Format for archiving home video



I am capturing home video from a MiniDV Tape camera using Windows Movie Maker via Firewire. When the software asks me which format I want to save the captured video in, there are a plethora of choices. It seems that AVI format takes up the most space (about 10GB per hour), therefore I assume this format retains the greatest amount of original data from the tape in the camera.
Based on this I’m assuming that to archive my raw tapes for editing and burning back to various media in various formats in the future, that AVI is the best format in which to save my files. Does this make sense? I don’t want to archive all my footage in a format that limits me in the future or loses quality.


AVI is the best format to save it to in most circumstances. I have a capture card that automatically converts it to mpeg2 for me, so all I have to do is render it to dvd format, and that saves some time. But if you save to mpeg2 format and want to extract still frames for converting to photos, you will notice some quality loss.


You could give VirtualDub a try. It should be able to capture the video & you can then save it as an avi file using codec compression. I’d recommend Xvid and you should get a decent quality avi file at about 700mb per hour. Obviously you’ll have to play with the codecs settings - a bit of trial & error.