Quantcast Best container to capture Mini-DV via FireWire? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
09-12-2018, 05:01 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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I have a few Mini-DV tapes which I'd like to transfer to digital media with my Sony Mini-DV Video Walkman connected to FireWire. I know with a digital source like those tapes there's no real point in going the analog route. But I am curious as to which container and what software is best suited for the capture. I'm currently trying VideoStudio's capture mode (which gives it remote control of the player), but I also have VirtualDub as an option. What's best for editing and long-term storage of the video?
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09-12-2018, 06:17 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Mini-DV and/or DV source is never "captured" to a container. DV is copied as DV via FireWire directly to DV-AVI 1:1 using transfer sorftware such as WinDV. Remember that Mini-DV is lossy compressed video. "Capturing" merely sends DV thru another lossy re-encode and visibly degrades it. Always copy DV to DV.
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09-12-2018, 07:15 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Understand, but I've been having problems making the copy. WinDV, Scenalyze, and VideoStudio are all locking up or crashing on me and I haven't had any success with VirtualDub. I think that may be a Win10 problem more than anything else.

I have one capture computer built around an ATI AIW 8500DV. I'm thinking of hooking the MiniDV player to it and seeing if I can use the WinDV program successfully under XP. I've seen comments here to the effect that the AIW FireWire interface is kind of funky; can anyone elaborate? And are there any settings which could make VirtualDub work with the Win10 setup?
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09-12-2018, 08:04 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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You don't use a capture card or editors or VirtualDub for DV transfer. The source is played directly thru the camera's Firewire output to Firewire cable into the PC's Firewire input directly to FireWire copy software such as WinDV.

I can't answer for Windows10. Anyone who uses Win10 for video work is asking for frustration, and will usually get it.
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09-12-2018, 08:50 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Yep, looks like its a Windows 10 issue. After I got home from church I hooked the MiniDV player up to the FireWire on the XP computer's AIW 8500 card, installed Scenalyzer, and now it's capturing...sorry, Sanlyn, copying...flawlessly.

Isn't progress wonderful?
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  #6  
09-12-2018, 10:33 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Good work.
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  #7  
09-13-2018, 02:05 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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BTW, to answer the question in the thread title, you want to use the native container.
- For Windows, that means AVI
- For Mac, Quicktime
- For Linux, containerless .dv file

Capturing was pet peeve of mine in the early days, and I gladly spread that view to others. Some moron co-opted the term, not too dissimilar from "encode" (compress video) vs "render" (not video, but graphics). Just "oh hey, that a good word, I'll use it here too" without realizing it meant something completely different. If anything, "stream" would have been more accurate, but would have been confusing in the 2000s (remember, DV is a 90s tech). It's merely a sustained realtime copy process, no data is changed (ie analog>digital), therefore nothing is captured. Nor encoded, nor rendered, nor anything else. Just a really, really long copy process that needs special software because the IEEE1394/Firewire spec quite honestly sucked, as did DV.

DV is similar to tape backups in the early 90s (same basic design used for both). Just a dog slow file copy, with the added option to just dump data (drop frames) if the throughput is interrupted rather than hang the copy. If you go back 15-20 years online, you can actually find conversations about using DV and Digital8 tapes for data backup, as the tapes were cheaper than the tape backup tapes. The biggest difference was the tape quality itself, with DV being really flimsy crap (aka why it has lousy longevity even compared to VHS or audio cassettes).

"DV isn't captured" is an often-repeated online statement I can take full credit for. (Because it's true!)

DV "capturing" was always a buggy sort of process, because again IEEE1394/Firewire was buggy/crappy. But it just gets worse with each new OS. It is, after all, a legacy tech that never really had a foothold beyond Mac and specialty uses. (Mac fanboys still cry about the demise of their beloved Firewire. I'm platform agnostic, still adore my Mac, but was never a fan of Firewire.)

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09-13-2018, 05:28 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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But that said, what is a good interface to use for capture ? most USB (3) devices, are not, like All in wonder this type of USB is getting old, other or USB-C seem to get the future, but there are very few device who have that/a new interface, or use interface a pc-card (pci?) seems to be hard on cpu time or will have conflicts, and then the capture data has to be transfered (quickly) to HDD (in most cases) which is the next bottleneck if uncompressed, onboard (good) hardware compression would be a plus, but strong/bad compression is also not desireable, trying to find options in this, or better have a strong pc will be hard task, even more for a newbee.
In short: there is no one time solution
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09-13-2018, 06:33 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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I'm not sure what is meant by saying USB capture devices are old tech, when in fact USB devices replaced even older tech. My problem with that is that the "old tech" (AGP cards) is still the preferred tech, mainly because it worked then and still works today. But if you want to get into which is "better", well, you'll have to get yourself an All in Wonder AGP setup or similar legacy chain and find out for yourself what others have been recommending since the late 1990's. The software being used is VirtualDub, the media that analog is captured to is recommended as 720x480 YUY2 losslessly compressed with huffyuv or (in second place but higher CPU usage) Lagarith.

