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dschmutter
01-24-2001, 04:14 PM
I have a Power Computing Powercenter 150 with 48 MB Ram running OS 8.5.1, soon to be upgrading to 112 MB Ram, a 400 Mhz G3 card and OS 8.6. I am looking for a way to capture, edit and export analog video. I have a fairly decent quality analog camera that I am not interested in replacing with digital. I am interested in transferring my home videos to the mac, do some very simple editing and then export it back out to tape. Basically I am looking for a substitute for editing the old fashioned way, which is tedious. I'm not making The Matrix, here, its just videos of my kid's birthday party, and the like. I am willing to get a USB and/or Firewire PCI card but I am not willing to buy a digital camera.

I have looked a little bit into the Interview and the Belkin USB Video Bus but I get the sense that I will experience a severe degradation in quality using those devices. Is there a way to do what I want to do without spending a fortune or am I screwed?

Thank you.

Dan

jorge
01-24-2001, 04:24 PM
The answer might be the Fuse card. It rocks. Take a look.
http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/showrampage.cgi?fuse.html

j

Louie
01-24-2001, 04:30 PM
If you are still using the stock 5 MB/sec SCSI bus, plan on a Ultra Host Adapter of some caliber and matching drive(s).

Also be aware that the Catalyst-based machines are prone to QT and sound problems when upgraded to G3's.

dschmutter
01-24-2001, 04:46 PM
So wait,Louie, are you saying I'm going to have these problems generally when I upgrade to the G3 or just with the Video capture thing? And what sort of problems?

Dan

PENDRAGON18
02-03-2001, 12:39 PM
I think you would want some thing like the ATI VR128 CARD. This gives you great 2D display (16MB VRAM @ 100MHz?) and video in & out abilities. I think the FUSE - while a great deal - is overkill.

I only have a PTPRO - so not sure about the Catalyst issue. I do know that those boards were 7200 systems, but PowerComputing added a daughtercard slot. They are still limited to 4x64MB FPM DIMMs and they can not be interleaved. I would assume there is a timing issue with many or most G3 upgrades. I think one users reported that he got around this with a 500MHzG3 and many some other stuff? VM on or off can affect this and so can the disk cache. I assume the main issue is dropped frames on video capture. Not sure about playback.

You should probably stick to SCSI. Get a nice MilesU2W card and one or two 18G drives. If all else fails you can always move the ATI card, SCSI card and drives to a new system! Also if you get a fast G3 with carrier card you could use that G3 in a newer system too.. say a B&W G3/300.

Firewire could still be useful for large removable mass storage. I think you generally want MacOS 9.x for the most stable firewire you can get. I've been running a FW HD & FW Burner off my PTPRO with 8.6 - its been ok, but not as stable as I would have liked. It seems much better off my PB2K with 9.04, but its still not perfect. Moving large video files over USB is crazy.... as you probably know. You could get a cheap USB cam an play around with it. I have a CREATIVE one... its ok for the price.

Louie
02-04-2001, 01:27 PM
I'm saying that you are quite likely to encounter sound and QT movie stuttering and dropout with any Catalyst-based Power CC machine after it is upgraded to a G3. I have only been able to work around it in a 60 MHz system bussed Power Center Pro by using a very fast processor and either using VM on or slowing the Ultra SCSI host's synch rate to 13.3.

As much as I love Power CC machines, and considering what you intend to do, I would recommend that you swap to Tsunami-based Power CC machine (PowerWave or Power Tower Pro) or an Apple 73/75/7600, 85/8600 or 95/9600 before spending your upgrade money.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 04 February 2001).]

Miles
02-04-2001, 04:40 PM
P18, can the VR128 do full screen video capture? Seems to me when it first came out some people were disappointed that it wouldn't capture full screen NTSC. Maybe that was fixed witha later driver?

I would lean towards the FUSE, personally. Firewire won't do any good unless you have a digital camera, and the USB kits are generally very low end - some only do video in, not video out etc.

Miles

magician
02-05-2001, 12:25 AM
Breeden has some discussion on his site regarding the "Havoc" codec and methods of wringing the utmost in performance from the Rage 128VR.

it is somewhat dependent on processor and subsystem, but all such video cards share that characteristic. The Fuse is basically a professional solution kept affordable thru the sacrifice of on-board audio. You have to use the Mac's built-in audio or an audio card. Otherwise, it can be summed up as "VHS-quality in and out." The Rage 128VR is somewhat less capable, but it works well for many who are not seeking a professional solution. Unfortunately, the Rage 128VR has been discontinued, and is no longer available.

eiseman
02-22-2001, 10:49 PM
Do any of you know of a good, inexpensive audio card for a 9600? I have a Fuse that I was using with an 8600 and I would like to use it again only with a 9600.

magician
02-24-2001, 08:42 PM
I think Darin and Michael might have good advice for you. Not really my department.

http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

eiseman
02-26-2001, 03:33 AM
Darrin, Michael or anyone else have a recommendation?

jorge
02-26-2001, 07:43 AM
The Digidesign AudioMedia III can be had for about $200 at Guitar Center.
http://www.digidesign.com/products/prd_overview.cfm?product_id=1019

They list a price of $545 but disregard that.

j

Michael
02-26-2001, 04:47 PM
the audiomedia card is a good schoice. MOTU also has a nice PCI audio card, but it only works with their interface which is excellent. my personal choice. Korg makes a card, the 1212 i think it's called that's fairly inexpensive and does the trick. check out echo at www.echoaudio.com. (http://www.echoaudio.com.) they offer a few modestly priced cards. emagic (www.emagic.de)makes (http://www.emagic.de)makes) a nice card. most pros use either the digidesign stuff or the MOTU stuff.
M
i forgot. you might want to check out this site. they often have great deals. www.digibid.com (http://www.digibid.com)

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 26 February 2001).]

batmantis00
02-27-2001, 01:57 AM
would this attatch to that mobo?
http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1218040028

would probably be the cheapest option.

