Capturing video - problems

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by Brooktop, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    I have a Canon MV800i mini-dv camcorder. I am having trouble capturing video onto my PC. My spec is:
    Athlon 3 GHz
    628 Mb Ram
    Maxtor HDD (with 37Gb free space)
    Nvidia Geforce FX5900XT
    Firewire card
    Windows XP os

    So, I would have thought that the PC is up to the task. The problem is that when I try to capture (either with Windows Movie Maker or Ulead Video Studio 7), it will get no more than a minute's worth and then will drop frames or completely freeze up. I've tried de-fragging, closing down all anti-virus and firewall software but to no avail. It will seem to 'lock up' completely; I try the Ctrl, Alt, Del and shut it down from there...but then find the system idle process is taking up 99% of the CPU and it just sits there, until I do a re-boot. I've read that it's better to have 2 hard drives, or at least partition your drive...but that seems a lot of effort and possibly beyond my skills. I understand that, unless I re-format my HDD and do a new installation, that a new partition might cause me other problems.

    Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. oldjohn

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    I'm no expert,but I think you need a bigger hard drive,avi video eats up enormous chunks of hard drive space.

    It's not all that difficult to install a hard drive and they are quite reasonabe to buy nowadays.
    I'm sure more learned posters will soon be on hand to help you.
    John.
     
  3. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    I get the problem even if I choose the 'best for the computer' option ie quite lo-res wmv that doesn't rely on large file sizes.

    37 GB should be ample...although speed might be an issue
     
  4. beachy

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    i'm no expert eithier and i would say it's definately not the hard drive, a one hour mini dv tape should take up about 14 gig or thereabouts and as you have 37gb free space that should be plenty,i don't think it is your processor speed as my pc is about 5 years old and is less than 1 ghz,and it does capture all the files albeit very slow so i would say you need to look elsewhere, what about the software your using ? i had quite a few problems when copying my first tape to the pc (just recently) but there are some great guys on the forum who i am sure will be along shortly to help you out.(as they did for me) :smashin:
     
  5. mhuk05

    mhuk05
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    IS the Hard drive external or internal? No need to reformat your current drive.

    You're connecting with the firewire cable? Have you turned off your virus checker & firewall (doubt it's that). Did your camera come it Presto Video software?

    Can you play without recording (on your pc)?
     
  6. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    It's an internal HDD and I'm connecting by firewire. Although it wasn't an expensive FW card (about £11) it seems to work ok; it transfers tracks to my ipod really quickly. I have turned off AVG and Zone Alarm.

    I'm not sure how to view without recording. How do I do that?

    As both Windows Movie Maker and Ulead suffer the same problems, I guess it's not that...and I can't see how it can be anything to do with the latest drivers: the graphics card, CPU and motherboard are less than a year old. Windows XP has SP2.

    :confused:
     
  7. mhuk05

    mhuk05
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    My canon mv530i came with Presto Videoworks. It can play the camera and view the footage on screen (PC) i.e. the same as pressing play on the camera, except you can also view it onscreen. Have you got Videoworks or does Ulead have the same ability (so you can see if the PC locks up)?
     
  8. RichardBoult

    RichardBoult
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    What about RAM, does the firewire or HDD have to buffer a little before writing (I am asking) and therefore cause frame drops. If this were the case I would make sure you are running as few processess as poss before capturing.

    Shoot me down if I am wrong but I have a similar spec'd system and it works OK, the only difeference is I have much more memory!
     
  9. RichardBoult

    RichardBoult
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    Actuially (and this'll prove I'm a pretender) how do you get 628MB of RAM??
     
  10. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    Sorry - should read 640 MB (512 + 128)
     
  11. Brooktop

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    I don't think any software came with the camera.

    How much RAM do you think I need?

    I notice that ordinarily I have 41 processes running; I bring that down to about 35 when I've shut down all the anti-virus, firewall and itunes software, but I'm not really sure what the others do and whether or not it will cause instability if I shut them down.

