Hello, I've been attempting to research on my own the past few days a solution to my situation. One of our clients has recently requested that all video be prepared for them in HD. We are not currently equipped to do so. We have been capturing video off of Sony camcorders using a USB video capture device, then editing the video with Ulead VideoStudio. The quality is questionable, at best. I now have been given a Sony HDR-CX110 with instructions from my boss to have a working model no later than Monday. My specific requirements are:
The video must be transferred on to a computer in HD quality. (720 or 1080 i/p)
The video MUST retain the ORIGINAL timestamp. At no point are we able to have the timestamp and video be separated. This was the biggest hurdle for me the first time around when I developed our previous system that is now in place.
I also need a video editing program that will allow me to work with HD video. I don't believe Ulead VideoStudio is capable. I only need to be able to perform simple editing, joining files together and outputting one file, cutting video out of the middle of clips etc.
If it is possible to use an interface that will be possible on laptops i.e. firewire, that would be great but if not, using PCIe or something else is also acceptable.
Also, the camera that I listed is not an absolute must, it is the camera I was given to begin this project, but I am by no means stuck with it. If there is an HD camera out there that is easy to copy its video on to a computer while keeping the original timestamp, I'm all ears.
I am at something of a dead end myself, so if anyone has any suggestions for me they would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post and thank you all for taking the time to read it.
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tell your boss it's not possible to retain something that isn't in the video file to begin with. it's recorded to a separate file in the camera in all avchd cams. you may be able to play the video in the camera with the timestamps visible and capture the hdmi/component/composite out, but you'll be doing it with a capture device like a blackmagic intensity/shuttle pro.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
I don't really think that's a problem. We currently do something similar to that with a capture device, we're just looking for something that is much higher quality/transfer rate that is capable of handling hd video. Also, we're not worried in the least about audio, we only capture video. Thanks for the recommendations, I'll look into blackmagic intensity and shuttle pro to see if they are what I'm looking for. If you have any other suggestions of what may work, please let me know.
So don't they normally burn timecode into the video in the camcorder for evidence?
This thread came up first in Google and may help identify the issues. By now there should be some rulings on the various processes.
Last edited by edDV; 28th Oct 2010 at 13:07.
We currently use a video capture device to transfer our video on to the computer, so since the time stamp is displayed on the screen of the camera, when the computer captures the video, the time stamp is on the screen and therefore becomes hard coded on to the video.
Tbh, I'm not really familiar with HD cameras, so I'm not really sure what the difference between MiniDV or HDV or AVCHD is. I am using a Sony HDR-CX110. From what I have found so far, it looks like using a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle via USB 3.0 will allow me to capture the HD video off the camera and keep it in HD quality on the computer. Is this a correct assumption? If so, I now need to find editing software that is able to handle the file that will be created and is also easy to use and not too complicated. We have investigators in their 50's that are not tech savvy, and I will be required to train them on this setup, so please do me a favor in that regards Again, thank you for all your fast replies and suggestions.
Also, I understand what you're saying as far as the requirements I've given being somewhat ridiculous, I see tons of places that we could edit the time stamps and video if we so desired to change its significance in court with our current system, however, I am pretty much bound by what my boss requires based on his previous experiences in court.
Are you sure HD is needed? You are stepping into very high tech trying to capture uncompressed HD video off HDMI. Sure it can be done but is pushing the tech to the edge. SD video capture is a no brainer.
SD is a no brainer, I did about a week of work last year and developed the system we have in place now. However, one of our competitors in town is providing several of our clients with HD footage, so as a result, HD is now required by those clients. I'm not saying that it needs to be 1920 x 1080p Blu-Ray quality of course, but I need a significant gain in quality over what we have now. Significant enough for it to be viewed on a 32" TV and look crisp (Which was what our competitor was able to produce.)
So does anyone have any input about using the Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle via USB 3.0 to capture video realtime via HDMI on my machine listed in my profile?
(2.4ghz Duo Core cpu, 4gb ram, 512MB 9800GTX)
Sorry for the multiple posts, but upon further reading regarding the Blackmagic products, they look pretty cutting edge and have pretty huge system requirements. For a long term solution, that is fine. My boss spends money where he needs to to get the job done. However, for the short term, I have a case I need to work starting tomorrow morning and will be working it all weekend. The video will be due Monday and it will be due in HD. I need to know if there is anything that may be a little lower end that will be compatible with my PC in terms of capturing my video. Would something like
work ok? Again, thank you for all your help thus far.
There is a long BM Shuttle thread going here.
The BM internsity is a more proven technology but creating a sailor proof workflow is a significant project and will require premium editing software and hardware. You will need to learn about RAID or digital intermediate codec technology.
The Avermedia card has similar issues. You need a workflow.
Last edited by edDV; 28th Oct 2010 at 13:58.
