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  #41  
12-14-2014, 10:12 AM
metaleonid metaleonid is offline
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Can we make some sort of mirror site-thread here? I.e. description from that site goes to the thread and attached are the files.
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  #42  
12-15-2014, 11:49 AM
ame-otoko ame-otoko is offline
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Back on-topic... and to anyone still interested in capturing video on a Mac (hobbyist approach, no miracle workers here)...

It seems that the USB capture stick I am using cannot sustain 25fps (for PAL S-VHS-C) upon receiving footage from the beginning of a cassette tape (or the first couple seconds of playback in general). A couple seconds into the file, QuickTime generally reports 25fps with a few times dropping to 24fps.
As for editing and creating a video file for DVD use, I have downloaded a trial version of Final Cut Pro X. As a matter of fact, the new iMovie 10.0 was no use due to a lack of export options (no iDVD, no QuickTime export), and the earlier versions were suffering from color loss upon importing the .mov container (not DV). The latter is a problem regularly highlighted and discussed in Apple support forums - and there is no fix.

In short, I am okay with the results for DVD finalization, given the fact that there are no immediate alternatives (except for prosumer capture cards in a 1st gen. Mac Pro, or a dedicated Windows PC). While this forum has proven to be more of an experts' resource with respect to my thread and the suggestions made, I truly appreciate the vivid feedback. On the other hand, I have learned throughout the past couple weeks that there is not a lot of up-to-date knowledge here or in other dedicated forums with regard to Mac video capture. Probably due to the fact that most people will switch to a Windows PC upon facing the obstacles described in this thread. In fact, most of the times I read how people would just condemn Mac video capture right from the start without being much of a help (unlike here). Furthermore, I couldn't even find Mac related reviews on prosumer AJA or Matrox devices, and the few Mac user reviews on USB stick alternatives, i.e. devices such as Intensity Shuttle, Elgato Game Capture HD, Hauppauge HD PVR, did no focus on analog video sources such as S-/VHS or Laserdisc.
If anybody is interested in a more detailed explanation of all the software and hardware I tested, incl. feedback from some of the manufacturers, I can write up a couple more lines.
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  #43  
12-25-2014, 10:14 AM
ColinB ColinB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volksjager View Post
pickup a cheap used windows PC - they are dirt cheap
Macs are no good for video capture - simply the wrong tool for the job
Absolute rubbish. I have a business which specialises in the digital conversion of analog(ue) video assets for businesses, archives, libraries and corporations. I use a large variety of video source hardware - some of which dates back to 1972 - and of the four main computer devices used at the heart of this enterprise three of them are Macs!

I've been working with video technology since the 1970s and I've used pretty much everything in that time, including Mac and PC capture hardware and software and if you think that Macs are totally useless for capture then you really don't know what you're talking about!

I've recently completed volume capture and archiving jobs for the British Imperial War Museum and several large public archives in the UK; they impose very stringent standards on the quality of the resulting files (believe me) and my Macs have worked flawlessly. We use a variety of Blackmagic capture devices - Teranex 2D, Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt, H.264 Pro Recorder, and so on, in addition to a number of Windows-only devices. The hardware that produces the best, most consistent results are the Blackmagic ones for us. We turn out 10-bit and 8-bit 422 Uncompressed Quicktime, ProRes422 (all profiles), MPEG-4/H.264, 10-bit AVI, DV-AVI, DV-MOV and lots of other stuff as clients require. No problems - no complaints.

So to say that Macs aren't appropriate for video capture is a stupid claim. Really.

One thing that has been overlooked in this thread (in which a load of nonsense has been typed by people) is that analogue video sources need to be timebase-corrected in order that stable and properly-timed frame sequences are presented to the converter BEFORE the conversion job is undertaken. If you don't use a decent pro-grade TBC you'll very likely have problems - and even if a capture device allows the stream through it won't necessarily be properly timed up. That will be the case whether you're using MacOS, Windows or Linux.

