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Old July 23rd, 2005, 12:35 PM   #1
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My problem solved

Just a bit of info in case anyone else is in a situation similar to mine.

I've been interested in Direct-to-disk for a while now and finally made the switch (well with tape back-up).

I followed the threads about the fs-4 and DV Rack and at one point or another was just about to purchase each. I actually downloaded the DV Rack trial and used it for a while.

My concern was that neither supported the 4 channel DV audio spec. and didn't seem interested in supporting it in the future. I'm an XL-1 user and really like using 4 channel.

I can't talk about the fs-4 since I haven't used it. It's also not really necessary for me since I'm always shooting events with a tri-pod and a rack of sorts.

I used DV rack for several shoots and while the tools are impressive, I really didn't need or use them much. To get the extra channels I used Scenalyzer to capture them from tape to add to my Premier time line - tedious. Also, the latency apparently unavoidable (I'm told) with 1394 connections makes the field monitor option useless to me. (Following a dancer when the monitor is a second behind is hopeless.)

Sooo... I wondered what was new at Scenalyzer. I emailed them and Andreas himself replied that the new Beta version of Scenalyzer was ready for download and would do exactly what I wanted. I downloaded it, installed it on my laptop, and it does!

It doesn't have all the utilities of DV Rack but fits my needs perfectly (It actually has lots of other capabilities I've never used). I get the secondary channels captured as primary, a wave file of the primary channels, and slaving to the record button on the XL-1. (Actually I turned that feature off since what I really wanted was one, 2 hour, clip. When it's on, every push on/off starts a new clip)

I've gone to a 20" lcd monitor fed from the s-video just to focus. (I can't ever use auto focus when there are spectators.) Staples has them as TV's with remotely switchable inputs TV/Computer/s-video for less than $500. It looks kinda cool, works great as a non-HD video monitor (only 800x600), and gets ooohs from the crowd.

I used to capture to laptop then transfer to desktop, but I just invested in a Maxtor 300 gig onetouch with 1394 and USB2 interfaces. Just plug it into the laptop and capture directly then plug it into the desktop and edit immediately. I'm a little concerned that it wasn't really designed as a portable, so I'll have to be a bit careful with it. (I suppose that goes for the monitor too.)

It's kinda hard to believe that the software that simplified my workflow so much is only $39. On top of that, Andreas told me that the key I purchased for the original Scenalyzer would work with the new Beta version. It does, so I actually didn't spend a dime for it. (I feel like I'm cheating somehow.)

Anyway, that's my problem solved.

Brad
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Old July 23rd, 2005, 02:35 PM   #2
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Brad,

Thank you very much for this update!
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Old July 24th, 2005, 02:30 PM   #3
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dv rack is so absurdly overpriced, i am glad to hear that scenealyzer now captures live video directly to a computer.

the next question is if scenealyzer will split the second pair of audio tracks out of a digital file that is already on the hard drive, ala 4-channel audio footage captured by the fs4.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 12:18 PM   #4
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Mr. Euritt,

Just curious what you think a fair price would be for DV Rack. Also, what are you basing your pricing model on?
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Old July 25th, 2005, 02:29 PM   #5
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I don't know that DV Rack is overpriced, it just doesn't suit me. If it had a 4 channel audio utility I probably would have bought it even though I have to have another monitor anyway, - 'cuz the other utilities are kinda cool. (I wonder if there's a way to feed the laptop screen with an S-video in?)

Actually, I'm thinking Scenalyzer is a bit under priced, but it serves me well and I'm certainly not complaining.

Of course, I have no idea what kind of programing is involved with either package or how many resources the operating system supplies in each case, so I can't really evaluate the price.

