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  1. When capturing miniDV from a camcorder to Virtualdub there is a vertical black bar (22 px) on the right and a horizontal on the bottom (8 px).

    Also, the picture looks a little distorted, like it's squeezed a bit, the faces are a little narrow.

    Now I'm just cropping out the black bars. But actually, the right thing would be to get rid of the black bars and let the picture fill the full picture. Then I wouldn't have to crop, and it wouldn't be distorted, I guess.

    How can I achieve this?

    I've attached photo of the captured image and how it looks on the camcorder screen.
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  2. Posting pictures taken at an angle that distorts the image to show how an image is being distorted is pretty much useless.

    However, based on your verbal description, you are not accounting for the fact that DV stores images with non-square pixels.

    Depending on where you are in the world, your image is either 720x576 @25fps, or 720x480 at 29.97fps (Japan and US.) To unsqueeze your image, view it at 720x540 or 640x480.
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  3. This is PAL 25fps I presume? Originally 720x576? VDub doesn't resize the video the way you see it in the camcorder. In VDub you're seeing the 1.25:1 ratio (720/576=1.25) and not the 1.33:1 ratio you see in the camcorder screen. You'll do that yourself when you make the final encode.

    To see it in VDub in the correct aspect ratio, right-click the screen and set the aspect ratio to 4:3.
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  4. How are you "capturing" this? I put that in quotes because DV is usually NOT captured via analog connection into a capture card. Instead, the proper way (the ONLY right way) to get DV from a camcorder into your computer is to use a Firewire/1394 cable. The video you get on your computer is identical to the digital bits stored on the DV tape, with zero degradation or alteration to the video pixels. Therefore, when you do it this way, there should be absolutely no distortion or bars on the video.

    However, if you are using the DV as a "pass through" to capture analog video from another source, then it is quite common to have some black at the sides (including top and bottom) because of how overscan is handled.

    So, if you are not using a Firewire/1394 connection, then you need to change your setup so you use that. Otherwise you will degrade the image, and you will also have problems like the one you are describing.
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 20th Aug 2019 at 18:38. Reason: typo
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  5. OK, I'll try to find equipment to copy the dv files to the computer. Once they're on the computer, how do I use them? Can I encode then using Virtualdub or handbrake? And will the aspect ratio automatically be correct then?

    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    How are you "capturing" this? I put that in quotes because DV is usually NOT captured via analog connection into a capture card. Instead, the proper way (the ONLY right way) to get DV from a camcorder into your computer is to use a Firewire/1394 cable. The video you get on your computer is identical to the digital bits stored on the DV tape, with zero degradation or alteration to the video pixels. Therefore, when you do it this way, there should be absolutely no distortion or bars on the video.

    However, if you are using the DV as a "pass through" to capture analog video from another source, then it is quite common to have some black at the sides (including top and bottom) because of how overscan is handled.

    So, if you are not using a Firewire/1394 connection, then you need to change your setup so you use that. Otherwise you will degrade the image, and you will also have problems like the one you are describing.
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  6. Once they are on the computer, you simply play them. There is no need to encode unless you want to put them on DVD or portable media player. There are lots of tutorials on this forum about how to do those things.
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  7. But is the .DV still widely supported? I thought it was obsolete? Can I just import them into e.g. DaVinci Resolve or NCH VideoPad? In the list of supported codecs for DaVinci Resolve, for instance, they write that DV is supported, but only in the .mov container format. As I understand it, the file I transfer from the camcorder will have the .DV extension - will I need to do anything with this before importing to editing software? Or will it just import right away?

    https://documents.blackmagicdesign.com/SupportNotes/DaVinci_Resolve_15_Supported_Codec_List.pdf

    Do you have a sample of a .DV file? Maybe you would be so kind to upload it here, so that I could try out how to use it?
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  8. DV was, at one time, pretty much the ONLY format used by all SD digital camcorders, so I doubt that most NLEs have dropped it.

    Here is a short 11 MB clip, direct from my old Sony TRV-11:

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/sazfqo9nhlqtffz/Tape_101-2001-092.avi/file

    As you can see, the extension is .AVI. There is no such thing as a .DV file. The AVI container can be changed to MOV, using the proper software, for those programs which require MOV (some Mac programs). In all likelihood, you can just drop it on the timeline and begin editing. Despite the colorspace limitations and JPEG compression artifacts in DV, no digital camcorder format ever created was easier to edit than DV.
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    DV is obsolete in the sense that manufacturers are no longer selling new equipment for it, but they still support it and sell tapes, etc.

    As far as home playback, DV was NEVER well supported, so don't expect it to be good for much now except capture, editing & archiving. Leave AVC+HEVC for distribution/sharing consumer playback now.

    DV is an already encapsulated/muxed stream of Video+Audio, so it can be "containerless", where it has a filename of *.DV or *.DVSD or *.DIFF. Or it can come in AVI, MOV, or MXF containers (where it usually disguises the muxed track as a video track, and then duplicates the muxed audio track into an independent audio track (copied). These are all "Type2" forms of DV, "Type1" being without the audio separate track and the muxed track call the video track.

    @johnmeyer, yes there IS such a thing...
    *.DV is the most common form of native DV tracks from iMovie (whereas FCP/X saves into type2 *.MOV container).
    And on the PC side, Canopus has had a whole earlier generation of cap cards & software where they were saved as *.DV files.

    re: MOV, if you have QT7pro capability still, Type2 DV AVI should convert to Type2 DV MOV, though depending on the internals of the file and the version of the software, you might run into a filesize expansion bug (out file ends up being 2x the size of the in file, NOT due to conversion but allocation).

