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01-27-2019, 10:41 AM
DenM3 DenM3 is offline
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Hi all, I have Panasonic PV-GS500 Mini DV player, firewire to new PC with 4TB hd. Space is no concern.

Using windows 10, so far the only software I can get to work is VLC Media Player, but it is not the most elegant solution.

Questions:

What is the simplest and best software to rip (via firewire) tapes to PC? I don't mind paying for it.

When I do rip the tapes, what is the best format to use for capture (.avi, .mp4. etc)?

I don't necessarily have to eventually put them on DVD, my set up can play various media files.

thanks for any advice!
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  #2  
01-27-2019, 01:06 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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If your tapes are in DV format, then be aware that a DV player is like a "floppy drive". No conversion from analog to digital will take place, it is already digital on the tape.

When you "move" or "copy" DV footage from a DV player to a computer, you are actually "copying it" over firewire.

If you are using the DV player to "clean up" an analog signal and pass it through to your PC over firewire. Be aware that is not a good method. The DV player will "downscale" the color, so that it "fits" within the DV storage format. - That is you will "loose" color information and it will appear slightly duller or "paler" compared to other methods.. this is acceptable to some people, but most would recommend you do not do that. Generally people accepted this in the year 2000 so they could carry a camcorder around to film their family, it was the trade off of the DV format.

Copying DV digital footage from player to PC, over firewire, involves using a special tool for firewire connections, usually something like WinDV it is free software but no longer developed.

You can find it for download at the VH website

https://www.videohelp.com/software/WinDV

It is possible you are using your DV player to "clean up" an analog signal and pass it through analog outputs on the DV player to an analog capture device on the PC for analog signals. That is not a wise idea and there are better methods of doing that. But it is such an unusual circumstance most people would not engage in a conversation with you about it.. except to suggest there are better ways of doing that.

How your planning to connect it to your PC would be essential information to carry the conversation forward. Traditionally however it would be only over firewire.

"riping" tapes is not the right term for using the DV format, "copying" is more correct. Since its already in a digital format when it arrives on the PC generally no conversion takes place on the PC.

Converting it from the DV codec into another codec and then putting it in another file container type does little to improve the quality of the picture, it actually degrades it somewhat. But people sometimes want to save it off the PC as a DVD for playback on a DVD player. To do that you will need to change the codec, sacrifice some quality and burn it to the DVD. The DVD codec and storage format allows for "more" color information than is available in the DV recording.. but it cannot put more color information than is already in there.. so the picture quality of a DV recording compared to other DVD recordings when played back will be apparent. If you can accept that, then you need an "Authoring" tool to convert the video codec and then arrange the files in a structure for burning to a DVD. There are many authoring tools from simple to complex. Which you use is up to you.. you can ask for recommendations, but your experience level and intentions for the end material (DVD for children, DVD for video engineers) will change which tools people will recommend to you. -- you have to provide more information about what you want to do, so that people will give you more feedback.

Last edited by jwillis84; 01-27-2019 at 01:20 PM.
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  #3  
01-27-2019, 07:29 PM
DenM3 DenM3 is offline
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thanks jwillis for the answer. I think it is very simple. I have about 24 Mini DV tapes that I want to copy. Family movies. I am familiar with dv tapes, and I know they are are digital.

I am connecting the camera to the PC via Firewire.

My question is what is the best codec for future use/viewing? I want to retain quality and color. In the future I could create DVDs, but that is not my primary goal. I just want to get them off the tape and onto a hard drive. I have a home theatre and can run PC files to the projector, so I am not limited to DVD.

So, I'll check out WinDV, glad to look at any others. I am surprised that it is not more common for folks to want to copy mini DV tapes to computer. Or, at least there doesn't seem too be more discussion of this out on the interwebs.

thanks again for the advice!

D
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  #4  
01-27-2019, 09:53 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Ah.. I see

Much more detail and it sounds like I better understand you question.

Your at a much higher level of understanding than most people.

DV to my knowledge was popular with the camcorder crowd for its ease of export or "copying" to the PC. There was very little to go wrong with it and the image quality (while lacking color) was generally very good.

Being digital at the time of "filming" it was already a "frozen" codec and format.. you couldn't really tweak it or improve it. Its best state was as-is.

For playback I believe "hardware" decoders were much more common, which took the digital data and ran it through a Digital to Analog converter to produce a "synthetic" analog signal more compatible with playback devices.. be that an NTSC VHS tape recorder, a CRT television, or other analog display device.

Today since most displays are "Progressive" and digital in nature, there is no reason to convert the DV Digital format into any other "analog" format first. Hence there is only "one codec".. its the job of whatever is doing the rendering of the digital data to your display device, that is the "hardware codec".

Now if your display device cannot handle the DV video directly.. then you have to convert it into an analog signal first.. and that seems to be your question.. which DV to Analog "codec" is best or most compatible with the most common display devices today?

