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Tim Polster February 4th, 2005 09:01 AM

DV Rack or Canopus DV Capture?

I am looking at the DV Rack but have some questions.

I use the DV Storm2 card and their Edius NLE from Canopus for my desktop computer.

This came with a little program called DV Capture.

It is a little utility that only captures dv footage from firewire or analog.

Canopus uses a proprietary .avi file format that is best if captured in that format.

Can the DV Rack capture in Canopus .avi format?


Barry Green February 4th, 2005 09:42 AM

DV Rack's monitor feature works pretty well. The only thing to keep in mind is that it's not extremely high resolution; it resolves around 300 lines, so if you're expecting to use it for critical focus, it's not really the best for that job.

I've asked them for a full-resolution extraction option, where it'd take a 512x384 patch out of the 720x480 frame and map it directly to the DV Rack monitor, which would allow for precise focus. Hope they can implement something like that soon, as that's really my only complaint about an otherwise superb product.

Hugh DiMauro February 4th, 2005 10:06 AM

Unreal DV Rack Deal!
B & H has the DV Rack for $357.95 including S & H. Now, math wizards, with Serious Magic's $200.00 rebate, my cost is $157.95.

Okay? $157.95 for DV Rack at B & H with the rebate.

Not too shabby!

Karl Soule February 4th, 2005 12:31 PM

Hi Tim,

Yes - set the DV Rack recording format to "CANOPUS" and it will record to the Canopus file format.

Karl Soule February 4th, 2005 12:34 PM

Hi Hart,

Our rebates are handles by a rebate house in Florida that is used by Sony, Whirlpool, Pinnacle, Maytag, and other big-name companies. You should be able to go to www.rebateshq.com and see the current status of the rebate.

If you run into trouble, please let me know and I can look into it.

Tim Polster February 4th, 2005 02:01 PM

I have been using a 9" color monitor that is at 330 lines, so I might be in business.

Anybody else?


Tim Polster February 4th, 2005 06:40 PM

Well I Tried the DV rack Demo...
My laptop is a P4 2.8g 512 ram and this video card - "Integrated Intel® graphics with 32MB UMA memory technology"

I have to say the video looks sort of webcam-ish.

Is this a function of my laptop specs?

The picture quality is fine, but there is a lag in the movement.

Plus it looks jittery when I pan.

The picture lag makes this product un-useable as a monitor replacement.

Thanks for any tips.

Danny Fye February 4th, 2005 11:59 PM

Re: Well I Tried the DV rack Demo...
<<<-- Originally posted by Tim Polster : My laptop is a P4 2.8g 512 ram and this video card - "Integrated Intel® graphics with 32MB UMA memory technology"-->>>

I'd say your video specs are at the minimum of what you would need. According to the FAQ for DV Rack, it says "32 MB AGP graphics card with 3D acceleration (64 MB recommended). "

So you are working within the minimum of the range and that is probably why you are having problems.

How much lag are you getting? I always get a little bit of lag and jerkiness with pans but not enough to bother me. There is also a slight delay in the audio. I use headphones right on the computer to make sure I have audio there, in spite of my poor hearing.

I also use a software called, "TrueRTA", http://www.trueaudio.com/rta_abt1.htm

It gives me an accurate indication of what my audio consists of even as it is from the DV capture and it can even do it with a 1/24 octive. The module included with DV Rack doesn't give an accurate display of the audio.

Since I no longer have DV Rack, I use the capture of Media Studio Pro 7.2 which gives me a nice-large display while capturing and doesn't require as much from the graphics card. You might want to consider going that route instead.

Sort of like a variation of what DV Rack can do plus you can use the 'switch' feature and go right ahead and edit and use the color balance to see what the vectorscope and waveform monitor would be showing.

Still not a DV Rack but one can easily see what is happening at the shoot and still avoid the disasters and do it all at a better price than DV Rack.

Hope this helps.

Danny Fye

Danny Fye February 5th, 2005 12:44 AM

"Okay? $157.95 for DV Rack at B & H with the rebate."

Thanks much for the information. I might be able to get DV Rack again afterall.

I do wish they would fix the audio module. :) Nag, Nag, and Nag - Grin!

Even though I have a sort of 'makeshift' DV Rack by using Ulead's Media Studio Pro 7.2, it is still not quite the same.

In spite of the problem with the audio module, there are still the other features that seem to work well. I like using the vector and waveform scopes while shooting the video.

Danny Fye

Hart Boyd February 5th, 2005 10:13 AM


www.rebateshq.com is where I am looking and have not seen any change in the status since I receive the initial email on 12/21/04.

Status Detail: Your rebate is valid and is in the final stages of processing. You should receive your rebate per the terms and conditions listed on the coupon.