Many have spent time, effort, money trying to better this analog -> digital process. Hasn't been bettered yet, unless you're willing to invest cash into 5 (or more) digits. But you can always give it a try.
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  #10  
09-13-2018, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
an All in Wonder AGP setup
The software being used is VirtualDub, recommended as 720x480 YUY2 losslessly compressed
Or MPEG-2 in ATI MMC (ATI Multimedia Center), at 15mbps (max 20) bitrates, interlaced, and you even have an option to autocrop overscan.

The Theatre Rage/100 and 200 chips by ATI were a game changer for analog capture. Those even left pro video companies like Matrox with mud on their face. On some specific models of cards, the chipset is essentially flawless, no color/etc issues, no image offset, no geometry issues, nothing. Just one really nice picture.

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09-14-2018, 08:09 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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FWIW, starting with WIN 7 (including Win 8 and 10) many DV devices and software require the "legacy" firewire (AKA IEEE1394 & iLink) driver rather than the one routinely installed by the OS. Win 7 shipped with the "legacy" driver and it could be selected without problem. However, Win 8 and Win 10 do not ship with the "legacy" driver; it has to be downloaded from MicroSoft and installed manually, which can be a bit tricky depending on how your PC is configured (the issue being where the files are located once extracted).

Some NLE's used the term 'ingest" to describe the intake of video date from media. A scary term considering how often a beat up old VCR might eat a tape.
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09-14-2018, 08:23 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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I've found it convenient to use dvgrab in linux. It's readily available for install in most distros, the firewire devices work out of the box, and you can even do it while running the linux OS off a USB stick.
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  #13  
09-14-2018, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
Some NLE's used the term 'ingest" to describe the intake of video date from media. A scary term considering how often a beat up old VCR might eat a tape.
<nom, nom, nom> "TAPE GOOD!" <smack, smack>

Never thought of that. When I talked to peers, I used ingest. But online, where it's mostly non-pros, I use capture. And honestly, I prefer capture anyway. Ingest actually applies to more than just analog capture, and that's when the conversation can get fun (DAMs, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
I've found it convenient to use dvgrab in linux. It's readily available for install in most distros, the firewire devices work out of the box, and you can even do it while running the linux OS off a USB stick.
Good to know.

More and more, I find myself using Linux, even for simple video tasks. I'd consider DV copy to be one of the more trivial tasks, if not for OS/hardware being a PITA more than not.

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09-15-2018, 07:12 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
<nom, nom, nom> "TAPE GOOD!" <smack, smack>
Brings to mind the garage sale VHS VCR that had part of a PBJ sandwich stuffed in the tape slot.
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09-16-2018, 11:50 AM
Maris 55 Maris 55 is offline
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Hello,

I can prove that one can succesfuly copy a miniDV source from a miniDV camera to a laptop (Lenovo T-61) with Windows 10. As told by sanlyn you get an .avi file with SD DV coded video. I copy with WinDV. Sometimes I use Vegas Video Pro and here it is called Capture Video. In fact it is not important if you call it copying or capture because it is a straight copying through Firewire cable. Why would you want to use a capture card? Maybe only if your PC/Laptop does not have a Firewire port?
The only problem as stated in a post above is that most possibly you will need to change your Firewire driver to Legacy driver in Windows 10.

Blaupunkt RTV-950, LG LV-880 HiFi, Sony miniDV ..., Canopus ADVC 55, WinDV,
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09-16-2018, 02:12 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Some think it's really bad that the file is video stored in a lossy codec, which in this case doesn't matter because resolution of the material is low resolution anyway.
it is an easy transfer method, though.
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09-16-2018, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maris 55 View Post
Why would you want to use a capture card? Maybe only if your PC/Laptop does not have a Firewire port?.
It depends on the project needs. If you just want to archive the video as DV, and you can install a Firewire card, then the analog capture is not needed. But at the same time, not really detrimental, depending on the camera. Consumer cameras had lousy optics, and the video isn't truly 720x480 resolution, but merely in 720x480 palette.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric-Jan View Post
doesn't matter because resolution of the material is low resolution anyway
That's not always entirely accurate. Video isn't just about resolution, but fidelity of color and sound. And I don't really consider 720x480 max SD to be lower resolution. For this specific source, DV tape, you're right, but for other sources, not so much.

I don't want your post interpreted the wrong way by newbies.

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  #18  
09-17-2018, 02:27 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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btw what's the differnce between DV and miniDV ? because there's also HDV ....
or is DV the "general term for miniDV and is HDV a higher resolution or a better compression codec ?
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09-17-2018, 03:16 AM
Maris 55 Maris 55 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric-Jan View Post
btw what's the differnce between DV and miniDV ? because there's also HDV ....
or is DV the "general term for miniDV and is HDV a higher resolution or a better compression codec ?
DV is the name of codec used in miniDV camcoder video recording and the properties are 720x576 PAL 25Mbps Interlaced. This resolution is named as SD DV- Standard Definition SD.
I have not dealed with HDV, must be a higher resolution codec.
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09-17-2018, 04:42 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Thankyou, 25Mbps is also a speed thats not too fast, and why it can be used on old pc's i guess.
Shame i can't use my ADVC100 on my Macbook now, don't even know if there's a download driver for Mac OS.
would be nice to see the difference
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