Does the JVC HMDH30000U convert analog to digital?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Mike_G, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

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    Mike
    Hi all,
    I have this dilemma where I want to convert 20 years of home movies and graphics tapes I did in college to DVD. The problem is that the S-Video deck I bought 12 years ago eats tapes. I could get it fixed, but I still have to get an analog->DV converter box. I saw the JVC has a Firewire port, but I can't find for sure if it'll do the analog->DV conversion for me. If it will, I'll just get it. Is the FW port JUST for HDTV input? I looked at the back of the unit and it says something like "iLink Input/Output, DV Input". Ok, so what's the "iLink Output"?

    The maual says:

    "This VCR uses a four-pin i.LINK connector to input and
    output MPEG2 video signals, audio signals, and control
    signals. The i.LINK connector is also used as an input
    for DV compressed signals from the DV output of a
    digital video camera."

    Ok, so that doesn't answer the question - does this device CONVERT S-Video and standard VCR signals TO MPEG2 so that I can hook it to my G5 and record my tapes using Final Cut Pro or iMovie?

    Thanks!

    Mike
     
  2. Richard Paul

    Richard Paul Stunt Coordinator

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    The iLink connector is for recording and sending MPEG-2 video streams. Since the tapes are analog the S-Video input is the best way to connect to the D-VHS deck to encode the analog video. All of JVC's D-VHS decks have a built in MPEG-2 encoder that can record from the coaxial, composite, and S-Video inputs. They can record in several modes with the best being HS at 28.2 Mbps followed by STD at 14.1 Mbps and then LS3 at 4.7 Mbps. From what I've heard the STD mode at 14.1 Mbps is quite good and would usually be sufficient. If your going to transfer the MPEG-2 streams to a computer to re-encode them for DVD it might be better to record at HS mode since re-encoding video will increase the appearance of compression artifacts.
     
  3. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

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    Rich,
    I think you misunderstand. It's like this - when you buy a Sony camcorder, like my TRV-315, if you put in an old analog tape and connect the camcorder to your computer, the camcorder acts as an analog->digital converter, and sends the DV signal to the computer. No converter box needed. I want to know if the JVC does for VHS and S-VHS what the Sony camcorder does for 8mm tapes. If I hook the JVC to my Mac, and play a videotape in it, will the JVC dump a DV stream through the Firewire port that the Mac can read? The manual implies that it can, but I want to know for sure before I buy the thing.

    Mike
     
  4. Richard Paul

    Richard Paul Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike I would prefer to be called Richard, and D-VHS can only output an MPEG-2 stream through Firewire. I don't know whether either the Final Cut Pro or iMovie can accept an MPEG-2 stream at 28.2 Mbps, but most likely they can. A DV signal is simply a MPEG-2 a/v signal sent out in a certain way at 25 Mbps and therefore it's trivial for a software encoding program to accept both DV and MPEG-2. I recommend emailing the makers of Final Cut Pro and iMovie to see whether there products are compatible with D-VHS.
     

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