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Old June 19th, 2007, 06:29 AM   #1
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How to archive old D8 tapes?

(I searched on this topic but didn't find anything.)

I have a 7 year old D8 camcorder and approximately 50 D8 tapes. The cam still works but it won't last forever, and unfortunately, it appears that Sony & Hitachi don't make D8 anymore. I have made many home movies with Premiere 5.1 and 6.5, but I now have Premiere Elements 3.0 because Premiere 6.5 doesn't work on my new PC with Vista.

I would like to archive my D8 tapes into a format that I can view after the D8 cam dies. My options seem to be:
- buy another D8 cam while I can get them and hold off the decision for another 5-7 years.
- buy a MiniDV cam and "hope" that the FireWire output of my D8 cam will be accepted as an input to the MiniDV cam (I have no idea about this), then record tape-to-tape.
- pull all of the footage into the PC, export the footage as AVI and create multiple DVDs from each AVI (I haven't tried this but Roxio says it can span large files over multiple DVDs). I could also "print to tape" to a new MiniDV cam.
- buy multiple HDDs for my PC and save each 13GB (1-hour tape) AVI file on them.

(BTW, I'm saying MiniDV because I suspect it will be around a lot longer than D8. I have no interest in recording to a DVD camcorder because I know you can't easily edit MPEG2 video.)

Do any of you have a better solution for me to consider?

Thanks for any help you can provide!!

Ron
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Old June 19th, 2007, 06:49 AM   #2
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Hi Ron, I'm happy to be the first to welcome you to DVi. Enjoy our community and never hesitate to ask questions, lots of good folks are ready to help!

D8 to miniDV works just fine, so does the burning to DVD, in which case I would purchase a direct to DVD burner... gosh, 50 tapes is a lot of tapes... I know exactly what you feel as I also have about 50 of 'em...

If archiving is your only purpose, I would recommend the DVD route, but if you have future editing plans, definitely go for a hard drive! External hard drives in enclosure, complete with power supply cost only around 30 cents per GB - a 500GB HD will host 40 of your tapes and cost only around $150-200, basically the same price as new tape would cost.

Do come back and tell us what you decided and how it works for you!
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Old June 19th, 2007, 11:57 AM   #3
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Ron,

I'm in the same boat as you. Seven years worth of D8 tapes filling my cabinet. A few of them have been archived to DVD as AVI files, but it is a big hassle spanning DVDs.

For the immediate future (two years or so), I've decided to get an external hard drive to back up the tapes.

I plan on purchasing one of the high definition DVD burners once the format war gets settled. Then I could fit an entire tape on one disc. Maybe two tapes if one tape isn't full. Right now the media is just too expensive at about $11 USD per 25GB Blu-Ray disc.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 08:23 AM   #4
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Thanks guys!

I definitely plan to edit the footage, so I'm not interested in direct to DVD conversion as the resulting MPEG2 footage doesn't edit well. The external HDDs are a good idea, I didn't realize they were so inexpensive now.

Can the video be captured directly to the external HDD, or would it need to be captured to the internal HDD and then moved to the external? I know the USB2.0 interface of the external HDD is 480Mbps, which in theory would support the 25Mbps of D8, but I suspect the actual USB2.0 throughput is much less than advertised.

Ron
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Old June 20th, 2007, 08:59 AM   #5
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Yes, the video can be captured directly to an external USB hard drive - even though the actual throughput depends on several factors including software and hardware limitations, it's plenty fast. I sometimes edit multicamera DV projects with 3 cameras having the source files all on the same external harddrive. That's 3x25=75 Mbps... and it works just fine.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #6
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Yes, when you 'capture' the old footage, your NLE will give you a choice of where to capture TO. Just select the external Hard Drives, and away you go.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 07:39 PM   #7
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The other side of the coin...

Same boat.. I have about 60 or so D8 tapes. My camera still works too. I have decided to just let the footage sit on tape and capture on a "per case" basis. The DV camera I have (VX2100) also acts as a breakout box, allowing me to connect my D8 camera to it and capture straight through as DV-AVI into Premiere Pro. I don't use the D8 camera anymore and cannot think that just sitting there in the closet it would cease to function at some point. Example, I have a GE full size VHS camcorder from 1988 that still works flawlessly!
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Old June 21st, 2007, 10:00 AM   #8
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It's good to know I'm not the only one in this situation.

Maybe I'll follow Marco's lead and buy a new camcorder now, and capture the D8 footage from my working D8 cam as needed...
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