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Transferring Mini DV to PC to create DVD

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by Brooktop, May 31, 2005.

  1. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    I have a Canon MV800 and am having problems transferring footage to my PC at a sufficient quality.

    My PC spec is:

    Asus motherboard
    Athlon XP3000
    512MB DDRAM
    GeForce FX5900 XT graphics card
    Firewire card
    Windows XP

    I realise that's not the most powerful PC but would have thought it should easily be adequate. When I transfer to the PC I seem to have to select mpeg2 (I use Ulead 7.0 but also have Windows Movie Maker) because if I select DV, the pc doesn't seem to be able to keep up with the tape and if I try to cancel the operation, it just hangs up the whole pc. Even if I try to end the process I can't because the software is taking up 99% of the CPU usage. mpeg 2 only seems to be good enough quality for watching on the pc and then it breaks up at time and pixelates. My understanding was that that was the best way to transfer, because I'm keeping it digital. My DVD recorder doesn't have firewire, so I'm therefore transferring via scart (ie analogue).

    I hope I'm doing something wrong rather than someone tell me I need a whole new pc (I recently upgraded the mobo, graphics card and processor so I could play Half Life 2!)

    Thanks
     
  2. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    Hi,

    One thing you don't mention is your hard disk. How much free space do you have on it? Is it highly fragmented. Do you have more than one hard disk? If so, try capturing to the 2nd drive.

    There's nothing wrong spec wise with your PC - my previous PC was nowhere near the spec of yours and I had no problems.

    It's normally recommended that you have 2 hard disks in your PC. One to store and run your programs from, and the other (on the same IDE channel) to save all your captured footage. Remember that for every hour of DV quality footage, you need 14Gb of disk space.

    The other thing to check is that you are only running your Video editing software and nothing else. also make sure there's no other programs running in the background. Virus checkers can also cause problems (although I personally haven't experienced this), so you could try turning it off (if you have one) whilst you capture.

    I think that should do for starters.

    Let us know how you get on, and also, details of your disk storage.
     
  3. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    Thanks - thanks for the advice. It's a 60 GB HDD (Maxtor I think) with at least 34Gb free and I de-fragged it on Friday. I also shut down other programmes, the virus checker and firewall while doing the transfer.

    Perhaps I should re-try, choosing AVI? (In Ulead). DV looked like it was having none of it...mpeg 2 seemed fine but not brilliant quality (although I haven't dropped the subsequent file onto DVD to see what it looks like.
     
  4. melliott1963

    melliott1963
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    I don't use ULead myself, but, when you capture, does the program display if any frames have been dropped? If it does have this feature (I think most programs do) and it doesn't show that any have been dropped then you should be OK.

    The preview window on these lower end editing packages usually only show a draft copy of what is being captured and this will never be as good as how it really is.

    Another thing I've just thought of is this. Have you enabled DMA on your hard drive? This link will tell you about it:-

    http://www.real-knowledge.com/dma.htm
     
  5. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    You could be right...maybe the preview just wasn't keeping up. I recall seeing something about dropped frames. I'll also look into the DMA thing. Thanks again!
     
  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    All the advice given so far by melliott1963 is spot on and is exactly as I would and have advised in the past!

    you say:
    Now I'm a little confused :confused: . Are you captureing from your camcorder or your DVD recorder? And are you useing firewire or analogue or USB etc?
    If analogue then what capture device do you have, ie are you useing the camcorder as an A>D converter and then connecting the cam to PC via firewire?

    All video capture, whenever possible, should be done as AVI files as these are 100% copies of the origional and no matter what you do with them on the PC there will be no loss of quality as lonfg as they are still AVI. MPEG files are highly compressed, lower quality & difficault to accurately edit.

    Make sure you reboot your PC just before you start any capture as Windows can hold onto previously used RAM. Run a free downloadable program to stop all background programs called EndItAll2. this can be tricky to track down, so PM me your e-mail address if you want me to send you a copy.

    Good luck,
    Mark.
     
  7. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    Thanks Mark - sorry I didn't explain properly. I have a Panasonic DVD Recorder in the lounge, linked to a plasma screen; that's where I want to watch my footage. I can drop it straight onto DVD but that's via a phono lead to the scart input ie D>A. The whole reason I bought a FW card for my pc is that I thought that by putting it straight to DVD, then I'm not introducing any analogue processes.

    I do start up the pc from scratch and then shut down AVG and Zone Alarm before starting up Ulead. What settings would you recommend in Ulead ie frame rates etc? How do I then drop the subsequent AVI file to DVD. Don't I have to convert to mpeg 2?

    Will the DMA thing help (I have a slight prob in that whenever I try to go to Properties of a piece of hardware in Device Manager, I get a pop-up window saying that Microsoft Management Console has encountered an error and needs to close.

    Will all this give noticeably different results to simply using my DVDR (albeit having no edit facility!)?

    Thanks - from a confused DV virgin :smashin:
     
  8. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Setting your HDD to use DMA will speed the access times for the disc. This will help to prevent droppeed frames and make sure that the PC can keep up with the capture.
    To get around the problems with 'Microsoft Management Console' I would sugggest a PC tool kit such as Norton System Works.

    How good the results will be on your DVD recorder compared to the PC really depends on several things such as how good the leads used are, how good the recorder is etc etc.

    In all editing software you just select 'PAL' settings. This will control the frame rate etc as these are set within the PAL standards as used in the UK.
    Once you have all the editing done you need to author the AVI files. Ulead has this built in (assume you are useing Video Studio, but not sure of the first version to include DVD authoring). This should all be controlled via the menus and will let you select chapters and a menu to go on the disc. The file conversion and burning to disc should then all be done for you. If your version of the software does not include DVD authoring then I would strongly suggest upgrading, unless you already have a separate authoring program.
    I don't know Video Studio, but use DVD Movie Factory to author my DVD's and would think that the user interface would be similar.

    Mark.
     
  9. Brooktop

    Brooktop
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    thanks Mark - will get on it later!
     
  10. novOfour

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    Could someone could help me w/ a few configurations in Premiere?

    I went to Edit > Preferences > Device Control > Options
    then changed...

    Standard: NTSC
    Device Brand: JVC
    Device Type (this is where I need help): Standard
    I didn't see my model number (GR-DF550US) in this pull down menu, so I left it alone. Attached are the choices in this menu
    Which one should I choose? Are there any other options I should change b/f giving it another try? Thanks.
     

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