It would seem I've hijacked this thread completely. I will start a separate thread about the bootlegs if anyone calls for it.
Anyway, I'd just like to update everyone on how the DVD conversions are getting along.
Let me tell you, I have elected not to do any post-processing on these. I made a few valiant efforts, but my learing curve with Avisynth is too steep, and it would only delay the release of these by months.
With regards to the Jedi cam, well, you can't polish a you-know-what. It may benefit from some stabilizing, but I won't bother. All I've done is crop out the noisy edges and centered the image, leaving the image slightly windowboxed. It shouldn't show up on most monitors. Encoded to DVD5 and ready to go.
The Empire boot had a lot more going for it. However, I must insist you all lower your expectations. The clip I uploaded was small, and from a portion of the tape with few tracking related errors.
I have experimented with both Avisynth and Virtualdub to eliminate/reduce the excessive telecine wobble, with little effect. Granted, my skills are pitiful, but the wobble is off the charts in some places. Someone else may give it a shot down the road. Also, the first 45 minutes suffer from tracking related noise along the bottom of the image. This could also be lessened by some clever scripting, but... Last, the way I "captured" these from Beta was with a budget model DVD/HD recorder. It has the annoying knack of pausing the recording whenever the image goes out of synch (tracking, or tape damage), missing out on a few frames here and there. You'll notice the "Nerfherder" rant being cut off mid-sentence.
The one major snag is that the wobble wreaks havoc with my encoder (TMPEG) and targeted bitrate, and causes some stuttering on playback from time to time. I may attempt a re-encode using a different encoder, but at this point I may not bother.
So, if I haven't put you all completely off these transfers, I'll have them out in a couple of weeks. To-do list: Burn to single-layer DVDs, ship to accomodating forum member, wait for him to upload.
At the moment, it is my intention to design covers for these, just because I'm looking for an excuse to get me on the custom cover bandwagon. (I moonlight as a graphic designer and illustrator). If I manage (timewise) I'll enclose them in a DVDROM folder and/or upload them here.