It will output SD analog, however, I have to turn in the video on Monday in HD. And what do you mean by workflow in regards to the Avermedia card. I see now that the Blackmagic is looking like our long term solution, but for this weekend, I just don't have the hardware to make it happen. Is the Avermedia card something that would be reasonable with my current PC? If not, what am I missing that I need?
Basic BMI Workflow. Core 2 Duo and PCIe slot minimum system hardware.
HDMI import from camcorder. Use included MJPEG codec as your digital intermediate. BMI includes a capture program.
Import the captured MJPEG file into a Premiere or Vegas 1920x1080i HD* avi "Video for Windows" project. These programs should use the BM MJPEG codec but you may need to call BM support for final fiddling. There are a few BMI users here that might be able to help. I don't currently have the card.
The Avermedia card uses a similar codec. It is newer so there are fewer users to help.
Call BM support now about recommended editing software and versions. The old ULead Video Studio probably won't work.
* Even if the AVCHD camcorder records 1440x1080i, it will still be stretched to 1920x1080i over HDMI.
Last edited by edDV; 28th Oct 2010 at 14:39.
not a chance. only the newest p55 and x58 motherboards are close to fast enough for the intensity shuttle. probably around a $1500 - 2000 investment in a new computer. and then the purchase of the shuttle.
Can I use a USB 3.0 PCIe card with my Windows PC for UltraStudio Pro, Intensity Shuttle or Pocket UltraScope?
Yes! On the Windows platform, you can use Blackmagic Design's USB 3.0 products with a P55 or X58 series motherboard which has been fitted with a USB 3.0 PCI Express expansion card. USB 3.0 expansion cards are available for around US$30.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
Awesome, thanks a lot guys. I've purchased a card and it will arrive tomorrow afternoon. I meant to edit my previous post about whether my system would work with a Blackmagic Intensity, I realized after reading about it that I had no chance. It does sound like that is going to be the direction we go in, but not for this weekend. I appreciate everyone's help thus far and it sounds like I should be able to get it going from here. If I run into more problems I may be posting some frantic, panicky posts tomorrow night. Thanks again for the help
In case anyone cares, I've got a little bit of an update. I purchased the Avermedia HD DVR card and put it in my system at home. I've captured the video from my case so far and the video quality looks good. It is far superior to anything we've been able to produce so far. My next question is, I chose MPEG-2 as the recording format, either 1920x1080 or 1280x720, I honestly don't see much of a difference. The files that are being created are pretty large, about 100-130 MB per minute. I'm not necessarily saying that's huge for HD, I'm not really sure. However, the client requests his videos be delivered on CD-ROM. I'm wondering what format is going to give the best results in terms of video time per MB while still maintaining the highest quality possible. I know I keep introducing conditions that unnecessarily complicate matters, but I am forced to deal with whatever my boss throws at me... Thanks for any suggestions!!
PS, I'm planning on using Sony Vegas Pro to edit/render my video. Good idea/bad idea? Any other suggestions?
Ok, so I just finished rendering my first video in Vegas Pro and aside from the horrendous rendering time (due to my pretty sub-par pc) everything went pretty well. I ended up with an MP4 file that runs about 15MB/minute and looks far superior to anything we've ever produced. My only concern is that I had a difficult time with Sony Vegas Pro. I realize it is my first time using it, but when we used to use Ulead Video Studio, it was so simple that I had it down in minutes. There is no way I'm going to be able to teach a few of my co-workers how to use this, it is just too complicated and they are way, way too technically challenged. Is there anything out there that provides similar capabilities to Sony Vegas Pro but is much more simple? All we ever need it to do is be able to trim and join MPEG-2 1080 video clips and render to a final file that is as small as possible. I realize this is straying from my original topic quite a bit, so if I need to give up on this thread and re post elsewhere, I will definitely do that. Thanks again for your help so far in getting me here...
Yeah the best quality per MB is going to be achieved by H.264/AVC. But you'll have to make sure your client is able to play it back... The newest Video Studio does do HD editing. Trimming MPEG-2 at any res is fairly trivial these days, there's free software that can do it and also encode out to AVC in one step. AviDemux for example. But it isn't really an NLE.
But there's a bigger problem if you really need to be able to "prove" that the timestamps weren't edited since if you're capturing with them as an overlay as I think you said, they could just claim that you captured with the overlay turned off and added fake timestamp "subtitles" in software editing.
The request for HD and CDR is extreme. This forces long lossy recodes to h.264 and more advanced playback hardware. With DVDR media you could get by with 1080i or 720p MPeg2 and much faster encode times.
What is the typical and maximum recording time per disc?
What is the player? Will it always be a computer or is a Blu-Ray player the goal?
To optimize the encode, the target player should be the starting point.