10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 26, 2011 8:30 AM by the_wine_snob

    Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage

    BNK007

      I have approximately one hundred 8 mm video cassette tapes that I would like to convert to another format for long term storage.  I captured my first tape today from my camera Sony DCR VTR 520 which is a digital 8 mm camera.  I was not planning to convert the files to DVDs at this time but just keep the avi file on the computer.   The video was just over 2 hours long but the file ends up being 27 GB.   I expecting it to be around 8 GB like a 2 hr DVD but I guess its not the same.

       

      The 8 mm tape I converted was from an very old 8 mm camera which I no longer have (1990).  The camera used to capture from is a VTR 520 which is actually a Sony digital 8 mm, which can play back standard 8 mm.  I used CS3 on my old computer with standard project settings for DV NTSC 29.97 f/s.   I currently use PE10 so I could use either program.

       

      What do other people use to convert and store videos on??

      If I want to keep them as avi files will I have to live with these large file sizes?

       

      I did a search on the forum and found titles that talk about this subject from a couple of years ago but when I click on them they don't come up.   How do you see these older threads?

       

      Any help would be appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          The material was Captured as DV-AVI, which is ~13GB/hour. If you wish to edit it later, that is a great format/CODEC to do so.

           

          I would invest in an external HDD to store those captured files on, for later editing, and continue to use the DV-AVI format/CODEC, as they will edit wonderfully.

           

          If you compress them now, you will loose quality, and then loose more, when you finally go to DVD.

           

          The only option, to retain quality, is to use Lagarith, or UT Lossless CODEC's in a conversion to MS AVI w/ one, or the other. Both are free. However, the compression will be slight, and personally, at this point in the workflow, would not bother.

           

          Video takes up large amounts of HDD space, and to compress it, will cost you quality, plus it will likely not edit half so well.

           

          Good luck,

           

          Hunt

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage
            Ted Smith Level 3

            If you dont want to buy a huge extra drive then face up to editing them now !

            I would suggest that you copy them one by one to AVI, edit them to remove any stuff you really will never want to see and make a standard DVD out of them in turn.

             

            The quality of any old 8mm camera was really bad by today's Hi Def standards and I would think making them to DVD would hardly make them much worse even after it has been compressed so I would think you will never see any degredation, particularly if you view it on a standard DVD player on a TV set.

             

            You can still view the DVD (VOB) files on your computer using a good DVD viewer (not Windows media player) and I would be surprised if you see any significant degredation - mabe a little jitter on moving objects.

             

            Also if you copy them to to a large hard disk you might never get around to editing them (like I did !) The hard diskl will fail and you will have lost it all.

             

            When in doubt, try it out!

            • 3. Re: Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage
              JMJarrige Level 2

              Faced to same problem regarding my video family tapes VHS, I finally decided to buy from LG

              a VHS + DVD reader/writer (200 euros in France, I guess around 200 USD).

              My strategy is to copy all the files on DVD, to have them coded numerically, without using my

              computers. After this step, I select the parts I want to edit to make summaries with PRE or

              iMovie. To do the selection, I use MPEG Streamclip on a PC vista.

               

              Important : my tape to DVD copier has an input firewire, which I use to connect camcorders

              DV directly, to make a full back-up on DVD of a tape. You may also connect camcorders with

              their original connexion (video, peritel,..).

               

              At this moment, I have copied to around 30 DVDs. It takes time to create titles for tape sequences

              when recording : It takes me 3 hours to create a copy of a 2 hours tape.

              • 4. Re: Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                JMJarige,

                 

                The only potential problems with this workflow are:

                 

                1. DVR units (I have a Panasonic, but this is pretty much across the board) seldom produce a 100% DVD-compliant disc, and as most add a rudimentary Menu & navigation system to the disc, produce a first VOB (where the Menus & navigation are located), that is tough, if not impossible to directly Import.
                2. In the production to DVD, there is MPEG2 compression applied. If one edits that material, and then they output to any compressed CODEC, the quality loss is easily seen

                 

                When I convert from VHS for a client, I create a DVR DVD disc, for their archives (in case the tapes die), but then Capture to DV-AVI to be edited to a DVD-Video. The client gets two sets of discs - one that is produced by the DRV, and then one that is the finished edit of their tapes. For me, it's a two step process, but gives them a backup, plus a finished product.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage
                  JMJarrige Level 2

                  Bill, you are right by indicating these 2 steps.

                  For me, the 1st (numeric archiving) is the most important, our 2 methods work fine.

                  On the 2nd point, it's a better way to generate DV-AVI of course. Nevertheless, for my old VHS tapes,

                  the DVD MPEG2 encoding gives a good level of quality.

                  JM

                  • 6. Re: Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    On the initial capture/conversion, I agree. MPEG-2 is good, and is the format/CODEC of DVD-Video. A problem can arise, however, if one is later going to output to DVD-Video, as a second MPEG-2 compression will be needed. That is why I try to use no compression, or light compression, in any intermediate step.

                     

                    Good luck, and happy editing,

                     

                    Hunt

                    • 7. Re: Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage
                      BNK007 Level 1

                      Thanks for all the feedback.   I like the idea of keeping the original avi file.   This weekend I captured my first tape and made a quick DVD for my wife's side of the family, and a DVD for my side of the family.  Everyone loved watching a short video of the kids 20 years ago, especially their current spouses.  It would be nice to keep the options open to edit in the future, however, the cost of 3 TB of storage for 200 hrs of video plus 3 TB back up is a little over whelming.

                       

                      Question:   Using PRE 10, I can export the project out to an avi file through the Share process.  I was hoping that I could do some minor editing of unwanted material and still keep the quality the same.  Will this avi file be similar in quality as the original captured file?

                      • 8. Re: Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Absolutely. I would just choose the DV-AVI format/CODEC. Those will later Import and edit beautifully.

                         

                        Good luck,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage
                          BNK007 Level 1

                          Bill,

                          Sorry, I should have ask this question also.  Does CS3 offer an export to a DV-AVI file after editing?  I have only used CS3 to export to Encore to make a DVD.  

                           

                          My old computer works fine for capturing and editing the SD video, but my PE10 is on a new computer for HD editing .   I was hoping to avoid trying to transfer the 26 GB file to the new computer and back to storage.

                           

                          Thanks,

                          Bryan

                          • 10. Re: Best method for converting 8 mm cassettes for long term storage
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Bryan,

                             

                            Yes, PrPro CS3 offers a full array of Export settings, including DV-AVI. That will use the DV CODEC. I would also make sure that the Audio is set to PCM/WAV @ 48KHz 16-bit.

                             

                            Good luck,

                             

                            Hunt