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Camcorder as throughput - what software?  

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am thinking of using a camcorder (Panny MX500B maybe) to use as a way of getting my analogue sources (VHS and TV) into my PC via Firewire as I've heard many people recommend this as a brilliant way of getting a good quality digital format.

My question is what software can I use that will support this? Obviously recording a VHS tape is simple enough, but does anyone know of Timeshift, Live TV viewing and descaling software that will work with this solution?


post #2 of 8
For timeshifting of TV, you would obviously want a means to change the channels of your tV source (cable or satellite). Using the camcorder I dont see any way of doing this--plus the wear and tear of keepig the camcorder on all of the time. I think you would be better served with a quality capture card with a built in tuner (for cable). In addition snapstram (and i belive sagetv) have the ability to control a satellite recivever or cable box throught their software if you want to use s-video. This is the route I have taken. I have tried the camcorder thing..and the quiality is excellent, but too hard to manage what you want to watch or record. Drew
post #3 of 8
post #4 of 8
My Sony Mini-DV camcorder will not output to Firewire if it is inputting from S-video. So this is not a solution for watching TV at least with the Sony. e Firewire is only active for live or record playback from the camera itself.

Windows Media Encoder is a great way to record. It's free, download it and play with it. It works well with the FlyVideo 2000 capture card. In theory it works with any WDM capture card but the WDM divers for the card have to work. It should work with Firewire too, I just haven't gotten around to playing with it.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thats interesting. Has anyone else found this (inputing from SVid and out to Firewire?) As I said, I'm hoping to get one of the top Panny's (approx £1300) so I hope this doesn't happen.

Also, what about wear and tear on the cam? I'm assuming as long as your just acting as a throughput, there should'nt be any as this is purely electronic and not mechanical.


post #6 of 8
Studio software/hardware from Pinnacle Systems will let you capture an analogue source into digital format from your DV camcorder. I have Studio DV Plus, which is a capture card with two Firewire ports, and it comes with Studio software.

Note that this ONLY captures digital sources. What you need is a camcorder that can take accept an analogue source and do a "passthrough" conversion in the camera, and send the now digital source via Firewire to the capture card. You have to make sure that your camcorder can do passthrough conversion.

My Sony PC100E, for example, has analogue inputs BUT it can't do passthrough conversion. Of course, I can tape the analogue input onto the DV tape and then capture that via Firewire, but for some reason known only to Sony it can't simply pass the converted signal via Firewire; it can only tape the analogue signal first. (There are several Sony camcorders which can, and apparently it is only a firmware issue with supposedly the only fix being some form of hack.)

With passthrough capability, the process is only electronic, as you say. If the salesman doesn't know about this, I'd suggest asking to take a look at the manual.

Alternatively, I think there are other Pinnacle products (and perhaps Canopus products) which let you capture analogue directly - but I don't know whether they convert into DV format.

But note that this only addresses the issue of capturing. Certainly with the Studio software you can't do viewing of live TV or timeshifting. There's a preview box while you capture, but I don't believe it can be scaled to fullscreen.
post #7 of 8
Get Ulead VideoStudio 5. Not 6, not 7.
Why? It has a feature called "seamless capture". You can get entire tape in one recording session, dividing files into 4gb each. (4gb is the limit for DV AVI ). I recommend NTFS file system for this.
Works great. Let me know if you have questions.
post #8 of 8

Using my Sony TRV30 miniDV camera, my RCA DTC100 satellite receiver box, and iuVCR, I am successfully timeshifting Svideo. I can use Svideo-In to my Sony and out the Firewire as long as there is no tape in the camera (otherwise it tries to play the tape). I use the timer function in my Satellite receiver box to change the channels. I use iuVCR (software) to schedule the recordings in DV format to my hard drive. Then I use TmpegEnc to convert to MPEG-2 (run it overnight), and then I use DVD authoring software to make DVD's. The end result - an almost exact copy of the original source video.

As far as deinterlacing, you could deinterlace the video once it is on the DVD, but I don't know of any software that will deinterlace an AVI file while viewing it.

Hope this helps,
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