    S
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  10. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    @johnmeyer, yes there IS such a thing...
    *.DV is the most common form of native DV tracks from iMovie (whereas FCP/X saves into type2 *.MOV container).
    And on the PC side, Canopus has had a whole earlier generation of cap cards & software where they were saved as *.DV files.
    Thanks. I didn't know that.
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  11. Hi guys - thank you so much for your replies. It has been most useful! I'm looking for a second hand computer with firewire. Will a PC be as good as a Mac? I've found this HP Probook 6360b - do you foresee any problems if I hook this up to the camcorder via Firewire 400 (the computer has the small Firewire port, same as in the camcorder) - and use WinDV to transfer the files from the camcorder?

    https://www.cnet.com/products/hp-probook-6360b-core-i5-2410m-2-3ghz-13-3/specs/
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  12. Thanks so much for uploading this so I can experiment with it. MediaInfo tells that it's DV from Sony - my camcorder was also a Sony. Does it come in AVI container directly from the Sony?

    This file plays well by the default windows and imports into NCH VideoPad. However, it's not supported by the free version of DaVinci Resolve.
    But importing as DV and the encoding into some other codec will still yield higher quality than encoding through analog AV signal, right?


    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    DV was, at one time, pretty much the ONLY format used by all SD digital camcorders, so I doubt that most NLEs have dropped it.

    Here is a short 11 MB clip, direct from my old Sony TRV-11:

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/sazfqo9nhlqtffz/Tape_101-2001-092.avi/file

    As you can see, the extension is .AVI. There is no such thing as a .DV file. The AVI container can be changed to MOV, using the proper software, for those programs which require MOV (some Mac programs). In all likelihood, you can just drop it on the timeline and begin editing. Despite the colorspace limitations and JPEG compression artifacts in DV, no digital camcorder format ever created was easier to edit than DV.
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  13. Originally Posted by malling View Post
    But importing as DV and the encoding into some other codec will still yield higher quality than encoding through analog AV signal, right?
    Transfer as the original DV AVI and then just reencode as lossless AVI (Lagarith, UTVideo Codec, etc.) if you find a program that won't accept DV AVI input. No quality loss.
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  14. Originally Posted by malling View Post
    Does it come in AVI container directly from the Sony?
    Yes. Once you get a Firewire/1394 connection in your PC or laptop and a Firewire/1394 cable, use Scenalyzer software to capture it. The video will have the .AVI extension, just like the file I sent to you.

    Originally Posted by malling View Post
    This file plays well by the default windows and imports into NCH VideoPad. However, it's not supported by the free version of DaVinci Resolve.
    You might try converting them to a MOV container from AVI. This is simple if you use ffmpeg:
    Code:
    ffmpeg -i file.avi -c copy file.mov
    Originally Posted by malling View Post
    But importing as DV and the encoding into some other codec will still yield higher quality than encoding through analog AV signal, right?
    Yes, that is definitely correct. If you capture the analog output from your Sony DV camcorder, the video will first have to be converted from digital to analog, resulting in the first degradation from the original. Then, your capture card will take that analog video signal and digitize it, which will alter it again. Finally, the capture software will take that digitized video and encode it, resulting in a third degradation.

    By contrast, if you transfer the video using the Firewire/1394 cable, there is no conversion to analog, no digitization, and no re-encoding back to digital. Instead, it is nothing more than a copy, so the video is 100% the same as the original.

    So, since the analog capture results in three separate degradations, there is never a good reason to do it any other way, if you have a choice.
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  15. I now managed to connect the camcorder through Firewire to an old computer, I bought for this purpose. And it works like a dream. The files are being transferred, and it even splits the scenes automatically! It's wonderful! And yes, the quality is really good.

    I uploaded a file so that you can see the quality. No problem with deinterlacing. No sync problems. This is just SO easy!

    Thanks everybody for pointing me in the right directlon of capturing directly through Firewire!

    Two question about the files
    1. It saves it as an AVI file - does it somehow contain the metadata from the camera (such as time/date code)?
    2. When detecting scenes it takes a few frames of the next scene and includes in the end of each scene. Can this be avoided in WinDV?

    BR Peter.
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  16. Originally Posted by malling View Post
    I now managed to connect the camcorder through Firewire to an old computer, I bought for this purpose. And it works like a dream. The files are being transferred, and it even splits the scenes automatically! It's wonderful! And yes, the quality is really good.

    I uploaded a file so that you can see the quality. No problem with deinterlacing. No sync problems. This is just SO easy!
    This is why I so often recommend that people use DV capture even when the source is analog VHS:

    It's just SO easy!

    And, it's bulletproof: no dropped frames, no surprises.

    Originally Posted by malling View Post
    Two question about the files
    1. It saves it as an AVI file - does it somehow contain the metadata from the camera (such as time/date code)?
    2. When detecting scenes it takes a few frames of the next scene and includes in the end of each scene. Can this be avoided in WinDV?
    First, the easy one: yes, the metadata is retained.

    Second, there are several settings in SCLive (a.k.a., Scenalyzer) that you must have set correctly in order to get proper scene detection. These are all found in the File --> Options dialog.

    1. File Type: Type 2 DV-avi

    2. Scene Detection Mode: Datestamp (Optical is for analog video and will never cut exactly on the scene). You might turn off "start a new file if audio ..." if you still have problems.

    Lots of people use WinDV, but I have always felt that Scenalyzer was more "robust" and had more features.

    Scene detection when capturing DV tapes should be perfect because it is done when the timecode changes. However, if you have edited the video and THEN put the edited result back on tape, then when you re-capture those tapes, it will no longer cut at scene changes, depending on how your NLE handles smart rendering.
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 27th Aug 2019 at 20:12. Reason: typos
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