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Old January 19th, 2006, 06:50 PM   #1
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Major Frame Dropage while capturing vhs

Hello.. I'm having a problem capturing vhs to the pc using vcr to ads pyro a/v link through firewire to pc. I have three or four capture programs and they all behave the same way, dropping about 45 frames every 5 or so. I'm using the same capture method as I do when I transfer footage from a Sony DV cam, and that has no problem capturing smoothly.
System specs:
2.4 ghz celeron D
1 gb memory
160 gb harddrive 7200 rpm (windows installation and storage)
40 gb dedicated harddrive 7200 rpm (capture drive)
Windows xp Sp2

There are several processes running in task manager, besides explorer and system processes. They start upon starting the computer. They appear to be necessary.

Does it have something to do with framerates?/ analog?/ tape speed?
Also, there are 4 pins on the back of the pyro link... if I set them according to the book's specifications, the capture programs freeze up on me. I've found the only setting that works is to have all 4 pins down.

Thank you for your help. I've also sent a question to Ads' tech support site.

Ryan

Last edited by Ryan Laytart; January 19th, 2006 at 08:32 PM.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 11:24 PM   #2
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Ryan

This is a long shot so ignore at will.

Do you have other devices sharing the firewire system? If you can, try isolating or disconnecting the one which is not in use.

I found a similar problem when trying to import direct via a JVC VHS-MiniDV deck via its dub function. It seems the data load is just too much for some devices. The JVC could dub from VHS to MiniDV on the run, but when connected via the firewire port, then things slowed down.

The Sony MiniDV/DVCAM PD150 product families seem to be able convert VHS to MiniDV for direct firewire capture with no problems. However, if the camcorder is left connected to the firewire port, then things start to get ugly when you try to playback imported files on your NLE.

Once the camcorder is disconnected, then everything settles down.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 11:59 PM   #3
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You may have a problem with the pyro.
Does your Sony cam have pass thru? You could just cap thru it.
Also is the vhs footage good? Aka no sync problems.You may have to time base correct it.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 06:57 PM   #4
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Long shot too but I saw this happen once.

The tape or playback device could be bad. I saw someone trying to capture from a tape once and it appeared fine on the tv, but when rigged up to the capture device the speed of the tape would vary ever so slightly and the device would lose sync but every tv we tried didn't display the error. Found if we tried to rotate the camera in the same axis as the tape was rotating the tv would lose sync.

I'd do what was suggested with the camcorder passthrough or record analog tape to your dvcam device. That way you have a master to work with too that shouldn't degrade.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #5
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Thanks, guys. I'll figure this out, eventually. Any other tips would be appreciated.

I'm using a "Sylvania" video cassette recorder to playback the tape. It's brand new, from meijers. Unfortunately it does not have stereo out for rca.

The pyro is brand new, so I wouldn't expect trouble there.

Tech support at ADS suggested:

-Remove all other Firewire devices that are not in use / critical: must restart computer after doing this inserting Firewire cable (for Firewire capture device) directly into back of computer
-Turn off any programs running in background (anti-virus, popup blockers, firewalls, etc.)
-Defragment hard drive
-Install the latest drivers installed for graphics card
-Install the latest version of Direct X from Microsoft Website

I'm downloading direct x now. I'm going to restart and see if that does anything.

Thanks again.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 08:06 PM   #6
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Ha! It's working. I can't believe it. I had no idea that my camera would act as a passthrough for analog. The capture program even knew when to begin capturing as I hit play on the vcr. I love technology.

I was also concerned about my camera shutting off 10 mins. into the video. It has an auto shutoff feature... but it has not shut off, which means they programmed it to recognize the passthrough...

This may be elementary knowledge to all you dv genius's, but it's definitely an exciting night for me! lol.

18 mins. and no frames dropped. A perfect capture.

My only concern, now, is that I bought this ADS pyro link specifically for vhs transfer, and now I don't need it. Hm... I'm sure it'll come in handy sooner or later. perhaps for transferring dvd data via "S-video."

Thanks guys. I hope one day to be able to offer help and advice on this site... but until then, I'll just keep weening from ya'll!!!

