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Digitizing Umatic Tapes

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Brian Grant
Digitizing Umatic Tapes
on Nov 24, 2009 at 3:40:43 pm

I have a collection of Old Umatic Tapes, each has a music video on average 4 minutes in length. I want to digitize these Umatics before they disintegrate. I want to end up with Individual Quicktime files and archive each file on a seperate DVD.

Could someone advise me on the best Codec to use to reatin the best quality.

I have a Mac Book Pro 2GHZ

Thanks in advance

Brian G


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Eric Hansen
Re: Digitizing Umatic Tapes
on Nov 25, 2009 at 10:37:13 pm

there's a few things i'm confused about in your post.

1. you have a MacBook Pro. do you have a capture system for it such as the Matrox MXO2 or AJA IoHD?
2. you want to capture Quicktimes and save to DVD. do you mean a DVD video, or data on a DVD-R?

i would suggest using a quality capture system like the MXO2 to a codec like ProRes HQ SD. don't put the video on DVD or anything like that. save it as a ProRes file.

if the footage has degraded, i suggest a plug-in like Neat Video DeNoise. i've used it quite a bit for old SD and film footage.

e

Eric Hansen - The Audio Visual Plumber - http://www.avplumber.com


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Brian Grant
Re: Digitizing Umatic Tapes
on Nov 26, 2009 at 10:12:10 am

Thanks Eric,

I have a Canopus ADVC 11 capture device and yes, the intention is to make data files and archive them on DVD.

Can I ask exactly how you capture. In other words, do you use Final Cut Pro or just Quicktime by itself. Is Neat Video DeNoise a plug in for Final Cut Pro or another programme

Thanks for your help so far

Brian Grant


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John A. Mozzer
Re: Digitizing Umatic Tapes
on Feb 28, 2011 at 2:40:09 am

Eric, any particular reason why you recommended capturing a U-matic tape to ProRes HQ SD rather than standard ProRes SD?

I'm expecting a U-matic tape from an old friend to arrive in the mail, which I will have transferred to ProRez by a professional post production service. I've been debating this very question in my mind -- whether to instruct the service to provide ProRes 422 (HQ) or standard ProRes 422 files. I'm leaning towards the standard.

The U-matic tape was recorded in the mid-1970's, so I assume it is "low band".

Of course, if Brian used his Canopus ADVC, he would have had to transfer to DV.


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Eric Hansen
Re: Digitizing Umatic Tapes
on Feb 28, 2011 at 5:52:16 pm

i've adopted ProResHQ as my standard codec because of generational issues. i've worked on a few projects where we've reexported the same Quicktimes multiple times. ie, taking the final Quicktime of a commercial, replacing a single shot and reexporting; then 3 months later doing the same thing again with a different shot, but using the Quicktime from 3 months ago instead of the original. before i know it, i've got 3 or 4 generations going. standard ProRes can't handle this nearly as well as HQ. that's the only reason. granted, i shouldn't be doing that, but many times there's just not enough time to do things correctly when faster works. for U-matic, i'm sure standard ProRes would be fine.

another reason: mixing formats in FCP's timeline. we work with a few cameras that benefit from transcoding to ProResHQ, like the Phantom HD. but FCP will want to do a preview render on anything that doesn't match the timeline codec. by dictating to my AEs that ALL footage should be captured or transcoded to ProResHQ, my editors don't have to deal with preview renders in the FCP timeline from different formats.

e

Eric Hansen - http://www.erichansen.tv


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John A. Mozzer
Re: Digitizing Umatic Tapes
on Mar 1, 2011 at 4:41:24 am

Thanks, Eric. That's good to know.


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