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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old March 17th, 2006, 09:51 PM   #1
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A1u Capturing Problem... help!

I have a Sony A1u and I connect it with my computer through an IEEE 1394 bus.. and whenever I turn the camcorder on... the computer reads it and SONY DV Camcorder appears under imaging devices under the device manager... I tried it on about 4 different dv capturing programs and all of them can basically control the camcorder play and stop.. but whenever I play the camcorder with the tape... nothing is being seen on the capturing window on my screen... and after a few seconds of capturing.. I press the stop botton and nothing is captured...no frames are captured... I used Adobe Premiere and after pressing the capture botton and letting it run for a few seconds, the capturing screen is just blank the whole time... I press stop and a message comes up that says "captured no frames"... this basically is the same for every other programs I use like Windows Movie maker, Windows Media encoder, and Nero Vision... all the output files turn out to be a really small file that doesnt play anything... I was wondering if anyone knew what the problem is?
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Old March 18th, 2006, 04:23 PM   #2
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help

Can anyone help?
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Old March 19th, 2006, 03:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
the computer reads it and SONY DV Camcorder appears under imaging devices under the device manager
Why DV Camcorder? Have you turned on HDV to DV conversion or are you in DV mode ?
1. Change mode of the camcorder to full HDV.
2. Turn camcorder off.
3. Disconnect it from computer.
4. Turn your computer off.
5. Turn your computer on.
6. Connect camcorder to computer.
7. Turn you camcorder on and set to "camera" mode
8. Star this capturing program: http://strony.aster.pl/paviko/hdvsplit.htm
9. Check if at the LCD screen of camcorder you see "HDV iLink OUT" (not IN)
10. Set filename and directory in capture program and click Record button.
11. Move your camcorder around (the live image is recording now).
12. Press stop button.
13. Check the file that was recordered.
If it looks fine, then there is something with your setting (maybe for DV) or with software that you use.
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Old March 19th, 2006, 05:10 PM   #4
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Other tips I've heard when this issue comes up:

1. make sure Service Pack 2 is installed on your system.

2. On my FX1, the computer will not detect the FX1 as a DV source unless i.link conversion is turned on. I assume you have the same, and you want that off. On FX1 that is accessed through Menu system
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Old March 20th, 2006, 12:38 AM   #5
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ummm

Well... I set "I.Link Conv." to off.... then set "VCR HDV/DV" to HDV.... is this what u meant by setting the camcorder to full HDV mode? or did u mean something else?.... connected the camcorder to the computer and then turned the camcorder on... started the program which I got from your link... hdv ilink is set to "Out"... I then set the file name and output directory... then I played the tape and pressed record... but when it starts recording...after the creating new file message...a message at the bottom of the program in the info box shows up and says.."WARNING: Some packets has been lost" and this message lists a few times... then I press stop... the output ends up to be a M2T file... when I try playing it on different players... the file ends up to be very fuzzy and stripped... you are barely able to tell what the video is playing...no audio either... but this is the best result Ive gotten so far eventhough its not totally captured correctly... how can I fix this problem? any ideas?





Quote:
Originally Posted by Michal Laskowski
Why DV Camcorder? Have you turned on HDV to DV conversion or are you in DV mode ?
1. Change mode of the camcorder to full HDV.
2. Turn camcorder off.
3. Disconnect it from computer.
4. Turn your computer off.
5. Turn your computer on.
6. Connect camcorder to computer.
7. Turn you camcorder on and set to "camera" mode
8. Star this capturing program: http://strony.aster.pl/paviko/hdvsplit.htm
9. Check if at the LCD screen of camcorder you see "HDV iLink OUT" (not IN)
10. Set filename and directory in capture program and click Record button.
11. Move your camcorder around (the live image is recording now).
12. Press stop button.
13. Check the file that was recordered.
If it looks fine, then there is something with your setting (maybe for DV) or with software that you use.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 12:46 AM   #6
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thanks

Ohh Ive always had the SP2 Service pack installed... thanks for the advice though


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
Other tips I've heard when this issue comes up:

1. make sure Service Pack 2 is installed on your system.

2. On my FX1, the computer will not detect the FX1 as a DV source unless i.link conversion is turned on. I assume you have the same, and you want that off. On FX1 that is accessed through Menu system
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Old March 20th, 2006, 12:47 AM   #7
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I've had some problems with the HDvsplit program myself. When I capture the same tape in Premiere Pro 2.0, it caputres fine.

Her: What are your macine specs-- low powered and low memory systems will be a problem !!!
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Old March 20th, 2006, 12:52 AM   #8
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well

Im runnin on a HP Pavilion Petium M... proccessor speed 1.6 ghz.. with 512 mb ram... 60gb harddrive.. with Windows XP Home and Service Pack 2.. maybe the proccessor speed maybe be alittle slower... but would this do?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
I've had some problems with the HDvsplit program myself. When I capture the same tape in Premiere Pro 2.0, it caputres fine.

