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My weekend with Pinnacle Studio 9 (VHS to DVD)

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by lukeinoz, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. lukeinoz

    lukeinoz Guest

    Hi all.

    I spent the weekend testing Studio 9 as an experiment. My main use was capturing from old vhs video tapes for the purpose of making dvds.

    This is what I experienced...

    -Video capture from newer, stable tapes was excellent.

    -Video capture from older tapes with a bit of noise was poor (and let's face it...most of us who are transferring from vhs to dvd are using old tapes that we want to bring into the new millenium :eek:). The Studio 9 (S9) out-of-synch problem I've read so much about reared its ugly, ugly head. My computer came with a basic DVD authoring program called "Power Producer" which handles older tapes MUCH better than S9...so I used that instead for those ones and imported them into S9. A simple solution...but poor reflection on S9.

    -The menu editor is excellent...however...

    -Adding video frames into the menu buttons in S9 is a farce. Without fail several of the buttons would drop the selected frame and appear as black buttons on the burnt disc despite looking fine in the S9 preview window. I was able to get around this by opening the button in Photoshop and editing the grabbed frame into them...then reinserting them into the menu. A good, reliable solution that gave me the control over the buttons that S9 claims to provide...but doesn't. It's absurd that I would have to do this !

    -How on Earth do you link from one menu to the next ? OMG...this one gave me anxiety attacks. I cannot see anything in the manual that explains how to achieve this. Just dragging the menu into the timeline does NOT automatically link the menus. I had 13 chapters in all and in the end had to place the thumbnails for ALL of them on one menu. When I tried to spread them over 2 menus...the "next" button on M1 was useless...a dead link...and wouldn't even appear in the preview window. I'm sure there is a solution for this...but I'm not stupid and the fact that how to acheive this isn't made clear is very poor. I'd sincerely appreciate any advise on this one.

    -Being in Australia I'm using the PAL system. I'm assuming my DVDs are being burnt in the PAL format, but I can't find anything that tells me that or gives me the option of burning an NTSC disc (for example). Is this an option in S9 ?

    Any feedback sincerely welcomed and appreciated :eek:)

    Cheers,
    Luke
     
  2. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    I would Suggest that you Only use S9 for Captureing and Editing and you should use a Good Standalone Mpeg encoder and DVD authoring program to Create the DVD...

    PS9 it a Pretty Low end program in My Opinion and I have never been satisfied with the results it produces especially when useing it to compress your files to Mpeg2 for DVD and DVD authoring....
     
  3. KenSolo

    KenSolo Member

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    Hi,

    I must somewhat agree with Minion's comment on the encoding of mpegs to dvd with S9. This weekend I experienced it first hand.

    So, Minion are you saying that after editing with S9, I should render project to avi? Then, use another program to convert that avi to dvd?

    What avi (or codec) should I use from S9 to create the avi?

    Thanks,
    Kenny
     
  4. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    You should render to a Low compression AVI format like useing the "HuffYUV" codec...
    This Codec is Lossless so there is no quality loss from Compression but it does take up a Lot of Disk Space , You will need about 30gb of Drive space for every Hour of 720+480 video but the Quality will be as good as the Original captured files....

    If you do a Google search for the Huffyuv codec you will find it as it is Freeware....

    For the Mpeg2 encodeing I suggest you use either one of these:
    Tmpgenc/Tmpgenc Xpress
    Canopus Procoder
    MainConcept Encoder
    CinemaCraft Encoder

    Cheers
     
  5. KenSolo

    KenSolo Member

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    Minion,

    Thanks again for the great advice!

    I've downloaded and installed HuffyYUV.
    So now in S9, I now can select it.
    So from S9, all I do is render my project with that codec?

    What I mean is even though I am rendering with HuffyYUV, will S9 'degrade' anything as it is the program the project was made in?

    Thaks again:)
     
  6. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    If you render your Project useing the HuffYUV Codec there should Be No Quality Loss at all between the Original and the Rendered file....

    Then after rendering use one of the mpeg encoders mentioned to encode the AVI file to Mpeg2 for DVD and then author the Mpeg2 file to DVD....

    Cheers

    PS: you are going to need a Lot of Drive space for the HuffYUV AVI file ,About 30gb per hour at full resolution so make sure you have the disk space....
    _X_X_X_X_X_[small]It"s better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On!!![/small]
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2004
  7. saurabh

    saurabh Member

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    Minion,
    I am using a Sony Handycam(analogue/PAL). It is connected to my PC(Pentium4 3Ghz 256 MB RAM 80GM NVidia Geoforce 5200 FX). I have Pinnacle 9 and find that the capturing itself is not to my liking. I use YUV2 CODEC setting in the capture source settings.

