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Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD

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Ted57
Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 3, 2004 at 6:42:49 am

I want to convert my 8mm camcorder tapes to DVD. Is the Dazzle Digital Video Creator 120 product a decent one to use ? If not, what do you reccomend as a low cost alternative that will provide decent results ?

I have a Compaq Pesario model 5330us P4 with internal DVD burner, 80 GB internal drive, 512MB RAM, 1.7 GZ cpu, XP Home SP1 and a 200 MB external drive. I'd like to be able to use the computer's USB 1.0 port.


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obioneballi
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 5, 2004 at 10:50:16 pm

With something like older 8mm camcorder tapes, I would avoid a capture device. In fact, for what you'd spend (well over $100 I think) for that Dazzle device, you should look into a DIY transfer service online that will transfer 8mm tapes to your external hard drive. Either that, or I would look into a new Digital 8 or Hi8 camcorder with iLink/firewire or USB2.0 outputs.

A transfer service that uses either a firewire Digital 8 VCR would give you a much higher quality video than any consumer level capture device, and no issues with audio/video sync. How many tapes do you have (or hours?)


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Ted57
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 7, 2004 at 3:30:38 am

I have about 500 hours of 8mm tape.

Where can i find information on the transfer services you mentioned ?

Thanks.


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obioneballi
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 7, 2004 at 11:50:59 am

Wow

I operate a transfer service but honestly, 500 hours of 8mm tapes (I presume you don't mean filmstrip) would still run you nearly $5k regardless of what type of media you transferred it to. In your case, I would recommend this:

http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=1121017

Believe me, if you have 500 hours of 8mm tapes this will certainly be worth the investment. This VCR plugs in via firewire, and it's excellent. It will transfer regular 8mm, Digital 8 and Hi 8 to your PC or Mac, and is MUCH more reliable than purchasing a capture device, hands down.

Don't let the $500 price scare you - I paid over $700 when I bought mine. :)

If you meant Super 8/8mm film, let me know.. that's a whole nuther story. :)


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John Q
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 8, 2004 at 3:35:23 am

For the same price, you could buy a hard-drive equipped standalone DVD recorder. You would connect the camcorder to your DVR to digitize the video. It would allow you to edit the video on the hard drive and break it into scenes to place on the menu before burning the DVD.


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obioneballi
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 8, 2004 at 12:49:50 pm

That may be true, but you would still be connecting your analog camera using analog connections, being RCA or S-Video. The iLink VCR would allow you to capture your video to hard drive through firewire instead of RCA outputs. You could then do any editing of scenes on your PC and burn using a DVD Drive.

I have used several "capture cards" from Studio, Dazzle and ATI and regardless of the PC I was using, I would either get dropped frames or audio/video sync issues using the RCA/S-Video connections after recording x amount of minutes of video.

My favorite feature about Vegas 4/5 in their video capture program is that you can tell it to limit file size or clip length, creating individual files - then you can trash what you don't need and it's a lot quicker to work with 1GB (or less) files than 13GB files on a standard PC.


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Kenneth Daves
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 8, 2004 at 1:44:58 pm

Are you saying that the VCR can simultaneously play and digitize for transfer over firewire analog 8mm tapes? That would be a neat trick.

At least some of the new generation mpeg encoders on standalone DVD recorders and the computer capture devices based on them are capable of hour-plus captures that play back smoothly with the audio and video in sync. My Snazzi III USB 2.0 and the ADS DVD Express are two examples.

Of course, you do lose some editing flexibliity with the mpeg encoders. However, given the amount of tapes and the spec's on the computer to be used, either a stand alone DVD recorder or a good mpeg encoder would be more suitable.

As an alternative to the Pinnacle/Dazzle DVC 120, the ADS Pyro DVD Express or Instant DVD 2.0 would be good choices. If you choose one of the USB 2.0 encoders, adding a USB 2.0 card would also be advisable.


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obioneballi
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 8, 2004 at 11:12:00 pm

It will convert the analog to digital, but will not encode it MPEG. I assumed you wanted to edit and add titles and whatnot to your videos before placing them on DVD, which is why I suggested the VCR - that would provide you with nice AVI files of everything without the hassle of an analog capture device.

If you're not going to do any editing of the tapes, the DVD recorder with a hard drive would probably be best as someone mentioned... Though in my experiences NO ONE goes through a video tape without leaving dead spots or having shots of feet for 20 minutes... It would certainly take longer to do it my way, but you'd have top quality junk-video-free DVDs in the end.


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Kenneth Daves
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 9, 2004 at 1:35:05 am

Again, do you mean that the VCR will play an analog tape and send a digitized copy of the tape to a computer via firewire at the same time unlike the pass-through mode on DV camcorders?
It is my understanding that at least some stand alone DVD recorders will allow at least trimming of Mpeg 2 files before recording them to DVD's. Certainly Mpeg 2 can be trimmed without loss of quality using the proper programs on a computer.


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obioneballi
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 10, 2004 at 6:14:05 pm

Basically the VCR works like if you had a Hi8 camcorder and played back your Hi8 and captured it through firewire to your PC. The VCR doesn't care if they are 8mm, Hi 8 or Digital 8, it transfers the video to your PC - and if you have a nice program like Vegas, you can tell it to break the tape into segments (have I said this already? Please stop me if you've heard this one...)

My experience with DVD recorders is limited, however I am a control freak, and like to be able to edit using the software I want, edit without limitations and create DVDs with a little more pizzaz than having just a chapter menu - Subtitles, Secondary Audio tracks, extras, etc ... so I could just be a control freak determined to stear you towards the VCR!


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countryside
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 30, 2004 at 5:56:39 pm

I would like to purchase equipment that would allow me to convert the old 8mm and 16mm film to VHS and DVD. Can you give me some references to help me get started?

Bill


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obioneballi
Re: Newbie - Converting 8mm tapes to DVD
on Dec 30, 2004 at 6:11:05 pm

Hey Bill

Contact Roger at http://www.moviestuff.tv and be sure to tell him Andy from Reeldigitalmemories sent you. ;)

Andy


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