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Need help with video capture hardware

Posted on 2013-12-14
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Last Modified: 2014-01-03
I have a Canon HV-20 camcorder and several dozen Mini DV tapes. The camcorder has a DV/HDV output.

I just began using Adobe premier pro software which can capture the video from the tape, even control the camcorder play, stop, FF, REW, etc. It has a "scene detect feature" which will make separate video clips as the scene changes. This is a much better option which is why I would rather not just send out all my tapes to have DVDs made.

I also have a Sony CCD-TRV 52 8 mm camcorder - it just has RCA outputs (2 audio and 1 video). I would like to be able to connect that to the digital capture card, but if that is not possible, I can play the tapes in my VHS to DVD burner and make standard DVD's rip them and input directly to Adobe Premier Pro if need be. If I can process these tapes thru Adobe, that would be my preference.

My computer has USB 3 inputs but no firewire. I have a good video card but no specific digital video capture hardware. The desktop has no more front slots left, but I believe there are more internal slots.

I now use a Nikon D800 which takes HDV and writes it to a Compact flash and SD card, so that can be directly opened into Adobe Premier, so it is not an issue.

I would like to know recommendations for hardware. Thank you
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Question by:M_Epstein
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by:garycase
garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 39719000
The simplest approach is to use what you already have => just make DVDs using your VHS->DVD recorder; and then import those into Premier.

But you'll get better quality if you avoid that step (since the compression to MPEG will cause some quality loss).    If you want to do this more directly, you need to add a firewire card to your PC, and then get one of the Canopus capture devices -- there are several choices, but this would seem a good one for what you need:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00030ATTO/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=34602636168&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=983354826628063633&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_7r4ak768z2_b
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by:M_Epstein
ID: 39719133
It looks interesting but the technology is 8 years old. There were issues with the codec for Hi8 tapes which it could not handle.

Anyone know about a more current unit that uses USB 3.0?
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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 39719663
The Canopus unit is still an excellent unit, despite its age.   My PCI Canopus card is at least 8 years old, and still does a superb job of capturing A/V when I need to (which is very rare these days, as I've long since captured all of our old tapes).    I suspect the reviewer who indicated he had issues with Hi8 tapes had a problem with his playback device -- NOT with the Canopus unit ... which certainly doesn't "know" what kind of tape the video input comes from :-)

A firewire interface is simple to add ... I'd presume your PC has a PCIe x1 slot available => if so, this will work fine:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815287010

... if you only a PCI slot, then use this:   http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815287004
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by:garycase
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ID: 39719665
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Author Comment

by:M_Epstein
ID: 39719928
My Sony HV-20 has both a DV/HDV mini port AND a HDMI port. If I understand correctly, I should use the HDMI output  instead?
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by:M_Epstein
ID: 39719959
The reviews on the black magic are a bit scary. Sounds like its almost a luck of the draw if your hardware will work
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by:M_Epstein
ID: 39720155
Upon reviewing some of these devices, it seems that they require huge hard drive RAID configurations. One device review talked about requiring 9Gb files for every 30 seconds of video! I have never done this before. What is a good way to do this without needing huge RAID arrays? I guess I will need to make some compromises regarding compression. I do have a 3.6 TB RAID array NAS box connected. I also have a blu ray burner.

I like the flexibility to do really high quality when I need it, but also want to save some storage space for less important stuff. I am willing to spend up to $1000 on a box and accessories.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 39720313
I don't think the Black Magic is as good as a Canopus ... but you wanted a USB3 device, and that's what's available.    Note that it is designed to use the PC as an integral part of the capture process, so it requires significant processing capability on the part of the PC.   If your PC doesn't meet its requirements, you won't be happy with it;  if your PC has the required "horsepower", then it will work fine.
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Author Comment

by:M_Epstein
ID: 39720729
I think you may be right. All the Black Magic devices have some very mixed and scary reviews. I am going to give Green Valley (makers of Canopus) a call tomorrow. I will get back to you. I do really appreciate all your input.
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