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Old May 17th, 2005, 05:19 PM   #1
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Laptop w/ DV Rack & external drive for capture... I need advice

I already own a FireStore FS-4, but I plan to purchase Serious Magic's DV Rack software and install it on my PC laptop along with a large, external hard drive to capture footage in the field while monitoring.

I have 4 questions about this scenario:

1. Anyone with DV Rack capture and monitoring experience... What do you think? What system configuration works well for you?

2. What advice can you offer about external hard drives for live capture?
a. Firewire vs. USB 2.0
b. Storage capacity
b. RPM
c. Write speed
d. Cache buffer size
e. Makes and models that work well for long captures?

3. What about IEEE 1394 PCI cards for a laptop? Any recommendations of reliable ones?

4. I may buy a new laptop system exclusively for this. What laptop systems have you found to be fast and reliable enough for this? What configuration advice do you have (RAM, processor, graphics card, etc.)?

Thanks,
Stephen Hardiman

Last edited by Stephen Hardiman; May 17th, 2005 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Adding instant email notification
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Old June 9th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #2
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You may want to check out this thread

Hi Stephen Hardiman,

The following thread might point you toward some of the information you are looking for: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=41293

The posts by Pat Sherman and Greg Kuchta also contain a few words on capturing to an external drive.

Good luck with your search and your project!

Halfdan J. Damskier
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Old June 11th, 2006, 01:58 PM   #3
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I recently captured over 48 hours of lecture material at a week-long conference using DVRack and a number of Acom Data 250 Gig Drives. These drives work perfectly with the DVRack because they offer both USB and Firewire connections.

Everything went well capturing the material. I did run back-up tapes in each of the cameras.

I did have one problem. The maximum recording time per DVRack clip is a little over 18 minutes. DO NOT let your clips exceed 18 minutes or they will be corrupted and unuseable. I knew this prior to recording the event, but still managed to mess up and failed to start a new clip in time. No problem - thanks to back-up tapes. All the other clips-save the one-were fine.

I did notice a minor lag in the video monitor. At times, the image on the monitor would freeze, along with the audio monitor, waveform and everything else. When this happened, I would make a new clip and everything would be fine.

Hope this helps,
Paul
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Old June 11th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #4
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I believe the 18 min limit is because of the formating of the hard drive not DV Rack. If the hard drive is formated in NTSF then you would not have this limit.

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Old June 11th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #5
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You may be correct.

I did try formatting the drive a few different ways, but was limited to a format that was readable by both pc and mac. That may be why I was limited to an 18 min clip length.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 01:23 PM   #6
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Ron is correct - the 18 minute issue only happens if the drive is formatted in the older FAT32 partition, and it's because of the file size limit inherent in the FAT32 format.

For PC Editors, NTFS is the recommended way to go. Format your drive using this system, and there is no practical limit for recording. And, NTFS can be read (not written to) on the Mac platform as well, if you are running OSX.

If you primarily work on the Mac, and just use a PC laptop for running DV Rack, I recommend using a small piece of software called MacDrive. Install this on your PC laptop, and your laptop will be able to read/write to Mac formatted (HFS+) external hard drives. That way, you can record your QuickTime clips in DV Rack directly to a Mac formatted external hard drive, and you won't have to worry about a file size limit either.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 04:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the formatting and software tips, I will try them.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 11:20 PM   #8
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Why don't u try the external sata 2. That must be faster the Firewire 800 , High-performance storage data transfer up to 3.0Gbps (300MB/sec). And the SATA2 hd is very cheap nowaday.

This is the cheap option:
PPA Int'l 1165 SATA II ExpressCard 54 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16839228001R
DCS1-1205 Bridgeboard external power supply
http://fwdepot.com/thestore/product_...roducts_id/604

ANd the cashy option would be perfect, because
SeriTek/2ENSM2-E bundle ExpressCard Adapter and External Enclosure
http://fwdepot.com/thestore/product_...oducts_id/1575
or
http://search.ebay.com/sata-raid-enc...sPageNameZWLRS
and the card
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Old June 20th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #9
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Thanks Trung, I'll check it out.
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