I am trying to capture some DV footage to my computer (Windows Vista Ultimate x64, SP1). I have a Dynex 3-port IEEE 1394 PCI card inside my computer. I have a 4-pin to 6-pin cable that is connecting my DVX100A to that card, as well as a Segate FreeAgent Pro 1TB external hard drive connected via Firewire to that card as well.
My question is, what software do you recommend to capture using this setup? I am open to all suggestions, regardless of price, etc. I'd like something that is primarily easy, stable, and flexible.
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Originally Posted by DW
This sounded simple until you mentioned the DVX100A. Are you shooting 24PA? 60i? You will need software on the caliber of Premiere Pro or Vegas Pro to deal with 24PA. I don't know if either support 64bit. Check it out.
I recommend you capture to a second internal drive if possible (not the OS drive) then copy to an external usb drive. If the external drive is eSATA, it can be safely used for DV capture.
Yes, my footage is 24p advanced (24pA). I think I like Vegas more than Premiere Pro. What do you think? Also, will Avid Media Composer or Xpress Pro do the trick? I take it I can't use WinDV any more, correct?
unfortuntely, I don't have any more space on my internal drives for footage. And, I don't have another open bay for another internal hard drive! That's why I have the external firewire drive. Why should I not capture to the external firewire drive? is it not reliable? Should I return my Dynex 3-port IEEE 1394 PCI card and exchange it for an eSATA PCI card (the Segate FreeAgent Pro also has an eSATA port on it, so I could keep using that)? Keep in mind I dont have any more free internal SATA ports.
Originally Posted by DW
I don't know if WinDV works. Try it and see. Movie Maker should work since it ships with 64bit Vegas.
I like Vegas Pro over Premiere Pro for general tasks but I use both in 32bit versions.
AVID Media Composer has very specific hardware and software requirements all listed on their site. It is very fussy that you follow their workstation guidance. It is very specific that 64bit is not included in their guidance. It is also very specific that Vista is not currently supported.
Internal PATA/SATA capture drives and external eSATA drives will work. Capture from an IEEE-1394 source to an IEEE-1394 drive using the same card may or may not work.
To be safe, I'd move one of those internal drives to an external housing and cap to internal SATA.
24PA issues are covered in Adam Wilt's link.
Moving you to our DV forum.
Bog standard external USB2 drives can work. I've captured tens of tapes without problems.
DV is only 25Mbps. PCs could handle it ten years ago. It's not a great challenge any more!
WinDV uses a good sized buffer, and reports the number of dropped frames. The only time I've seen any dropped frames is when there's no footage on the tape itself. What I mean is that WinDV doesn't always pick up gracefully after a blank piece of tape. Otherwise, it's great.
USB2 drives will generally work for a desktop but at the pro level one wants near certainty when working with clients expensive media transfers. DV or HDV are transferred as a stream, not an OS verified packetized file transfer. As such, a stream is subject to pixel, line or field loss when the stream is interrupted or the capture buffer overflows.
USB drives depend on a running software process for disc control. If another process takes priority for the CPU, or momentarily halts the CPU, data flow will be interrupted to the USB drive. IEEE-1394 to PATA/SATA transfers run as an isolated hardware process via "PCI bus mastering" once the CPU has allocated memory to the hardware disc controller.
IEEE 1394 DV transfer in to CPU/OS managed IEEE-1394 disc controller out on the same card may or may not work reliably. There is a risk of data loss.
For the above reasons, for maximum data safety, stream capture is best done to an internal PATA/SATA drive or external eSATA drive other than the OS drive. While WinDV reports lost frames, it does not report lost or corrupt pixels or lines and as said it has errors with blank tape data and often fails to report a disk is full.
I routinely capture DV live streams over IEEE-1394 while doing other work on a Core2Duo desktop and can testify to many data glitches when the capture drive is on USB2. If I keep my hands off the computer during transfer to the USB2 drive, capture is usually safe. If other USB2 drives are accessed during capture, data may be interrupted.
If the transferred material is of less importance, you can test the IEEE-1394 to IEEE-1394 or USB2 modes and live with the added risk.
Thanks for the reply.
I think I will try with just the firewire first, since the footage I have is just personal stuff -- nothing critical. Also, I have all of the hardware I need. Gonna try that out before I get new hardware like eSATA cards and such...
Now, back to the software. I think I will try Vegas. Does this do a good job at capturing? And does it handle 24pA while editing well?
Originally Posted by DW
The only issue is I don't recall if Vegas Pro works with 64bit XP or Vista.
You probably found this but under knowledgebase search for "64bit" under Vegas 8 Vista support you will find this statement...
"Note: none of our product line is compatible with any kind of 64-bit architecture (operating system or hardware)."
thanks for your replies, and thanks for finding those links
I ended up capturing well. I used the original setup mentioned: Firewire interfaced to the Segate 1TB (7200rpm, 32mb cache) drive. Virtually no dropped frames. I did the capture several times, of the whole tape (roughly 80 minutes), using different software:
Vegas Pro 8, build 179 (I think): 2 captures, 9 dropped frames on the first try (due to preroll, i think). 0 dropped frames on the 2nd try.
Nero Vision (Nero 8 Ultra): 1 capture, 0 dropped frames.
Windows Movie Maker: 1 capture, doesn't report frames lost, but everything looked smooth on a very close inspection.
VirtualDub: many lost frames, due, i think, to my settings, which were completely uncompressed (both video and audio).
Vegas 8 works fine on Vista x64.
ah, but i'm not messing with 64bit Vista for video editing applications -- I'm messing with it for me I have been using/testing it for a little while now. Definately not as stable as XP SP2, but overall, I like it. My only real problem is that I get 2 different kinds of bluescreens on a fairly consistant basis. This happened with Vista 32bit as well. but i'm definately able to use the system. I may go back to XP, but for right now, Vista x64 is fine for me.