Michael
02-27-2001, 08:35 PM
certainly not quality. and you will still need software to handle your analog to digital to analog conversion. the cheapest way to go is to use the existing soundmanager feature in you mac. (OS 8x and up) it controls the mic in and headphones out miniplugs. a program like Digital Performer can access those plugs through sound manager. you won't need an audio card, though you will be pulling your hair out pretty quickly.
M

dschmutter
04-24-2001, 11:10 PM
Ok. I am seriously considering the Fuse card as recommended below, but I want to make sure I have the requisite configuration. I have a Powercenter 150 with an XLR8 MACh Carrier 466 G3 card, 112 MB RAM an external Seagate ST34520N 4 GB hard drive which I believe is SCSI-2 with a 50 pin connector, OS 8.6.

Will this work? The HD is connected to my old 5 M/Sec SCSI bus. Do I need another SCSI card? If so which one (I'm on a budget)?

Thanks

Dan

magician
04-25-2001, 01:10 AM
your SCSI subsystem is underpowered, and this vintage machine is not optimal from the standpoint of reaping the best PCI performance from the Fuse. Fuse tends to work best in bG3 and later machines.

that said, it does work pretty well in older machines like yours, but it very much depends on what you are expecting, what compression ratios you use, that sort of thing. Compared to anything else available, the Fuse is the clear quality leader, but you always have to account for subjective expectations. Some folks think they can make the next Blair Witch Project on their vintage machine with a Fuse.

come to think of it.....given enough storage, you very well might be able to do just that.

anyway. You need beefier SCSI. Minimal recommendation would be a Miles2 LVD kit w SoftRAID ($200), and as big a Cheetah as you can afford. All you need to mount inside that machine is four screws, or maybe a pair of drive brackets (<$5).

depending on which video application you are using......I would also recommend more main memory. It's not far off the mark to consider 256MB the minimal config for using Premiere, etc.

what video card do you have? You may need a Rage 128 from eBay or a Radeon retail. One of these days we'll finally activate our Radeon page, and start selling them along with everyone else.

hope this helps.

http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

dschmutter
04-25-2001, 09:13 AM
Here's what I want to do. I want to take my home videos (birthday party, day at the zoo, etc), do some really basic editing and then export them back out to tape. That's it. I do, however, want to minimize my loss in quality going back and forth. I think you had said previously that the Fuse is VHS quality in - VHS quality out. That's all I need.

This is simply a substitute for editing my kid's birthday party video by hooking up my camcorder to my VCR which is just a real pain in the tuchas.

I am trying to minimize cost here because I recently did a bunch of upgrading without this video editing stuff in mind, the new Barracuda, the G3 card etc.

What is the minimum that I need to do in order to accomplish what I just described? For example, can I do it with a new SCSI card but without a new HD? How much storage do I need to do what I'm describing? And how fast does that storage need to be (I also have a SCSI Orb drive, for example)?

I do not have a video card. Do I need that in addition to the Fuse?

I guess one important question is what do I lose by not doing each of the things you suggest, or are these things minimum threshold items, that is unless I get each of the following 1, 2, 3, etc, I can't even consider what I propose. I am willing to deal with some inconvenience to save money, as long as its easier than manually editing on my camcorder and VCR.

Thanks

Dan

dschmutter
04-25-2001, 03:41 PM
BTW, there is a remote possibility that I could get my hands on a Power Mac 6500/300 with 128 MB RAM for not a lot of money. I know nothing about that box. Is there anything about that machine that would be superior to what I've got is addressing my issue? How does that compare to what I've got BTW?

Dan

dschmutter
04-25-2001, 05:08 PM
Ok. Exciting new information. I contacted Seagate. I found out that my external drive is a SCSI-3 (Ultra SCSI) drive with an internal transfer rate of 14 MB/sec (external of 20). I, however, do not have a SCSI controller that will support that trasfer rate. The guy at Seagate said that all I need to do to take advantage of that transfer rate is to get a SCSI-3 controller card.

Is that accurate or is there more to it?

Dan

Louie
04-25-2001, 08:56 PM
The Miles BlueNote will host that drive well and give close to 20 MB/s. However, please go back and read my earlier comments about Catalyst-based Power CC machines and QT/audio problems.

The 6500 would not be a good machine either; underpowered.

dschmutter
04-26-2001, 08:13 AM
Yes, I remember that. Do the QT and audio problem only appear when *capturing* video and audio or do they appear any time QT is used? I seem to be able to run QT movies now without a problem. Or is that not what you're talking about? If I can download and run, say, a movie trailer without a problem, does that mean I am not experiencing the issues you are talking about?

As to the Bluenote, I was looking at the specs and it seemd like the right card. Ignoring for the moment the QT issue you've identified, with the drive that I have described and the Bluenote, can I get the performance out of the Fuse that I need?

Also is there a reason to prefer the Miles Bluenote over, say, the Adaptec 2930 which is UltraSCSI (SCSI-3) but apparently has the same data transfer rate as the Bluenote which is FastSCSI (SCSI-2)?

Thanks

Dan

dschmutter
04-26-2001, 03:22 PM
BTW, Louie, I did a search of all the fora on the catalyst QT and audio issue you've identified. You've really written about this issue a lot! It must get old pretty quickly.

One more question, though. You have talked about reducing the SCSI sych rate to 13.3. Can this be done on the Bluenote or is it just an UltraSCSI thing?

Also, I spoke with IBM and apparently the IBM narrow internal drive that shipped with my Powercenter can achieve at least 10MB/sec data transfer, so it seems that even my original drive suffers from the 5MB/sec SCSI bus on the Powercenter. If I get the Bluenote or something like it I imagine that I would want to move at least both hard drives and probably my Orb drive (don't know about the ZIP) off of the 5MB bus and onto the new SCSI card. If I do that (I assume I could do that, right?) do I have to do anything about the termination on the internal drive. I don't know whether its terminated now or not but can I assume that what ever its termination condition is now it would stay the same? (I assume I would be able to hook up both internal and external devices to the Bluenote or some other card, right?)


