Saving (PAL-) HDV-tapes on Harddisk(s) at

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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.

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Old September 2nd, 2008, 08:32 AM   #1
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Saving (PAL-) HDV-tapes on Harddisk(s)

What kind of hardware would you recommend to save HDV-tapes to, for the future?

The saved tapes should still have the same info as the original tapes, like time code, i.e., the original tapes would then be stored out of house, in cool and dry place, as a ultimate last resort

The saved tape / files should be in a format, that more or less all NLE-systems could use it, if I decide to change my editing software

What application will transfer all data, from the tape to the Hard disk/ Blue ray or whatever you will recommend?


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Old September 2nd, 2008, 08:45 AM   #2
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I treat all my HDV media just like card media by backing it up to external drives. I started doing this because sometimes Final Cut Pro 6 does not want to batch capture, aborting during the preroll. So recapture from the original tapes cannot be trusted, at least in my situation. I try to budget in a drive for each project I acquire.

I've had good luck with the Western Digital MyBook drives 500GB and 1TB (has a noisy fan), as well as a Maxtor 1TB drives. The conventional wisdom is that you should spin the drives up at least once a month or the bearing grease will get hard.

As for the format, QuickTime and AVI should be here for a bit. After I posted this response I asked a friend to try and import a Quicktime HDV file into Premiere Pro. He was not successful and mentioned this as an issue on PP forums so HDV in a QuickTime wrapper may not meet your requirements for access to all NLE's.

I simply drag the files to the backup drive, but you could use backup software such as Retrospect.

Last edited by Lee Berger; September 2nd, 2008 at 12:45 PM. Reason: More information gathered
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 03:09 PM   #3
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In regards to hdv quicktime on pc:

While working with captured tapes, hard-drives are enough. For longer term archive, I would strongly suggest playing it safe and backing up to both hard-drive AND optical disc (data dvd or blue ray), although - touch wood - I have never lost critical data backed up to hard-drive in over 6 years.
If it's something really critical, you could always play it extra safe (or maybe paranoid? :]) and create also a second tape copy of the original. I never felt the need to...

It's funny, but I have had very bad luck with WD Mybook 500GB externals. 3 out 5 disks I have bought over the last two years were not working out of the box. I had been a big fan of WD until then, but I have vowed never to touch their Mybooks again. But I guess for every brand out there, someone will have had bad luck stories. Any of the leading brands should be a fine choice - and to be fair, my malfunctioning Mybooks were replaced on the spot and are working fine now.

In regards to format - my two cents are to keep it native as possible. If you are capturing uncompressed through hd-sdi, it makes sense to archive in an uncompressed QT or AVI codec. If you are archiving something encoded by a propriety codec (Cineform, Blackmagic, ect.) keep a copy of the codec/decoder software along with your backed-up clips for future use.
However, if you are capturing on PC through firewire, why not keep it in the native m2t format? It is a 1:1 copy, takes up less spaced than uncompressed/lossless codecs, and while there is a chance future NLEs will not use it, I seriously doubt there is chance you will not be able to convert it to a different format if needed. Who knows, Maybe by then better more efficient lossless codecs will be developed.
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