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  1. #1
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    Converting analog video to digital

    I have a Sony analog (Hi8) camcorder. I have many years of analog tape. I want to edit and preserve that video by converting it to digital and then burning DVDs. I am wondering what your thoughts are on this.

    I have a Dell PC that is approximately 1 year old and cost over $1500, and I bought it with digital video editing in mind, so it should be reasonably adequate once I get the video converted.

    I have seen reviews of the Miglia product. I see that Sony has a new product, the DVDirect (DVD Direct) Model VRD-VC20, that will convert analog video and also burn DVDs. I know that Canopus makes a product that will convert analog video as well.

    I'm not sure what the best solution is, for the money. I guess I could buy a digital camcorder and then run the analog video through it to the PC, but I am guessing that that conversion is not as good as will occur if one uses the miglia, canopus or Sony products, but.......(In addition, I am happy with my current camcorder and it seems like a waste to go out and buy a new one, especially if it won't do the conversion as well as the other devices.)

    The Sony product performs the role of two devices - a converter and a burner, whereas the miglia and canopus devices are only converters.

    Apparently Dazzle's products were so poorly designed that they have abandoned that product line entirely.

    Your thoughts would be MUCH appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Quote
    Quote: Alan P.
    I want to edit and preserve that video by converting it to digital and then burning DVDs. I am wondering what your thoughts are on this.
    Sounds like a very good plan. I think it's a good idea to save two versions of your precious files: DVD standard for easy playback and something like MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 for easier access/editing later. Of course if you can save as uncompressed files that would be even better but that would require a lot of disk space.

    Quote
    Quote: Alan P.
    I have a Dell PC that is approximately 1 year old and cost over $1500, and I bought it with digital video editing in mind, so it should be reasonably adequate once I get the video converted.
    I think so too.

    Quote
    Quote: Alan P.
    I'm not sure what the best solution is, for the money.
    I think the video camera idea is a good one. You can get a reasonably good camera for not much more than the cost of a converter and IMO the quality will be just as good. I use this system a lot and I find the limiting factor is the quality of the analog footage rather than the quality of the conversion. Just about any cheapish digital camera will cope with anything your Hi8 can throw at it.

    It's a bit of a compromise - if you buy a specialist converter you'll probably get a nice convenient unit with good converting features, but I honestly don't think they have anything which would make a noticeable difference to the end product. On the other hand a digital camera gives you... a digital camera
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  3. #3
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    Re: Converting analog video to digital

    Dave: Anything new on this topic?

    As a result of some personal issues, I have not moved forward on this. My analog tapes are degrading as I type!!

    I'm reluctant to go the cheap digicam route, as I figure the Canopus converter must exist for a reason. Is the conversion that much better with the Canopus (approx. $400 + editing software) than it would be with a $1000 digicam (plus editing software)? (of course, then you DO have the digicam)

    Has anyone reviewed the Sony product that also includes a DVD burner?

  4. #4
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Converting analog video to digital

    I actually looked at the Canopus converter myself (and I'm still thinking about buying one) but I spoke to a colleague who tested one and he said he couldn't find any difference in conversion quality. The only difference, according to him, was the convenience of the Canopus. If you're only concerned with quality and value-for-money, my opinion is still in favour of using a camcorder as a converter.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  5. #5
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    I can't believe this is still a hot topic for me

    well, I haven't done anything yet (too many personal reasons to go into here)

    so my tapes are one year more degraded......

    anything new?

    I can get a Canopus ADVC 110 for around $250 to do the analog to digital conversion

    Haven't shopped digital videocameras yet (and I do know to look for AV-in, etc.)

    I can't figure out how Canopus still has a market for the 110 and similar products if the Digicams do such a good job on the conversion.....

    I'm not looking forward to shopping for the videocamera, and that is not like me. But I am currently dealing with estimates and competing plumbers on an emergency home plumbing project; and I need a new car....ugh.

  6. #6
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    I purchased the Canopus 110 a month ago and after converting a lifetimes collection of VHS tapes ( I'm 55) with it I have to just say how delighted I am with the results..." as good as the originals" as far as the naked eye can see.Now its not converting, I am using it as a preview box to my external TV monitor but then a camera would do that too.

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