    Is it possible to use HuffYuv at the capturing stage itself? Will the results be better than YUV2? Also is it possible to capture AVI files at more than say 352x288? Is it also possibel to render at 720x420 as you suggested if the source video itself is analogue and captured at 352x288?

    I installed HuffYuv, but it does not show up in the drop down menu in the capture settings button, though it can be seen when you want to render an AVI file and you go the MAKE MOVIE settings.

    I am using a Pinnacle Linx USB Plus connector as interface between my camera(its almost brand new, except that it does not have direct USB streaming and can be called technologically ancient). Do you think using Pinnacle Movie Box which has firewire connectivity will improve the capture performance substantially?

    Please tell me how to go about making the cleanest DVD from plain 8mm tapes.

     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2004
  8. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    Well the Standard DVD resolution is 720+576 for Pal so if possible you should capture at this resolution But I do not think it is Possible with your very very Old and Crappy capture device....
    You should Stay away from Pinnacle Hardware all together because most of it sucks accept for the Really expensive professinal Level stuff....

    You can Pick up a Internal PCI capture card that will capture at Full DVD resolution with fairly high Quality for Probably under $50 but if you want to capture professinal Quality video a Device like the Canopus ADVC-100 would be the best but it will run you at least $250 US....

    Sinnce you can only capture at 352+288 that means that Pinnacle has to resize the Resolution to 720+576 when rendering the project to Mpeg2/DVD which will totally ruin any Quality because resizeing the resolution Up that much makes you loose a Lot of Detail and Clarity....

    I don"t think you are going to be able to produce DVD of any sort of Quality untill you get a Better Capture device and Maybe even use Different Capture software because Pinnacle Studio8/9 will only let you Capture useing it"s own Proprietary Codecs which doesn"t give you the option to use 3rd party codecs to capture with which really limits you capture options......

    Cheers
     
  9. saurabh

    saurabh Member

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    Minion,
    After getting your word of advice I discovered my PC has an Asus TV7134 wdm video capture card. I hooked my cam to it and Studio9 detected the card. Now when I went to Catpture Settings it asked me to choose the Codecs. The resolutions were set at 720+576 in all cases discused below.

    When I chose YUV2 it said I just had 40mins of space on hard drive and when I pressed the capture button, it did not capture.

    Then I chose MJPEG at 100% and it said I have 1 hr 25 min and it captured.

    Finally, I tried DV Video Encoder- here it promises me 4hrs of capture, this too worked.

    Now please tell me which one should I use? How can I make capture work with YUV2?
     
  10. saurabh

    saurabh Member

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    Minion,
    After getting your word of advice I discovered my PC has an Asus TV7134 wdm video capture card. I hooked my cam to it and Studio9 detected the card. Now when I went to Catpture Settings it asked me to choose the Codecs. The resolutions were set at 720+576 in all cases discused below.

    When I chose YUV2 it said I just had 40mins of space on hard drive and when I pressed the capture button, it did not capture.

    Then I chose MJPEG at 100% and it said I have 1 hr 25 min and it captured.

    Finally, I tried DV Video Encoder- here it promises me 4hrs of capture, this too worked.

    Now please tell me which one should I use? How can I make capture work with YUV2?
     
  11. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    Why capture to YUY2 if you can only capture 40 minutes of Video...Pluss you will probably drop a lot of frames when capture to Uncompressed YUY2 unless you are captureing to a hard drive seperate from the One your OS is installed on....
    So use whatever codec that works and Looks good....

    You are captureing to a pal resolution so i hope you live in a Pal country?
     
  12. saurabh

    saurabh Member

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    Minion,
    I wish you had made a decision on the codec business.
    You did not tell me why Pinnacle was not capturing when I selected YUV2.
     
  13. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    How should I know?? Maybe your Card doesn"t support YUY2?
     
  14. saurabh

    saurabh Member

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    Questions:
    1. If I capture my 8mm tape using a Sony Digital camcorder connected through firewire, will the stuff be invariably in DV Codec format? Is it possible to capture from the machine in HuffUV and MJPRG format.

    2.Which codec is best for editing in order of preference keeping aside space consatraints?
    a. YUY2 b.HuffYUV c. DV Video d.Pic MJPEG

    3.Please refer to your communication with KenSolo above-Suppose I capture in DV Codec/MJPEG at 720+576 PAL is it worthwhile to render in HuffYUV after editing?

    4. Is the DV Video Codec available in capture options of Pinnacle9 different from the one say provided by Canopus ADVC 100?

    5. Pinncale Studion prompts you to add Menus and Chapetrs at the Editing Stage. But would it not be strategic in terms of space saving to do it once the film is encoded to MPEG-2 and the source AVI file deleted? In this case will Pinncale encode twice and ruin the file?

