Rescuing videotapes for the future

With 50 videotapes of our wedding, the kids, family events and more (thank God they’re already digital on miniDV), I’ve become increasingly concerned that — since videotape has a finite shelf life before color fades and dropouts increase dramatically — it was time to get the video off to a digital format and ensure longevity.

I’ve been slowly-but-surely dumping some select videotapes on to mycomputer (a Powermac with an external Maxtor 250GB hard drive just forvideo), but hours of video sucks up A LOT of space. I’ve been using Apples iDVD to make ’em in to DVD’s after using iMovie to edit the videos…but it takes an hour of real-time transfer per tape and I thought, “there’s got to be a better way.”

Though they’ve been out for awhile, I’ve started some seriousinvestigation on DVD Recorders. Why? Taking either component or S-Videoout from the miniDV camcorder, connecting it to the DVD Recorder and pressing “record”, it’s supposedly a simple matter to transfer video to DVD and do so fast. Once on a recorded DVD, it’ll be easy for me to then suck the video off the DVD on to my computer for editing with iMovie and use iDVD for those special videos I want to make in to keepsakes.

So here’s the DVD Recorder I’ve asked for for my birthday or Christmas: Toshiba | D-KR2: DVD Recorder (I know, I know…they have one with a hard drive, but I really only need the recording capability. The HD is great for making multiple copies, but I can do that with my computer).

UPDATE 12/18/04: I discovered today while seeing this unit in person (“Borsch…ever think of reading the specs!?!”) that this recorder also has a Firewire input! This means no digital-to-analog-to-digital conversion will happen from my miniDV camera to the DVD recorder. Digital-to-digital is a beautiful thing.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.