Hi, I posted this before and did not really understand what to do. My family has mini dv tapes that we need to transfer to our pc. We tried paying a friend $1000 to do it and he made mistakes. Gave us two batches. One batch only plays with a VLC player and the other does use Windows media player which is what we want to use. Also there were many parts that were cut out completely. I tried WinDV and it did not work. We run a corporation and can't take chances with freeware infecting our PC'S. Money is no object. Since 2015 we have used a Canon Vixia HD with an SD card. It's so easy. We simply dump the SD card to the PC. The format it is in is MP4. We can play it in Windows Media Player.
Cornucopia was nice enough to reply last time I posted this six months ago. He mentioned only convert to MP4 if that is the final product. We will want to trim some of the video. We think that is the term for cutting the parts out that you don't need. I hope there is a way to trim MP4 video because we have hundreds of hours from 2015 on that can never be trimmed since they were recorded with the Vixia SD card. First we need a software program that will be able record through PCI-E firewire IEEE 1394 three port fire wire that is installed in our PC. Some of these were recorded with a mini dv HD camcorder so we want to keep the HD quality for those tapes. This has been a project for many years that we have not been able to do. Any help is appreciated.
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are you using a windows pc or a mac ?? if windows 8.1 or 10, try using WinDV - https://www.videohelp.com/software/WinDV
to correctly install follow the instructions in post #9 - https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/395967-Dummy-Question-How-do-I-capture-video-from-...-mini-DV-tapes
We tried paying a friend $1000 to do it and he made mistakes.
Problem 1: Trim MP4s
Answer: Videoredo. This fantastic program will cut up your MP4s (and just about any other video file) and losslessly save them in the original format if they were MP4 or MPEG. Or it will re-encode your DV files into MP4 after you have trimmed them. It will also join files together.
VideoRedo is a "half-way" editor: you can select the bits throughout the file you want to get rid of, to frame-accuracy. It has basic intro titling and cutting (fade, hard or blend/dissolve) so for trimming and cutting out bad bits, it is brilliant. And it does this without re-encoding your video, provided you save it in the same format, which in your case would be MP4.
Problem 2: MiniDV Capture
For Standard Definition DV, use WinDV as mentioned by Ocotber262. I can vouch for it's safety; I have used it for years and it's fine.
For High Definition DV ie HDV, use HDVSplit (again. safe). It works in a similar way to WinDV. All it does is dump your HDV DV files (which are really MPEGs) onto your computer.
After you have your DV (SD or HDV) files on your computer, you can then trim/edit them with VideoRedo and save them in MP4 format.
If one of you catch the video bug, you can then move up to a more fully-featured video editing program.
Last edited by Alwyn; 1st Jun 2021 at 00:47. Reason: Revised VideoRedo info.
The benefit of mp4 is the space & birate savings, due in large part by the efficient LongGOP compression.
The detriment of mp4 is the complexity, and difficulty of editing, due in large part by the efficient LongGOP compression.
In other words, if you start with dv it would have made sense to both capture and edit in dv before encoding to your final destination format.
Since it sounds like many of those clips are not dv anymore but mp4 (assuming h264 codec), your choices appear to be:
1. Redo the work but capture using dv this time.
2. If the current quality of the mp4 is acceptable, and your edits are simple and general (not tightly time-specific), you could stick with these and just edit on the GOP boundaries (which might be 1/2sec or less, up to 5 or 10 seconds). Avidemux is a good non-reencoding (aka smart) GOP-level editor for this.
3. If you don't want to recapture, or can't, and you need finer edits, it is probably best to convert to a lossless codec (which will likely be 10x to 50x the size of the original mp4), edit and master with that, and then convert to your final format (which very well may be mp4/h264 again). Yes, you have to reconvert multiple times, but only one of them (the last one) is lossy, so you will only incur one more generation of loss, which is the next best thing to no loss.
Alwyn, thank you for the response. Why do we need three different programs? WinDV does not work at all. We have tried it. About five months we captured a two minute clip to test it. Then ever since then nothing captured. Just a blank screen. Would the HDVSplit also capture SD? Saw a Youtube video from two years ago where a gentlemen used Pinnacle studio 20 to do everything. Called their sales office and the said the new version does not capture mini dv tapes. She did not sound like she knew much so she may be wrong.
C-Leigh, you'll certainly need something like VideoRedo to edit your MP4s. I most certainly would not recommend Scott's method. It's not that hard.
