Forum Forum (
-   Capture, Record, Transfer (
-   -   Transfer videos from Digital 8 tapes (

Luis Rivas 01-07-2011 11:29 AM

Transfer videos from Digital 8 tapes
I have several videos in cassettes taken with my Sony Handycam in Digital 8 format and want to transfer them to a hard drive.

Using a DV link and Windows Photo Gallery I can transfer them to computer by the persons and objects sometimes jump when there the move quick or the camera moved some how fast. How can I do to transfer videos with the same smoth movements that I see on my camera?

jmac698 01-07-2011 12:58 PM

Could you post a short clip?

admin 01-08-2011 02:25 AM

Definitely post a short clip.


NOTE: You can attach files, up to 8MB, on the forum. As a Premium Member, I can PM some temp FTP credentials for you to send slightly larger files (under 64MB preferred -- should be adequate to show what's needed -- and I can attach to a post). To conserve file space, MPEG-2 converted files (I-frame only preferred) will allow for more footage to be posted. But you can still get a few seconds of DV, if MPEG-2 is too much.

If you need help uploading files, read: How to Upload/View/Download Images+Attachments
Don't attach files to those "file sharing" services -- huge nuisance, takes too long, files can get corrupted.

If you need help creating the sample clips...
For Windows: VirtualDub is best for cutting off a piece of AVI (and AVI DV).
And/or use the free Matrox codecs to encode the 10MB/s I-frame MPEG-2 files.
Download those codecs here:
For Mac: Same process, although install of VirtualDub is a bit more convoluted.

Ask if you need further details. :)

Luis Rivas 01-08-2011 02:26 PM

Ok IŽll try to post something

Luis Rivas 01-08-2011 06:36 PM

Problem could be the software to display
First of all thanks for responding to my questions. :)

Trying to produce a small file to post, I realized that when viewed through Windows Movie Maker the movements are smoth but when viewed using Windows Photo Gallery the fast moving objects sometimes jump.

Either way Tried to posting a short clip to get advice of a practical way of saving good video files when my old handycam does not work any more, problem was that i've got an error message when triyng to upload the file. Error message code was 404.

Windows Photo Gallery is probably one of the all-in-one tools not too advisable, but since I already have a digital video I wonder if this could help me with a good quality for family videos.

The other advice i need is if the WMF format is good for keeping my videos at the computer or if I should convert these files to other format.

What should you recommend? Should I still try post a clip for your evaluation? :confused:

admin 01-09-2011 04:43 AM

The current max file attachment size, for AVI and MPEG files, for Premium Members, is 16MB.
Was your file larger than 16MB, maybe?

I also just made some server tweaks. Try again. :)

Luis Rivas 01-10-2011 09:30 AM

The short clip
1 Attachment(s)
I could post it

admin 01-10-2011 10:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Okay, I've been able to look at the video clip, and I do see a small jump once or twice. The issue here is that you're dropping frames. Digital8 format is DV data on a 8mm form-factor tape. So it's simply DV25 video format. You want to "capture" (data transfer into an AVI file) with a Firewire cable.

Use the WinDV freeware software for this transfer:
And then I've also attached it to this post for you, for convenience.

The software that comes free with Windows (the programs made by Microsoft, and embedded into Windows) probably aren't doing you any favors either. Yes, these free tools promise to be full of features, easy to use, "professional" or high quality, etc -- but that's rarely true, or even close to it.

For video editing, you're really better off using something like Adobe Premiere Elements, which runs about $80 from Amazon with free shipping for the disc version, or $100 from for the download version. (At $20 less, I'd much rather have the discs -- that's a double-benefit to me, although it means I have to wait about a week for mail to arrive. No matter, I'm patient!)

In the meantime, you can at least download the demo of Premiere Elements from, just to test it and compare to the freebie MS tools.

I think that's really all it is -- dropped frames.

For best workflow, and highest end-quality, I would entirely skip creating WMV files. If you want to make a DVD, then convert the DV AVI to MPEG-2 in appropriate software (again, Premiere Elements was made for this). Or to put on Youtube, you'd want to convert from DV AVI to H.264 MP4 -- again Premiere does this.