But don't say that Apple Macs aren't suited to video capture and make it a general reference, because it's very misleading to those who are just trying to get to grips with this stuff.
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  #44  
12-25-2014, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinB View Post
I have a business which specialises in the digital conversion of analog(ue) video assets for businesses, archives, libraries and corporations. I use a large variety of video source hardware.
Without details on exactly what you use, nobody here will take you seriously.

Quote:
I've been working with video technology since the 1970s
That's nice. I've been working with video since the early 90s. And everything that I did for the first decade of my hobby/career (it's both!) had to be replaced or redone later. The methods yielded low quality. We were really limited in those days. So whatever you were doing back then has little to no relevance now, aside from understanding the player. Everything else after the player is meaningless in the digital realm.

Until around 2001, referring purely to tape-to-DVD work, everything that existed was pretty much rubbish. Those old 90s workflows were proprietary (usually Matrox or Canopus based), and had tons of flaws. All through the 2000s to today, the market was also saturated with junk making big promises (that it could not deliver on). Worse yet, today many good devices no longer exist, making a majority of what exists the low-end cheap junk.

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and I've used pretty much everything in that time, including Mac and PC capture hardware and software and if you think that Macs are totally useless for capture then you really don't know what you're talking about!
I established this site more than a decade ago to help others with digital video -- speciflcally capturing/transferring and restoring. (The alternative sites at the time were mostly interested in copying DVDs.) And in that time, Mac has never had a quality transfer workflow. I wish that it did! Macs has always been excellent for editing, as well as DVD authoring. It mostly only has/had some very DV-centric workflows, which yielded color loss. It is/was unfit for archiving.

Quote:
We use a variety of Blackmagic capture devices - Teranex 2D, Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt, H.264 Pro Recorder
Several of the devices briefly mentioned here have horrible flaws. And it's not just this site, but you can read about them on Creative Cow and others. Dropped frames is the biggest issue. Not to mention some of them are grossly overpriced for what little they do.

Quote:
One thing that has been overlooked in this thread (in which a load of nonsense has been typed by people)
You'd better cap that attitude. I won't put up with that here. This site is not troll-friendly.

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is that analogue video sources need to be timebase-corrected in order that stable and properly-timed frame sequences are presented to the converter BEFORE the conversion job is undertaken.
You'd better look around. We talk about TBCs all the time.

Quote:
If you don't use a decent pro-grade TBC you'll very likely have problems - and even if a capture device allows the stream through it won't necessarily be properly timed up. That will be the case whether you're using MacOS, Windows or Linux.
You are mistaken. Most of 'pro grade' TBCs are the wrong tool these days. Most 'pro grade' TBCs do not play nice with digital equipment. It was created specifically for analog workflows, and will never work well in anything else. Again, without specifics, you're just ranting. This site has covered TBCs in many threads, for many years -- with specifics.

Quote:
But don't say that Apple Macs aren't suited to video capture and make it a general reference, because it's very misleading to those who are just trying to get to grips with this stuff.
Well, sorry, but it is the general truth -- Macs are NOT ideal for capturing video. A few very expensive niche-use devices, and on specific Mac setups, can indeed work just fine. No arguments here. But then that's not exactly 'in general', now is it?

Linux is worse.

Windows, specifically XP through 7, has many devices in many price ranges, that work perfectly. It's not that we love Windows, but that it's simply the tool that needs to be used for the task. When capturing is over, sure, edit and export on that Mac. I do it myself quite a bit, and have for more than a decade now.

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  #45  
12-25-2014, 10:30 PM
metaleonid metaleonid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinB View Post
We use a variety of Blackmagic capture devices - Teranex 2D, Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt, H.264 Pro Recorder, and so on, in addition to a number of Windows-only devices. The hardware that produces the best, most consistent results are the Blackmagic ones for us. We turn out 10-bit and 8-bit 422 Uncompressed Quicktime, ProRes422 (all profiles), MPEG-4/H.264, 10-bit AVI, DV-AVI, DV-MOV and lots of other stuff as clients require. No problems - no complaints.
Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt drops frames without informing the user. It has been confirmed by your truly doing it on Mac.

http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...y-shuttle.html

As for the picture quality the $250+ Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt did not outperform the $40 worth USB stick device VC500 and didn't outperform $40 worth ATI Theater 750 PCIE HD TV Tuner Card.

