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Recording device does not capture entire video recording from dv-avi, frame loss issue as well

Discussion in 'Digital camcorders' started by mikenmike, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. mikenmike

    mikenmike Member

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    Hello,

    Since I've been new to recording and capturing from camcorder devices to transferring to pc and then burning, I saw a bunch of threads from here and elsewhere on doing it, which I can now. But now I'm facing a couple issues that I don't know how to tweak.

    1) I use Nero Vision 4 or MS Movie Maker 2.1, whether or not I rewind the tape on the camcorder from the beginning and set it to automatic capture or manual capture to get all the video feed to the end, whenever I have it try to capture it all in one swoop, it always cuts of like 3 to 5 minutes worth of video short of the recordings from the actual dv tape. It never captures the total length completely. There's always a mismatch of the total time of the tape to the total time captured to pc. Why is that? I don't think it's because of system resources, because this is a pentium 4, 2.7 ghz processor with 1gb-1.5gb of ram, and on top of that, I reboot every time I start this process, so the RAM isn't being drained from the getgo.

    2) How to prevent frame loss. I looked up options, defrag, clear memory. I thought that the new version of nerovision4 would do the trick. I still see tons of frame loss even though I'm not running anything else on my computer. Is that always going to happen and should I not care about it much?

    3) Does the ratio aspect affect quality of the video? I don't know whether to set 4:3 or 16:9.
     
  2. mikenmike

    mikenmike Member

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    also,

    4) when selecting capturing template in nero vision 4, should I capture with dv-avi (option1) or with dvd option? I figured that it might be a little redundant to selecd dv-avi since the end result has to have nero covert it to the dvd anyways, but I don't know if quality wise, should I do the dv-avi option from the beginning or if it will make much of a difference.
     
  3. PFloyd

    PFloyd Regular member

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    I use either WindDV or STOIK capture programs. Don't like MovieMakera as I think it is flaky. Nero, well, bugs galore.
    Try the two I mentioned.
     
  4. mikenmike

    mikenmike Member

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    alright...yeah, I was looking up on windv...I figured that freewares would never be as good as more expensive software like nero at first, but looking at reviews, maybe it is...

    is the "shadow effect" (where the outline of people blur) of movements captured from stuff like people moving around because of the shutter speed of the camcorder or is that something bad that happens when you get bad quality during the process of going from dv to dvd?

     
  5. mikenmike

    mikenmike Member

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    how strange....I'm running the windv right now...looks like it's going smooth... but...it's still dropping a ton of frames....at this point, I configured everything right based on the tutorial for it: set set the max avi size to 115000, which is more than enough for a 62 minute dv.

    Everywhere online when I searched up windv, they kept saying that it gives 0 dropped frames and it uses the memory well. I'm looking at it, and in 14 minutes of captured film so far, it's dropped over 300 frames in the status window and in my task manager, I see the memory isn't being utilized like how people have said.

    Does that mean something is wrong with my computer or what?
     
  6. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    It was a good thing going to WinDV. Also always capture to DV-AVI and do any conversion to other formats later on.
    About loosing frames: are you transferring to the same harddrive that holds your programs? That may cause problems. Best is to use a separate hard drive for that. It can also be that you have broken timecodes on your tape. Investigate if the lost frames are around those positions.
    About the blurr you describe: make sure you use a decent encoder for converting DV-AVI to MPEG-2 and use high quality settings.
     
  7. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

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    Besides what TPFKAS mentioned, you may need to see if there are programs running in the background that are causing problems. You can drop frames if WinDV doesn't get the resources it needs while transferring the video.
     
  8. mikenmike

    mikenmike Member

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    The harddrive is on the same drive as the programs, but I don't see how that affects it since I'm not running any programs besides nero vision during this process. Also, I've closed out all other programs to my knowledge that may be "running in the background" without closing any that would cause windows to hang. I disabled antivirus scans.

    Overall, a 62 minute DV I completed capturing with WinDV yesterday dropped over 2000 frames! I was wondering why the total time recorded was almost a minute shy of the total time on the DV Tape.

    How do you force windv to get the resources it needs? I was watching the " memory available " in task manager and it wasn't getting eaten up.

    as far as the encoder, I'm using the built in mpeg2 encoder from nero that is a seperate purchase. I figured that this nero product is so expensive that the quality should match the price, but I guess I'm wrong so far. Isn't that mpeg encoder from Nero any good?
     
  9. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

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    The hard drive can make a difference, not so much because of other programs, but because of Windows processes. In particular, your pagefile is probably on the same drive, and since the pagefile stores data that's constantly being swapped in and out of memory it's constantly being accessed.
    You've already disabled your AV scanner, which would have been my first suggestion, so it depends on what else is running in the background.

    I'd also make sure the computer has the most recent firewire driver available. Assuming the firewire port is onboard this would be in the form of a chipset driver from either the motherboard or computer manufacturer. Also, make sure you're not using another firewire device (like an external hard drive) at the same time. Even though this isn't supposed to be a problem with firewire, my experience (and others I've found) says that this doesn't work right when one of the devices is a hard drive, and may not work for other combinations.
    Although I have Nero, I've never used its MPEG encoder because it has a reputation for being low quality. I'd recommend looking into HC (free), CCE Basic ($58), or MainConcept ($169). CCE will generally give you the highest quality of the three, but will also have the steepest learning curve since it's not very user friendly. HC and MainConcept should both give you excellent quality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  10. mikenmike

    mikenmike Member

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    Oh Okay. The firewire card I borrowed was detected simply by plug and play. I figured with windows xp, it will detect it and let me know if it doesn't, which here, it didn't. Should I be looking for something else now?

