I'm just ramping up (pls excuse newbie questions) and want to basically get all my video (source code so to speak) onto a PC (and save it to media like a hard drive to keep in safe deposit box while I'm at it).
Then, I'd like to put all this video onto a series of DVD discs, organizing it by subjects or times (like "1996 Olympics", "2001 Family Movies", etc.) so I can play them in a HOME DVD player (and also duplicate/burn/send/share with family).
Still need to keep raw digital data (right?), because things change, "everything" might someday be ultra HDTV and wide screen in the future... so with good raw data on hard drive, I could go back and re-cut the DVDs with newer tools and playback formats, right?
Ok, so wondered if someone might offer suggestions on the "capture" process to get going. Here's the hardware/software setup, then after that, the capture question(s), thanks
HARDWARE/SOFTWARE SETUP. Most of the components are in place... Nothing "pro" grade or even brand new, but like most people, I accumulated stuff over the years.... Sony digital8 camcorder (3 yrs old), Sony DVD home player (~5 yrs old), Win XP PC with speakers and basic CD/DVD (+/-RW?) burner, FireWire card, spiffy ATI Radeon video card (even has RCA component video/audio [red/white/yellow inputs] and S-video, Roxio Easy Media Creator 8 Suite, MS Movie Maker (really like). Anything else I need?
CAPTURE QUESTIONS. Is there a "uniform" file format I need to (or should do to) get everything into the PC as the best possible raw "source" files. I'd like to capture 100% of the digital data (not compress, or do anything that throws out data or drops resolutions, etc.). What I'm seeing in various capture software are a multitude of choices, like...
1) Medium. ATI VCR (assume file= .vcr) 480x480 NTSC, 4mb/sec
2) VGA Res. file= .avi 640x480 29.9 fps
3) Qtr VGA file= .avi 320x240 29.9 fps
4) AVI Recording, file =.avi, 80x30 ~29.9fps
5) VGA res. mpeg2 640x480 NTSC. 6mb/sec
6) Many others...
Is there "one" file format I can (should) choose for capturing "everything", or do I choose different formats to "capture" for each of these sources?...
a) VCR TAPES. Got a few dozen, basic home movies from real old video cameras... Capture format? ________
8MM DIGITAL Hi8 VIDEOTAPE. The Sony camcorder records and plays these digital tapes, got maybe 7 tapes. Plus the Sony 'plays' the old 8mm-analog ones made with a prior camcorder, got about 4 of these analog tapes. The Sony should output both to Firewire, right? Capture Format (to get ALL bits/bytes)? ________
c) MPEG 15-SECOND MOVIES LOW RES. These aren't the driving factor, but got maybe 50 fun clips, about 15-seconds each (that's all my camcorder does), from the Sony digital camcorder. Why not zip them all onto a DVD for playback, right? Capture format?________
d) TV OUTPUT. This PC has a TV-card. Suppose I knew a relative was going to be on the news a few seconds one night. Is there a "format" to record that clip for max resolution? Capture format?_________
e) DIGITAL STILL CAMERA. Got a deal on one of these. It records 640x480 10fps movies, not exactly Hollywood grade, but these "___.avi" files might be useful if we forgot the camcorder that day. Do we copy to C:drive and keep "as is", or upload them in some other format? Capture format?_________
f) DVDs. Suppose Uncle Elmer gives me a DVD movie and I want to upload it onto video collection on my PC. (Normally I'd copy a file, but a DVD movie has lots of files and folders, so I'm unsure how to get it onto the PC) Capture format?_________
g) ANYTHING ELSE? Are there any other prevailing formats out there that we need to convert for any reason?
h) ONE MORE...SOFTWARE. For capture, does it really matter if I use WinMovieMaker, Roxio Media Import (are there any more that will import in EMC8?), MyDvd (will this do capture?), etc. and change to something else later? I'm assuming that what WOULD matter would be if I EDIT a movie in one of these...them I'm stuck with that brand forever, right? That is, to change brands would mean I'd have to start over and re-edit with the new software, right? But capture is capture, right? I really like WinMovieMaker...can I CAPTURE with that, is it same quality as anything else?
Anyway, thanks for patience, just getting going here, will try to ask smarter questions in future...