Thanks

Dan

magician
04-26-2001, 03:35 PM
dan, follow Louie. He will steer you straight.

prefer the Bluenote over the Adaptec 2930, if only because you have a much finer degree of control over card settings. It is a better card, IMO.

dschmutter
04-26-2001, 03:50 PM
Ok, so assuming Louie's QT issue gets resolved, can I, using the Bluenote and the Seagate drive I have which can do 14 MB/sec sustained data transfer, get the performance out of the Fuse that I need. Again, I'm just editing my home movies. I just want to maintain as much of my Sony Hi-8 quality as I can.

Thanks

Dan

Louie
04-26-2001, 10:40 PM
It's not a matter of "Louie's problem getting solved". I'm not trying to solve it anymore. It was wide spread. I'm merely warning you that you may encounter this with the Power Center.

I bought a Power Center Pro 240 new in '97. It was mainly for doing flight sims. I never did video capture. As soon as I went to a G3 upgrade in '98, I started getting sound dropout. I finally beat it as I described in my earlier post. I've upgraded about six or so PowerCurve/Center machines since then. All had sound and video stutter playing QT movies or MP3's.

You maybe lucky. I solved it by moving to a Power Tower Pro. Try the BlueNote first before you drop the bills for the Fuse.

The BlueNote is really UltraSCSI; it will synch at 20. Just put the Fast 20 drive on the BlueNote; leave the slow devices on the builtin bus or the will slow down the faster drive.

We can tell you how to terminate everything.

No need to pay to call those companies; we can answer those questions.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 26 April 2001).]

magician
04-26-2001, 11:03 PM
Fuse maxes out at what? 9MB/sec?

and that would be in a Grackle system.....so in your system, we would say you would need 3-7MB/sec, about the same as FireWire.

I would say you've got headroom to spare with the Bluenote, following Louie's guidance carefully. Even if you have to slow sync rates to 13.3....you're still saturating the Fuse, and getting VHS-quality output.

dschmutter
04-27-2001, 08:50 AM
Ok, now I'm starting to get psyched! From the various posts all around the forums, it sounds like you did a good job of beating the QT problem on the Powercenters, Louie. BTW if I was going to experience the problem, would I have already noticed it when playing QT movies? Is there a simple test I can do right now to see if its happening? Should I just go to the Apple QT site and download a movie and play it?

Now, I don't have a lot of storage. For budgetary reasons I really can't buy another drive. The Seagate is 4MB. I have other stuff on it but I can mostly empty it by dumping stuff onto an Orb disk. What can I accomplish with a 4MB drive? Someone told me to expect, on average, 5 minutes of footage per MB. Is that accurate? Since I am only doing my home movies, I don't have long scenes anyway.

Also, are you suggesting that I get the Bluenote first to see if I can eliminate the QT problem before I spend the money on the Fuse?

Finally, the internal IBM drive is my boot drive. I was hoping to put that on the Bluenote as well since it is hampered by the 5MB bus and can't take advantage of its 10MB/sec transfer rate. Are you saying that having that drive on the Bluenote along with the Seagate will slow everything down? So I should avoid that?

Thanks

Dan

P.S. Now if I can only solve my problem of having my modem suddenly disconnect me off the internet for no apparent reason all the time. Anyone know of a forum where this issue can be discussed?

Louie
04-27-2001, 10:34 PM
I can't guess if the UltraSCSI card in addition to the G3 will put you in the stutter regime. My Power Center Pro already had the factory intalled UltraSCSI card when I added the G3. All the others that I've done also had UltraSCSI cards.

The BlueNote allows settings different target synch rates for devices on the bus. It is generally considered that best performance comes with only UltraSCSI devices on the same bus.

Have you tried playing a QT movie? See what happens.

I wouldn't want to pay for a fuse till I knew that I had a workable system.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 27 April 2001).]

dschmutter
04-27-2001, 10:47 PM
I played a couple of short QT movies. They seemed fine. Is the problem something that would be obvious? Maybe I'll download sonething longer.

BTW, I'm now going to make you insane after all this. I was in CompUSA today and I inadvertently had a crash course in DV. A guy was trying to tell me that I'm better off working in DV with the Dazzle Hollywood Bridge rather than in MJPEG with the Fuse. Besides being less expensive he suggested that it would use less storage space and would provide forward compatibility with DV camcorders etc. The idea would be a Firewire card (I would guess the XLR8 MAChfire) plus the Dazzle Hollywood Bridge (and also the Bluenote, of course)

Is he wrong? Or is there something about the hardware that I have that makes this solution not work?

Dan

Louie
04-28-2001, 01:50 PM
The QT movie certainly needs to be more than a few seconds, but is very obvious.

I don't have the foggiest idea about Fuse vs Dazzle. Firewire is not very mature and/or fast. If the guy worked at CompUSA, I would use caution. I've never found anyone at CompUSA that knew anything about Macs. Pose that question in the FireWire section.

dschmutter
04-28-2001, 08:23 PM
Ok. I did the test with something longer, something worthy. I downloaded the 1984 commercial. (What a great ad!) It looked fine. If the problem is obvious, I didn't see or hear it. The movie ran just fine, so maybe I got lucky.

I tend to agree with you about CompUSA,; however, I had a very long talk with this guy. He sounded like he knew what he was talking about. He claimed to have been a film editor, and he claimed to have previously had an 8500 and now has a G4. I dunno. I'm usually pretty good at spotting gobbledygook (I'm a lawyer, part of my job is figuring out when people are full of s---.) But I can't say for sure.

I'm going to take your advice and post this issue on the Firewire board.