    No other firewire cards are being used.

    Wow, those mpeg encoders are expensive. I see some tutorial threads on going from windv to using TGMP program that supposedly does that and it's free.

    Yeah, I was just surprised at the output of the windv, where every thread I saw was about 0 loss frames and utilizing the memory well, and for me, it was all the opposite. ??
     
  11. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

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    I'd start by making sure you have the most recent driver for the firewire card. Hopefully that will fix the problem. As for MPEG encoders, if you don't want to spend any money I'd stick with HC because it's free and very high quality.
     
  12. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    @mikenmike
    I guess you mean TMPGEnc. There is a freeware version but it's MPEG-2 encoding has a 30 day limit. If you want it permanently, you will have to buy the commercial version. TMPGEnc Plus 2.5 is affordable at $37.
    About your dropped frames: I still suspect your hard drive. If you don't want to install a second one, at least try to defragment your current one. You should easily be able to transfer a full 60 minutes tape without any dropped frames. The only other thing that I can think of is that there is a problem with your tapes or a dirty head or something. But you should also see that when you just watch the tapes by connecting the cam to a TV.

    @vurbal
    I checked out HC encoder (I'm a happy TMPGEnc user, but I'm always interested to learn new things). Sounded promising, but it is unfortunate that you can't just open the program, input an AVI file and convert it...
     
  13. mikenmike

    mikenmike Member

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    I went to the manufacturer's website and looked under the model number for the firewire card.
    www.mi-products.com
    model: usb660A

    It didn't have any. Well, I spent last night, defragmenting all my hard drives, so when I try a different dv tape, I want to see if there's a difference. I would try that HC encoder, but for a newbie such as myself, it seems pretty complicated. It's not a simple drag and drop and one button process. I looked at the doom9 tutorial and starting from the beginning and knowing how to set the bitrate and all threw me off.

    I'll put the results of my defragmented drives when I try it out in the next couple days.

    These are all new dv tapes. I'm wondering, do settings on the camcorder during the filming process might effect this process or cause those things that I'm seeing on screen after burning on a dvd like the shadow effect? like...slow shutter speed or something?
     
  14. mikenmike

    mikenmike Member

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    I defragmented yesterday my harddrive and well....it helped a bit as this result shows from a less than 30 minute tape, but I still lost about 20 seconds of footage time based on the dv tape display.

    <a href="http://imageshack.us"><img src="http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/4614/untitledwindvzq6.jpg" border="0" alt="Image Hosted by ImageShack.us" /></a>


    It's better than what I originally had, with a full 62 minute tape being over 2000-3000 lost frames, but this still isn't so good.

    If you look on my screen, I tried to take out as much as possible....after trying to isolate the problems, I guess it's just this darn firewire card then. It's pretty old, but I thought that a firewire card is a firewire card, don't they all function the same way? It's not like a usb1.1 versus a usb2.0 ...

     
  15. mikenmike

    mikenmike Member

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  16. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    Dropping 671 frames on half an hour is definitely way too much.
    I also see on your screenshot that you have something running on the background (looks like a parachute icon). What's that?
    And indeed, a Firewire card is a Firewirecard. But of course anything can become defective.
     
  17. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

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    It's not true that all firewire cards are the same. The chipset can make a big difference in transfer rates, and since DV transfer doesn't stop or slow down when the chipset can't handle it there can be problems. For example SIIG cards sometimes use good Texas Instruments chipsets, but sometimes they use cheaper ones.

    That doesn't mean I'm convinced that this is the problem, but it certainly could be. However, since there were problems with analog capture I'm more inclined to believe that it's some background process intermittently sucking up your computer's resources. You could keep the task manager open while capturing to see what's happening, but unfortunately even the task manager can occasionally chew up enough resources to cause the same problem.

    I know you said you disabled your antivirus real time scanning, but that doesn't automatically mean it's not running. When I worked in internet tech support I ran into many occasions when people shut down Norton products and they were still running. In fact I saw more than a few cases where people uninstalled them and they were still there and running. After you shut it down make sure to check the task manager to see if it's running. If it uses the same process name as their corporate AV it will be called Rtvscan.exe

    If you have Norton Internet Security on your computer it can also cause weird problems. My advice would be to make sure it's turned off as well. Actually my advice would be to uninstall it and use the CD for target practice, but that's another issue entirely.
     
  18. mikenmike

    mikenmike Member

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    I checked the task manager for about 5 minutes after everything I tried to close...closed and I disabled the others. The system idle was at 99% with a +/- 2% flux from some random thing like the task manager itself. I tried closing the rtvscan last time and the icon was still there, so I'm not too sure what other names norton goes by to close in the process list without closing off some windows system process by accident.

    Well, I suppose I'll just have to be forced to stick with this until I find a replacement firewire card. Strange thing is that my memory buffer doesn't seem to be fully utilized like how the readme said it does. I have 1gb ram, and in the task manager, I always see 400-500mb being available before and after the capture.
     
  19. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

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    Well you certainly should have plenty of CPU and RAM for the job. When I first got my DV camcorder I was using a 2.4GHz P4 with 768MB RAM. Of course it's also a Sony with onboard firewire, and it was designed with multimedia, and DV in particular, in mind.
     
  20. PFloyd

    PFloyd Regular member

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    Try using STOIK capture. It lets you use a temp file to stop dropped frames. Also it lets you control the functions of your camcorder.
     

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