Hi8 & Dig8 mm--> DVD NERO6 with NerovisionExpress3 video quality & audio sync problem

Hello I’m a newbie on CDFreaks and a pretty long time user of NERO6. This is a loaded post so my apologies for the length on my first outing here but I am stuck and I seek the advice of experts and appreciate your help greatly !

I have boxes of Hi8 and Digital 8 8mm family movies (dating back to 1992) that I have been converting to DVD using NERO6 and NeroVision Express 2. I have completed 40 or so DVDs and have a bunch more to go… I use Sony DCR TRV480 camcorder (plays 8mm analog and digital tapes) and a NEC 1394 firewire card and cable connected to the IBM computer. All has worked very well over the past year that we have been creating DVDs with chapters, etc., with fwe troubles (replaced 1394, etc)…

I have always, however, been a little bit disappointed at the ‘step down’ in video quality in creating the DVDs and playing them side by side with playing the 8mm tapes directly connected to the TV… I always chose DVD-Video in NeroVision Express 2 in capturing the video. I’m a bit picky as these are the videos of my kids and I want to preserve them to digital in as high quality as possible !

A week ago I downloaded NeroVision Express 3 (replaced NV Express 2) and we started using that SW to do this. On a recent digital tape conversion, the quality of the DVD copied video was considerably worse than I have ever seen. The images were not crisp and really lacked definition. I would say what we had before with NV Express 2 was at least ‘acceptable’; this is not… For the first time also, the audio on this tape was out of sync with the images (about halfway through the tape). On another tape the results were equally bad with less than VHS quality video - a real disappointment…

When I play these same exact tapes directly on the same camcorder connected to my TV or play them through the firewire card with NERO, they look excellent and play perfectly. The images are crisp and clear. It’s just when they’re captured to video and burned to DVD (using NERO) that they look really bad…

Couple of questions (some naive so beware !):

  • am I missing something on NeroVision Express 3 that is causing this ? It is really quite bad and I have stopped the conversions and am considering A) going back to NeroVision Express 2 or upgrading to NERO 7.

  • what in the heck is actually doing any digital-analog-digital conversion in my configuration for Hi8 analog and digital 8mm tapes ? I have played analog Hi8 mm tapes and digital tapes on this same Sony camcorder and they simply play on the NERO SW. I haven’t run any special SW for analog vs digital so I’m not sure if the camcorder itself does A-D for analog tapes… Does the firewire card have anything to do with this ??

  • Shouldn’t /can’t the digital 8mm tape be fed directly into the computer or is A-D conversion happening in either case ? What I mean to say is that the NV manual says you need ‘conversion’ SW before sending analog 8mm video to your computer but as far as I know I don’t have any. Shouldn’t this be easier/cleaner/better with the Digital 8 tapes? These ‘problem’ tapes are digital 8 - that is what is so surprising ?

  • I don’t know the exact date of the purchase of my first digital camcorder and I have always wondered how I can tell if my tapes are analog or digital.

  • How far off are we from getting mass market standard DVD HD burners ? I want to save these tapes and capture them to the highest quality possible and am wondering if I should just hold an a year if they are coming before completing this task with standard DVD ?

  • Does anyone know a reputable conversion house for tapes I have that won’t play at all on my camcorder ?

Thanks again for your help !!