Brad
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Old July 25th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #6
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Support for 4 channel audio is on our list of proposed features. Where did you get the impression that we're not interested in providing this feature? Our next major release of DV Rack is not slated for several months, and we haven't even settled on which major new features to add. The competition will be stiff insofar as we have a bunch of great ideas--more than we'll be able to implement in the allotted development time. Feedback from our customers weighs fairly heavily in such decisions. In fact, I hope to gain authorization to post a list of proposed features here and elsewhere and collect feedback on what y'all are most eager to get. Short of that kind of a quasi-survey, the demand for 4 channel audio has been duly noted.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 05:38 PM   #7
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the problem with dvrack is that it claims to "turn your existing computer display into a broadcast-standard reference monitor"... unfortunately, very few(none?) computer lcd monitors have the gamma range capability to display ntsc video correctly... they simply will not go fully black.

you can demonstrate that for yourself by putting an lcd monitor next to a crt monitor in a dark room, and trying to calibrate 'em both to the contrast standard at: http://www.aim-dtp.net/index.htm

there are also issues with lcd monitor lag time, that make using it as a display for moving video or real-time video measurement tools less than optimal.

if you were to use dvrack on a crt monitor, i think that the functionality would be worth closer to the asking price than if it were used on an lcd monitor.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 06:49 PM   #8
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Yeah, I find using an LCD a little annoying both for lag and contrast, but...

I put a lot of my stuff on DVD and a lot of people, maybe even most, are seeing it on LCD rather than CRT. I started to find that a lot of what looked great on CRT looked terrible on LCD. Now what looks great on LCD looks OK on CRT. I think maybe a good trade off for what I shoot.

I know that I could probably do better with lots of calibration, but in a "live" one-time situation you kinda have to go with what you see rather than what the numbers say. Just no time. (We're talkin' one man shoot here. Heck I even run the dimmer board with my left hand. Sometimes flick a spot around at the same time. Real happy that 4 channels and an outboard compressor pretty much take care of the sound automatically until I "fix" in Premiere or Audition)

I did like the over/under scan frames on DV Rack.
Although, I watched playback on a CRT next to my LCD a lot so now I can pretty much guess what's safe. Working out OK.

Brad
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Old September 14th, 2005, 03:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Tyrrell
I used to capture to laptop then transfer to desktop, but I just invested in a Maxtor 300 gig onetouch with 1394 and USB2 interfaces. Just plug it into the laptop and capture directly then plug it into the desktop and edit immediately. I'm a little concerned that it wasn't really designed as a portable, so I'll have to be a bit careful with it. (I suppose that goes for the monitor too.)
The ACER Ferarri 4000 laptop I am contemplating has only one firewire input, thus to do what you are saying here would require a firewire port expander, to input from my camcorder with the laptop recording to my own 300 gig external hard-drive. Is that possible? The firewire would have to be fully duplex to handle traffic coming and going.

Quote:
It's kinda hard to believe that the software that simplified my workflow so much is only $39. On top of that, Andreas told me that the key I purchased for the original Scenalyzer would work with the new Beta version. It does, so I actually didn't spend a dime for it. (I feel like I'm cheating somehow.)

Anyway, that's my problem solved.

Brad
I have been considering DV Rack as well (if I go the lap-top route in video capture) but if this scanalyzer you are using does what I want it to do at that price, thank you sir!

Bill
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Old September 14th, 2005, 04:23 PM   #10
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>[QUOTE=William Putnam]The ACER Ferarri 4000 laptop I am contemplating has only one firewire input, thus to do what you are saying here would require a firewire port expander, to input from my camcorder with the laptop recording to my own 300 gig external hard-drive. Is that possible? The firewire would have to be fully duplex to handle traffic coming and going.
<


Don't know.. My laptop's that way too. That's why the Maxtor combo 1394 & USB2 is so convenient. Camera feeds the laptop with 1394, laptop feeds the maxtor with USB2. When I connect the Maxtor to the editing PC later, I use the 1394.


