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Old September 8th, 2004, 07:19 PM   #1
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Capture live video through DVX100A with FCP?

Hey there,

If this has been answered before, please forgive me. (I didn't find anything after performing multiple searches.)

I am trying to capture video from my cable box, through my DVX100A using firewire to final cut pro HD on my powermac.

I realize that most people probably seek to either capture a live image through the camera's lens or recorded material from tape in vcr mode.

However, I'd like to capture the image/audio displayed from my cable box while my camera's in vcr mode and use capture in fcp to record it to my powermac's hd.

FCP keeps looking for timecode, of course that's not being provided by the source material. I can see the video in the capture window, but when I try to 'capture now', I see bars and it doesn't capture.

Has this been done before or does anyone know if this is possible?

I'd greatly appreciate it. I need to record some episodes of Iron Chef (Japanese version) and they're not available on dvd/video.

Thanks!
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Old September 8th, 2004, 07:36 PM   #2
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Yes, I have a firewire cable from the camera to my powermac. I see the video in FCP's capture window, so that part was successful. However, I can't seem to record what I see because FCP is looking for timecode before it will begin capturing it.

Thanks.
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Old September 8th, 2004, 07:36 PM   #3
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Worse comes to worse, record the program to tape and capture the tape to your HD. In preferences do you have FCP set to ignore TC breaks? Have you tried using an analog signal instead of FireWire?
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Old September 8th, 2004, 07:56 PM   #4
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I just setup the cam again.. i see/hear the content on the DVX100A just fine.. Before clicking on "capture now" in FCP, i see the video in the preview window.

This is the exact message from FCP when I click capture now:

"Waiting for timecode. Device needs to be in VTR mode when Device Control is enabled. (press Esc to abort.)" There are color bars in the capture window.

So when I press escape, I see the video again.

To answer, I have not tried to record to tape nor analog to FCP yet. I was hoping to avoid that as this seems like the most logical way to go.
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Old September 8th, 2004, 07:56 PM   #5
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You might want to bypass FCP and just use BTV pro which will capture directly to disk. It's fully functional in demo mode, but also a great shareware deal and it can serve as a handy full screen monitor on your powerbook. Plus there are some other cool features like "scopes" and time lapse recording.

http://www.bensoftware.com/btvpro.html
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Old September 8th, 2004, 08:01 PM   #6
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Yay!

I figured it out! I went back to the capture window, to the Capture Settings tab, then changed Device Control to "Non-Controllable Device" and it captured wonderfully!

Thanks for your help, Jeff and Boyd. I hope that this helps someone else.
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Old September 17th, 2004, 08:32 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris L. Gray : Yay!

I figured it out! I went back to the capture window, to the Capture Settings tab, then changed Device Control to "Non-Controllable Device" and it captured wonderfully!

Thanks for your help, Jeff and Boyd. I hope that this helps someone else. -->>>

Nice one Chris, I was hoping to do this as well so thanks. But one question, does it play back smoothly, I notice that when I capture on my Powerbook G4 it doesn't display all frames and I wonder if this will be any different?

Thanks
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Old September 19th, 2004, 09:55 PM   #8
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As you discovered, you have to set the Capture setting to "Uncontrolled Device" when you capture from any device that doesn't give you timecode such as an analog to DV converter, or a firewire camera as you are doing.

Dropped frames are a function of system performance and not the aformentioned capure setting. You need to figure out if the frames were lost during capture or during playback. Laptops have slower harddrives that can affect capture and playback performance. What are the specs on you G4 Powerbook including memory?
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Old September 20th, 2004, 11:50 AM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ernest House :
Dropped frames are a function of system performance and not the aformentioned capure setting. You need to figure out if the frames were lost during capture or during playback. Laptops have slower harddrives that can affect capture and playback performance. What are the specs on you G4 Powerbook including memory? -->>>

Hi Ernest, sorry but I might not have explained this correctly. When I capture on the G4 the window that comes up does not play sound and does not play smoothly but it does capture perfectly. The pop up window is just a preview I guess and does not show all frames due to lack of power??? The version that makes it onto disk is perfect. Sorry for the confusion... and thanks for trying to help....

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Old September 20th, 2004, 07:19 PM   #10
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I see. When you open a clip in FinalCut Pro/Express, the clip is shown in the Viewer window. DV video is 720x480 in size. If your Viewer window is not that size, then the playback software has to shrink it down to fit according to the percentage you've set at the top of the Viewer window. If that value is "Fit To Window", the playback software will do just that. If it is a percentage like 50%, then the video will be shown at 360x240.

I have noticed playback problems even on powerful machines when my viewer window was smaller than the video size (eg 300x200 when the video display setting was set to 50%). Is it possible that your Viewer window is smaller than the display setting you have? To test this, set the Viewer window display setting to "Fit to Window".
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 03:18 PM   #11
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I think Donie is talking about the Log and Capture window, not the viewer. Yes, it shows a pretty rough image while capturing and also note that the pixels are not properly scaled for the computer screen like they are in the viewer. I've also found on my G4 that you should close the log and capture window whenever you aren't actually capturing. Keeping it open slows down everthing else, even when you aren't using it.
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 03:47 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Donie Kelly :

Nice one Chris, I was hoping to do this as well so thanks. But one question, does it play back smoothly, I notice that when I capture on my Powerbook G4 it doesn't display all frames and I wonder if this will be any different?

Thanks
Donie -->>>

Donnie, I should fess that I'm capturing on my 1.6Ghz G5 Powermac, now with just over a gig of memory. I was prepping to record Iron Chef last nite, but was watching Law & Order just before and noticed something a bit strange.

In the log/capture view window, I saw some distortion.. looked like the top half inch of the image was breaking up. It looked as if there was a bad cable or something similar causing the problem. I switched the channel to Food Network and didin't experience the same problem. It was likely the cable box's or NBC affiliate's signal causing the problem I thought.

When i first started using log/caputure on this machine, the image was pretty jerky and slow to respond. Now I don't experience the problem. It's just about real time now, with just a slight delay.

I always do a test clip and the playback is excellent quality.

Fessing up, I've not played any of the DVDs I've burned in a home dvd player yet have have only played them back on the powermac and my tibook. The program image quality looks a bit grainy and I'm not sure what the issue is... using iDVD or something else becuase the clips are quite vivid while in FCP.

I'll try to remember to see if there are quality settings for exporting the clips at as QT movie. I do believe they are full quality, though.
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