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  1. I have a Sony TRV70 Mini DV camcorder and several MiniDV tapes to transfer to my PC via i.link/Firewire. Ultimately I would like to archive/backup the video while I still have equipment available. I have several options and would like thoughts on which hardware/software combinations would work (or not work) and which would give me the best results.

    I have cables to connect the camera via the i-link/IEEE 1394 on the camera to each of the PCs, but have not tried to yet. I also have A/V cables to connect the camera directly to a DVD recorder or an analog capture card on an older PC as well, if that would give better results (or obtain a newer USB capture device). Other recommendations, as well as software for capture/editing, are welcome.

    Camcorder - Sony TRV70 Mini DV

    Equipment options:

    PC/Windows 10/Thunderbolt 3
    PC/Windows 7/IEEE1394a - 6 pin
    PC/windows XP/Vista/IEEE 1394 - 4 pin /Analog capture card

    DVD Recorder (composite input)

    Software options:

    Sony PlayMemories Home
    WinDV
    Scenalyzer Live
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Answered many, many times and a quick forum search would have told you. But.....


    If you have DV you transfer as DV. Anything else just compromises quality.


    Thunderbolt implies a Mac so lets avoid that.
    So it's Win7 and either WinDV or Scenalyzer Live
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  3. I tried Scenalyzer Live on my Windows 10 PC and was successful in transferring one of my videos, so it looks like my computer recognizes the camera via the USB-C connection. (I assume the USB-C port is using Thunderbolt 3 since the adapter I'm using to connect to the computer is the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C).)

    I didn't know whether to try Scenalyzer or WinDV, so I picked Scenalyzer at random. Are there any advantages of one over the other as far as quality or compatibility with other editing software? If it matters, I'm not really locked into an editing software, but would want the most flexibility for editing the DV AVI files and saving to MPEG-2 format for DVD and possibly other formats for playback on PCs.

    Also, in addition to Scenalyzer or WinDV recommendations, what settings should I use for the best quality capture?

    For Scenalyzer Live, I was thinking of changing the defaults to: file size = 4GB, compression quality = 100, and De-interlace = No. Is there anything else? Shoud I change the file size to unlimited?
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  4. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    If you have a Thunderbolt to USB-C adapter than it is converting the IEEE1394 data pockets into USB-C, Similar devices exist from Pinnacle that convert the IEEE1394 data to USB 2.0.
    DV is transferred 1:1 in real time, there is no quality advantage of one software over the other except for more usage features. However some handle tapes with drop outs better than the others and that's something that you have to try if you get to that point.
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  5. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I have only ever used WinDV. That also has a size limitation which is more subtle that the 4 gb you quote - if indeed it is a size limitation rather than an OS one. If it is then 4gb is only about 20 mins so if you wanted to transfer more than that as a single transfer you would need to change it.


    And AFAIK Thunderbolt (usb-c) is not a pure DV transfer. It will be transcoded. Check your transfer in mediainfo (text mode) or even post the report here.
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  6. I ran GSpot earlier to try to determine if it was a pure DV transfer since I wasn't sure since is was captured thru a USB-C port. GSpot showed the video codec as: dvsd.

    I also ran mediainfo (text mode) on one of the clips as you suggested (scene detection mode used = Datestamp). (Compression = 70 default). Results are below.

    Based on the mediainfo data, does it look like it is a pure DV transfer?

    FYI - The motherboard in my computer is Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 7. The website states it is a "Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 Certified Motherboard". When I connected the miniDV camera, cables, and adapters to the computer via the USB-C port, the computer apparently recognized the device and installed some drivers. I had checked my devices previously looking for something that indicated Thunderbolt was installed, but I didn't see anything. (I was skeptical since this was a PC vs a Mac.) Checking again since connecting the camera, I now notice an IEEE 1394 controller with a Microsoft driver 10.0.18362.1 dated 6/21/06 and a Thunderbolt controller under system devices. Although I didn't notice this before, I was specifically looking under the USB controllers so I may have missed it. Alternatively, these are the devices/drivers that were installed when my system recognized the camera.

    I was all set to fire-up my old pc which has the 6-pin IEEE 1394 port, but figured I'd try the current system first. I wasn't sure it would work, so now I'm just trying to confirm it is a pure DV transfer and that I'm getting the same quality video.

    Also, the default file size in Scenalyzer is 2 gb, and I was thinking of changing it to 4 gb. Also thinking of changing the compression from 70 to 100, for best quality. Based on your feedback, I believe I should change it to unlimited or something higher which should be possible since the drive is NTFS.


    mediainfo:

    General
    Complete name : C:\Documents\DV import videos\scene'20090724 10.31.34.avi
    Format : AVI
    Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
    Commercial name : DVCPRO
    File size : 328 MiB
    Duration : 1 min 31 s
    Overall bit rate mode : Constant
    Overall bit rate : 29.9 Mb/s
    Recorded date : 2009-07-24 10:31:34.000
    TAPE : sclive

