How to transfer from HVR A1E to Blu-Ray/Similar?

HDR-HC9 (2008). HDR-HC5, HDR-HC7 (2007). HDR-HC3 (2006). HDR-HC1 / HVR-A1 (2005).
Shoulder-mount HVR-HD1000.
chrisrr
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How to transfer from HVR A1E to Blu-Ray/Similar?

Postby chrisrr » 04 Sep 2010 11:04

Hi Everyone - again!

Apologies for asking what you probably think is a basic question, but I could do with some guidance again.
I want to transfer all my HD footage onto disc or something that will help to preserve, as well as back up, precious hours of the past. I have just bought a brand new Panasonic BS 850 Blu-Ray recorder in the hope that I could do exactly that. But it seems it will only accept AVCHD (?) footage. So I've dropped a bollock with that, but the recorder is superb so no major worries I suppose. It doesn't (unless you can show me how to by-pass that restriction) solve my problem though. So how can I get my HD(V) footage onto the Panasonic? OR how can I get the footage from dozens of tapes onto Blu-Ray or similar? Is there a way to get it from the HVR-A1E onto anything, whilst preserving the HD quality? I can transfer it to a hard drive DVD recorder (thanks to help from this forum), but that won't store it as HD will it?

Sorry to ramble, but I'd appreciate any help.
All the best to you all,
Cheers
Chris

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Stephan
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Re: How to transfer from HVR A1E to Blu-Ray/Similar?

Postby Stephan » 04 Sep 2010 13:56

Hello,

It's alright, handling large quantities of video is no easy question.

Yes, apparently the Panasonic DMR-BS850 will only take standard definition DV through its Firewire "DV IN" interface, and will only take high definition as AVCHD. No luck, end of story as it seems.

If you want your HDV contents onto blu-rays, you'll have to go the standard route of capturing your tapes on your computer, then use blu-ray authoring software with a dedicated blu-ray burner (not your BS850).

If you want your HDV onto 'just anything', the Playstation 3 works fine. It will only take 4GB files (FAT32 limitation), so you need to split your tapes into multiple files. Or you might put them on a USB hard disk that you connect to the PS3, although I never tested that option myself.

Or get a cheaper multimedia disk, Western Digital does some.

But in any case you will need to capture your video onto your computer first.

That would only help you view your video. As for backing up those 'precious hours', make sure you copy all that onto multiple hard disks, because hard disks do fail. Your video is safest on tapes. The trouble is, camcorders and tape transports do fail too (more often than not), and HDV camcorders are going the way of the dodo. So the jury is still out about which way is safest on the longer term.

PS: a standard definition DVD recorder will *not* retain high definition.

chrisrr
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Re: How to transfer from HVR A1E to Blu-Ray/Similar?

Postby chrisrr » 07 Sep 2010 20:27

Stephen! My apologies for such a late acknowledgement of your kind post and help. I was thinking I had not had any replies as no notifications had come through but that notification had been sent to the Spam folder!

What you tell me is what I feared, but thanks again for putting me straight.

I'm intrigued by your PS3 suggestion? If you get a minute I'd love to know what that means as we do have an under-used PS3 here.
Also, (I'm sorry!) can you let me know what program (I use Macs) people use (Toast?) to burn BDs, and what BD Burners people seem to recommend?

Do you need to put the video through something like Final Cut Pro/Express etc before burning? Or does Toast allow you to capture and burn directly?

I feel we have gone back a few steps with this HD technology as we have become so blase about burning regular SD video onto DVD's - no good for HD I do understand.

Any help from anyone greatly appreciated!

Cheers
Chris

chrisrr
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Re: How to transfer from HVR A1E to Blu-Ray/Similar?

Postby chrisrr » 07 Sep 2010 21:12

Second apology - Stephan. Not Stephen, I apologise!

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Stephan
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Re: How to transfer from HVR A1E to Blu-Ray/Similar?

Postby Stephan » 07 Sep 2010 22:54

Hello Chris,

On Macs, Roxio Toast is fine software indeed for burning blu-rays. I do not know which blu-ray burners are supported, though. Toast is popular software, check if there are any burners that are bundled with Roxio so you have your answer.