Thanks

Dan

magician
04-29-2001, 02:53 AM
I've never heard of the Dazzle Hollywood Bridge.

the analog versus digital debate has pretty much been resolved in favor of DV, as far as I am concerned, where hobbyist filmakers are concerned.

the only real reason to go analog is if all your video gear is analog, or if you need the kind of superior resolution and quality which is feasible using higher end analog solutions like Igniter.

the Fuse is, however, a very well-known and very well-understood solution which delivers VHS-quality output.....there are a lot of guys out there in the world using it to process wedding videos, stuff like that. It's perfect for that sort of thing.

dschmutter
04-29-2001, 03:16 PM
Here's the URL for the Dazzle.
http://www.dazzle.com/products/hw_bridge.html

I'm new to all of the terminology so I'm a little confused. You talk about the Fuse being "working in analog." But isn't is no longer analog as soon as it hits the Mac? I had thought the choice between the Fuse and the Dazzle was simply a choice between digital formats -- the Fuse being MJPEG and the Dazzle DV. So either way, isn't it the case that I'm starting with an analog source and digitizing it for manipulation on the Mac? And then its exported back out to tape as analog through the Fuse or Dazzle? Please tell me if I've completely misunderstood this.

So when you say the analog vs digital debate had been resolved in favor of DV, I guess I'm confused. Based on my understanding of the Dazzle, it takes an analog signal and converts it to DV. Then it converts it back to analog on the way out. Isn't this what the Fuse is doing except instead of converting the analog signal to DV it is converting the analog signal to MJPEG?

Thanks

Dan

[This message has been edited by dschmutter (edited 29 April 2001).]

dannemale
04-29-2001, 06:22 PM
hey Dan, i checked out the Dazzle, but you'd need a Firewire port to take advantage of it. going with it AND an aftermarket Firewire card might be good, but the gurus certainly wouldn't have any experience to help you with support I suspect and I know nothing about the company.

i do have a Fuse that I got from the gurus, and I'm VERY satisfied with it. it is a rock-solid high quality solution for dealing with analog in and out. if you need digital in or out the card cannot help you. if you are holding onto your analog recording and playback technology (camcorder, VCR and TV) you will be pleased with this card.

you are correct about the Fuse, it is a digitizing card. the great thing about it is that you can monitor your video in on a TV at the same time as you digitize. the compression algorithm (Aurora MJPEG) that it uses allows the card to give you a great deal of flexibility in viewing your creations during editing mode as well; this is a HUGE bonus with editing!! it is analog in and analog out, but you are right that when the video leaves the Fuse to go onto your HD it is digitized, thus digital.

haven't read the whole post carefully, hope I've not been too redundant...

dschmutter
04-30-2001, 09:08 AM
Yes, I was intending to get a Firewire card if I go with the Dazzle.

What editing software do you use with the Fuse? How much footage do you get per GB of storage space?

The only drive that I have available for video is a 4.5 GB drive so storage is at a premium here. Am I going to run into severe problems with that small a drive?

Thanks

Dan

RedPhoenix
04-30-2001, 09:33 AM
Might as well chip in on this thread.

If all you're looking for is an analog capture solution (VHS in/out only), then indeed, a VR 128 would be a good bet, IMO.

A Fuse is even better, but more expensive. I own one and I use it with an internal IDE 40 GB Maxtor drive. I get about 13 MB/sec from the Maxtor, enough to keep up with the Fuse (9 MB/sec). Haven't yet tried (or needed) to capture more than 7 min at a time, though, so disk speed/space might become a problem for larger captures. I use Premiere, which was bundled with the Fuse. As for Fuse file sizes though, I'd have to come back to you later on that - I'm not on the right computer right now.

My case was one of not having any money left for a decent SCSI subsystem after I bought the Fuse. If you've got the money for it, it certainly won't hurt and it'll certainly be more reliable.

If you're looking for DV-analog converter solutions, here is what I've seen mentioned most often on sites 'round the world:

Hollywood Dazzle DV Bridge: Acclaimed the Greatest Thing by some websites, but some owners have mentioned that functionality is iffy. Some have reported getting DOA units. I'd be a bit leery of it: http://macreviewzone.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000022.html Even Dazzle's own forums http://dazzle.bcastvideo.com/ have traces of unsatisfied users.

PowerR Director's Cut: Similar in function to the Hollywood DV Bridge. It converts DV to analog and the other way around, as well as providing input/output functions. That's all it does, but I've yet to read a post from someone who's diappointed with the product. Their online store gives me a small case of the shivers, though.($298)

Formac Studio: It does what Director's Cut does, as well as adding FM and TV Tuners. Expensive, though ($399). You need the ProTV program to use the TV Tuner, though. Formac *says* they're working on an OS X version of the drivers (again, for the TV/FM Tuner), but who knows when it'll be available. Formac has apparently shipped more than a thousand units so far, but I've yet to read a solid review on it *anywhere*, so I can't say if it's good or not. I hope it is.

Sony DVMC-DA1/DA2: Listed on Apple's website. Some people think it's great, others think it's average. Take your pick... http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/confused.gif

Oh well, back to lurking... http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

[This message has been edited by RedPhoenix (edited 30 April 2001).]

[This message has been edited by RedPhoenix (edited 30 April 2001).]

dannemale
04-30-2001, 12:21 PM
Dan, Louie made excellent points about what you'd have to consider with respect to capturing and your SCSI subsystem. It really depends upon frame rate, compression quality and frame size as far as how much (in time) you can get onto your drive. It does sound like you need to consider a SCSI subsystem to use a Fuse effectively with your machine, as your onboard SCSI would be able to do no better than 15 fps 320x240 in my opinion, reliably. The Fuse can obviously do full quality VHS, but your bottlenecks will be system bus traffic (setting the Fuse up correctly can help you here) and your HD, again in my opinion...

