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Old March 14th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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Capturing HD is Not as Easy as Capturing a Butterfly.

Hello folks,

I'm making my first attempt to capture HD on my computer. I'm capturing from a Canon XH-A1 onto Adobe Premiere Pro on a PC setup. The problem is that it looks to be capturing the footage but during the actual capturing process there is no video displayed in the capture window but rather a default screen with a design that includes Japanese symbols. After the capture I noticed that the video file is saved as an MPEG-4 file. When I look at the footage on the Adobe Premiere monitor it is of poor quality. My questions are then as follows:

* Is it normal when capturing HD footage for it to not display in the capturing video window monitor?

* Is HD footage normally captured and saved as MPEG-4 files?

* Why is the quality of the video poor when displayed on the Adobe Premiere monitor?

Any help with my issue here would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance and keep shooting for the stars!!!

~ Lars
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Old March 14th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars Johnson View Post
Hello folks,

* Is it normal when capturing HD footage for it to not display in the capturing video window monitor?

* Is HD footage normally captured and saved as MPEG-4 files?

* Why is the quality of the video poor when displayed on the Adobe Premiere monitor?

Any help with my issue here would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance and keep shooting for the stars!!!

~ Lars
1. Yes, HDV doesn't display in real time during capture. Must be an Adope thang, FCP does it with no problem.....
3. The playback quality is automatically varied to what your system can handle in real time (unless you set a manual playback setting) and a challenged computer will play back in lower res.

I left out 2 because I can't recall the answer, I THOUGHT it captured as MPEG-2, but I may be mistaken. I don't find a setting to change or define that, but I may be overlooking something. /Battle Vaughan
miamiherald.com video team
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Old March 14th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars Johnson View Post
* Is HD footage normally captured and saved as MPEG-4 files?
Not MPEG 4, but MPEG 2. I cannot remember the file extension.

PP via 1394 captures bit for bit whatever is read off the tape. Like copying a file from one disk to another. For HDV the format is MPEG 2.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #4
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Thank you Battle and Tripp,

So I suppose I am capturing true HD if my capture settings are set to do so. I've been reading forums here and there stating that it is absolutely necessary to download presets from the Adobe website that are specific to what camera you use. In my case I am capturing from a Canon XH-A1. Also, I've read that you are NEVER supposed to connect your firewire to your camera while the camera is on...and he made it sound like life and death. Do you know why this is not recommended?

I've tried exporting my footage as Quicktime just to see what it looks like. I turns out to be blurry and pixelated...definitely not looking like HD.

Anyway, my fear is that I'm not processing true HD because the video quality is very poor in my Adobe Premiere Pro editing monitor. My actual computer monitor is fine as I've been able to watch HD footage online that looks absolutely gorgeous!!! So I decided to do an experiment and proceeded to upload a sample of my "HD" footage on to Vimeo to see what it looks like once posted.

I'm still waiting as of this moment but I'll let you guys know how it turns out. Thanks again fellas and keep shooting for the stars!!!

~ Lars

Last edited by Jerome Niko; March 15th, 2009 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Forgot Details
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Old March 15th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lars Johnson View Post
Also, I've read that you are NEVER supposed to connect your firewire to your camera while the camera is on...and he made it sound like life and death. Do you know why this is not recommended?
The six connector 1394 plug carries DC power. 5v, I think. It is possible to misalign that plug when inserting it into the computer which can send DC current to a circuit that wouldn't like it. Then poof! The magic black smoke escapes.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 07:07 PM   #6
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The 6-pin firewire terminal carries a voltage that can fry things if you get it wrong. (Macs and PC desktops use a 6 to 4 pin cable) Also some systems will not recognize your camera unless you load the application after the camera is powered up. The safest drill is power down everything, start your playback deck or camera, then power up the CPU, or that is my understanding..Some devices we have (such as the Grass Valley av/dv converter) insist that you follow this procedure. /B. Vaughan

PS:Re the Quicktime problem, Check your settings in the Exporter, there is a bug that will not carry your bitrate setting from your Premiere setup to the exporter, and you have to go in Exporter and set it up again. It defaults to 1000, you need 25000 or so for hdv. There is a 1.02 version just came out for exporter, I hope they have fixed this.

PS that's encoder, not exporter, brain burp there.

Last edited by Battle Vaughan; March 16th, 2009 at 11:10 AM. Reason: addendum
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Old March 15th, 2009, 09:58 PM   #7
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Hi Lars,

I wouldn't go as far as powering down the PC to connect your camera, I've been editing Firewire for many years without issue. I do, however make sure the camera is OFF before connecting 1394, and turn it on so computer can (beep) recognize it before launching Premiere.

As pointed out, HDV is MPEG-2, and the captured file should have the .mpeg extension.

I use the Matrox RT.X2 realtime edit card with CS3, and a few of the benefits with HDV are:

Video display in capture window during capture
Full HD video to external HD display via component or DVI during capture
Audio level meters during capture
Scene Detect during HDV capture

Also offers true realtime effects, up/down convert, accelerated exports, full screen external monitoring while editing.

Regarding preview quality - right click the preview and check the "Quality" settings. Also, check your Windows display settings and see that they are at 24 or 32-bit color. Is your graphics card up to the task? May need a driver update.

Jeff Pulera
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars Johnson View Post
Hello folks,

I'm making my first attempt to capture HD on my computer. I'm capturing from a Canon XH-A1 onto Adobe Premiere Pro on a PC setup. The problem is that it looks to be capturing the footage but during the actual capturing process there is no video displayed in the capture window but rather a default screen with a design that includes Japanese symbols. After the capture I noticed that the video file is saved as an MPEG-4 file. When I look at the footage on the Adobe Premiere monitor it is of poor quality. My questions are then as follows:

* Is it normal when capturing HD footage for it to not display in the capturing video window monitor?

* Is HD footage normally captured and saved as MPEG-4 files?

* Why is the quality of the video poor when displayed on the Adobe Premiere monitor?

Any help with my issue here would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance and keep shooting for the stars!!!

~ Lars
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Old March 15th, 2009, 10:04 PM   #8
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You can also get isolating firewire hubs that are supposed to eliminate the infamous fried 1384 card problem.

I'm wondering why your screen would be displaying Japanese characters - hmmmm. If you post a screen shot and they really are Japanese characters I could tell you what they say.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 10:51 PM   #9
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Lars - don't convert your files to check their quality - that adds another layer of potential error and confusion! Just play your raw files back with a freeware MPEG2-capable player such as "MediaPlayer Classic" or "VLC" (Google for them). Or even a software DVD player if you have one.

Your raw files should look BETTER than anything you see on Vimeo, which uses heavily compressed mp4. Keep in mind the files will be interlaced, which can look a bit odd on a computer monitor (but fine on a TV screen).
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Old March 24th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #10
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Thank you so much Tripp, Battle, Jeff, Jim and Graham,

I think I will take your advice and try watching my raw captured "HD" footage through a player like VLC. I haven't tried that yet. Do you guys know if Vimeo allows for the uploading of raw HD footage (as they would do the compressing for you?)? Also, I think I made a mistake about the file format that my captured "HD" footage is being saved as and typed "MPEG-4" instead of "MPEG-2". I'm sorry about that. Anyway, the realm of HD is a new one for me and I hope that it's nothing like the MIDI-hell that I've been through...LOL. Thanks again for all of your help guys and keep shooting for the stars!!!

~ Lars
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