This is kind of, and kind of not, a newbie question.
I have years' worth of Digital8 and MiniDV tapes that I want to capture.
I want the capture to be lossless. No re-encoding, no deinterlacing, no resampling the audio. As little re-packaging or conversion as possible. I'm hoping to go ideally to "raw" DV, but TypeI DV-AVI, or TypeII DV-AVI are OK too.
My laptop is a Windows 7 64-bit with its own 1394 port, so I'm partway there.
Here's the problem-- I don't know what software to use-- what will give me the most pure capture.
The obvious choice after searching videohelp.com would seem to be WinDV, but it didn't work for me because it didn't capture the audio correctly (details below.)
Other similar pure capture tools I've seen mentioned a lot on the videohelp forums are DVIO and EnoSoft. I've also seen VirtualDub mentioned. Which of these would work best in Windows 7 for pure DV capture?
But I also find myself wondering, am I just making this too complicated? Why not use the built in Windows tools (i.e., Windows Movie Maker, or Live Capture, or whatever it's called now)? What's the benefit of using a tool like WinDV over using the built in tools Microsoft supplies? (I should say, I didn't have the best luck with Windows' built in capture tools back in 2007, but I'm trying to have faith that maybe they are better now.)
Thanks for any advice anyone can provide on this!
PS, details on why I don't want to keep using WinDV:
I am aware of the famed WinDV freeware application (found out about it on videohelp), and it seemed like the obvious choice. Last time I started trying to capture (on a Windows XP laptop) I was using it.
But I think I need an alternative because it did not capture the audio correctly in my case. Though my Digital8 tapes are mostly 16Bit/48kHz, WinDV persistently captured some (but not all) of them as 12Bit/32kHz, with some kind of bad audio resampling-- the audio sounded tinny as if it were coming through a decade old cellphone. At least that's what the files said the audio format was-- i.e., in the VLC or QuickTime menu items reporting the details of the format. (I've wondered if maybe the data's really there correctly in the file, and it's just not playing correctly because the file thinks it's 12bit/32kHz, or if the error was on capture and the correct audio data just isn't in the captured file at all.)
Apparently this is an obscure, but known, problem with WinDV. For instance it is mentioned in this post:
It's stated that the audio problem can be avoided by starting the tape playing before commencing the WinDV capture, but for me the AVI reported audio rate still ended up 32kHz when I did this, and the audio still sounded tinny. Maybe it's because those tapes were D8 instead of MiniDV, I don't know.
I even went so far as to write the author of WinDV looking for answers, but he didn't respond (he says right on his website that the tool is ancient history for him.) I even went poking around the source code myself, hoping to fix it, but I don't have the time or expertise to do the kind of debugging necessary to resolve a bug like this. My best guess is that the tool was mostly written and debugged around 12bit audio since that's far more common, and that 16bit just isn't fully debugged or reliable because it wasn't as well trodden a path.
(Edit: I should clarify, when I tried WinDV last time, I was on Windows XP, not Windows 7. But since the application ceased active development in 2003, almost a decade ago, I think it can safely be assumed that even in the best case scenario, if the tool works at all in WIndows 7, it is still going to have any bugs it had in XP.)
So I'm back to square one, looking for the most pure and unadulterated capture result I can find on Windows 7, besides WinDV.
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Last edited by siphon; 29th Nov 2012 at 14:41. Reason: Added clarification that when I tried WinDV before I was on Windows XP instead of Windows 7