Originally Posted by Kelson
That is very interesting. Can you name a couple of DV editing apps that support this firewire transfer?
WinDV, VideoStudio, and VirtualDub, VMM and some versions of Nero have all been reported as working with the Pio 510 DV/FireWire output. The workflow was described quite extensively in a series of forum posts, which I archived as text files. Unfortunately I do not have the actual posts bookmarked, and can only paste them here from the text files. I did not author these instructions
, I've never used the Pioneer DV jacks to feed my PCs, so I cannot confirm they will work for everyone. The original poster of these tips was quite respected in Pioneer circles a few years ago, sadly I did not archive his name along with the text files. Although the info runs quite a few paragraphs: I'll paste it here since Kelson asked and it seems appropriate in what will likely be a very short-lived, limited-interest thread topic (given the Pio 510 and 520 date from 2003/2004):
PART ONE: OVERVIEW
There has been strong interest in a unique feature of the Pioneer DVR-510H/DVR-520H - the DV In/Out port located at the front of the unit, with the particular focus on the Out part of it. In other words, dumping the hard drive's content onto the PC without any disc burning. So, since I have one, and have successfully utilized this feature, I offer the details to answer many questions to me in case you're thinking of buying one used.
There is no documentation officially available from Pioneer on this so we're really on our own here. This obviously was something experimental, maybe even a mistake, which may be why it was corked in subsequent models.
Keep in mind, the way this works is not via direct transfer of MPEG-2 TS streams to the PC. It's not a file-copy type of feature. You are actually (re-)recording, or rather capturing, the video, in real time, to your PC during playback of content that is already, currently, in the 520's hard drive. But it is a capture direct from the unit itself.
As well, I have yet to find a way to capture any streams while they're being recorded, only when the 520 has finished its recording to its HDD. Then, and only then, will it be available for acquisition by your PC. (Unless of course someone finds a way around this and posts.)
Video format is DV AVI with LPCM audio at about 13GB/hour. Huge, yes, but edits nicely and encodes easily to other smaller formats (like MPEG-2/DvD, DivX, etc). Great results.
In comparing the captured DV with the burned MPEG-2 equivalent video:
-DV seems noisier, more grained.
-DV seems more sharper in detail and color
-MPEG-2 seems more blocky.
-MPEG-2 seems cleaner.
This is subjective to the individual. I prefer the DV version since the final re-encode with the PC later produces nicer results.
Needless to say - record all content you wish to keep in FINE mode since it will not change the size of the DV, but will improve quality. No need for lower modes to save space (and kill quality). Personally, with my "weekly purges" to the PC my 520's HDD is empty several times a month even when everything is in the bigger FINE mode.
So, what are the advantages to doing this with the DV-Out instead of burning to DvD with the 520? Why bother with the huge DV video file sizes and extra capture time then?
-Ideal for the individual that does indeed migrate lots of content to the PC for better edits, encodes, authoring and burning, etc.
-The PC capture process is unattended. You literally just need to start it and then come back later when it's done. It's virtually no work unlike migration via DvD-R(W).
-No need to compromise quality for space, faster burning, etc with lower quality modes, such as SP, LP etc. You can record everything to FINE now and enjoy the better quality.
-No edits on the 520. The remote control is too clumsy, awkward, slow and limited compared to the functions available with PC apps. Every general editor app available, that is worth its salt, has features for DV video. But even editing with just a simple editor like VirtualDubMod in Direct Stream mode, and batch mode, is so much more convenient than with the 520's remote.
-No time-consuming series of burns to transfer content. Zero wear-and-tear on a burner that is apparently limited.
-Quality seems richer with DV. This is taste though.
-DV streams edit much easier, especially with special effects, etc.
-DV streams produce nicer encodes if you wish to IVTC, use AviSynth filters, etc to the final target like DvD, DivX, etc.
-If you manage your work flow efficiently, you will save more time and have better results. And your 520's hard drive will be empty a lot - always convenient.
The DV-Out method IMO is better suited for the individual that processes the 520's yields on a PC. It would be much more time consuming via remote and burner otherwise. Just dump the content as-is, and edit/encode later on the PC. Very simple.
Disc burning (as well as 520 remote control editing) is a thing of the past for me now.
PART TWO: WHAT'S NEEDED
Here's what you need:
-Firewire cable: 4pin to the 520, 6-pin to the PC's firewire ($15US-$50US)
-Firewire card if you don't have one already installed. ($30US-$50US)
-I would recommend a later model PC. This is, after all, a capture process that can be CPU intensive for older models.
WinDV is enough, which is free, effective, tiny and needs no installation. But you can look into Nero, WMM, VideoStudio, VirtualDub (I think), etc. There's plenty.
You will also need an editor app. Good ones for DV-video are:
VirtualDubMod (lossless cuts and joins and batch mode)
WMM (decent and free)
Again, plenty available.
Since DV video is quite huge, you may need an encoder for either MPEG-2, DivX, Xvid, H.264 or whatever you wish to encode it to for playback purposes or just to save space. (Or, you can keep the DV, or encode it to a high bitrate MPEG-2 for archiving as source. This is up to the individual.)
PART THREE: WORKFLOW
I will detail my workflow here in case it helps. Even though this will vary for each individual, the intention is to provide insight to this feature's practicality.
Keep in mind, I have my 520 at a separate part of my house, so I actually physically bring it to my PC once a week to clean out its hard drive.
Since I don't have a TV next to my PC, I have to blindly select the video to capture. This I do with preparation beforehand by dumping what clips I will capture to the Copy Menu's timeline as if preparing a DvD burn - easier to manage this way in one place and can accommodate many hours of video. And no need to combine the clips, they will play in sequence.
-Bring the 520 to the PC. Plug it in, but don't power on just yet.
-Connect the cable's 6-head to the firewire card. (You can leave it there always after.)
-Connect the cable's 4-head to the 520's front port.
-I personally like to restart the PC for a capture session.
-When the PC is ready, power on the 520. Wait for Windows to recognize it. (I'm using XP).
-Start playing the video from your 520's Copy Menu timeline.
Here are the blind steps:
-Press Home Menu on the remote.
-Press down twice.
-Press Enter (you should see the Copy Menu at the front of the 520 on its LED display)
-Keep pressing Enter several more times (at least 3 or 4 more times). The video from the Copy Menu's timeline should start playing soon enough.
-Fire up and begin your capture software and wait till it recognizes the playback. I find it easier to have it recognize the playback when it's already playing.
-Press record on your software (and restart the 520's video with the remote). You can always edit these extra bits out later.
-Just keep capturing. When the video finishes the software should stop. And it will be exact: if you have 5 hours and 20 minutes of content in your Copy Menu, it will take exactly that long to capture it. Hence, plan a batch overnighter every time you do this. (It doesn't make sense to do an hour here and there.)
-DV video is ~13GB/hr. Make sure you have sufficient disc space for the capture. You can always edit, and re-encode/compress later. This process is up to you.
Once you check that the capture went fine, then feel free to delete the content from your 520's drive when you plug it back to your TV. This is how it's empty several times a month and ready for another week each time. I don't need a bigger drive on my 520.
So far, apart from a few mistakes in the early part of the learning curve, this method has been flawless for me. Perfectly synced captures without a single dropped frame.