Quantcast Digital8 jitter, do I need a TBC? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
02-06-2021, 05:04 PM
thomasmca123 thomasmca123 is offline
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Hello,

I'm looking to digitise some tapes from my dad's old camcorder (Sony DCR-TRV110E PAL, I'm in the UK if that makes a difference). I got my hands on the camera, the tapes and I ordered a cheap video capture card online (Master AVCap BR117). The card arrived today and I went through the steps of getting everything set up and capturing the video to my laptop using the ArcSoft Showbiz software included with the capture card. All was going well, but after running a test, I found that there is some weird 'jitter' with the video. I realise that's quite a vague term, so I've uploaded the footage to a google drive which you can view here. This 'jitter' is not present when viewing on the camcorder display.

To my untrained eye it looks as if the frames are kind of jumping/skipping back and forth in the wrong order. When I play the file in VLC on my machine, the video freezes on the final frame there, but the audio keeps going fine for another 10 seconds (to the end of my original capture). This seems to have been cut off when uploading to google drive.

I started googling around to see if I can find out what the issue is, which led me to this site - where I also discovered VirtualDub. I've tried using that instead, but the issues persisted. I also noticed that at one point the video would show up as a preview in both VirtualDub and Showbiz, but no video appears anymore, it's just a blank screen while the audio plays (when as far as I can see from the settings, it should be showing the preview). I'm not sure what caused this to happen but I haven't been able to get it back. The video still comes through in the capture though (although with the aforementioned 'jitter').

I saw one or two threads here where people were presenting seemingly similar issues and they were recommended to use a TBC to fix the problem. Could someone more knowledgable give me an idea whether this would fix my issue? I understand it could also just be a shoddy capture card/drivers, but I though it's best to stop and ask for help before spending any (more) money!

Cheers,
Thomas
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  #2  
02-06-2021, 05:36 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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"cheap video capture card " is your problem.

What you ordered is one of the many, many, many rebadges of the cheap Chinese Easycap, which earned the nickname "Easycrap". You don't need a costly HD card (which is actually bad for SD capture), but you equally don't want a cheapy card. Worse yet, brands like Roxio rebadges Easycaps, and then charge $50-100 for them! Yikes!

These days, the best capture card depends on OS and OS version.
So what OS?

Also understand that some of the latest OS have screwed with video capturing, so you may be SOL if using the "latest and greatest". This is what building a dedicated capture system is so often done. Win10 is a hit-or-miss problem, while macOS 10.15+ is often a total non-starter.

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  #3  
02-06-2021, 06:10 PM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Another question: does your computer have a Firewire port? The reason I ask is that the 110E is a digital8 camcorder and your tapes will be (should be) in Digital format. A Firewire transfer will be by far the best option if your machine has the port.
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02-07-2021, 04:11 AM
thomasmca123 thomasmca123 is offline
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Thanks to both of you!

I'm using Windows 10 Home build 19041.746. If that doesn't work would it not be possible to set things up on a virtual machine running e.g. an older edition of Windows?

My laptop has no firewire port unfortunately. Thinking about it though - could I use e.g. a firewire to USB adapter and get the files across that way?
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02-07-2021, 04:30 AM
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No, you cannot capture in a VM, direct hardware is required.

There is no such thing as as "Firewire to USB adapter", however a few unique capture cards have this integrated into the capture hardware.

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  #6  
02-07-2021, 04:50 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LS
There is no such thing as as "Firewire to USB adapter"
There is, actually:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ml/accessories

It requires a Thunderbolt 3 port on the computer to connect to.

Report from a Magix user transferring DV tapes to a laptop:
Quote:
The device from B&H works like a dream! Rock solid transfers, plus expandable for other applications such as external hard drives and monitors! Well worth the money!
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  #7  
02-07-2021, 08:21 AM
bookemdano bookemdano is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hushpower View Post
There is, actually:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ml/accessories

It requires a Thunderbolt 3 port on the computer to connect to.

