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  1. Member
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    First Post... This thread (Transfering Mini DV to PC with no loss) sounds like what I need, but is sometimes too tangentieal (?) Sometimes the vocabulary is a booger (DV= miniDV?)
    Any way I will take a step back and lay out a bit; please point me in the right direction.

    I used a Sony PC105 to make numerous recordings which I now wish to preserve for future referance.
    I have a Fujitsu FMV computer which came with Panasonic software for various activities for capturing video (and creating special effects for titles & scene changes etc.)
    I used the IEEE 1394 Cable (aka FIREWIRE?) to transfer video to the computer.

    When I compare the image quality of the orginal video playing on an old style TV screen... to that of the computer file playing on a similar sized laptop,
    the notebook image exhibits an unacceptable loss of image quality.

    In the setup, the softwear informs me I should use one setting for capture and editing, (Windows Media, WMV which only uses 3MBS per minute) and to use another setting (DV-AVI which uses many more per minute) for putting the edited final version back onto miniDV tape.

    My goal is save the data in a way that will allow me to have access to it when needed, in the detail I orginally recorded.

    That could be DVD or simply as a computer file I presume.

    I have transferred several hours as a sort of practice getting ready for the bulk transfer and it is at this stage I see the quality is not what I expect...

    My PC105 has quit working and am now trying to arrange for a stand in... but am not sure what to do to get the best quality out of the transfer... (somewhere I got the idea quality would return once the edited sceens were put back on the miniDV tape... but even it that were true, I need a future looking plan that doesn't require a miniDV tape player for viewing.)

    What do you suggest?

    Is there any reason to expect using the (now) free softwear mentioned earlier, would be an improvement over the Panasonic software that came (free) with the computer?

    (BTW- getting an "old thread warning", so putting this in as a new thread while it might have fit well eleswhere... Re: Transfering Mini DV to PC with no loss)
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    it's been covered many times. using firewire from the camera to the computer with winDV as the software, transfers the files from the tape to the computer in the same quality that is on the tape. it's 13GB/hr.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  3. Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    it's been covered many times. using firewire from the camera to the computer with winDV as the software, transfers the files from the tape to the computer in the same quality that is on the tape. it's 13GB/hr.
    And any differences between how it looks on a TV vs. the computer monitor have to do with the way the video is treated on the two devices. If you were to transfer the DV AVI file back to another tape and play the tape to the TV it would look like the original tape.
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  4. miniDV to computer via Firewire/1394 cable is 100.000% lossless. It is basically a file copy, like copying files between computers. There is no mystery to it and it is not complicated.
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    Originally Posted by PC105 View Post
    When I compare the image quality of the orginal video playing on an old style TV screen... to that of the computer file playing on a similar sized laptop,
    the notebook image exhibits an unacceptable loss of image quality.
    There are three likely explanations for your reaction:

    1. Analog video on your CRT is interlaced and has higher temporal resolution than progressive computer display at the same frame rate.
    2. Computer display is much higher spatial resolution and viewed at a closer distance than CRT. The low resolution of analog video becomes apparent.
    3. Your software is re-encoding the DV data stream from tape in a lossy format. As suggested above, this is avoided by using different software that simply captures the DV stream to a file.
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  6. And don't forget that TV are usually set up to pump up the contrast and saturation, especially from the analog inputs.
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    Jagabo wrote:
    And any differences between how it looks on a TV vs. the computer monitor have to do with the way the video is treated on the two devices. If you were to transfer the DV AVI file back to another tape and play the tape to the TV it would look like the original tape.

    So does this mean there is nothing I can do to improve the computer play quality?
    Is the only way to get the orginal tape quality is to rerecord on tape and play that on the TV screen?
    If so,
    Sort of defeats the whole purpose of transferring in the first place; preparing for the time when TV monitor and/or miniDV player are dead.

    JVRaines wrote:
    There are three likely explanations for your reaction:

    1. Analog video on your CRT is interlaced and has higher temporal resolution than progressive computer display at the same frame rate.
    2. Computer display is much higher spatial resolution and viewed at a closer distance than CRT. The low resolution of analog video becomes apparent.
    3. Your software is re-encoding the DV data stream from tape in a lossy format. As suggested above, this is avoided by using different software that simply captures the DV stream to a file.


