Backup options?

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    • #39722

      I have a TON of VHS-C and Mini-Dv home video that I would like to start capturing to my PC. I’ve read that .avi is the best format to capture in but it creates HUGE files!

      I was just wondering what you guys ("The Experts") do to back up your precious memories and what types of storage do you use? I’m using a PC. Thanks

    • #171427

      The best way to do this is to buy an external hard drive and capture the AVI files directly to this drive. The size of an AVI file is about 1 gig per 5 minutes. So an 80 gig external hard drive will hold about 6 hours of footage.

      80 gig drive = $50 – $80 6 hours
      160 gig drive = $80 – $100 12 hours
      250 gig drive = $90 – $120 20 hours
      500 gig drive = $200 – $250 40 hours

      if you have the extra space on the drive you already have than use that one but remember that you will probably run out of space eventually and will have to transfer your video to another drive anyway.

      I foud that Sams Club, Costco and pc club have the best prices for hard drives. If there is a Fryers Electronics in your area go there! If you do enough research you may be able to find hard drives that are 50% – 70% less.

      When you capture video on a PC it automatically makes an AVI. (Microsoft DV AVI) If you want to convert the file to a smaller size format like WMV you will have to get a conversion program and load all the AVI files and convert them. This will take forever and you will reduce the quality of the video depending on the conversion settings. In addition, if you plan on editing the WMV files in the future you will have to convert the files back to AVI or spend hours rendering the WMV in the NLE. This will also cause more quality loss. If you continue to convert files over and over again you will eventually end up with fuzzy digital artifacts. There are ways to capture directly to other types of smaller size formats but it can be confusing, require additional equipment and you will still have the problem of quality loss.

      So…I recommend storing your precious moments in AVI. It is well worth the cost. Also, store the original tapes in a cool dry place and keep them as air tight as possible….especially the VHS-C.

      Best Regards,


    • #171428

      My suggest would be to buy an external hard drive kit — one that lets you change out the drives when you want/need to. I have 2 Belkin kits ( Takes about 5 minutes to swap out drives. The only drawback to the Belkin kit is it has an internal IDE interface, but since I use them for storage that hasn’t been a problem.

      Corey is right — if there is a Fry Electronics in your area go there — I picked up a 400GB WD for $99 during one of their sales. You should also check out I’ve been using them for years. Great prices. I was just out there and they were showing an external 250GB Seagate for $80 and an internal 500GB WDC (IDE) for $105 plus $5 shipping.

      Good luck.

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