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VHS-DVD-HDV conundrum

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Michael Westra
VHS-DVD-HDV conundrum
on Oct 19, 2016 at 4:58:17 pm

I'm in the process of converting hundreds of VHS training tapes to DVD and then to NTSC HDV via CS6 Media Encoder (for same resolution). Importing VideoTS individual DVD folders from internal storage RAID is very slow and frequently fails. Is there a solution or a better way? Also my system drive, a 2 tb Seagate hybrid has filled but I can't see why. All project elements are on another internal RAID.
MwestArchive


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Jeff Pulera
Re: VHS-DVD-HDV conundrum
on Oct 19, 2016 at 7:30:43 pm

Hi Michael,

More info needed please. When you say converting VHD to DVD, are you using a DVD recorder for the conversion?

And there is no "NTSC HDV", I assume you mean NTSC DV?

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: VHS-DVD-HDV conundrum
on Oct 20, 2016 at 6:29:48 am

I'd probably capture the VHS tapes straight onto the DV tapes. There's no reason to go for the DVD in between.


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Jeff Pulera
Re: VHS-DVD-HDV conundrum
on Oct 20, 2016 at 3:17:05 pm

Right, we need more info about the workflow and intentions of this process. I don't think OP means to go to DV tape, but rather wants DV .avi files perhaps? But that wouldn't make sense coming from DVD, since MPEG-2 DVD format is far more compressed than DV, so that quality is already lost...maybe just make .mp4 files if purpose is to archive...but we don't know, just have to wait for a response I guess

Thanks

Jeff


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Jeff Pulera
Re: VHS-DVD-HDV conundrum
on Oct 20, 2016 at 4:23:03 pm

Why two threads? Confusing...

Michael,

Can you please elaborate on the workflow? When you say going to DV, do you mean DV tape or just creating an .avi file using the DV codec for archiving?

Either way, here's the problem as Dave mentioned - MPEG-2 DVD compression uses a very low data rate. DV is 25mbps, while DVD is only 4-8mbps usually. So by going to DVD first in the process, you have lost a LOT of the quality, which kind of defeats the purpose of then encoding back up to a higher quality DV file - can't get quality back that was lost with the DVD compression step. Might as well archive to H.264 at that point and save drive space.

In other words, the workflow is backwards. DVD is a delivery format and doing that first is limiting the quality of any archive file you want to make. I would use a capture card to capture from VHS to hard drive (that file will be the archive master), then encode to MPEG-2 DVD from there and burn a DVD. Going to take roughly the same amount of time either way. Granted, the DVD recorder machine is perhaps a little "easier", but...

I've been helping a friend that is transferring a large amount of analog (VHS and 8mm) material, and when it comes into Premiere, it looks pretty washed out. By applying a few simple color correction tweaks like Contrast and Saturation, the footage instantly looks twice as good, going from nasty to not too shabby. He just applies the filter to the entire 2-hour clip at once. Does not need to render. Then just export to DVD format. And if you don't want the hassle of authoring DVDs, the same capture card can play the timeline back out to your DVD recorder machine in realtime, direct from timeline! Black Magic Intensity Pro card being used for instance.

If you the footage is worth archiving, then it should be worth doing it right and preserving the quality to some degree, otherwise what's the point?

Thanks

Jeff


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Michael Westra
Re: VHS-DVD-HDV conundrum
on Oct 20, 2016 at 11:49:07 pm

OK, these VHS lecture tapes are twenty years old and need to be transferred pronto of course. I have six combo machines making DVDs at once (I used these before for recording individual dance performances). My thinking is that DVD generally improves VHS quality because of reduced random noise and improved stability; that's the easy part. The ingest of DVD VideoTS intermediate folders are slow into Adobe Premiere. There I check and trim them, The output to DV.avi via Media Encoder is fine but the files are large for corporate server, yet easy to play and preserve resolution of the training materials.
The main snag is the ingest to Adobe Premiere; from there I could go to any suitable format.


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Jeff Pulera
Re: VHS-DVD-HDV conundrum
on Oct 21, 2016 at 2:16:57 pm

Hi Michael,

Given the large volume of tapes you have to transfer, it's understandable why you would use the multiple decks the way you are - ingesting tapes one at a time into PC using a capture card could take a lifetime I suppose!

But back to the archive copy, say the DVD bitrate is 5mbps and then you convert to DV at 25mbps, those files are taking up 5x the space, but will not look any better than the 5mbps files because you can't make something from nothing.

I just checked the H.264 > NTSC DV export settings in Premiere and Target is 3mbps. That would save a TON of server space (about 8x less), and those .mp4 files will be playable on any device - Mac, PC, tablet, online, etc. for years to come, while an .avi is limited to PC playback only.

I would normally be all in favor of DV .avi coming from analog source - if the source was captured directly to that format, but having gone to DVD first, DV loses its appeal.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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