Second, I am a bit confused about your MiniDVs. Could you mentioned "HD" which I took to mean HD video (or HDV) which is recorded by some video older cameras.
Could you please tell us what model tape video camera you have (not your Vixia), and confirm that the tapes are actually "MiniDV" tapes?
We'll then know exactly what you'll need to capture the video from your tapes.
Regarding Pinnacle Studio, it can record/import DV:
Alwyn, the SD (Standard Definition) mini DV tapes were recorded with Canon GL-1 (1999-2009). The HD (High Definition) mini DV tapes were recorded with a Sony HDR-FX7 (2010-2014). We want to ensure the HD quality is transferred properly for the HD tapes. Since 2015 we have used Canon Vixia HF G30 which uses an SD card that can transfer the recordings. We see all the video clips are in MP4 format which is great for us because we use Windows Media Player to view it.
Are you saying we can use Pinnacle Studio to transfer SD and HD tapes? From there we use VideoRedo to edit out the parts of me or my husband recording the ground or recording with the lens cap on? lol
Now I know the topic title is 'Software for....' but since the tried and tested software for Mini-Dv (SD) >> WinDv stopped working then surely that must be addressed. Solve that and you will be able to capture both SD and HD DV - yes, different programs are required.
According to your PC specs you are using Windows10. The issue could be a quite simple one. Some updates ago Microsoft removed support for IEEE1394 (Firewire) controllers. The driver for your card - since these rely on Ms and not a bespoke one - could have been removed in that update. So check Windows Device Manager to see if a driver is active. If not you will require the Windows8 legacy driver to be installed.
Now if you happen to have a PC with Windows7 around then installing the card in to that and all your troubles could magically vanish.
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
1. Not that familiar with VideoReDo, but if it isn't a smart re-encoding editor, then any edits will incur another generation of quality loss. That must be factored into the equation.
2. Depends on the machine, but LongGOP editing can sometimes be difficult and/or less responsive. If the edit tasks are light, maybe this won't be an issue. But it does add up if the tasks mount as well.
3. If those tasks are minor (e.g. top & tail edits, scene extraction/removal), why pay money when Avidemux can do it for free?
C-Leigh, thanks for the info on your cameras.
I've done some trials here with WinDV and I can't get it to work. It may work with your GL1, I'm not sure. Here is a guide for WinDV:
Don't waste any time on it; if it doesn't work, you can try Scenealyzer, which does work on my Win 10 system with my Sony DV camera. In my case,WinDV showed a "Microsoft DV Camera and VCR" but when I selected that, it immediately showed the error message "Can't find DV output pin".
Note you have to insert the licence code, which is included in the ZIP archive. It captures from my Sony with no issues. No guide yet; I'll try to make one up shortly but quickly:
1. Start Scenealyzer
2. Click the capture Folder button at the top and set you capture folder
3. Connect your GL1: it should appear in the list on the left as "Microsoft DV Camera and VCR"
4. To start capture: Capture>Start capturing. You'll see the captured video appearing in the main window.
5. To stop capturing: Capture>Stop Capturing.
As aedipuss has said, you'll need HDVSplit to capture for this. I have no trouble with HDVSplit on my Canon HDV camera. I haven't done a guide for it yet. Run it as an administrator (RC on the exe file and choose Run as Admin). Also, In my case, when I click the Record button with the tape fully rewound, the recording will stop. Wait for a few seconds until all the buttons become alive again, then hit Record and you'll be in business. You won't get a Preview unless you install FFDShow but we'll worry about that later!
Fingers crossed you don't have to go down DB83's of a separate Win 7 computer to capture your tapes.
If you have put (or imported from your cameras) your files (MP4, DV or HDV) into a project in Pinnacle Studio (for example), you can do all your editing there and will have no need for VideoRedo. I remember a Funniest Home Video once of an old bloke discussing with his wife whether he was holding his video camera correctly; he was pointing it straight at his face! It was hilarious.
Scott, VideoRedo is a frame-accurate editor, and it will smart-render everything you give it apart from the actual edited bits eg cuts. Long-GOPs? What are they? It just works; easy to set multiple cut points throughout the video and you can see them all before you hit Save As. Multiple options for cursor control/Advance as well.
Last edited by Alwyn; 1st Jun 2021 at 22:27.
Ok, so yes those smart-render EDITED sections will incur additional quality loss. The OP needs to be aware of that fact.
