View Full Version : Best video capture Igniter or Firewire?

10-27-2000, 02:57 PM
Anyone here have any experience with this? RIght now, I am pulling a DV stream off a Sony TRV-900 with a Sawtooth via the built in firewire. Would the Igniter give me better video if I pull the video off via the S-Video plus Igniter? I know the uncompressed feature is the shit but lets keep it realistic here.


10-27-2000, 03:37 PM

yes--it's all about compression. I think you can do 1.5:1 or so with the stock Igniter....the uncompressed option enables you to work with 1:1.

in a Sawtooth, it's the shit.

expensive, but if you need it, you need it.

depending on what you are doing....I would stick with DV. It's a real dividing line between consumer/prosumer quality and professional quality.

10-30-2000, 10:55 AM
What is the compression rate of dv? My boss is doing alot of video on his Sony and will be looking to capture all this 20+ hours of video. Probably around 80 GB of data.

On a personall note:
I have been trying to organize all my home videos especially of my grandparents. With the USB/Firewire card I thought I could do it with my 9600. The Sony DVMC converted an analog video stream to dv on the fly but the 9600's bus could not handle the stream. Also, wasn't impressed with the analog - dv then back to analog picture quality. The fuse card looks like a great option, but the Igniter rocks my world. It will give my Mac audio capture as well as export which the Mac lacks (RCA jacks).

What I am trying to do is convince myself I need an Igniter card. Don't think I can justify the cost for what I need. Will do some looking around especially at the Fuse card.


10-30-2000, 01:33 PM

I just gave my Igniter away to Ken Adams. He's digitizing all his Skorpion films.

I think the compression ratio of DV is 1:7 or 1:5. I forget.

Your 9600 should be able to handle the stream....didn't you just sell it or give it away or something?

10-30-2000, 02:17 PM
Yes, I sold it to my brother. He needs it. He got one heck of a deal too.

In terms of the B&W now, I have no limiting factors and a ton of free hard drive space. Dual 15k 18GB Cheetahs and one 45 GB IBM ATA/100 drive (storage only).

Gave it away!?! Damn.


10-30-2000, 04:58 PM
I could make him give it back, but then I'd be a huge Indian Giver, and I'm really not. (I can make this statement without remorse as my great-grandfather was half Cherokee, and political correctness can be damned in my house).

It's ironic, though, as it just sat here literally for a year. I don't make movies. No time. Ken needed it, and there was no way he was coming up with a grand, so I told him to just take it. It is loaned, not given. But I just barely loaned it to him a couple of months ago.

which reminds me. His partner owes me a skateboard for my son.

thanks for reminding me.


11-03-2000, 08:14 AM
I can identify with your problem, gol. Though I am by no means a video professional. I just capture long lengths of video, clean it up, compress it, and store it to watch later. With my 7500(built-in), audio drift becomes noticable at 50min(320x240/30fps/thous/no compr). I don't know what the difference between the standard mac mic input and the RCAs are, but I assume it is that difference that accounts for Fuse's 20-30min sync issues. Actually, I think I read that on this site somewhere.

The point is, that Final Cut Pro has an AutoSyncCompensator option that changes the audio block size to correct drift when viewed in the browser or timeline windows. If your boss is just editing, and does not need to compress, you could probably use a lower priced card. I think FCP does not export with the compensator active, so compression cannot benefit. There might be a way though.

Not to make macgurus lose a sale or anything, but have you looked at Pinnacle Systems DC30? It has onboard audio and is about $500. I don't know much about it, but looks interesting.


11-03-2000, 09:31 AM
Thanks despaxas,

How can they have put together an video capture board with audio capture as well for $500? Sounds too got to be true.


11-03-2000, 03:18 PM
you guys may want to check some other forums regarding the DC30.

at one point, we looked hard at it, and decided to stay away from Pinnacle.

drivers were iffy at best.

11-03-2000, 03:50 PM
I haven't really heard many things about them good or bad. Aurora is a Mac only company with very good products and support. No need to look any further IMO.


11-03-2000, 04:15 PM
I like to support Mac-only companies, too.

11-04-2000, 10:54 AM
apologise for the cross talk, but i am trying to sift through so much info on analog to dv and hobby video editing on my 7500 that i NEED to gather from whereever i can. did you say you do some nonlinear editing and video capture on a 7500? is it G3 accelerated? how well does the stock input do for the capture? what is the audio drift you refer to? i could sure use some help in getting this thing figured out and thank you is you can shed some light in my quest. i have a 7500 and want to decide what upgrade to make in order to realize importing some VHS home movies into digital format so i can edit them and then save for all time - either on a CD or on a DV via a camcorder (which i would have to buy as i don't have a DV camcorder). thanks.

11-04-2000, 06:58 PM
if you use the built-in video you will be limited to smaller windows on the 7500/7600.

if you want full-screen, VHS-quality, then the Aurora Fuse is a good board. You will need a G3 daughtercard, and you will also need a fast drive. It all adds up.

you can do the same thing using FireWire if you just get an iMac-DV. And it might cost less, depending on what you already have into a 7500.

