Camcorder to PC Problem

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by Chonga, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. Chonga

    Chonga
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    Hi,
    I'm after some advice.
    I've got an analogue Sony HI8 Camcorder and I've been trying to get a good picture downloaded onto my PC via my Dazzle 80 USB video caputure device.
    Unfortunately it plays back bitty in places (like one of those video phones). I've tried tweaking the performance as recommended by the capture software but with no improvement. My PC spec is AnthlonXp 2500, 1GB DDR DRAM, AGP8x 128MB DDR RAM Graphics card and an 8M cache Ultra DMA133 160G HDD. This spec is well above the minimum recommendation.
    Anyone know any other trick I could use to improve things.
    I also have a PCI Video Capture card which is not installed in my PC. Will this be better to use than the USB video capture device? (When installed obviously :p )
    The reason why I'm keen to get this right is that i want to put my wedding video and my Oz holiday video onto a DVD. It will be pointless if the picture is bitty.
    Last question. Can I record from my HI8 Camcorder to a Digital Camcorder if the digital camcorder has a Vin facility?
    :)
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Hi Chonga and welcome to the forum :hiya:

    Right, there are lots of diiferent ways to attack this:
    First USB capture devices tend to be ok, but not great so it may well be worth tryiing the PCI capture card as well to see if it does make a difference.
    Second you may well be able to use a DV camcorder to get the analogue video onto the PC. This often tends to be the best quality method without spending a lot of money on high quality dedicated capture hardware. The cam will need to have AV-in as well as DV-in. Connect the Hi8 to the DVcam via S-Video and audio lead. Set DVcam to VCR mode and connect to PC via firewire. You should now be able to capture directly to the PC without recording to DV tape. Not all DV cams allow this so you may need to go onto DV tape before transfering to the PC.

    Ok thats the hardware side sorted, now to get the PC up to speed for capture.
    I would suggest you do a search on this section of the forum for 'DMA' as this will pull up loads of PC setup advice. But the basics are:
    Make sure that the HDD has DMA enabled
    Make sure there is lots of spare space as DV foortage takes 14Gb per hour captured
    Defragment the HDD
    Stop all background programs such as antivirus and screen savers.

    Try all the above and then let us know how you get on.

    Good luck,
    Mark.
     
  3. Chonga

    Chonga
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    Mark
    Many thanks for the advice and the warm welcome. :thumbsup:
    What I'll do first is shut down all the background programs, defrag the HDD and have another go using my USB capture device. (DMA is already at the correct setting)
    If the picture is still not quite up to scratch then I'll pop in my PCI Video Capture card and give that a blast.
    Haven't yet bought a DV Camcorder but am seriously thinking about it. I've read so much gumph about the subject these last few days that my brain feels like it's been scrambled. :rolleyes:

    I'll let you know how I get on.

    Chonga
     
  4. Chonga

    Chonga
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    Update.....

    The USB Capture card was the problem with regard the picture.
    I've slung my PCTV PCI Card into the PC and I'm now getting smooth pictures.
    BUT I've another problem.
    The sound is lagging behind the picture by a second or two. It makes my captured stuff look like a badly dubbed East european childrens programme.

    Anyone know how i can get sound & video back in sync? :suicide:
     
  5. chez

    chez
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    I had a play with Sony Vegas and I'm fairly sure that lets you re-sync the audio and video....

    Don't think it's cheap though..
     
  6. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    If it is out a consistant amount throughout getting it back in sync should be no problem in an editing program. (It's if it drifts in & out of sync it will take a lot mor work).
     
  7. Chonga

    Chonga
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    Thanks Chez & Vonhosen.

    The audio seems to be a constant delay.
    I got to that stage I'm at late last night so I've not checked with my editing software to see if I can re-sync the Video & Audio.

    The editing software I have is a watered down version of Pinnicle Studio 9 which came with my Dazzle 80 unit. I do have the full version of Studio 7 as well. Anyone know if these pieces of software can re-sync? I can't check at the moment because I'm at work.

    I suppose another option for me is to grab a Analogue to DV converter. I've seen the Canopus ADVC-50 Analogue to Digital Converter for about £130-£140. Has anyone had any dealings with this product?
     
  8. vonhosen

    vonhosen
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    I've got an ADVC-100 (which allows A/D & D/A). Fantastic product easy to use & perfect lip sync. :smashin:
     
  9. Chonga

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    I take it when it comes to burn to a DVD from a program such as Pinnacle Studio 9, the software automatically compresses the file?
    Sorry if this sounds a daft question but I am a bit of a PC Video editing retard. :blush:
     
  10. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
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    Yes, it looks like Pinnacle Studio is very flexible and allows you to create DVD files and menus from your edited project. You can either burn the DVD directly or collect the DVD files in a folder for burning with other software like Nero.

    I found this guide which looks fairly straightforward. www.videohelp.com/forum/archive/t206727.html
     
  11. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Yes, Pinnacle etc will author the AVI files that you have been editing. It converts the AVI to MPEG-2 which is fairly high quality but also highly compressed file format. A 14Gb 1 hour video in AVI when converted to MPEG-2 is reduced to around 4.7Gb or less depending on the settings used.

    Mark.
     
  12. Chonga

    Chonga
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    Thanks Mark & johnjackthom.

    I've now had a dabble at trying to sync the audio and video using Studio 7 but alas it appears that the audio and video are not out at a constant rate but at a varying rate instead. Bummer! It was too much trouble than it's worth.

    I've now ordered an ADVC-50 Analogue to DV converter which has an audio and video sync lock on it. Can't wait for that to arrive.

    Mark - You said that 1hr's worth of DV AVI get's compressed to about 4.7Gb (1 single layer DVD in effect). My Wedding & Reception Video lasts about 1hr 30mins which at a rough guess would equate to around 7Gb.
    How can I get all of this onto 1 DVD? I've skimmed a few Threads that mention DVD Shrink. Would this be the way to go? I have tried to work it out for myself reading other threads but there is so much info that I get confused as to what will really benefit me in my case. :zonked:
     
  13. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Don't worry about other products such as DVDShrink (great program, but not needed for this) as the authoring programs are normally intelligent enough to use higher compression as required to get all the video onto a single DVD. This does mean lower quality, but 1.5 hours should still be very good quality.

    Mark.
     
  14. Chonga

    Chonga
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    Thanks once again Mark :thumbsup:
     
  15. Chonga

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    The ADVC-50 arrived yesterday. Installed it and downloaded the latest XP patch for it from the Canopus website.
    Captured a full 1h 36mins of analogue video in one hit and the results are superb. Video & Audio in perfect sync and it's good quality considering it's a VHS convert.
    If you've got that extra bit of cash to splash then I would definately recommend the ADVC-50 over an analogue capture card.

    Now I'm just eagerly awaiting my full upgrade version of Pinnacle Studio 9. I've got the bug! :)
     
  16. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Oh dear, another one bites the dust :suicide:

    Hand your wallet over at the door as you leave, you wont have any spare money to put in it now :(

    Mark.
     
  17. Chonga

    Chonga
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    :D I've already said a few 'economical truths' to my missus about how much these bits and pieces have cost.
    My bug is on hold now while I try to sort out my teething problems with Pinnacle Studio 9. :(
     

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