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Old January 24th, 2005, 02:59 AM   #1
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bringing in different formats

Hi everyone,
I'm new to the board here. What a great resource! I look forward to spending more time here.

Here's the question. What equipment will I need to bring in older, common home video formats to my DV deck? Quite honestly the formats many people have their home video on, I kinow nothing about at all, have never used. Other than VHS.

Also, unfortunately I do not have a professional VHS deck yet. If someone gives me VHS to transfer, is it going to be a huge (noticeable )difference in quality if I use a regular deck? Am I better off just telling them to go to a professional to have it transferred?

Thanks =)
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Old January 24th, 2005, 08:10 AM   #2
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Hi Kell and welcome aboard DVInfo.net!

If you have a camera (or DV deck) it usually can do the analog
(VHS) conversion to digital (DV). Quality usually is pretty good
(if using a quality S-VIDEO VCR with an s-video link to your
camera/deck), but a specialized company might do it better.

In the end it will probably depend on what kind of business you
want to have and what you want to do to make money. If supporting
all of these different formats and getting good results is too costly
for you then it might indeed be a better idea to have someone
else do it.

Also depends on rates etc. A VHS tape will never look like a good
DVD (might be possible with truely high end gear and operators,
but that's not what you are in to), but it can be enhanced with the
right amount of tools (which are probably still too expensive for
you).
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Old January 24th, 2005, 11:51 PM   #3
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Well that's good to know. My guess is that the home video most people have taken is low quality anyway so the difference won't be that noticeable.

But what about the other formats? Things that I'm really not even familiar with? What will I need to bring those in? If you were setting up in a business that would need to be prepared to bring in most other formats (other than DV or VHS), what equipment would you set up with?

Thx =)
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Old January 25th, 2005, 04:19 AM   #4
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I can't help you with that. I've got no experience with any other
formats (I assume you are talking about 8mm film for example).
Hopefully someone else can chime in for that!
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Old January 25th, 2005, 10:08 AM   #5
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Basically what you are looking for is a way to transfer analog footage into digital footage, correct? Doesn't matter if it was shot on VHS, Hi8, SVHS, U-Matic, or Sony BetaSP. All of these tapes are analog formats.

You will need several things.

A deck to play the footage.

A converter to change the footage into DV.

If you really want to be able to play ANY analog footage that comes in, then you are looking at some hefty money. You will need at least three different decks. SVHS (which will also play regular vhs, and vhsc), a Hi 8 deck, and Beta SP deck (which is a professional deck and will cost you more than five grand used). You might be able to skip the U-Matic, as this is an old obsolete format, but I still encounter it. And God knows you will probably never see home video in the old Sony Betamax.

SO assume you want to just deal with VHS and Hi-8, passing on the other formats. These will be the two "consumer" formats you are most likely to encounter. Now you are down to two decks. Remember, a good SVHS deck will play VHS as well, and you can get one of those cassette-adapters that will play the compact vhs cassetes in it.

Once you have the decks, you will need to convert the footage into DV to get it into your computer. IF you have a camera with an analogue to digital converter circuit... it's a done deal Run it through. IF not, you will need a transcoder unit. The best most reliable unit in my experience is the Canopus ADVC 100. For about $250, this will take your analogue signal and convert it to digital into your computer, and vice-versa. The Canopus ADVC 300 also incorporates a Time Base Corrector for cleaning up those old, unstable tapes, but will cost you more. Do a google search for dealers.

Good luck.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 11:42 AM   #6
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>>>Once you have the decks, you will need to convert the footage into DV to get it into your computer. IF you have a camera with an analogue to digital converter circuit... it's a done deal Run it through.
-->>>

I have a pd170 - that should do it, right? I also have a little sony dv deck.

What about really old formats? And film?

It occured to me also that I might run into people who have old audio recordings on reel-to-reel tapes as well.

Hey you guys are really a big help. I plan to use this board a lot more.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 12:37 PM   #7
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Obviously, the older the format, the less likely you are to incur it, and the more difficult it will be to acquire the necessary playback. I have no idea where your budget is designed to take you, but sure, buy every possible configuration of deck and you will be all set. You can even buy a telecine machine for transferring film.

Moviestuff makes some really good super8 and regular8 transfer machines, if you want to go that route.

As for old decks, ebay is a good place to start. Lots of used decks to be had. Buyer beware of course.

The pd170 should do the trick. With analogue tapes, you just run the audio into the camera, and capture that alone.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 12:05 AM   #8
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Ha -
Budget? What budget?
Lol
Try chicken every night cuz it's cheeeeeep....
It's quite likely with what I'm doing, i could run into the older stuff on a regular basis, and to tell you the truth, I don't have the faintest idea where to start, what I would need, what would be involved if someone wanted to transfer old home movies, film, whatever. I could just say "i can't do that" but I really would like to be able to offer that service at some point. As for shopping for equipment for that, I don't have the first clue what I would be looking for. So welcome any suggestions =)
thx
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Old January 26th, 2005, 04:48 PM   #9
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Does anyone know what the process of digitizing, say old film, would entail?
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Old January 26th, 2005, 06:07 PM   #10
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Kell,

Do you know what old film you are talking about? The topic "Telecine Transfer" should yield you a couple hundred pages to read on google. There are at least a half a dozen different processess for different formats, for different costs. You are asking a pretty broad question. MOVIESTUFF will sell you transfer devices for use on Super 8 Regular 8 and 16mm.

http://www.moviestuff.tv/

That's the best lead I can give you for starting a movie transfer business.

Good luck
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Old January 26th, 2005, 06:33 PM   #11
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Wow, excellent link Richard! Thanks for posting that,
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Old January 26th, 2005, 08:10 PM   #12
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Hi Kell
As Richard has pointed out moviestuff is a good place to look at gear for telecine transfers but if your budget is low you could look at getting a projector that will play super and standard 8 film, something like an Elmo K100SM is good it plays both size films and has a vari speed control so you can adjust the frame rate to match your camera etc. It doesn't have audio but 90% of 8mm film won't have audio anyway. Get yourself a small screen and shoot it with your PD170. It pays to experiment with this setup but you can get good results. Try google for "Film to Video Transfers" there is some good info there. If anyone wants DVD's buy yourself a Sony or Panasonic DVD recorder with a DV input and record these in realtime. As for SP Beta, Digi Beta or DVC Pro etc find a professional who has the gear and pass on the charge.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 01:50 PM   #13
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Thanks you guys for all the info! Sorry i'm so late posting back.
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