Is there a such thing ? DV quality capture from analog sources ?

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Hi , I wonder if you can clear some issues for me . I'm looking for a good capture card at a decent price . The goal is to create a good quality VCD or SVCD titles from HI8 cam or other analog source. Right know I'm considering the Pinnacle Studio Deluxe or the Pinnacle Studio AV. The main differences between those 2 cards is that the Deluxe has The ability to capture from DV sources as well as from analog, while the Studio AV can use analog sources only. Another difference is that the Studio AV uses MJPEG compression and can only capture at 640*480 NTSC or 768*576 PAL(I will use both format. BTW is 640 lines for NTSC is enough ?). The Studio Deluxe datasheet says that it can capture full frame 720x480 with DV compression. Is this specification stands for both analog and DV sources ? Is there a such thing as DV capture quality from analog source ? Is there any advantage of buying the Studio Deluxe card ? or it's a complete waste of money since I won't be using DV source in the near future and I won't be able to benefit the DV capture quality feature untill I'll buy a DV cam. Thanks

-- Lior M (shark@barak-online.net), June 15, 2002

Answers

DV AVI is a standard that was cooked up, among others, so that ordinary mortals like us can have access to such fine things like digital video which was formerly only the domain of broadcasters and professionals and the rest of their ilk. So DV AVI was born, and one objective it aspires to is to for us all to have just one very high- quality codec with parameters that cannot largely be tweaked, to end all contention and hassle and inconvenience and blood and sweat and tears of so many other codecs out there, with or without Windows or Mac, with all their glories and pitfalls since the time of Premiere ver 4 or earlier (gasp!). IF u have a DV or D8 camcorder, as the image is captured it is simultaneously digitized with the DV codec and in this digital state recorded onto tape. If you have a FireWire card you connect similar terminals on both sides and transfer this video data onto your HDD in your PC from the tape. Note that the camera did the digitizing. To take advantage of this wonderful DV codec, there are some PC capture cards that have this built in so that you can now feed analogue signals into it and it is digitized and gets sent to your HDD. Alongside the analogue inputs there is FireWire for direct transfer of DV tape material. In this case it is DV and DV and DV and has been defined by the DV camcorder that shot it, but the analogue inputs will be defined by the DV codec on the card; either way both end up your HDD in exactly the same format DV AVI. You should get the DV capture card to save you from having to contend with other codecs. It is NOT a waste of money because you'll be oh so glad when u finally have a DV camcorder, which are as cheap nowadays as Hi8 ones it's a crime to still deliberately buy the latter. Your quality may not improve with the Hi8 you have but you benefit from a host of other features when that Hi8 material gets digitized with the DV AVI codec. If your analogue material was in fact shot by a fantabulous 3CCD camcorder like the Canon A1 and fed into the analogue inputs of a DV-codec capture card the resulting video files might BE BETTER looking than something shot by a later one-CCD DV camcorder like the ZR45.

-- Mehmet Tekdemir (turk690@yahoo.com), June 16, 2002.

I have the Studio Deluxe you ar considering and find that it is very good for the price. Like you I am only using the analog source for capture at present but went the whole hog hoping that I will eventually have a digital camera. I have created some great SVCD's with the software bundle (Express) but I am finding the whole process is very slow, and the analog capture means you need heaps of hardrive space, I captured 50min onto my hard drive and it took up 13 gig!!!!! and that can't be scrubbed until you have finally rendered your final creation to MPEG. (and that takes forever, actually rendering to high quality AVI is much worse) With digital capture Studio 7 will actually alow you to capture the video in preview quality saving valuable hardrive space. Then when you have finished editing and ready to render your creation, just plug the camera back in, turn it on and press go..... It then captures the full quality from the camera as well as the hardrive editing you have done. This is why I want a DV camera! Actually I am seriously considering going to a IMac with a Superdrive as the PC is just not doing what I had hoped, anyone got any thoughts on that?

Michael

-- Michael Waters (mick@waterex.com.au), June 16, 2002.


I'd rather go for a Digital8 camcorder such as the Sony TRV240 with DV-in/out AND analog in/out. It automatically converts analog source into DV format. You can even use it to convert from a VHS vbideorecorder. Just plug that into the Sony, the Sony to the PC with an inexpensive firewire card ( 40 ) and you're all set.

In addition you will already be all set for digital filming and you can still play your analog HI8 tapes and/or record on HI8 tapes in DV format. Best of all worlds, although the TRV costs between 900 to 1000 . Equivalent in $ - if that's what you're paying...

Fafnyr

-- Fafnyr (fafnyr@deja.com), July 01, 2002.


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