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Thread: Poor video quality with USB streaming

  1. #1

    Unhappy Poor video quality with USB streaming

    I have a Sony Hi8 analog video camera. I capture film using USB streaming into Premiere elements. Everything works fine but the picture quality is not very good. I get what I think is called Pixelated with colors??? Would I get better quality video if I capture using another method such as an external capture device such as dazzle or even my computers dual TV tuner (which I have tried but I get no audio)? Or maybe I just an idiot and don't know what I am doing!! Thanks in advance for any advice on this!

  2. #2
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    To get the most out of your footage your PC needs dedicated analogue video capture hardware. It must be capable of capturing the footage at full resolution and at full framerate, without dropping frames during the transfer process.

    Some TV tuner cards will do this but beware those that store the footage as mpeg-based files, as these are not as easy to edit as AVI files.

    I would steer clear of anything that attempts to capture using USB. USB is fine for many things, but not video. What I'd be looking for is something PCI card-based, incorporating some kind of breakout box for connecting the camera.

    Another (and better) solution is to move into the 21st century and buy a miniDV camera. These connect via firewire and are much easier to edit footage from than HI8. Many DV cameras have an analogue to digital pass-through feature that allows you to connect analogue devices such as yours to the PC via firewire. The analogue footage can then be transferred to the PC without the need for any additional hardware.

  3. #3
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    Well, technically USB 2 is more than fast enough even for HDV as the transfer rate is considerably more than that of the data stream... Just that most USB capture divices are made by companies looking to make a quick buck rather than offer you anything worthwhile
    It's not about what camera you use or how much it cost.

    It's about what you shoot,
    how you shot it,
    and how you edit it :P

  4. #4

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    i'm using a samsung sdc-363 mini-dv camcorder, and i transfer my videos to my pc via usb cable.
    I'm planning to buy a firewire cable to transfer my videos, Will there be any difference in the quality of the video that I will transfer if I use a the firewire cable???

  5. #5
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    There should be no apparent change in picture quality at all, as both USB2 and Firewire are well over the bit-rate of the DV codec, as long as every 0 and 1 gets from its source to its destination there will be no difference.
    It's not about what camera you use or how much it cost.

    It's about what you shoot,
    how you shot it,
    and how you edit it :P

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jozep View Post
    i'm using a samsung sdc-363 mini-dv camcorder, and i transfer my videos to my pc via usb cable.
    I'm planning to buy a firewire cable to transfer my videos, Will there be any difference in the quality of the video that I will transfer if I use a the firewire cable???

    I think it really depends on the camera. I've had a look at the user manual for the camera concerned, and whilst it's clear that the camera supports USB streaming in both camera and vcr modes, I'm not certain as to whether the same quality is transferred during both USB and Firewire transfer.

    The manual talks about having to install a codec on your PC if transferring footage via USB. That immediately makes me think that the clips transferred will not be DV AVI type (because Windows XP already has that codec installed), but something a little more compressed. I could be so wrong.

    You might find the answer to your question amongst the Samsung support pages and forums. Failing that, try both methods to transfer identical clips, and compare the results.


    Quote Originally Posted by Best_OutRunner View Post
    There should be no apparent change in picture quality at all, as both USB2 and Firewire are well over the bit-rate of the DV codec, as long as every 0 and 1 gets from its source to its destination there will be no difference.
    If exactly the same data was being transferred, I'd agree 100%.

    I just don't think the same data is being transferred. My money is on the USB data being compressed, hence the required installation of a proprietary codec.

    Something in the back of my head tells me that the DV AVI standard was developed only for transfer via Firewire. (And there I could be completely wrong!)

  7. #7

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    thanks for the reply.

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