Analog to digital video conversion

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Postby Steve Hook » 01/24/06 08:40 AM

I inherited a JVC SVHSC camcorder with a lot of whistles and bells for the year 2000. Model GR-SXM920.

My question is, should I invest in a digital converter or just put the money into a new digital cam? I want to create some vids of card moves and routines for sharing, not, of course, for a commercial production.

I don't want to spend $400+ now for a new camera but could spend $150 on a low-end converter now.

Is the conversion quality good enough from a low-end converter to make it worthwhile?

Thanks for any advice you might have.

Steve H :help:
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/24/06 09:24 AM

If you are looking primarily for web based video, an SVHS camera will be adequate. Get a video capture device (a USB2 would be the way to go these days).

A good size for web video is around the 320x240 mark (although PAL is slightly bigger at 356x288, and NTSC is not far off that). Most analogue capture devices will be able to handle this - if you go for the USB2 option you will typically be able to capture at 720x500ish, but with SVHS you've got a larger vertical resolution than the number of lines, so there's no real benefit to capturing at this resolution.

I made a short tutorial on web video a couple of years ago. You might find it interesting; www.virtualmagicshow.com/webvid

Take care, Ian
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Postby Tabman » 01/24/06 09:32 AM

SVHS is 400 lines. When you digitize it with a low cost card using the S-Video port you will be compressing it maybe 3 or 4 to one at best. I have an older 800mhz PC with pinnacle DC-30Pro card in it. Even though I have a full blown digital system I still keep this analog system because I have a lot of stuff on Hi8 (400 lines like SVHS). The work Ive done with it has been on cable televison all over the USA and parts of the world.

If you want to see an example and can handle a 5 meg windows media file go to http://leslie280.com and click on the "Freddy Lovvorn Video - Town of Fewer People" icon toward the bottom right on the page.

This video played great around the country a few years ago and was done using the above mentioned card.

If you have a firewire port on your computer you can get an outboard converter (get something that goes both ways)and digitize it that way which might be a good low cost alternative and move you toward your digital future.

Bottom line is if your end result is web video you'll be fine.

-=tabman
http://flatwoodstudio.com
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Postby John LeBlanc » 01/24/06 09:41 AM

Originally posted by -=tabman:
I have an older 800mhz PC with pinnacle DC-30Pro card in it.
There's another thing we have in common, Tabman. I have a DC-30 set up, too, but it's on a Windows 98SE machine -- the ONLY reason I keep Windows 98SE around. So far as I know, there hasn't been a successful attempt at making the DC-30 work properly under Windows XP.

Some of that old hardware still does a remarkably good job. I keep a separate DAW machine to run my Yamaha DS2416 DSPFactory cards. Hard to believe you can put what amounts to a pair of Yamaha 02Rs in an old Pentium III machine and it actually works!

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/
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Postby Tabman » 01/24/06 09:59 AM

That doesnt surprise me John. I think the cards were about a grand when they came out but I bought a back up card on ebay last year for around a hundred.

I run it on SE too. I bought some drivers from a site in Germany for XP but they were not satisfactory.

Thanks for pointing out that it doesnt run in XP. I didnt think about that but it doesnt. I was using it as an example of what you can do with the older analog technology.
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Postby Steve Hook » 01/24/06 09:49 PM

Thanks, Ian and Tabman. I'll get a card.
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