- none. Film is a granular optical format -- I used to shoot hundreds/thousands of rolls of the stuff every year for more than a decade. The only place that "lines" appear in video conversations is when you're either measuring analog ("lines of resolution"), or referring to interlace alternating combs.

#4 - DVDs can NOT be copied to other "digital formats' without "digital artifacts".
This is wrong, too. I can duplicate a DVD with zero loss. I can convert it back out to uncompressed/lossless formats with zero loss. I can even re-encode it to other formats (MPEG-2, H.264, etc) without necessarily incurring any visual damage -- I do this for studios because pulling film is unreasonably expensive (and carries a cost of risk by handling) for certain types of projects.

There is where you run into something obvious -- professionals do this daily, yet this guy thinks the video will turn into blocky, noisy videos? No, I don't think so.

#5 - "You can edit MPEG2" (DVDs) - but, "not exactly".
This is just a weird statement. It's about on par with saying something like "French fries are made with potatoes, but not exactly." What the hell does that even mean? His attempt to clarify it is as clear as mud.

There are many software packages out there that let you edit MPEG2 compressed video. Each will warn you about the consequences of "cutting" the video stream anywhere but on a key frame. When it comes to getting the highest possible quality out of your editing efforts, you can edit MPEG... but why would you want to?
MPEG-2 is easily edited with MPEG editors, from the likes of TMPGEnc, Womble, VideoReDo and others. Several professional NLEs even do it losslessly. At best, he's referring to a few non-key frames, which usually carry a near-invisible transcode, lasting less than 0.6 seconds at most (18-long GOP @ 29.97fps).

#6 - You need a "full frame", "high resolution" digital master -- and a backup.
Based on some of the other semantics games, I don't even want to touch this one. It's just words for the sake of sounding scary. (Fox News, anybody?)

#7 - Most Telecine Methods are VHS quality; NOT High Resolution
Most telecine methods were developed before the digital age and target problems inherent to older "analogue (composite) video".
#8 - Telecine Projector - VS - Telecine Transfer
I actually won't argue this one. There's a lot of garbage film devices out there. Of course, given his other information on the topic of video, I would not trust this person to know which device are good, and which ones are crap.

I would add, however, that most film optics were so lousy that VHS can more than adequately capture the fuzzy videos grandma shot of her grandma 50 years ago. If you can resolve at least 352x480 worth of detail, then you're probably doing pretty well. Anybody doubting the quality of early and late non-pro film of the 20th century should simply visit archive.org (home of the U.S. National Archives) and peruse some of their free-to-download conversions. Putting a video into a larger resolution palette won't make it sharper if it was fuzzy to begin with.


I had already pointed out his baloney 3+ years ago at http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/2...=1#post1676810
And again at http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/3...=1#post1980275
But I guess it needed to be done again.

And that's just barely scratching the surface of what all is odd, inaccurate, or just plain wrong on that site. I think that his unreasonable bias for the MiniDV format has allowed him to see non-existent demons and bogeyman in all other formats. Just yesterday I was compiling some media research documents for new articles to appear on this site, and MiniDV did not make it past 10 years on some of the charts. It's a tape -- tapes die easily due to their contact/open nature. You can't avoid that. Sorry.

This kind of stuff really just aggravates me. I missed the days when being a writer meant you had to go through some sort of gatekeeper (an editor, fact checker, etc) -- as opposed to mind vomit that makes up blogs and apparently many websites. Anybody can writes whatever they want, right or wrong, and those who don't know any better will sadly give it equal consideration when doing research.

To me, that film-to-dvd.com site is about on par with a conspiracy theory kook site.

Just ignore it.

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Last edited by lordsmurf; 11-09-2010 at 11:23 PM. Reason: added more
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11-24-2010, 04:04 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I've seen a bunch of negative reviews of that place in years past, but I could not find them when I had looked some weeks back, when replying to this thread the first time. While answering another film-to-DVD question today, I found one of them:

Originally Posted by bjfl View Post
I made the unfortunate decision to pay over $600 to have my 8mm film transferred to DVD by Film-To-Video.com / Film-To-DVD.com [dba Bruce Mayfield, Santa Fe, NM]. Their manager, Carol, demonstrated the most astounding rudeness that I have ever experienced. Indeed, she was so shockingly ill-mannered that the only place I can imagine such behavior going unnoticed is in New York City. Lack of professionalism aside, the quality of the finished product was no better than what I could have obtained locally for a fraction of the price (and without being subjected to anyone’s appalling lack of manners). Never again! Buyer beware.
B. J. Lowe, Phoenix
from http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/2...=1#post1506592

Generally what I've read is negatives on quality being less than the "sparkly version" you get reading all the BS.

I used to know two people with video business out of the Santa Fe area, and they had nothing nice to say, either. (Quoting their own clients, maybe?)
I wonder if I can track them down and get some quotes. Hmmm....

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Last edited by lordsmurf; 11-24-2010 at 04:09 PM.
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