I want to convert and archive movies captured with mini DV tapes. Videos are family movies.

Native format in dvvideo is huge (about 220 MB/min).

So I am willing to accept video compression but I want to keep the possibility of video montage afterwards.

I am looking for a interoperable and durable video format.

So far my searches have me led to :

  • H264 (default crf:23 - typical values 18 to 28)

  • H265 (default crf:28 - typical values ...)

I am looking for recommandation for the video format and constant rate factor (crf) to use, and any return of experience.

Thanks for your advices.


  • 1
    Hard drives are cheap. I would not convert DV videos, but would store as is. If you insist on converting, I would at least deinterlace them using the best tools available running at the best quality setting, so as not to burden your editing system with deinterlacing and to achieve the best result possible.
    – Rusty Core
    Apr 13, 2020 at 21:25
  • The authoritative answer on this will be from museums, library sciences, and historic preservation societies. You want something you'll be able to read in the future, so open standards are more reliable than proprietary ones. Bit rot is real, so you'll need something that's resistant to errors. Storage cost goes down over time, and compression algorithms get more advanced with time, it's best to archive in an uncompressed format. Native formats always seem huge now, but you'll laugh at what seemed huge in just a few years. H.26x is a bad choice. Sep 11, 2020 at 12:12

1 Answer 1


I think that your choose are good.

H264 will be a bit huge in compare with H265, but will be supportable for more devices at this moment.

CRF you can get experimentally. Less CRF is better quality but bigger size of the file.

Also you can use bitrate settings instead of CRF. You can Focus on data from video recommendations for YouTube - https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en

I use approx 8Mbit/s for 1080p, 5Mbit/s for 720p and 1-2 Mbit/s for 480p.

If you need a good quality for video editing and all the videos were recorded on a good camera and you want to do color grading with your videos you can save them in Apple ProRes or Cinegy Daniel 2 or another losless or low compression codec.

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    Converting to ProRes or Daniel will take up as much room as just copying the DV stream, and won't improve the result. Buy a portable harddrive — even a cheap portable hard drive should be able to keep up with DV speeds these days, it's only 25Mbs
    – stib
    Apr 14, 2020 at 2:24
  • @stib you should turn this into an answer
    – tomh
    May 10, 2021 at 10:18
  • @stib Daniel2 codec is lossless, but it have compession and it will take less space on the drive, but work with uncompressed material will be good too, I agree with you. But it will work good for DV. 1 minute of uncompressed 1920x1080 video will take as much space as 1 hour of NTSC DV video. Approx. Nov 11, 2021 at 4:18

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