HDV to PC capture problem, do you recognise this?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by jeremiah123, May 12, 2008.

  1. jeremiah123

    jeremiah123 Guest


    Hope someone might be able to help a beginner, thanks very much if you

    I have a Sony handycam (HDR-HC5),

    but I can’t capture HDV video onto my PC.

    I am using firewire into a IEEE card.

    It does capture fine when I output DV from the camcorder, which I can
    get when I switch on an option called ‘iLink converter (HDV to DV)’ in
    the camera.

    However, as soon as I turn OFF the ‘iLink conv’ option on the
    camcorder, Windows gives the ‘device unplugged’ tones (tones stepping
    down), and my editing software no longer acknowledges that the
    camcorder is there.

    Even if I then unplug and reconnect the firewire, instead of getting
    the ‘device detected’ tones (tones stepping up), I just get three low
    tones the same, and my software again fails to detect my camcorder in
    HDV mode.

    The problem is the same whether I use Vegas 6.0 or Windows MovieMaker
    (an up-to-date version).

    So I assume it is a more basic problem with camcorder/PC

    Thanks very much if you can suggest what I should try next

    With regards

    jeremiah123, May 12, 2008
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  2. I don't think either these programs can capture HDV, so looks like you
    need to upgrade to Vegas 7 or 8. Don't think WMM can capture HDV at


    Martin Heffels, May 12, 2008
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  3. jeremiah123

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    WMM definitely can't capture HDV but Vegas 6 can.
    The only caveat is that you have to be using either Vegas 6 (the full
    version) or Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 6.0.
    Vegas Movie Studio 6 didn't have this capability.

    Mike Kujbida, May 13, 2008
  4. jeremiah123

    jeremiah123 Guest

    Aha! I think my version of Vegas 6.0 does not qualify....
    Thank you for your responses guys.
    jeremiah123, May 13, 2008
  5. jeremiah123

    jeremiah123 Guest

    No hang on, I now realise this problem is probably not to do with
    which version of Vegas 6.0 I have...
    the reason being that even without any editing software running,
    Windows is still NOT giving me the required 'device recognised' tones
    when I plug the camcorder(with HD output selected) into the firewire
    It's always a 'device deconnected' tone when I swith off the iLink HDV
    to DV converter, and just three low tones when I re-plug-in the
    firewire cable (unless I switch to DV output on the camcorder, when
    it's fine).
    This happens before I even start up Vegas.

    Do you think this could mean there is something wrong with my camera,
    such as a circuit to do with HDV output is blown?
    Or could my firewire card be the wrong spec somehow??
    jeremiah123, May 13, 2008
  6. jeremiah123

    Smarty Guest


    Suggest you download and install HDVSplit, a free utility which captures HDV
    from the Firewire port. You will need an OHCI-compliant Firewire card and
    Microsoft driver to properly talk to your HDV camcorder. The captured HDV
    file (an .m2t format MPEG2 transport stream) can be played in VLC, a
    freeware player as well as other software without relying on your NLE
    software at all.

    When you get that working, the choice of proper NLE can be worked out on
    this newsgroup with a lot of very knowledgeable people here. My impression
    is that you have a driver problem with your Firewire card.

    Smarty, May 13, 2008
  7. jeremiah123

    jeremiah123 Guest

    Great, I will check the spec of the card and get a different one if
    cheers for that , J
    jeremiah123, May 14, 2008
  8. jeremiah123

    jeremiah123 Guest

    Would I be needing one of these new 800 firewire cards for HDV?
    jeremiah123, May 14, 2008
  9. jeremiah123

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    Nope. A basic firewire card will do just fine.

    Mike Kujbida, May 14, 2008
  10. jeremiah123

    jeremiah123 Guest

    Thank you Smarty and the rest of you for your useful advice.

    I updated every driver and service pack I could think of...
    I then also found I had to reformat my PC's entire hard drive too to
    get it to work : ),
    this last presumably because of some kind of software
    incompatibilities with software already on my PC.

    I now have my PC recognising my cam in HDV mode ! So sucess in that

    I did some HD capture using both the basic movie editing software that
    came with the camera
    and with HDVSplit.
    In both cases the result is very broken up and jerky, with lots of
    dropped frames.
    (I played the HDVSplit output back in Windows Media Player, having
    appended a .mpg to the files.)

    Do you think this is because I lack the processing power for HD (I
    have a 3 or 4 year old PC with an AMD Athlon 1.25 gigahertz, 1 Gig
    RAM )

    Do you think I have to upgrade my PC for some serious HDV editing? I
    kind of assume this IS the case....

    Certainly I have found that even the DV I downloaded into an
    evaluation copy of Vegas 6.0 was also jerky, with some horizontal
    'merging' lines going on....is this
    also likely to be because of processor shortcomings?

    Regarding software, the few people I've met seem to swear by Vegas,
    saying it is fastest and best.

    Vegas 8 Movie Maker Platinum is an affordable package.... how far does
    this fall short of the pro version?
    If I can make something of essentially pro quality I may go for
    this....but looks like it has some limitations regarding the number of
    tracks you can have going..