Sure the clients didn't complain because they wouldn't notice the dropped frames to begin with. If they knew about dropped frames, some of them would complain.

-- merged --

Correction! I was comparing the picture quality of the component inputs of Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle for Thunderbolt with S-Video input of USB stick device VC500 and with composite input of ATI Theater 750 PCIE HD TV Tuner Card.

As far as I remember the picture quality of both S-Video and composite inputs Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle for Thunderbolt plainly sucks big time.

Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle for Thunderbolt is overpriced POC.
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  #46  
01-04-2015, 02:54 AM
mrmuy97 mrmuy97 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinB View Post
Blah blah blah, I love OS X, I hate Windows, Blackmagic makes top-of-the-line hardware, no one here ever mentions TBC, blah blah blah...
Very interesting post. The top Google hit when I searched for how to best convert VHS tapes to digital was a thread in this forum which had countless members describing the importance of TBC and giving hardware suggestions. There's even a thread stickied at the top of this subforum titled "VCR Buying Guide FAQ," and the second question answered is: "Q: Why use a VCR with a TBC vs no TBC?" You haven't exactly lent yourself any credibility to back up the wild claims made in your first post to this forum. Stories about being emotionally invested into particular brands of software and/or hardware are all fine and dandy, but are ultimately useless to everyone here seeking factual and objective advice and information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ame-otoko View Post
If anybody is interested in a more detailed explanation of all the software and hardware I tested, incl. feedback from some of the manufacturers, I can write up a couple more lines.
Sounds like valuable information to add, and there's a good chance others in your situation or even just in general will stumble across your thread and find all your info extremely helpful.
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  #47  
01-04-2015, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaleonid View Post
Can we make some sort of mirror site-thread here? I.e. description from that site goes to the thread and attached are the files.
Yes.

We've mirrored a lot of content in the past, from sites that were likely to (and many did!) go missing in the future. We've tried to archive and save as much video information (and blank media information) as is possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmuy97 View Post
"Blah blah blah, I love OS X, I hate Windows, Blackmagic makes top-of-the-line hardware, no one here ever mentions TBC, blah blah blah..."
Nice summary.

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  #48  
01-07-2015, 03:38 PM
ame-otoko ame-otoko is offline
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@ColinB: Thank you for sharing your experience with Mac OS workflows. As mentioned in my initial post, I am using a JVC VCR with TBC enabled. Judging from the buying guide, I assume there are better VCR decks than my HR-S9600, just like there might be better TBC solutions. But you gotta start somewhere and my goal has been a tech-savvy consumer approach at "backing up" a couple dozen S-/VHC-C tapes and Laserdiscs. So far, the results (see my additional information below) have been satisfying.

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Originally Posted by mrmuy97 View Post
Sounds like valuable information to add, and there's a good chance others in your situation or even just in general will stumble across your thread and find all your info extremely helpful.
@mrmuy97: Sure, here are my current "lessons learned" and opinions summed up...
Obviously, my lines below were written for beginners, people who do not make a living with this stuff, nor spent a couple of decades following the industry, but rather want to capture old tapes or LDs before they vanish while sticking to their Mac OS setup.

The general statement regarding video capture on a Mac is to use a Windows PC instead. For that matter, a lot of decent guides and user experience reports can be found in this forum. However, not all Mac users are willing or capable to buy or build a suitable Windows PC. Some Mac users probably own software (e.g. Adobe, Apple iLife, and so forth) already providing various options to alter and enhance video material. Moreover, there are several freeware programs available as well.

Useful software for Mavericks (Mac OS 10.9) or older Mac OS:

VideoGlide came with my USB capture device. Updates can be found here.

QuickTime QuickTime 10 has the tendency to convert files before loading which in case of captured footage is very time consuming. Therefore, you may want to download QuickTime 7 in order to avoid this process and to play certain file formats/codecs that are otherwise not supported.

