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Thread: Tape transfer questions

  1. #1
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    Post Tape transfer questions

    I'm kind of a newbie, so some of the questions may be stupid, please bear with me

    I've got source material on 3/4" and BetaSP tape. They're finished commercials (I'm in advertising) and I'd like to convert them to a digital format so 1) I have a digital archive of my spots, and 2) I can burn self-authored DVD-R show reels on demand. The show reels would have a simple menu, and consist of a selection of spots from my digital archive.

    I've found a local vendor that will transfer the tapes for me, but the (not very helpful and kind of arrogant) tech said that I need to figure out what codec I want the digital files in. He didn't offer much assistance helping me figure that out, saying only that it depends on the authoring program I use.

    The questions:

    1) I'm looking at Adobe Encore as the authoring app (I've got an XP system, and despite it's first-version problems Encore seems to be the best choice). With quality/fidelity to the original important, what format should I have the reels transferred into? MPEG-2? AVI? Something else?

    2) Or, is it easier but just as good to have the vendor burn everything straight to a DVD, and copy the clips off that archive DVD for authoring?

    Please, oh please, somebody help.

  2. #2
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    Since they're finished, ask the guy to do MPEG 2 (highest possible quality 9.8 mbps?), 2 pass, the whole shebang. Then you'll just author them and put it on DVD. If you'r planning to do editing on it, it's better to get the uncompressed AVI.

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    Retired setarip's Avatar
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    " Or, is it easier but just as good to have the vendor burn everything straight to a DVD, and copy the clips off that archive DVD for authoring?"

    By all means, do so!

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    RNCSerge: Thanks--that's one of the answers I've been looking for.

    setarip: Because I've got a thick head, I gotta ask to make sure--what are the tradeoffs between the two methods? Thanks for your patience

  5. #5
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    Bit off topic but, would it cheaper to buy some capture hardware
    and do it yourself? A friend of mine had some Archive transfers
    done that cost a packet. I can understand if you don't have the
    player that supports the format.

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    Funny, that's the first thing I thought about--but 3/4" U-Matic machines start at a few grand, used. Kinda nipped that idea in the bud.

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    RNCSerge puts a good point about the avi's if you want to edit them/reorder etc. This will result in Data DVD's for you to import into your Adobe.
    Having them burned to MPEGs will reduce the data size and hence amount of media.
    Did you want them compliant with standalone DVD players?
    This isn't a learning curve ... this is b****y mountaineering!

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    Ideally, I'd like them to be able to run on anything (DVD-9?) but from what I understand, the only way I can do that is to have them professionally pressed, is that right?

    Also, am I correct in understanding that DVD-R is the most compatible format I can burn myself?

    And if the data size of MPEG is smaller than straight DVD, does that make a difference in quality?

  9. #9
    Digital Video Explorer ormonde's Avatar
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    "but 3/4" U-Matic machines start at a few grand, used."

    Did you look into renting a machine?

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    I've never heard of this type of player...
    bring back the betamax/video2000

  11. #11
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    "And if the data size of MPEG is smaller than straight DVD, does that make a difference in quality?"

    You can get a remarkable reduction in data size before a noticeable reduction in quality. Standalone players demand MPEG2.

    The ▒R debacle is increasingly academic as more burners these days are dual standard but if you have specific standalone players in mind a useful reference for compatibility is http://www.dvdrhelp.com./dvdplayers
    This isn't a learning curve ... this is b****y mountaineering!

  12. #12
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    ormonde: That's a good idea I hadn't thought of.

    sfheath: Thanks for the info and link.

    I'm sure I'll be back to bother y'all with more questions soon...

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    "setarip: Because I've got a thick head, I gotta ask to make sure--what are the tradeoffs between the two methods? Thanks for your patience"

    By starting with a DVD created by your vendor, your own efforts will be limited to editing/re-authoring (with a program such as "TMPGEnc DVD Author" [different than "TMPGEnc"]), without having to do multiple format conversions - which may result in lesser quality and/or video/audio synchronization problems.

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