Latest post Thu, Nov 9 2017 8:10 AM by werick. 3 replies.
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  • Mon, Oct 30 2017 1:44 PM

    • Robert B
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    • Los Angeles
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    Best miniDV deck for personal archival project in 2017?

    I have a box with over 1000 mini-dv tapes shot with a Canon XL1. I'd like to transfer a portion of them and, given the fact it is 2017, I thought I would just buy/rent a used broadcast deck rather than try to find an XL1 with low head hours.

    I do not want to ingest through firewire as I expect to encounter a good number of TC breaks exacerbated by the age of the tapes-- also I genuinely hate firewire. I'd rather capture through SDI directly to my Shogun recorder into DNXHD; I don't care about maintaining original timecode. 

    Here is my planned signal flow: DV deck w/SDI--> SDI to HDSDI upconverter --> Atomos Shogun -- 1080i DNXHD

    I'm leaning toward a Sony DSR1500a or DSR2000. Any other recommendations- especially decks more forgiving with MiniDV tapes? 


    Any advice is appreciated!




    OFFICE: 3.5 GHz Core i7 Late 2013 Imac running OSX 10.11 with 32GB RAM. NVIDIA GTX 780M 4096 MB. Avid Media Composer 8.5/ Pro Tools 12.4 MOBILE: 17"... [view my complete system specs]
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  • Fri, Nov 3 2017 8:45 PM In reply to

    • DStone
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on Fri, Nov 4 2005
    • Massachusetts
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    • Moderator: Media Composer Getting Started

    Re: Best miniDV deck for personal archival project in 2017?

    The DSR-1500A and DSR-2000 are nice decks, but you'll be lucky to find one with total drum hour less than 1000 hours (don't necessarily trust the H02 and H03 numbers; you really want the H12 and H13 numbers if you can get them). And check out the operation time (H01). Even if the drum hours are low, if the thing has been on for 5000 hours and threaded for 2500 of them, then you know the electronics are pretty aged.

    How many of your tapes are you trying to save? if it's 30 or 40, then it probably doesn't make much of a difference. If it's 500 tapes, then you will be adding that much more stress to a likely well used machine.

    Of course, if you don't mind spending about $1000, you can probably find one with under 100 hours total operation time.

    Frankly I'd rent one if I could find a well maintained unit. Unfortunately, depending on how many tapes you have, this may not be an economical solution either. These things rent in the $100+/day range.

    DIY quad core I7-4790K, 32Gb, NVidia GTX 970 4GB, Win 10 Pro, MC(generally the latest or the one just before), MC 7.x [view my complete system specs]

    Dave S.

  • Fri, Nov 3 2017 10:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Best miniDV deck for personal archival project in 2017?

    Another option would be to look for the newer HDV decks.  Something like the Sony HVR 1500.  For me this deck offers the advantage of SDI output,  (avoiding the increasing Firewire limitaions of newer computers.   I am also a fan of having 9 pin machine control. 

    As these decks are more recent releases than most DV decks finding ones with lower hours could be easier.  (In my case the HVR deck here has clocked a 20th of the hours that my DSR has.) 

  • Thu, Nov 9 2017 8:10 AM In reply to

    • werick
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    • Joined on Wed, Nov 8 2017
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    Re: Best miniDV deck for personal archival project in 2017?

    +1 on investing on a newer deck. You will get more features.

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