svideo or firewire?

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Broons Bane, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. Broons Bane

    Broons Bane Guest

    Hi there.

    (I'm new to this stuff)

    I have a video camera capable of outputting to svideo or firewire and I want
    to do video editing on my pc.

    My pc has an svideo port, but not firewire. Should I buy a firewire card or
    will I be able to download my digital video tapes to the pc using svideo?

    Thanks in anticipation :)
    Broons Bane, Nov 28, 2004
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  2. Broons Bane

    Funprice Guest

    If the s-video port is an input (mostly pc's only have s-video output
    if any) you can use it to capture your video. Buying a firewire card,
    which are really quite cheap, will provide you with a digital
    connection from camera to pc, which doesn't degrade the video-quality:
    it makes a 100% copy possible.
    Funprice, Nov 28, 2004
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  3. Broons Bane

    Mr Digital Guest

    Also don't forget that S-video does not capture sound as it's purely just a
    video signal.

    A Firewire PCI card is what you need.

    Mr Digital, Nov 28, 2004
  4. Broons Bane

    Broons Bane Guest

    Thanks everybody - firewire it is!

    I remember the days when PC's had it as standard. Mustn't have taken of eh?
    Broons Bane, Nov 28, 2004
  5. Broons Bane

    Nick Guest

    Firewire is 100% same quality as original tape. If you have a fast enough pc
    you can create full digital video, HUGE hard drive req'd though. 15pounds
    a firewire card.

    Although I use firewire, USB2 is faster. Get one of those instead.

    Nick, Nov 28, 2004
  6. Imagine the loss of quality:convert the analogue signal of the CCD (s) to
    digital, then to analogue (for the svideo) then to digital (inside your pc)
    then to analogue (for you to view in the screen)...etc etc.
    Dimitrios Tzortzakakis, Nov 28, 2004
  7. The issue is another. A signal over S-Video must be captured/digitalized.
    DV over FireWire is copied bit by bit. This may (and most probably will)
    cause a worse quality of videos captured over S-Video compared to the
    same video transferred over FireWire.

    Roberto Divia, Nov 29, 2004
  8. A few modern camcorders support USB 2.0 for digital video transfer to a
    PC. My Panasonic PV-GS400 is one of those. From my experiments with it,
    I'd say there is no difference in the results of off-loading a DV tape
    with USB 2.0 or Firewire.

    Crunchy Doodle, Nov 29, 2004
  9. Oh dear, here we go again.

    The above is garbage.

    S-Video is analog

    DV is 4:2:0

    Any analog to compressed digital means a quality loss.

    Quality copy table

    IEEE-1394, STIR 10
    SD I 9.8
    Analog Component (YE, R-Y, B-Y) 9
    Y/C ("S-video") 8
    Analog Composite 5
    Point camera at screen and pray 1

    Also, a conversion between different compressed digital formats gives a quality

    Stuart McKears, Nov 29, 2004
  10. Broons Bane

    Nick Guest

    So why do ext hard drives now utilise USB2 rather than Firewire ?
    Most capture thru usb, usb2 or firewire. My dads sony, my sharp vlz1h
    and my brothers ancient (4yrs old) smasung.
    Windows MM 1 and 2. And Cyberlink.

    Nick, Nov 29, 2004
  11. Broons Bane

    Kevin Guest

    Because it's cheaper, not because it's faster.

    I have a USB2 external hard drive and it works OK for capturing video to my
    laptop but it's barely able to keep up when I scrub the timeline or do
    anything involving multiple clips from different files.
    Not at full quality DV resolution they don't. My Sony camcorder supported
    "webcam mode" through USB, at lower resolutions, and it supported the use of
    USB to act as an external media drive to copy JPEG's and compressed clips
    off the memory stick. But that has nothing on a full-resolution DV capture.
    Kevin, Nov 29, 2004
  12. Broons Bane

    Ed Anson Guest

    The S-Video is intended for output to a monitor so you can watch your
    video. The FireWire is intended for transfer to your PC for editing.
    Unless your PC was specifically configured for video editing, I suspect
    that the S-Video port is an output (for a monitor) and cannot be used to
    capture video.

    Even if your S-Video port is connected to a video capture card, I would
    not recommend using it in this case. I am assuming that your cam records
    in DV format. So consider these alternatives:

    Using FireWire, you can transfer a bit-perfect copy of what's on your
    tape into your PC for editing.