I have been using Premiere for the past year. I started with Strata VideoShop, but migrated away. They're both good; Strata is easier to use but it seemed a bit buggier on an 8500; I believe Premiere is better and Aurora has certainly worked closely with Adobe I believe. The Fuse is now in a B&W and I use Premiere exclusively.

dschmutter
04-30-2001, 05:48 PM
RedPhoenix, have you seen good feedback on the PowerR product? If so, where?

Also, what do y'all think of the third alternative, which is getting a Sony Digital 8 camcorder so that I can get rid of the Hi-8 analog camcorder and use the new digital-8 to capture my analog tapes through Firewire? Is that likely to yield as good quality as the various devices we're talking about, Dazzle, PowerR, Fuse etc.?

Its the approach I've been trying to avoid, but I'm wondering if its the best way to go, particularly tothe extent that it stops me from making anymore analog tape. The main problem is selling the Hi-8 and making the exchange financially competitive with these other alternatives. I started out trying to avoid the cost of getting a new camcorder, but if the quality of capturing the analog would be as good and if I could make it net no more expensive than the other solutions, it might be the way to go.

Any thoughts?

Dan

RedPhoenix
05-01-2001, 05:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>RedPhoenix, have you seen good feedback on the PowerR product? If so, where?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It was an Apple Best of Show in MacWorld Paris 2000: http://www.macworld.com/2000/09/15/best.html or http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/top_news_item.cfm?NewsID=1847

also see http://macprof.macity.it/archives/directoretest.html

There was a user thread somewhere, but I can't seem to find it anymore... Will post the link if I do.

[This message has been edited by RedPhoenix (edited 01 May 2001).]

dschmutter
05-01-2001, 09:45 AM
BTW. Is there any reason why I can't use a Firewire Hard drive for this instead of a SCSI hard drive? If I can, are there any minimum specifications I need to watch out for or would any Firewire drive do? I seems that if I go with the one of the various DV approaches that require a Firewire card it would make sense to use a Firewire drive rather than get a new SCSI controller card, no? Any thoughts?

Thanks

Dan

PENDRAGON18
05-01-2001, 10:52 AM
Is there any reason why I can't use a Firewire Hard drive for this instead of a SCSI hard drive?
It should work fine... but I would recommend 9.1. I only have a PowerCurve and PTPro from PComputing. The PCurve is only a router and I havent tested my FW drives with the PTPro yet. This would save you a slot - it might even be able to stream the video directly from the DV cam (or the Analog to DV converter) to the HD. This could emilite just about any bottleneck - until you had to edit the video, but I am only guessing at this point since I've never done it.

If I can, are there any minimum specifications I need to watch out for or would any Firewire drive do?
Just about any drive in a FW enclosure will do (should do) 20 to 35MB/s sustained INTERNAL data rates. The old IDE/ATA->1394bridge chips would only allow about 12 to 15MB/s external transfer rates - but this is still enough for DV. The new OXFORD911 bridge chips will allow about 25MB/s. I would get this just on principle. Its faster, its newer and its not all that expensive - about $140 for the case (without the drive) from a 'competitor'. I guess Gurus will be selling this sometime in the future or maybe you could get it from GRANITE.

You might even consider a FIREWIRE/USB combo card. Its always nice to save a slot - as long as the card works right.

dschmutter
05-01-2001, 11:12 AM
9.1? Do you mean OS 9.1? What's wrong with OS 8.6?

Louie
05-01-2001, 08:53 PM
I think his implication is that FireWire support is much more mature in 9.x, especially 9.1.

dschmutter
05-02-2001, 08:39 AM
What does that mean as a practical matter? What will I lose or what won't I be able to do, etc.

Thanks

Dan

Louie
05-02-2001, 09:01 AM
It can mean the difference between a FireWire device working off the card or not working.

dschmutter
05-02-2001, 09:05 AM
Is it going to depend on the card or the device, generally. That is, if a particular card is known to work well with 8.6 does that end the issue, or is it more of a device to device kind of situation?

Dan

dschmutter
05-02-2001, 09:30 AM
BTW why doesn't Macgurus sell the XLR8 MAChfire Firewire card?

kaye
05-02-2001, 02:08 PM
Go here http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/showrampage.cgi?usbhardware.html and scroll to near bottom of the page. k

dschmutter
05-02-2001, 02:19 PM
I see. It appears to be misindexed. It is listed under XLR8 USB but it is not listed on the Firewire page with the Orange, Ratoc etc.

Is it OHCI compliant? Does it provide full bus power? So far I've been very pleased with the MACh Carrier G3, the Dualport and the Point & Scroll Mouse.

Also it appears to require at least OS 8.6 and also Firewire 2.4 or 2.5. Can Firewire 2.4 and 2.5 be used with OS 8.6? If so, how do I get them and is there any reason to use 2.4 instead of 2.5?

Thanks

Dan

dschmutter
05-02-2001, 04:48 PM
On the Firewire version issue, according to Apple, Firewire 2.4 and 2.5 are not compatible with OS 8.6. They say the latest version that can be used with 8.6 is 2.3.3.

The XLR8 website, however, says that the MAChFire PCI card requires a minimum of OS 8.6 and Firewire 2.4 (I think the gurus' site says the same). Obviously if 2.4 is required but is not compatible with 8.6 then the MAChfire cannot be used with 8.6. I called XLR8 and they checked it out. They said they are changing their website to say Firewire 2.3.3 instead of 2.4, since they told me the card definitely runs under OS 8.6.

magician
05-03-2001, 07:37 AM
we haven't rewritten certain portions of the site yet, and the video pages are a primary example. Daughtercards are another.

I'm working on it......

Tim
05-11-2001, 12:37 PM
!

[This message has been edited by Tim (edited 14 May 2001).]

Dick Brillo
05-11-2001, 02:27 PM
Dan,

I think I have a simple solution to your problem...

-- Gurus' correct me if I'm wrong --

Money seems to be the main issue for you. Instead of buying a new DV camera, fuse card, etc... why don't get a new computer like Louie suggests?

