what are the best methods for importing and storing dv tapes on my pc?

Posted on 2006-04-30
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
i have a couple of questions over how to import and store data from my collection of dv home not think any are that tricky!
1. are there any programmes available that allow you to import and watch the dv film simultaneously?
(and by watch I mean as if you had plugged the camcorder directly in to the tv getting full screen / not the small windows that pop up on elements).  
2. When importing dv to the pc what is the best tool to use?  I would like to strike a balance between file size (typically 1hr film = 10 gbytes in avi format which seems alot) and quality (these are simple home movies shot with no skill, plenty of camera shake so do not need to go overboard here).

Aim basically is get the data on to the multi media pc so we can watch them / keep the data safe (perhaps back up on an external hard drive) / keep the data managed in a manner that allows me to find clips again and maybe, just maybe get around to editing them in to some sort of film when I retire!

Question by:crazydogrufus
    1 Comment
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    Accepted Solution

    I am using Pinnacle Studio 10.5 plus. From within Pinnacle you can capture 1:1 (DV quality) or to MPEG. But the latter can cause lipsync-problems for some unknown reason. So I always use DV quality capture.

    What I usually do is:
    1 - Capture the movie in DV-quality
    2 - Edit the video (adjust picture and sound, add transitions and effects, cut scenes and so on)
    3 - Save the result back on tape
    4 - Edit the video (creating DVD menu's, adding some additional features and so)
    5 - Export everything to an DVD-image (in a Video_TS folder)
    6 - Burn a DVD if I need one, and/or move the VIDEO_TS folder to my fileserver so my theatresystem is able to use it.

    Eventually you can skip step 4 and write to an compressed AVI or MPEG file.
    Also keep in mind that step 3 (writing back to tape) is only possible if your camera supports it!

    Regarding importing while watching I must say I usually attach an TV-set to my DV-recorder. As soon as I start the capture, the content appears on my TV as well. According the settings, Pinnacle should be able to give an full-screen preview but I haven't managed to get it working on my Dual-screen setup.

    But as Pinnacle Studio is Commercial software, you might want to look around a bit for free software as I'm pretty sure it will exist for what you want to do with it. I wrote 'Commercial' with a captital C because there are quite a few options in Pinnacle Studio that have to be unlocked with a seperate licensecode, eventhough you purchased the 'Plus' version.

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