Storing video for the future - purchasing advice needed


Standard Member
Just bought an HDC-SD900 after my old Sony DV camcorder has become a bit poorly after 9 years good use (dead row of pixels on sensor).

The problem is, I'm a bit behind the times with the rest of my equipment:

CRT Television (Very nice Samsung - I won't replace it 'til it dies !)
Non HDMI Home Cinema amp (£600 Yamaha - love it to bits...)
Standard DVD Player (Top Sony model)
Standard DVD writer, Pinnacle DV1000 capture card/Premiere 6.5 on the PC (high spec - OK for editing AVCHD format with HD-Writer 3.0, Premiere no use to me any more, nor the Pinnacle card :( )

In other words, the true world of HD/Blu-Ray/HDMI is no-where on my horizon :rolleyes:

At present, I'm just copying my captured videos from the PC onto standard DVD-DL media via the HD-Writer 3.0 software just so that my family can watch them on the TV. The results are superior to my old Sony camera, thanks to awsome image stabiliser, optics and sensor. So I'm happy enough for now.

But I need to decide how to store my precious family videos in a 'future-proof' format before my PC's HDD fills up. I could just buy a 1TB portable HDD and archive everything, but I'd worry about that device failing (my previous 'process' at home was to keep all original DV tapes safe, keep the captured video files on the PC and also keep the output DVDs - i.e. a 3 fold archive)

Should I just purchase a Blu-Ray writer for the PC, get some BD writeable media and output my home videos onto that format, knowing that one day I will buy a full-HD TV and Blu-Ray player ? In the meantime, my family would just have to watch these on the PC, which has a very nice monitor, so isn't a problem.

My other question is about which format to record videos in. Should I bother with 1080/50p or just stick to AVCHD - bearing in mind, I want the best quality possible for the future. I'm not sure which of these two best fits the Blu-Ray / Full HD standards.

If you've read this far, thanks for listening !
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Distinguished Member
Many folk trust external HDD drives and prices are quite can keep the original SD memory as well, at least until you have an established filing system....

Optical discs that we "write" are not really "Archive" due to the possibility of further writing/scratching - at least a HDD is fairly safe in its box....but you need to store it (cool/Dry) somewhere away from magnetic fields and protect it from any mechanical shocks. Electrical failure is possible, so buy pairs of HDD, so their electronics "could" be swapped, to retrieve Data.
Try to protect from lightning and fire....not easy, so really precious stuff could be duplicated and stored somewhere else, that's equally safe.

All IMHO.......


Active Member
You can get a 1tb external drive (not the portable ones) for under 50quid and burn some DVDs as a back-back-up. Hard drives do fail for no reason with no warning. It's rare but it does happen.


Standard Member
Thanks for the reply - that's top advice.

What about the recording format then ?

If I stick to the default setting of AVCHD, will I regret that in future ?

Will 1080/50p become the 'norm' in future, thus rendering AVCHD as inferior ? Or is it just a luxury for those with very expensive TVs ?


Active Member
I keep as much of my footage as raw as I can. I've compressed some of my old DV footage, using Handbrake, to make it a bit less cumbersome. As a rule, shoot the highest quality you can and archive it as it is.

Sony and Panasonic are throwing their weight behind AVCHD so it won't be going anywhere soon. I expect it will remain an HD camcorder standard without ever becoming a domestic video file standard.

Higher framerates and resolutions will trickle down eventually but the first feature film to have it is likely to be Avatar2 in a couple of years. I don't expect it in the home until the format that replaces BluRay even though BluRay could handle it with a firmware update.


Distinguished Member
Make your pics the best you can,
record them at best
store them without re-encoding them

I agree HDD can fail (anything can), that's why I suggested buying Pairs of HDD, so the electronics could be swapped to recover data. Provided you don't drop the HDD they are pretty reliable and I suggest they are "better" than CD/DVD/BR alternatives, although storing data in several locations (dry/cool) is always a good policy.
AVCHD does appear to be a "standard" and with a decent PC should present no problems in reading after LT-storage. It might be a good idea to store (on the HDD) a program that will read/(display movies) your files, so in the future you can watch them. But I doubt that format will die completely.
It could depend on the next technology - SD cards are getting larger and who knows - there may be a 10x tech (+cheaper!), round the corner - which would determine the file-format.
Good luck.

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