    Thanks... but I should be frank and admit that the first 2, due to the vocabulary, are 90% meaningless to me.
    ( CRT, interlaced, temporal resolution, progressive computer display; spatial resolution) All I get is something beyond your controll is happening here
    #3 is more grasp-able, and I am wondering how I can find out if that is the case; the only way I know to find out is to ask Sony or Panasonic.

    I guess I could try a suitable program and compare the differance

    (I am working with Japanese language material here and am guessing that "Windows Media Video" and "WinDV" are essentially the same thing... but this is just an asssumption.)

    In general it looks like the plan is to go ahead and create the lower quality looking files and store them on a computer until needed; then convert to AVI then record back onto miniDV for viewing on a TV screen via some sort of miniDV tape player/handycam. (and consider viewing on the laptop as just a preview)

    Is this really the way to proceed?
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    Jagabo wrote:
    And any differences between how it looks on a TV vs. the computer monitor have to do with the way the video is treated on the two devices. If you were to transfer the DV AVI file back to another tape and play the tape to the TV it would look like the original tape.

    So does this mean there is nothing I can do to improve the computer play quality?
    Is the only way to get the orginal tape quality is to rerecord on tape and play that on the TV screen?
    If so,
    Sort of defeats the whole purpose of transferring in the first place; preparing for the time when TV monitor and/or miniDV player are dead.

    JVRaines wrote:
    There are three likely explanations for your reaction:

    1. Analog video on your CRT is interlaced and has higher temporal resolution than progressive computer display at the same frame rate.
    2. Computer display is much higher spatial resolution and viewed at a closer distance than CRT. The low resolution of analog video becomes apparent.
    3. Your software is re-encoding the DV data stream from tape in a lossy format. As suggested above, this is avoided by using different software that simply captures the DV stream to a file.


    Thanks... but I should be frank and admit that the first 2, due to the vocabulary, are 80% meaningless to me.
    ( CRT, interlaced, temporal resolution, progressive computer display; spatial resolution) All I get is something beyond your controll is happening here
    #3 is more grasp-able, and I am wondering how I can find out if that is the case; the only way I know to find out is to ask Sony or Panasonic.

    I guess I could try a suitable program and compare the differance

    (I am working with Japanese language material here and am guessing that "Windows Media Video" and "WinDV" are essentially the same thing... but this is just an asssumption.)

    In general it looks like the plan is to go ahead and create the lower quality looking files and store them on a computer until needed; then convert to AVI then record back onto miniDV for viewing on a TV screen via some sort of miniDV tape player/handycam. (and consider viewing on the laptop as just a preview)

    Is this really the way to proceed?
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  9. Member
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    Double post deleted
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  10. Member
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    Well I can't find a working "Delete" switch here - sorry If it returns control to me I will remove them when I can.
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    Originally Posted by PC105 View Post
    Well I can't find a working "Delete" switch here - sorry If it returns control to me I will remove them when I can.
    VideoHelp members can't delete our own posts. We are merely able to remove the contents of the posts using "Edit".
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord
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  12. Originally Posted by PC105 View Post
    Jagabo wrote:
    And any differences between how it looks on a TV vs. the computer monitor have to do with the way the video is treated on the two devices. If you were to transfer the DV AVI file back to another tape and play the tape to the TV it would look like the original tape.

    So does this mean there is nothing I can do to improve the computer play quality?
    Is the only way to get the orginal tape quality is to rerecord on tape and play that on the TV screen?
    No, it means you have to tweak your computer and/or media player if you want it to look like a TV. But before anyone can give you recommendations you need to specify what you mean by "loss of image quality". Video quality isn't a single thing. You need to be specific about what is "wrong".

    Originally Posted by PC105 View Post
    (I am working with Japanese language material here and am guessing that "Windows Media Video" and "WinDV" are essentially the same thing... but this is just an asssumption.)
    "Windows Media Video" has nothing to do with WinDV. WMV can refer to the WMV container, WMV codecs, etc. WinDV is a specific third party program for "capturing" DV via firewire.

    Originally Posted by PC105 View Post
    In general it looks like the plan is to go ahead and create the lower quality looking files and store them on a computer until needed; then convert to AVI then record back onto miniDV for viewing on a TV screen via some sort of miniDV tape player/handycam. (and consider viewing on the laptop as just a preview)

    Is this really the way to proceed?
    No. You can adjust your PC/software to look more like a TV. You can make a DVD from your DV AVI files. Playing that DVD on your TV can look much like your DV camcorder playing to the TV.
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  13. Member
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    " You can make a DVD from your DV AVI files. Playing that DVD on your TV can look much like your DV camcorder playing to the TV. "
    Would that also be true for play on a computerr screen?



