Camcorder connections - confused - help please...

GE90

Active Member
Hi all

Getting just a bit frustrated trying to connect a camcorder to a DVD player/recorder (not computer drive - connected to tv), and would appreciate some guidance from someone more knowledgeble than me...!

Have a new Panasonic SD90 HD camcorder, and need to connect to my DVD recorder to record straight to disc by DV. Did this with my old Sony camcorder with a lead, worked great. New camera - no DV cable! Anyone know what I should get? i.e. mini USB to DV, mini HDMI to DV.....? Cannot seem to find either!

I have even read the manual, and still no clearer!

Cheers!
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Few here will record raw footage, but I think you need a mini HDMI at the camera-end and whatever the DVD recorder needs - ideally HDMI but older ones have SCART - so you'll need an interface to generate the sync. that's my understanding.

I'm surprised Pana doesn't show this connection to a modern TV.... in the manual... along with a very expensive Part-No.

Most folk will take the SDHC card out of the camera and put that in the PC -saving clips to second SATA- HDD.
Then using an Editor to remove the wobbly bits and bits where people a messing about. (or walking in front of the camera!). Then you Render it and burn a DVD - this will play in yr player/TV combo. Do not use the PC to replay clips, other than to check content as sync issues will occur.

I understand you don't want the bother, but sooner or later you will want to clean-up the vids to make them more-watchable. -OR- are these security-files, so you want warts and all, perhaps?
 

GE90

Active Member
Hi

First, many thanks for taking the time to respond.

I can connect to the TV via HDMI, but I assume that I cannot record with the DVD recorder this way?

While I am beginning to realise that the way this is now done it on the PC, I have had a look at the software that came with the camcorder, and just don’t find it at all easy! Would rather still try and use the DVD recorder direct if possible.

As I see it, the camcorder has a small USB connection, along with multi AV and mini HDMI, but the fairly new Sony DVD recorder only seems to have an option to dub using its DV connection (meaning that if I plugged the recorder into a back HDMI socket, even if this did accept an input, there is no option to dub this way).

As a last resort I have started to look for a Sony DVD recorder with SD slot, assuming that I can dub this way, but cannot seem to find one.

Any further help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks again.
 

chrishull3

Well-known Member
pretty certain your only option with a card non tape type cam is to use the standard av out as hdmi and component are output only and will not input video.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
DV is a compression codec used on DV camcorders. Capture of full DV quality requires a firewire interface (iee1394). The OP's DVD recorder clearly has this connection.

DVD recorders can't record HD anyway.

Modern HD camcorders use a much more efficient mpeg compression codec (AVC/H264) and output their recording files over usb or by simply transferring the flash memory to a pc.

If the OP wan't to create DVD's from HD recordings directly he will have to use a analogue low quality output from the camcorder. This will normally be a AV lead with Yellow (CVBS video) and Red/White analogue audio.

Bit like using a Rolls Royce for collecting dustbins :D

Only wat to do justice to the quality is transfer to a PC and create DVD's from a decent editing programme.
 

GE90

Active Member
Thanks Chris....

So SD card camcorders don't tend to have DV connection? How does AV connection work - high quality (I don't have a Blue Ray recorded, so realise I won't have HD)?

Just not sure that the Sony DVD recorder will be able to record this way, as in the menu only seems to have DV recording/dubbing. Maybe press play and camcorder then record on DVD recorder - the old fashioned way....?

Thanks, but still confused....!
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Few here will record raw footage, but I think you need a mini HDMI at the camera-end and whatever the DVD recorder needs - ideally HDMI but older ones have SCART - so you'll need an interface to generate the sync. that's my understanding.

?

No recorder has hdmi inputs, DVD recorders will only record analogue inputs and in SD. Blu-ray recorders sometimes have SD card slots that can record directly from a camcorder SD cards digitally. There are none that will record from HDMI. To record a HDMI output requires conversion from digital to analogue component using a hdcp capable converter (Hdfury2 for instance) and HD PVR like the Hauppage model.
 

GE90

Active Member
DV is a compression codec used on DV camcorders. Capture of full DV quality requires a firewire interface (iee1394). The OP's DVD recorder clearly has this connection.

DVD recorders can't record HD anyway.

Modern HD camcorders use a much more efficient mpeg compression codec (AVC/H264) and output their recording files over usb or by simply transferring the flash memory to a pc.

If the OP wan't to create DVD's from HD recordings directly he will have to use a analogue low quality output from the camcorder. This will normally be a AV lead with Yellow (CVBS video) and Red/White analogue audio.

Bit like using a Rolls Royce for collecting dustbins :D

Only wat to do justice to the quality is transfer to a PC and create DVD's from a decent editing programme.

OK, thanks Graham, this is really very helpful! Can you recommend a simple program to use please? Also, what format should I select, as I want to be able to play in any DVD player at best quality possible. Can I begin to build a project and then save to a disc when have eniguh to fill a disc? I did use DVD-R - still the one to use?

Thanks Graham!
 

chrishull3

Well-known Member
Thanks Chris....

