Back in the day not too long ago, I used an old laptop with multiple firewire ports and Windows XP to capture from 2 SDDV camcorders simultaneously, getting two separate WMV files using 2 simultaneous instances of Windows Media Encoder 9.
Now I have a Win 8.1 x64 Thinkpad W540 (with a Thunderbolt port) and some HD camcorders that I'd like to use in the same fashion.
Problem is - no more DV (Firewire, i.Link, whatever you want to call it), and no more WME 9 support for this latest Windows machine (the closest alternative i found is Expression Encoder 4, which has a number of encoding limitations).
So, I am looking at what to do and hoping somebody might have a useful suggestion - preferably tested.
It appears that one route to go is to use the HDMI outputs on my camcorders. I would need to purchase some kind of video capture card that uses HDMIs as inputs (I saw a couple online). But I would need two inputs for my setup and most only have one input. Although, I don't know, if I get two thunderbolt cards, maybe I can daisy chain them.
(Of course, spending less cash would be preferable.)
One other thing: I am capturing from a tripod, so a lot of the background in the picture is static. So, if anyone can recommend a codec+settings which will give me best quality for least disc space (balanced with a reasonable CPU usage).
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i don't get it. you want to capture 2 streams to 2 separate video files? just record to the cameras and then import the files into the computer.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
I don't want to have that hassle (of transferring files from camcorders to the computer).
I used to be able to do what I need to do very easily as described in OP and wanted to try to recreate a similar setup on the new system with new (HD) camcorders.
Got my retirement plans all set. Looks like I only have to work another 5 years after I die........
The Intensity Shuttle for Thunderbolt is compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. There may be others with Windows compatibility, but some Thunderbolt capture devices on the market only work with OSX.
There are a few technical problems with what you want to do.
1. All the Thunderbolt capture devices I have seen (including the Intensity Shuttle for Thunderbolt) have a single Thunderbolt port, so you cannot daisy chain multiple units.
2. All the Thunderbolt capture device I have seen provide uncompressed output to the PC over Thunderbolt.
4:2:2 8 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 24fps = 95 MB/s, or 334 GB/h.
4:2:2 8 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 25fps = 99 MB/s, or 348 GB/h.
4:2:2 8 bit @ 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97fps = 119 MB/s, or 417 GB/h.
The PC has to either store the input as is or compress it in real time prior to storage for smaller file sizes. Doing either using a laptop computer for one HD video source might work if you are capturing to an SSD, but you want to do it for two sources at once, and I do not believe that is feasible.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 26th Jun 2015 at 16:58.
With expense part, I agree - I'd like to find the cheapest solution that works.
But I don't see how with taking the SD cards out of the camcorders, copying them over to my laptop, processing them through some compressor to make the files smaller in size it's "less hassle".
Yes, I would definitely like to compress on the fly.
My laptop is
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4700MQ CPU @ 2.40GHz
Maximum speed: 2.40 GHz
Logical processors: 8
Hyper-V support: Yes
L1 cache: 256 KB
L2 cache: 1.0 MB
L3 cache: 6.0 MB
Now, I didn't have problems with 720x480 double stream capture and compression on an old slower 32 bit system. Of course, with HD that'll be 6x the number of pixels to process...Would be nice to hear from someone who tried it.
I was considering the Intensity but was put off by some bad reviews, especially ones mentioning that capturing reliably only works through their software. And that I can't daisy chain with it.
If I bought a thunderbolt dock and plugged two separate Intensitys in it, would that work, I wonder?
Last edited by newpball; 26th Jun 2015 at 17:52.
Really, copying the cards with a good usb3 card reader is a lot faster and the files are already very efficiently compressed by the camera. HD is not only more pixels than DV, the compression itself is much more processor intensive. You are trying to do this the inefficient, expensive way.
And the intensity, whatever its limitations, is one of the better devices for HDMI capture.
I would love to not have to do it (compress), but, whereas, buying a capture card is somewhat expensive, I cannot see myself buying a lot of SSD drives over and over if I were to leave things uncompressed.
Ideally, I'd like to fit within no more than 1GB in an hour (for each camcorder).
I have an HDR FX-1 from Sony (HDV camcorder that actually also has a DV output - I just don't have a firewire on my laptop).
I also have a little Casio camera that has mini HDMI output. I am thinking of upgrading this one to something a little more camcorder-like.
You can use two cheap Mobius action cameras (about $80 each), crank up in camera compression and get close to 1 GB per hour @ 1080p or 720p. Then transfer the footage to your PC via the micro SD cards.
Again, you aren't making any sense with your requests.Got my retirement plans all set. Looks like I only have to work another 5 years after I die........
Now, you could make an argument that I could study the uncompressed footage, then run a script to compress it for archival purposes. I am not going to argue with the validity of that plan, but for now I want to create the ability to capture and encode the footage immediately.
Either way, if we are looking at saving 2 streams of uncompressed HD to a disc, that is a lot of MBs per second. Specifically 360MB/s, I have problems with my laptop exceeding 80MB/s (when transferring from one internal SSD to another).
Last edited by usually_quiet; 26th Jun 2015 at 21:42.
My concern with USB is that I bought a USB 3.0 hub with 10 usb ports and plugged in about 5-6 of my hard drives when I suddenly encountered an error from windows saying USB hardware controller resources exceeded, not allowing me to use more USB devices. I don't know how to fix this problem yet.
So, I am still thinking Thunderbolt - hoping that it doesn't share any "resources" with the USB.