Capturing Video to Disk with lossless frames

ok.  I've tried several different capturing programs off the net and get the same results with them all.  When I try to capture a 2 hour video from my camcorder, I get frames being dropped.  So, by the end of the recording, my audio out of sync with the video by a varing amount (a second to several seconds).   I want to just start the tape, walk away and come back to a recorded set of files.
My PC is a 900 mhz, 40 gb drive with 20gb remaining, nothing else running, matrox g200 capture card, clean HD, defragged.   I can record about 15 minutes with only a few dropped frames, but it keeps building up.
I am trying to eventually get the video onto a CD in VCD format.  (no problem there)
Is there such a thing as a capture program (hopefully free) that will compensate for dropped frames so the audio doesn't get out of sync by the end of 2 hours?



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HJohnsonAsked:
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weedCommented:
It may be that your HD is just too slow to do it. Uncompressed video+audio is ALOT of data being written very quickly. If your HD isnt up to it, youll lose frames. That's why most of the video folks use 10k+ rpm drives or Raid arrays. I really doubt that its a software issue.
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HJohnsonAuthor Commented:
You could be right - its a 5400 rpm drive.  How do you get a 10k+ rpm drive?  Is this a scsi drive?   Would a 7200 rpm drive do the trick?  


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weedCommented:
7200 is going to be borderline and you dont want to blow the bucks on it and find out its not gonna cut it. I dont think they make a 10k rpm ATA drive but 2 ATA 66 drives together could do the trick.
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ygal02Commented:
SCSI drives get up to 15k rpm these days.
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weedCommented:
Yep, and yesterday adaptec released a scsi-320 card. Dunno where youre gonna find drives for it though..heh.
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HJohnsonAuthor Commented:
So, does this mean that video capture software can't compensate for the dropped frames?
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weedCommented:
That's right. Imagine trying to drink all the water coming from a fire hydrant. You'd get a mouthfull and before you could swallow it, you'd get another mouthfull and it doesn't stop. It backs up to a point where you just have to spit it out....A dropped frame. Even the best software will choke if the HD cant keep up.
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HJohnsonAuthor Commented:
What about compression?  Can the video be compressed (using CPU) when capturing - this would require less HD resources then, wouldn't it?
According to the capture software (most of them) the cpu is only utilized ~10% when capturing.
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weedCommented:
Some input devices can do on the fly compression but by doing so youre losing quality which is generally a bad idea.
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TheRedGuyCommented:
You might want to try VirtualDub. You can download it at www.vcdhelp.com.

It doesn't use the native windows code for capturing and gives you a diagnostic for your system in order to determine optimum settings.

Worth a try...
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TheRedGuyCommented:
Oh and there are lossless codecs out there - try a search engine.

That way you won't lose quality and will be writing less data to your HD...
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OGeeCommented:
you need to free up more hardisk space or get new harddisk and use the adobe premier 6 to capture a series of file 20 Min Each one of them.

But I recommend to get a SCSI Harddisk cause its faster than the IDE harddisks.
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HJohnsonAuthor Commented:
Thanks Weed.  For the short term, I'm going to capture smaller files at one go and just merge them together.  A bit more work, but what the hey.
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