    Keep the suggestions coming guys :lease:
     
  12. senu

    senu
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    Brooktop your machine specs are fine ( maybe smallish HDD) and Ram OK if modest( 1 gig is better but not mandatory and is not responsible for the capture issue)
    Are you using a firewire HDD?
    Nothing wrong with that but if you are capturing with firewire from the camcorder to a firewire connected HDD some setups dont like it.
    Im also thinking can you try another firewire cable?: they do go bad you know. Fire wire transfer to your ipod may not be as data intensive as video so Im thinking if its an IDE HDD you have the problem is in the firewire card or cable

    PS: Re partitioning / New Hard drive: You do not have to upset your system and lose data as it is . If you need to do that post Im sure somebody here will be able to tell you which pitfalls to avoid
     
  13. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    Thanks Senu. I'm guessing it's not a FW HDD, I simply bought one and plugged it into one of the slots. I will give another FW lead a try, but it's a bit more difficult to try a new FW card without cost and hassle. I'm wondering though, even if it was one of those and the connection was unstable, why would the machine 'lock up' and have the system idle process using all the machine's CPU power?
     
  14. mhuk05

    mhuk05
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    Your HD isn't USB is it? Record to your C:\ drive - same problem?

    Does your software give you the option to preview?

    i.e. you play the video, see it on your PC screeen and then you can press "record" (or the equivalent)?

    Have you looked in your Event Log?

    start > control panel > admin tools > computer management > event viewer > application
     
  15. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    The hard drive isn't USB...it's internal (IDE?). I turn off the 'preview' box.
    It will capture the first few seconds and there will be a wmv file there (after I've re-booted) ..but just a couple of meg.
     
  16. mhuk05

    mhuk05
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    I don't mean preview when recording.

    Without recording, when your camera is connected to your PC and you press PLAY on your camera- can you view the footage on your PC with your chosen software? If that crashes your PC it's the card.

    Did you check your logs?
     
  17. senu

    senu
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    He's right
    : you should at any rate be able to see tha video playing on "play"( ie previewiing your tape) without actually recording as that in itself can give a clue as to whether the issue is related to data transfer via the firewire or capture to HDD on reaching the PC
     
  18. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    Thanks guys; I'm not at home right now so haven't been able to try anything. I've just bought some more PC3200 Ram 512mb. I don't think that's the problem...but it certainly won't hurt. I'll also remove the 128 mb stick cos that may be PC2100 (which may be slowing the existing 512 stick down).

    As I've had the occassional message saying 'camera disconnected' during the transfer, when I haven't disconnected it, it's leading me towards a FW card or cable problem.

    I'm not sure how to 'play' the video straight to the PC, I'll have to do some more investigating. I meant that I uncheck the 'preview' option when I'm capturing.
     
  19. gkinghrn

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    Maybe it's a corrupt codec...I have had that in the past although it usually just generates a crap image .... Can I assume you have uninstalled ( properly - you might need to do some manual tidying up) and then Re-install the software..maybe obvious but i have had it fix my probs. PAritioning your HDD wont help at all..it's a single spindle....
     
  20. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    When it does work...the image is fine. I doubt that both pieces of software (Ulead Video Studio and Windows Movie Maker) would have a corrupt codec. Someone has suggested I try a free (and very simple programme called DVIO to capture video).

    At the mo, I think the most likely culprit is the FW card.
     
  21. senu

    senu
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    ...and/or Cable ( Ive seen it happen a few times m8) ;)
    All the best:cool:
     
  22. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    Right guys...it seems to be sorted! I put in another RAM stick to take me up to 1Gb (took out the 128 mb stick cos it was PC2100 so may have been slowing down the 512 stick). Captures fine now...no dropped frames. I also checked the FW card was firmly in the PCI slot (although it seemed to be).

    Thanks for all your help guys...I just need to get to grips with the editing facilities in Ulead video studio as it doesn't seem totally straight forward).

    Thanx 4 all ur help:hiya:
     
  23. senu

    senu
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    :thumbsup:
     

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