Last edited by Cornucopia; 2nd Jun 2021 at 00:20.
Scott, please stop going on about this. The edits would be a straight cut or at most a few frames on a fade or blend. What would you do? Convert it all to uncompressed RGB then completely re-render the whole file in MP4? Be practical.
For any normal person, they will never notice a fully rendered fade transition. I certainly don't. In any case, how else are you going to have a fade in a video? A new feature called smart-fades, perhaps? I don't think anybody needs to be told that a fade or cut is going to require a re-render of that tiny portion of the video. There is no other practical option so what's the point of worrying about it?
I believe frame accurate editors like VideoRedo and SmartCutter just re-arrange the frames pockets with minimal visual quality loss in the micro seconds time, I don't think they will transcode the video or lower quality dramatically, But I'm not a video professional so that's just my understanding on how it works.
Here is a copy-paste from Fame-Ring website about frame accuracy:
What is Frame Accuracy?
Movies are often digitally compressed before stored. There are key frames and non-key frames in compressed movies. Non-key frames can NOT be displayed without key frames, while key frames can be displayed INDEPENDENTLY. The functionality to locate and display each frame correctly, no matter key or non-key, is called FRAME ACCURACY. (tip: for each picture in the movie, we call it a frame)
Why we need Frame Accuracy?
Without Frame Accuracy, you can not start displaying on desired frame; the desired frame may be LOST, or you may got SECONDS of frames you do not want before desired one.
No they do not rearrange frame packets, they DO re-encode (or "transcode", though that has a special, different significance not likely applicable here) the edit-affected GOPs. With loss of quality. Such loss will be based on and tempered by codec, bitrate and settings.
I *AM* a video professional, so I am not guessing about this.
With Long-GOP encodings, of which h264-in-mp4 most commonly occurs, you only have 2 choices:
1. Lossless editing on GOP boundaries (so only GOP accuracy).
2. Frame-accurate editing with lossy (re-encoded) editing.
The latter can be improved with smart-rendering, but loss is never eliminated.
That blurb just reinforces what I have been saying.
Now, the OP may want to go that route, but a pro's due dilligence is to warn so one knows fully what they're getting into.
@Alwyn, I'd say you might be the one being impractical. If the OP is a stickler for quality, lossy re-encoding, even smart-rendered stuff, might not fit the bill. Or, if the OP is loose with their edit needs, then frame accuracy isn't necessary.
I didn't say your method is wrong, all I said is there are caveats to it that should be taken into consideration, and I have been returning to back my statements up with scientific facts. You are the one who has been dismissing my suggestions since the beginning of this thread. How about letting the OP make the decision about which is the most practical? It is already quite clear that my suggestions wouldn't be the most practical for YOU.
Fair enough, we've both made our points. One last question:
In my Videoredo flow, only the edited GOPs are re-rendered. The rest of the file is smart-copied/rendered ("Fast frame copy" in Videoredo parlance).
In your lossless>MP4 flow, the whole file is re-rendered; "but only one of them (the last one) is lossy, so you will only incur one more generation of loss, which is the next best thing to no loss."
It seems to me that the edited parts of my video will be the same as yours ie fully re-rendered, but the rest of mine will not be re-rendered (ie no loss) whereas yours will be (coming from lossless).
From a video quality point of view, is your lossless flow better and if so why?
Details of a VideoRedo "Save As" after I chopped out 60 seconds in the middle of the file:
[Attachment 59244 - Click to enlarge]
That's a good point. If that were the only determiner of loss, I would say your method was preferable.
However, it can also depend on how the loss is generated, which can affect the quality of the loss. Is VideoRedo saving in-place or is it saving-as an external (exported) file? Is it doing a full decode+encode, or is it just transcoding and modifying quantization coefficients & motion vectors while leaving the frame(s) in the compressed domain? Is it recalculating the compression using floating point, or is it taking shortcuts for speed using integer math? (This last one is similar to the quality difference seen between optimized encodings using e.g. x264 software vs. that done by hardware accelleration, e.g. nvenc).
In those aspects, my suggestion would be considered a safe bet while yours might be a wild card, pending extensive experimentation & analysis.
I will certainly concede that your suggestion takes somewhat less time than my suggestion does.
Last edited by Cornucopia; 3rd Jun 2021 at 06:15.
Sorry Scott, those questions are above my paygrade.