Analogue Video Capture (Canopus ADVC-110?)

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    • #39626
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hi there. I’m looking to try and capture from an analogue source to my laptop and am hoping for some advice.

      I currently have a Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 DVD Creator http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=136212 which allows me to capture to my main PC at full PAL resolution but when I try to capture to my Sony Vaio I get dropped frames and jerky video.

      I’ve been searching the net and the common concensus seems to be that the Canopus ADVC-110 is the way to go. It uses a firewire connection rather than the Belkin’s USB 2.0 and I’m wondering if anyone knows whether I’ll see better results with the Canopus or whether the laptop just isn’t up to the task?

      Thanks in advance.

    • #171057
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Rogue Wolf,

      There are a few variables during video capture which are important. Yes, on paper firewire is rated at 400Mbps data transfer while USB 2.0 is rated at 480 Mbps. But apple created the firewire standard in the early to mid 90s for asynchronous transfer. This means data can be travelling in both directions without impeding or causing errors. And in reality firewire has always outperformed USB 2.0 for me. USB can only do a single direction of operation at a time, but is very cheap; that’s why it is on everything we use from memory card readers to very inexpensive USB keys. Firewire’s proprietary nature and the royalties associated with it kept it high price and untouchable for commodity use. But if you are doing video, try to use firewire if possible. One minor detail to remember is that when using Sony products, the royalty issue was sidestepped by Sony when they named their version iLink. This is firewire with a smaller pin size. 4 pins are located on Sony machines instead of 6 pins. These 4 pins do not carry electricity, so if you opt to get a firewire device for your Sony iLink port you will have to power your device separately. The full logo including, 6 pin having, royalty for Apple producing firewire spec asynchronously shuttles data AND powers your devices.

      A major difference between your desktop and your laptop could be that you have a slow capture device drive. For a long time laptop drives were 4200 rpm hard drives. Your desktop drive spins at 7200 rpm, more than fast enough to accomodate high speed capture. But it could be that your laptop consists of an unfragmented 4200 rpm drive.

      And finally depending on the age of your laptop, you may have a set of USB 1 ports on your laptop, which could be causing dropped frames.

      I realize I am saying all this without knowing what model or year laptop you have, but these few issues could be reasons you are having issues capturing to your laptop when you are not seeing the issues on your desktop: Slow hard drive or USB 1 connector port. The firewire (iLink in your case) technology will allow you to shuttle data a lot faster to your Sony, but if your laptop does not have the required hardware, you may not be able to capture better video, even if you get the ADVC-110.

      =======================
      virtualscribe
      http://www.sharingmyjoy.com
      Share Your Wedding Video Online

    • #171058
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for all the information virtualscribe. The laptop is a fairly new one so the USB ports are definitely USB 2 but you are correct about the hard drive, it is 4200 RPM.

      Since posting my original message I’ve had a reply to an email I sent to Canopus stating that they don’t believe the laptop is capable of capturing video at full resolution, even using their product. I’ve also been having a discussion on another forum which is leading me to believe the same thing. A couple of posts on the other forum have suggested a few things I can do with the laptop to improve my chances but considering I will not be capturing analogue video very often I don’t think I’m going to go that route.

      My current solution is to run s-video and audio connections from the analogue device downstairs to the PC upstairs and remote desktop to the PC from the laptop in order to initiate the capture. Not very elegant I’ll admit but if it does the trick I can live with it 🙂

    • #171059
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Yeah, the Canopus stuff is great, but you gotta have a hard drive that can turn rpms and I highly recommend capturing through firewire and not USB. Firewire is a direct stream of data, USB is in bursts.

      John

    • #171060
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Rogue Wolf,

      One very good thing I did for my own video performance is upgrade my laptop drive. There is still a difference in read/write speed, but replacing your 4200 RPM drive with a 7200 RPM drive will not only improve your video conversion work, it will also speed up your laptop a little bit. I mainly work with web video and use my laptop as my main machine. For this reason I have maxed out my drive, processor, and memory specs on my laptop. This allows me to capture as well as a desktop and keep my laptop scrappy but mobile.

      Ebay currently shows a 100Gb 7200 rpm laptop drive going for about $120, it’s June 2007.

      search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&_trksid=m37&satitle=laptop+drive+7200

      On PCs this is usually a very simple replacement; just order, shut everything down and unplug, remove 4 protective screws on the underbody of your laptop, and replace. Depending on what technology your laptop supports, this simple bump up in rotation will increase your productive performance. You will have to know whether your laptop takes the ATA or SATA interface so that you order the right kind of drive. I can’t believe, I’m even seeing a 160Gb 7200 rpm laptop drive by Seagate, but it’s SATA, and my laptop won’t be able to accomodate that, otherwise I would have purchased it.

      The 2 advantages you could have if you’re willing to spend the $120 drive upgrade is an increase in performance and the fact that you can offload your work to the slower RPM drive when it’s in transition or not in use. As always, the down side is you have to spend money.

      virtualscribe
      http://www.sharingmyjoy.com
      Share Your Wedding Video Online

    • #171061
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      A drive upgrade was one of the options I had looked at but as the laptop is an ultraportable (Sony Vaio VGN-T2XP) I’m not sure if it’s an option. There is no ‘hatch’ on the base of the laptop as there is on larger models and while the Sony site lists available memory upgrade options it doesn’t say anything about hard drives. In any case, the drive is a 1.8" model and I can’t seem to find a 7200 rpm drive in that size 🙁

    • #171062
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Rogue Wolf,

      I wish for so many reasons that the firewire standard would have been made less expensive so people could begin using it like USB2. Its main advantages for me are that each device can be added to the chain of devices, and order does not matter because a lot of devices have 2 firewire ports. Non laptop drives are sold which have a USB2 port and 2 firewire ports. If you’re still interested, you can place your external 7200 rpm drive with firewire in the middle of your ADVC capture device and the laptop. The other end of your ADVC can be connected to your TV.

      Laptop —— iLink/firewire —— 7200RPMdrive —— firewire —— CanopusADVC-110 —— TV

      Your laptop does very little work, the majority of it is done in the Canopus hardware captured directly to your external drive. Your laptop is simply the controller.

      —————————————
      virtualscribe
      http://www.sharingmyjoy.com

    • #171063
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hi Virtualscribe,

      I wish that too. It would be great if I could test out your idea without having to spend 200 on the Canopus, if only the Belkin converter had firewire instead of USB…

      Rogue Wolf.

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