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PS3+HD Camcorder+PC=Friends?

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12 replies to this topic

#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Richard_T

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Posted April 27 2008 - 08:57 AM

I was looking at purchasing a high definition camcorder to record my two new baby boys but was turned off by the price of a blue ray burner and BR disks.

What I was thinking of doing is buying an external hard drive and downloading all of my videos from the HD camcorder to it and then play them back through my networked Playstation 3 in high def. What I need to know is:

1) Is this possible?
2) Can I retain the HD format when it is sent to my playstation 3 through the external hard drive via network cable?
3) How do I set up the PC and Playstation 3 to do this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Zack Gibbs

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Posted April 27 2008 - 09:24 AM

1) Yes

2) Not all HD cameras record in the same raw format, so it would depend on the camera. I think* most HD camcorders record to the HDV format, which plays back quite well natively on the PS3.

3)This will depend on where the files are stored. There's no need for Bluray burners or discs, the files will just be read as data files wherever they're stored. You could easily put them on DVD's as long as they fit. If you do go the Portable HDD route, you can just plug the drive directly into the PS3, make sure to get a USB powered HDD for ease of use.
"Because he's the hero that Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now... and so we'll hunt him... because he can take it... because he's not a hero... he's a silent guardian, a watchful protector... a DARK KNIGHT."

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   Richard_T

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Posted April 27 2008 - 12:35 PM

Thanks for getting back to me Zack!

So I hope I'm understanding you here. You are saying I could connect the hard drive directly to my PS3, by-passing the computer completely? What about if I want to edit some part of the recording?

Also, are you saying that I would not need to buy actual BR disks and my PS3 would read them anyway since they would be just data files?

Lastly, have you any suggestions on a good HD camcorder?

Thanks for your continued help!
"What? What did you say? You want me to turn it up??

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   Zack Gibbs

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Posted April 27 2008 - 01:25 PM

Quote:
You are saying I could connect the hard drive directly to my PS3, by-passing the computer completely? What about if I want to edit some part of the recording?
Yes, the PS3 has rich multimedia features and playing back the files works just as if you were playing them back on your PC. If you need to edit them you'd just place the finished versions on the HDD.
Quote:
Also, are you saying that I would not need to buy actual BR disks and my PS3 would read them anyway since they would be just data files?
That's right, 1 hour of 720p HDV is going to run about 9GB. So you could fit just under that on a dual-layer DVD and it would play back on the PS3 just fine. That's the raw data, which is already compressed, but you could compress it further with a more efficient codec and easily fit a couple of hours on a standard 4.7 gig DVD.

Quote:
Lastly, have you any suggestions on a good HD camcorder?
Not really, sorry. Posted Image
"Because he's the hero that Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now... and so we'll hunt him... because he can take it... because he's not a hero... he's a silent guardian, a watchful protector... a DARK KNIGHT."

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   TonyTone

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Posted April 28 2008 - 04:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_T
Lastly, have you any suggestions on a good HD camcorder?
Not trying to be a smarta** or anything like that, but to answer your question--that would depend on which storage medium you prefer...MiniDV, HDD, DVD, or flash memory (either built-in or removable). Both Canon and Sony offer excellent HD camcorders that record to any of the aforementioned storage mediums, and are highly-rated (the slight edge goes to Canon IMHO).

If you wish to edit your HD footage before playing it back on your PS3, you will need a good NLE program (e.g., Sony Vegas)...and just as importantly (not required but highly recommended), a pretty powerful PC to render the edited footage back in HD format.

#6 of 13 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted April 28 2008 - 06:41 AM

My Sony HD camcorder (HDR-SR8) records in AVCHD format which makes it a great companion to the PS3. Not only can you move the raw footage from the camcorder's HD to your computer's HD (using the included Sony program to view it on your PC) but with the click of a single button you can dump all the HD (or even SD) footage and any still images to a regular DVD (DVD-R or DVD+R) to archive the source material. And the bonus is that the PS3 can play standard DVDs recorded in such fashion using AVCHD footage in HD resolution! Therefore you can be watching HD media from your camcorder on standard recorded DVDs! (Just don't expect to get two hours of video on a single disc - but two hours of almost any home movies might be called cruel and unusual punishment Posted Image ).

