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Old December 3rd, 2002, 03:59 PM   #1
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Archiving Sony BetaSP to Canon MiniDV ?

Would it be sensible to copy existing BetaSP tapes to MiniDV to take advantage of its "lossless" digital format?

We have 70 BCT-30M tapes and I was thinking that if I copy them onto 35 Mini-DV tapes using my GL1 camcorder, I could then access the video footage and edit using Premiere.

We also have two master tapes recorded using Sony D-2 tapes and I was wondering about getting them copied to MiniDV also, and perhaps using the MiniDV to author the projects onto DVD.

If nothing else, would it be wise to archive the masters to DigiBeta? What is the best method of archiving video at present?

Thanks,

Ed
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Old December 3rd, 2002, 09:54 PM   #2
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How much do you want to spend on this project? If money is no object, go Digibeta. It will stay in 4:2:2 color space. If you don't have a huge budget, mini DV will preserve them for the next 10 years or until something better comes along.

Try to get a good transcoder to go from component to DV. If you use the analog composite out of a Betacam SP deck to the analog (RCA) in on your camcorder, you'll lose a lot of quality.

Jeff
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Old December 4th, 2002, 01:06 AM   #3
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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your help!

Naturally price is always a real-life consideration isn't it. Our two (ten-year-old) video master tapes that are on D-2 right now would probably (?) benefit by copying them to Digibeta, depending upon the cost... We have previously used Allied-Vaughn (located in Orlando) and I will contact them to check pricing on that project. What is the expected "physical" shelf-life of the digibeta format expected to be?

It occurred to me that if I had the D-2 masters (composite digital)dubbed to the DV format (Mini-DV) in addition to possibly dubbing them to Digibeta, I could then use my Canon GL1 to capture the DV using Adobe Premiere and then DVDauthor and end up with DVD's which would be of superior quality to the old VHS dubs we previously made from our D-2 master tapes. Maybe I'm missing something obvious though?

As far as copying the 70 BCT-30M BetacamSP field/working tapes to the Mini-DV format goes, I thought that since the BetacamSP playback decks have an S-Video output, that going into the S-Video input on the Canon GL1 would provide the same end results as using a transcoder from component to S-Video. Is there a component to DV transcoder for going from component to digital (firewire) inputs? I think the only 2 choices for video outputs on the Betacam decks --- either component or S-Video.

I really appreciate your comments, suggestions and information since I have LOTS to learn and everything seems pretty confusing and overwhelming...

Ed
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Old December 4th, 2002, 08:50 AM   #4
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I really not a big fan of mini Dv as an archival medium. A better choice would be DVCam. DVCam has widder track widths and is considered more durable. Various Time Codes are supported also. However, DVCam is a Sony format and is not supported by your GL1. An alternative would be to purchase (rent?) a component to FireWire transcoder. Laird http://www.lairdtelemedia.com/ makes several models to fit the bill. I use the Laird to convert my old Betacam SP tapes and can attest to the high quality of the dubs.

Jeff
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Old December 4th, 2002, 04:02 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot Jeff, you're a fountain of very useful information! :-)

I can only imagine how much better a transfer using the firewire transcoder (Laird) must be compared to transferring from the BetaSP using S-Video or composite.

I think you are exactly right about archiving with MiniDV too. I'm going to follow your advice, and for "real" archival purposes I am going to have the D-2's masters transferred onto Digibeta (and maybe even burned onto DVDs as well).

Then, I will try and find a place where I can rent both a BetacamSP deck (Sony PVW-2600, 2650 or 2800) and the Laird LTM-550 or LTM-FFP transcoder and copy my working tapes onto Mini-DV using my GL1.

Would it be fair to say, that if I use the video on the Mini-DVs created from my BeatSP tapes and edit from the MiniDVs using Premiere6 and then use DVD authoring --- that the resultant quality will be at least as good as that derived when editing the BetaSP to D-2 and then dubbing onto VHS? (Weakest link being the VHS part.) Or does such a conclusion fall into the realm of subjective opinion?

You mentioned that: "I use the Laird to convert my old Betacam SP tapes and can attest to the high quality of the dubs." Do you dub directly onto a hard drive or if you dub to tape, which tape format do you choose for your dubbing?

Do you ever rent out your equipment or can you refer someone that does? Someone on the westcoast of Florida (Sarasota area) might, but the chances of finding them is probably remote...

Thanks again for your input; I have already gone from knowing absolutely nothing to being almost smart enough to be dangerous... :o)

Ed
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Old December 5th, 2002, 09:23 AM   #6
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The DAC-2 from Datavideo will perfectly do the conversion job for less than 1k$. See http://www.powervideo.com.cn/ecpsj/datavideo/dac-2.php
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Old December 5th, 2002, 09:43 AM   #7
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The video quality is excellant and rivals the Laird. It does not offer balanced audio and additional equipment would need to be rented or purchased. It's not a big deal, it's just not an all-in-one solution. But the price is very attractive. I don't know of any rental houses that rent it though. They prefer the heavier (all metal) contruction of the Laird.

Jeff
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