Report from a Magix user transferring DV tapes to a laptop:
Thunderbolt 3 is not USB 3. Unfortunately, they use the same connector so they appear to be the same or similar things. But they're very different.

Thunderbolt at heart is a PCIe interface. It's like an external equivalent of putting a PCIe card into your desktop PC. So yes, you can add firewire via that method to a Thunderbolt-equipped PC or Mac, but they aren't using USB to communicate at all.

Minor quibble, but LordSmurf is correct that there is no adapter that will adapt USB to firewire.
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02-07-2021, 08:31 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Bookemdano, thanks for the info.

LS: can you please edit my post to remove the quote.
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  #9  
02-10-2021, 12:30 PM
bookemdano bookemdano is offline
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I stand corrected (sorta). Recently came upon a thread over at videohelp regarding a line of devices from Pinnacle that do video input (both analog and DV) and output to a computer over USB.

Looking around on ebay the only one I was able to find was the Pinnacle 710-USB here (other mentioned models were the 700-USB, 500-USB and 510-USB. There may be others.):
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pinnacle-St...e/124565765185

Edit: Looks like the 700-USB is the most widely available. Saw one for as low as $50:
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...cle+studio+700

It's still not really a true firewire to USB adapter, because firewire is more than just a vehicle for DV transfer (also used for external hard drives and audio interfaces for example) and I'm almost positive this box can't be used for those other purposes. But it could be a solution for someone who needs to transfer DV and cannot add a PCI/PCIe firewire card or thunderbolt-firewire adapter. At $150 for a used adapter that hasn't had a driver update since the Win7 days it doesn't seem compelling, but it is a solution so should be mentioned.

Last edited by bookemdano; 02-10-2021 at 12:55 PM.
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  #10  
02-10-2021, 02:05 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Yes those work around a Pinnacle driver so they cannot be used to transfer say computer files over firewire and into USB, They can connect camcorders and DV capture devices, they do offer camera control though such as play/stop/record ...etc.
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  #11  
02-23-2021, 10:06 AM
thomasmca123 thomasmca123 is offline
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UPDATE:

I upgraded from the "Easycrap" card to a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950, but it doesn't seem to have fixed the issue. I'm using the Hauppauge WinTV software to capture and, as before, the audio comes through fine, but the jitter/jumping/tearing is still there (see the attached clip which I removed the audio from). The video still looks fine on the camcorder itself. I've tried a few different tapes and it's the same situation with all of them.

I also tried capturing with VirtualDub. The device shows up as a WinTV-HVR-980 (not 950), which is named the same as the drivers which were installed along with WinTV. When I try to capture, I get a message just saying "Unable to start video capture.".

It may be that I'm doing something wrong with the software (I've made sure the drivers are up to date), but I'm not really sure what would be causing this problem. Any advice/suggestions?


Attached Files
File Type: mp4 Composite_20210223_1455.mp4 (3.12 MB, 3 downloads)
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  #12  
02-23-2021, 10:51 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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I think you will need a TBC or similar like a panasonic dvd-recorder to help stabilize the video (or alternatively an old computer with firewire and capture via that could work). It looks like the capture card is struggling to lock to the video signal. It looks like there may be an alignment issue or similar on the tape/camera that may be causing the part of the signal the capture device is supposed to lock to to be a bit corrupted but not entirely sure. 99% of capture cards are terrible at dealing with this sort of problem.
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  #13  
02-23-2021, 11:14 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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This is a driver/capture software problem, Adding a TBC or ES10/15 could potentially fix it so the driver doesn't have to deal with it, If it persists and you don't want a TBC you may have to use a different computer, Or use a lossy DV route or lossless SDI. With DV or SDI the capturing and frame synchronization is done inside the chip, what reaches the computer is a clean synchronized digital signal that can work under any OS platform.
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capture card, capture problem, digital 8, tbc

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