    Video
    ID : 0
    Format : DV
    Commercial name : DVCPRO
    Codec ID : dvsd
    Codec ID/Hint : Sony
    Duration : 1 min 31 s
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 24.4 Mb/s
    Width : 720 pixels
    Height : 480 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 4:3
    Original display aspect ratio : 4:3
    Frame rate mode : Constant
    Frame rate : 29.970 (30000/1001) FPS
    Original frame rate : 29.970 (29970/1000) FPS
    Standard : NTSC
    Color space : YUV
    Chroma subsampling : 4:1:1
    Bit depth : 8 bits
    Scan type : Interlaced
    Scan order : Bottom Field First
    Compression mode : Lossy
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 2.357
    Time code of first frame : 00:00:22;12
    Time code source : Subcode time code
    Stream size : 316 MiB (96%)
    Encoding settings : ae mode=full automatic / wb mode=automatic / white balance= / fcm=manual focus

    Audio
    ID : 1
    Format : PCM
    Format settings : Little / Signed
    Codec ID : 1
    Duration : 1 min 31 s
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 1 024 kb/s
    Channel(s) : 2 channels
    Sampling rate : 32.0 kHz
    Bit depth : 16 bits
    Stream size : 11.2 MiB (3%)
    Alignment : Aligned on interleaves
    Interleave, duration : 500 ms (14.98 video frames)
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  7. Member DB83's Avatar
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    The video bitrate certainly suggests that this is DV and more so since it is an avi container.


    The audio is slightly below spec as I would have expected 48 kHz with PCM at 1536 kb/s.


    The 2 gb/4 gb bit still puzzles me since that still implies an OS restriction. Even my XP system could transfer DV beyond a potential 2 gb/ 4 gb limitation.


    But just wait for the critique about DV under NTSC (your profile/ OP did not clarify your location). At least here under PAL we have better results.


    I would still try WinDV - pay attention to the setting 'Max AVI Frames' - to see which once looks/sounds better.
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  8. Based on the information here it appears you have DV coming out of the camera, and you have created a DV file on your computer, but I have no confidence the signal was not manipulated in between. Do try WinDV, as DB83 suggests, it is less complex than scenalyzer and will fail if it does not see a proper signal.
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  9. I checked the manual for the camcorder. The audio has 2 options on recording, 12 bit mode (32 kHz) (two stereo sounds) and 16 bit mode (48 kHz) (one stereo sound with high quality). The default for vcr and camera is 12 bit. I don't know if this explains it, but I might try setting the vcr to 16 bit mode before the next transfer. It probably won't make a difference since it appears the camera was set to 12 bit mode when it was recorded.

    I think the limitation in 4 GB file size has to do with whether the partition is FAT32 or NTFS.

    I'll give WinDV a try as well.
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  10. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Yes. If the camera did record at 12 bit then that is all you can expect. As my friend above stated a pure transfer is 1:1


    My bad. You are correct in your analysis of FAT32 or NTFS but a setting in the software merely clouds the issue.
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  11. I used the composite and s-video hooked into the Hauppauge HD-PVR and I was happy with the results. It was what I had to work with it is such a comfort knowing those little tapes are backed up. I am sure your method and the methods and equipment that have been suggested to you will yield a lot better quality. It is nice thing to migrate over to digital and have more options and to preserve memories is a good thing and so is getting advice here at videohelp.
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  12. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tom Saurus View Post
    I used the composite and s-video hooked into the Hauppauge HD-PVR and I was happy with the results. It was what I had to work with it is such a comfort knowing those little tapes are backed up. I am sure your method and the methods and equipment that have been suggested to you will yield a lot better quality. It is nice thing to migrate over to digital and have more options and to preserve memories is a good thing and so is getting advice here at videohelp.
    DV is digital to begin with and it has to be transferred thru firewire to keep it that way, Transferring DV and Digital8 via analog output is doing double damage, first by converting DV to analog, then by converting analog back to digital. So you made convenience copies not backups or memories preserve as you called it. I hope you didn't throw away your tapes.


    Originally Posted by stymie View Post
    Also, the default file size in Scenalyzer is 2 gb, and I was thinking of changing it to 4 gb. Also thinking of changing the compression from 70 to 100, for best quality. Based on your feedback, I believe I should change it to unlimited or something higher which should be possible since the drive is NTFS.
    ScenalizerLive should not have the authority to change compression settings for DV, DV is set to 25Mbps constant, something is wrong. As to files size limit, just remove the limit and capture to an external HDD formatted in NTSF.
    Last edited by dellsam34; 30th May 2020 at 13:18.
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  13. From the Scenalizer Live user manual

    Compression Quality 70
    Indicates the compression quality (between 1 and 100).
    1 is the lowest image quality and produces small file sizes,
    100 is the highest image quality with the largest file sizes,
    the default is 70

    Also, for archiving the video, is it recommended to keep the transferred DV-AVI video on the computer as interlaced.
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  14. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Except as already stated, DV is 'as is on the tape'. If you compress you no longer have DV.


    I have read good reports of sc-live. I begin to have my doubts now.
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  15. Looking closer at the options with Scenalizer Live, the compression quality and de-interlace options apply to the still frame export settings and not the DV capture. Also, I successfully ran WinDV on the same video with similar results.
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  16. The Video Camera is digital and it does have a DV Out but I have no computer with a card that takes that so I went with the less quality root and I do still have the tapes. They look good on a small screen. I will retreat now and let this focus back on the original poster who is getting terrific advice and he will get his tasks accomplished in way that preserves as much picture and sound quality as possible. For myself it was wonderful to get the tapes into the computer as some of the people I had taped have passed away and it was nice to remember them in the process.
    Last edited by Tom Saurus; 31st May 2020 at 00:09.
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