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from analog Hi-8 to VCD-what's needed

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by mpager, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. mpager

    mpager Member

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    Before reading this forum I was under the impression that all one needed to convert a Hi-8 analog video tape to a VCD was (1) a hi-8 camera (2)a cable of some sort--to connect the camera to the computer(3)a computer(4) and one piece of software--to do the transferring. It appears I am wrong.

    1st ?: Or am I right? Is it actually possible?
    2nd ?: What is needed? Too many hardware names and brands and numbers for an idiot like me to remember or make any sense of it.(A list would be nice)?
    3d ?: (unimportant): Do people have hundreds of video tapes that justifies the cost of buying all this stuff? All I have is about 10 Hi-8 video tapes that need conversion.

    Thanks

    SPECS:
    Sony Hi-8 CCD TR 940 NTSC camera
    Acer TravelMate XVi laptop
    LiteOn CD Burner
    no other relevant hardware purchased yet
     
  2. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    Well you will need the Software that will Capture the Video to your PC and any codecs you want to use to Compress the captured file on the Fly with because Uncompressed AVI can suck up as much as 1gb per minute of Video at full resolution...You will also need some editing Software if you want to do any editing, You will need a Mpeg encoder to Compress the Captured file to Mpeg/VCD format ,and then you will need VCD Burning software...
    But I warn you that VCD is a very Low Quality Format and comeing from a Hi8 Source it will look even worse...You will in all Likelyhood be very dissapointed with the results because VCD Resolution is 1/4 the resolution of DVD with about 1/8th the Video Bitrate so the Quality is about 1/6th that of DVD and that is comeing from a Very high Quality source but from Hi8 Tape it will probably Not be very watchable...SVCD Is more than Twice the Quality of VCD but it will still look bad from a Hi8 source the best results you be if you were to make a DVD...well good Luck
     
  3. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    delete...
    _
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2004
  4. mpager

    mpager Member

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    Thank you very much for taking the time to help me and answering some of my questions. I truly appreciate it. So I guess this means, if I understand you correctly that I do NOT need to buy other hardware besides the cable BUT VCD or SVCD is not reccomended. Hmm! Interesting. I thought that since I would be going from analog video to digital, which is supposed to be much better I would be getting similar quality to the video (bit nt better).
    OK so DVD it is. I guess I'll have to wait 'til I could justify the purchae of a DVD burner (I don't care much for downoading movies).
    May I ask another question? Is there a way to calculate video tape minutes to megabytes? I gues this would depend on the type of compression used but I was hoping to get 3 types of calculations: 1- weak quality -2- medium quality and -3- great quality.

    Thank again

     
  5. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    Hi, When going from Analogue to digital there is allways some Quality Loss in the Capture Process and there is Further Quality Loss when you Encode the Captured Files to Mpeg format so the Final Result will Look somewhat worse that the Original Hi8 Tape does, how much quality you loose depends on a few Things Like the Quality of your capture device and the Resolution you Capture too and the Format you capture too and quite a few other factors....
    You can get DVD Burners for as Low as $70 these Days Brand new which is cheaper than I paid for my First CD Burner, TigerDirect has them for $79 and I have seen them for as Low as $60 on e-bay.....Cheers
     
  6. mpager

    mpager Member

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    Once again I thank you. Ok let me take all of what you said in steps (you're within quotes":

    "you will need the Software that will Capture the Video to your PC"
    Which software?

    "...any codecs you want to use to Compress"
    The word 'codecs' is something I am only beginning to hear and learn about. What are the codecs you are referring to and since I am assuming that they do not run by themsleves the question I am left with is: Is the software to capture the video tape the same software that will use the codecs? if not then....?

    "When going from Analogue to digital there is always some Quality Loss in the Capture Process and there is Further Quality Loss when you Encode the Captured Files to Mpeg format"
    This appears to be 2 steps. IN other words are you saying that when you ar capturing from the tape you are NOT automatically encoding it to MPEG?

    "depends on a few Things Like the Quality of your capture "
    Hmm! what does this (quality)depend on? It almost sounds as if you're talking about hardware, which I thought we had eliminated as a necessity.

    My previous unanswered question: "is there a way to calculate video tape minutes to megabytes? I gues this would depend on the type of compression used but I was hoping to get 3 types of calculations: 1- weak quality -2- medium quality and -3- great quality."

    "on-the-fly"
    this suggests to me that there are other ways as well--possibly better; which I think also possibly involves other hardware, yes?

    Finally: Yes a DVD burner may be cheap (I don't live in North America, by the way) but still it would be only bought to transfer these 10 video tapes; as I said I don't download movies so it would probably be stored away. My justifying a purchase is by also using it to do the same for friends and family.
     
  7. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    Hi,Well I can definately see that you are Very new to this...I"ll try to answer the Questions in the Order that you asked them...

    #1)"What software will you use??"
    Well that depends on a Few Things, Firstly on what Capture Hardware you have(As I do not think you have any Capture Hardware and Most Capture Devices have software that comes with them

    #2)"What Are Codecs??"
    Codecs are Used to Compress the Video Signal while Captureing..Raw Uncompressed Video takes up Huge ammounts of Disk Space ,Up to 1.2gb per Minute so you use a Codec which uses the Power of your CPU to compress the Video/Audio Signal while Captureing..Most Codecs are "AVI" codecs...

    #3)"This appears to be 2 steps??"
    Generally you do not want to Capturew Directly to Mpeg format because you will Loose a Lot of Quality So Captureing to a Low Compression AVI format will generally produce better Quality, But Mpeg capture Software is getting a Lot better so you can still get fairly good Quality captureing directly to Mpeg and save some time so It is up to You....

    #4)"It almost sounds as if you're talking about hardware?"
    Yes I am Talking about Hardware..You need to have a Capture Device on your Computer to Transfer the Analoge Video to Digital format...There are Many Different Types of Capture devices and they Range in Price from $50-$10,000 depending on the Quality of the device...Generally the Capture device will be installed in a PCI Slot on your PC and have a couple different Video inputs and the audio is usually captured through your Sound Card..Since you have a Laptop you would have to get an external USB or Firewire Capture Device of Which most are Low quality unless you are willing to spend about $200+...Video capture also needs a Very Fast CPU with a Very Fast Hard drive with a Lot of Space..Generally Laptops are not very good for analogue Capture....

    #5)"on-the-fly"
    That Basicly just means that the Video is Being Compressed while Captureing.....

    I think for you the Best bet might be to get a Standalone DVD Recorder which is just like a DVD Player but it records also...This way you could just record the 10 tapes you have directly to DVD and when you are done you could take the DVD Recorder back to the store for a Refund......Good Luck
     

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