Her: What are your macine specs-- low powered and low memory systems will be a problem !!!
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Old March 20th, 2006, 01:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kao Her
Im runnin on a HP Pavilion Petium M... proccessor speed 1.6 ghz.. with 512 mb ram... 60gb harddrive.. with Windows XP Home and Service Pack 2.. maybe the proccessor speed maybe be alittle slower... but would this do?
Most of the recommendations I ve seen indicate 3.0 ghz and 1 gig mem or better for HDV application.

I suspect your HP Pavilion will have alot of issues. Hard drive could be too slow. I had to upgrade from a Pentium 1.7 ghz system. One possibility is capturing and editing in an intermediate codec. Try the HD Connect demo(www.cineform.com) and may get you the ability to capture if your hard drives are up to it. Otherwise, you can shoot in HDV and convert to DV until you get a proper system.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 01:16 AM   #10
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..

well if i was to capture DV to computer... how would I do that?.. because i was having the same problem as I mentioned in the first post when I was also trying to capture DV footage which I recorded in DV format to computer... eventhough I captured DV ... I was still not able to capture anything using the other softwares..



Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
Most of the recommendations I ve seen indicate 3.0 ghz and 1 gig mem or better for HDV application.

I suspect your HP Pavilion will have alot of issues. Hard drive could be too slow. I had to upgrade from a Pentium 1.7 ghz system. One possibility is capturing and editing in an intermediate codec. Try the HD Connect demo(www.cineform.com) and may get you the ability to capture if your hard drives are up to it. Otherwise, you can shoot in HDV and convert to DV until you get a proper system.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 01:07 PM   #11
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Your system, if it isn't having tech problems should have adequate resources to handle DV. I can only suggest checking system performance and checking out whhether system resouces are being hogged by other programs running in background- either ones you installed or install without your permission while you were on net. Also, your fire wire input device on the computer could be non-compliant, or your firewire could be defective.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 02:41 AM   #12
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I have a A1U and currently have WinXP SP1 installed on my P4 3.2Ghz with 1GB ram PC. Chris suggests upgrading to SP2, but just I want to quickly point out to other current SP1 users that its not necessary to upgrade to SP2 to capture and edit HDV. I know that you're running SP2 Kao, so I don't know if this is entirely applicable to your situation.

Here's my experience trying to capture both HDV and DV video for the first time. When I plugged my A1U, a popup window came up looking for a "AV/C Subunit Driver". I clicked on the option to search for drivers automatically - no drivers found. I figured, crap I don't need to install any drivers, the ability to capture DV through firewire is built in to WinXP...at least that was my experience with DV cameras. HDV and DV both use firewire, so it should be the same right? Read on.

I went on to try and capture in HDV using Vegas using the built in capture utility. All of the transport buttons were grayed out. WTF? I then tried using a demo version of Cineform HDLink, but same deal...grayed out transport buttons. In the capture source drop down menu it said, "No video capture devices available right now." Conclusion - even though HDV uses firewire to capture (like DV), it is not natively supported in WinXP SP1 or previous. I didn't even bother trying to capture in DV. I just bought a HDV cam and wanted to capture in HDV dangit! After doing some research, I found the workaround which was to manually install the "Sony D-VHS Device" driver.

I'm not entirely sure, but this problem may have been fixed with WinXP SP2. The device/driver might go under a different name in WinXP SP2, but in WinXP SP1 it's called "Sony D-VHS Device". SP2 users feel free to chime in. You can check to see if the device is installed by going to the Device Manager and look in the "Sound, video and game controllers" section (make sure your camera is plugged in and powered on). If the drivers haven't been installed it will say "AV/C Tape Device". Again, this may only apply to SP1 users, but if you don't see the "Sony D-VHS Device" then follow the steps outlined below:
  1. Plug in Camera
  2. Go to Control Panel>System>Hardware>Device Manager
  3. Locate AV/C Tape Device under Sound, video and game controllers
  4. Choose Update Driver
  5. Choose "No, not this time"
  6. Click Next
  7. Choose “Install from a list or a specific location (Advanced)”
  8. Choose “Don’t search. I will choose the driver to install.”
  9. Uncheck “Show compatible hardware
  10. Scroll to the first “Sony” device
  11. Select “Sony D-VHS Device”
  12. Click Next
  13. Click YES to warning
  14. Click Finish
  15. Close

After installing the Sony D-VHS driver, I attempted to capture through the Vegas built in capture tool in HDV. The transport buttons were no longer grayed out (HOORAY!) and proceeded to capture 30 seconds of footage to dedicated capture disk. I then played back the file in VLC player and found that the video had some major dropouts (audio and video). I then tried to capture in DV, but the video also also suffered from severe dropouts. After several attempts, it didn't even want to capture any files. What else to do? I realized it had been a while since I ran the "Error-checking" (scandisk to us old school computer geeks) and Defragmantion tools on the drive, so I ran both utilities. Sure enough, it had some disk errors and on top of that was 68% fragmented. Duh!?! After correcting the disk errors and defragging, the capture next time around went on without a hitch.

