Why is Digital8 camcorder passthru output different than its digital tape output?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Doc, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Doc

    Doc Guest

    I've been using a Digital8 camcorder to do some video capture using DV
    format, this case capturing 8mm film, going in to the computer via Firewire.
    I'm running into a problem.

    I find that when I output through the camcorder directly to the capture
    program without recording to tape first, I get an odd vertical banding
    artifact when the resulting avi file is rendered for tape output or DVD. The
    banding isn't extremely pronounced but it's there and enough to be
    distracting when viewing. I'm basing this on what I see on a tv monitor,
    i.e. outputting to the tv instead of to a VHS tape, or playing a test DVD
    made from the file on a tv. However, this doesn't occur when recording to
    tape first in the Digital8 format and then outputting that to the computer
    and then rendering..

    This banding also occurs when playing analog tapes through the Dig8
    camcorder (this camcorder is backwards compatible) to the computer.

    It doesn't occur when going through composite cables and capturing as an
    mjpeg avi file instead of the DV format.

    I thought it would be the same, but apparently there's some difference in
    the DV output from the camcorder when doing it on the fly as opposed to
    going from DV tape output.

    Any ideas why this is happening, why it would be different and how it can
    fixed? Capturing on the fly in the DV format is preferable for various
    reasons. Time savings and the size of the resulting files among them.

    Using WinXP Home, Sony TRV-240 Dig8 cam, Pinnacle Studio 9 as my capture
    program. (Also tried using AMCap, with no difference in the results)

    Thanks for all input.
    Doc, Sep 11, 2005
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  2. Doc

    Jukka Aho Guest

    You probably have web space somewhere where you can copy files for
    others to download? A short downloadable test clip (say, a second's
    worth of original, unprocessed DV AVI material that displays the
    problem) would probably help in investigating the phenomenon.
    Jukka Aho, Sep 11, 2005
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  3. Doc

    Doc Guest

    A second isn't enough, you really need to see a fair amount of the video and
    see it on a tv to see it and the webspace I have available via my internet
    provider isn't large enough hold several seconds of raw video. The lesser
    resolution of even higher quality Windows media or Realmedia files obscures

    I did put together a site where you can see it a bit through stills if
    you've got a decent monitor. Don't be misled by the presence of black
    borders on some of them. Some of them had had a border applied and the ones
    that are mjpeg hadn't. Doesn't have any effect on the banding artifact.


    Since I've tracked down the fact that it's there when doing it "on the fly",
    but not if doing playback from a Dig8 tape, finding out what's different
    about the output would probably yield some answers.
    Doc, Sep 11, 2005
  4. Doc

    Ban Guest

    It seems to me you have a 60Hz hum when connecting to the computer. Try to
    run the camcorder only on batteries and use the same power strip for all
    connected gear, especially the computer and VCR.
    Ban, Sep 11, 2005
  5. "Ban" wrote ...
    Powerline mains hum would appear as horizontal "banding".
    Furthermore, here in NTSC-land, the hum bars move slowly
    up the frame, taking ~10 seconds to make it through the whole
    frame. (This is because of the 59.94 field rate vs. our 60 Hz
    power freq.)

    "Doc" said he was seeing "vertical" bands. Or perhaps he
    should clarify so we are all on the same page. Vertical bands
    is not a very common video artifact. I've never seen such a
    thing. Of course, a picture is worth a thousand Usenet
    postings and followups.
    Richard Crowley, Sep 11, 2005
  6. I read in sci.electronics.design that Richard Crowley
    about 'Why is Digital8 camcorder passthru output different than its
    digital tape output?', on Sun, 11 Sep 2005:
    Thin vertical lines used to be a sign of parasitic oscillation in the
    equipment, not necessarily in the video chain. Horizontal/line output
    tubes/valves used to suffer from Barkhausen oscillation, which produced
    quite a crop of vertical lines.

    Broad brightens variations, more 'stripes' than 'lines' can be due to
    velocity modulation of the horizontal scan.
    John Woodgate, Sep 11, 2005
  7. "John Woodgate" wrote ...
    Right. I remember both from back in the earliest video
    equipment I worked with (the last days of firebottles).
    But I've never seen anything like either of those in any
    solid state equipment (and certainly not in digital).

    I'm guessing he means horizontal bands moving vertically.
    Richard Crowley, Sep 12, 2005
  8. Doc

    larwe Guest


    Personally, I'd be much more worried about the drastic color difference
    and not so concerned about these edges!

    Guess: The passthru is going through an analog stage, probably to show
    OSD information. and you're seeing ringing on high-frequency components
    (vertical edges). The tape output does not go through the OSD stage.
    larwe, Sep 12, 2005
  9. http://home.mpinet.net/~docsavage20/examples_of_video_banding/index.html

    You have been through here before with this same "problem"
    and these same pictures. I'd guess that you may not get any
    better answer in this round.

    When I crank my imagination up to 11, I think I can see your
    "vertical lines". At best they are what I would call a "3rd
    order effect". There are certainly much more deserving
    parts of the video that could use your attention.
    Richard Crowley, Sep 12, 2005
  10. Doc

    Doc Guest

    Not really a big point of concern. Different lighting situations, different
    projector and the mjpeg capture allows you to adjust the color balance as
    you capture. I just made the mjpeg captures quickly to see if the banding
    artifact was there.
    Hmm. Why would it not go through this stage with the tape?
    Doc, Sep 12, 2005
  11. Doc

    Doc Guest

    Since I have new information - i.e. noticing the difference between
    passthough and tape output, and posting to additional forums, I figured it
    would be worth putting it out there again. Plus, there's always a chance of
    getting it in front of different eyes.

    They're there. No imagination needed. Those vertical lines that I described
    on the webpage are them, though they're more obvious when you actually see
    the video on a tv. This is the best I can do with limited webspace
    bandwidth. I'm more concerned with getting rid of this artifact than focus
    or whatever issues at the moment.
    Doc, Sep 12, 2005
  12. Doc

    Doc Guest

    If by "he" you mean me, I mean vertical bands. It's as if the image were
    being viewed through many, many thin vertical strips of glass whose edges
    are *almost* invisible but not quite.
    Doc, Sep 12, 2005
  13. Doc

    larwe Guest

    Guess: The passthru is going through an analog stage, probably to show
    On Screen Display.
    Perhaps because the passthrough is assumed to be a quick preview thing
    and the tape output is for production. Note, I did say it was a guess.
    My camcorders both show different information on the LCD vs. the
    composite output, and different information again on the DV stream. The
    LCD shows battery information and a bunch of other stuff; time,
    position on tape, etc. The composite output only shows an icon
    indicating the current function (PLAY, REC, etc). The DV output doesn't
    have any superimposed info.
    larwe, Sep 12, 2005
  14. Doc

    Doc Guest

    Essentially the same on mine. You can include the info on the LCD display on
    the composite output if you want (not sure why anyone would) but not on the
    DV output.

    However, not sure about the "passthrough simply a preview tool" thing. Going
    by the manual, it's supposed to work, but clearly there's *something*
    different about the 2 different types of DV output.
    Doc, Sep 13, 2005
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