What format do you suggest for storing "old" DV tapes?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by pantelija, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. pantelija macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    #1
    I have imported dozen of my old family DV tapes footage in .dv format.
    As you can expect, it is eating up all of my hard disk space I can offer it :)

    So, what I am looking for is proper format that doesn't eat that much space but has high quality.

    What do you use for archiving your video?

    Thanks for the answers in advance!
     
  2. mBox, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012

    mBox macrumors 68020

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    #2
    Low cost? DVD.
    Above that, DLT or better.
    If you have BD burner that too is decent.
    I learned my lesson not to leave the data on the DVCAM digital tape.
    Some actually got corrupted :p
     
  3. pantelija thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the quick response.

    Actually, I also noticed corrupt footage at the beginning of some tapes, what confused me because I had impression that DV are pretty durable :-(

    Talking about the quality target - I'd like to avoid optical drives be it DVD or BlueRay. I would prefer to put it to Hard Drive, but wasn't sure what output format to choose :eek:.
     
  4. mBox macrumors 68020

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    #4
    DVCAMs format is DV period.
    You can use a ProRes variant like ProRes Lite or HQ just not sure how big they get.
    The DVCAM im used to is DV-NTSC which is 720x480 29.97fps@48KHz.
     
  5. SPUY767 macrumors 68000

    SPUY767

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    #5
    DV is actually not that durable at all. With a digital signal, the slightest corruption can screw it up, unlike analog tapes which just slowly degrade over time. If you're archiving the footage to watch, i.e. old home movies, DVD is probably the way to go, although, even optical discs, especially the recordable ones, don't hold up well to heat or humidity. If you're storing them for future use or archival purposes, keep them in the original format so you don't lose fidelity, and just store them as files on a disc. I'll admit, however, that DV files are pretty massive, ~ 25Mbit, IIRC.
     
  6. mBox macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Hehe yea but not as massive as HD, 4K and up ;)
    I remember back in the day when we had to use a DV calculator just to see if we can finish a project.
    Now all that is a joke due to the cost of hard-drives :)
     
  7. pantelija thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2012
    #7
    Yes - and for this reason I was hoping there is some "proper" format with decent hunger for a space, and at the same time doesn't reduce much on the quality side...
     
  8. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    #8
    I think your best option is to just archive the original DV video onto a hard drive.

    DV consumes a lot of disk space, yes -- about 13 gigs per hour. But that means a 1 TB hard drive, which will cost you less than $100 -- can store over 76 hours of video.

    And once it's on a hard drive you can scan through footage and find clips quickly, and you can always keep copying the drives to newer ones as they age and as storage becomes ever cheaper. Just make sure you always keep the original tapes just in case and try to have more than one backup since hard drives can also fail.
     
  9. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #9
    I completely agree. IMHO, the DVD and Blu-ray suggestions are ill-considered. Commercial DVDs and Blu-rays have content stamped into aluminum film. Their vulnerability is the slow degradation of the plastic coating. Home-burned DVDs and BDs have content stored as optically induced phase changes in reflectance of a chemical film. That which is created by light can be destroyed by light. Your home-burned discs can become coasters faster than you can say "Jackie Robinson."
     
  10. curmudgeon32 macrumors regular

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    Aug 28, 2012
    #10
    Redundancy is key here. If they're from a DV cam, they're not high def resolution, so if you pick a fairly gentle form of video compression, you can convert them to files small enough to save onto a hard drive without taking a real hit in perceivable quality. You say it's a dozen tapes, so I'm guessing 12 hours of footage max at an hour each -- so what, 100GB max? Probably way less, but if you alloted 100-200GB you could go nuts with the encoding and never notice the difference.

    Once you've done that and you've got them down to a reasonable set of files, the easiest thing would be to store them on a hard drive, and then make sure that's backed up onto another hard drive. Hard drives are very very cheap and very fast to clone and verify -- unlike optical media.

    But whatever you do, just make sure they're never only on ONE device or medium and periodically verify the integrity of the files every year or so and you should be OK for a while -- until someone comes up with an accessible, affordable digital archiving solution.
     
  11. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #11
    H.264? Cant believe this hasn't popped up yet! Grab handbrake and set up a queue of DV files! It should go pretty fast depending on your machine as the resolution is low. Audio can be stored as either AAC or AC-3 in .m4v/.mp4 or MKV container for more supported formats (although less compatibility).
     
  12. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #12
    I 2nd the hard drive option. Get a USB external drive, load the footage on and then store it in a closet.
     
  13. nateo200, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012

    nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #13
    I actually do this lol. I have 2 500GB FireWire/USB 3.0 External drives, a 1TB for archiving and several other random hard drives for further backups of my backups. The taste of loosing valuable data is still fresh in my mouth :mad::( .


