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  1. #1
    Should I save to a hard drive?

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    Should I save to a hard drive?
    I am getting home movies on mini-dv tapes put on dvds through a service. I have the option of just getting the dvds or also getting digital files, which I was told I could keep on a hard drive so I would always have a backup. It will be about $140 extra to do so, plus the cost of a hard drive with at least 50 mb storage. Is it worth it?

    My concern is with changing technology. Could it be that the dvds one day won't have equipment to run on? Or could I just transfer the dvds without losing quality in the future to a different format of the future? If I buy digital files along with the dvd's, will those convert to anything in the future or might I have another outdated technology problem like with the mini-dv tapes? Will digital always be digital?

  2. #2
    Should I save to a hard drive?
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usingmac View Post
    I
    My concern is with changing technology. Could it be that the dvds one day won't have equipment to run on? Or could I just transfer the dvds without losing quality in the future to a different format of the future?
    What you're really asking is…can we predict the future. If I (or others) could accurately do this…we would all be making millions ($$$$$$$$) in the stock market!

    What I can tell you is:

    - Devices are still sold to convert/transfer music from old vinyl records to digital for enjoyment on our modern computers/electronic devices.
    - Devices are still sold to convert VHS video tapes into digital formats for use on our modern computers/electronic devices.

    HTH,

    * Nick
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  3. #3
    Should I save to a hard drive?

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    If those "home movies" are important to you, I'd get both the DVDs and spend the money on a large hard drive for the digital files you can keep safe somewhere.

    Those movies will someday, if not already, be priceless and well worth the money to store and keep them properly.

  4. #4
    Should I save to a hard drive?
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Do both DVD and external hard drive backups if they are at all valuable to you.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5
    Should I save to a hard drive?
    RadDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usingmac View Post
    I am getting home movies on mini-dv tapes put on dvds through a service. I have the option of just getting the dvds or also getting digital files, which I was told I could keep on a hard drive so I would always have a backup. It will be about $140 extra to do so, plus the cost of a hard drive with at least 50 mb storage. Is it worth it?

    My concern is with changing technology. Could it be that the dvds one day won't have equipment to run on?..............
    Well, as already stated if these are important family movies that you will want to show in the future, then some type of backup is indeed necessary. Now you have not told us: 1) How many hours of movies are being converted (50 MB of storage is pretty skimpy for movies); 2) What motion picture format is being used to transfer the movies to DVD; 3) Whether this format is using any copy protection (sure hope not if you're paying for the service); and 4) How are the 'digital files' different from the quality of the DVD data?

    If the DVDs provided to you are high-quality non-protected transfers then you should be able to make your own backups using a number of media/formats. Also, I suspect DVD technology will be around for a long time - even if replaced by BD all players will have backward compatibility - SO, redundant backups (maybe in several formats) would be the MOST important issue for you. Dave

    P.S. Hey all - just noticed - my 1000 post - do I get another badge?
    Last edited by RadDave; 08-09-2014 at 06:33 PM. Reason: P.S. added!

  6. #6
    Should I save to a hard drive?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RadDave View Post
    ...
    ... ... Dave

    P.S. Hey all - just noticed - my 1000 post - do I get another badge?


    Hey congratulations on your 1,000th post!! Yes, I'm sure someone will give you another badge.

    Maybe we should enter your name for a nomination here:
    http://www.ncdcr.gov/NCAwards/Nominations.aspx


  7. #7
    Should I save to a hard drive?
    cradom's Avatar
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    I wouldn't pay extra for 'digital copies'. Just get the DVD's and use Handbrake to put them on an external drive (hey, they're yours right?).
    Craig Domingue
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  8. #8
    Should I save to a hard drive?

    Member Since
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    Thanks for the help guys. Another thing I was concerned about was having problems making dvd's with the digital files, such as losing quality because apparently software that does this can be tricky. So am I better off just getting the dvd's, from which I can make more copies for backup later, though the originals may deteriorate, or just getting the digital files and making my own discs?

