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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old January 4th, 2004, 03:42 PM   #1
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Mini Dv 4 computer

Does anyone know if they make a Mini Dv player to install in computer.
I check the net and found nothing.
Seems like a great thing to have , saves wear on camera .
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Old January 4th, 2004, 03:47 PM   #2
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I ain't seen any internals - that would be a good idea :) :) :) - Mind you I have no spare ports :( :( :(

But many people make do with a seperate external deck or another camera.

It would be interesting to know.

Ed
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Old January 5th, 2004, 10:53 AM   #3
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Hmmm...haven't seen one, but I'd think the miniaturization cost would kill you. Panasonic makes some nice decks for well under $2000. The AG-DV2500 runs around $1500 and plays both Mini DV and DVCAM. There's also the AG-DV2000 which the DV2500 replaces; the DV2000 is more capable in my opinion (both formats, dual analog outs and a detachable faceplate editing controller in addition to firewire) but it's a couple hundred more (we got ours at B&H for about $1740; cheapest I found was $1680 but it was a reseller, not an authorized dealer). Might find a good deal on one since they're being discontinued. The DV2500 is skinnier than a VHS player-only while the earlier DV2000 is about the size of a nice sturdy full capability VCR.

Hope this helps,
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Old January 5th, 2004, 12:10 PM   #4
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That was my idea that i thought of about like 2 months ago i never told any one but it would be a great thing to have !
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Old January 5th, 2004, 12:53 PM   #5
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I'm not familiar with the hardware differences, but miniDV looks a lot like the DAT format. DAT internal drives don't cost much anymore. As for analog outs and the like, any player/recorder software would send use your soundcard. Wouldn't it be cool to have faster than real-time reading (Capture)? Pinnacle systems once offered a poll on the demand for a 2x miniDV reader product.
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Old January 5th, 2004, 05:26 PM   #6
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Oh faster transfer would be sooo nice. I ran across a DVCAM drive with a Google search, but it looks outdated: http://www.techex.es/pdfs/SON1.pdf. That came up under 'internal DVCAM drive'. I didn't have much luck with 'internal miniDV drive' or 'deck'. I think the original list price was around $3000 but heard it could be found on eBay for under $1000. For that price and the outdated and possibly un-supported nature, an external deck would probably be safer at this point (plus you could take it to your friend's house...).

Oh, yeah. The analog outs I mentioned on those Panasonic decks were audio _and_ video (BNC). Both units have firewire, too (didn't look like I made that clear on re-reading my post). I think the audio would be better on an external DV VCR using analog capture, unless you had a high quality soundcard with very good internal shielding (computers have LOTS of RF interference in there), although firewire should be fine either way since the audio is digitized already. The primary advantage I see to analog outs is to be able to monitor the video on a separate video monitor while transferring it to computer or vice versa, enabling you to turn off the 'playback to PC monitor' (or camera) feature, which can bog down some computers and cause dropouts.

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Old January 5th, 2004, 05:50 PM   #7
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I think the audio available on most sound cards exceeds the specs of just about every camcorder. A number of PC products exist that house and isolate the analog electronics in an enclosure that sits either in a drive bay or outside of the computer.
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Old January 5th, 2004, 09:07 PM   #8
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Hmmm...that would depend; you're right, an separate breakout box would have better analog audio signal to noise ratios than a bay-mounted box, which would be better than a PCI card, which would be better than generic on-board AC97 audio. However, most computer sound cards don't have very high S/N even being outside of the computer, and forget about most laptops. Even the Sound Blaster Extigy, which boasts a respectable consumer level S/N of 100 dB, would be considered bare minimum for quality PC audio recording, whether for video or strictly audio.

Regardless of whether a specific sound card would exceed the S/N ratio of a camcorder (I didn't have much luck finding comparison values <G>), you would still want the highest quality soundcard if you were forced to record to hard disk via analog means. Even with pristine camcorder audio, a cheap sound card or poorly located one can certainly ruin your audio.

The original point of my comment about the analog audio being better with an external deck would really only apply if you were using the deck to edit a tape, i.e. feeding a camcorder to the deck to record desired segments in proper order. Once recorded to miniDV, I would imagine anyone would rather go spend $40 on a firewire card and cable and transfer video from the DV VCR to the computer via firewire, therefore audio AD conversion would be a moot point <G>.

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Old January 5th, 2004, 09:51 PM   #9
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The VX2000 has a S/N ratio of 45dB, 60dB after the BBC mod. The PD150 falls somewhere in between.

Quote:
4) The signal to noise ratio when measured using a medium output personal
mic improves from about 45dB on the normal mic amps to about 60dB after
modification.
You also have to take into account total harmonic distortion as the camera can trade that off for better S/N ratio.
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