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  #1  
01-01-2019, 09:13 AM
Lighthouse Lighthouse is offline
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Hello, this is my first post here.


I searched this forum for the answer (and some other places), and it seems I just can't get a concrete answer or consesnus here.

Right now, I am using a camcorder DCR-TRV11 (also happens to be very same model that recorded those miniDVs) to play those tapes, connected to firewire cable to my computer's firewire PCI card (bought one for this specific purpose) and 'capture' using Adobe Premiere Pro CC's 'Capture' with the format 'DV'.

Now, I read this forum and the internet a bit more, and there are some other ways to record the video.

1) Use S-Video instead of Firewire, supposedly better image quality. Downside is that I need to buy a capture card. As far as I am concerned, old ATI All In Wonder card is recommended.... though getting a right hardware would be tricky.

2) Some said because firewire already compressed the video signal into DV before sending into firewire, 'capturing' Firewire from the computer would actually degrades the video quality because it will be in essence compressed twice (I understand DV is lossy format). I need to 'copy' DV, not 'capture'.

I am not sure those claims are actually true. Also, is Adobe Premiere Pro CC good for this transfer work. People seem to recommend WinDV here, but I don't see much difference...

Any comments would be appreciated.
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  #2  
01-01-2019, 10:56 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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If the material is already on MiniDV tape, transfer to the PC via firewire (IEEE1394). Excluding possible tape read errors, what you transfer to the PC will be the data as recorded on the tape. The Firewire transfer should also give you the audio in proper sync. Using the same player as recorded the tape can be important, especially if the tape was recorded in EP mode. You can use software to transcode to other formats for detailed "restoration" work if necessary. The DV format is good for simple editing. Premiere can be used for transfer via firewire to AVI files if that is what you already have.

DV is not a recommended recording format for capture from analog sources such as Hi8, 8mm, VHS and S-VHS due to lossy compression. But in the case of a DV tape the compression has already happened.

Capturing from s-video output of a Mini DV player playback presumes the DV machine's decoding of the DV information on the tape is better than you can achieve in software on the PC, and presumes a high quality analog digitization in the capture card (that you apparently do not yet have).

The possible exception to this is if the tape has a lot of read errors. Firewire transfer can have problems with tape read errors. Some DV players include error correction in their playback that can mask or patch over the tape read errors in their analog output - the errors are masked by the machine resulting in apparent smooth playback for analog capture. I would use this as a last resort though.)

Some terms are used rather loosely in literature, especially capture which used very broadly may mean getting information recorded on tape (analog or digital) into a file on the PC; I prefer to use ingest to describe this process. In the case of material already in a digital format, such as on MiniDV tape, transfer may be a better term to use to describe copying digital information from a tape to a file on a PC. Capture can more narrowly be use to refer to the process of digitizing an analog stream and then storing it in files on the PC.

Last edited by dpalomaki; 01-01-2019 at 11:10 AM.
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  #3  
01-01-2019, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
If the material is already on MiniDV tape, transfer to the PC via firewire (IEEE1394). Excluding possible tape read errors, what you transfer to the PC will be the data as recorded on the tape. The Firewire transfer should also give you the audio in proper sync. Using the same player as recorded the tape can be important, especially if the tape was recorded in EP mode. You can use software to transcode to other formats for detailed "restoration" work if necessary. The DV format is good for simple editing. Premiere can be used for transfer via firewire to AVI files if that is what you already have.

DV is not a recommended recording format for capture from analog sources such as Hi8, 8mm, VHS and S-VHS due to lossy compression. But in the case of a DV tape the compression has already happened.

Capturing from s-video output of a Mini DV player playback presumes the DV machine's decoding of the DV information on the tape is better than you can achieve in software on the PC, and presumes a high quality analog digitization in the capture card (that you apparently do not yet have).

The possible exception to this is if the tape has a lot of read errors. Firewire transfer can have problems with tape read errors. Some DV players include error correction in their playback that can mask or patch over the tape read errors in their analog output - the errors are masked by the machine resulting in apparent smooth playback for analog capture. I would use this as a last resort though.)

Some terms are used rather loosely in literature, especially capture which used very broadly may mean getting information recorded on tape (analog or digital) into a file on the PC; I prefer to use ingest to describe this process. In the case of material already in a digital format, such as on MiniDV tape, transfer may be a better term to use to describe copying digital information from a tape to a file on a PC. Capture can more narrowly be use to refer to the process of digitizing an analog stream and then storing it in files on the PC.
Thank you so much for the detailed answer.

From the information you gave, it seems it is better to stick to Firewire transfer.

Perhaps I can spend more and get a really decent analog capture card, but I don't think it is going to easy (or even possible) to get a miniDV device that exceeds what Premiere Pro does in terms of hardware DV decoding.