    6. Is adding Menus and Chapters a part of the Editing Stage or DVD Authoring Stage?

    7.Which wouyld give better results: A)Capturing 8mm analogue tapes using a Sony Analogue camcorder connected to an ASUS TV 7134 WDM card or B) Capturing 8mm analogue tapes from a Sony Digital Camcorder connected to firewire?

    8.I managed to use Virtualdub despte reviews that it is not compatible with WDM cards and captured with HuffYUV. But when I tried opening the AVI file in Pnncacle9 for editing the program crashed. What could be the problem?
     
  15. saurabh

    saurabh Member

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    My Questions Rephrased:

    I have a 3Ghz, 256MB RAM, 80GB, Nvidia Geoforce 5200 FX 3D, ASUS
    TV7134 WDM TV/capture card which is connected to an Analogue Sony
    Camcorder for transferring content on 8mm tapes and then creating DVDs
    after editing. I am also in a position to use a Sony Digital Cam which
    can play 8mm analogue content. I have several questions regarding the
    role of Pinnacle Studio9 answers to which I have not been able to find
    at other forums.

    1.Which would give better results: A)Capturing 8mm analogue tapes
    using a Sony Analogue camcorder connected to an ASUS TV 7134 WDM card
    or B) Capturing 8mm analogue tapes from a Sony Digital Camcorder
    connected to firewire?

    2.If I capture from my 8mm tape using a Sony Digital camcorder
    connected through firewire, will the stuff be invariably transferred
    in DV codec format? Is it possible to capture from the machine and
    create AVI content in other codecs like HuffYUV or MJPEG at the
    outset(ie before I begin to edit)?

    3.I downloaded and installed HuffYUV codec. I cannot see it in the
    drop down menu for codecs in the capture format settings. However, I
    can see it in the drop down menu under Make AVI settings which I
    presume works only at the time of rendering.

    4.I used Virtualdub to capture content as Huffyuv AVI, but when I
    tried using the captured file through Pinnacle9 for editing the
    program crashed. What could be the problem?

    5.Everyone on the forum seems to rave about HuffYUV as a lossless
    codec and it seems to be rated between using either uncompressed YUY2
    and PicMJPEG. What is the opinion of Pinnacle? Why don't you support
    HuffYUV to capture content?

    6.Which codec is best to capture content in before editing in order of
    preference keeping aside space consatraints?
    a. YUY2 b.HuffYUV c. DV Video d.Pic MJPEG

    7. How would you compare using AVI format with MPEG2 format for
    editing? Once a file is captured as MPEG2 and edited will it be
    reencoded by Pinnacle during DVD authoring? Will that ruin the image?

    8.If I capture in DV Codec or MJPEg at 720+576 PAL is it worthwhile to
    render in HuffYUV after editing?

    9.Why is the DV encodng done by Canopus ADVC better than that done by
    Pinnacle9 Studio at the time of capture? Is it because they use better
    Codecs than Pinnacle? Is quality of capturing dependent more on
    hardware or software?

    Thanks for bearing with me. Warm Regards.

     
  16. Famous1

    Famous1 Member

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    I have been reading this thread with interest, because I have been having the same problems.

    I had posted a question, but I have figured it out now. . .

    I'm still wondering if it is better to create my menus in Studio 9 or in NeroVision Express 2.

    Thanks a bunch; you folk are great.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2004
  17. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    Well i"ll try to answer some of your questions....

    #1)You should get better capture quality going through the DV Camcorder and Captureing to DV Format..

    #2) Yes that would mean the DV camcorder will compress the analogue Signal to DV useing Hardware DV Compression which is More efficient than Software DV Compression and would Probably be better than Captureing with HuffYUV useing your Asus Capture card..

    #3)I don"t think you can capture useing HuffYUV in Sudio 9 because Pinnacle only lets you use certain Proprietary codecs..
    #4)Also HuffYUV Captures in YUV and many editing programs can not edit in YUV Colorspace so that could also be a reason why it will not capture useing HuffYUV or Uncompressed YUY2 and why It crashed when you tried to load a HuffYUV file into it....

    #5) Poeple use the HuffYUV codec because it captures the same quality as Uncompressed AVI but uses half the Disk Space..You would get the same quality captureing Uncompressed AVI but it would take up about 1gb per minute of Video...The PicVideo Mjpeg codec is also good because it uses very little CPU power to compress but it isn"t lossless like HuffYUV or Uncompressed AVI but at 20 Quality it is Close to lossless....
    I never Liked Pinnacle Studio 8/9 for a Few Different Reasons Like It only lets you use certain Codecs to capture with and I have had Bad Sync problems with Studio 8/9 captured files and it"s Mpeg encoder is Just awefull compared to what you can achieve useing a good quality standalone encoder or compared to the encoders Built into some High end video Editors Like Vegas Video 5 or Adobe Premier Pro....

