Can someone help me with a video problem please?
I imported a DV tape from my Panasonic camcorder (the one used to record it in the first place) onto a Windows Vista PC using firewire and the Windows Import Video software. It imported a large .avi file (about 12GB for an hour tape).
The file data revealed:
Video Codec: DV Video (dvsd)
Frame rate: 29.97
Decoded format: Planar 4:1:1 YUV
Audio Codec: PCM S16 LE (s16l)
Sample rate: 32000 Hz
Bits per sample: 16
However, when I transfer the file to my Mac and load into FCPX 10.4, the video playback is very pixelated and there is no audio. Is this a codec issue? Perhaps it is an issue with the firewire data capture in the first place? Any suggestions?
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Thanks. I will give that software a try.
I may have found a workaround... If I tell Windows Import Video to import as a .wmv not .avi and then convert that into .mp4 using Handbrake, everything seems to be OK. The file is much smaller (about 2GB per hour or 1/6th the size of .avi) but the quality still seems OK. Am I losing anything by doing it that way?
You are losing a LOT. Seriously. Even if at first you don't notice much difference.
#1 Don't use "Windows Import..." for DV tapes. Use WinDV or Scenalyzer, Premiere Pro, etc.
#2 Those numbers look non-standard (should be 720x576 @ 25Hz for your PAL area material, not 720x480 @ 29.97Hz NTSC area material, and especially not 736x anything), but we don't truly know if you have done something to them in between.
#3 Whenever giving us stats on the file, do NOT use the basic view from MediaInfo, use advanced text view (so then you can just select, copy & paste it). You're missing a LOT of helpful info.
#4 DV material is SUPPOSED to be 25Mbit/sec, aka ~13GB/Hr. As a source format, this is inefficient/lower quality compared to newer formats, but it still is reasonable. WMV varies in its bitrates, but often/regularly is ~2-5Mbps, or 1/12 - 1/5th the size. Yes, it is a more advanced, efficient codec (but not nearly as good even as AVC), but is also a deprecated format. And especially, if you use it as a temp format, you are losing another generation of quality. Not necessary.
#5 If you are having an issue with reading a DV-AVI as source for compressing to AVC/mp4, try adding something like the Cedocida codec to your stable.
+1 Cornucopia. To the OP: your latest workflow is going to produce some really bad results.
OK thanks for all the advice. I am a newbie as you can see.
I think I will start again and ditch the old Windows machine altogether. I only used that in the first place because I didn't have any suitable Firewire adapters for use with my Mac. I will look for a Firewire 4P (camcorder end) to USB-C or USB3 cable/adapter and run this into the Mac using Premiere Pro (or will FCPX do this also?). Presumably that will give me a file which I can edit without conversion? Are there any particular settings for this import which I should use?
Many thanks Ross
I don't understand, the WinDV approach through Firewre does a transfer of the digital data to the PC as-is. No conversion takes place.
Then any conversion to your final format takes place from the best possible source
Last edited by davexnet; 21st Mar 2019 at 18:14. Reason: missing punctuation
No, radewar, (recent) Macintoshes have even a WORSE reputation of successful outcome regarding DV transfer. Likely because, while they originally championed Firewire, they were one of the first to throw it away for the next big thing on their plate:FW800, Thunderbolt, etc.
There are few adapters that have worked fw800->400, and fewer still of Tbolt->FW800->400. Far fewer than addon FW400 cards for PC. Understand, it is NOT just about necessarily sufficient bitrate/throughput, which is what most DV newbies think. Particularly wrong is the idea of using USB (3.x, C, ...).
Keep your Win box, just do it right.
You don't need any fancy hardware to transfer DV. I have a 2001 Windows XP machine that handles DV just fine.
In fact, to echo what Cornucopia said, an old Windows XP machine is probably the best piece of hardware you can use for transferring DV.
Having helped a LOT of people, back when DV was the main way people did digital video, the usual issues were to make sure you had a good DV driver (some of the late 1990s DV drivers were awful); good capture software (I prefer Scenalyzer, but WinDV should also work fine); and a good 1394/Firewire cable.
Ok, so I redid a tape using the old Windows box and Scenalyzer. All seems to work. The firewire cable is new but how can I check if its good? Is there a dropped frame count I can check? I am not sure what DV driver I am using - I presume Windows just added what was needed when it saw the camera. Many thanks again to all who have helped.
Scenalyzer reports dropped frames at the bottom of the screen during capture. You should always have zero, although if you have gaps on your tape (nothing recorded), you can sometimes get a dropped frame or two when the video resumes. If the capture is working, the cable is fine.
Scenalyzer is rock-solid and I expect you'll have no problems from now on.
Your OS comes with stock Firewire/1394 OHCI drivers which should work fine for the DV transfer (Certainly with XP, usually with Win7, less certain with 8.x, 10), assuming you have a good ohci FW card with TxInstr. chipset.
It also comes with a stock DV codec (in either VFW or Directshow API flavors, depending). Sometimes this stock codec is missing (encoder, decoder, or both), or the wrong API flavor for your workflow needs, or in only a proprietary API, or is just insufficient to handle decoding badly formed or non-standard DV streams.
In those cases, using the Cedocida vfw codec is very often a win-win, as it will fill in for missing decoder, or take over and do a better job than existing stock decoder, plus it allows you to control its operation. Don't know of anyone in a decade who have ever had any issues with it.
My goodness. One would get a brain tumor (of course, let's make it a benign one, but still) just reading all this junk. Heaven forbid Virtualdub just loads a regular ol' Mpeg-2 so that one can carry on with their editing task. No of course not. And for you, my friend....now you're being advised to transfer your file to WinD or Winn Dixie, or whatever the hell it's called. BUT if that doesn't work, then try buying a good ohci FW card with TxInstr. chipset! Lions and tigers and 'ware, OH MY! More pretentious nonsense if you ask me. Heaven forbid you just load up your project and the thing you're loading it into accepts it and you can get to work. No of course not. They make this crap complicated to laugh at you while you come here and get laughed at even more.