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Analog Capture Quality Question
on Oct 19, 2002 at 6:26:28 pm

I have a Sony CCD-TR916 8mm camcorder that I am using for home movies. My system specs are as follows:

Sony PCV-RX550
1.5 Ghz P4
512 Mb RAM
256 K Cache
400 Mhz Bus
Soundblaster Audigy
Gainward Ti4400 128M
Windows XP - Home
Pinnacle Studio Version 8

I am using the Gainward Ti4400 for video capture (through composite cables). Experimenting, I dropped 23 frames in about 3 minutes of capture.

My question is, should I get a better capture card? What are reasonably priced alternatives? I don't have any baseline to compare the quality of this capture card, and don't have the knowledge to evaluate the difference anyway.

Thanks for the help.

Guy Barnes

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John Q
Re: Analog Capture Quality Question
on Oct 19, 2002 at 6:33:15 pm

What you will typically find is that you cannot capture your video on your boot drive. Windows will periodically take control of the hard drive and you will drop video frames every time it does.

You really need a dedicated video capture hard drive on your secondary IDE channel. That way Windows can talk to the boot drive on IDE1 and not interfere with your video capture on IDE2. Buy a large 7200 rpm ATA100 hard drive, put it on IDE2, and format it as NTFS. I'm not sure what format you're capturing, but DV (mpeg2) uses 13 GB per hour of video.

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Re: Analog Capture Quality Question
on Oct 19, 2002 at 7:20:48 pm

Sorry I didn't mention it, but I do have a WD 7200 rpm ATA100 HD used only for my video capturing/editing. i guess my real question is, is their a better capture card that I should get?

Thanks for the reply.

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Kenneth Daves
Re: Analog Capture Quality Question
on Oct 20, 2002 at 3:53:41 am

Try lowering the video and audio data rates and see if you drop fewer frames. Personally, I doubt if you will be able to get decent quality Mpeg 2 from the Gainward card. (I assume you are using one of the cards with Mpeg capture capability.)

There are a zillion different capture devices and about as many opinions about which is best. If you already have a fire wire card installed, the easiest thing for you to do is to get one of the analog-to-DV converters. They digitize your analog video externally and feed it to the computer through the fire wire port as DV. I recommend the Dazzle Hollywood DV Bridge because it is compatible with every editing program and OHCI-compliant fire wire card I know of, while the Canopus ADVC-100, a device that gets better reviews, does not work with fire wire cards that use Texas Instruments chipsets. Also, be aware that, if you do choose one of the PCI or USB capture devices, you will almost certainly have to uninstall the video capture drivers and software for the Gainward card in order for the new card to work properly, while the Hollwood DV Bridge does not have that problem.

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Gary Bettan
Re: Analog Capture Quality Question
on Oct 20, 2002 at 2:40:20 pm

I would suggest you get the Studio Deluxe 8 product. It has both analog & DV in & out.

There is no reason to drop frames given todays fast computers and DV compression.


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