video analog to digital conversion question

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Julian Reville, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Please help, computer gurus, as I am ignorant. [​IMG]

    I want to video tape my golf swing with my VHS camcorder, then load the video into my computer for swing analysis.

    The camcorder is analog, so I need a video analog to digital converter. I found a couple, but:

    Question 1: should I get one that loads through the USB 2.0 port or one that loads through a firewire connection?

    Question 2: I know my motherboard (Intel D845GEBV2) has USB 2.0; is the LAN PRO/100 connection the same as firewire, or do I need an add-on firewire card?

    Many thanks if you can help.
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    The LAN Pro/100 is an ethernet connection, so if you only have USB 2.0, then get a device that works with USB 2.0.

    Firewire would be the IEEE 1394 connection (if your motherboard had that connection on-board).
     
  3. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Patrick, do yo know if there is is difference in video quality/choppiness, etc, between using USB 2 and firewire?
     
  4. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    The difference is in data transfer rates. For realtime recording, IEEE 1394 -- which was specifically designed to work with the DV digital-video-camcorder format -- will give superior performance when used with an appropriate device, and recording from a VHS tape during playback is realtime recording. On the other hand, the inherent quality of VHS is low enough that you can simply choose a lower resolution profile on your capture device and not have to worry about choppiness.
     
  5. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Chris.

    Sounds like I should plunk down the money for a firewire card and firewire VADC, if I want a decent picture without compromises.
     
  6. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I use the Canopus ADVC-100, which works very well. It converts an analog signal to DV.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Not to derail your original question, but do you have a digital camera? Most will take decent video clips close to VHS quality.

    Using a camera you own might be easier and cheaper than getting set up for analog capture from a VHS camera.
     
  8. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I do have a digital camera, Dave, a Nikon Coolpix 4300. But the time period it will "make a movie" is very short on a standard memory chip.

    As things happen, I just found out the battery on my Sharp VHS camcorder is dead and won't recharge, probably from not being used for a long time. [​IMG] I could still use it with an extension cord, but I'll just order a new battery.

    By the way, I played a round of golf today, and although I hit a few good shots, for the most part, my swing sucked. Hence the need for swing analysis.

    Jeff, thanks for the recommendation on the Canopus. I have heard good things about this brand, and it is probably what I will buy.
     
  9. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    You might look at the Pyro A/V Link as well as the Canopus box. If recording your golf swing is all you're planning on doing, the Canopus is a bit pricey. The Pyro runs about $100 less than the Canopus.

    I've been using a Pyro box for about a year with great results.
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Ah. I'd not seen a camera that would do less than about 5 min on a normal memory card. And I figured you only needed 10-30 seconds for a golf swing [​IMG]

    Well, good luck on filming your swing. Let us know what hardware you use and if it helps. I'm a beginner (played about 2 games) so I'm curious how you make out.
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    My Canon S2 can record about 8-9 minutes on a 1GB SD card at 640x480 30fps, or almost 34 minutes on the same card at 320x240 resolution. Maybe I'll record myself one day as well. I'm sure it won't be pretty.
     
  12. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Instead of getting the Canopus and a new battery, you might want to check the prices on a MiniDV camera. Some MiniDV cameras have inputs which allow you to connect your VHS VCR to your Computer through the DV camera. (Then you wouldn't need the Canopus DV converter.)
     
  13. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I've been reading the reviews of various video capure devices over on Amazon, and now I'm really undecided. According to the folks who posted reviews, a lot of the software that comes standard is kind of unreliable: it works for some and not for others.

    Crap shoot!

    Oh well, first things first: ordered the battery for the camcorder yesterday. As soon as it gets here, tape my butt ugly swing and watch it on a TV. If it's viewable, make a CompUSA run for a video capture device. Do they still have a decent return policy?
     
  14. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    I think I got a copy of Ulead Video Studio with the Pyro A/V Link and it's worked great for me. I use it for basically the same thing you'll be doing, except I'm pulling short clips off of DVD's and compiling them for website products samples. Still analog to digital and it works fine.

    Honestly, if you're using Windows XP, the built in Movie Maker feature works just as good as anything else for simply capturing video to your hard drive and doing simple editing and saving as a file. There's really no need to use or purchase any 3rd party software.
     
  15. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Mike.

    This one looks promising:Turtle Beach

    Anyone see any big drawbacks to this one?
     
  16. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    If your capturing from DV (e.g., your capture device is converting from analog to DV, like the Canopus or a similar device), I think WinDV is the best program to use. (And it's free too.)
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I use the Datavideo DAC-100 and WinDV to capture the video from an analog source. The resultant AVI video file will be big (meaning you'll need plenty of free hard drive space during the capture process), but then you can crunch it up later, and that topic is covered in many thread from the past couple of years (The Search function is your friend).
     
  18. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I got the new battery for the camcorder yesterday; by the time I got it charged, and the camcorder set on the tripod, it was near dark. Tested the camcorder just enough to make sure it was working, but I need full daylight to get a decent picture of something as fast as a golf swing.

    Maybe Saturday, if the weather is good.
     

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