Ryan

p.s. - this is my first actual job for my company, "Image Desired." - It was just a matter of getting the tape into the computer. I can move things along now.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 08:29 PM   #7
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Ryan,glad it was an easy fix.Goodluck with your venture.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 08:01 PM   #8
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Well... the tape from last night captured fine... but this next one that I'm attempting tonight is really giving me the run around.

The other tape was a compilation on a product, put together for sales purposes. It was all one take, and it was made in the late 80's, early 90's. The tape I'm attempting to capture tonight is a home video made in 1998. I'm not sure exactly what kind of camera it was recorded on, but it was one of the big shoulder mounted video recorders.

I have one vcr which will only transmit a capturable signal through this method: Sylvania 4-head to Ads pyro link to sony dv cam to computer. Even with that method, the capture glitches heavily not only at stop/start points of the original recording, but also periodically at random points.

I'm now attempting to capture the video using our magnavox 4-head. There are short little occasional glitches, and now we're back to dropping frames again.

As for other running applications, it doesn't seem to matter what is or is not running or connected to the comp.

This is quite a crazy experience. Is there any "Stable" analog capture device available for purchase??? Could the problem be that I do not have an actual video card installed?

Thanks again.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 07:48 AM   #9
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In this case, if the material was originated on VHS and finished on VHS, you may be up against a generational problem whic digital video effectvely eliminated.

There's two things which may help.

1. If you can find an identical working VHS machine to the one which recorded the edited version, try using that as your playback device.

2. JVC has a VHS/SVHS - MiniDV deck which has some goodies in it like a timebase correction function. It also has a function which "reads" the condition of the VHS tape and adjusts for the condition of the tape. They are a bit expensive to buy in but might be rentable somewhere. The later models also have DVCAM playback support though not DVCAM recording.

What you may have to do is make several captures with breaks on the places where the dropouts occur.

If you have a steppable pause function on your VHS, use then step forward to the point where the disruption in the capture occurs, hold it there, or as much as a second in time back from where it occurs, begin your capure or MiniDV record, then release the pause on the VHS after the MiniDV is rolling. There still will be a breakup but it may be less disruptive than recording straight through over the disruption when the VHS may be hunting harder for lost sync, swinging under and over a few times before settling down.

Regrettably, they may be no easy fix to this one.

If the edit was done by transfer from VHS to a superior media like betacam for edit, then dub back out to VHS, is there a chance the higher quality master may still be around somewhere?
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 11:18 AM   #10
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In this case, the original recording device was mostly a friend's camcorder. I don't know if they still have that camera... Also, There may have been some recording done on a seperate vcr at home. Pretty sure that vcr is long gone, now.

I'll look into the jvc device you mentioned... however, what if I were to take my dvcam and shoot the original footage off a tv, while a vcr plays the tape? There is a mic in jack on the camera that I could possibly use to capture the audio without ambient noise. The tv is a flat panel, and I noticed that the camera doesn't pick up lines as it would with an older tv. ... It's a last resort, but it may be worth a shot.

Thanks.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 01:37 PM   #11
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Ryan,your talking about a couple of problems.
1 the Pyro capture device
2 the vhs original
---1 I use a Canopus ADVC100 in place of your Pyro.It has worked flawlessly but is more$$ than the Pyro.You may have a driver issue or compatibility problem with the Pyro.
---2 Some tapes ,especially older vhs,may have time based problems.
If your having trouble capturing ,either thru the Pyro or the loop thru on the camcorder you can either run the signal thru a true time base corrector(expensive) , play back the tape in a high quality VCR(I use a pro Mitsubishi deck) or simply output the signal from the VHS deck and record to your camcorder.It will lay down a new time code track on the mini DV tape that you can then playback and capture.The problem with this method is it will capture any glitches that are on the tape as is.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #12
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After much trial and error, and after purchasing a Samsung DVD recorder/vcr, I've finally sucessfully transferred a vhs. I'm still using the pryo a/v link, which has issues of it's own, but now I am utilizing the "s-video" output on the vcr for perfect capture!

Thanks for your help, again.

Ryan
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