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Old August 24th, 2006, 09:34 PM   #1
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strange dropped frames in vegas driving me insane

ok, can't seem to get over having these dropped frames pop in and out of capturing. Sometimes the camera will capture for 8 minutes straight without dropping and other times within 30 seconds a drop frame or 2 will occur. I can work around it if I rewind, try again and hope for the best but its getting too time consuming and frusterating. Has anyone else encountered this issue? Ive shutdown all system processes (antivirus, scheduled tasks etc) and Im capturing to a dedicated external 7200rpm HD.

Setup:
4200 athlon duel core, 2gb ram, 2000mhz fsb, 256 nvidia gfx card. capturing from a dvc30
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Old August 25th, 2006, 07:40 AM   #2
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Dropped frames seem to occur for 3 reasons. One, the heads on the deck or camera you are capturing with are not aligned and therefore cause "dropped" frames. Second, the tape you are capturing has some sort of foreign object on it in certain places (IE; dirt or dust) that cause "dropped" frames or THIRD, the tape has some sort of "dropout" caused by some process when shooting the orignal footage which is causing the "dropped" frames. I doubt the software itself is causing it-it is just recording or copying the effect of something else that is happening. I also doubt that the cause is number 3 as you said you have a work around so its either got to be 1 or 2. If you are capturing using the same device you shot the footage with then its got to be 2; dirt or dust or some type of junk on the tape OR possibly the heads have some junk on them however I think that would be a more consistant type of problem BUT it wouldn't hurt to run a cleaner tape thru it just make sure you READ and FOLLOW the directions for the head cleaning tape.
If its the first reason (heads of the 2 different capture devices not in alignment) then you have no choice but to use the same device you originally captured the footage with and use it as a deck.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 08:46 AM   #3
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What type of "Dedicated External HD" are you using?

Is this a firewire drive? Is it Firewire 400 or 800.

It sounds like a system issue instead of a tape problem to me. By this I mean that your computer can not write to disk as fast as the data is being captured.

What is your system setup? Do you have a C: Drive and and D: Drive?

Have you defragramented your drives?

Have your tried capturing some 10 minute clips to your internal drives?
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Old August 25th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #4
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To me 2 or 3 dropped frames sounds like tape... I had some IDE controller issues and it would drop massive ammounts of frames.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 04:01 PM   #5
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I have also seen cases where some background process in your computer kicks in and "steals" cpu cycles from the capture task. I would recommend stopping any unnecessary running tasks and stopping your virus checker while you capture. Just a thought.
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Old August 27th, 2006, 03:46 PM   #6
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Don Bloom, thanks for the feedback, I ran the cleaner tape and the same problem is occuring.
---------------------
Dan Keaton,

What type of "Dedicated External HD" are you using? - Lacie 250gb firewire drive (dont know if its 400 or 800?), and I formatted to NTFS file system, not FAT32.

What is your system setup? Do you have a C: Drive and and D: Drive? - Yes, D: is a recovery partition, C: is main program files and J: is the external HD

Have you defragramented your drives? - Yes, once a week.

Have your tried capturing some 10 minute clips to your internal drives? - Yes, same problem occurs :(
----------------------
Harry Burnette, I close every program, cut my internet connection and virus software.

Appreciate your help guys. Any other ideas why this is occuring? all this equipment is brand new.
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Old August 27th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #7
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In my opinion, the use of an external firewire drive may be the cause of your dropped frames.

While firewire is fast enough for the capture of the data from the camera, using a firewire drive to save the data can be a potential problem. If the problem occurs, it will probably show up as random dropped frames.

To avoid this problem, I use SATA drives, which have significantly faster transfer rates. SATA I is 1,500 megabits per second versus 400 megabits for Firewire 400. Sata II is 3,000 megabits per second. Please note that "transfer rate" is only one part of a drive's performance.

But, in my opinion, the best reason for using SATA drives is that it does not take up any part of the Firewire bandwidth. In other words, Firewire and SATA should not significantly interfere with each other in a well designed motherboard.

Your LaCie 250 gb drive is most likely a IEEE 1394a (Firewire 400) drive.

