Is .avi the most loss free file type for storing miniDV?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by s.fowler, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. s.fowler

    s.fowler Guest

    Hi,

    I'm archiving some video from a miniDV camera to my PC, just using
    Windows XP's Movie Maker utility.

    Question. I'm storing the video as .avi files. Is this the most loss
    free file type for storing miniDV material?
    In other words, does recording miniDV data as .avi files involve some
    loss when stored on a computer.

    If so, is there a better and more loss free file type than .avi?

    The size of the stored video files would not be the deciding factor.

    Very many thanks.
     
    s.fowler, Sep 1, 2008
    #1
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  2. s.fowler

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    AS long as you haven't made nay changes to the original video (i.e.
    added any transitions from one clip to another), then the copy is a
    duplicate of the original so there is no quality loss.

    Mike
     
    Mike Kujbida, Sep 1, 2008
    #2
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  3. s.fowler

    s.fowler Guest

    Thanks Mike,

    So .avi is a good file format for long term video storage?

    The videos I'm refering to are typical home type, childrens first
    steps etc. so I'd like someone to have access to them well into the
    future, perhaps after I'm dead and gone.

    Just learnt after a bit of Googling on the subject that there are in
    fact two types of .avi Type 1 and Type 2. I don't even know what my
    elderly consumer class Panasonic NV-DS11 outputs on its IEEE 1394
    interface, never mind which of these might be best - any thoughts?

    Thanks again.
     
    s.fowler, Sep 1, 2008
    #3
  4. DV-AVI should provide your best possibility for doing this - just
    be sure to store the tapes well (fully wound one way, upright, and
    in a reasonably cool and dry environment.
    Don't worry about it - everything is in one type when shot or copied
    to tape (but it can wind up as the other type on the computer
    depending on what capture card you use, but that is only relevant
    for working with the files on the computer, and files there can be
    easily converted to the other type losslessly if need be).
    --David Ruether
    www.donferrario.com/ruether
     
    David Ruether, Sep 1, 2008
    #4
  5. wrote in :
    Then keep them on miniDV tapes. They'll be readable long after your hard
    disks go belly up or computers evolve far beyond supporting whatever HDD
    you have.

    You can still read Beta tapes, but good luck reading an 8" floppy.


    jaybee
     
    Jacques E. Bouchard, Sep 1, 2008
    #5
  6. s.fowler

    s.fowler Guest

    Many thanks to everyone who posted with advice.

    I will keep my miniDV tapes but I will also transfer their contents to
    my PC and store them as .avi files.
    To be certain of maintaining this material I believe it is necessary
    for it to be stored in more than one
    location, simply relying on one small mechanical and prone to failure
    miniDV tape is not really a sensible
    option. Once on the computer it can be backed-up and transferred to
    any new PC if or when I get one.
    I urge others will valuable material to do the same.

    Twenty, thirty or more years from now there will be a small industry
    built around recovering data from old
    file formats and media no longer readable by the then current
    devices. jpg images and avi video files, miniDV
    tapes, CD, DVD and Blue Ray discs will all have become obsolete. In
    short, it's going to be a pain. Old
    photographs, even those from fifty or more years ago are easy to
    'access' and appreciate. Fifty years from
    now, someone will pick up a miniDV tape and not know what it is.

    Stephen
     
    s.fowler, Sep 2, 2008
    #6
  7. Many thanks to everyone who posted with advice.

    -I will keep my miniDV tapes but I will also transfer their contents to
    -my PC and store them as .avi files.
    -To be certain of maintaining this material I believe it is necessary
    -for it to be stored in more than one
    -location, simply relying on one small mechanical and prone to failure
    -miniDV tape is not really a sensible
    -option. Once on the computer it can be backed-up and transferred to
    -any new PC if or when I get one.
    -I urge others will valuable material to do the same.
    -
    -Twenty, thirty or more years from now there will be a small industry
    -built around recovering data from old
    -file formats and media no longer readable by the then current
    -devices. jpg images and avi video files, miniDV
    -tapes, CD, DVD and Blue Ray discs will all have become obsolete. In
    -short, it's going to be a pain. Old
    -photographs, even those from fifty or more years ago are easy to
    -'access' and appreciate. Fifty years from
    -now, someone will pick up a miniDV tape and not know what it is.
    -
    -Stephen

    You are not limited to one tape copy... Get a cheap second Mini-DV
    camcorder and copy tapes to it using FireWire (or copy the files out
    of the computer to the camcorder you have, by FireWire) - especially
    the edited videos. I have copies of the edited videos on two master
    collection tapes plus three different drives on the computer. Do not
    trust HDs that sit on the shelf or DVDs for archiving. Store tapes
    properly. BTW, HD failures in the computer are not exactly rare, but
    Mini-DV tape failures are, assuming they are well cared for.

    The second point you make is a good one, unfortunately. Even now,
    the disadvantages of digital are becoming obvious (as you note, and
    as you try to archive material). And often with "wonderful" digital TV
    broadcasting, we often wish they would just return to analogue and
    skip the frilled edges due to overcompression, blocking when the
    compression system gets overwhelmed, or having the picture just
    stop. In the "bad old days", a few interference bands might appear,
    and maybe a little static, once in a great while - but it was less
    disturbing than digital problems I now see.
    --David Ruether
    www.donferrario.com/ruether
    .
     
    David Ruether, Sep 2, 2008
    #7
  8. s.fowler

    s.fowler Guest

    Well yes of course, but as far as I know my little Panasonic NV-DS11
    camera can only output on its IEEE 1394
    interface and can't record. But, I will check this out.

    I have very little experience of miniDV tapes but, from what I read
    they are excellent. The tide of technology
    however, is moving away from mechanical forms of data storage. My
    current camera is now roughly eight years old.
    When it's replaced, hopefully in the near future, any new camera is
    unlikely to be miniDV. It's more likely to be
    AVCHD stored on flash memory. A codec with no doubt a limited
    lifespan before its replaced with something else.
    Another headache for the future.
    Yes, .avi files will at sometime become obsolete and I, or someone
    else, will have to convert them to some new
    file format we don't know about yet. There is no way of getting round
    that problem.
    Don't know about miniDV but I'm all too aware that HDD's can fail but
    at least data on a HDD can be backed-up and
    even the back-ups can be backed-up or the data transferred to another
    PC. As mentioned before, as things stand
    at the moment I have no way of backing-up my miniDV tapes other than
    transferring their contents to a PC. Because
    (as far as I know) my Panasonic NV-DS11 camera can't record using its
    Firewire connection.

    Stephen
     
    s.fowler, Sep 3, 2008
    #8
  9. European camcorders suffered from the political tax structure
    where they were taxed as "VCR"s if they could record from
    a video input. So apparently most manufacturers defeated the
    record function in the firmware for the European market rather
    than make their camcorders appear to be more expensive (due
    to the extra tax). There were hacks published on the internet
    for reversing this firmware tax-dodge on many models.
     
    Richard Crowley, Sep 3, 2008
    #9
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