Total Newbie Needs Direction - 8MM/VHS to DV and DVD Archiving/Preservation

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by bradesp, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. bradesp

    bradesp Guest

    I'm a tech savvy gadget guy, but don't have a clue about video
    editing, archiving and analog to digital conversion.

    I have 15 years of home 8mm and VHS along with 4 years of DV. After
    some research it appears that Canopus ADVC-300 would be a decent
    choice for converting / restoring the 8mm and VHS to DV format Once
    I've done that however, then what? Do I burn it back from the PC to
    DV via my DV Camcorder?

    Also, what about archiving my current DV material? How "safe" is my
    content on this medium? I realize that DV is modestly compressed
    while DVD (Mpeg) is more compressed, therefore, I assume DVD isn't
    considered a high quality archive?

    Lastly, should I focus more on my 8MM / VHS conversions now and sit
    tight for HD burners in a couple of years before worrying about
    archiving my current DV tapes?


    bradesp, Nov 23, 2004
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  2. bradesp

    PETERWOJ Guest

    Lastly, should I focus more on my 8MM / VHS conversions now and sit
    Let me start from the end, HD burners will be mostly for burning High
    Definition programing, nothing to do with DV (digital video) unless you mean HD
    DV from JVC HD cam.

    a) You can record straight DV into DVD as data. The disk won't play in your
    tabletop but you can move that data file back to your computer and then tape.
    b) Unless you'll be doing some heavy editing later on, MPEG2 compression can
    look almost as good as original DV. There are many compression settings for
    MPEG2 and with high data rate you should not see the difference and if you
    conform to DVD video standard it will play on any DVD.
    c) If you think tape is safer storage medium than DVD disk, you're entitled to
    your opinion but I don't think so.

    Converting VHS and 8MM to DV makes no sense to me unless again you want to edit
    the video (besides simple cutting). I would convert analog video straight to
    MPEG2 DVD format and burn to disk. You'll need to experiment with settings
    (compression rate, interlace, number of main frames and subframes etc.) before
    settling on one with best quality. Once you get MPEG2 files you'll need
    authoring program to create and burn working disk. I don't know capabilities of
    Canopus. I use ATI all in wonder video card and have pretty good results but it
    took some time to find right settings. For example recording video interlaced
    gave me much better results for TV display than deinterlacing it during
    Hope this helps a bit.
    PETERWOJ, Nov 23, 2004
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  3. IMHO, hard disk is the safest (and most expensive) storage medium
    there is, as long as it's not being used. CD-rom can last as short
    as two years (very cheap brands), and I suspect DVD-rom might be
    the same. While tape is also magnetic (like a hard disk) it's more
    exposed. A new hard disk stored on a shelf is your best bet...
    Adriaan Pelzer, Nov 24, 2004
  4. bradesp

    Bill Van Dyk Guest

    Since DV stores about 1 hour of video on 13 GIG of disk space, a 200 gig
    drive, at $150 U.S., would store about 15 hours of video. Blank dv
    tapes cost about $4.00 each, so the equivalent storage capacity would be
    about $60.00, which is still considerably cheaper. You could make an
    extra copy and still beat the price of a large capacity hard drive.

    Do we really know how durable those hard drives are?

    Also, if one hard drive fails, you lose 15 hours of video. If two or
    three tapes fail, you only lose 2 or three hours. And tapes are less
    likely to fail for reasons other than decay; drives are vulnerable to
    electronic failures, static electricity, drops, etc.

    And I don't trust DVD or CD's either.