So yeah, you might want to try the scandisk and defragment utilities and see if that helps. Also, what drive are you capturing to? If you only have the 1 internal drive. Seriously consider getting a dedicated drive for your video files and even better an additional dedicated drive for renders. If not, at the very least partition that one drive into 2 volumes, giving you one drive for OS and one for video. 512MB is pretty skimpy for editting. You might want to upgrade to at least 1 gig. 2 or more would be even better. Editing HDV is pretty processor intensive.

Chris brought up some great points and suggestions. If you don't know how to check/tweak your system performance have a look at TweakXP.com . Capturing and editing using an intermediary codec may help a little and supposedly offers a DV-like editing experience. On my P4 3.2ghz system, it handles playback with simple cuts and titling pretty well (up to Good quality/full modes) . As soon as I apply color correction or any other filters, I can only play back using Draft quality preview/full modes. YMMV.

My initial experience with HDV, gave me a good excuse to upgrade my slightly over 1 year old computer to a dual core AMD X2 4600 system with 2 gigs of ram. I built the system last month, but have yet to install the OS and apps. I can't wait to get that system up and running. By the way, you'll find that the AMD X2 4600 and higher processors get a lot of praise here.

Once you get your computer properly working, you might to end up wanting to upgrade to a dual core based desktop because it's too slow and unresponsive when editing/rendering, that is unless you have a lot of patience. If you still can't get it to work, treat yourself to a new system maybe? *wink wink* Getting back to troubleshooting, don't forget the basics before delving into more complicated procedures. In my case, all I needed to do was run scandisk and defrag.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 10:50 AM   #13
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Capturing HDV

Hello,
I am new at these HDV stuff as well. I am using Sony HDR-HC1 not the A1
I tried to capture HDV to my computer using Sony Vegas Movie Studio (VMS) Platium yesterday for the first time using a XP with SP2 (Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz with HT, 1GB Ram, Geoforce 6800 PCI-E graphic card). Initially, the software could not capture in HDV, only in DV format (set i-link conversion to HDV - DV). I email Sony and they were of no help.
I read the knowledge base on their site and updates the software version to the latest. Then, I went to Device Manager (under My computer Properties) and update the I-EEE1394 driver and 'scan for new hardware changes' with the camcorder connected and turned on. After that, I turn off the camcorder, disconnect it from the computer and restart the computer. After that, I reconnect the camcorder after I open the software.
With Sony VMS, I went to Option - Preferencs and under Video tab, I UNCHECK the box Use external video capture application, then click Apply.
Then under File menu, I click on Capture video, the pop up screen should already has the box "use internal capture application" checked. Then in the Capture screen, there is a Prefs tab. Click on the arrow and select Device -> IEEE1394/MPEG2-Ts Device, then it should give you the tab to select your camcorder device next to the IEEE1394/MPEG2-TS Device. Then start capturing by pressing on the red round record button.
I tried the same thing using my Window 2K computer, and it DOES NOT work, I don't know why.
Good Luck,
NamPhuong
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Old March 21st, 2006, 02:49 PM   #14
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the minimum?

I managed to get my A1U to capture and export back to tape using a P4 2.8ghz PC with 512mb RAM. I upgraded to Premiere Pro 2.0 and XP Pro SP2. I'll say that's really a minimal system for HD because the computer seems sluggish when working with HD (I'll get more RAM soon).

Under SP1 and Premeiere 1.5 I had similar problems that you described.

Apart from that I can't offer any more advide than what's already been suggested.

to Namphuong: I remember reading somewhere on this board that you need an intermediary HDV codec with Sony Vegas because there is no bative HDV support. However absurd this seems it might be true because I've heard of other similar experiences to yours.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 06:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namphuong Tran

With Sony VMS, I went to Option - Preferencs and under Video tab, I UNCHECK the box Use external video capture application, then click Apply.
Then under File menu, I click on Capture video, the pop up screen should already has the box "use internal capture application" checked. Good Luck,
NamPhuong
Namphuong is right- At least in Vegas Movies Studio 6, assumming you have the horse power, you can capture native HDV by his method. That is what the internal captur device is intended for.
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