Before buying a blu-ray burner, I believe there's also an intermediate route with Roxio which allows you to burn high-definition video onto a regular DVD media that's only going to be readable by special readers (among them the Playstation 3 I believe). Confusing I know - this is incompatible with ordinary DVD players, it's like writing blu-ray contents on a DVD physical wafer (with much shorter playing duration). So if you have a recent version of Toast, that's maybe something you may want to test (and train yourself with) at no additional cost.

I doubt you can avoid using Final Cut, as I don't think Toast can capture HDV from a camcorder. But I may be wrong.

About the Playstation 3, what you want to do is:
1) Use Final Cut to capture your video onto your Mac,
2) Then output an HDV file (simplest and most secure option, that's 1440x1080 MPEG2 video @ 25 Mbps constant bit rate) or an AVCHD file. There must be an encoding preset somewhere to use in Final Cut.
3) Then move the file onto your Playstation 3 and play.

Regarding the overall Mac workflow (how you capture your video all the way through Final Cut / Toast / blu-ray or PS3), sorry - I'm afraid I can't help you further as I'm on PC. I hope someone else can. Our Mac expert here is klenkfilm ordinarily, but I haven't seen him for a while, and Doughie will have little time available in the next coming days, so just wait a while longer maybe.

Hope this helps in giving you ideas how to proceed, anyway. Cheers

chrisrr
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Re: How to transfer from HVR A1E to Blu-Ray/Similar?

Postby chrisrr » 07 Sep 2010 23:07

Stephan you're an absolute star.

Thank you very much indeed. I'll get a copy of Toast and follow your advice.
Very much appreciated.
Best wishes

Chris

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Stephan
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Re: How to transfer from HVR A1E to Blu-Ray/Similar?

Postby Stephan » 08 Sep 2010 07:56

Side note - check this thread in our Editing forum: Roxio Toast - Titanium, maybe dlowery might have more tips for you :-) (that's what the Editing forum is for)

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Re: How to transfer from HVR A1E to Blu-Ray/Similar?

Postby dlowery » 08 Sep 2010 16:18

Hi Chris,

I also use Mac (both mackbook pro and iMac). I edit mostly with the iMac using Final Cut.
I was going to post a link to a thread I posted about Roxio Toast "Titanium" and Stephan has already posted it.

I suggest that you check it out. I have purchased Roxio Titanium and have actually burned discs as suggested on the link, and it really does work.

The problem with transfering HD footage is that you either need HDMI or Firewire. In fact my HVR HD1000U will not even transfer files unless it's via HDMI or Firewire.
I don't think you can transfer to an external hard drive because I don't think they have Firewire connection, I could be wrong though?????

You can burn the raw footage to DVD using Roxio Titanium, but I don't know if you will be able to import and edit down the road from that DVD as I have never done that.

Transfer from HVR-A1E to your Mac via Firewire then burn to DVD with Titanium, that's the solution I see at this point. If you have dozens of tapes it's no doubt going to be a long process.

Hope this at least helps a little.

"D"

chrisrr
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Re: How to transfer from HVR A1E to Blu-Ray/Similar?

Postby chrisrr » 09 Sep 2010 19:44

Hi D,

That's great and very helpful indeed, thank you.

I've had a look at the video of using Roxio to DVD which is great but you can only burn 20 minutes of HD video at a throw. That's better than the situation I have at the moment, but it would take forever and might actually create more work than it's worth. I'd have 3 DVD discs for every HD tape I currently have. I'm gutted that at the moment, you can't transfer tape - any tape - onto a BD type hard drive and then onto disc. When I saw the TV commercial by Panasonic, that is precisely what they said. No doubt there was some small print at the bottom of the screen that said along the lines of:
"Don't rush out like a pillock and buy one of these rascals unless you have already rushed out and bought a Panasonic AVCHD camera because you will be mighty gutted when you realise you can't transfer your precious hours from a Sony HDV camera which is what this advert implies..."

Never mind. Not the first time I've been tricked and probably not the last.

I really appreciate your time and help - thank you!
Cheers
Chris


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