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Need some ideas for compressing files from VHS captures

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Bill Sanguinetti
Need some ideas for compressing files from VHS captures
on Jan 5, 2015 at 7:28:34 pm

Hello everyone,

I am needing some help with my VHS capture project. I have started the process of converting a large amount of home recorded VHS tapes from over the years. My ultimate goal is to create a basic edited dvd (cut out junk scenes, static, etc) and also keep a digital archive of the files so I can make new DVD's if needed or use the clips for other projects. I have messed around with this off an on for awhile, but would like some guidance in what the best practice would be for conversion/compression.

In hopes of getting a better capture I have borrowed some equipment. Here is my workflow as of right now

Panasonic AG1980 deck running svideo out to Blackmagic Intensity Extreme running thunderbolt to a Macbook Pro running OSX 10.9 (the macbook only has imovie, no other video editing)

The above equipment is borrowed, and so far I have had no trouble capturing the footage. I chose the prores 422 HQ codec to capture in -- This is yielding me a .MOV file of about 70gb for a 2 hour tape

I am not going to have the space to archive 100 70gb files so this is where I need some guidance.

My editing computer is an HP Pavilion with 8gb of ram and a E8600 CPU. It has a 320 gb system drive and a 1tb working drive. I am using Adobe Premiere Pro CC to edit

At this point I have copied the MOV file from the macbook to my PC and verified it would load up into Premiere.

From here I am at a loss of what would be best to do. Most of the tapes have at least 2 events on them, birthdays, xmas, etc so my thought was to chop up the file into the various scenes and save them separately to make it easier to compile a dvd later.

So my question is:

1. As a backup,What is the best way to go from the Prores MOV directly to a dvd (unedited)

2. Once I cut apart the captured file, What would be the best format to compress these clips into to make the best use of space in an archive, but still be usable to edit to DVD's later

3. If there are any suggestions to make a better capture / final product with the equipment I have.

Thanks in advance!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Need some ideas for compressing files from VHS captures
on Jan 5, 2015 at 8:03:09 pm

Given your source is VHS, I'd recommend capturing in ProResLT rather than HQ. That'll save you a lot of space and not much difference in quality given the sources.

iMovie can burn basic screening DVDs if you wanted to do that.

Personally I'm concerned that a lossy codec on potentially noisy sources isn't going to yield great results so I'd personally avoid another round of compression to save the bits after chopping. If you must, you could use a very hight quality H.264 setting.



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Bill Sanguinetti
Re: Need some ideas for compressing files from VHS captures
on Jan 5, 2015 at 8:59:15 pm

Thanks for the info,

I will try the Prores LT and see what sort of filesize I end up with. If it is significantly smaller, I might be able to keep all the tapes in that format.

If I do have to compress once again, high quality H.264 as you suggested, do you think it will be edit friendly if I were to make other dvd's in the future? I thought I had read H.264 was not very good to work with after it was encoded.

again thanks for the information


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