Digital8 camcorder sends overscanned signal via DV

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by KVA, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. KVA

    KVA Guest

    I am transferring my old Video8 and Hi8 tapes to DV format. For this
    purpose, I was planning to use a Digital8 camcorder (Sony consumer
    type) that can convert Video8 and Hi8 to DV and output through
    firewire.

    What appears on my computer monitor seems to be an overscanned(?) vide
    signal, because there are color distortions etc along all edges of the
    visible video frame on my computer. Furthermore, the digital images
    that I get into the computer clearly show a larger area than the image
    I get on my TV when outputting via the analog cable from the same
    camcorder.

    What should I do? I will mix this old footage with my new DV footage.

    Knut V, Norway
     
    KVA, Dec 6, 2005
    #1
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  2. KVA

    Mike Kujbida Guest


    Nothing strange here. What you're seeing on the computer is the "entire"
    video frame. A TV set cuts off anywhere from 5% to as high as 15-20% of the
    image due to something called overscan. This is why most NLEs these days
    have markings for "safe action" (standard is 5%) and "safe title" (standard
    is 10%) area. As long as your viewing destination is a TV set, you're OK.
    Anything else and you can use the "cropping" feature built into most NLEs to
    hide the edge distortion.

    Mike
     
    Mike Kujbida, Dec 6, 2005
    #2
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  3. KVA

    Z Man Guest

    I am experiencing some confusion as to whether a Diital8 camcorder can be
    used to transfer 8mm video to a computer over Firewire. Do you know for a
    fact that this can be done? Have you actually tried it? I am asking because
    I am considering purchasing a Video8 camcorder for the sole purpose of
    transferring 8mm over Firewire and I don't want to make that purchase and
    then find out it won't work.
     
    Z Man, Dec 6, 2005
    #3
  4. KVA

    L.P.LePage Guest

    Only the higher end D8s from Sony will do that. The cheaper versions of the
    D8 don't have that feature. I have a TRV-240 and use it to change HI-8 to DV
    all the time.
     
    L.P.LePage, Dec 6, 2005
    #4
  5. You are seeing the artifacts around the edge of the analog
    image area. Normally masked by "overscan" on CRT TV
    sets and monitors. I would put a thin black mask over the
    edges to hide the garbage. A "box wipe" effect at 2%
    would do the trick.
     
    Richard Crowley, Dec 6, 2005
    #5
  6. KVA

    Ed Anson Guest

    Right. My D8 camcorder also converts HI-8. But I think the Video-8
    format is different and might not work. Before making the purchase,
    check out which specific formats are supported by the specific camera model.
     
    Ed Anson, Dec 7, 2005
    #6
  7. KVA

    Doc Guest

    Some of the Sony Dig8 models will and some won't, doesn't seem to be any
    rhyme or reason. I can tell you for sure that the TRV-240 and 530 are both
    backwards compatible with Video8/Hi8 tapes recorded with analog cams.

    However, here's something I've discovered and you may want to consider. When
    playing the analog 8 tapes, if there's a bad or marginal spot on the tape,
    it can cause problems with the Dig8's reading of the tape and you'll get
    this blocky pixellation pattern and if the problem is bad enough, it might
    blank out altogether until it hits a spot that's in good condition, where
    with an analog cam you'd see some video noise but the video would still be
    there.

    To get around this, instead of playing the tape in the Dig8, you can play
    the tape from an analog camcorder and do passthrough - go into the analog
    input of the Dig8 and out through Firewire. That way, while you'll still see
    some blotches on the tape, the Dig8 cam simply interprets the video noise as
    an image and it doesn't have a spasm and quit reading it altogether. The
    overall image quality suffers slightly but probably not enough difference to
    worry about. The tradeoff is you don't have dropouts in your final video. Of
    course, if the tape is healthy, the Dig8 cam actually does a better job of
    playing it than the analog cam that it was shot on, pretty amazing.

    By the way, referring to another post of yours, it doesn't matter if it's
    Video8 or Hi8. If it plays one, it will play them both. However, when
    *recording* in Dig8 mode, it's my understanding that it's better to use Hi8
    because while recording on standard Video8 will work, that tape might not
    play in another Dig8 cam. Something to do with the accuracy achieved on the
    oxide of the Hi8 tapes.
     
