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4:3 and DV Formatting_Archiving Hi8 in FCP

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John Sykes
4:3 and DV Formatting_Archiving Hi8 in FCP
on Dec 30, 2009 at 12:14:33 am

I am archiving Hi8 tapes in the 640x480 format through a Sony Digital 8 GV-D200 and would like to confirm my FCP capture settings. I am using a modified preset: DV to OfflineRT NTSC with specs listed below. My questions are:

1) Is there a way to capture the frame without overscan or the black edge to the right and left of the frame? (as on the Miromotion DC30+ card captures, the frame is captured with no overscan)

2) Is the audio rate of 48khz conflicting with the old NTSC rate of 44khz?

3) Beyond archiving, if I edit a new project, should I capture direct to the DV format and edit in DV? Will there be formatting issues?

4) Is there a better FCP setting to use then above?

I am working on a Power PC G5 with the GV-D200 linked by standard firewire port and capturing to internal drives. I believe the GV-D200 digitizes the Hi8 footage to DV, but I have not confirmed this.

The final destination for all work is DVD. Thank you for any advice_John Sykes.

Sony GV-D200 using NTSC
29.97 frames per second in Photo Jpeg
DV/DVCPRO - NTSC Best Quality
24 bits per pixel
DV Audio 48 khz

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david bogie
Re: 4:3 and DV Formatting_Archiving Hi8 in FCP
on Dec 30, 2009 at 3:07:17 pm

I'd dub everything to DVCAM cassettes and then capture from the dubs. You end up with new copies in a recapturable format.

I've no idea what the pixel dimensions of Hi8 are nor do I know what a Miromotion card is. Expanding or scaling the image to fill the frame may introduce artifacts you will never be able to remove. I'd leave it all at 1-to-1. You can always scale the media up while editing or pillarbox it but if you sclae it or crop it on ingest, you'll never get it back to the original.

You're not really archiving your tapes to your drives. That's only a temporary storage solution. All you're doing now is ingesting. When you figure out what you want to keep and where you're going to store it for future generations, including descriptions and a method to locate, recover, and view the footage, that's "archiving."


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John Sykes
Re: 4:3 and DV Formatting_Archiving Hi8 in FCP
on Dec 30, 2009 at 8:14:01 pm

Dubbing to DVCAM would be the best solution with direct DV sequence settings in FCP.

As After Effects 4:3 composition presets are 640x480 (and the optimal setting for the DC30+ card), I had forgotten over the past fifteen years that the actual frame size is 4:3 560x480.

As to the overscan, it has been explained elsewhere these frame lines do not appear on the Monitor, but they do appear in FCP, and where past captures with the DC30+ do not (Motion Jpeg A codex).

For future projects, I will work with DVCAM dubs. To finish a current project, I will still be looking for a temporary solution as to mixing new captures (overscan) with the DC30+ captures (no visible overscan) in FCP 640x480 project sequences. Maybe I will have to get the old Mac 8500 running with the DC30+ card and settle this.

Thanks! John Sykes

560×480 (420 lines): LaserDisc, Super VHS, Hi8
720×480 (520 lines): D-VHS, DVD, miniDV, Digital8, Digital Betacam (pro)

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John Sykes
Re: 4:3 and DV Formatting_Archiving Hi8 in FCP
on Dec 31, 2009 at 12:39:40 am

On the archiving aspect: I have burnt 200 plus Hi8 mm to DVD and know there is a compression hit in transferring to DVD through a first-generation Philips DVD recorder.

By transferring Hi8 mm tape through the Digital8 Sony desk via Firewire and capturing in FCP at 100 percent quality, I would burn each captured section to a DVD (data formatted) as a Quicktime movie. Transferring to DVCAM would be direct as to the overscan issue and I will additionally plan for that route. Future tape life and tape/equipment obsolescence (as formats change) has become an issue.

Since 1987, I have been through 8mm, Hi8mm, Super VHS, Beta: tape, decks and cameras are harder to access. Already my Sony prosumer miniDV camera is outdated by HD. I have been through four Hi8 decks and recently purchased two Digital8s to get me through the final phase-out of Hi8. Having a digital archive would be looking ahead as I believe tape's days may be numbered.

I am hoping a digital archive is a valid option.

If there is a forum for archiving, please direct me. Thanks for your help_John Sykes.

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