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Old 09-16-2010, 04:48 PM   #1
Roman
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Default ADVC-55 or ADVCmini?

I have a question regarding 2 products ADVC-55 and ADVCmini.
The thing is that I'm going to digitize some old VHS and Video 8 tapes.
I have MacBook PRO i7 (FireWire 800) and I need to buy video capture device to do that. I've decided it would be Grass Valley product but haven't decided which one.

With ADVC-55 for me everything is clear - I'll get DV content which I can save unchanged for further work or immediately make some changes/compilation and transode it to record on DVD or to H.264 to watch on my Mac or iPad/iPhone. Also it works with FireWire which is the best for uncompressed video transfer.

With ADVCmini everything is not so clear to me. It uses USB 2.0. Is it ok? Or it was made mainly because not all Mac/PC have FireWire? So is it a compromise?
Also regarding video format - it makes QuickTime. But I can't understand what resolution and compression. Is it enough for archiving for future edits or ok only for demonstration via Apple gadgets?

As price for these to devices is almost equal I'm now completely lost and your help and explanation will be highly appreciated.
Thank you!
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:35 PM   #2
dpalomaki
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Not being a Mac user, I would not know, but suggest you look at the features of each on the data sheets and see which is more likely to be more future proof in terms of being useful as time goes by and you upgrade or change your system.
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:45 PM   #3
Roman
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From the time wise perspective I think both these devices are equally good. Neither DV/FireWire or USB/QuickTime format will disappear in coming 5-7 years.

What I want to understand is what resolution I will have from ADVCmini in QuickTime (I didn't find that in product sheet) and does ADVCmini make same quality digital video as ADVC-55 in terms of storage and future edits.

These VHS/Video 8 won't last forever and I'd like to get rid of them and have only digital content.
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:50 PM   #4
dpalomaki
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Tape lasts a long time if reasonably stored. I have VHS tape recorded in ~1979 taht still plays abotuas good as it did back then, and some reel-to-reel audio tape dating to the 1960s. The bigger problem is likely to be finding a player for the tape.

Just looking at the specs, the ADVCmini is Mac-specific, which may or may not be a limitation for you, althought the bundled application offers some benefits in image adjustment.

The 55 gives you abuility to use it with a Windows PC, but you may have to go to the 300 to get the included filtering capability (and a bit more)

My guess is the quality/resolution potential of the conversion would probably be the same, and much better than typical VHS.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:10 PM   #5
Roman
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Thank you, this sounds reasonable.
But what can you say about format of digitized video?
DV is uncompresses codec and yes, it occupies a lot of space but it gives opportunity to return to it again in future and edit/transcode it to any format which may appear in future.

Regarding QuickTime it's not so obvious.
They don't indicate resolution and how video is compressed.
If it's same resolution as DV and low or no compression I'd go for ADVCmini.
If it's not then my choice would be ADVC-110 (ADVC-55 can't encode Audio separately and I need this option. ADVC-300 is too expensive for my project)

So I would appreciate if somebody can tell me more about ADVCmini and its video output format.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:08 AM   #6
GrassValley_BH
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DV is not uncompressed, it is compressed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DV
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:30 AM   #7
Roman
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Thank you for correction.
Anyway, DV is definetely enough to convert VHS/Video 8. And its parameters are clear to me where QuickTime parameters from ADVCmini aren't.
Maybe you can advice where else I can address to get an answer?

Thanks!
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:58 PM   #8
dpalomaki
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The release notes and othe odcumentation at:
http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advcmini
may provide the information you need with respect to use with FCP or iMovie.
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