    "...you need to specify what you mean by "loss of image quality". Video quality isn't a single thing. You need to be specific about what is "wrong"."

    I do not have it in front of me now, but in old speak, there is a loss of resolution and color fidelity... not so much in images recorded close up... but very noticeable in what was recorded using the telephoto adjustment... not sure what I am talking about - but is there such a thing as a digital magnification which is different from optical magnification? If so - then that. While the difference is not really like using an ISO 3200 film rather than a 64 ISO film, there is a loss of detail which limits the ideal display size to less than full notebook screen size. In close up images of eg the inside of a Morning Glory flower, quality is OK, but images taken where the whole house could be seen, but the telephoto was used to capture a person holding that same flower, there is a difference between the two methods of viewing - with skin rendering beggining to resemble advanced skin disease.
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    " You can make a DVD from your DV AVI files. Playing that DVD on your TV can look much like your DV camcorder playing to the TV. "
    Would that also be true for play on a computer screen?



    "...you need to specify what you mean by "loss of image quality". Video quality isn't a single thing. You need to be specific about what is "wrong"."

    I do not have it in front of me now, but in old speak, there is a loss of resolution and color fidelity... not so much in images recorded close up... but very noticeable in what was recorded using the telephoto adjustment... not sure what I am talking about - but is there such a thing as a digital magnification which is different from optical magnification? If so - then that. While the difference is not really like using an ISO 3200 film rather than a 64 ISO film, there is a loss of detail which limits the ideal display size to less than full notebook screen size. In close up images of eg the inside of a Morning Glory flower, quality is OK, but images taken where the whole house could be seen, but the telephoto was used to capture a person holding that same flower, there is a difference between the two methods of viewing - with skin rendering beggining to resemble advanced skin disease.
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  15. Something still isn't quite making sense. As a check, can you look at one of the files you have captured from your DV tapes and report on:

    How big is the file (how many GB)?

    How many minutes of video is in this file?

    DV video is a constant 13 GB/hour, and if your video file doesn't have that metric, then it isn't DV.
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  16. Originally Posted by PC105 View Post
    " You can make a DVD from your DV AVI files. Playing that DVD on your TV can look much like your DV camcorder playing to the TV. "
    Would that also be true for play on a computer screen?
    No, it will look similar to the DV AVI on the computer. Unless you adjust your computer.


    Originally Posted by PC105 View Post
    I do not have it in front of me now, but in old speak, there is a loss of resolution and color fidelity... not so much in images recorded close up... but very noticeable in what was recorded using the telephoto adjustment... not sure what I am talking about - but is there such a thing as a digital magnification which is different from optical magnification? If so - then that. While the difference is not really like using an ISO 3200 film rather than a 64 ISO film, there is a loss of detail which limits the ideal display size to less than full notebook screen size. In close up images of eg the inside of a Morning Glory flower, quality is OK, but images taken where the whole house could be seen, but the telephoto was used to capture a person holding that same flower, there is a difference between the two methods of viewing - with skin rendering beggining to resemble advanced skin disease.
    I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. But I can tell you: TVs are generally set to pump up the contrast (darker darks, brighter brights), saturation (more intense colors), and sharpness -- because that's what sells in the showroom. If that's what you're looking for you can make similar adjustments in the media player or graphics card driver.
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  17. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    Something still isn't quite making sense. As a check, can you look at one of the files you have captured from your DV tapes and report on:

    How big is the file (how many GB)?

    How many minutes of video is in this file?

    DV video is a constant 13 GB/hour, and if your video file doesn't have that metric, then it isn't DV.
    The fact that he mentions WMV may be a hint of this too.

