Quantcast MiniDV capture/transfer with Pinnacle USB box? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
04-20-2019, 12:34 PM
ofesad ofesad is offline
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Hi people!

A friend just gave me a LOT of vhs's and minidv's to transfer.
Since I never worked with MiniDV, I was doing some reading about it and the first question is regarding transfer/capture.

Since I am using a Pinnacle Studio usb box wich has a DV port, I can capture with the Pinnacle software.
However I was wondering wich other software I could use for it.

Also, with the pinnacle its a capture or is a transfer?
Is there any loss in quality? Anyone has done the test?

I could get an old apple with firewire or get a firewire pci bracket to transfer.

One more question: Some tapes seem to be corrupted. The audio is noisy and the picture has like horizontal bricks (or squares) from time to time. Even when try'd to capture the pinnacle would show a freezed image (I didn't upload image or video because of it). Any idea how to solve this? or if it can be solved?

I don't know if all the tapes were recorded with the same device (a Samsung SC-D371).

Would make some difference to get a Sony HDV player? could improve playback quality?

Thanks all for reading and please excuse the silly questions.
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  #2  
04-21-2019, 09:32 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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If you have a PC with a firewire port the best option is WinDV, Pinnacle software may capture DV but converts to MPEG2 on the fly, not good. As for tape drop outs, whatever you are playing them with try to clean the video heads.
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04-22-2019, 11:56 AM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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Hi latreche34,

I have read that a Texas Instruments based Firewire card is preferred for MiniDV capture.

Do you have any suggestions for editing DV AVI in AviSynth and VirtualDub? Recently I've been attempting to apply some restorative fixes and filters to DV AVI files captured using windows media player, and it has been an exercise in frustration.
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04-22-2019, 12:24 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPMedia View Post
Hi latreche34,

I have read that a Texas Instruments based Firewire card is preferred for MiniDV capture.

Do you have any suggestions for editing DV AVI in AviSynth and VirtualDub? Recently I've been attempting to apply some restorative fixes and filters to DV AVI files captured using windows media player, and it has been an exercise in frustration.
If your DV AVI files were captured (re-encoded) using Pinnacle, they're a disaster. Capturing analog with Pinnacke won't be any better, and anything you do with WMP will be just as bad. For DV AVI I'd suggest you wait until you can get a copy using Firewire and WinDV, which doesn't re-encode -- it's just a 1:1 copy of a miniDV, which is a digital source.

If you wish you should post a short sample of your DV video. About 8 to 10 seconds of DV with motion or people gesturing, etc., will fit well within the 99MB upload limit. No one can advise about filters or cleanup without seeing what the video looks like.
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04-22-2019, 08:45 PM
ofesad ofesad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
If your DV AVI files were captured (re-encoded) using Pinnacle, they're a disaster. Capturing analog with Pinnacke won't be any better, and anything you do with WMP will be just as bad. For DV AVI I'd suggest you wait until you can get a copy using Firewire and WinDV, which doesn't re-encode -- it's just a 1:1 copy of a miniDV, which is a digital source.
Thank you sanlyn, as always you are a inspiration in technical knowledge!

I haven't do proper testing with DV + Pinnacle yet, but will do soon. I know lordsmurf has one but he hasn't reply'd to this thread yet.

I just bought a Sony DSR-25 for proper transfer and I am looking for firewire cards, altought are becoming pretty rare and expensive here.

Also I am considering a Panasonic Ag-dv2500 for 20usd, but has some issues (the door wont open, but doesn't show any warning on the screen). Did you know any expert who I can ask about'em?
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04-22-2019, 09:33 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Its just a thought but DV does not involve "capture".

The video that flows over the firewire is like copying a floppy disk, its already digital, so speed does not matter.

Modern Windows or Apple MAC operating systems don't really support firewire anymore.. you can sort of stick the drivers in it.. and the operating system will wheeze but it won't keel over dead.. exactly.. WinDV will sort of run in legacy, older than the hills.. compatibility mode.