  9. #9
    Should I save to a hard drive?
    Rod Sprague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usingmac View Post
    Thanks for the help guys. Another thing I was concerned about was having problems making dvd's with the digital files, such as losing quality because apparently software that does this can be tricky. So am I better off just getting the dvd's, from which I can make more copies for backup later, though the originals may deteriorate, or just getting the digital files and making my own discs?
    I think that I agree with cradom. Get the copies in DVD form, use HandBrake to convert and save them in the best possible resolution eg. Apple TV3 and ensure that your entire computer is backed up to avoid loss. You can then safely store your DVD's away. Should you ever need to change the format you can use the originals again or convert the digital copies. The important point here is BACK UP everything. Too often in this forum we see people who have lost gigabits of valuable data all for the relatively low cost of an external HD backup. My heart goes out to them but I don't think this forum or any other could emphasize this point more clearly.
    If you were helped by this forum please add reputation points to that member by clicking on the "Thumbs Up" icon, bottom left corner of each thread. (Yes I know it's small)

  10. #10
    Should I save to a hard drive?

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    Are external hard drives expensive? Also, what do you mean about backing up my "whole computer"? And would copying the dvds to a hard drive be simple?

  11. #11
    Should I save to a hard drive?

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    I also just noticed that they are charging $25 a tape for a digital file and $35 a tape for dvd + digital file. So I think that means I can't just get dvds. Are these reasonable rates?

  12. #12
    Should I save to a hard drive?
    Slydude's Avatar
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    If these are DVDs that aren't copy protected (home movies and such) copying the DVDs to a hard drive is pretty simple. It would also be pretty simple to create basic DVDs if you have the digital files. Here's a few examples of how it's done. This is with free software but there are many programs out there that accomplish the same things.

    Convert DVDs to Video files

    Convert video files to DVD is just also pretty easy using programs such as Burn
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  13. #13
    Should I save to a hard drive?
    chas_m's Avatar
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    This may help clarify what you want to do: bear in mind there are two "types" of DVD -- "movie" DVDs that play in computers and most DVD players, and contain standard-definition video files in a compressed MPEG-2 format.

    Then there are "data" DVDs like we use for software installations and storage of our computer files and so forth. These DVDs preserve the data as a perfect digital copy -- no compression, no degradation (short of something happening to the DVD itself). With movies shot on digital cameras, this is a good way to preserve the original footage in its native format or an edit of the project in as "lossless" a format as possible for future use, but not for viewing.

    The mini-dv tapes (which you still have, and are a viable "backup" of the original footage until the earth's magnetic poles flip again) were shot at a native resolution of 720x480 (NTSC). So the creation of a "movie" DVD will not significantly degrade the original video, and its a perfectly good "backup" of the finished, edited movie. This will never look great on HDTVs and even worse on 4K TVs, but it is what it is until somebody genuinely comes up with SD-to-HD upscaling that is better than what we have today.

    If you think you will ever re-edit the project, preserve your original edit and footage on a data DVD. If you're sure you're done with editing, the "movie" DVD will be your permanent keepsake. I would expect that even if standard-definition DVD goes the way of the dodo, there will be a large window of those discs being readable so you should have plenty of time to convert it if ever needed.

    DVDs will be with us for a very long time. You can still buy a USB floppy drive, fer pete's sake, and who has used a floppy disc (except to recover old files) since the late 90s?

  14. #14
    Should I save to a hard drive?

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    So to sum up, what should I be asking the guy doing the transfer regarding the specs of the job?

  15. #15
    Should I save to a hard drive?
    Rod Sprague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usingmac View Post
    Are external hard drives expensive? Also, what do you mean about backing up my "whole computer"? And would copying the dvds to a hard drive be simple?
    Compared to the cost of data retrieval should your Mac HD crash the cost of an external USB HD for example is very cheap. 1 Tb should set you back about $150 - $200 max. You can simply use the Mac native backup app called Time Machine which will perform a complete backup automatically on a regular basis.
    If you were helped by this forum please add reputation points to that member by clicking on the "Thumbs Up" icon, bottom left corner of each thread. (Yes I know it's small)

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