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Old July 27th, 2005, 09:21 PM   #1
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What's wrong with default Premiere capture settings?

Hi,

Been capturing DV footage through my Pinnacle DV1000DV card for years - no problems at all with quality - true 25MBs.

Just built another workstation - IBM Intellistation MPro / XP Pro- with a standard OHCP compliant IEEE1394 card. It's all installed fine, and XP recognises my Sony DV camcorder, automatically opens Premiere, etc..

The problem is with quality though. On my original workstation, when I capture with the DC1000DV, I choose DV PAL, and it states that the capture data rate is 25MBs - who'd choose anything else ?.

But on this new workstation, with a standard Firewire card, the only DV capture settings Premiere offers in the project capture window are the NTSC/PAL Standard or Widescreen DV ones, and states only that it's using the Microsoft DV (PAL) compressor, and doesn't mention capture data rate.

The quality of captured video is useless, as if it's highly compressed. But I cannot find any capture rate settings anywhere.

In the project settings, under the video heading, it lists the compressor, but everything is greyed out, i.e. the configure icon.

Am I missing a driver ?. I simply let XP install the Firewire card, and it didn't prompt for any drivers. I didn't expect it to, as XP comes with DirectX 8.1.
I don't think this is a driver issue, but to do with the Codec used by Premiere. Why on earth would it default to such a crap setting ?

This seems such a dumb question, as surely I'm using the same setup as 99% of home movie makers ?!

Cheers, Ben.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 06:12 AM   #2
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I should really clarify what I mean by a poor quality image...

When I play back the captured video, it looks pixelated, with 'jagged edges' etc, as if it was a compressed avi file. The resolution is correct - 720 x 576, and the file size is approx 3MB per second, so I think it has captured at 25MBits per sec, although I still don't know why it doesn't tell me this.

Perhaps when Premiere plays back video using the Windows codecs, it cannot display the full quality. I've not yet put this movie clip onto DVD, and viewed it on a TV, but I just cannot imagine it will look OK.

When I play back captured movies with my Pinnacle workstation (see previous message), it can display them with the same quality as it will appear on a TV, but I think this is because it uses the DC1000's hardware codecs, which are much more powerful than a normal Windows PC.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 07:34 AM   #3
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Exactly!

You answered your own question with great intuition! Premiere Pro with it's real time software playback dumbs down the stream to give the editor realish time previews in the absence of a hardware accelerator card. I successfully migrated away from my previous hardware supported environment with great success. Your data stream numbers are right at 3Mbps. Finish your edits, output the avi and open up your authoring program. Your finished dvd will look great!
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Old July 28th, 2005, 08:31 AM   #4
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Thanks Jimmy !
That all makes sense, I should have just tried outputing to DVD and checked really - especially with disks being so cheap now !.

I don't think it's relevant, buy I'm running Premiere V6.5 (Pro doesn't work with Pinnacle cards). I guess what you said still holds true.

I've looked into this topic many times, and you rarely hear about accelerator cards - people are just told to buy OHCP IEEE1394 cards, and that's all.

I'd never really thought of my DC1000DV as being an accelerator card - I just presumed that if it captures at 25MBits/sec, and it can play back at that rate, then a PC capturing with a plain firewire card at 25MBits/sec will be able to do the same.

I'd read that 'new' PC hardware has caught up with the 'hardware codec' power of a dedicated capture card like the Pinnacle DC500/1000, which is why I decided to just purchase a plain firewire card when building this new Premier workstation.

If this isn't really the case, then please suggest what I could do, as I miss the video quality I'm used to seeing at the editing stage.

Do people buy 'accelerator cards' to interface in with their firewire/NLE workstations ?
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Old July 28th, 2005, 09:22 AM   #5
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Ben,

I don't know if you can get better quality previews on the higher end PCs today with Premiere Pro, but on my 3.0 Ghz P4 with 2 GB of Ram I still get a much better preview quality when working in the Matrox DV editing mode (using my RT.X100) than using the plain DV software only mode.

Of course, one really needs to use a broadcast monitor (or at the least a TV) hooked up to see the true quality. But it's still nice to have a good preview on the computer monitor.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 10:27 AM   #6
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You've got it! I dumped my dv500 since they went to their own "edition" for editing.
I've not looked back...
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Old July 28th, 2005, 11:13 AM   #7
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Thanks Guys....

I'll just have to get used to it !

It's a shame about the Premier support - I'd pay for the upgrade to Pro if it worked, but I'm not ditching a 1000 capture card !

Interestingly enough, I shelled out 60 for an IEEE1394 PCMCIA card for my laptop about a year ago, hoping to make movies on the go, and had the same concern about Premier capture quality, and never used it !! - Doh !

One last question (they all say that !!)....why can I not adjust the capture data rate with Premier and a plain firewire card?

One of the reasons I still use the DC1000DV card is that I can capture at, say 6MBits/sec (ready for DVD authoring), and the acquired clips can be edited very quickly as no compression takes place (it only has to re-align the IBP frames).

Also, Premier with the plain firewire card doesn't seem to allow me to specify an output data rate for the exported movie. So how do I get it compressed down ready for DVD authoring ? My authoring software requires MPEG2 video and WAV audio files. But now I'm restricted to AVIs.

Is there a CODEC I can buy that allows me to control input and output data rates, and captures and exports the video as MPEG2 and audio as .wav ?
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Old July 28th, 2005, 11:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
One last question (they all say that !!)....why can I not adjust the capture data rate with Premier and a plain firewire card?
Because it's a straight transfer of the DV stream. Premiere does not support capturing from a DV source to MPEG-2 on the fly. You need third party software and/or a capture card (like yours) that supports that feature.
Quote:
Also, Premier with the plain firewire card doesn't seem to allow me to specify an output data rate for the exported movie. So how do I get it compressed down ready for DVD authoring ?
Premiere 6.5 came with DVD authoring software, so it must have some option to encode to MPEG-2. I never used Premiere 6.5 so I don't know the steps involved. Hopefully someone else who has used it will know what is involved.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 07:24 PM   #9
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i believe that premiere 6.5 comes with the mainconcept mpeg encoder, it'll do a good job once you learn how to operate it.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 08:30 PM   #10
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would it not be amoungst your render options?
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Old July 29th, 2005, 05:39 PM   #11
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Cheers Dan, and everyone else - the solution is to export from the timeline to the Adobe MPEG Encoder. There are various bitrate options for DVD compliant output files.

Cheers, Ben.
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