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home movie backup

  • DVD Drives
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Last response: in Storage
August 8, 2002 12:51:26 AM

hi guys...

i have a TON of home movies, recorded on 8mm camcorder tapes...

i would like to burn them on a DVD or some digital format for safe-keeping...

is there a DVD-burner / software that will allow me to hook up the camcorder to the computer, and record the movies onto a digital disc?...

if so, please advise... thanks -

More about : home movie backup

August 8, 2002 2:34:09 AM

Gotta buy a tv/av card for your computer. Anywhere from $80 to about $250. Ati is a major manufacturer, and very good about updating drivers. Don't use their codec, though, as it's propreitary to Ati cardz.

You slap the card in a empty slot, hit play on the camera and record on the computer, then wait. After the tape is done, you convert the raw data saved on your drive into a compressed movie file of whatever you want, and burn it. Dvd lets you play your long @$$ movie on quite nearly any dvd player today. Check out <A HREF="" target="_new">;/A> for the actual dvd player compatibility. Basically, if you go down to Wally World and buy a dvd player for $120+, it'll play all the Dvd formats plus .mp3 and .wmv (or what the h3ll ever msft is calling their cr@p nowadays).

Dvd burners start at about $200, with the DVD+ stuff running in the $250+ category. Dvd+ is the way to go, since you're wanting to save/archive back your sentimental moviez. You pay more per disk, but it's higher reflectivity keeps the media in better shape.

Word of caution: it will take an enormous amount of space each time you pull off a movie and compress it. You need to start with at least 20gig free space, if not closer to 40gig for really long moviez. You might consider buying a really cheap Samsung 60gig IDE drive just for the storage space.
August 8, 2002 3:52:00 AM

First of all I assume you are talking about regular 8mm tape not DV. For DV you need a firewire port. For regular tape you need a capture card like a dazzle or pinnical card. Stay away from USB as it does not have the bandwidth to do high quality video. You need a PCI or AGP card. The PCI card would be in addition to your regular vid card. The AGP would be a new video card with tv in like an ati aiw. I've got a Radeon AIW and it is pretty cool but it can just barely keep up and is not the best. The newer ati cards are better but I think a dedicated MPEG2 card is better. What you want to do is capture in the highest quality mode you can, which takes up tons of room and requires an OS that can handle several GB files. All your editing should be done at the high quality level. Lastly you might want to convert to a more compressed format or maybe not if you have a dvd burner and your video lenghts are fairly short. Personally I don't have a dvd burner so I convert to divx to save space and fit videos onto cdrs. This part is a matter of choice and what looks like good quality video will look like crap to a more picky person. Since you are starting with tape your source quality is not that great so burning to cdr is a reasonble option. Still bigger files (usually) mean better quality.

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
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August 10, 2002 10:18:30 PM

thanks guys...

after i read both your posts, it seemed very easy...

as in all aspects of life, "once you learn it, it is easy"....

i think my first step will be to buy a video capture card...

any recommendations on a good card???.. or would you go with a video card / capture card combination (such as ATI all-in-winder)....

thanks again for your help
August 11, 2002 12:03:36 AM

As I've said I have the original Radeon AIW and it is a fun toy but it is just a toy. It does a pretty good job if your source is good but it dies completely when presented with an older tape of sketchy quality. Pinnacle is said to make good cards, something like a dv500 should due nicely.

Course this is just a guess as the new ati cards could be a whole lot better and I've never actually used a dv500 only my little ati aiw. The dv500 comes with the best pro-sumer software you can get. It ain't cheep but you get what you pay for.

DAZZLE MULTIMEDIA dv2 is another slightly cheaper option. The software is not as good but it come in at a more reasonable price point. I don't think it is a good idea to go any cheeper then this one.

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
August 12, 2002 6:17:04 AM

regarding output, once you have your raw data stream (presumably mpeg format) you might want to consider comression to mpeg4 or vcd or divx format. takes a fair bit of CPU grunt, but can get pretty good results with lots of compression. enough so that you can burn your movies onto CD. the obvious advantage of this is that you dont have to buy an expensive dvd burner nor the pricey dvd media. just use a plain old cdburner.

<b>Before visiting THG i was a clueless noob. Now im still clueless, but look at my nice title!<b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by lhgpoobaa on 08/12/02 02:20 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 12, 2002 7:20:14 PM


you mention that this takes a "fair amount of CPU grunt"...

i have a P-3 @ 700 mhz, with 384 MB memory...

??? is this strong enough, or would i need a stronger processor?...

thx for your help...
August 12, 2002 11:22:21 PM

heh. thats sufficient, though more will make things better. it all depends on what output format you decide to use, resolution, sound quality etcetcetc.
high quality high resolution divx can take in excess of 1:1 regarding time used on my XP1800+, so you would proly be looking at 2 hours to compuress 1 hour of media.
<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A> has some info and downloadables about various compression formats, assuming of course, that this is the way you wish to go.

there IS alot of stuff out there. and divx/avi/vcd is just one option.

<b>Before visiting THG i was a clueless noob. Now im still clueless, but look at my nice title!<b>
August 13, 2002 3:41:36 AM

A faster computer helps.

My dad uses a P3 450mhz with 256 MB of ram to do the compressions and conversions. He leaves the pc on over night, then it is finished in the morning unless the program crashed. :smile:

<i><font color=blue>The only difference between 200 fps and 300 fps is the blink of the eyes.</font color=blue></i>
August 23, 2002 10:52:08 AM

Just wanted to add hauppauge to the list of tv cards. I dont know how well they stack up as far as features or quality, but one thing that has amazed me about them is i have the same tv tuner card from them that i have been using since win95. The card is about 5 years old now, and works fine in winxp. Its the ONLY piece of hardwaee i have that is that old and has worked on every windows upgrade and computer upgrade.