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Thread: video capture and compression

  1. #1

    Default video capture and compression

    hello. my name is jared and i'm brand new to video capture. If you just want to see the question I have, look towards the end, or you can read this huge paragraph and tell me if I'm doing anything wrong. Okay, so, my mom has lots of 8mm home videos that we've taken over the years (about 100). A while ago, I decided that it was a lot of fun to watch them, but too much work. We have a little dedicated 8mm VCR by sony that we use to watch the tapes. So, i hooked that up to my dad's capture card (Canopus ADVC-1394) and started testing different ways to capture. Using Premiere, I decided that it was best to capture in avi, since wmv and mpg were crappy looking and there were little lines going though them (my cpu usage never left 100% during capture). My plan is to capture in avi (each 2 hour movie is around 25 gb) and then split it into separate movies using premiere, if the tape has multiple events on it (many do). Then, using Canopus Procoder, I'm want to convert each avi into a 640x480 mpg. I think a 2 hour mpg of this quality is about 5 gb, and i'm alright with that large of a file. However, if a wmv is just as good and i just didn't have the settings correct, please let me know.

    My plan is to capture in avi, split that file w/premiere, then compress each file individually to mpg 2's using procoder. Would it make any difference if I capture in avi, compress the entire file to mpg 2 using procoder, and then split that file into separate movies using premiere?

    Is it advantageous to edit video before it's compressed? If I edit an mpg 2 movie using premiere, will it lose lots of quality or be crappy or anything?

    just to clarify: I need to split the captures b/c many 8mm tapes have more than one event on them, or they have blank space.

    also: I am not interested in splitting the file at capture time (which is probably the best way) because I'm going to start a capture and then go to bed, not sit here and monitor it.

    The reason I'd like to know if it's better to edit when uncompressed is that it would be a little faster and easier if i could compress the whole thing and then edit it.

    Please let me know if I'm using the right programs and, more importantly, the right techniques.

    Thanks a lot!!!

  2. #2


    My canopus automatically converts to AVI...not sure about their other products. My understanding is that it basically it is recoding the analog for you before it transfers it to your computer as digital, as opposed to a capture device that captures the analog and makes your computer convert it. That is why your capture program should recognize it as a DV device.
    Your quality will be much improved if you limit your conversions. I use my canopus to convert my 8mm to an avi file. I take that file to my editing program and edit. Then I render it to an mpeg2 which is dvd quality. I render at the highest setting...that allows about 1 hour on a dvd. Any more (more compression/more video on dvd) and your quality diminishes. My goal is to get the best quality video...that means you spend a bit more on DVDs, but I think if you are talking about copying family videos, it is worth the money. Saving 2 bucks is not worth having crappy videos. Analog is already poor quality...why make it worse.
    I am not an expert by any means in video editing. I know enough to do what I need to do, and it ony took me about 6 months to figure it out

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Devon, England


    definitley edit before compressing. because if you do it the other way then
    transfer from VCR>compress to mpeg>uncompress to edit> edit> compress again

    if you do it properly, then
    transfer from VCR>edit>compress to mpeg

    much shorter and produces better quality. Also premiere doesnt like editing mpeg. less conversions = better quality

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