    #6)If you can capture to DV AVI useing the DV Camcorder then that should produce the best Quality and DV is one of the best formats for editing because it can be Losslessly edited and the Video decoder and compressor in a Good DV Camcoder should be of higher Quality than the ones from your Asus TV card and have better quality Compression than useing Software Codecs...

    #7)Capture to AVI will produce much better quality than Captureing to mpeg2 with Pinnacle as it"s Mpeg encoder sucks and Pinnacle will probably re-encode the Mpeg2 file after editing which will degrade the quality even More ..
    Even when useing a Good Mpeg2 capture program you still will end up haveing to use a Much Higher Capture Bitrate than you would use if you were encodeing AVI to Mpeg2 so your Captured Files would be Much Larger and therefor you wouldn"t be able to fit as much Video on a DVD-R..This is because Mpeg2 Capture is not very Bitrate efficient and Most Editing program re-encode Mpeg files to render them which makes the quality even lower...
    Whenever you edit Mpeg files you should allways use a Native mpeg editor Like "Mpeg2VCR" or "Womble Mpeg video Wizard 2003" so the Files do not get re-encoded...

    #8)If you capture to DV you should render as DV because most DV editors edit DV Losslessly and only re-encode were there are effects or Transitions, then you should encode the Rendered DV AVI file to Mpeg2 useing a good Standalone Mpeg encoder and use a seperate DVD authoring program to author the DVD because Pinnacle Might re-encode the file when authoring to DVD.....

    #9) The ADVC-100 is better because it is a Higher Quality capture device and it uses a very high quality and efficient Hardware DV Encoder...
    Capture Quality is first and foremost releted to the Quality of the Capture device ,The Better the Capture device is at decodeing the Analogue signal and converting it to Digital with the least amount of Data Loss the better quality the Video is that you capture...The ADVC-100 does all the Video processing and Campression on the Device and it simply Transfers that data to your Hard drive were with an analogue Capture device like your TV Card then analogie Signal is converted to a Raw Digital signal and then your PC has to Process it and Compress it which is a Lot less efficient than what the ADVC-100 does pluss the ADVC-100 has pre Filtering and has an Audio Lock feature that eliminates any chance of Sync problems....

    Well I hope this answers some of your Questions...Cheers
     
  18. saurabh

    saurabh Member

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    Minion, you are AMAZING!!!.............
     
  19. saurabh

    saurabh Member

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    Hi Minion, Hope you will resolve one more confusion.
    Please refer to your answer to Ques No.2 in the last post.

    When I capture video from my Hi8 tapes playing on a Sony Digital Camcorder there is something called Hardware Compression to DV AVI happening, right?

    Now when I capture using Pinnacle Studio9 I have the option of choosing the codec for capturing eg 1)DV Video Encoder 2) Pic MJPEG 3)YUV2.

    But according to you the video signal has already been compressed by the camera into DV AVI. Now I want to know what setting should be chosen under the CODEC Menu in Studio so that the signal is recorded as it comes from the camera without the codec changing.

    My other two related questions:

    A) Will choosing Pic MJPEG mean that the DV AVI signal coming from the camera will be recoded to PicMJPEG?

    B) Will choosing DV Video Encoder mean that the DV AVI signal from the camera will be trasnferred in its original state-that is, as it is relayed by the camera?

    C)Will choosing YUV2 mean that the signal from the camera is uncompressed from DV AVI to YUV2 AVI?

    D)How do I capture UNCOMPRESSED AVI from the camera, when it has already compressed the signal to DV AVI?

    E)Is my ASUS WDM capture card sending out an UNCOMPRESSED AVI signal( when I am using an ANALOGUE CAMERA), or it's not an AVI signal at all?
     
  20. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    I can"t tell you anything to Do with setting up studio 9 to Capture because I do not use it at all anymore because It is such a Crappy Program.....

    I suggest you use a Program that is Made to Capture DV like Scenalyzer Live or WinDV and then import the Captured file into Studio 9 to edit....

    If studio 9 was a Proper Program it would recognize that you are useing a DV Camera and not give you the Option to Capture useing other Codecs because useing the Other Codecs totally defeats the Purpose of useing a DV Camcorder.....

    If you still are going to use Studio 9 to capture I suggest you select the DV Codec and see what Happens, If the Capture uses less than 90% of your CPU power than it is Captureing Properly but if it does use up all of your CPU while Captureing to DV then it means that Studio 9 is re-compressing the Signal useing the Software DV Codec which it Should not do.....

    I think I have a Freeware DV capture program Lying arround somewere so if you PM me with your Email address then I can send it to you ......
     

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