Based only on the "Era" in which the video was created I would suggest that be MPEG2, so a codec or converter that processes the DV to MPEG2 would be playable on most systems. Big screen systems that is.. for mobile or web streaming MPEG4/H.264

Codecs don't come without an editing tool for the most part.. be that Corel Video Studio, Corel Pinnacle Studio, Adobe Premiere and so on. They all license their preferred codec encoders, and each person has their personal preferences, mostly based on what they are familar with first, and then the actual quality of the codec.. kind of backwards.. but that's how I see it.

Most people here and at many other boards are concerned with capturing analog video and producing DVDs as end product, so they focus on the MPEG2 codec(s).. as long as the tools they are recommending can handle importing DV footage on to their timelines.. and I think most can.. then its the MPEG2 or H.264 codecs that are recommended you are probably most interested in.

I can understand the disappointment in not finding "specific" targeted discussions regarding the DV format transformation into other final media formats.. but I think that is a sign of "how easy" it is with DV, generally the discussions for any final output format will apply equally to DV input into the tool.

If someone says a particular products .mpg or mp4 output is terrible.. or blocky or full of artifacts.. it will probably equally do the same for your DV input.. its digital.. so its lossless on any tool when input.. nothing can go wrong.. its on the output side when things could go wrong.. comparing how good it is at handling DV to MPEG2 or H.264 is really a matter of other factors like bitrates and the ability you have to tweak the colors or saturation once the DV has made its way to analog space.
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  #5  
01-27-2019, 10:26 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Long thread...

VLC is a player, not capture. Don't do that.

Win10 is probably the 2nd-worst OS for capturing, worse than Linux, behind 1st-worse Mac OS X. It doesn't play nice with a majority of capture hardware. That OS was for tablets and Facebook, not serious work.

AVI and MP4 are just wrappers, containers, not formats. Best for video in general is lossless Huffyuv (in AVI), but having MiniDV tapes makes DV transfer an option. Leave is as DV format, "capture"/transfer into AVI container.

If VHS source, never use DV, unless you want to lose 50% of the already-low color data.

WinDV is also for download on this site, as well as Scenalyzer:
- http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...-software.html
- http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...35-sclive.html
No need to send to other sites.

"Ripping" is a reserved term for extracting digital data from media that tries to prevent it. Like ripping DVDs, or audio CDs. Not VHS tapes. That's capture.

The biggest problem with DV is getting the Firewire card to cooperate, as well as getting the camera to not segment transfer or just fail to cooperate either.

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  #6  
01-28-2019, 08:20 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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DenM3,

Lordsmurf is more concise and correct.. I take too many liberties in things that I say.

His recommendation to simply "copy" the DV video with a tool like WinDVD or Scenalyzer to the PC, and then "store" it in a AVI container file makes the most sense. Its low effort and you have the two choices, leave it as DV inside the file, or perform a little transform and lossless compression to Huffyuv.

Good, modern playback devices and playback programs will recognize the DV format in the files and play them back. If you choose to go to Huffyuv you will save a little file space on the hard drive and may find the range of players slightly larger.

I didn't know there was a local source for the programs on this site, so going to a different site to download WinDVD or any other program is not recommended. Whenever traveling away from where your reading you might become entangled in dead links or risky behavior by those other sites when serving you content.

I would think simply hook up your firewire and then copy with WinDVD (or the Scenalyzer tool Lordsmurf mentioned) and save the files. Don't try to overthink or predict the "most" compatible format.. be lazy.. test your preferred playback device or software and see if it recognizes what you've copied off the miniDVD tapes.. if they play.. "declare victory" and run like heck.

The "most compatible" file/format/codec is a moving target, and it changes.. be like a Professional Photographer.. collect your raw footage in its native "pure" format, and back it up.. only make "consumer copies" when you have a real need.

Its entirely possible that no matter what you decide is the "Perfect" playback file/format/codec today.. you will have wasted all that time pushing your DV footage into that format.. and lost picture quality in the process.
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  #7  
01-28-2019, 09:13 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
Lordsmurf is more concise and correct.. I take too many liberties in things that I say.
I don't know ... your input on the 510-USB thread saved me some troubleshooting time.

It's nice when I'm not the only one that knows stuff, tries stuff, finds solutions to issues. Far too often, I have to solve issues nobody else can resolve, and I get burn-out from that. So please, post away. If you say anything wrong, confusing, not entirely accurate, that's when I'll step in. Many times I just click the thanks button.

Quote:
If you choose to go to Huffyuv you will save a little file space on the hard drive and may find the range of players slightly larger.
Huffyuv = about 35gb/hour
DV = exactly 13gb/hout
And both are equally not playable; players want MPEG and H.264.

Quote:
I didn't know there was a local source for the programs on this site, so going to a different site to download WinDVD or any other program is not recommended. Whenever traveling away from where your reading you might become entangled in dead links or risky behavior by those other sites when serving you content.
VH is reliable, but we sometimes purposely give download to specific versions, whereas other sites always have latest only (and slightly bury older versions, as VH does).

Quote:
be like a Professional Photographer.. collect your raw footage in its native "pure" format
Some of us are guilty of always/often/usually shooting JPEG. Maybe not best analogy.

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