So for free, you can stop the jerking/jumping of video. For about $80, you can further improve your method, to create higher quality output. (I don't much like to suggest anybody spend money, but you need the right tools. You wouldn't want to beat a nail with a screwdriver, or insert a screw with a wrench! I'd say it's $80 well spent, and will likely be all the software you need. I use Premiere Pro, but Elements can do all of these basic tasks, too.)

Read this guide, too: Dropped Frames & Audio Sync Errors -- let's make sure your system is "clean" (i.e., not bogged down with programs -- so disable anti-virus software, etc), and can give good/fast performance while transferring/"capturing" that video to the hard drive.

Start with WinDV, and see what that does for you. :)

Luis Rivas 01-11-2011 07:16 PM

Thanks I'll try this.:)

Luis Rivas 01-14-2011 09:09 PM

I'm ready to capture with WinDV but a question arose. Is tha AVI format the one to keep my videos in the hard drive or is just a trasitory format? Is the DVD the format to replace de old casettes or should be a hard disk?

Luis Rivas 01-20-2011 04:03 AM

Hello, Hello !!!

lordsmurf 01-20-2011 08:03 AM


Originally Posted by Luis Rivas (Post 14230)
I'm ready to capture with WinDV but a question arose. Is tha AVI format the one to keep my videos in the hard drive or is just a trasitory format?

Short question, long answer...

On a Windows computer, you want to store your DV format video into an AVI file.
On a Mac, it would go into a Quicktime container.

The reason behind this is that DV data stored on a tape is "raw" digital information, similar to CD audio. Without a "holding file" or "container" (what's technically/properly referred to as a "wrapper" when it comes to digital video), the data could not exist on the computer. Computers require digital data be stored in files in order to understand the 1's and 0's.

The DV format, when put into file form, creates about 13GB/hour files, so you'll want a large hard drive if you plan to permanently store file versions of your tapes. Honestly, if you can spare the hard drive space (or add more external drives specifically for this purpose), then I would do so.

Note about external drives: You CANNOT "capture" (transfer video data) directly to an external USB2 drive. You can, however, transfer directly to a Firewire 400, Firewire 800, or eSATA drive, if you need/want to do so. If you plan to use a USB2 drive as the permanent archive location of your DV AVI files, then you'll have to capture to a non-USB drive first, then later copy/move those files within Windows (or whatever you're using for an OS).

There really is no end-use format media (reference to DVD, Blu-ray, etc) that utilizes DV format video. So in that regard, it is very much a preliminary source format. For many people who decide the DV tape is a "good enough" archive, and a hard drive copy is not needed, then it only serves as a temporary set of files on the computer while DVD projects are being made.


Is the DVD the format to replace de old casettes or should be a hard disk?
From an absolute technical standpoint, a DVD is very similar to a D8 tape in quality.

A DVD could be slightly lesser in quality due to the inherent instability found in home-shot footage. Why? Well between the MPEG compression scheme used on a DVD, and all the poor handheld shaky footage from the camera, you can end up with a somewhat noisy DVD. DV compression (~5:1) is less than that of MPEG-2 for DVD (~15:1), so there can be less noise. However, much of this really depends on the quality of the MPEG-2 encoder, and the settings used.

Here I use the professional ($500+) MainConcept Reference MPEG encoder, with multi-pass VBR settings, and I'll use DVD+R DL media when required. The DL disc allows more disc space so that I can use extra high bitrates. For me, quality is the same on both the original tape and the new DVD that I created.

From a non-technical sense, from the perspective of the typical viewer, a DVD version is most definitely a good replacement for the original D8 tape. Unless you look for errors, you'll likely consider the DVD "good enough" at worst, and "the same" at best.

Does that answer your question? :)

Luis Rivas 01-26-2011 07:05 PM

Definitely yes. In fact you gave me more information than I expected, I need to re read some phrases to learn more, looks very interesting. Thanks a lot! :cool:

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:51 AM

Site design, images and content © 2002-2022 The Digital FAQ,
Forum Software by vBulletin · Copyright © 2022 Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.