    Check one of the files with MediaInfo. It will tell you what codecs and container are used. Or post a few second sample here (an actual captured file, not reencoded).
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  18. 1.- If you are capturing miniDV (yes itīs DV) to a computer via firewire (which is the best method) and your software (in this case Panasonic or any other equivalent) gives you the option to "capture" either in DV AVI or WMV, ALWAYS select DV AVI and NEVER NEVER select WMV ! (thats why the quality of your captured video is "not what you expected")
    -Yes, DV AVI files are large, as youīve been told here but as mentioned also, they preserve the full quality of your recordings, they are also lees problematic during the editing process if you decide to perform any sort of editing with your footage (I wonīt get into the technical reasons of this but believe me, itīs true)
    -If you have storage problems in your computer for such large files, consider adding another Hard Drive, either internal or external (in your case, since your computer is a laptop, external would be the way to go)
    2.-Once your DV AVI files are in your computer/HDD you have the chance to edit them or leave them as they are. there are several editing programs, both free and paid, some are aimed at the amateur market but even if you choose one of them you need to familiarize yourself with some video and editing terms (at least the basic ones), Videohelp is a good place to learn and also there are a lot of tutorials on line.
    - If you decide to edit your videos (add music, titles, delete unwanted scenes or shorten long ones, as well as image improvements like brightness, contrast, color, etc) the software you choose will give you several choices for output, and youīll have to decide if you want to make a DVD or export a file for computer/tv viewing or youtube uploading (mp4 is a good choice for either)
    - If you donīt want to edit them and leave them as they are you still have the choice to make additional files (because your large DV AVI files will remain in your large Hard drive, never delete them!....again you can make a DVD or a mp4 file. If you want to make a DVD, use the excellent AVStoDVD software, you can find it here in videohelp, itīs free, itīs simple and gives great quality; for burning your DVD discs, we also recomend ImgBurn, also a great free program. And if you want to convert your AVI DV files to MP4 there are also several great free encoders here, some are more complex than others (because you can tweak more parameters in order to optimize quality) but there are some basic and simple and will get the job done.
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    I may be able to provide more of the requsted info later; in the meantime perhaps this is helpful:

    (re post#1)
    In the setup, the softwear informs me I should use one setting for capture and editing, (Windows Media, WMV which only uses 3MBS per minute) and to use another setting (DV-AVI which uses many more per minute) for putting the edited final version back onto miniDV tape.

    CAPTURE at MAXIMUM COMPUTER PLAYback quality (use for editing)

    file type WMV
    Bit Rate 512.0 Kbps
    Display size 320 x 240 pixcels
    Frames per sec 30

    1 min saved = 3 MB



    CAPTURE w/DV-AVI (use for rerecording finished movie on mini DV tape)
    Digital Device format
    file type AVI
    Bit Rate 25.0 Mbps
    Display size 720 x 480 pixcels
    Frames per sec 30
    NTSC

    1 min saved = 178 MB

    Several OTHER CAPTURE METHODS are also available:
    Pocket PC video; High Quality video (lg., sm); LANvideo; etc
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  20. Well, you certainly want to capture using DV-AVI. However, 1 minute = 178 is 10.6 GB/hour and this is a little short of the 13 GB/hour for real DV, so I am a little suspicious that this "capture" app is still messing with the video rather than just doing a plain copy, as it should.
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  21. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    If that software is suggesting you use WMV and are saying it gives the best quality, that software is CRAP and they are not to be trusted for knowledge involving video transfer/editing. But maybe it's a translation issue.

    That WMV is certainly the most EFFICIENT of the 2 formats (aka at any given bitrate, it should pack more quality). But that is not comparing apples to apples. Let's arbitrarily just say DV retains 80% of the original quality and uses 13GB/Hr bitrate (aka 25Mbps+audio+overhead). If equal bitrate (25Mbps), WMV would be 90-92%. But the problem is they are wanting you to set the WMV bitrate to a ridiculously low level, which would drop the quality down to say 35%. Of course it's going to be worse than the DV now.


    WMV and DV are both video codec formats (WMV is the video codec, encapsulated in a WMV/ASF container, and DV is the video codec, usually encapsulated in AVI, MOV, etc containers)

    WinDV is NOT a codec, format or container, it is an app. One that is specifically designed to do only one thing: transfer DV material from camera to computer and save as DV (no further loss) in an AVI container.
    You can use WinDV, Scenalyzer, the DV module portion of editing apps like Premiere Pro or Vegas, etc.

    Do NOT us any app that suggests low-bitrate WMV, unless you don't care about quality.

    The 2nd part where it says DV...back to camera is because it MUST be in DV format to be able to be put back onto a camera. If it allows you to capture with this 2nd setting, then it should be capturing in DV and OUGHT to be OK, but considering all the other weirdness, I wouldn't trust it.

    Scott

    P.s. If you want to see how it's truly capturing, capture a short clip once each for both settings. Then open up in MediaInfo (in advanced tree view, not basic) and paste the contents of each here. Likely it'll be very clear then what's going on.
    Otherwise, don't drag this indecisiveness on, or you're wasting our time.
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