    Although I'm only a beginner this year, I already have a ton of
    footage I've taken in very remote areas of rarely filmed cultural
    ceremonies and the like (the BIG logistic problem was just getting
    there, and having enough battery power to get by etc). You can
    understand my keenness to get the right package and get going! I
    certainly aspire to produce video of professional quality in due

    Thanks as ever if you can point me in the right direction at this
    early stage :)
    jeremiah123, May 26, 2008
  11. jeremiah123

    Smarty Guest

    I did some HD capture using both the basic movie editing software that
    A 3-4 year old PC is capable of handling HDV, but not a 1.25 GHz AMD. My 4
    year old 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 Dell was quite adequate with the right software,
    but I highly doubt that your CPU will really be adequate. If you want to
    experiment a bit, you could download the trial of Corel's (Ulead) Video
    Studio 11.5, which does make smaller proxy files when the HDV is ingested
    from the camcorder. These smaller proxy files can be edited on low
    performance PCs, with the penalty being longer ingest and rendering times.
    I would say this is your best chance to use your current hardware for HDV
    editing. I would not recommend Vegas (or for that matter any other program)
    on your specific hardware if HDV editing is your objective. I can be done,
    but as you have discovered, the dropped frames and jerkiness will be a deal
    breaker, since a low speed 1.25 GHz single core CPU is just not adequate for
    HDV unless a proxy approach is used.

    Download and use the trial of Ulead VideoStudio 11.5 as recommended above
    and come back with your comments so we can explore further.

    Smarty, May 26, 2008
  12. jeremiah123

    jeremiah123 Guest

    Great Smarty, I will do that.
    In the mean time I will prioritize sourcing a good motherboard/
    processor bundled package to build a new system.
    In a brief chat I had with the only (and very busy) professional I
    know, he laid a lot of stress on getting that purchase right.
    I had expected him to talk a lot about video cards or more 'specific'
    video gear, but it seemed his biggest issue had been getting as much
    processing power as possible within his budget. He added that he has
    installed 3gig of RAM, the most his motherboard can handle
    (or did he say it was the most that the operating system can take
    advantage of... not sure).

    I initially wanted to talk to him as I was wondering if I should move
    to a mac from PC if I was going to get serious with video (various
    people push this line).
    However, this particular guy uses PC, mainly because he himself rates
    Vegas so highly: he states that he gets good work done faster with
    Vegas than
    any of the alternatives available. He also feels he gets enough
    reliability and power from his PC.
    Since he makes his whole living out of video, I feel that that advice
    carries a lot of credibility.

    Amusingly, he says he occasionally 'pretends' or lets on that he's a
    mac user in some circumstances, since other professionals or potential
    collaborators may expect it of him, but ultimately, as someone with a
    heavy workload, he has to go with what is most productive for him!

    jeremiah123, May 26, 2008
  13. jeremiah123

    Smarty Guest


    The advice from the busy professional you know agrees entirely with my own
    experiences. First, the performance of video editing software depends almost
    entirely on a very fast processor, plenty of RAM, and modern SATA disk
    drives. The video card is not entirely irrelevant, but has little or no
    impact on the speed of editing, rendering, or other time-consuming tasks. A
    number of people have come to this newsgroup posing the specific question
    you now ask, namely, what is the "best" computer system for editing HDV,
    AVCHD, or other formats.

    I will only briefly paraphrase the conclusions, but invite / urge you to
    look at prior threads for more information. The short answer is that a dual
    core 6600 Intel CPU with a fast 1333 FSB and 4 GB of RAM makes an extremely
    competent HDV machine. A couple 500GB SATA drives and a low cost video card
    are also recommended. The cost of such a system in U.S. dollars is in the
    $600-$800 range for the do-it-yourself person, and perhaps a couple hundred
    more for a turn-key, ready to use computer without a monitor.

    I've been doing HDV since its inception, and have used many of the HDV
    editing programs, and have also ultimately settled on Vegas 8 although I
    find occasional use for the others in specialized situations. It is an
    excellent choice and one which you never outgrow, in my opinion.

    Regarding the Mac versus PC question, I will offer you an opinion based on
    owning a total of almost 20 Macs, dating back to the very first 1984
    machines and most recently an 8 core Xeon MacPro with Final Cut Pro HD. I
    will state my opinion tersely and hope that I do not ignite any "Holy Wars"
    since the Mac users are especially strong in their loyalty and support to
    all things Mac-related. My own experience with the Mac has been very
    disappointing, especially with iMovie 08', a drastic rewrite of the prior
    versions, with severe changes to the user interface which many people,
    myself included, dislike very much. Final Cut Pro, despite extremely fast
    hardware, has always seemed slow in rendering, and less friendly to some
    file formats than PC software. To this very day, there is no Apple support
    for BluRay, issues with AVCHD, and an Apple-centric obsession with
    QuickTime rather than standard mpeg and other formats. In all fairness, I
    should mention that I never did buy the upgrade to the very latest version
    of Final Cut Pro, which does improve the rendering speed, but my very same
    MacPro 8 core which runs Vegas 8 at blazing speeds ran FCP (prior version)
    at the speed of molasses. It's an every-changing landscape for video
    editing, so I stay open to the prospect that Apple will make a killer-fast
    platform for video editing, and I deliberately buy and sell MacPros every
    year or so to keep up with the latest changes, so I may have a different
    view in the future. I am entirely certain that a MacPro 8 core with Final
    Cut, now selling in the U.S. for $4000-$5000 is by no means the
    price/performance leader, whereas an Intel 6600 machine with Vegas for one
    third the price will do more and cost less, especially if you want to take
    your HDV onto BluRay or AVCHD format DVDs for high definition distribution.

    Please report back your on your Ulead VS11.5 trial experience. The proxy
    approach on your present CPU may be enough to do what you want with
    virtually no additional expense.

    Smarty, May 26, 2008
  14. jeremiah123

    jeremiah123 Guest

    This is great Smarty, and good to hear that there is some agreement
    there about the important issues in an HD video editing system, which
    is helping me build a picture of what to do.
    I'm just starting another thread about motherboards in the hope that
    yourself or others might be able to throw a bit of light on the truly
    vast array of motherboard options out there.
    As we know, the motherboard and processor are the absolute foundation
    rock of a system, so possibly the most important single step!

    jeremiah123, May 28, 2008
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