    Using S-Video, the camera first converts the compressed video on your
    tape to analog video. That analog signal passes through a cable, picking
    up noise and distortion. The capture card digitizes the analog signal,
    causing additional quantization errors, and then compresses it back to
    DV. You lose quality in every step along the way.
    Ed Anson, Nov 30, 2004
  13. Of course there is a quality loss! The signal has to be converted
    by the camera from digital to S-Video and then back to digital by
    the PC. Double conversion!
    True. Please read the IEEE 1394 standard and all FireWire FAQs and
    you will see that FireWire *is* digital.
    You need a capture device to convert S-Video to digital. Then you
    can use the captured video stream in a video editor.

    The same applies to FireWire with the difference that the video
    stream does not have to be captured but just moved (logged).
    Desolate, the above is not entirely correct.

    A DVCAM writes to its media in digital form. The content of the media
    must then be transferred into the editing system. Using FireWire, the video
    stream is copied "as-is", bit by bit (you would achieve the same result by
    moving the media to the PC, e.g. using a memory stick). With S-Video, the
    data stream must be first encoded (digital to analogue) on the camera side
    and then captured (analogue to digital) on the PC side.

    What we are comparing are the two paths:

    DV ---> D/A ---> S-Video ---> A/D ---> DV
    DV ---> FireWire binary transfer ---> DV

    DV to MPEG and MPEG to DV is outside the scope of this discussion.

    You say (correctly) "DV ---> S-Video = quality loss". This is *exactly*
    what the DVCAM has to do to send its data over S-Video! The DVCAM has
    DV on its media and must convert it to send it over S-Video: quality

    The statemente "S-video ---> DV = no quality loss" and
    "S-video ---> AVI DV = no quality loss" are wrong. How do you convert
    S-Video into DV in a loseless way? S-Video must be sampled, converted
    to digital. And the quality of the output depends on the capabilities
    of the capturing device. Less capabilities = less quality. This is not
    true for FireWire adapters, where the only required capability is to
    be able to sustain the input data rates on the Host Bus Adapter side.

    P.S. I was a member of the IEEE 1394 working group. I am not confused.
    I know very well how FireWire works ;-)

    Roberto Divia, Nov 30, 2004
  14. Oh goodie; a rerun of the DV is lossless argument. :)
    To bring me up to date can you please tell me where Mr. Lip Ring said that?
    Actually I thought what you said was at best ambiguous and what Lip said
    was very certainly true, specially his comments on MPEG where you were
    wholly wrong.
    Malcolm Knight., Nov 30, 2004
  15. Oh my God. How can anyone be so simplistically ignorant and dare to show his
    face here again.
    Malcolm Knight., Nov 30, 2004
  16. Broons Bane

    Nick Guest

    MM1 did as well.
    Must be your setup/camcorder then.

    Nick, Nov 30, 2004

  17. Client software doesn't need to know about USB or USB2, if it supports a serial
    input then it should support either (some very old or badly written software
    might have timing problems with the top speed of USB2)

    Three things determine the use of USB2 - whether the remote sender can send
    using USB2, whether the client motherboard supports USB2 and whether the OS also
    supports USB2 (XP does, I think you need specialist drivers for older OSs)

    Stuart McKears, Dec 1, 2004
  18. Broons Bane

    Roger Guest

    Firewire is the norm for DV cam transfer.

    Firewire seems to come in two flavours:
    Original (1394a) at 400 Mb/sec.
    Latest version (1394b) at 800 Mb/sec.

    USB also in two flavours:
    USB 1= 1.2 Mb/sec
    And USB 2= 480 Mb/sec.

    However its worth noting that most external capture cards for Digital
    Terrestrial Television (Freeview) employ the USB 2 connection.

    I'm not entirely clear on the reasons why its Firewire for DV camcoder Mpeg
    files and USB for digital television Mpeg files.

    Entering guess work mode:
    Firewire: DV downloaded from a cam corder will be a closed file with
    opening and closing data.
    USB: The Mpeg stream from a TV decoder has no specific beginning or end, so
    its not a closed file. USB can handle this better???

    Perhaps someone better informed can comment.

    Roger, Dec 2, 2004
  19. Eh? Firewire is relatively new. I don't think it's ever been
    considered "standard" on PCs, in the way parallel, serial and USB
    ports have.
    Laurence Payne, Dec 2, 2004
  20. Oh dear! That old one again.

    Sure, use USB2. IF your camera has a USB2 port capable of passing
    video. Which it doesn't.
    Laurence Payne, Dec 2, 2004
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