Well yes, I am definitely working on trying to enchance those videos. Though it's been almost a decade since last time I used Adobe Premiere, like, 2010? I downloaded using trial, opened up the program and wow it changed so much for nearly 10 years... If not those familar timelines I would not even recognize the software.
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01-01-2019, 12:51 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Corel VideoStudio has a decent DV import function, including a "Quick Scan" feature which scans through the tape before capturing. It has a free trial download available, and if you buy the full package the price is reasonable (and no subscription!). I've been using the Ultimate version of the software for quite some time, and for personal or semi-pro use I think it should have you covered.
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01-01-2019, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
Corel VideoStudio has a decent DV import function, including a "Quick Scan" feature which scans through the tape before capturing. It has a free trial download available, and if you buy the full package the price is reasonable (and no subscription!). I've been using the Ultimate version of the software for quite some time, and for personal or semi-pro use I think it should have you covered.
Damn, Corel VideoStudio has DV import function? I have VideoStudio Pro X10.5 license, but I never bothered to download and installed. Installing now...

My trial period for Premiere Pro is running out, so I will try test filters and compare with Resolve and VideoStudio.
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01-01-2019, 01:53 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
Damn, Corel VideoStudio has DV import function? I have VideoStudio Pro X10.5 license, but I never bothered to download and installed. Installing now...

My trial period for Premiere Pro is running out, so I will try test filters and compare with Resolve and VideoStudio.
Yes, it's on the "Capture" screen. There's "Capture Video", which will do a straight DV import, and "DV Quick Scan," which scans the tape (can set to do this at high speed) beforehand and then rewinds and captures video. Note, though, that if it hits a blank spot of more than a few seconds it may think it has all the info and stop. I've sometimes had to do the Quick Scan again (check "start from current position") to make sure that it picks up all the tape.

The capture function is functional for analog, but doesn't work as well for that purpose as VirtualDub. Also, as LordSmurf will remind us, the best analog capture hardware doesn't work too well under recent versions of the Windows OS. However, it does do a decent job capturing DV...as long as you have the proper drivers for your FireWire card and camera. I'm doing my capture under Windows 7 as I had trouble obtaining the right drivers under Windows 10.
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01-01-2019, 02:02 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
...I had trouble obtaining the right drivers under Windows 10
For IEEE1394 (aka: Firewire and iLink) drivers.

Win7 shipped with "Legacy" drivers, which are often required for use with firewire vide devices. One has to specifically select the Legacy driver. MS automatically installs their later driver that is problematic with much gear.

Win8 and Win10 did NOT come with a legacy driver. It has to be downloaded from MS. If you search for legacy driver you can find it listed for Win8. Just download and install.

For Win10 you download and install the Win8 driver.

One thing to keep in mind is that NLE's such as Premiere are intended as video editors, and can be used to apply a range of effects and do color some grading of otherwise good video. However, they are not intended as tools for video restoration and solving the problems typically associated with capture of analog video from VHS, etc. Other forums and threads here address tools and techniques for video restoration. Most of the tools are far more economical than Premiere and its ilk as well. Premiere is way overkill and over priced if you main use is transfer video over firewire or analog video capture.
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  #8  
01-01-2019, 06:10 PM
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Actually there are Firewire PCI cards that do not need any drivers for Windows 10. I am working on my main computer which is Windows 10.

https://www.amazon.com/SHINESTAR-Fir...dp/B0753H8GTY/

https://www.amazon.com/QNINE-Firewir...dp/B01NBQX1J6/

https://www.amazon.com/Tanbin-Firewi...dp/B075FRGCGP/

While the name is different, those cards are actually a same card using different name and packaging. It works well under Windows 10.

I managed to grab one with just ten dollars, directly from the distributor of these cards while I was in Korea.

Quote:
One thing to keep in mind is that NLE's such as Premiere are intended as video editors, and can be used to apply a range of effects and do color some grading of otherwise good video. However, they are not intended as tools for video restoration and solving the problems typically associated with capture of analog video from VHS, etc. Other forums and threads here address tools and techniques for video restoration. Most of the tools are far more economical than Premiere and its ilk as well. Premiere is way overkill and over priced if you main use is transfer video over firewire or analog video capture.
I understand. I will be comparing Davinci resolve, Premiere Pro and Corel VideoStudio, but I am also looking at things like QTGMC for deinterlacing and noise elimination. Though there are A LOT of scripts and command lines.
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  #9  
01-01-2019, 07:27 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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FWIW: The links to the Amazon listings detail descriptions all speak to "Compatibility: Windows XP/Vista/7 (32/64 bit)," versions that came with IEEE1394 drivers automatically installed as part of Windows. Some of the reviewers report issues with Win 10 and some firewire devices, such as older model camcorders. Thus quick and easy success is not a sure thing. Several reviewers report that they needed to manually install legacy drivers to get the cards to work with camcorders (the plug and play auto install failed). Also, it looks like they use a VIA chip set. Some versions of the VIA chip set used on MBs have proven problematic in the past, don't know abut these. (TI chip sets appear to present fewer issues.) If they work for you without any problem, great! But potential buyers should be prepared to deal with similar issues to get it working.
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