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Dvd hdd and computer file formats

DVD Disks

If you want your family tapes back as a playable archive that you can use on a normal under-the-TV player then you will want a DVD.

I only use Verbatim “DataLifePlus” Thermal printable discs, these are industry standard, the best you can get and you cannot buy them in the shops. I use these because I NEVER want one of my discs to fail and I am prepared to pay for the best there is. I always create beautiful labels using the title of your choice, the dates of the tapes and cropped, photo-shopped stills from your footage so that the pictures look their best. To do this I use the brand new and superb Rimage Everest Encore Thermal Disc printer.

I NEVER over-compress the images to squeeze more than 90 minutes onto a single layer DVD or 160 minutes on a dual layer DVD. There would be no point in using the best equipment there is, only to compress all of the quality out of those images.

Computer file formats

If you want to create your own archive by doing your own editing, I can supply your videos in just about any computer file format.

Standard file format for the PC Standard Definition (720 x 576) files will be in the DV .avi codec at 13GB/hour.

Standard file format for the MAC Standard Definition (720 x 576) files will be in the QT .mov codec at 13GB/hour.

If accessibilty is more important than absolute quality I can also create smaller sized MP4 files (720 x 576) if you feel that is all you need, these will run at 4GB per hour. This smaller file is ideal for steaming, use on tablets or phones, uploading and sending to people around the world with a transfer service.

I capture using a Pure DV connection for digital tapes or a Matrox MXO2 box for analogue tapes.

Archive Return

For large DV archives it is always best to have your computer files returned on a passport sized hard drive so you have everything in one known place.Typically 1TB (1000GB) is where most storage needs are met. You can either include one with your tapes, you can get one sent to me or I can source one for you.

For smaller archives or archives that are transferred to the smaller MP4 file format I would normally use a file transfer service. I use wetransfer.com and pay for the PRO upgrade.

Once I have created your files, I would upload to wetransfer.com. They send you a link in an email. Clicking on that link takes you to a simple download page. This service is doubly useful as not only can I send files to you, you can forward those files to anybody you want, anywhere in the world as many times as you want. So if you have friends or family, anywhere, you can quickly and easily distribute your archive to them.