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MacConverted
12-19-2003, 08:26 AM
Hi

I have a G4 733 MHz with 1.5Gb RAM. I just added a 120-Gb HD used only for video capturing. I have a Sony Hi8 Analog camcorder. I've just bought the Canopus ADVC-100 based on a lot recommendations I have read. The captured video result is a disappointment for me.

My analog Hi8 tape is recent and yields excellent analog image quality on TV. However, after Analog-to-digital conversion, the digitized video quality is poor compared to the analog video. I can see little squares all over the video. Am I missing something ?

My setup is described below:

Camcorder -- S-Video -- Front input || ADVC box || Rear output -- Firewire -- Mac G4

ADVC-100 DIP switches configuration:
1 - Video format = OFF (i.e. NTSC)
2 - NTSC setup level = ON (7.5 IRE USA NTSC)
3 - Locked Audio mode = OFF (Locked)
4 - Audio Mode = OFF (48kHz - 16-bit)
5 - Power-on input mode = OFF (Analog)
6 - Input Select Mode = OFF (Manual)

I use iMovie 3.0.3, Mac OS X version 10.2.8

While the video capturing process is running, there is no other application running, the Mac G4 is left alone to do its jobs.

Thank you for helping out

kaye
12-19-2003, 05:54 PM
I have the same Canopus ADVC-100 and use the same switch settings except for 3 - Locked Audio mode = ON (Unlocked). Never had audio get out of sync with video in iMovie. My guess is that iMovie creates those clips of just under 10 minutes to keep them synced.

Anyway, you are using the included FW cable and plugging directly into the native rear FW port? No hub and nothing else FW running? Or what? The 120GB scratch drive, what ATA bus or PCI card is it on? And you are sure that iMovie is writing to that scratch drive? How full is the scratch drive? Don't mean to insult your intelligence. Just have to sak. k

MacConverted
12-19-2003, 09:03 PM
>Never had audio get out of sync with video
>in iMovie. My guess is that iMovie creates
>those clips of just under 10 minutes to keep
>them synced.

Audio is not a problem.
I am not happy with the quality of digitized video. There are obvious pixelated squared images (i.e. blurred), especially when the subject is moving. The quality of the digitized video is roughly 60% of the original analog tape. In other words, it's about 40% loss in term of image quality (resolution, definition ...). If this is the best a Analog-to-Digital converter can do, then I have no reason to be unhappy.

>Anyway, you are using the included FW cable >and plugging directly into the native rear >FW port?

Yes, I am.

>No hub and nothing else FW running?

No hub. No other FW device

>Or what? The 120GB scratch drive, what ATA
>bus or PCI card is it on?

Internal Western Digital 120 Gb, 7200 RPM, 8Mb Cache, connected to ATA66 bus. No PCI card.

>And you are sure
>that iMovie is writing to that scratch
>drive?

I am sure.

>How full is the scratch drive? Don't
>mean to insult your intelligence. Just have
>to sak.

There are 10 Gb of data on the drive. There is only one partition on the drive

Thanks

kaye
12-19-2003, 10:37 PM
Understood. And the quality of your digital conversion should be as good as your analog source. I convert off of an SVHS tape recorder. The iMovie and iDVD DVD-R results are as good as my SVHS tape.

I should have explained more about unlocking the audio mode. I don't know this for a fact, but having seen a few complaints about results with iMovie and the locked mode, I am guessing that locking the audio to the video can result in video problems as it tries to sync or be synced with the audio. Anyway, try unlocking.

Other than possible cable problems, I don't know what else to suggest. It should work very well. k

MacConverted
12-20-2003, 08:23 AM
Kaye,

Thanks to your reply, I found the problem.

"And the quality of your digital conversion should be as good as your analog source. I convert off of an SVHS tape recorder. The iMovie and iDVD DVD-R results are as good as my SVHS tape."

The above sentence of your reply indicated to me that the Canopus ADVC-100 is doing a good job. That prompted me to find other causes.

I have tried a bunch of other configurations, with and without Audio Locked Mode. Still low quality.

Since I had obtained poor quality when visualizing the digitized video on my Mac, I did not bother with burning it to a DVD.

