Can editing/exporting/importing media through the computer damage your hardware? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 3rd, 2004, 07:44 PM   #1
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Slow computer = bottlenecks the image quality/performance of a camcorder?

Is it ever possible to somehow cause damage to your camcorder through like editing or importing/exporting DV media through the use of USB or FireWire? Like if there was an error through the transmission, somehow would it get cut off and eventually damage the tapes (if you were to try to export the media back onto a tape) or would it somehow damage the camcorder also?

I am wondering if there is a possible risk for a camcorder damage caused by malfunctioning in the computer editing or transmission -- that way I can look or invest onto a new computer or new hardware in the computer, so it wouldn't be likely to cause any faults...

(Basically put it this way: can a crappy computer with errors be more likely to bottleneck the camera and eventually damage it somehow?)
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Old January 3rd, 2004, 08:11 PM   #2
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If your cable or FW port is bad, then it's possible for the wrong pins to make contact and zap your camera with voltage. 2 of the pins on 6-pin FW carry power. The normal cable you use for capturing is 6pin-4pin (the 4 pins shouldn't be carrying power). I don't know if this actually happens in the real world. Someone on dvinfo.net may have had this problem.

Crappy transmission can't damage the tape, unless you accidentally record over something (user error). Always use the write-protect tab and label your tapes! I speak from experience :/

If your computer's hard drives are not fast enough then you can get dropped frames. Fragmentation might slow your drives down, so defragment using the windows utility to fix that.

If your computer is unstable then you definitely need to fix that. Prime95 is a good program for testing hardware instability, and memtest86 is good for testing your RAM. Sometimes RAM will break down (kinda rare). You CPU can break down if you cooling fails or your power supply is crapping out. Typically this kind of thing is rare though, but you can always run prime95 (in torture test) overnight to check it out.

Anyways, to sum up, a flakey computer can't really damage your tapes or your camera. A new computer would be nice though. :P A fast CPU, dual monitors, and more storage would be reasons to upgrade (RAM is important too depending on your NLE).
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Old January 3rd, 2004, 08:14 PM   #3
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Alright. I am going to download those programs and check 'em out. I am also adding an additional 80-120GB for more storage. So far my comp specs are: p4 2ghz, 1024MB of PC2100 RAM, 80GB HD (about 55 GB free, the 80GB is a Western Digital 2MB buffer) Will this be any good? 2MB buffer = ok?
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Old January 3rd, 2004, 08:24 PM   #4
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2MB buffer is ok. For running your OS and applications, a 8MB version of the drive will give you like 30% better performance. Still, you aren't going to spend a lot of time waiting around for the hard drive. Most of your time will be spent waiting around for renders to finish.

For video drives you might want to jump to a higher capacity instead of getting a 8MB buffer drive. Extra capacity means more speed and more storage. Although sometimes there are some flaming hot deals on Western Digital 8MB drives. At least in Canada. Check sites like Fat Wallet if you live in the States for hot hard drive deals.

If you upgrade your CPU to a 3ghz one you'll get about 50% improved performance, depending on your NLE. It's a boost but what you have is still *very* decent. You could upgrade to dual monitors if you don't have that already. Dual monitors are very nice (and cheaper than one big one).
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Old January 4th, 2004, 01:07 AM   #5
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When you're talking about NLE, do you meant the kind of editing system I'll be using or editing programs? In this case, I'll be just using my own computer, and no super expensive editing systems.

Will in anyway upgrading to better hard drive/processor improve video quality or just the SPEED of the exporting/importing? I hope it wouldn't affect the image/video quality/effects that much.

What I mean like does the hardware of the computer (video card, sound card) affect the IMAGE/VIDEO quality, not PERFORMANCE (performance meaning something like rate or speed of transfer)...
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Old January 4th, 2004, 09:16 AM   #6
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I use WinXP, btw.
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Old January 4th, 2004, 12:11 PM   #7
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NLE = non-linear editor. short way of writing editing software/program.

By performance I mean speed. Hardware improves speed/performance. The hardware of the computer does not affect image/video quality.
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Old January 4th, 2004, 03:39 PM   #8
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I'd worry more about crappy cables hurting a camera than a crappy computer.
I had a bad firewire cable zap a Sony D8 camcorder (Yes, Glenn it can happen). In this case it was a 4 pin connector with bent pins. The camera continued working, but it could no longer connect on firewire.
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Old January 5th, 2004, 01:14 AM   #9
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What good firewire/USB/S-video/etc cables should I go with? Any particular "pro" or "better" brand/model I should invest in?
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Old January 7th, 2004, 11:58 AM   #10
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Is 1GB of PC2100 RAM enough for video editing?
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Old January 7th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #11
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That's more than enough. I'm editing on 256 (although that's
a bit too little). Your PC is fine. DV is only 3.6 MB/s so your
system should not have any troubles keeping up if you keep
your DV seperate from your OS/application partitions and
defragment when necessary (although that isn't very much
necessary on your DV drive if you work a lot with large movies).
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Old January 7th, 2004, 12:18 PM   #12
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Can I do heavy editing with this computer? I plan to edit some 30-minutes or 1-hour DV sections at one time for a film or just mass editing. I hope that my computer wont cause any trouble (I don't have enough $$ to upgrade it)
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Old January 7th, 2004, 12:35 PM   #13
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That shouldn't be a problem if you have a clean system (ie, only
the applications you need) and not install and test all kind of
stuff the whole time.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 12:40 PM   #14
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I would state though that the heads of a camcorder are not the same in quality as the heads on a tape deck, which is far superior to using ones heads on a camera.

I see more cameras go down due to over usage as a tape deck than a camcorder.

Just a thought.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 12:48 PM   #15
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Whatcha mean Sharon?

And also, Rob, I'm probably gonna do a clean-install/get rid of junk/or even format my computer before I do any heavy editing just to ensure...
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