DV/DVCAM compression is 5:1. Compression is done by the hardware. It looks for adjacent pixels with the same colors that take up a lot of space, and assigns them mathematical values. Unlike software compression (QuickTime) and variable rate hardware compression (Avid AVR75which was around 3:1), hardware compression of DV/DVCAM is fixed. This results in a better image. With variable compression, complex scenes sometimes have more grain or jagged “artifacts” than simple scenes. (A complex scene would be one with a lot of detail, like trees against a blue sky. A simple scene would be a close-up of a face.)
How Many Hard Drives Do I Need? DV FireWire/IEEE 1394 requires 240 Megabytes of hard drive space per minute. Here’s a brief chart to help calculate your storage requirements:
Recent improvements make FireWire drives the easiest external add-on option. SCSI or IDE drives will also work, of course.