    That is actually what the recommend for very high end archiving stuff. I know in film they will transfer prints to new clean prints every few years or so + DI copy's on various hard drives. Checking to make sure the files aren't corrupted is essential too...I always go in and play all the files and make sure they are playable and what not. I also store on optical media for immediate access since some of my hard drives I keep in my closet stacked up. However, I've had more than a few optical discs fail after 2-6 years of even just sitting in a case so don't rely on them exclusively and burn nice and slow onto high quality brands (I like Verbatim and Sony Accucore brand, I've had about 3 failures total in the 5 years Ive used both extensively, and far less errors on burning than no name brands).
     
  14. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    #15
    While I don't disagree with this statement, to me the cost of keeping the original 13 gigs per hour of disk space doesn't outweigh the cost/effort of spending hours setting up and encoding the footage to another format. Hard drives are cheap enough now.

    (I keep saying this, yet I still have dozens of DV tapes sitting in a box. Perhaps it's time to start taking my own advice...)
     
  15. mBox macrumors 68020

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    #16
    Most of us don't practice what we preach.
    It this was HD, the conversation would be moot.
    But DV-NTSC is really low in res and Ill stick with optical for archiving whether in its native format or DVD.
     
  16. jpine macrumors 6502

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    Jun 15, 2007
    #17
    LOL! yeah, that would work, except the tapes would take up a lot of room and I bet the decks are still very pricey compared to what an external HD or big Flash drive would cost. BTW, I picked up a 3/4" Umatic SP Sony deck the other day so I could archive some old footage a client had via the Blackmagic card in my MP. It has the optional TBC and the heads are in good shape. Back in the day, that deck was $13,500 USD. I got it for fifty bucks.
     
  17. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    #18
    I stored some video on Delkin "100 year gold" discs which claim a shelf life of well, you see.
     
  18. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #19
    I just keep DV on mirrored HDDs and the tapes someplace else. The file size is small (at least to me) and for archiving you want to keep the quality as high as possible so smacking it down to h.264 or MPEG-2 (for DVD) just seems counter productive.

    If you had hundreds or thousands of hours of footage I could see archiving becoming more challenging but for just a dozen or so tapes keeping them in .DV and using HDDs is the way to go in this situation.
     
  19. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

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    May 20, 2004
    #20
    A stupid question

    I have a bunch of miniDV tapes that I would like to archive as digital files on my hard drive. How do I transfer them to the mac and keep them as dv files?
     
  20. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    #21
    You hook up a Firewire cable between your miniDV camcorder and your Mac, and then you use a program like iMovie to capture the tape contents into a video file.

    The older iMovie HD was tailored around this workflow, though I *think* the current iMovie still has support for miniDV but it was optimized for HD video from memory cards.
     
  21. daybreak macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 4, 2009
    #22
    Now you know how it is done. Why do you want to keep them on your hard drive?. Why dont you import them and then edit them so thee are viewable to your family or friends and then use the iMovie trailer or templates and burn them on to DVD.
    Then again you did not state what they are. So i may be jumping the gun.
    If your hard drive fails, they could be lost.
     
  22. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

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    May 20, 2004
    #23
    And this will keep them in their original dv format and not compress them?

    I don't want to capture them using iMovie if I'm going to end up with a compressed video file. My goal, as I understand the original poster's goal also to be, is to keep the original digital data intact for archiving.
     
  23. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    #24
    Yes, if you use a straight-up DV capture program like the older iMovie HD, then it will be basically a raw bit-for-bit copy of the data that was originally stored on the DV tape. The capture is real-time, meaning you rewind your tape, press play, wait an hour, and your DV video is captured. There should be no further compressing or rendering. If there is, that is a clue that the capture settings were not set to DV.

    This is very much unlike today's typical digital video workflow where you can copy or import the files off a video card in a matter of seconds, but then it takes minutes or hours to encode the AVCHD video to something you can use to edit like AIC.

    Your other clue is the file size, it should be roughly 13 gigs per hour of video or about 200 megs per minute of captured video.

    Do not capture to "MPEG2" or "h.264" or "AIC" or "AVCHD" or anything other than "DV" format.
     
  24. cyberpilot macrumors newbie

    cyberpilot

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    Australia
    #25
    I converted a bunch of mini DV tapes and had good success:

    - did the raw capture using WinDV by Petr Mourek (free and workd spot on)

    - I then used handbrake to convert the raw captures down to a smaller size - I found that mini DV format is actually 59.94 frames per second interlaced, and this was evidenced by my first conversions being choppy compared to the original from the raw captures.

    - I set Handbrake settings:
    Filters tab: Decomb -> BOB
    Video Tab: Framerate -> 59.94 with constant framerate option selected, Constant quality -> 20

    This seemed to convert with no loss of frame rate, or quality !
     

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