how to capture analog home video

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Tom#B, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. Tom#B

    Tom#B Stunt Coordinator

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    There must be thousands and thousands of people who have this same question - and probably thousands who know the answer. My old camcorder is a Sony 8mm Handycam. It was a wedding gift almost 10 years ago. I have a ton of video of my kids and everything else from the last 10 years. My new camcorder is digital, and I have a DVD burner in my computer. I've captured from mini-dv and burned to DVD. But how do I capture the old analog 8mm tapes so I can burn to DVD? I've read about the various Dazzle devices. How about a device called Instant DVD 2.0? Can anyone suggest a decent capture device that won't break the bank? The Dazzle 80 is around $58. The Dazzle 90 is around $80. The Dazzle 120 is around $100.

    Help.

    Tom
     
  2. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    I don't how common the feature is, but some mini-dv cameras have built in converters that will pass an analog signal through the digital output. Worth checking if you haven't considered it already...
     
  3. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    First off DON'T get those Dazzle (or similar) devices..they are just about worthless. I tired one from Adaptec and Dazzle and both kept freezing up the PC etc..so not worth the trouble.

    If I were you I'd install a video card.

    I went to Newegg and got one of these

    Works like a charm...SO easy to use and not too expensive.

    Alfer
     
  4. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    If you want to capture in DV format, the Canopus ADVC-100 works very well. The video and audio always stay in synch, which is sometimes a problem when capturing uncompressed with a video capture card.
     
  5. Tom#B

    Tom#B Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks to all three of you for the replies. It made for some interesting reading.
    Steve - I don't believe my DV camcorder allows for any sort of conversion. It's a fairly entry level Canon ZR-60. It's only outputs are via S Video or firewire.
    Alf - I had heard that the Dazzle devices could be extremely frustrating. After doing some reading, I've basically ruled them out. I looked at that video card on newegg. If it would work for what I'm trying to do, it would be an easy and low-cost method.
    Jeff - I looked at the Canopus device(s). The 100 has now been replaced by their 110, but both get excellent reviews. That's a little more money than I had hoped to spend, but the reviews are excellent. By the way, why would you ever want to convert from DV to analog? The new 110 allows conversion both ways. I can't think of why you'd ever want to go backwards.

    Again, thanks for the help. At this point, I think I'll look for the best price on a Canopus device and probably go that route.

    Tom
     
  6. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    I second that Canopus ADVC-100 suggestion. Flawless.

    As far as the ability output your finished digital video back out to analogue, I think that's mostly just there as an option since it is easy to engineer. One situation where it might be useful is when you are working on a film and you need to have an assistant log the contents of a tape which you've already imported into your computer (and you do not want to play the actual tape again due to risk of wear & tear...and you dont want them hogging your computer...and you don't want to spend a few hours converting your avis to mpeg for a dvd just for them). So you can output the contents to a cheap VHS tape for them to work off of.
     
  7. Ian-Fl

    Ian-Fl Second Unit

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    I bought a Compro Videomate gold plus last year for $80.
    It does a good job of converting has good software and has s-video, composite and cable in.
    The only thing about converting to approximatly the same resolution is you need alot of hard drive space. It's about 2 gigs per one hour of film.
     
  8. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Here is a discussion of the ADVC-100. It has a lot of info about the device.

    The ADVC-100 has a "secret" option (which isn't activated by default) which would give you better results when your video signal is corrupted (i.e., an old videotape that isn't in very good shape). Canopus removed this feature from one of their higher-end video capture devices. It's possible they removed it from the ADVC-110 as well, but I don't know one way or the other. (I didn't even know about the 110 until it was mentioned in this thread.)

    I have an old home movie, shot in the backyard, that is in pretty bad shape after being played many times. My ATI All-in-Wonder 7500 mistook this corrupted signal for macrovision and scrambled the image when I tried to capture from it. That's one of the reasons I got the ADVC-110. (The other reason was that the All-In-Wonder would sometimes capture with out-of-synch audio.)
     
  9. Chris Bates

    Chris Bates Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a WinFast TV2000 XP Expert on ebay for about $30 a while back. Its great for cable and I love the FM tuner. It will accept standard composite inputs and s-video. It came with a remote, an FM antena and tons of software... good software. I really like that it allows you to burn directly to DVD if you like, or you can record to your HDD for editing or storage. I just dont think you can beat it for the money.... Even for the $50 at NewEgg.
     