I am getting to the point where if the rebate is not instant at checkout I will have to revaluate the purchase price as it getting to hard to receive the mail in rebates or takes a long time or something is wrong with the information provided. For example I purchased a Disney DVD with a $10 rebate and then I was told 6 weeks later they would not mail it to a PO Box and the deadline for resubmitting as expired. Another example is with Canon and the purchase of a digital camera and lenses. They were offering a triple the rebate offer with the purchase of three different lenses. To make the story short I was due $455 in rebates but only got $190 and when I called they finally agreed that I qualified for the $455 but had no clue how to correct it in their system and I would have to call back in about a week. This is taking too much of my time and will not allow mail in rebates to influence my purchase decisions in the future.

Sorry to vent but this is frustrating.

Rob Lohman February 6th, 2005 04:18 AM

Barry: how and why would it only resolve around 300 lines? I
assume it displays the full DV picture? That is 720x480 or 720x576,
no "analog" lines here! You get the full pixels of the signal. How
much you can see depends on your monitor attached (my laptop
has a TFT screen, so I see all the pixels, versus a CRT where you
might not) and whether DV rack shows all of the signal (which as
I understand it, it does).

I've used a similar method to DV Rack to watch and capture with
my XL1S in the past and it was far easier to focus on my laptop
screen (and more accurate) than with the viewfinder!

p.s. a zoomed in piece of a picture can help even futher indeed,
but that's always the case.

Gary Bettan February 6th, 2005 05:39 AM

DV Rack is one of our most popular add-ons for video editors. What you can accomplish with this software and a laptop is just amazing. It really can replace a whole car full of production monitoring gear. Add in the ability to record directly to the laptops drive, and it's easy to see why it is so popular.

Spot uses DV Rack & Vegas together all the time. I can't think of a better seal of approaval than that for Vegas users.

BTW - Serious Magic is running a $200 mail in rebate for DV Rwck in February ;-)


Barry Green February 6th, 2005 12:57 PM

That's not how it works. I've talked with the guys at Serious Magic about it, trying to get a solution (I spent 15 years as a professional computer programmer, so I have a fairly good idea of what's involved, and maybe a suggestion on how to get us what we want with minimal effort...)

The DV Rack monitor is a 512x384 window. It's not full resolution, obviously, as the DV frame is 720x480. They use 512x384 for a number of reasons, but the primary one is that the pixel array is half as much as it would need to be for 720x480. So the very first thing that happens is they downrez the frame from 720x480 down to 512x384 (and in the process, sacrifice some resolution, leaving about 300 lines). Then all color manipulations, zebras, aspect ratio conversion etc. are performed on that smaller frame size.

It makes sense, and it does perform well, but it doesn't give you full resolution. And, using the full-screen monitor doesn't give you full res either -- it's a magnification of the downrezzed 512x384 monitor. When you switch to full-screen you see a bigger picture, but it's not more detailed.

Shoot a resolution chart and you'll see what I mean.

I don't blame them for this, I think it's a fairly brilliant solution -- they're able to provide an exceptionally useful tool using today's technology. If they used the full 720x480 they wouldn't be able to do that yet. I don't think they'll be able to provide real-time performance on a full-resolution monitor until processor specs and memory transfer specs double in speed, which would give them the horsepower to do what they're doing on twice as much data (the full 720x480 frame).

What I've asked them for is a sort of compromise... I want the ability to use a raw-resolution extraction. Instead of going through the resize-from-720x480-down-to-512x384 path, I want the option to have them instead just extract the central 512x384 out of the middle of the full frame. After doing that, all other operations should be able to stay the same, but then we'd have 100% full raw resolution. It would be compromised in that a) we wouldn't be able to see the full frame, and b) the aspect ratio would be slightly "off", since DV doesn't use square pixels but laptops do... however, the benefit is enormous, we'd get full raw resolution and have the ultimate focus ability. And it should be even more responsive: a raw bit-block transfer of the central portion of the image has got to be a quicker operation than scaling 720x480 down to 512x384.

This is my #1 request for them to address -- it's really basically akin to the Enhanced Focus option on the Sony FX1/Z1 cameras, and Enhanced Focus is like my favorite feature of the Sony HDV cameras. I'd like the same capability from DV Rack. If you would too, write to them and request the feature! :)

Ryan Wachter February 7th, 2005 10:48 AM

Yea I saw that deal last thursday and ordered it. I away all weekend in MA shooting a dance performance. I just got the email saying it was in the mail so I came to post the deal to you guys....beat me to it :)

Ryan Wachter February 7th, 2005 10:52 AM

At what point does the video card speed stop helping with DV Rack...the prices from 32mb to 128mb are all only 10-20 buck jump so getting a 128mb is fine with me, is the extra 40 or so to get a 256mb worth it?

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