But if you have an old laptop (Windows or Mac) with a firewire port.. it might be easier to transfer the video over. It won't be super fast.. but you don't need speed.. its a digital file. Ancient laptops with four wire mini firewire jacks are all over eBay. Usually they would have firewire on one side and an eSATA port on the other.. since USB 3.0 wasn't even a gleem in Bill Gates eye at the time. Once you got it on the hard drive you can copy it to a USB stick, a USB drive or over a LAN. No losses at all.
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04-22-2019, 10:24 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPMedia View Post
Hi latreche34,

I have read that a Texas Instruments based Firewire card is preferred for MiniDV capture.
Do you have any suggestions for editing DV AVI in AviSynth and VirtualDub? Recently I've been attempting to apply some restorative fixes and filters to DV AVI files captured using windows media player, and it has been an exercise in frustration.
If you have windows 7 or earlier I don't think it matters what firewire card you use, I have Win7 so I can't help on Win8 and 10.

No, never edited DV before, But for joining and splitting I think VDub should work fine.
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04-23-2019, 12:08 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Simple cut and join are not a problem with DV -- all frames in consumer DV are key frames, so there's no re-encode on cut and join operations. However, if you apply filters, resize, mask anything, apply titles, or any other image modification, DV is re-encoded and incurs serious quality loss. In any case you will have to re-encode at least once in the final steps because DV is PC-only playback. It's not supported by most external players or by the internet. Any intermediate processing should use lossless YV12 compression. Lagarith lossless codec would be a good choice for saving intermediate workfiles if you have to do any DV cleanup or denoising. As for Pinnacle's software, there's no cleanup possible with it. It's an editor, not a restoration app.

DV was never designed for restoration or repair work. It isn't friendly with analog noise or color, adds digital artifacts that don't exist in analog, doesn't offer control over analog signal level variations, and has other processing limitations, so it isn't recommended for capture of analog sources.
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04-23-2019, 02:53 PM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
DV was never designed for restoration or repair work. It isn't friendly with analog noise or color, adds digital artifacts that don't exist in analog, doesn't offer control over analog signal level variations, and has other processing limitations, so it isn't recommended for capture of analog sources.
This makes sense. sanlyn I'm fairly certain you are the person who recommends using a PCI Firewire card with a Texas Instruments chipset.

For capturing MiniDV tapes, using a MiniDV camera, a Firewire cable, a PCI Firewire card, and a capture program such as WinDV will deliver the "best" results?

What method should one use to create a lossless AVI file for editing and restoration from their MiniDV tapes?
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04-23-2019, 05:01 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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It makes no sense to re-encode and degrade DV videos to get them into a computer. Digital video is copied, not re-recorded, whether it's older consumer DV or video from modern digital cameras and SLRs. You can decode and save YV12 DV video using lossless codecs like Lagarith or UT Video using almost any editor that can handle lossless files and codecs, including VirtualDub.
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  #11  
04-24-2019, 01:33 AM
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Using Pinnacle Studio was a mistake. Never do that. Lots of bugs, quality generally takes a hit, and like other NLEs, it can cause dropped frames and other issues. (Yes, Studio is an NLE, albeit a crappy one.)

In theory, yes, Firewire transfer is always best.

But in practice, it really depends on the quality of the camera that shot the videos. Many consumer cams have plastic or cheap glass, and didn't actually resolve 720x480 worth of details. So it's hard to tell the difference between an analog s-video capture and the original DV.

I do whatever method makes most sense for the project.

DV is just a compressed codec once on the computer, can losslessly cut in VirtualDub, or edit in whatever.

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  #12  
04-26-2019, 07:54 PM
ofesad ofesad is offline
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My Sony DSR-25 just arrived!

Sadly has a minor issue with the ejection mechanism, but will update that on the proper forum. Totally fixable.


I did some testing capturing it with the Pinnacle 510 USB.
First: altought WinDV detects the Pinnacle, wont see a thing when the DV plays the tape.