  10. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    I do not know if the ZR-60 supports real-time analog-to-DV pass-through conversion. But if the Canon site is correct, you should be able to connect an 8mm or Hi-8 camcorder to the ZR-60, make a DV tape recording of the video on the analog tape, rewind that DV tape, and then import it into a computer through an IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connection.
     
  11. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    One situation that comes to mind is if you want to give copies of a home video to friends, but cannot use DVD to do so (i.e., they don't have a DVD player, or you don't have a burner). VHS still has a huge installed base.
     
  12. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i have the dazzle 150 - works perfectly. it's never frozen my pc or anything like that. obviously ymmv...
     
  13. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    To all the Canopus users, what sampling rate does it capture audio at? Can you change it?
     
  14. Tom#B

    Tom#B Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's the beauty of a forum like this:

    Thomas Newton read my post and actually found a portion of the oeprator's manual on Canon's web site, and he pasted it into his reply, telling me my new DV camcorder should allow AV to DV conversion. And he was right. I didn't think I could do it because the old analog camcorder doesn't support S-video. But I was able to go from the RCA out on the old camcorder to the yellow AV in on the new DV camcorder to the computer via firewire. I didn't have to transfer to a DV tape, and then to the computer. It just used the DV camcorder as a pass through. I was able to burn the old analog footage to DVD, and it worked just fine. The audio and video are in perfect synch, and the quality is fine.

    Thanks Thomas, and thanks to everyone for all the help. This place is a great exchange of ideas and information.

    Tom
     
  15. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    Actually started doing the same thing this week with a Mits U69 VCR (Svideo and audio cable) routed through a Sony DCR-HC85 DV (analog in with a DV pass through via Firewire) into my computer Fireware with the idea of capturing it on the HDD, editingm and then burning to a DVDR with the Sonic MyDVD software (v 3.1). The DV player is set to "AV in --> DV Out" like the manual says, but ....

    Everything looks to be connected properly and I get a picture on the DV LCD screen and the computer screen so the video seems to passing through properly, but when I click the record button on the Software to start the capture process it won't go any further. I get an error message essentially saying "My DVD can't control DV player" and then it cuts off the process. I've done this before directly from a DV tape and it worked fine, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to get the capture process started with the combination. Anybody with any suggestionsas to where I'm messing up or is this a limitation of the bundled Software?

    Surely I'm leaving out some crucial information somewhere in the ramble, but I can fill in any gaps.
     
  16. Tom#B

    Tom#B Stunt Coordinator

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    David,

    That all sounds correct based on what I did. I had to change my camcorder to "AV in - DV out." When I was capturing, I got the picture (and sound) on the LCD of my DV camcorder. I could see on my computer screen that it was capturing because the time was running (showing me how much time I had left on the DVD). When the time ran out, it told me the capturing had stopped, and I clicked "burn" and it started burning (after doing some organizing). My software is Sonic RecordNow. I'll bet your software can handle it. There must be some small step you're missing.

    Tom
     
  17. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    I think it may be a problem with MyDVD v3.1 after doing a bit more research. Apparently many older burner programs will not allow a passthrough.

    I can't remember if I have Record Now somewhere in an bundled application somewhere, but I can't find anyway to get v3.1 to do so. In the XP SP2 pack there is an upgrade to Windows Movie Maker v2.1 which allows you to do analog passthrough though it took me a couple reads of the instructions to get an AVI file. The WMM was actually pretty simple to get to the AVI files anyway.
    Hopefully when I do the burn the A/V will stay in synch. If not, I may have to look into the Canopus solution, but I was hoping to do it with the software I already have.
     
  18. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    There is a free program called WinDV which is good at capturing DV.
     
  19. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    It follows the standard; DV only supports these two:
    2 ch @ 48 kHz, 16 bits
    4 ch @ 32 kHz, 12 bits
     
  20. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    ^^Thanks, I thought that would be the case. It's just always a bother to resample redbook music to 48khz when I'm laying down a background track in Premiere. Maybe the latest version resamples everything to one rate but after I did a project the music sounded messed up and it took me a while to figure out what the problem was.
     

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