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Old November 28th, 2003, 11:24 AM   #1
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What File Format to Save In?

I will start a project after Christmas to download all my home movie videos (S-VHS, Hi-8 and DV). I plan to use the DV Storm 2 Ultra capture card. I will transfer the files to my hard disc.....One tape at a time and then burn to a DVD.

My ultimate goal is save each tape on a DVD for editing all the footage I have for many years, compile from the DVDs and make movies.

What file format should I use to save and then burn to DVDs so I can have a library of footage to make DVD moies that have footage from all the saved information on DVDs?

I am new at this so please be patient.

Save footage from home movies on many DVDs that will allow me to use the DVDs as a source for making edited home movies. Suggestions on the best way and format to save the data on DVDs so I can use them to make edited home DVD movies.

Thanks,

Ron
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Old November 28th, 2003, 12:04 PM   #2
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I would believe .Avi from the you are able to convert to MEPE2
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Old November 28th, 2003, 12:07 PM   #3
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Tom,

Would i save as an MPEG 2 format ( original footage) to DVD +or - R disc and then be able to use these DVDs as source files to make home edited movies with?
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Old November 28th, 2003, 02:50 PM   #4
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Hi Ron,

I'm a "long-time novice," so maybe this is a little of the blind leading the blind. But I'm in the process of doing exactly the same thing..."permanent" archiving of my original videos from over the years and here's my solution.

It appears from your post that you have a pretty full-featured setup including a DVD burner, Storm2 + Premiere, so I'll respond based on that.

Relative to all our overall video/computer hardware and software packages, storage is CHEAP. Pro quality Panasonic miniDV tapes are only about $4 a piece at Zotz Digital (who I eagerly plug because on 2 out of 2 purchases they have given me the best, most personal customer service ever, anywhere, bar none). Big hard drives are less than a dollar a GB these days if you shop around, and DVD-R or +R discs are getting down to around $2 a piece in 25's or 50's. A 200GB HD will store about 15 hours of DV AVI...15 x 60minute tapes!

So, I copied all my old Hi-8 stuff to miniDV, then all my miniDV got firewired to big hard disks. "Captured" video stays on the hard disk just as I firewired it (AVI file). So the way I think about it, I save any original footage I care at all about on hard disk, and have all the original video tapes as backups. I also have those original clips as "read only" so I don't do something stupid with them one of these days.

I know as well as anyone that hard drives do fail from time to time, so to minimize the risk of having to bother with recapturing from my original tapes one of these days, I'll probably get around to further backup up the important AVIs onto DVD+R.

It would also be fine if a person wanted to just burn to DVD rather than saving hard drives. You'd just have to copy any AVI files from the DVD to your hard disk to do the editing. I personally just like having my source files immediately accessible on my computer for whenever I'm in the mood to do a project, so I bought a couple big drives -- just a convenience and time saver as opposed to just storing them on DVD.

I'd recommend against saving your original clips in any other format besides AVI (in your case, either the Canopus codec just as the Storm2 puts it on the hard disk, or losslessly converted to MS with Canopus' free converter utility). Anytime you render to another format, you'll gain some artifacting...generally, the more space saving, the more artifact. So you'd be starting any project with at least slightly less quality than if you used your original AVI clip. Also MPEG 2, though perhaps a bit smaller in file size, is said by many to not be the ideal source material for frame-accurate DV editing as it inherently relies on inter-frame compression, plus Premiere (and presumably competitors) internally uses AVI DV files, which use intra-frame compression only, so would have to convert it back for editing.

Once you have a final, edited project for export, MPEG2 is a good option, either burned as a standard playable DVD format or simply as data MPEG files. You just wouldn't want to use that final MPEG output as a source for another project. Go right back to your source AVIs and either create a new project or modify an existing one.

I just posted my first DV info question the other day. Since you're a Canopus user, the answers to my questions might be of some interest to you as well. If I understand how to copy a link to a thread, here it is:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=17458

Anyway, best o' luck. And if any real experts think my ideas are all wet, please say so and I'll be happy to learn something new, too!
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Old November 28th, 2003, 03:07 PM   #5
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Oh, a couple more points I should have made:

If you save DV AVI to DVDs, you'll only get about 20 minutes of video on each DVD so you'd want to capture in <20 min files.

Also, I'm not sure if Storm2 has overcome this old Canopus hassle (and I don't think so from what I've read before), but at least with prior products you'd have to use Canopus proprietary "reference files" to be able to capture very large/long files (I think officially 4 GB, but I never got past 2GB without ref files -- using NTFS!). Then if saving to DVD you'd have problems because of moving the files from where the reference files' pointers would be looking on your hard disk.

As a matter of technique (and partially because when I captured using my old DVRaptor I was forced to), I usually capture files smaller than 2GB (I think that works out to be around 9 minutes of video). I try to make my break points between files around logical points...changes in topics / scenes / dates on the tape. This way it is easier for me to find what I'm looking for amongst all my video files by a descriptive file name when importing to a Premiere project.

Again, any real pro folks out there, keep us on the straight and narrow!
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