Quantcast B&H recommends I use a Canopus converter? - digitalFAQ Forum
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12-08-2009, 11:26 AM
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Hello

At this point I would still like to give this a try myself, I get things like this in my blood and I've just got to see them through. I saw your web site today it was very informative, I donated $25.00.

I called B&H today to buy the TBC you suggested . B&H recommends I buy a canopus ADVC110 (media converter? Something new I had to research.) instead and not use the Dazzle DVC100 at all . OK, I can do that. They didn't think I needed the TBC then, I think, as you suggested I still do, but if I use my brothers sony TRV15 from which the capture is good I guess I won't need the TBC.

Now the TRV15 is a mono recorder. I recorded everything on the TR77 in stereo (it's not a must on the final product but since its there I'd like to have it. B&H said I could still get stereo sound using the TRV15 (something about a second track?).

Is the ADVC110 worth while at $200 as far as speed and stability goes (I can return the dazzle for a full refund and put up $100 more to get the canopus) vs my sony TR77 with Dazzle DVC100 and with the AVT-8710 TBC?

OK here is my objective and some questions.

I expect it will take me untold plus hours just to "capture" so I want the best quality and no regrets on the first go around. These are family videos recorded from 93 to 98. I want to go from video8 to the best possible digital data (AVI ?) in case in the future I want to do extensive editing.

I want them on the most stable/durable media available at this time, CD, DVD, HDD and/or memory stick? These will be master copies? Then later I will copy again and then edit from the copies always maintaining the masters? I then want to sell the camera on ebay and discard the video8 tapes.

I do have on the front of my computer something called firewire IEEE 1394 (I think I see 2 rows of 3 contacts). I do have 1.5 TB storage.

Is the copus a good move over the dazzle? They say its less work for the computer?

Will the copus work with the sony camcorder TRV15? Can I get stereo from it as B&H claims?

This copus device, it makes my camera appear as if it were digital video tape as far as the computer is concerned? Will I still need a capture card?

Can I make .AVI's with the copus? Should I make something else?
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  #2  
12-09-2009, 07:57 PM
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Thanks much for the donation! People like you are why this site exists, both to help you, and because of your generous support.

The people at B&H are misleading you! They are trying to sell you something you do not need (or want). And in the end, they'll probably end up with a double sale because you'll still need a TBC.

Let me explain...

A timebase corrector (TBC) adjusts the timing and sync of the analog video signal. Your messy video tape input becomes a clean signal that can be locked onto from a recording device. Analog video was rather messy, it didn't object to unclean signals between a VCR and a TV. A digital device, however, is very precise. It needs a clean signal to accept, process and convert your analog data into a digital format.

The Canopus ADVC box is a DV converter. It still needs a clean signal. There's nothing special about this box that would remove need for a TBC from a really noisy VHS source. The marketing materials for Canopus claim it has a TBC, but know the term "TBC" is so loosely used sometimes that it's pathetic. I see cheap DVD recorders, VCRs and other devices claiming to have "TBC" all the time, but it does some minor signal filtering at best. It's not truly correcting the signal as fully as one expects from a full-frame TBC. To claim a DV converter can replace a TBC is video ignorance on the part of the salesman you spoke with.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, when hard drive space was limited and expensive, and CPU's had limited power, there was a clear benefit to 5:1 DV compression. But in the age of $100 1.5TB hard drive and dual/quad-core CPUs, DV is an unnecessary dinosaur. You can easily convert to fully uncompressed video, or directly to MPEG -- the choice depends entirely on the goals of the project -- with better quality or better workflow, as compared to a DV box.

DV boxes are in high supply and low demand. The Canopus products are ridiculously expensive for what you get. I have a $25 USB stick that captures uncompressed AVI flawlessly in the freeware VirtualDub, or works direct-to-MPEG with the low-cost ($50 to $100?) Pinnacle Studio 12. That beats the pants off an old-style DV box.

Now then, the Dazzle DVC100 is also pretty pricey for what little it does. If my memory is correct, I was able to use a $50 version Dazzle box from Best Buy, capturing uncompressed in VirtualDub, on a dual-core AMD laptop a few months ago. It worked great. The "Plus" version was just software crap, it was nothing to do with the actual hardware, aside from the color of it. Both were DVC100 dongles. I had them both for tests. The Pinnacle software that came with it, version 12, worked quite well.

Capturing video is all real-time. It will take about 10-15 minutes to set up the hardware and software (turn on computer, get tracking on VCR correct, check settings, etc). And then every minute of video footage takes a minute of record time. Editing takes however long as needed, that's all "you time" in front of the computer. Encoding can take hours and hours, depending on your settings and the speed of the computer.

There are some possible future benefits to encoding to H.264, too. So keep the archival versions of your uncompressed AVI (or lossless compressed AVI file), in addition to any DVDs you may make. I plan to experiment more with VHS to SD Blu-ray (H.264), sometime next year.

IEEE1394 is Firewire.

Yes, the DV box makes the computer "do less". But who cares? If you have 1.5TB, it means you have SATA. If you have SATA, it probably means you have a modern computer. The computer is made to work, and modern computers don't even sneeze at standard definition video work in the year 2009. Again, DV was a solution to a problem that no longer exists.

If the audio output of your camera is mono, then no device will re-make it stereo.

No, the Canopus box does not make an analog video tape appear to be an attached digital tape. That B&H salesman is just misleading you all over the place.

The Canopus box is a DV converter. It converts video input to a compressed DV codec, and sticks it into an AVI wrapper. The box doesn't do anything else.

Hope this helps.

And I also hope it has undone the mess B&H made for you. I was, after all, the one who suggested them as the place to buy the TBC!
... I suggest buying online next time, still from B&H -- don't bother talking on the phone.

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12-10-2009, 02:17 PM
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From what I'm reading, B&H is now looking into the DV/TBC issue.

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