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Videograbs to prints

David Hoadley

Stormtrack founder
I would like to transfer digital video via firewire from my Canon VIXIA HV30 (Sony DVC tapes) to an old (2005) Toshiba Satellite laptop with Windows XP (Laptop: Intel (R) Pentium (R) with 66.5 GB free space).

Can anyone recommend software that is easy to use, doesn’t exceed my laptop‘s capacity, and will let me record from digital tape, then replay to certain scenes, stop on individual frames, and print? Also, about how many minutes of video can I store on 66.5 GB, before I have to erase and start over?

…and thanks from the “old guyâ€￾ for the earlier advice about putting copyright stamps on photos.
VLC media player is a nice lightweight program that will do full-size screen grabs via a 'snapshot' button on its toolbar, which it saves as either jpeg or png files that would be printable:


It also supports AVCHD files on my camcorder which is relatively new, so I would assume it would work with the HV30 as well.

EDIT: for capturing, I think Windows Movie Maker supports that camera (you may need to download the latest version of it) as does Premiere Elements, Avid and FCP.

It is likely depending on which format you shot your video in you'll get approximately two hours of video storage on your hard drive.

But that's cutting it awfully close. As you fill up the drive to capacity, you'll find your laptop's performance will suffer dramatically assuming you're using the system drive.

Might I suggest purchasing a Drive you can hang off a USB port? You should have no trouble finding a storage device in the 500GB to 1TB range for $100-$150

I would actually recommend replacing the drive in the laptop if it's that old. It's probably on borrowed time. You can get a WD 500GB for about $100 (I've always had good luck with WD, I use them in all my machines). There are 'drive replacement kits' which come with an external drive enclosure and software to clone the old hard drive to the new one. You can then keep the old drive in the enclosure and use it as a spare or transport drive.

You don't want to do actual capturing to or editing work off a USB drive, because it's very slow compared to the internal drive, and it can actually cause problems. DV/Firewire is THEORETICALLY just a tad slower than USB2.0 (400Mbps vs 480Mbps), but under real world conditions of large file/stream capture transfer, USB can not sustain the same data rates that Firewire can, and it will bottleneck the capture. Depending on what interface your internal hard drive uses, it's most likely no less than 800Mbps (IDE/PATA), and could be as high as 1.5Gbps (SATA) if it was high end for its time. You capture to the internal drive, do your editing, and then if desired offload or back it up it to a USB drive.
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