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Old September 5th, 2005, 03:23 PM   #1
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Analog-to-digital quality/technique?

Hello all.

I recently bought a Sony TRV830 Digital8 camcorder, and I am planning to use it to transfer my analog tapes to DVD. From what I understand, I have a few options. Some of my tapes are VHS-C and some are Hi8. It seems that I can either:

1) Put the Hi8 tapes into the D8 camera and run them to my computer, using software to capture the video.

2) Use the D8 camera as a passthrough device between my computer and my Hi8 camera

3) Use the D8 camera as a VCR, of sorts, and record the analog signal onto the D8, and then transfer the video from there to my computer.

It should be noted that my computer is a 1.4 GHz Athlon with 512MB RAM.

Which of these methods is preferable? I am trying to keep quality as high as possible. Anybody that could shed any light on this at all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for helping a newb get started with DV!!

Adam Van Alstyne
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Old September 5th, 2005, 06:14 PM   #2
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I'd definitely recommend option 1. You are avoiding introducing an analog connection in the mix that way, which would degrade the image. Option 1 would just be a straight transfer from the tape through the DV connection to the computer, which would give you the highest quality possible.
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Old September 5th, 2005, 07:55 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply. Two followup questions: My only concern with Option 1 is that the D8 camcorder may be better suited to encode analog video than my computer, which is getting on in years. My other question is about the VHS-C tapes. Better to use the D8 as a passthrough or encode to digital tape and then upload to the computer?

Thanks so much for your help

Adam
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Old September 6th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Van Alstyne
My only concern with Option 1 is that the D8 camcorder may be better suited to encode analog video than my computer, which is getting on in years.
No matter which option you choose your D8 camcorder will be doing the analog to digital conversion. Your computer will not be doing any more or less work in any of the scenarios.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Van Alstyne
My other question is about the VHS-C tapes. Better to use the D8 as a passthrough or encode to digital tape and then upload to the computer?
I don't think it matters much either way. Using the D8 camcorder as a passthrough would be the fastest way to transfer the footage. On the other hand, capturing to digital tape would give you a backup copy of your old VHS-C analog footage, as well as possibly giving you a way to recapture your projects later if you wish (depends on the video editing software you use).
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Old September 6th, 2005, 02:20 PM   #5
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After having done my own home videos conversion from Hi8 to miniDV, I do think the more elegant workflow is to just use the Digital8 (or in my case miniDV) camcorder as a passthrough encoder and save directly to AVI files on the computer. If you then want to make Digital8 or miniDV tape copies of the files, it is easy to export to tape from a cleaned up timeline.

What I do now is just capture an entire tape using passthrough, putting the whole thing on the timeline, chop it up into files as I see fit, and if desired, export portions of timeline to fill back-up miniDV tapes. Slick because most of the capture and export time I can be doing other things while the computer and camera do all the work.
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