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  1. #1

    Hardware for Capturing

    Hi to all.

    I've used my PC to capture and edit movies before, but I'm not really happy with the results, as they appear grainy when viewed on the TV. I've used my Athlon XP2100+ with a firewire card, and used several applications to edit, like Microsoft's Movie Maker, Pinnacle 8 & 9, but the results are not that good.

    I don't really think it's just the software, but also (or mainly) the way I capture the video on PC. I have now also a Mac G5 which I can use to experiment.

    Can anyone suggest good ways of capturing video which doesn't reduce the quality of the film while capturing? What hardware can I add on/replace to enhance my capture?

    BTW, my video camera is a Samsung MiniDV.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Hardware for Capturing

    I can't actually see anything obviously wrong with your hardware. In theory, as long as your system is grunty enough to keep up with the video transfer there should be no real loss in quality transferring via Firewire. You may not have the latest and greatest CPU but I can't see how it could result in grainy video.

    I do know one thing - Windows Movie Maker is a waste of time. The first thing to do is dump that program from the equation and make sure you use a decent capture/edit program.

    If I were you I would certainly try the Mac and see how you go. At least you might get more information from the experiment.

    Using Firewire is a fairly consistent process and shouldn't degrade your video in the way you describe. Can you display the video on your computer monitor? If so, how does it look? How are you getting it from the computer to the TV? Have you tried displaying it on different TVs?
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  3. #3

    Re: Hardware for Capturing

    Hi Dave,

    Actually, on the PC Monitor it is much worse!! It's all like, how can I describe this??? When played back both on TV and monitor, the film is all like full of lines, it is not one smooth picture, but like built of lots of different lines which are superimposed one on the other. I tried using pinnalce to capture, the captured film was better than that captured using Movie maker, but still not satisfactory (at least for me). There is a VERY noticable difference when I play back on my Tv a dvd made from the captured film, and the film on the DV tape.

    I have just today installed 2GB ram in my mac and will be installing Mac OS X 10.4 and Final Cut pro 4.5 HD and see what happens.

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Hardware for Capturing

    That sounds like a good plan.

    If it still doesn't work, any chance you can do a screenshot and upload it here?

    Also could be worth showing us all your capture settings.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  5. #5

    Re: Hardware for Capturing

    OK Dave, I will....

  6. #6
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    Re: Hardware for Capturing

    You may also want to check you Firewire cable and check whatever settings there may be for capture. I'm not familiar with that program, but, for example, it may give you options for resolution, etc. Good luck.

    Allan

  7. #7
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    Re: Hardware for Capturing

    Check your render settings, make sure they are at "good" or "best".
    capture setting, make sure that you are capturing in the same format as your tape i.e. 25 SMPTE for PAL lower field first!!!

  8. #8
    Bob
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    Re: Hardware for Capturing

    Copying a DV file over a firewire from the camcorder to computer doesn't induce grain. The file is an exact duplicate, bit for bit. If the signal is corrupted (or the signal on the tape degrades and has dropouts) you could see some pixelating (momentary blockiness in parts of the image).

    What make/model camcorder are you using? Are you shooting in dim lighting? To varying degrees, most consumer camcorders will record a noticably grainy image in dim lighting (some worse than others).

    The lines you talk about sound like interlacing. If you see lines on the edges of objects in areas of motion in a frame, when you view on the computer, that's because it is interlaced video (the odd and even scan lines of the frame are 1/60th of a second apart). You shouldn't see that when viewing on a standard CRT television though.

  9. #9
    Bob
    Guest

    Re: Hardware for Capturing

    What type of connection do you use to get the video on TV?
    The yellow video cable( composite) is the lowest quality.
    S-video would be the next best, assuming your TV and DVD etc. have this connection.
    Component ( 3 separate cables, green, red, blue ) would be the best of these 3 types.

    Bob thepak(
    Quote
    Quote: clioguy
    Hi to all.

    I've used my PC to capture and edit movies before, but I'm not really happy with the results, as they appear grainy when viewed on the TV. I've used my Athlon XP2100+ with a firewire card, and used several applications to edit, like Microsoft's Movie Maker, Pinnacle 8 & 9, but the results are not that good.

    I don't really think it's just the software, but also (or mainly) the way I capture the video on PC. I have now also a Mac G5 which I can use to experiment.

    Can anyone suggest good ways of capturing video which doesn't reduce the quality of the film while capturing? What hardware can I add on/replace to enhance my capture?

    BTW, my video camera is a Samsung MiniDV.

    Thanks in advance

  10. #10
    Bob
    Guest

    Re: Hardware for Capturing

    This just occured to me. It's no surprise that you are getting bothersome grain. As far as I know the Samsungs are pretty much all lousy performers (especially in low light) and likely to be very grainy under anything but perfect lighting. I've never used a Samsung miniDV, but reviews at camcorderinfo.com indicate that performance along their entire line leaves much to be desired. I still have a Samsung Hi8 that I got long ago, and that's a video noise factory. Anybody wanna buy an old Hi8 camcorder for cheap-a-cheap?

    Actually, connecting to the television via composite cable would probably reduce grain just a tad, by blurring pixels slightly (way crude spatial noise reduction in essence).

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