10 Replies Latest reply on Sep 29, 2012 2:04 AM by dvcpro917

    Capture of DVC PRO HD tape

    dvcpro917 Level 1

      Hi,

       

      Is it possible to capture DVC PRO HD tapes directly from the video player (Panasonic AJ-HD 1400E) in simply using a Firewire connection ?

       

      Many thanks for your help !

        • 1. Re: Capture of DVC PRO HD tape
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          Have you tried it yet?

          • 2. Re: Capture of DVC PRO HD tape
            dvcpro917 Level 1

            Thank you Jim. No, I haven't tried : I will have to specially hire the video player (about 250 €/day) which will also request travelling 500 km from where I live, DVC PRO HD players are not easy to rent.

            This is why I am really keen to know first if it should work or not.

            • 3. Re: Capture of DVC PRO HD tape
              Jim_Simon Level 8

              Got it.

               

              I can't say with certainty, but my suspicion is that this will need to be done over HD-SDI, not FireWire.

              • 4. Re: Capture of DVC PRO HD tape
                SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                According to specs here - http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/AJ-HD1400.asp

                 

                It says - IEEE 1394 input/output interface transfers DVCPRO HD native video to NLE systems without image quality degradation

                 

                So the answer should be yes. However, are you on the PC or Mac? With Windows 7, some cameras/decks don't work well with the default 1394 driver, but will work if you switch to the "Legacy" driver already in Windows. Something to keep in mind.

                 

                The deck has the 6-pin 1394 connector, not the smaller 4-pin usually found on camcorders, so be sure to have the correct cable on hand.

                 

                Thanks

                 

                Jeff Pulera

                Safe Harbor Computers

                • 5. Re: Capture of DVC PRO HD tape
                  dvcpro917 Level 1

                  Thank you again Jim. I believe you are probably right.

                   

                  Yet, being almost certain Media Composer can capture directly through the Firewire, it seems my best option is to capture with Media Composer, then transfer to Premiere in using Quicktime format. I understand that Quicktime can be easily exported from Composer to Premiere and that it is a good format to do the editing in Premiere, thus saving further transcoding.

                   

                  If you have an opinion about this option and could confirm whether it is a good one or not, that would be very useful.

                  • 6. Re: Capture of DVC PRO HD tape
                    dvcpro917 Level 1

                    Many thanks Safeharbor11.

                     

                    I am on a PC, yet I have positive info for direct capture with Media Composer but cannot find ny for Premiere.

                    I agree the specs from Panasonic would lead to believe it should work as long as I can use IEEE 1394, but I still feel somhow dubious about it in the acse of Premiere.

                     

                    Having browsed the web, I seem to have found an interesting option which is to buy a Blackmagic Decklink SDI card. They are quite cheap at about $ 280 and seem to have a really good reputation.

                    If I understood correctly, with this card I could capture easily from the DVC PRO HD video player into my PC, this in using Premiere amongst other softwares, or even with the free Blackmagic software included with the card.

                     

                    Any idea/comment abou this rather tempting option ?

                     

                    Either way, I have noted the important info regarding the 1394 driver and cable to use sith Windows 7.

                    • 7. Re: Capture of DVC PRO HD tape
                      SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                      The Black Magic SDI capture would be a great solution for a few reasons.

                       

                      1) Should offer less headaches than possible 1394 issues. Plug and play!

                       

                      2) DVCPRO HD is a downsampled format, so if you capture via 1394, you are working at the lower resolution. However, when playing back formats like that, the deck outputs the full resolution. So if playing back 1080i for instance, you will capture the full 1920x1080 signal via HD-SDI plus you'll get 4:2:2 color using the Black Magic MJPEG codec, to hold up better through color correction and compositing and such (uncompressed optional, requires hard drive bandwidth though).

                       

                      Thanks

                       

                      Jeff Pulera

                      Safe Harbor

                      • 8. Re: Capture of DVC PRO HD tape
                        dvcpro917 Level 1

                        This very interesting information !

                         

                        Do you mean that in capturing via 1394 I would not get 100% of the information recorded on the tape ? Yet, what I don't quite understand is that if DVC PRO HD is a downsampled format, once the information has been downsampled how can you get it again at a higher specification ?

                         

                        My tapes show for the specification of the format "4:2.2    1080i/50". Would I in particular not get 4:2.2 color if using 1394 ? If that is actually the case, that would be more than enough to decide without hesitation going for the Blackmagic SDI option.

                         

                        Many thanks Jeff !

                        • 9. Re: Capture of DVC PRO HD tape
                          SAFEHARBOR11 Most Valuable Participant

                          Actually, with 1394 capture, you get EXACTLY what is on the tape, which in this case is a downsampled format with less resolution. When a camera or deck plays back the footage, it gets "expanded" to the "full" resolution of the format, whether 720 or 1080 HD. So while you can't create data out of nothing, personally I would prefer to work at the full res and not the downsampled quality for the post-production. More pixels to work with.

                           

                          Please see this link for specs - http://www.mediacollege.com/video/format/dv/dvcprohd.html

                           

                          Upon further research, I found that DVCPRO HD does record using 4:2:2 color, which was surprising, since XDCAM EX, HDV, AVHCD, etc. are mostly 4:2:0. So the 4:2:2 color would not be a big advantage with SDI capture, info is already there even with 1394 capture.

                           

                          Jeff

                          • 10. Re: Capture of DVC PRO HD tape
                            dvcpro917 Level 1

                            Many thanks again Jeff.

                             

                            If I understand things correctly, capturing via the Blackmagic card will make life probably easier, but the final result and quality will not be different from what would be obtained with 1394.

                             

                            But the problem I have still then is that if Premiere is very flexible in term of formats, it seems that unfortunately it simply cannot support DVC PRO HD capture from a video player.

                            So, that would mean the best I could do would be to capture with Media Composer, then transfer to Premiere. In using which format, I don't really know. Quicktime ?