JES Video Cleaner this is a neat freeware featuring the following functions: general noise reduction (adaptive), remove logo, average two movies, remove cross-luma, remove periodic brightness variation. I found it extremely helpful to remove noise from old tapes, achieving results similar to VirtualDubs smartsmoother filter. This freeware and other, such as JES Deinterlacer can be found here.

iMovie the newer iMovie 10 no longer supports exporting to iDVD or QuickTime, which makes it basically useless unless you want to stick to creating footage for YouTube, and so forth. There is no chance to configure video format, compression, et cetera. I was using iMovie 8.0.4 from iLife 09 to avoid these limitations. Updates for iMovie can be found here.
However, it should be noted that the video files I imported to iMovie, similar to the experience of numerous users, suffered a loss of colors, especially for shadows and darker colors. I did not encounter this problem with Final Cut Pro X (trial version).

Final Cut Pro due to the above-mentioned problems, I have decided to test FCP (30-days trial version). The layout is similar to iMovie and pretty much self-explanatory if you have dealt with video edit software suites before (here is a great guide for beginners). The software supports export with QuickTime, thus allowing various customized settings for video codec, compression, format, and so forth.

iDVD no longer included with Mac OS. I was using iDVD 7.0.4 from iLife 09. Updates for iDVD can be found here.

Short review on Mac compatible video capture devices supporting analog (!) video sources:

Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle (USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt) although analog input (Composite, S-Video) is supported, various reviews highlighted problems with unstable video signals, e.g. from old VHS tapes, thus calling for mandatory TBC use. Even Blackmagic Design staff admitted in their support forums, that their devices require a stable analog video signal, preferably from a DVD player. Contrary to DV (Canopus) or H.264 (Elgato) devices, the Intensity Shuttle captures in uncompressed .avi. Although the software offers a broad choice of settings, I have not looked further into this device, with respect to the price and the obvious negative foreboding. Supports NTSC, PAL, but not PAL-60 (according to Blackmagic Desing support staff).

Elgato Video Capture USB (USB 2.0) unlike most of the USB based devices with Empia chipsets, this capture stick comes with a proprietary software, providing a step-by-step workflow but no additional options with regard to audio/video file formats (codec, compression ratio/quality, format,). Available options are brightness, contrast, saturation, and color tone. However, at this point in time, only MPEG-4 and H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10/AVC) are supported, hence resulting in mediocre results from analog sources (Composite, S-Video). Supports NTSC, PAL, and PAL-60. Not recommended.

Elgato Game Capture HD (USB 2.0) comes with an adapter for Composite and S-Video. The software does not provide options to configure audio/video formats (codec, compression ratio/quality, format,). Although the hardware specs suggest a decent alternative for capturing analog media, as the name already suggests, the software layout and overall functionality are focused on capturing footage from videogame consoles. Supports NTSC, PAL, but not PAL-60 (according to Elgato support staff). Not recommended.
Note: the more recent Elgato Game Capture HD60 does not support analog input.

Hauppauge HD PVR (USB 2.0) Mac software must be purchased separately (demo version offers full functionality). Although analog input (Composite, S-Video) is supported, the device encodes straight to H.264, so that additional options for audio/video formats obviously cannot be supported. Not recommended.

LogiLink VR0010 (USB 2.0) probably similar to most USB capture sticks, this device is based on the Empia chipset and comes with VideoGlide capture software for Mac. This software supports a broad variety of settings for audio/video formats, enhancements, et cetera. The resulting capture footage is good enough for the hobbyist approach (I stick with this device for the time being). Supports NTSC, PAL, but not PAL-60. Recommended for starters.
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  #49  
01-07-2015, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ame-otoko View Post
Useful software for Mavericks (Mac OS 10.9) or older Mac OS:
Short review on Mac compatible video capture devices supporting analog (!) video sources:
I'm really tired now, and I'll look at this more tomorrow, but it's a really nice post.