>
I have been considering DV Rack as well (if I go the lap-top route in video capture) but if this scanalyzer you are using does what I want it to do at that price, thank you sir!
<


http://www.scenalyzer.com

Check it out.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 04:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Tyrrell
>
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Putnam
The ACER Ferarri 4000 laptop I am contemplating has only one firewire input, thus to do what you are saying here would require a firewire port expander, to input from my camcorder with the laptop recording to my own 300 gig external hard-drive. Is that possible? The firewire would have to be fully duplex to handle traffic coming and going.
<


Don't know.. My laptop's that way too. That's why the Maxtor combo 1394 & USB2 is so convenient. Camera feeds the laptop with 1394, laptop feeds the maxtor with USB2. When I connect the Maxtor to the editing PC later, I use the 1394.
Oh yes! I could do that too! (My Segate External drive takes both 1394 OR
USB-2.

I'm just prejudiced against USB-2, I guess... :)


Quote:
Quote:
I have been considering DV Rack as well (if I go the lap-top route in video capture) but if this scanalyzer you are using does what I want it to do at that price, thank you sir!
<


http://www.scenalyzer.com

Check it out.
I just did! Downloaded it, (Trial version/beta) but I cannot get it to recognise camera controls!

Even when the camcorder is in standby mode, the program "keeps on truckin" and captures continuously! (When I hit the capture button in the program). I just tried to send a message to the Scanalyzer people to see what I am doing wrong, but the message failed to send. Other then that, the program works fine, but mind you...

...When driving in my car, camera mounted on a special rig near the dash board, I would rather control the capture via the LANC remote, and also starts the capture in the program, then lean over and do it at the lap top as I go over a clif! :)

I am using my desktop to test the program...

Perhaps you can help me here...

Thanks

Bill
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Old September 14th, 2005, 05:56 PM   #12
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Did you check the box in the settings area that tells scenalyzer to be controlled by the camera (I'm not at the machine with the program right now so I don't remember exactly what it says).

Also, I found that Scenalyzer works fine from the camera controls as long as I don't also use the record button on the laptop screen. If I do that, it won't seem to go back to camera controls.

Since I tape events I actually turned off this feature so that I couldn't accidently stop taping if I used the rocker zoom on the XL1. Later I create my own clips.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 06:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Tyrrell
Did you check the box in the settings area that tells scenalyzer to be controlled by the camera (I'm not at the machine with the program right now so I don't remember exactly what it says).
All of the "setting" boxes I could find do not give me that option. Remember, this is the trial version I am using and that feature may have been removed, available if.when I buy it. I did finally send a message to the Scanalyzer people for advice. The settings box that is adjacient to the input device box only has me verify/select what device I have, such as "Microsoft DV Camera" or similar wording. It gives me no options as to how the capture is to be controlled.

Quote:
Also, I found that Scenalyzer works fine from the camera controls as long as I don't also use the record button on the laptop screen. If I do that, it won't seem to go back to camera controls.

Since I tape events I actually turned off this feature so that I couldn't accidently stop taping if I used the rocker zoom on the XL1. Later I create my own clips.
How do you "turn off this feature"? Perhaps it is also missing in the trial version as well. I would not want that to be active as well in my use of a laptop in my car while in motion! Keeping my eyes on the road is paramount, of course (with LANC controller in hand.) :) ON EDIT: Oh, I see what you mean! You want to intentionally control capturing from the laptop! Running your rocker zoom may have you accidently hitting the record on/off button as well, I see! Try that with my tiny little Sony DCR-HC30! Of course, I am using the LANC controller, so when I zoom, the on/off button is well separated on my controller.

Incidentally, I find that the video I do capture works fine in Pinnacle Studio version 9 plus, so I am satisfied to that extent.

If/when you get time, sitting before your machine, I would appreciate it if you could steer these bleary old eyes of mine to where this settings box is (if it exists in the trial version.)


Thanks,

Bill
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Old September 14th, 2005, 06:21 PM   #14
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Get back to you tomorrow when I'm at that machine.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Tyrrell
Get back to you tomorrow when I'm at that machine.
Thanks much!

Bill
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