11-04-2000, 11:34 PM
yes, it does become a can of worms.

The Apple Video Player does let you capture at 640x480, but it does not have very many settings, and it only lets you capture at millions of colors. The result is about 15-18fps (G3 @ 400mhz). Unusable. And obviously, a compressed clip at thousands will be smaller than a clip in millions. To me, they look the same in the end.

Audio drift refers to sync issues where you hear what is being said a spit second before their lips move. It could be more or less depending on your system. Video cards like the Igniter that have onboard audio, will sync a/v in hardware, eliminating drift. The feature that keeps me coming back to the Igniter is the 24bit 96khz audio used for DVD. Quality cards like the Fuse and Igniter can compress a/v in real-time, lowering the data rate, and therefore able to be captured to a slower hard drive. You would still need a G3 accelerator to view it well on your computer afterwards, though.

It's sort of the Holy Grail of upgrading to make the decision between buying new or keeping the old workhorse. Personally, I have a load of old macs, and with daughtercards being so cheap now, I can't help but keep them all.

I don't know much about firewire DV capture, but it looks like it will be around for a while, so......


11-05-2000, 02:29 AM
I got curious and found this:

I wonder if it is meant to convert long video to dv.

It could save a slot if someone had a USB/Firewire card. Thought it might be of interest.

11-05-2000, 10:50 AM
The subject of desktop video is intense. Here are some must-reads I found on the web to get started. There is enough backgound and great references in all these to help evaluate the subject of capturing video via MJPEG and MPEG cards like the Fuse and Igniter vs. capture of miniDV with FireWire. Have at it http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

[This message has been edited by MacMikester (edited 05 November 2000).]

11-05-2000, 11:54 AM

The sony dvmc is a great little box. I had trouble getting a video into my 9600 with that box using a firewire board. Don't remember what processor I was using, but remember I had dual 9GB Cheetahs in a raid. Been a while.

Didn't like what I got off after it converted to dv from analog then back out to analog. Pixels looked funny.

If you want to give it a try, call J&R and get it from them. As long as you don't touch any other paperwork and send the unit like you recieved it, they give you a full refund with no restocking fees.

Do a search at dealchat.com/mac for the sony unit. There was alot of talk about it.


12-26-2000, 11:41 AM
This is from:
Terran-QuickTime (http://www.terran.com/CodecCentral/Architectures/QuickTime.html)

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>QuickTime Video Codecs
(Primary Use) Pros Cons Availability
Sorenson Video
WWW and CD-ROM Very good image quality at low data rates Very slow compression; playback requirements higher than Cinepak Basic version included in QuickTime. Pro version available from Terran
WWW and CD-ROM Excellent quality. Well suited for broadband rates Codec not ubiquitous. Beta version of codec released Nov 2000. Available as component download in QuickTijme 5
CD-ROM Plays on older CPUs, generally gives acceptable image quality Doesn't work well under about 30 KBps, slow compression, mediocre image quality Included in QuickTime
Indeo 3.2
CD-ROM Slightly better than Cinepak when compressing "talking heads" video, compression is a bit faster Not well suited to Web data rates, more color artifacting than Cinepak Free from Intel
Indeo Video Interactive 4
CD-ROM Excellent image quality (similar to MPEG) Requires fast Pentium for playback Included in QuickTime 3 for Windows (Mac version freely available, but slower)
Video Good for testing edits, doesn't "top out" at higher data rates Not generally useful for final delivery Included in QuickTime
2-dimensional animations Lossless at 100%, produces smaller files than the None codec Files may be quite large at 100% quality Included in QuickTime
Photographic still images Generally has good image quality, works well for "slide show" type movies with very low frame rates relatively slow decompression; limited usefulness for motion video Included in QuickTime
Component Video
Video capture Can improve capture frame rate, can help eliminate degradation when used as interim storage format Not generally useful for final video delivery Included in QuickTime
Video editing At 100% quality, image degradation is minimal Requires large amounts of CPU power, large image and/or high frame rate movies don't play smoothly without special hardware Included in QuickTime 2.5
2-dimensional animation Generates a compressed image 1/2 the size of the same image compressed by the Animation codec Slower decompression than the Animation codec Included in QuickTime
Processing Lossless, can extend the capabilities of other codecs Produces huge files, movies usually won't play smoothly Included in QuickTime
Portable Network Graphic (PNG)
Still images Lossless, small file sizes, good alternative for Animation codec Not suited for multimedia video, can't make images as small as lossless codecs like JPEG Included in QuickTime
CD-ROM Very good image quality Majority of systems can't playback (requires special hardware or very fast computer) Playback included in QuickTime 3 for Mac (Windows support will require QuickTime 5)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So it looks like MPEG or 'DV' is the way to go. The info looks a bit dated as my G3/300Mhz w/ATI ORION easily plays MPEG1 at full screen (1600x1200 @ 25FPS) without loss). The Aurora cards seem to use MJPEG. This only compresses the frame, not frame to frame like MPEG and it is lossy. Those MPEG2 cards aint cheap. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

[This message has been edited by PENDRAGON18 (edited 26 December 2000).]