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Thread: Plextor Convertex Problems

  1. #1

    Default Plextor Convertex Problems

    I bought a PX A200U and a very powerful quad core computer with Vista to convert all my Hi8 movies to digital. The computer just freezes up so it doesn't work at all. I then installed on an older XP machine and again nothing but freeze up.

    I previously had another Plextor gizmo but my computer wasn't powerful enough to use it well. When I got the new Blackbird computer I found that the old Plextor wasn't compatable with Vista.

    This is all driving me nuts. How will I ever get my videos converted and what can I do about the PX A200U? The older unit I sold on ebay.

    Maybe I should ask my next question here as well. Could someone please tell me the best way to convert Hi8 to digital so I can put all my many years of tape onto DVD? I think I need a better converter but what should I buy?

    thanks very much. This is my first post in this forum so I hope it wasn't too stupid
    Last edited by kewl1; 08-31-2008 at 05:52 AM. Reason: wanted to add more info to avoid a second post

  2. #2
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    You need to purchase an old Hi 8 camcorder off the likes of ebay (if you can go along and see it working before parting with money all the better). Use the S-video and audio output sockets to connect to either a breakout box (the quality is irrelevant here) which has an S-Video input socket and maybe audio input sockets.

    They are then connected to the computer using a USB cable. Or if you have access to a mini dv camcorder with AV in sockets such as S-video or even composite video then connect your Hi 8 to the mini dv and run a firewire cable from the mini dv to the computer. You are not recording onto the mini dv you are just using it as an analogue to digital converter. If you do want to make a digital tape copy of your Hi 8 tapes then stick a mini dv tape into the mini dv camcorder and record onto them aswell.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikosony View Post
    You need to purchase an old Hi 8 camcorder off the likes of ebay (if you can go along and see it working before parting with money all the better). Use the S-video and audio output sockets to connect to either a breakout box (the quality is irrelevant here) which has an S-Video input socket and maybe audio input sockets.

    They are then connected to the computer using a USB cable. Or if you have access to a mini dv camcorder with AV in sockets such as S-video or even composite video then connect your Hi 8 to the mini dv and run a firewire cable from the mini dv to the computer. You are not recording onto the mini dv you are just using it as an analogue to digital converter. If you do want to make a digital tape copy of your Hi 8 tapes then stick a mini dv tape into the mini dv camcorder and record onto them aswell.
    Thank you so much. By the way, what is a breakout box? I'm very new at this as you can tell. I do still have my Hi 8 camera which is what I am using to feed to the Convet-X. I had to pay a few bucks to Sony to get the camera working again.

    Also today I installed a copy of Ulead Video Studio 11 and I think it may be able to replace the Presto Digital Converter 1.09 software that came with the Convertex. Maybe it's this software that is bad rather that the device.

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    A breakout box is a small box that sits outside the computer with sockets on one side and a USB cable on the other side. If you don't like opening up computers and taking bits out and putting new bits in, then it is perfect for you. Ulead Video Studio 11 is a full video editing program whereas the software you got with your card is basically crap. Now you have a Hi 8, some good editing software, you just need either a mini dv camcorder (maybe a cheap one on ebay) or a breakout box (try Pinnacle) and a few connecting leads (S-video, phono audio and Firewire for the mini dv). Connect everything together and let us know how you get on.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikosony View Post
    A breakout box is a small box that sits outside the computer with sockets on one side and a USB cable on the other side. If you don't like opening up computers and taking bits out and putting new bits in, then it is perfect for you. Ulead Video Studio 11 is a full video editing program whereas the software you got with your card is basically crap. Now you have a Hi 8, some good editing software, you just need either a mini dv camcorder (maybe a cheap one on ebay) or a breakout box (try Pinnacle) and a few connecting leads (S-video, phono audio and Firewire for the mini dv). Connect everything together and let us know how you get on.
    Again thanks very much for your help. I think I may have all I need now. I suspect that this little Plextor Convertx gizmo that I have (and indeed came with crappy software) may be what you call the break out box. I have my Hi8 camera hooked up to it via an S Video and 3 other wires (white yellow and red). At the other end of the Convertx is the USB cord that goes into my computer. I can import the video using Ulead which converts it to digital and then transfer onto a DVD. I got an entire 2 hour tape onto one DVD. The DVD said it had a capacity of 4.7 gig but I got over 8 gig onto one DVD using Ulead. I seem to have lost a little bit of quality though. Do you think that is just from converting to digital or perhaps from squeezing too much onto one DVD.

    I'm not afraid to open up the computer and install a card if you think that is a better way of doing it. It just doesn't seem necessary. If I were to get an internal card do you think the quality would be better? To me the quality is important as these are all family movies (years and years of them) and I can not forsee anyone else in the family doing this. I always feel that if I did not show up at every family fuction with my camera ther wouldn't be any movies or photos for futre generations to see. Even tough I bought my daughter a Dig 8 camera.

    I must say I have accomplished more this labor day weekend than I have in 3 years of trying to transfer these Hi8 tapes. Also, I now have a Sony AVCHD hi def hard drive camera (HDR-SR1) so that once I do digitize all these Hi8 tapes I will at least be working with 21st century technology.

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    If you want to install a PCI Firewire card into a spare PCI slot inside your computer then by all means to it. But you will need a mini dv camcorder as described above, it is a lot of setting up but the results will be better than using USB. The quality goes down possibly because you used USB or maybe the software compressed it slightly to fit it onto the dvd, that's a neat trick you did fitting 8GB's onto a 4.7GB disc (lol).

    The next step depends on whether you are happy with the finished results on the dvd now, or if you want to try using a mini dv camcorder and Firewire instead of USB? By the way, stick to using the S-Video connection as the yellow connector is composite video (the lowest quality) with your current setup.

  7. #7

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    Yes I was amazed by the over 8 gb I got onto the DVD. The software had a button I pushed to squeeze it all on. I haven't made any more DVDs but instead have just been converting the Hi8 tapes and storing them on a hard drive for now. I've converted over 20 tapes so far and may have twice that many. Each 2 hour tape is resulting in about 7 gigs of what the Ulead software calls "DVD" quality ie 720 x 480. This seems to be the best quality setting with the others being MPEG, AVI, VCD, and SVCD. I don't know if I should put all these onto DVDs or wait to buy a Blu-ray burner. Instead of squeezing so much onto a DVD I should learn how to devide the files in to DVD sized chunks of 4.7 gig. I assume that should increse the quality. The prices of Blu-Rays are coming down and I guess I can squeeze 50 gigs onto a blu-ray disk. I read a good review of an LG one that was quite reasonably priced ie about 400 bucks.

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    The Blu-ray is becoming more popular but I don't think dvd will still be here in 30 years time the same way VHS was. I think solid state will be the next 'big thing' with the price of storage coming down and capacity going up. And with no internal moving parts the equipment should last much longer. I always feel that whatever I shoot it can always do with a bit of tidying up before I show it to anyone.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikosony View Post
    The Blu-ray is becoming more popular but I don't think dvd will still be here in 30 years time the same way VHS was. I think solid state will be the next 'big thing' with the price of storage coming down and capacity going up. And with no internal moving parts the equipment should last much longer. I always feel that whatever I shoot it can always do with a bit of tidying up before I show it to anyone.

    Interesting comment on storage Nikosony. For one thing I just paid a mere $179 Canadian for a 1 TB external drive at tiger.ca. However I am awaiting shipment of a new Thinkpad that actually does have a solid state drive. It is only 64 gig but I bet real soon they will double in size for half the price.

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