Dear video gurus,
Like everyone else, I embarked on a mission to digitize a bunch of MiniDV and Hi8 tapes that are very precious to me. Just to give you the idea, two of them contain long interview that I did in 1997 with my late father, who fought in WWII, about his memories of war. This forum has provided most of my video education.
The MiniDV tapes were easy. I bought a Firewire card and installed it on my computer, connected my Panasonic DV901 to it, and digitized all tapes without a single dropped frame or any other hiccup. The Hi8 tapes are another story. I started by getting one of these cheap A/V adapters at Amazon
. It worked. Sort of. The quality of the digitized videos was subpar and the output format was .MPEG, while I prefer .AVI since I plan to do further editing. I returned it and tried to use my Panasonic DV901 miniDV camera as a pass-through digitizer via the Firewire port, digitizing composite video coming from my Canon Hi8 camcorder. The image quality was much better, but it dropped frames like crazy. I am pretty sure the computer (i7 with 16GB of memory) or the hard drive (7200 rpm) are not the culprits. I thought either the Firewire port or the Panasonic DV901 could be the source of the problem. Just to be sure, I bought and installed an Osprey 201e video capture card and plugged the Canon directly to it via the S-video cable, using NCH Debut for capture. Same problem. Tons of dropped frames.
My conclusion — and I am new to this — is that the analog video coming from the Hi8 camcorder was problematic. I need a TBC device. Only that TBCs are pretty much impossible to find at a reasonable cost. My question to the experts: Is there any factor that I overlooked? Assuming that low-cost TBCs no longer exist, is there a commercial service that you would recommend for this job? Do they routinely do time corrections? Thanks.