So I transferred over 30 MiniDV tapes to my computer through Firewire recently without any issues, once I finally got hold of a working camera.
I was using WinDV, on a Windows Vista computer.
Then I had a few MiniDV tapes that were recorded on a HDV camera, in high definition. I noticed WinDV could not transfer 1080p HDV files from MiniDV, so I downloaded HDVSplit instead, which was recommended on a website I was reading on.
All through the transfer process, there were warning messages stating "WARNING: Some packets have been lost.". Not just 1 or 2, but several hundreds! When rewinding the tape and doing it over again, the dropped frames/packets occur in different places every time. When I play the transferred m2t files back, every moment when there was a lost packet during the transfer process, there are pixel artifacts / clicks / stops, etc. This is what I have tried so far:
1. Tried multiple tapes, to make sure the problem wasn't due to the tape - no difference no matter which tape I try
2. Moved the PCI-E card over to a stronger computer. The initial computer was a Windows Vista PC, with 1.70 Ghz processor and 16 Gb RAM. The second computer was a Windows 7 PC with 3.50 Ghz and 16 Gb RAM. This made no difference.
3. Tried ripping to a internal secondary drive (not the C: drive) on both computers. The second computer also has a third drive, which is a SSD. I tried transferring to that as well. None of this helped the dropped packet problem.
4. Tried different Firewire cords, which also didn't help.
5. Tried both with and without the "preview" window turned on, which didn't help.
I simply don't understand why the standard resolution DV footage worked flawlessly, but as soon as I try the HDV footage I get hundreds of dropped packets? The DV vs HDV footage takes up equal discspace, so it couldn't be a matter of the data not transferring / being written fast enough.
Unless these hassles are software related and HDVSplit is the reason for the problems. Is there a different software I could use that you think would work better, or do you have any idea what could be the cause of the dropped packets?
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Well, this is totally insane. When I turn the "Scenes split" feature on, I don't get any dropped frames/packets. So basically, every time there is a new scene, a new m2t file is created. I guess I'll have to do it this way and then join all the files together somehow. Maybe I'm stupid but I can't see the logic why I only get dropped packets when transferring to one large file in HDVSplit (which does not happen when dealing with regular DV-AVI footage in WinDV).
Are you sure it's not the player's fault? Like dirty head, dropouts on tape itself?
The metal formula used in MiniDV tapes is not aging well. Many of these tapes are developing dropouts as the coating flakes off. Bits of loose coating fly around in the transport and clog the heads in random fashion. Like all scanners, the heads will often recover after more tape passes by and dislodges the debris. My approach is to wind these cassettes end-to-end a couple times to encourage the loose stuff to fall out. But some tapes are so bad that they shed on every pass.
In any case, I solved the problem by transfering it as HDV, with Scene Split on, then joining all the clips together.