Obviously, the HD content on a standard DVD recorded in AVCHD format will NOT play on a standard DVD player, but if you want to drop the content to an SD recording this can be done as well (for all relatives without a Blu-ray player or a PS3.)

And I totally agree with Tony about needing a separate video editing program if you want to edit your footage and do all the fancy things like menus, music, titles, etc. The bundled software with the Sony camera is not very friendly in that regard. And while SONY VEGAS will probably do the trick the current "hot" program for this is Ulead's VideoStudio 11.5. It's one of the few programs that will not only intake AVCHD and create an edited product but will then output AVCHD as well (records either on SD DVDs or Blu-ray - although I don't have a BR recorder yet.)

Beware of a lot of other products (Roxio 10 is a big culprit here as are other editing and authoring programs) that claim to be "HD capable." That's really misleading. They can usually read AVCHD into their programs but the final product cannot be output to AVDHD so what good is that? They say that this will "probably" be a feature in Roxio #11 but that doesn't help you now.

FYI: Amazon has been running a special price on Ulead's VideoStudio 11.5. ($129 list, $59.95 last time I looked.) Additionally, on the ULEAD site, you can download a trial copy of Videostudio that's good for 30 days to try before you buy. Also, ULEAD has been absorbed into the COREL family of products. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing but at least it has a big company behind it now.

HD movies on a huge screen (mine is 110" from my JVC projector) looks remarkable. I never thought there would be such a great picture from such a little camera. Also, since my camera came out there are now "full 1080p" (1920x1080) camcorders. Mine maximizes at 1440x1080 but it's still as good looking as HD TV to me. If I were buying today (I bought last summer) I'd probably look for full 1080p as long as I didn't have to sacrifice lens quality or other features. Shop wisely. Either way, this blows away SD camcording.

Posted Image Posted Image

I hope some of this helps.

RAF
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#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Richard_T

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Posted April 28 2008 - 10:57 AM

Thanks for all of your messages. I'm really glad this seems to be a viable way of getting my recordings to my PS3. I only have a couple of small concerns.

1) I've had really bad luck with external hard drives in the past. I've owned two so far and both have failed on me causing me to lose all the pictures I had on them. Can you recommend a sturdy drive that will last? These recordings are sort of once in a lifetime kind of recordings and I wouldn't want them corrupted and my files lost. Also what size of drive should I be looking at? 500GB?

2) I've been looking at the Canon HV20 or the Sony HDRSR10. Has anyone used these and can tell me of their experiences? How are they in indoor or low light?.

I guess that's all for now. Thanks again for your help, all of you.
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#8 of 13 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted April 28 2008 - 03:17 PM

As a user of Sony camcorders for years I find that they do a great job in low light. There's even a "no light" mode (ala military applications and "Survivor") for extreme conditions when you want an image for image's sake.

The Sony you mentioned is HDD based, and the Canon is Tape based. I got away from tape based camcorders with my SR8 (100gig HDD). By the time I'm ready for my next HD camera the memory will all be solid state (at affordable pricing) and the camera will probably be so light that you will probably hardly know your have it in your hand.

Posted Image
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#9 of 13 OFFLINE   TonyTone

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Posted April 30 2008 - 06:54 AM

RAF--I forgot about Ulead...that's a highly-recommended program too. Do you know if the latest version of Ulead is capable of taking full advantage of quad-core CPUs? IIRC (and I could be mistaken here) the one thing the latest version of Vegas (the $400+ version, not the consumer-friendly priced one) has been optimized to utilize all four CPU cores (definitely two of them) if necessary...very nice when you need all the horsepower you can get when remastering your edited HD footage back into HD format.

