03-05-2017, 08:01 AM
steveyelle steveyelle is offline
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I'm transferring/Capturing full size and mini DVCam tapes from yesteryear onto a hard drive for safe keeping and as a backup. The additional monitor I have directly connected to the deck/player shows great clear video. When I played it through Adobe Premiere and just recently, Scenalyzer capture software 4.0, it shows scrambled, pixelated video in the preview/playback window on the capture screen.
I used to do this professionally over 10-15 years ago for about 15-20 years. I sold my equipment. Now I wanted to pick up a sony DVCam player/recorder so I could transfer my old stock & family footage that was left on some DV tape and now I can't. I did use the software in years passed to edit and even do some capture from mini DV and it worked just fine. Now I can't see what I'm recording and don't know what to do.

Can someone tell me how I can fix this or what I'm doing wrong?
Thank you.
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03-06-2017, 03:13 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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It's amazing that MiniDV is now "yesteryear". To me, that's still a newer format.

Just to be clear: MiniDV and DVCAM are two different formats. Both use DV compression, but it's variant format with some difference. So I want to verify the exact format being used. That could be the difference here.

DVCAM - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DV#DVCAM
In 1996 Sony responded with its own professional version of DV called DVCAM. Like DVCPRO, DVCAM uses locked audio, which prevents audio synchronization drift that may happen on DV if several generations of copies are made. When recorded to tape, DVCAM uses 15 μm track pitch, which is 50% wider compared to baseline. Accordingly, tape is transported 50% faster, which reduces recording time by one third compared to regular DV. Because of the wider track and track pitch, DVCAM has the ability to do a frame-accurate insert edit, while regular DV may vary by a few frames on each edit compared to the preview.
I never came into contact with DVCAM, only consumer DV and DVCPRO. I'm not certain that the standard tools will transfer DVCAM.

And in those cases, you may want to simply transfer via analog s-video. Yes, it will have some (mostly imperceptible) detail loss, but may prove easier in the long run. As you mention, this is not for pro work anyway -- just personal. I do this myself, just to avoid hassles of Firewire and DV playing nice -- which it often does not. Either way (all-digital or analog), quality will appear worse than HDTV, the modern benchmark. It will be at least as good as S-VHS, the best of analog formats.

Since you had pro cams, I'm guessing it was actually 720x480 detail, having good glass/optics. Consumer cams were usually so grainy that it was comparable to 352x480.

On the flip side, it may be a problem IEEE1394/Firewire port. I never liked Firewire, PITA ports.

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The following users thank lordsmurf for this useful post: steveyelle (03-07-2017)
03-07-2017, 09:02 PM
steveyelle steveyelle is offline
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Hey, very helpful information. Thank you. Based on you suggestion, I just had an opportunity to try a miniDV tape and it showed similar issues. However, within the preview capture window, I noticed it was displaying in PAL for some unknown reason. I never shot in PAL. I fiddled with a few of the software buttons and couldn't find a reason. Within a minute of messing around with it, it jumped to NTSC and started working properly after starting & stopping the tape a few times. I then put in my Sony DVCam tape and that worked fine - audio & all. I proceeded to use my JVC DVPro tapes and still no issue. I still have no idea what has happened differently, but it's currently testing out okay, at least for now. I'm a bit bewildered. I was hoping your idea was the ticket, but now, I'm not sure.

If it flares up again, I will probably take your advice and go S-video out. Ya, it's not a commercial project, but because of my anal nature, I'm trying to get the best quality possible. This stuff was shot on a then $30k Sony camera with great glass and a (3) 3/4" chip color processor. Yes, it was a 720x480 with either widescreen or 16x9 formats. Very nice color depth and felt like you were watching from within the screen, a very real appearance. It was one of the last upgrades before the non-tape, HD & DVD cameras started hitting the market.

Well thank you for your time, advice and knowledge on this issue. I appreciate it.
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