Using TRV33 as Analogue to Digital converter

melliott1963

Active Member
I've got quite a few TV programs that have been recorded on several VHS tapes which I'd like to keep. These tapes also contain a lot of rubbish that I don't need.

Using my TRV33, I'm able to record what I want onto MiniDV Tape, and from there, transfer it onto my PC for editing and then outputing back onto DVD.

Whilst this works fine, I was wondering if there was any way I could use the TRV33 as just a 'pass through' device, so that I record directly from the VHS Video, straight onto my PC.

I've got Pinacle Studio 9 and Movie Maker, but whenever I try using these, they want to take control of my camcorder and insist on activating the play button, which, of course, only records what happens to be on the camcorder tape.

Does anyone know if what I'm after is possible, am I missing something obvious, or do I just stick with the way I'm doing it at the moment?

Thanks.
 
E

Enlighten

Guest
Ok, perhaps I'm missing something here, but why not connect your video directly to your computer via a composite capture card (some graphics cards already include a composite Video/Audio input - my old Radeon 64 does). That way, you don't need your camcorder to act as 'middleware'. You won't be losing any quality - in fact, I would say you'll be losing a little quality by putting it through the camcorder in the first place (don;t quote me on this - I'm just looking at it from a purely technical angle) - as the composite signal is recorded on DV Tape by using the camcorder's internal codec (Compression/DECompression software) - so you're compressing the data in the camcorder, zipping that across to the PC via Firewire - so data is wrapped into AVI - and the software that you're using to burn onto DVD is using a software plug-in type codec to convert to Mpeg2 for DVD. Plenty of steps - easier to zap the VHS Video straight to PC, capture using composite capture card, and burn onto DVD.

Hope this helps.
 

melliott1963

Active Member
I was going to add the following in my original post, but decided against it!

I have got analogue inputs on my PC, but for some reason, whilst the video is good, the audio comes out distorted. It's as if I've got the recording levels too high, but, try as I might (and I've spent ages trying everything I can think of), I've not been able to adjust this. Using the camcoder gives me a good result with both video and audio (the camcorder must automatically adjust the recording levels).

I can't see that using the camcorder as an intermediate step will degrade the quality as, once it's recorded onto tape (as far as I'm aware, in an uncompressed state), the quality should remain the same when it's transfered onto the PC as it's digital.

Maybe I should look at correcting my PC's analogue inputs? It's just that I've spent so long trying and failing that, now I've come up with a solution that works, I was just wondering if I could improve this new method.
 
E

Enlighten

Guest
I see your point - fair enough. I've tried both in the past, and quality is comparable, although some people have had problems having the camcorder as an intermediate step. Although you're absolutely right - once recorded onto DV Tape, the transfer process via FireWire is far less painful.

As for the analogue input problem - it's a strange one. I use to experience problems with analogue video input (I kept having to set the input video signal to Pal-I). Can you not control the input analogue audio signal using the sound control panel that windows offers ?

Sorry - I can't think of a way of using the camcorder as a 'pass-through' device - that would mean the camcorder would need to capture, encode and send down the firewire without the need of a tape. Sounds nifty, and I'm intrigued myself if there was a way of doing this.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Some camcorders can do analogue to DV conversion 'on the fly' without recording to a DV tape, but I do not know if yours can I'm afraid.
Within the setup for Studio 9 (and possibly in MM2) there should be some options so that the software does not try to control the cam. I use Adobe Premiere and in one of the menus there is a check box that is labeled as something like 'enable camera control'. If I remove the tick then Premiere no longer tries to control the cam. I'm at work at the moment so am unable to check the menu its in or the exact options available. If I remember when I get home in the morning I'll do a check if you still can't find the option.

Mark.
 

Duncan Craig

Active Member
The 33 acts as a great transcoder (the proper name for the procees you need), don't forget it has s-video in as well. So if you can borrow a decent S-VHS player with TBC you'll get better results off VHS tape, and record in S-video too.

VHS is a composite system but a decent TBC in an S-VHS deck, or a VHS deck will give you the best playback possible for achiving purposes


Of course the camera trancodes to DV but it will beat any composite capture card hands down. If your editing system is trying to control the deck, find an option or preference to make it stop doing it!
 

MarkE19

Moderator
OK, just got home from work and checked Premiere. I know you've got Studio 9, but these options on my setup should point you in the correct direction to set the software to 'no Device Control'.

'File' > 'capture' > 'Movie Capture'
'Preferences' > 'Device Control' > 'Edit'
'Device control' section of the window select > Device: 'None' from the drop down list.

You should now be able to use your cam as a A>D converter without copying VHS to DV tape.

As I say these are the options for Premiere, but should at least point you in the right direction for Studio.

HTH,
Mark.

ps, can I go to bed now as I've been at work all night and will be back there again later :boring:
 

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