A PowerMacintosh 8500 was made to do excatly what you want to do.

http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

A quick search on eBay and I found more than 10 of them in the $100 to $200 range. Since you are capturing video, a SCSI LVD sub system would be order. So your purchase could be...

8500 on eBay.............................................$ 300.00
Miles2 Ultra2 Adapter w/ LVD Kit & SoftRAID 2.1..........$199.99
Seagate Cheetah 18.35GB Ultra 160 4MB cache..............$269.99
(2) DIMM 64MB, 60ns 5v EDO...............................$197.98
Current 400 Mhz G3 card.................................. free

TOTAL............................................. .......$967.96

That would be a nice little video station that will make videos for a long time. The hard drives and adapter could go with you to a new G4 in the future, plus you'll have SoftRAID in case you what to buy another hard drive for a RAID. A fuse is $470! A digital camera even more! You can get a 8500/miles2/cheetah for close to that! Many of the 8500 for sale on eBay have 80+ RAM installed already! You don't have to buy everything at once. Get the 8500 first and try it! It has the inputs you need.

I have a 8500/120 with 140MB RAM, standard 2GB hard drive and it makes great 5 minute movies (I don't capture). I make my movies at 320x240 using Premiere 4.2.1 on MacOS 8.6. I print to a S-video deck at 640x480 using broadcast quality tapes and get an amazing picture considering the equipment. I was shocked the first time.

Reading your first post, the 8500 is perfect match, and seems, to me, a better balance system for your money. Please, anyone correct anything I may of missed...

Jesse

magician
05-11-2001, 07:56 PM
well....if an 8500's output is adequate for your purposes, it's not a bad way to go.

remember, though, that if you do not already have analog sources, cameras, decks and VCR's, and already have digital hardware, an iMac DV is a possible candidate.

no idea how that Power machine will work. We have long been on the record regarding Sonnet upgrades in vintage machines and their reported problems with audio and video applications.

Louie
05-11-2001, 10:45 PM
Tom:

Power CC wrote PCI Timing Update just for that problem. It has never helped me and it was written when System 7.6 was the thing. ATI also has Sound Catalyst for the same purpose. Count yourself lucky.

DannoXYZ
05-13-2001, 07:14 AM
Dan & Tim, I've been using a JVC GR-DVM70 miniDV camera with Firewire for the past 2-years and I started out with the same intentions as you. I just wanted to edit and compile my existing video clips spread out amongst various VHS-tapes and summarize them onto one. The JVC camera has about double the resolution of Hi8 and four times that of VHS/NTSC so it was overkill for my videos, but I later added CD-ROM and DVD videos to preserve all the quality (I shoot bike races, skydiving, in-car footage of Porsche races, etc).

Since you seem to be swaying towards digital, DV and a new camera, may I make a suggestion. Given your lack of ultimate high-end needs, how about the following to keep costs down:

- get 2nd-generation miniDV camera, JVC, Sony, etc. ~$600-900
- generic OHCI Firewire card ~30
- MotoDV (free?)
- MediaCleaner 4 (free?)

These 2nd-generation miniDV cameras have a feature I sorely wish I was available when I bought my camera. That's an analog-to-digital converter built in! So you plug in the RCA jacks from your existing camera or VCR into the DV camera, and it converts and outputs Firewire to your computer.

I bought an el-cheapo Soyo PC firewire card, plugged it in and installed Apple's Firewire 2.5 (works with system 8.6 for me), hooked up the camera and I was downloading and editing video within 5-minutes!

You can get the MotoDV firewire capture software for free from Digital Origin's website and I got MediaCleaner4 off the ZDnet downloads I think. You don't even need editing software as you can cut & paste using the Quicktime MoviePlayer!

As for hard-drive capacity and speed, miniDV and Firewire requires SO MUCH less bandwidth and overhead than analog captures. Firewire streams at 3.5MB/sec, so your existing drives and SCSI interface should be able to keep up no problem (I've even captured video to JAZ drives). However, this would take up 2GB of storage for each 10-minutes of raw video you want to capture. You can assemble your video in 10-minute segments and dump it back out to a new miniDV tape (with ZERO loss of quality), erase the drive and start on the next segment.

So here's the workflow I would use:

1. hook up analog source to miniDV camera
2. hook up miniDV camera to Firewire card.
3. run MotoDV and get ready to capture.
4. play analog source and capture.
5. edit, cut and splice captured video with MoviePlayer
6. play edited video back out through Firewire to miniDV camera
7. erase movie files and go back to Step#4

Easy way to add drive capacity to ease the above back&forth process is to get an IDE raid:

- Acard IDE controller and Softraid ~$150
- (2) 20gb 7200rpm IDE drives (maxtor, WD, Diamond,etc.) ~90/ea

So for about $200 less than the Miles/Seagate combo, you'll have twice the disk capacity for roughly the same performance (20-25MB/sec throughput). Sure, the Miles card will have more potential with a 4-drive RAID combination and 60-70MB/sec throughput, but you're not looking at the ultimate in high-end performance anyway, so why spend the extra cash when your videos will still look the same?

Piece of cake, eh? -danno

P.S. If you want, I'll send you CD-ROM/VHS videos I made with the camera and firewire card in the first parts list.

Louie
05-13-2001, 03:27 PM
DannoXYZ:

A single Miles U2W and one Cheetah is almost 40 MB/sec; not 20-25. An UltraNarrow Barracuda and a Miles BlueNote is 19.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 13 May 2001).]

Tim
05-14-2001, 08:45 AM
!

[This message has been edited by Tim (edited 14 May 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Tim (edited 14 May 2001).]

dschmutter
05-14-2001, 10:28 AM
Well, since I started this thread oh so long ago, I might as well post an update.