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Richard_T

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Posted May 06 2008 - 11:35 AM

Thanks again for all of your replies. I think I've decided to go with the Sony HDRSR10 as the hard drive recorder seems to be the way things are going. I was thinking though about adding another hard drive to my existing computer and streaming it over to my PS3 when I wanted to watch it. I guess I still have a fear of external hard drives plus if the hard drive was at my computer it might be easier to edit it instead of going the other way around.

So my next question is...how the heck do I do this? Do I just stick another hard drive in my computer and use it as a separate drive? How do I access it from my PS3? Is there a web site I could go to that would tell me how to do it properly? As you can probably tell, I'm really a newbie at this and I really don't want to screw it up so any help would again be greatly appreciated!!

Also, what do you think of the camcorder I mentioned. Would it do the trick?

Thanks!
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#11 of 13 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted May 06 2008 - 12:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyTone
RAF--I forgot about Ulead...that's a highly-recommended program too. Do you know if the latest version of Ulead is capable of taking full advantage of quad-core CPUs? IIRC (and I could be mistaken here) the one thing the latest version of Vegas (the $400+ version, not the consumer-friendly priced one) has been optimized to utilize all four CPU cores (definitely two of them) if necessary...very nice when you need all the horsepower you can get when remastering your edited HD footage back into HD format.

Not sure, Tony. All I know is that I'm running a Q6600 Intel processor with my copy of ULead 11.5 (4gig memory, Vista) and it sure as heck seems to work very fast compared to earlier programs. I haven't tried Vegas (the program, not the city) so I don't really have a basis of comparison. I would suspect that the $400 "pro" version of Vegas might be optimized to use all four cores (sort of a "you get what you pay for" scenario). Also, the OS you are using might play a role in this. I believe that Vista will take stuff optimized for dual core and spread the load out over all four cores of a quad system so this might be more dependent on the OS rather than just on the video rendering program. All I know is that the ULead program does a nice job for me as a video hobbyist with AVCHD both IN and OUT - something that a lot of the other programs don't do in its entirety at the moment. I'm sure all the major video suites are all gearing up for HD formats in future versions. And almost all programs today are so much faster than things of a few years ago (thanks to both HW and SW) that rendering times are way down from the "old" days.
RAF
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#12 of 13 OFFLINE   RAF

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Posted May 06 2008 - 12:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_T
Also, what do you think of the camcorder I mentioned. Would it do the trick?

Thanks!

Just a "heads up." I see that the HDR-SR11 is now available. You might want to look at that model to see if it offers any upgrades worth it for you to consider. I don't know if it replaces the SR-10 or supplements it. Why not do a side by side and consider price vs. features?

In this fast changing world of technology we all know that something new comes out as soon as we buy something else.

Posted Image

RAF
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#13 of 13 OFFLINE   TonyTone

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Posted May 08 2008 - 05:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_T
Thanks again for all of your replies. I think I've decided to go with the Sony HDRSR10 as the hard drive recorder seems to be the way things are going. I was thinking though about adding another hard drive to my existing computer and streaming it over to my PS3 when I wanted to watch it. I guess I still have a fear of external hard drives plus if the hard drive was at my computer it might be easier to edit it instead of going the other way around.

So my next question is...how the heck do I do this? Do I just stick another hard drive in my computer and use it as a separate drive? How do I access it from my PS3? Is there a web site I could go to that would tell me how to do it properly? As you can probably tell, I'm really a newbie at this and I really don't want to screw it up so any help would again be greatly appreciated!!

Also, what do you think of the camcorder I mentioned. Would it do the trick?

Thanks!
Well you can add another hard drive to your computer one of two ways (or both)--either install another one internally (if you have a free bay) or connect an external hard drive (USB or Firewire) to it. Also--if you plan on streaming (HD) video from your PC to the PS3, I'd highly recommend that you do so via wired Ethernet...not unless your wireless network is robust enough to handle the higher bandwidth that HD video takes up.

As far as how exactly to set up streaming between a PC and a PS3--I'll leave that up to those folks who own a PS3 and have already done so successfully to explain the process.


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