    Doc, Dec 7, 2005
    #7
  8. KVA

    Z Man Guest

    [comments at bottom]

    Getting to the bottom line, in order to transfer 8mm to my computer to
    either create DVD's directly, or edit and then create DVD's, I need to do an
    analog->digital conversion. That conversion can take place in a Digital8
    camcorder (which I would have to purchase), through a video capture device
    such as the Canopus ADVC-100 (which I already own), or by using a standalone
    DVD recorder, which I also already own. Let's say that the cost of the
    process is not a factor. Then, the issue is which video conversion method
    results in the best DVD video quality. Which do you think is best?
     
    Z Man, Dec 7, 2005
    #8
  9. KVA

    Doc Guest

    I've never used a stand-alone DVD recorder, but it seems you'd have far
    more limited editing capability, if any. Can you do any editing with
    those things besides "record/pause"? I feel basically the same way
    about the whole "record direct to DVD format" concept on a computer.
    I've never done even one project like that even though the software
    theoretically has the capability. I like being able to tweak and edit
    my footage before creating the DVD. I guess the one advantage of the
    standalone units is speed.

    There are several things I like about DV. The files are smaller, the
    quality is higher, you basically never get dropped frames when there's
    anything resembling a decent signal going in. The only time I ever get
    dropped frames when caputring to DV is if I start the recording in the
    first few glitchy seconds before there's any real signal on the tape or
    if the signal on the tape is *really* bad and just not good enough for
    the cam to lock onto.

    Another thing which may not ever be of interest to you is that you can
    take input from a pro DV cam system, though you're limited to capturing
    1 hour at a time since the transport speed of a Digital 8 cam is double
    the speed of an analog cam. In my case, I just happened to get a small
    sound editing gig of a local access TV show right after I got my Dig8
    cam.

    The only thing is, with DV via passthrough, whatever hits the camcorder
    is what goes into the computer, you can't adjust hue/sat/brightness
    during capture the way you can with mpeg capture, I suppose unless you
    have some intermediate piece of gear between the analog VCR and the
    Digital cam. Or perhaps there's a more sophisticated cam or other piece
    of gear with passthrough capability that lets you do that. Probably
    substantially more bucks.

    I also have a Pinnacle DC-10plus card which has composite and S-Video
    ins. It works great, the actual Pinnacle Studio Software has been
    another story. I don't use it much now that I've got the DV cam.

    To be honest, "bottom line" is you're probably going to have to invest
    a few hundred bucks, put your hands on some gear, do some gnashing of
    teeth and pulling of hair when you run into glitches and generally get
    a feel for how it all works.
     
    Doc, Dec 8, 2005
    #9
  10. Hi Z Man,
    I am right now transferring an old 8 mm tape into my PC using WinDV. I
    believe that due to the timebase correction that the Digital 8 camera does
    the captured video looks better than it does when played directly to a TV.

    Regards,

    Martin
     
    Martin van derPoel, Dec 8, 2005
    #10
  11. KVA

    David McCall Guest

    A simple stand-alone is used much like a VHS tape machine would be.
    You just record stuff on it that you may want to look at later. No actual
    editing,
    but you may get to trim the head and tail before finalizing the disk.

    A step up gets you a DVD recorder with an internal hard drive.
    You have the option to record your video to the hard drive and then
    dub it to the DVD. While on the hard drive, the video can be
    cleaned up by removing the parts you don't want. You can also break
    a single video into multiple parts (at least on my Panasonic I can).
    On mine you cant link pieces together, just remove parts.
    I've never taken the time to figure out the accuracy of the cuts. It
    may be +/- 1 second, or the closest complete frame (I frame).
    The menus are really ugly, and the dubbing is real time (only 1X
    on my Panasonic)

    At any rate it's too sloppy for detailed work, but it is just fine for
    dumping your family tapes to DVD for easier viewing. At least you
    get the opportunity to cut out the really bad parts so people don't
    have to sit through all of it.

    I like mine a lot. It has completely replaced my VHS recorders.
    If you want real editing, nice menus, or the very best quality, then
    a standalone is not the thing to buy.

    David
     
    David McCall, Dec 8, 2005
    #11
  12. KVA

    L.P.LePage Guest

    Getting to the bottom line, in order to transfer 8mm to my computer to
    Of the options mentioned above I use a D8 and a Canopus converter. The
    prefered method "in my opinon" is to use the Canopus ADVC-100 as the quality
    "seems" to be better.
     
    L.P.LePage, Dec 8, 2005
    #12
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