The reason I wondered if you could capture on your primary drive (Drive C:) was to eliminate the double use of Firewire, once on the input and again on the output.

I expected that you would be able to capture short clips to drive C: without dropped frames. But, in general it is recommended that you always capture to a drive other than the C: drive.

In my opinion, you seem to be doing everything right, except for attempting to save your data on an external firewire drive. Please bear in mind that this will work under the right circumstances, depending on the speed of your computer, your external drive, and if your drive is really fully defragmented.

Bear in mind that the Microsoft defragmenter does not do a very thorough job. It may defragment all existing files (but not always), but leaves many fragments of free space on your disk. As you write data to the disk, the new file may be fragmented. This is especially true when you write a large file, as is the case with a captured video file.

Just take a look at the graphic that Microsoft defragmenter gives you.

Some defragmenters move all the files to one end of the disk so as to create a single free space so that new files, when they are written will not be fragmented.

Another reason to switch from external firewire drives is that they are not as reliable as other drives. In my opinon, it is the heat build up that causes the premature failures. A friend of mine has had three of his fail prematurely.

If you continue to use them, I recommend an external fan to keep the drive cool.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #8
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I agree with most of Dan's comments. Capturing to an internal drive may solve your problem. I always capture to an internal drive, then transfer the material to an external drive later using a USB 2.0 cable. Although I have seen the recommendation that you don't capture to your C: drive, my computer is not currently partitioned, and I have captured hundreds of gigs of dv using Vegas to my C: drive without any dropped frames. Regular defragmentation is a good idea, and I use a freeware program called EndItAll to stop all background programs when working with video. The original EndItAll may no longer be available, but EndItAll II is still out there, and similar programs exist.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 02:57 PM   #9
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Mark: Partitioning your drive will do little good in regards to what you seem to think it will do. When they say "C:" drive they mean the physical drive so making a "D:" partition doesn't change the fact that it's the same physical drive. To get the benefits of capturing to another partition it needs to be on a different physical drive.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #10
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Thanks a ton for the wealth of information guys. I've honestly tried everything at this point. Has anyone successfully captured to an external firewire drive?

Also, while I tried capturing to the internal C: drive without success, it drops frames less frequently. Like I said, I can work around this issue its just extremely time consuming(rewinding, recapturing). After being captured to the C: if I then transfer to the external and edit from there would there be any potential problems?

Thanks
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Old August 29th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #11
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I have a number of external USB 2 and Firewire disks. The only one I have any problems with is the one LaCie that I have. It could be a coincidence, but try capturing to a different external drive. It could be the Firewire controller that LaCie is using.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Smith
Has anyone successfully captured to an external firewire drive?
Yes. Do it all the time.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 09:41 AM   #13
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Dear Richard,

What NLE or capture program are you using?

If you are using Vegas, you have an option to turn off the video preview while capturing.

It seems that you have enough computing power. On a slower computer it is advisable to turn off the video preview while capturing.

If possible, attempt to capture with the video preview off as a test. I do not feel that this will help, but it is worth testing.

I also recommend that you test your computer system using some type of performance tester. These are available on the internet. I would test the speed of your C: Drive and your external drive.

The sustained write speed of your disk is what is important for capturing.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #14
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I capture to my c drive or another internal, I've also caputred to a USB drive. I have seen killing processes make a difference.

As a side note, I've often wondered about vegas and it's issues with processing information to and from different types of drives. It's obvious that if you try to render to an external drive, you're render times will be slower, so visa versa, it would stand to reason that Vegas might be affected by capturing to an external. I have three of those as well, two old WD's and a Lacie.


Let me take this opportunity to warn you against getting a smart drive, like the MyBook from Western Digitial. If there ever was a door stop, that's it.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #15
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Dan,

I'm using the Vegas 6.0 capture utility, and shutting off the preview window was the first thing I tried. Is there any system performances tests that you would recommend?

Steven Davis,

All system processes are shutdown, and I also noticed quite a few people have had an issue with vegas and an external drive.


I appreciate the help
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