Video Capturing

Sorry to bring up this topic yet again. I'm finally getting around to editing a couple years worth of DV tapes to put on to DVD. Mainly just for friends and family, as I haven't caught anything too significant to justify a professional production.

Here's my current hardware: P4 1.3 processor, 512 ram, 40 gig or so of free hard drive, IEEE card for capturing. I've tried several software capturing programs tonight, none of which have worked well at all. I'm trying to capture to AVI to convert and edit later to MPEG2. My problem is that the software is maxing out my CPU, which is resulting in an average of 1 out of 30 frames dropped. The audio is also clipping really bad.

I've tried searching around the net for answers. I'm not getting very good results on my searches. If anything, I have more questions now than when I started, which has been pretty frustrating. My goal for the time being is just to get a good capture. I can go back and edit later as I have more time.

I would certainly appreciate any help from someone who has more experience. Even a few good web links would be better than nothing.
 
Sorry to bring up this topic yet again. I'm finally getting around to editing a couple years worth of DV tapes to put on to DVD. Mainly just for friends and family, as I haven't caught anything too significant to justify a professional production.

Here's my current hardware: P4 1.3 processor, 512 ram, 40 gig or so of free hard drive, IEEE card for capturing. I've tried several software capturing programs tonight, none of which have worked well at all. I'm trying to capture to AVI to convert and edit later to MPEG2. My problem is that the software is maxing out my CPU, which is resulting in an average of 1 out of 30 frames dropped. The audio is also clipping really bad.

I've tried searching around the net for answers. I'm not getting very good results on my searches. If anything, I have more questions now than when I started, which has been pretty frustrating. My goal for the time being is just to get a good capture. I can go back and edit later as I have more time.

I would certainly appreciate any help from someone who has more experience. Even a few good web links would be better than nothing.
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Ben, you should be able to do that with 512 megs of ram, but a gig or more would be better. Here are some things that should help.

1) Windows XP.....you didn't state which, but Windows XP is much more forgiving when it comes to video for some reason.
2) Defrag your hard drive. Video captures better when it has a nice continuous place to write that big file.
3) Make sure you have shut down any unnecessary background programs running. This is a biggy that can cause you all sorts of capture problems, but slow down your PC overall as well. As long as your offline, go ahead and turn that virus software off too (you are using that right?). Just don't forget to turn it back on when your done.
4) Chances are a frame dropped here and there will never be noticed. As long as your not getting lots of consecutive frames dropped, I wouldn't worry about one here and there. Even on my big machine, I still drop a frame every so often.
5) Get a bigger hard drive. Your not going to be able to capture very much video and have room to edit it with 40 gigs. In AVI, every 5 minutes of video is roughly about 1 gig in size. Drives are getting cheap cheap cheap nowdays when it comes to size! I use a second drive exclusively for editing. That takes any load off the drive that has to run the OS and editing software, and less chance for drops.
 
Thanks for the help David. I'm running Windows 2k on this machine, my wife's behind me is XP. I might just have to commandeer hers : ) I closed all programs but IE and virus protection. I also didn't think about defragging beforehand.

I was really just puzzled that I maxed out the CPU at 100%, but was still only using on order on 280m of ram. I also had NO CLUE that uncompressed video was such a tax on the hard drive. I can get around the storage issue as long as I can get a decent capture program to run smoothly on this machine (or hers, which is roughly the same specs, 80g hd).

Any suggestions on software? I'll try your suggestions and go for it again tomorrow, after I quit banging my head against the wall tonight : )
 
I run an AMD 64 Athlon 3000+ with 3 gigs of ram and mine still runs right at 100% during capture. I think it will use all you will give it to use. I use Adobe Premier Pro myself, but for something cheaper you might be happy with Pinnacle Liquid or even the older Studio 7 which you might be able to get cheaper. You should be able to find trial versions of all of that.

If you could bump that up to a gig of memory that would help things a lot all the way around! I have seen some wicked memory prices at my favorite place lately http://zipzoomfly.com Once chase season is out of the way, I am adding another gig of memory, updating my ATI video cards to some new ones (a pair) that I can run SLI, and replacing my 2 HDs with 300 gig drives and adding two additional 300 gigs drives for over a terrabyte of storage. :blink:
 
I run an AMD 64 Athlon 3000+ with 3 gigs of ram and mine still runs right at 100% during capture. I think it will use all you will give it to use. I use Adobe Premier Pro myself, but for something cheaper you might be happy with Pinnacle Liquid or even the older Studio 7 which you might be able to get cheaper. You should be able to find trial versions of all of that.

If you could bump that up to a gig of memory that would help things a lot all the way around! I have seen some wicked memory prices at my favorite place lately http://zipzoomfly.com Once chase season is out of the way, I am adding another gig of memory, updating my ATI video cards to some new ones (a pair) that I can run SLI, and replacing my 2 HDs with 300 gig drives and adding two additional 300 gigs drives for over a terrabyte of storage. :blink:
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Yeah, that's almost insane! Almost required though. Thanks for all the help. I closed everything, and ended up using WinDV solely for capture. It did well. I've got everything from 2005 saved now, and will work on 2004 over the next few days. A couple weeks of editing, and I'll have my first novice production of what Michigan doesn't have to offer : )

I've also got the May 30, 2004 midwest high risk from Indiana that will take some time to edit, although again no tornadoes for me that day.

For editing I'm going to try TMPG/DVD Author Pro to see how it goes. Pinnacle was next on my list. What little money I have for this year will be wrapped up in equipment and maintenance, so the computer/software will have to wait until the winter.

Thanks again David!
 
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