I will be using this, with my own knowledge, to create a new site sticky for Mac OS workflows. I'm also creating an article on Windows vs Mac vs Linux for video capturing (and optional DVD/BD output), and this will make mention there.

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  #50  
01-08-2015, 12:53 AM
ame-otoko ame-otoko is offline
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@lordsmurf: Thanks for the feedback. Feel free to incorporate my lessons learned to this site's knowledge base.

In addition, I am tempted to say that AJA products (both capture card and external capture device) could be the most suitable capture device for Mac OS, however I am still awaiting feedback from AJA staff with regard to some questions I had.

edit: One more note, contrary to the majority (?) of user experiences, my JVC VCR did not destroy or "eat" any of the S/VHS-C cassette tapes used with a battery powered adapter case. I like to think that JVC VCRs should at least be tried out individually (where available) and not be prejudged with regard to compact cassette tape use.
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The following users thank ame-otoko for this useful post: captenaj (09-16-2016)
  #51  
09-04-2016, 01:24 PM
captenaj captenaj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ame-otoko View Post
... here are my current "lessons learned" and opinions summed up...
Obviously, my lines below were written for beginners, people who do not make a living with this stuff, nor spent a couple of decades following the industry, but rather want to capture old tapes or LDs before they vanish while sticking to their Mac OS setup.
A very old thread but thank you ame-otoko, and all others who participated.

I am a beginner and I am on a Mac. I purchased the Elgato device and, like you, noticed the video while it's capturing looks a lot better than the end result. So my quest starts a new. Or not. I want a way to capture my videos lossless, HD space isn't an issue at this point, but it doesn't look like that's possible. I will most likely just live with the poor quality. However, if anyone sees this old thread and feels like commenting, I would be grateful.

Thank you again, ame-otoko. You've helped people more than you could know.
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  #52  
09-15-2016, 01:37 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Does the Mac Elgato software give you any options to use uncompressed or Animation?
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  #53  
09-16-2016, 10:08 AM
captenaj captenaj is offline
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The software gives the option of two formats. Actually it says it will select an option automatically based on how fast it can save (or process or something) the input. I don't have access to the software right now but I manually selected the faster option (I think MPEG-4 vs H.264).

Good point. I'll play around with that. I was hoping there was a new piece of hardware out that was plug and play (like the Elgato) that gave better quality, or there was some software that would improve my capture. But I'm getting through my old videos which is much better than letting them sit in a box.

Thank you for the reply.
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  #54  
01-29-2017, 05:53 PM
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In response to this thread http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...-os-vhs-3.html
(how is 139 days not recent enough, when the info is still valuable?)

Did someone mention the Thompson Canopus ADVC-300 (it delivers DVCpro25)? It features a TBC. I don't know of capture software other than buying an old PowerPC Mac and running iMovie6.

Regarding the Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro or Shuttle USB3/thunderbolt there is a german guide http://forum.gleitz.info/showthread....en-(und-andere)

It explains that the method with the Intensity card works, but the analog in/outputs of the card have strange signals, this is why they use a Panasonic DMR-xxxx as capture device, you go out with hdmi and then use a splitter to bypass a protection on the Intensity. Then go with the spliter into the Intensity card and then in the Mac. You then are offerred several different formats (better than simple DVCpro25). For simple cutting there seems to be a software called media express coming with the intensity card.
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  #55  
02-01-2017, 02:25 AM
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You missed the checkbox: "I have good reason to make a reply here, and wish to proceed."
I'll merge this.

The Canopus DV boxes don't have TBC based on testing. Yeah, the 300 claims it, prints it on the box, but it's not doing anything that we can tell. Dropped frames still happen. It's either not a TBC, or it's really weak. The 300 does a lot of really ugly things to video, too, so it's doubly bad.

The BM is a real disappointment. The SD ingest simply does not work as it should.

Mac was just never a great capture platform. It's DV centric, mostly for movie makers (ie, cameras). The lower Canopus 50/55/100/110 and DataVideo DAC-100 are fine for DV capture.

