Converting Video8 analog tapes to DVD at

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Old April 10th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #1
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Converting Video8 analog tapes to DVD


I apologize if this is the wrong forum to post this.

Does anyone have experience converting old Video8 analog tapes to DVDs?

The equipment and software I have available at the moment is:

+ Sony DCRTRV520 Digital8 Videocam
+ Sony DCRHC21 MiniDV Videocam
+ Cyberlink PowerDirector v6
+ Firewire cable for Cam->PC connection

The Digital8 camera can play analog tapes -- I can view them on a TV -- but when I try to capture the output on my PC, PowerDirector stops capturing.

Any help you can give me would be um, helpful. TIA.

Jeff Morse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 10th, 2009, 04:57 PM   #2
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Sony recommends you dub the tapes to DV first. You won't lose any quality that way, as you are going to digital and from there to your PC. The advantage is that the DV recording cam will add timecode.
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Old April 10th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #3
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Hi Jeff,
I've never used PowerDirector, so I can't say if the fault might be there or not, but according to the specs I have on your camcorder, you should have no problem capturing a Hi-8 tape into your NLE (non-linear editor). The camcorder 'digitizes' the analogue content on the fly, and your NLE should capture it the same way it would any other tape-based digital video.

The exception would be if the content was shot in LP mode, but since you are able to use the camera to playback the content for viewing via TV connection, I would suspect it should also be able to capture it as well - but I can't guarantee that.

Otherwise, you may want to double check to ensure that your iLink/Firewire cable is functioning properly and/or your iLink/Firewire port on either the camera or your computer is not a dead port. To check this, you might try to use the Digital8 camcorder to record a few moments of footage onto a fresh D8 tape, and then try to capture that into the NLE. This will help narrow down or eliminate possible obstacles to completing your project. It may be as simple as just trying another cable.

Also, when you mention that PowerDirector stops capturing, does this imply that capture is successfully initiated, but then stops at a certain point? If so, at what point does this happen - or does it vary? If it is consistently in the same spot, double check the preference settings in your NLE to make certain it is not imposing a capture limit, and/or check to be sure you are not trying to capture to an improperly formatted drive.

Finally, if all else fails, try what Adam suggests. You have a miniDV cam, so you can port the content to it using the analogue connections and then capture from a miniDV tape. It's an extra step, and not much fun, but should eliminate any issues involving directly capturing from the D8 cam.

Hope this helps.

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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:19 PM   #4
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IIRC, all Digital 8 camcorders already have a firewire output.

If that's the case, I'd recommend you shop around for a direct DVD burner appliance with a firewire input. Probably a couple hundred bucks at best.

They're made by a variety of manufacturers and all feature a firewire input.

Then you'd just play the tape in your camcorder and make a direct real-time dub to the DVD burner appliance via the single digital cable.

For every 1 hour of content it would take you 1 hour of dubbing plus about 10 minutes to do the rudimentary authoring that the appliance needs - which is unfortunately a somewhat tedious process of entering text and/or numbers via the unit's remote control.

The advantage is that you don't have to spend an hour getting the content INTO your computer and another large chunk of time getting the MPEG encoding done and the result burned to a DVD. The appliance does the encoding and burning in one real-time step.

Good luck.
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2009, 02:31 PM   #5
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You almost certainly have another capturing tool on your pc that you could try: Windows Movie Maker.
Don't laugh - although it's not a good editing tool, it is quite good at capturing video via firewire. It is able to capture DV-AVI without quality loss, just like all the professional applications - but I'm not sure how it handles Digital8 via Firewire. I'd suggest try it, it's a free shot!
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Old April 17th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #6
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I've done this a number of time using a Sony TRV-320 camcorder plugged into both my desktop and laptop (but not at the same time) using Pinnacle Systems Studio software.

Worked like a charm.

If you're having problems, I would try shooting a couple of minutes of digital video to tape and then try capturing that. If it works AOK, you know it is NOT the firewire cable connection that is giving you trouble. Also, when you hook up the camera to the computer, can you use the video app to monitor what the camera sees? If so, again, the computer & camcorder are talking.

I would try the suggestion above of using Movie Maker to capture.
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