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Old 19 Sep 2005, 01:49 AM   #1
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Default Suggestions for the best analog to digital capture device please

Hi. I'm pretty new to video editing and authoring. We have a new digital camcorder that we are now using with Ulead VS9 and DVD Workshop with very good luck. This is for family events and such.

I also have a VHS-C Panasonic Camcorder that I have converted some analog video from. I'm not crazy about the quality results and I am wondering if my choice of capture device was the problem. It is an XTV2.0 external analog to digital converter and TV tuner.

www.usbmax.com/view_product_info.cfm?sku=usbg-XTV2&categorynames=usb&video&capture&categoryidds=125

My system is a self built Albatron P4 using the Intel 865pe chipset with a 2.8HTcpu and a gig of dual channel pc3200 memory. I'm capturing to an external WD 250g hard drive USB/Firewire 7200rpm with an 8meg cache.

I realize there is a quality loss converting analog to digital, however I didn't think it would be quite so bad. Being a newbie with video editing, I really don't know what is ok and what is poor. I realize you can't see what I'm trying to describe, so on a more generic basis, I ask ...

Would a different external converter offer a higher quality output? Does anyone know if this particular converter is ok or junk?

The end product seems more "compressed" than pixelated. The software that came with the converter allowed for a mild compression setting, which I tried, and no difference. It converts to Mpeg-2.

Another thing I'm not really sure of is what reasons would DVD Workshop, or any other authoring program re-encode an existing mpeg-2 file. It does take quite a while to render, perhaps I'm recompressing the compression. I don't know enough to know if I'm messing up or if the device is just junk.

thanks for the help in advance,
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Old 19 Sep 2005, 03:26 PM   #2
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Hello DiscCoasterPro! This is impossible to try every video capture cards or devices to test for quality. I've had the same problem in the past: tried to learn quickly and only got confused more. Then I decided just to buy one and press my luck. I bought a capture device called "Adaptec VIDEOh! DVD which comes with a not so good Sonic MyDVD editing software, only captures and convert to mpeg1 for VCD and mpeg2 for DVD. I converted most of my VHS video tapes to to DVDs with the video quality as good as originals. 2 important things to remember: First, with Adaptec capture device, you can capture with component cables or with S-video (better quality) (My 2 old VHS players have no S-video, I had to order the component to S-video cable, it worked quite well). Second, make sure that your VHS player heads are completely clean because dirty tape players will definitely produce lousy video and audio (try different players if in doubt). The first few tries didn't come out OK and it was my fault because I didn't read instruction carefully enough. Good Luck

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Old 20 Sep 2005, 01:00 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply! Most of my incoming analog is from 8mm or vhs-c. I also have a slight audio sync / sound problem after capturing for a long time. My last capture, just last night in fact, was 5gigs. At just under that mark the audio started going crazy. This has happened before on long captures. So, I stop the capture and save the file, restart and its ok. This is a minor issue really since I'll be making some menus and chapters anyway. Also last night I was able to figure out how to change the settings in Video Studio 9 to recognize my analog capture device. I'm going to try that software rather than the one that came with the device just for fun.

I have a lot to learn and it seems that books with simple explanations from square one are non existent.

Actually my primary mission is to learn and understand these danged software programs. Once I get this analog stuff out of the way, it will be a non issue anyway. I have DVD Workshop 2 and Sonic DVDit Pro 6 as well as the Ulead VS9.

I think I'm getting too old for this stuff .. lol ...cause I start experimenting and I get half way down the path of the experiment and I don't remember what the hell I was trying to figure out, let alone how to figure it out! That is if I don't doze off while I'm doing it.

thanks again,
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Old 20 Sep 2005, 01:37 PM   #4
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Here are some good easy to follow guides that may? help http://www.animemusicvideos.org/guides/avtech/
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Old 21 Sep 2005, 11:05 AM   #5
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Thank you!
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