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  #56  
02-01-2017, 11:06 AM
Turmoil Turmoil is offline
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Regarding the BM. The site I have this from have tested numerous devices (on Windows to be fair, but still) and they found out that the best you can get out of consumer devices under 400,-EUR is a combination of the BM (it functions as an adapter, that is needed for the hdmi signal that is produced) and a Panasonic DMR- xxxx, which will create YUV422 at 80GB/h and a hdmi splitter to bypass a certain signal lock.

I already mentioned, that the BM is having problems. But it is needed as an adaptor. You might say that is an expensive adaptor (not, if you buy and resell it on Ebay). There are Pros on that forum and they tested it.

Too bad you can't read the German thread and my english and my brain (I am very sick) is not capable enough of translating it to you. Maybe you can get the idea of the Guide presented by wathcing the pictures and the names of the devices. Or just test it yourself.
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  #57  
02-01-2017, 11:26 AM
metaleonid metaleonid is offline
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Do read my previous posts. BM drops frames without informing the user. You wouldn't even know.
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  #58  
02-02-2017, 12:23 PM
Turmoil Turmoil is offline
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In the the method described in my lnk the BM is just used to make the hdmi connection from the Panasonic DMR to the Mac. The Panasonic is doing the capturing/digitalisation. Well, if you say it, I'll believe you - on the other hand, if one can't see that frames are dropped it might not be such a big problem.
In your previous post you say you tested composite and component video. The guide I am referring to is using the hdmi in/out only as a connector, no digitalisation.

I also never had dropped frames with ADVC-300. Some (windows-Users) also said that video and audio on ADVC-300 would get asynchronous. When I use iMovie-6 (very old version, not comparable to iMovie 8 and upwards, because the "newer" versions manipulate the video) and an ADVC-300 plus an old Siemens VCR I didn't see/hear this problem. Either way my eyes/ears are bad or it is different with different set ups.

I didn't come here to fight. I was just happy, that in the other forum they had found a working solution and wanted to share it. Well, I guess everyone has to try for his own, then, when even you experts have different opinions on it.
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  #59  
02-03-2017, 08:57 PM
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It's not fighting, it's just discussing facts.

The Panasonic is not really "capturing" because it's a DVD recorder. You have no idea what the recorder is doing, including also dropping frames internally. The Panasonic DMR-ES series made several great models of recorders -- but due to the TBC-like abilities, not the recording. The recording was awful. It wasn't better than BM, just different. Both are lousy.

True, frames drops are not always a dire problem. It depends on how many, and what caused the drop.

The Canopus DV boxes also record internally, like DV recorder, and you're not privy to drop information. The 300 has some nasty side effects that easily led to artifacts.

It is good to let others know what your solution is. Thanks!

As long as you're aware of drawbacks (and anybody else that you're doing video work for, be it personal or professional), and can accept those flaws, then there's no issue with the method. Everything has some sort of flaws; noting some more than others.

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  #60  
02-04-2017, 07:57 PM
Turmoil Turmoil is offline
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OK Seems we agree.

What you say, that the Panasonic is merely a to-DVD-converter was on my mind, too, when I read the Guide from the other forum and I was sceptic, since they often not even offer h.264 compression, but used to use something like divx.
But they told me, the stuff is not going to DVD, but directly going out of the Panasonic box and one can choose several different bitrates. They sugguest 8bit YUV422 @ 80GB/h.

I was ok with ADVC-300 + iMovie6 + Mac OS X 10.4 and an old PowerPC-Mac and an old VCR from the early 90ies (since recent ones tend to be really strange in colour), but I thought, maybe there is even a better way, this thought was what led me to find the Guide referenced to above and the people there hail it as the ultimate consumer solution. Whether or not it is of any good, everyone has to decide on their own what drawbacks they are willing to take, as you say, too.

BTW. before they wrote the above guide, they tested stuff and discussed on more than 50 pages http://forum.gleitz.info/showthread.php?46713-Zeitgem%E4%DFes-hochwertiges-analoges-Capturing-per-USB-oder-HDMI this is what led me to think they might have done their work properly.
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