So, in a last attempt, I gave it a try to burn the low-quality .MOV video on DVD-R media. I watched the resulted DVD on my Mac, same poor quality. No surprise.
It is when I watched the DVD on my home DVD player that the surprise was appearing. The quality was as good as the original tape !!!!

I guess I have a video display problem somehow with my Mac. I don't know yet. I need to figure this out.

Thank you so much for helping out. I am going to keep my ADVC-100.

[This message was edited by MacConverted on Sat December 20, 2003 PT at 9:29.]

kaye
12-20-2003, 09:55 AM
Ah, now we are getting somewhere. I would look at two things, others better chime in with others. First check your monitor prefs that you are using a supported resolution and perhaps try others that are supported. Second, and probably more likely, check that your video card drivers are up to date for 10.2.8.

What video card do you have? What monitor? And is there an adapter in this chain? My monitor cable is so heavy that it does not make good contact with the video port unless I support the cable with a small box so that the weight of the cable is taken off of the connection and the plug goes straight into the port. k

MacConverted
12-21-2003, 12:01 AM
>First check your monitor prefs that you are
>using a supported resolution and perhaps try
>others that are supported. Second, and
>probably more likely, check that your video
>card drivers are up to date for 10.2.8.

The recommended display by my Mac is 800x600, 60Hz. However, iMovie requires 1024x768, so I set my display to 1024x768, 85 Hz.
I set up my Mac to update everything regularly.

>What video card do you have? What monitor?
>And is there an adapter in this chain? My
>monitor cable is so heavy that it does not
>make good contact with the video port unless
>I support the cable with a small box so that
>the weight of the cable is taken off of the
>connection and the plug goes straight into
>the port.

My video card info reported by Apple System Profiler:
Card name: NVDA,NVMac
Card model: GeForce2 MX
Card (video) memory: 32Mb

Monitor is a Sony Multiscan 20sf II

No adapter. The monitor cable goes directly to my Mac.

Thank you for your help

kaye
12-21-2003, 06:26 AM
iMovie 3.0.3 requires a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher. I use 1152x870@millions of colors. Maybe try something higher that is supported. And you are using millions? I'm scratching dirt to try to find something.

One thing I do so routinely now in X that I often forget to ask, but searching thru MacInTouch for iMovie 3 reminded me, you are running repair permissions in Disk Utility after every software download/install? If you haven't, run and rerun it until you get the list of repairs down to none or nearly so. If I recall correctly, there may be a couple in Jaguar that may continue to reappear in the results window.

Most of us here use various utilities such as Disk Warrior2.1 (OS9) or DW3 (X) and others. I am one of the few here who is a fan of NUM8 which works in both 9 and X. I only use Norton Disk Doctor and Speed Disk and only after running DW. Then after Speed Disk, I run DW again, all this as part of monthly maintenance. The CDs for all the apps mentioned are bootable. You can also boot your Jaguar CD to run the Disk Utility repair drive function.

I also looked for issues with the GeForce2MX and 10.2.8 and iMovie. I don't see any. Only 10.3.0 issues, and now fixed in 10.3.1 and 10.3.2. Let us know. k

kaye
12-21-2003, 09:35 PM
In 10.2.8 you can check the extensions for yor GeForce2 MX card by launching Apple System Profiler (ASP) and selecting the Extensions tab. Look for:

1. GeForce.kext, Version 1.2.26
2. NVDANV10Hal.kext, Version 1.2.26
3. NVDANV20Hal.kext, Version 1.2.26
4. NVDANV30Hal.kext, Version 1.2.26
5. NVDAResman.kext, Version 1.2.26

#5 is corrected. k

[This message was edited by kaye on Mon December 22, 2003 PT at 8:43.]

MacConverted
12-27-2003, 08:55 AM
Hi Kaye,

Thank you very much for taking your time to help out. I have read from Apple Support that the low display quality is normal. In order to keep up with the frame rate, the processor has to lower the quality. There is a way (I don't remember exactly how) to display in high quality by using Quick Time Pro, but the frame rate will be lower.

Anyhow, the important thing for me is the high quality of the Analog-to-Digital conversion and on the DVD itself.

Thank you again for your help,
Happy New Year 2004 !

kaye
12-27-2003, 10:11 AM
My pleasure. We at MacGurus aim to please. Come on back and help out or ask for more. Happy New Year to you. k