Here's what I ended up doing. I got a Sony Digital 8 TRV 525 (a model from last year) for $450 (will likely be posting the Sony Hi-8 on e-bay unless someone wants to make me an offer). I got the XLR8 MACHFire Firewire card from the Gurus for $115.95. I got a 20GB LaCie Firewire Hard Drive for $229. I also found a site to download iMovie 1.0.2, although Strata 4.5 is bundled with the MAChfire. Strata seems to have a little learning curve, whereas iMovie is exrtemely easy to figure out. I'll dive into Strata at some point.

Anyway, within minutes I had put together a nice little test video to show my wife (very important to show results when spending this kind of money) complete with transitions, titles, etc.

However, here is an odd thing. What I exported to tape came out just fine, both audio and video intact. But when editing and viewing on the Mac, iMovie shuts down the audio within a few second of running the clips. The audio remains gone even after quiting iMovie. That is, even after I quit out of iMovie, there is no sound coming out of the Mac in any application or in the Finder. I can't get the audio back unless I reboot. I think the problem goes away with virtual memory on, but I didn't test out the entire clip.

Any idea what this is about? I think I checked all of the different places where the audio levels would be set.

Thanks

Dan

P.S. Did someone write that they're using Firewire 2.5 with 8.6? Really?

[This message has been edited by dschmutter (edited 14 May 2001).]

Louie
05-14-2001, 01:18 PM
OK; that's what I was getting three years ago with a 480 MHz Power Center Pro, total loss of sound. I could only get it back with a restart. The work around was either VM on or setting the host adapter synch rate to 13.3 but not both. It's the memory timing issue with the Catalyst based Power CC machines.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 14 May 2001).]

dschmutter
05-14-2001, 02:16 PM
Hmmm. That's odd. I can run QT movies alone without any problem. Do you know whether the sync rate can be adjusted on a firewire drive or is that only a SCSI thing? If not I'll just have to go with VM on I guess. But why would this only happen with iMovie and not while playing QT movies generally? Also in your other posts you talked about audio stuttering. Is that the same problem as the total sound loss. That is, are you saying that you have seen te catalyst sound problem manifest itself both as total sound loss and as stuttering?

Also is it odd that it only effects playback and not exporting to tape?

Lastly, why wouldn't I want VM on all the time anyway? Does keeping VM on have any other negative side effects?

Thanks

Dan

Louie
05-14-2001, 02:45 PM
With QT movies, they would stutter and sometimes eventually knock the sound out completely. I don't think that in those days that I even noticed the QT movie thing (I have noticed it recently with upgraded PowerCurves and PowerCenters).
Back when I was into this big time, my main problem was loss of sound when flying WarBirds online (or off line). I remember that another way to lose the sound was to run the "System Info" part of NUM. It always seemed to be related to very rapid screen redraws (QuickDraw).

I can't answer the FireWire question because I don't do FireWire.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 14 May 2001).]

dschmutter
05-14-2001, 03:02 PM
Hmm. Since it is an XLR8 Firewire card is the sync rate question something to ask XLR8 or would I address the question to Lacie, the HD manufacturer? And what is the exact question to ask?

Thanks

Dan

Louie
05-14-2001, 11:58 PM
Most people don't realize it, but LaCie doesn't build drives; they buy drives a stick them into enclosures that have their name on them.

I'd say that Chris Carr from Intech would most likely be able to answer your question if Magician can round him up.

magician
05-15-2001, 07:01 AM
wonderful post, Danno.

it is not possible to tweak sync rates of FireWire devices.

dschmutter
05-15-2001, 10:08 AM
Well I tries it again with VM on. It brought the sound back, so I guess that's my solution.

BTW, Louie, you have a very valuable piece of information there with the Catalyst sound drop out thing. I posted the same question in four other places and no one knew the answer. They suggested trying a variety of other things, but I imagine none of them will help, since you obviously spent a whole lot of time on this issue.

Dan

Louie
05-15-2001, 06:41 PM
Yes. When you live a long time, keep your eyes and ears open and mouth shut (until needed) and stay relatively sober, you can honestly say, "been there, done that". I noticed today on Breeden's site or MacFixIt that there were sound problems with the new Myst III, mostly with Power Centers and Power Center Pros. Wonder what that could be??

{Sorry about my attitude this evening. I had to deal with a particularly obnoxious asshole all morning and it has ruined my day. Maybe he's reading this; he should know who I am talking about}

BTW: We talked about PCI Timing Update, but did I mention ATI's Sound Catalyst? Both try to do the same thing, so don't run them together. I put both on the FTP site. They are so old now, that they might have no effect on a modern OS.

The problem really goes back to the Catalyst memory controller, the one before the Hammerhead that is in the 73-9600's. It just can't deal adequately with the faster memory timing needed with the faster G3 CPUs. I've had close to a dozen Power CC Catalyst machines and all have exhibited this issue to one degree or another.

You really can't blame Power. The 7200 was a turd; which is probably why Apple licensed it. Power worked wonders with it. The Power Center Pro 240 out of the box could outperform a 9600. The G3 was just too much for it in the sound department. This is one reason that I moved to a Power Tower Pro.

Enough of my philosophy!

DannoXYZ
05-19-2001, 06:25 AM
>wonderful post, Danno.

Why thank you Magician.

I read another question Dan about Firewire 2.5 and OS 8.6 which I haven't had any problems with. Then only conflicts I've encountered was using both the Quicktime Enabler 2.2 with Radius' DV codec. This is so i can use their Firewire driver to output back to my video camera. Apple's driver doesn't do that and the Premiere DV export plug-in only works with OS 9.

So here's the list of extensions when using the Radius drivers:
- Firewire Enabler 2.5
- Firewire Support 2.5
- Quicktime Firewire DV support 2.2
- RadDVCodec 2.0.15
- RadDVDecoder 1.1
- RadDVDriverA 2.0
- RadDVDRiverB 2.0
- RadDVOutLib 1.3
- RadDVPlayerComp 1.4.4
- misc. other Radius drivers...