    I rather suspect that carefully stored copies of DV tape is your best bet.
    Bill Van Dyk, Nov 24, 2004
  5. I agree with both the conclusion and with the reasoning.
    Richard Crowley, Nov 24, 2004
  6. bradesp

    PETERWOJ Guest

    And I don't trust DVD or CD's either.
    Cheap CD or DVD can have unrecorevable errors even during recording (guess how
    I know) so every DVD I record, I check for errors right away. I have 10 year
    old CDs in the same condition as when brand new. Good DVD or CD can last 50
    years or more. There is no tape or hard drive that could last that long. Hard
    drive can fail even if not used (even more so than when used from time to time
    - guess again how do I know). Nothing is 100% failsafe but DVD is most reliable
    (I've seen bad tapes, clogging video heads and I've seen hard drives failing
    before 1year warranty expired). As a matter of fact after about 4 years of
    using other means I just switched back to D-VHS tape and D-VHS recorder for HD
    video recordings and still think nothing beats DVD for longevity and
    reliability but that is just my opinion.
    PETERWOJ, Nov 24, 2004
  7. There are already tapes that have lasted longer than 50 years.
    Richard Crowley, Nov 25, 2004
  8. bradesp

    bradesp Guest

    Wow, some honest differences of opinion here! I thought this would
    make life simpler for me!

    No one has yet really commented on my suggested use of the Canopus to
    do the video clean-up / digital conversion. Any thoughts?

    bradesp, Nov 25, 2004
  9. Confused whether you are talking about current production
    (where cleanup/conversion using current equipment would
    make sense) vs. archiving (where you are better off keeping
    the original tapes and using whatever advanced equipment is
    available when you go to produce something with the footage.)
    Richard Crowley, Nov 25, 2004
  10. bradesp

    PETERWOJ Guest

    No one has yet really commented on my suggested use of the Canopus to
    I don't have Canopus but don't see any reason why it shouldn't work. Capturing
    standard video is pretty straightforward and shouldn't cause any problems once
    you get the right settings. You have another option nobody mentioned yet. In
    less than a year we will have new DVD formats based on blue laser. Capacities
    of blue laser dvd will start at 20GB (models are already sold in Japan) and go
    up to 50GB and more. You didn't state your main purpose of going digital but
    whatever the reason is you should still hold on to the original tapes for
    anything important regardless which media will you use for digital backup.
    Having 2 copies of video in different formats is a safest bet.
    PETERWOJ, Nov 25, 2004
  11. bradesp

    bradesp Guest

    Actually both. I want to "clean up" old vhs tapes made of the kids
    when they we're young (6-10 year old tapes) as well as move them to a
    format that's likely to "last" for a while until I can get to a more
    "permanent" high resolution format (blue laser, etc.).

    So, I'm looking to move the content off the old 8mm and VHS tapes and
    in the process do the best I can to clean up the video and audio. I
    then want to "dump" this cleaned up video to something else... DV
    tapes perhaps?

    bradesp, Nov 25, 2004
  12. Do whatever you wish for your current requirements.
    But most certainly do NOT get rid of the original tapes.
    History has shown that at least in the mid term (~15 years)
    there will be better equipment out there to capture/clean/
    whatever for less $$$. Even if it is nothing more than used
    industrial/broadcast equipment on eBay. Writing optical
    disks may seem sexy, but I haven't seen any conclusive evidence
    that they will outlast mag tape, at least in our lifetimes. And
    historical evidence would suggest that hanging on to the tapes
    would be a smart thing.
    Richard Crowley, Nov 26, 2004
  13. bradesp

    Bill Van Dyk Guest

    I believe this information is no longer up to date. Initial reports on
    DVD and CD formats claimed a long life-span. More recent reports claim
    that they may begin to deteriorate in as little as 5 years.

    If only part of the disk goes bad, the entire disk may become
    unreadable. If part of a tape goes bad, the rest may still be recoverable.

    That also begs the question of compression. To store any length of
    uncompressed video would require multiple DVDs. Even dual-layer will
    only store about 25 minutes of uncompressed video.

    Needless to say, it is not desirable to store video in compressed format
    on DVD, if you ever intend to re-edit it.

    Still seems to me that tape is the best archive medium, for the moment.
    Bill Van Dyk, Dec 14, 2004
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