Ever archive *uncompressed* video (AVI)?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Holadem, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I have many hours of digital video that I intend to convert to DVD. However, I am wondering if it would not be wise to backup the uncompressed digital8 material to DVD as AVI first.

    I think a DVD can only hold 20 minutes or so of AVI ==> 3 DVDs per tape. After this, I shouldn't have to touch the tapes ever again, I would have master DVDs to work from. For some admitedly unfounded reason, I am wary of relying on tapes (digital8) to keep the raw footage.

    Is this commonly done? Is it worth the effort and cost?

    --
    H
     
  2. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    I beleive you will find that your digital tape format is, in fact, compressed already, unless you are using some wacky studio format [and most studios use digital Betacam, which is compressed]. I would think, therefore, that your best bet is to make a digital connexion between your camera or tape-playback device and dub the DV files directly from your tapes onto hard disc, whence you can burn them as data files onto DVD or manipulate them at will. There may, admittedly, be some awkwardness with this approach, particularly if the tape format is not some industry-standard for which you can find a software decoder.
     
  3. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    If the video is transferred via firewire to the computer then the "uncompressed" form is actually the mildly compressed DV format which is 25 Mbps. Storing the .avi on a data DVD+/-R, you're right, it's about 20 minutes per disc.

    With the price of blank DVDs becoming so low, I think it's a feasible thing to do.
     
  4. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I backed up the LaserDisc captures I did on my Canopus card last year. Each capture was 25gb+ and I used VirtualDub to automatically split the .avi file into chunks small enough to fit onto a DVD-R. If I ever have to restore them, I just copy all of the files back onto the hard drive and let VirtualDub open the first file. It will when automatically pick up the 'splits' and reassemble the file back into one with no gaps or glitches. Best way I could think of doing it.
     
  5. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Sounds like a good plan.

    And save a few megabytes to put a copy of VirtualDub on the DVD as well, that way you'll have an archive of it along with the video.
     
  6. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Modify the plan so that you don't store all the way to the edge of the DVD. Since the deterioration starts from the edges inward, don't fill it up. Stop at 4 GB rather than 4.3 GB.

    Wouldn't it be easier to buy some external hard drives and save them? A 200 GB hard drive for instance?
     
  7. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of storage/archiving? A HD still involves some electronics that will go bad at some point... not to mention the cost. I just got a 100 pack of Ritek DVD-R for $51 delivered. That's more than 400GB of storage.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far.

    --
    H
     
  8. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    A 200 GB hard drive costs about $100.
    A 50-pack of 4GB DVD-Rs costs about $25.
     
  9. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    DVD-Rs don't last forever, but if you go that route and the data is very important burn at the slowest speed. [​IMG] They can also be lost or scratched if you're not careful.

    Best thing to do is to setup 2 harddrives in RAID-1. Or spread out the data to multiple computers in the house. I have a dozen or so amateur video projects I made, still in raw DV format. I just put them on 2 computers in the house and this made me breathe a sigh of relief when my 120gb Maxtor just up and failed with no warning signs at all.
     
  10. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    not a bad idea, if only for convenience. archive the video to dvd, then put the tapes away. if you need to work with the video, use the dvds. should any of the dvds happen to fail, you always have the tapes as a backup plan.

    CJ
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Ok, though, I'm struggling to think of what kind of 'pure' capture benefit you're getting to justify 25GB a capture. Capturing with a very good internal compression card (Canopus makes them) you can go to MPG2 DVD-Quality and store 2 hours in 9.4G. While I suppose uncompressed could gain you -some- you'd find that newer capture cards can on the fly take that stereo signal and convert to MP2 or DD2.0, and your image stays very good.

    I'm just struggling to think of why the use of AVI uncompressed. AVI still inherently has the colorshift issue that MPG avoids, whereas with MPG you may get MPG artifacts. I guess I just considered it a wash on something this big. [​IMG]

    Then again, you could always capture in DiVX [​IMG]

    But, if you're using uncompressed to archive, beside the point, I'd also say get DVD-R. You can get blank media cheap; I just bought a 100pack of printable for $42 (Ritek). The bitch is going to be time consumption in writing this all out to disc, and the deleting/capturing/copying out to DVD process that's going to double your time every step of the way.
     
  12. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Holadem said raw footage, indicating he'll maybe edit all this sometime. DV = all I-Frames. Meaning it's the best for editing. You can't throw mpeg-2 files in all the top editing programs, and although you can with Divx it's very slow and choppy as it has to deal with p- and b-frames.

    For the stuff I do compress I like to capture in Huffyuv first just to know I'm getting the best quality possible and have a decent master to work with when deciding how much I should compress. Programs like Premiere love Huffyuv and DV.
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Ah. Good point [​IMG]
     
  14. PhilBoy

    PhilBoy Second Unit

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    Huffyuv reduces avi to about 1/3 it's original size with no loss in quality.

    I've never had a problem with it.
     
  15. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I will look into this Huffyuv thing. That much reduction in size may allow me to fit whole tape on a DVD. Since a lot of them aren't even exactly an hour, it should actually be doable.

    --
    H
     
  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    2 hours of video captured with HuffyUV takes up around 25GB.
     
  17. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    OK, I am a bit confused now, AFAIK, that is the standard size (1 hour of video ~ 13GB AVI), so where is the gain?

    --
    H
     
  18. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Oh, and what I meant by "uncompressed", is actually DV-AVI, which I have since learnt, is slightly compressed. Basically, I am talking about the raw output from your camcorder.

    I think people understood what I was saying anyway, but I just want to correct the error.

    --
    H
     
  19. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    If you're video files are already DV AVIs, then there will be no benefit converting them to Huffyuv AVIs.

    (But I'm not really familiar with Digital 8. Is it similar to MiniDV in that when you transfer from the camera to the computer, you end up with an exact copy of what you had on the tape?)
     
  20. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Yup. D8 media is different (8mm tapes), but the format is the same, i.e. the output on the computer side is DV-AVI, identical to the tape.

    --
    H
     

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