So SD card camcorders don't tend to have DV connection? How does AV connection work - high quality (I don't have a Blue Ray recorded, so realise I won't have HD)?

Just not sure that the Sony DVD recorder will be able to record this way, as in the menu only seems to have DV recording/dubbing. Maybe press play and camcorder then record on DVD recorder - the old fashioned way....?

Thanks, but still confused....!

well i was wrong and i dont think you are going to be able to playback and record into a DVD recorder with a card cam without the convertors,this was the advantage of tape.
 
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GE90

Active Member
Sony have just responded to say that this is possible via USB....? Maybe they are referring to non-SD card camcorders....?
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Sony have just responded to say that this is possible via USB....? Maybe they are referring to non-SD card camcorders....?

You can buy standalone DVD recorders for camcorders they are different to a normal DVDR which won't normally have usb inputs it can record from.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
OK, thanks Graham, this is really very helpful! Can you recommend a simple program to use please? Also, what format should I select, as I want to be able to play in any DVD player at best quality possible. Can I begin to build a project and then save to a disc when have eniguh to fill a disc? I did use DVD-R - still the one to use?

Thanks Graham!


Lots of packages out there with trial downloads. I use Magix Edit Pro MX Premium mostly though I also have Sony Vegas. The former has built in DVD authoring.

By far the easiest way is to use the camcorder mpeg2 720 x 576 preset as this matches the DVD standard. Most PC's won't have a problem editing this.

Problem with this you won't have the High Definition content for later use when you get kit that can handle it.

The downside of using HD content

You will need a modern PC to handle it

The footage will need downsampling to 720 x 576 and 25fps, this is a long process especially on a under specced PC.

If I have to produce DVDs as well as HD content I batch convert the HD clips to 720 x 576 so I have 2 copies of the clips. Using a technique known as proxy editing I use an editor to edit the sd clips and prduce a DVD. I then substitute the HD clips, all the transistions etc are remembered by the editor and the output is then burnt to AVCHD (HD on a DVD blank) or blu-ray.

Perhaps a bit advanced for a beginner in using a NLE (Non Linear Editor)
 

chrishull3

Well-known Member
it was doubtful without an adaptor,cant you get a laptop if you dont want a full pc,i obviously know hdmi is digital and phono ANALOGUE
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
it was doubtful without an adaptor,cant you get a laptop if you dont want a full pc,i obviously know hdmi is digital and phono ANALOGUE

Without a dac how could it ever work :confused:
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
I'd forget the software that comes with the camcorder, it's there so the salesman can tell you it's in the box and you go away. (Cynic speaking!).
I've only used Vegas Studio (although for one day I did download Windows Live moviemaker- which handles HD - it's free and it shows...ugh!
Studio v10 with DVD recording program - Sony calls it Architect....Huh! is typically under £20 - a bargain of the Year....but for about £30 extra you can get Studio v11 which will do 3D (not that...) and has an animation feature for the Text [DYOR]. as it's a small part of your camera-investment, I'd go for that and you won't wish you'd bought it in 6months when it all starts to fit into place.

It is not easy - editing is an acquired skill, and getting round the tech of a program will take time.....but with a decent PC (Min. dual core, better Quad and 4G of RAM for 32-bit Win7 operation.....Studio is a 32-bit prog and I read complaints if run on 64, but supect there is something else causing their problem.

You haven't said what the camcorder is used for.... if it's family then using an Editor is a must to cut between scenes to make the thing jolly along.
Proxy Editing doesn't need to feature - it's too techy, any modern PC will handle HD Video - provided you have a dedicated SATA HDD - typically 2Tb - but their price has jumped recently..... bear that in mind and do not use USB-connected HDD, excepting as a back-up, dup.

This is the routine.
Put the SDHC camcorder card in the PC, select all - this is under "Stream" which is burried under other odd names....just poke about and you'll find it. There will be all the vids. Select all, Copy and then make a folder on the (second) HDD "December 2011" and paste - this can take a long time, but if you copy half a dozen to check, first. It will be over in a little more than a long "blink".
Next you open Vegas and it will try to give you a tutorial - very useful...follow and learn...then I think it allows you to load some of your own vids (off the HDD). When they are in Vegas Studio.. you can drag them to the timeline and play them in he rather rough "preview" window....don't expect full quality at this stage.
You'll have to learn about the Editing Perocess - the "production Suite" version comes with SoundForge (an Audio prog, useful for amplifying quiet bits) and a 1hr DVD which whisks you round the controls. Also on Sony website there are many tutorials . . . and as a bonus you can download a trial for 30days, but I'd be inclined to buy cheaply Studio PS v11 (Amazon) and get stuck in. A "Trial" might cause problems. That's my take.

BTW burning a DVD is an experience in itself, not at all easy, but you will get to fathom it.

Word of warning Vid Editors use a huge amount of HDD space, so if you haven't got oodles spare (under "properties") get another SATA HDD fitted. Studio will attempt to fill-up your C-drive, so best to shift all vid. program storage to the new disc. This can be confusing in itself.
___Don't be tempted with Magix "Easy" it's worse than "WLMM" and about the same price as Studio. Other Magix Editors have a good following, but Studio has a certain "cachet" since sony make pro cameras and Studio is the "Lite" version of Vegas Pro - ideed that's where it got the animated titler from.
Compared with the Pro-version( ~£450), Studio is plenty good enough, IMHO.

