Better Solution: Pinnacle Moviebox DV, or All-in-Wonder?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Dah-Dee, Jun 29, 2003.

  1. Dah-Dee

    Dah-Dee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    516
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm looking for a video capture/editing solution, want to transfer Hi-8 to DVD, maybe DV to DVD soon, too. Have a P4 2.0, 512 Rambus RAM, 1394 port, w/ a GF2 MX 400 video card. Wondering what the best value will be: buying the Pinnacle bundle (see it here:http://www.pinnaclesys.com/ProductP...173&Langue_ID=7 ) ($169.99 here: http://www.googlegear.com/jsp/Produ...ductCode=323023 ) (or something similar; seems like Pinnacle is highest rated in the stuff I've seen), or upgrading my graphics card w/ something that has video capture/editing capability. Looks like there are several All-in-Wonder cards out, have seen today the 8500 ($200) and 9700 ($400, looks like it comes w/ Pinnacle Studio 8 software). Thanks for any opinions on which way to go.
     
  2. Dah-Dee

    Dah-Dee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    516
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also saw an All-in-Wonder 9000 (pro?) at Compusa today for $200. Not sure how it differs from the 8500/9700, still would really appreciate input on this, thanks.
     
  3. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    1
    At my office we have the Canopus ADVC-100 ($300). It is a "breakout box" (i.e. external box with lots of inputs/outputs) that connects to the PC via firewire. There is also an interal version (ADVC-50?) that costs a bit less.

    Capturing with this device is virtually foolproof. Other equipment can cause problems, particularly in the area of audio / video sync. I selected this unit based partly on the testimonials from users at dvdrhelp.com. Folks there use their PC as a PVR/TIVO with this device, and have reported capturing 8- or 10-hour long sessions without a single dropped frame or audio desync.

    The one disadvantage this soluton has, compared to a regular analog capture card, is that the card will allow you to make uncompressed HUFFYUV captures, while the ADVC-100 captures only in DV, which is compressed somewhat. Our DV files are subsequently compressed either to MPEG-1/VCD or MPEG-4/DivX and ideally, uncompressed source material would be best. However, in practice, using compressed DV source has not caused any problems and I have been successful in eliminating any and all visible compression artifacts from the final files.

    John, one question. Is your Hi-8 camera "digital 8" by chance? Does it have a firewire or i-link port? Because if so, no capture hardware is necessary; you can simply plug your camera into the PC's firewire port. Same with the DV camera (you mentioned possibly doing DV in the future). The Canopus ADVC-100 or analog video capture card would only be necessary if your source is ANALOG. I just wanted to clear that up before you spend hundreds of $$$.

    As far as editing goes, folks will probably recommend Premiere or Vegas or Ulead Media Studio. Depending on your needs, you may be able to go with a freeware solution. In my office, we use AviSynth and VirtualDub for all our editing needs. AviSynth is a very powerful video transcoding tool that can process video in ways Final Cut Pro can only dream about. Despite that, AviSynth is compatible with Premiere & Ulead and can be used in conjunction with these apps.

    My office receives police videos which I capture, edit, title, clean-up/denoise, and encode to MPEG 1/4 for eventual presentation in the courtroom. I used to use Premiere to capture, edit, and title, and AviSynth/VirtualDub for everything else, but I have removed the "bloatware" (Premiere) from my procedure entirely and do everything with free, open source tools.

    Unfortunately, the biggest disadvantage to AviSynth is its user-unfriendliness, especially for newbies. But if you are interested in experimenting with this powerful tool, let me know and I would be pleased to help you out.
     
  4. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2000
    Messages:
    4,457
    Likes Received:
    1
    If no firewire port on your camera, the most cost-effective solution is to grab the Lifeview Flyvideo 2000 S-video/composite capture card for $40 shipped and an adapter so you can output the audio from your camera to the 1/8" input on your souncard (~$5).

    If you'd like reviews on the Flyvideo 2k check on the AVS Forum HTPC section. It's a great card, no noise and crystal clear S-Video captures.
     
  5. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    1
    Scott,

    Do you know if the Flyvideo 2K has any issues with audio/video desync, and/or dropped frames? I might be interested in one of these for the home PC.
     
  6. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2000
    Messages:
    4,457
    Likes Received:
    1
    Rob, no issues for me whatsoever, I've been through 5 cards total and the Flyvideo 2k is by far the best one. Plus it is compatible with Dscaler. There are only two minor issues with this card;

    1) The NTSC TV tuner does not output Stereo audio. A minor issue because most people use an outboard tuner such as an S-VHS VCR (purchased an awesome JVC recently for $69) and spit out the video via S-video to the card, and stereo audio to the soundcard. The 3k model does feature MTS stereo but is not yet compatible with Dscaler (if that's important to you).

    2) The card can sometimes act weird when used by popular 3rd party programs such as Vdub. Browsing the Vdub boards I found people getting great results with Fly2000 TV. It's a great stable little program and works well with the FV2k, the downside is it's $30 after a 45 day trial period, bumping the total cost to $80. Worth it imo after trying with many other methods.

    I capture almost every night and have had maybe 1 audio syncing issue out of 60 captures, and it was *very* small. I re-adjusted it in Premiere and it turned out to be 1/8 of a second off or so. Never had a dropped frames issue.
     

Share This Page