On the Pinnacle capture:

Here's the info of the capture file:

General
Complete name : D:\CAPTURA\DV\DV TEST.avi
Format : AVI
Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
Commercial name : DVCPRO
File size : 310 MiB
Duration : 1 min 25 s
Overall bit rate mode : Constant
Overall bit rate : 30.5 Mb/s
Recorded date : 2007-11-24 18:05:41.000

Video
ID : 0
Format : DV
Commercial name : DVCPRO
Codec ID : dvsd
Codec ID/Hint : Sony
Duration : 1 min 25 s
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 24.4 Mb/s
Encoded bit rate : 28.8 Mb/s
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 576 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 4:3
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 25.000 FPS
Standard : PAL
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced
Scan order : Bottom Field First
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 2.357
Time code of first frame : 00:11:04:17
Time code source : Subcode time code
Stream size : 293 MiB (94%)
Encoding settings : ae mode=manual / wb mode=one push / white balance= / fcm=manual focus

Audio
ID : 1
Format : PCM
Format settings : Little / Signed
Codec ID : 1
Duration : 1 min 25 s
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 1 536 kb/s
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 48.0 kHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 15.6 MiB (5%)
Alignment : Aligned on interleaves
Interleave, duration : 40 ms (1.00 video frame)
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  #13  
04-28-2019, 05:29 PM
jnielsen jnielsen is offline
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I think the pinnacle 510 USB can capture Firewire also. The Pinnacle USB510 and 710 are not to be compared with the cheap "Dazzle devices". I used to use the Pinnacle USB 710 but now I have changed to a DeLock TI based Firewirecard.

Scenalyzer is good (and free) for MiniDV capture, very easy to use no dropped frames. It is easy to use because it is just one click and it rewinds, records and stops automatically at the end.

http://www.scenalyzer.com/
How to use
1. Start Scenalyzer
2. Choose output directory ( capture, change capture folder )
3. File, options, Max filesize = unlimited, Scene detection mode = no scene detection,
file names = name,datestamp, Misc. options, Hi-res preview = no
4. Choose Filename like "minidv"
5. Choose tape, rewind and capture
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  #14  
04-28-2019, 07:28 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Here's the info of the capture file:
Seems you did get the raw DV capture from the pinnacle.
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  #15  
04-29-2019, 07:41 AM
ofesad ofesad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
Seems you did get the raw DV capture from the pinnacle.
My toughts exactly, but I'd like the forum opinion to be sure since it's the first time I work with DV.

I decided to open the Pinnacle 510 to check what IC's has:

For the Firewire it uses a LSA 1394 L-FW3227-100 or just simply known as LSIŽL-FW3227.





Wich it's the same IC used in the Asus P5Q and P6T Motherboards (Just to keep it in mind if you plan to build a new capture pc).

The IC was made by AGERE. If you want more technical specs, here's the datasheet:
http://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datashe...ERE/FW322.html

For the little information I found on other forums, it's seems to work ok.


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  #16  
04-29-2019, 08:39 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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A IEEE1394 connection (aka: firewire, iLink) can losslessly copy to the PC what it read off the DV tape. That is generally the best way to go. Any software that copies the DV stream to a DV format AVI that works on your system should provide the same AVI file data, but some software works better than others - e.g. easier to use, less prone to dropped frames, etc.

The problem can come when there are tape read errors or dropouts as may happen with some problematic tapes. In these cases you may find that an s-video connection/capture to a good capture card, such as recommended in other threads, provides a better end result thanks to some error connection in the player. This is especially the case where the camera head did not take full advantage if the improved bandwidth of DV (compared to the old Hi8/S-VHSC camcorders they may have evolved from).

Quote:
If you have windows 7 or earlier I don't think it matters what firewire card you use, I have Win7 so I can't help on Win8 and 10.
In in the earlier DV days the TI chipset-based firewire card was least problematic. VIA were known to have issues. The issue was how well the card, the PC and operating system, and the gear being controlled played together. Over time these issues cleared up and with newer cards brand was not as important. However, starting with WIN7 Microsoft redid their default firewire drivers and that created compatibility issues with some gear. The solution was to install the "legacy" IEEE1394 driver, which was still distributed with Windows7 (just not installed by default). It was not routinely provided with Win8 or Win10. (For Win 8 and 10 you can still D/L it from MS web site - follow the instruction in the Win8 support site.)

DV uses a fairly high data rate (over 25 Mbps) so ingesting video could be problematic (e.g., dropped frames, lost audio sync) with older, slower PCs and/or poorly configured systems. The some of the more common contribution issues were A/V software overhead, capturing video to the system drive, using slow USB drives, 5400 rpm drives, and running other applications during the ingesting process.

At least with some camcorders eject issues were occasionally related to dirty/corroded contacts on the sensors that monitor/report mechanism position during the load/unload process.
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