Hope that helps.
 
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GE90

Active Member
Really grateful for your reply - I'll take time to read it and digest properly.

Sony are insisiting that the USB will work. When I connect the camcorder, I get a choice of Recorder or PC, and when I select either, I get a msg saying that the camera is controlled through the Recorder. However, when I enter the HDD-Cam Dubbing menu on the Recorder, it is greyed out.

The component selection works though, but the quality is definately poor.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Unless it suits you, I'd ignore the USB connection except for emergencies - take the card out, plug it into the card-slot on the PC.
M/c often don't work together, as you have found.
- what's wrong with plugging the card into the PC?

BTW you haven't told us yr PC's spec. . . . . could be interesting.
 
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GE90

Active Member
I am been keen on prusuing the direct Recorder download as it is what I am familiar with, and after trying the HD Writer software that came with the Camcorder, I just don't think I have the time to learn it (young family!).

I did however experiment last night, and cobled something together, but a) I couldn't merge clips together i.e. remove a transition altogether b) there was a time stamp on the finished video which I could not remove seem to remove c) the quality did not seem that different to the AV composite method d) the video did not run smoothly while editing

Spec - Sony Vaio PCG-8161M Laptop
Window 7 Ultimate 64 bit
Intel Core2Duo 2.8GHz 8GB Ram NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT

Thanks again
 

SoundBox

Novice Member
I have been having the same trouble. I have used a Digital 8 camera and that has firewire which records straight to my Panasonic DVD recorder. Dead easy to just watch the footage and press pause on the DVD recorder to edit out the bits you don't want. I got a Panasonic TM900 just the other week and it is not easy at all. My computer is not suitable I have been informed and so I am using the composite output to DVD method and that is working well enough. I just don't have the hours of time to do computer editing and what with all the issues I would encounter I have had to discount that at the moment.

To make editing easier for me I have gone 'old school' and plugged the composite of my TM900 camcorder into my VCR where I can add music after the final cut, insert scenes, add narration and titles then burn a DVD from the master tape. Yes, quality suffers but the end result plays smoothly and looks like I want it to at least. Why is modern technology harder to operate than a VCR from 20 years ago? Something is not right...

I would LOVE someone to make a standalone recorder that has an internal hard drive which allows editing and audio dub/fades/titles and then outputs firewire (or has its own burner to make BD or DVD's).
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
. Why is modern technology harder to operate than a VCR from 20 years ago? Something is not right...

.

It isn't. You are trying to replicate the old fashioned linear editing required by analogue recorders like vcrs. If you wanted to delete a fraction in part of the video you had to completely re-record the rest. Every copy degrades in quality.

Digital files use non linear editing. The original files aren't touched.

You copy a link to the files onto a time line. you can freely drag the clips around in any order, shorten them delete them from the edit just by using a mouse. It couldn't be much simpler. You can add title tracks, music fancy transistions between clips completely visually using a mouse

Once you are happy single button click will burn you a single dvd or dozens with equal quality. Time to get into the 21st century. I'm 68 if i can do it anyone can.

Some of us are old enough to have used 8mm and super 8 cine cameras. To edit you chopped sections out of the film and literally glued them together (splicing), ypu are trying to replicate the process with digital video.
 
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MarkE19

Moderator
Why is modern technology harder to operate than a VCR from 20 years ago? Something is not right...
I disagree with Graham slightly on this - modern technology gives us far more options than we previously had, so it is going to be more complex to use them all. However to just do the basic can be no more difficault than it ever was, you just need to adjust your way of thinking :p
I would LOVE someone to make a standalone recorder that has an internal hard drive which allows editing and audio dub/fades/titles and then outputs firewire (or has its own burner to make BD or DVD's).
Oh but they do, but at a price - Home Entertainment - Blu-ray Recorders - DMR-BWT800 - Specification - Panasonic UK & Ireland
Anybody got a spare £850 tucked down the back of the sofa I can borrow? :eek:

Mark.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
I'm halfway between these Replies.

1) The more options means it will be more complex, at least until you know the process - then you'll wonder how anyone worked in real-time (meanwhile you are being served a nice meal with wine by a grass-skirted maiden), whilst the PC labours to adjust the clips, fades,effects,audio. titles etc.

2)There is greater creativity with the modern method. . . . just looking at the Audio options would be "virtually" impossible to replicate in recording via a VCR.

3) Quality using VCR is woeful, you may not notice it if your TV isn't quite up to it (shall we say?), but soon enough you will.

4) I give up.
Look, if posters are happy with their technique - let 'em.

PS
Soundbox - you already have the hardware to record/edit yr Vids - it's that PC next to the bin. Internal BlueRay burners are about £100 if you don't have one.
 
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MarkE19

Moderator
meanwhile you are being served a nice meal with wine by a grass-skirted maiden
You really don't live on the same planet as the rest of us do you :rotfl:

Mark.
 

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