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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 24th, 2007, 09:41 AM   #1
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DV tape from India

I was asked to convert a DV tape that came from India to DVD. It plays fine on my PD170, but if I try to capture it via firewire the video is crap. Also, if I try to go analog via a Canopus ADVC-100 the video is still crap. However if I set the Canopus to PAL I get good video but the color information is gone. This is the same for both the Vegas and Movie Maker capture programs. The captured video plays just fine with Media Player so it appears to be NTSC. Any ideas??


I have more info. The tape is most likely PAL. Apparently the PD170 will display PAL, but will not output it properly. I'm not sure why setting the ADVC-100 to PAL seems to work though.

Regards,
Jerry

Last edited by Jerry Jesion; April 24th, 2007 at 10:57 AM. Reason: More info
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Old April 25th, 2007, 04:21 AM   #2
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Is the person who asked you to make the DVD conversion, living in your local area and perhaps have a VCR that will properly play the tape? If so, this VCR might have an internal NTSC converter that would output a signal that you could use.

The PAL video system has several versions, that have different ways of recording color. If the owner of this tape doesn't have a VCR for it, I would find out what the exact version is and make inquiries of local video copying businesses about getting it converted to NTSC. Such a business could probably tell you what PAL version it is and might solve the problem by also copying it to DVD.

If you don't have the equipment to do it, you probably don't want to buy a multi-system VCR, or an external converter, just for this one tape. The reason your own PAL conversion program shows a picture from this tape without color, is probably because it is able to fully convert only a version of it that is different from the one used to record it.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 08:41 AM   #3
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All the basics about the various PAL systems here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAL

Yes, the Sony PD-170 will play PAL but will not send it out firewire.
The Sony DSR-11 DV/DVCAM deck can also play and record PAL as well as NTSC and it's only about $1600 new.

I know you're on a PC but on a Mac Final Cut Pro comes with Compressor which does a good (but slow) PAL-NTSC conversion. There's also a Nattress plug-in for about $100 which does it inside of FCP.

If you do a lot of DV/DVCAM work professionally the deck is worth it. If you do corporate work and the business has offices in different countries, this deck can solve a lot of issues.

The JVC-TM-A13SU monitor can be had for about $200 and auto switches between PAL and NTSC.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 08:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Jesion View Post
I was asked to convert a DV tape that came from India to DVD. It plays fine on my PD170, but if I try to capture it via firewire the video is crap.
If the PD170 behaves like my PDX10, you need to start the tape playing before launching your capture program. (Putting the tape in Play-Pause mode will suffice.) Without the tape playing, the PD170 will tell the capture program that it is connected to an NTSC DV device. If the tape is already playing, the capture program will correctly detect it as PAL.

(DV devices communicate with computers using two different methods - the first is the AV/C protocol - with this, the computer can interrogate the device to get hardware capabilities etc - such as video format. The second is via the DV data stream. When no tape is playing, there is no DV data stream, so the AV/C protocol is used. Since the PD170 doesn't officially support PAL, the device reports that it is an NTSC unit.)

Note: the fact that you get "crap" via FireWire instead of nothing means that data are being sent. It's just that the computer is misinterpreting the data as NTSC. I expect that the "crap" results look like a weird mosaic form of what it should look like. If you can post a still image of an example "crap" image, I can easily confirm if it is PAL being mangled as NTSC (one of the by-products of having written my own DV codec!)

Last edited by John Miller; April 25th, 2007 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Added note to end.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #5
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John,
I am using the Sony Vegas video capture utility. I was going to try your trick of starting the tape manually but in order to do it I had to disable device control. Once I did that it captures via firewire just fine. I manually start the tape and away it goes. The video looks great. Thanks for taking the time to help out!

Regards,
Jerry
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Old April 25th, 2007, 05:44 PM   #6
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Glad it worked!
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