When switching back to Quicktime DV drivers:
- Firewire Enabler 2.5
- Firewire Support 2.5
- Quicktime Firewire DV support 2.2
- Quicktime Firewire DV enabler 2.2
- RadDVDecoder 1.1
- RadDVOutLib 1.3
- RadDVPlayerComp 1.4.4

There's a cool little script that came with MediaCleaner called "Choose Firewire Support" that swaps these extensions around for you and after a reboot, your Firewire drivers are switched. Piece of cake.

Digital Origin's free MotoDV capture software also has a cool program called "MotoDVȢ Player" that outputs your edited video clips back to the camera through Firewire as well.

-danno

magician
05-20-2001, 12:27 AM
nice having you here, Danno.

http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

dschmutter
05-21-2001, 04:43 PM
Well maybe someone knows the answer to this one. When using iMovie, the software controls the DV camcorder and output back to tape is fairly automatice. With Strata 4.5, however, which I got bundled with the XLR8 MACfire, output to tape is manual. Although usually it is done withe the Print to Tape option, with DV, apparently, Strata claims that you need only play the QT movie and it automatically is sent out the Firewire port to the camera. WHen I do this, however, my camera doe not see the output.

Any thoughts? Would FW 2.5 help this?

Dan

P.S. Now that I have installed the MAChfire, and the Lacie FW harddrive, I am suddenly hanging on shutdown, every time. Has anyone seen this type of thing?

magician
05-22-2001, 07:59 PM
if you are using SilverLining as the formatting utility on that LaCie drive, try the updater they just released. We mirrored it on our FTP site earlier today (though we do not like, use, sell, support or recommend SilverLining).

if that gets you nowhere, by all means ensure you are running the latest FireWire resources, but also try Intech HDST. It's our standard utility for FW drives, regardless of where they come from or what backplane is used.

rgraphix
05-27-2001, 08:55 PM
I did a lot of research on analog video to digital, and I was in the middle of ordering the Dazzle converter and the mail order person told me about some of the problems they were having with Dazzle. Anyway, she advised me to buy the SONY DVMC-DA2 Converter that was an extra $100.00, I thought I was being had.

Now I was looking at a $379.00 item. Since I have a really good SONY HI8 camera I bought the SONY converter. I won't mention the mail order company, but I did get the B&H Photography Spring catalog a week later and they are selling it for $299.00, just $40.00 more than the Dazzle.

When I received the Sony converter I couldn't get my Cube Firewire to recognize it. We have an independant Apple store in town so I called and only the salesman was in, but he said just use IMovie. I have been using Strata Video for years and I didn't think I would ever use an Iprogram, but it's totally cool.

I plugged everything in fired up IMovie and bingo I had DVD straight from my HI8 Camera. Not only do I have DVD video, but I have been recording my old vinyl album's from the 60's. Just record from the output on the stereo receiver into the SONY HI8, and record the tracks with IMovie and save the audio to Quicktime. Goodluck with your conversion.

Now I need to buy an external HD, so I be calling soon!!

dschmutter
05-29-2001, 03:20 PM
Ok. I'm going to try updating Silverlining and perhaps the other utility as well (I assume you were addressing the hanging at shut down problem, not the Camera doesn't see the QT output problem because I already solved that one).

New question though (I'm going for the record on thread length), I just tried to import audio into iMovie from my CD-ROM drive;however, when I played it back it was horribly distorted, as if the levels were too high when recording. Is there any way to control the input level on audio from a CD-ROM drive? (Or is this some other problem that I am not aware of?)

Thanks

Dan

magician
06-01-2001, 01:37 AM
in the Sound 8.5.2 control panel application included w MacOS9.1, it is possible to check signal levels and adjust gain in the Input panel.

dschmutter
06-01-2001, 08:39 AM
Can it be used with OS 8.6 and if so, can I even get it without OS 9.1?

magician
06-01-2001, 02:52 PM
no idea.

DannoXYZ
06-03-2001, 03:25 AM
>not the Camera doesn't see the QT output problem because I already solved that one).

Dan, how did you solve the QuicktimePlay->ToCamera issue? Did you get it play through Strata?

As for the CD-audio capture problem, you didn't report your exact configuration or procedures.

In general, there are two ways to get the audio off an audio-CD. The cleanest way is to do Digital Audio Extraction. This is by using the AdaptecToast program or some such utility that pulls the digital data off the CD without any analog conversions.

The other way is the AnalogPlay->CaptureThroughMac method (which is what I'm guessing you're doing). In this method, the audio cable on the back of the CD outputs analog audio which is fed to the motherboard and captured through the sound hardware. As you can guess, there's a two-step conversion going on here. First the digital CD-audio is converted to analog by the CD-ROM drive, then this analog is fed to the Mac which converts it BACK to digital. Each step involves a loss of information.

I recommend the first digital-only method. Try using the Toast Audio Extractor to see if that works better for you.

P.S. Yes, I'm using Firewire 2.5 with OS 8.6 without any problems.

-danno

M.Brane
06-03-2001, 01:44 PM
If you do end up going the analog route(last resort) I would not recommemd using the Mac's internal pre-amp. They are quite noisey. Better to use an ext. pre-amp or mixer.

HTH LOL http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

dschmutter
06-04-2001, 09:05 AM
As I have noticed on several occassions, the pdf documentation for Strata 4.5 is not always accurate. The method of exporting from Strata to tape (for DV) as set forth in the documentation is wrong. You must use the "Print to Firewire" option. You may need to install the 4.5.1 patch. I don't remember seeing it in the 4.5 version.

Dan

dschmutter
07-18-2001, 03:03 PM
Just for the sake of refreshing the thread and also to tie up one loose end, I'll just note that upgrading to Silverlining 6.4.2 from 6.4 did solve the hanging-on-shut-down problem.

Dan