7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2009 11:13 PM by (gthns)

    Canon HV30 - Xena HS capture card (HD)

      Hi everyone,

      I've recently bought the Canon HV30 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.

      My PC specs are:
      AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT

      I make video installations and the quality of the video is
      important for my work.

      I've tried to capture HD footage with Premiere Pro CS4 from
      the HV30 via firewire and the footage that I got was a
      compressed MPEG (1440x1080 progressive, 25fps).

      Not only I am not happy with the 'compressed' aspect of the
      captured footage (I need it to be uncompressed), but even the
      compressed version cannot be displayed or edited in real time.

      I've tried to change the HDV capture setting in Premiere but
      they are not available. Is this because my PC cannot capture/edit
      the uncompressed HD footage?

      I've done some research on the subject and I think I have to buy a
      capture card in order to capture uncompressed HD footage and
      edit it in real time.

      Since I've spent a lot of money on the Canon and Premiere, I can
      only afford an average capture card.

      I've found the AJA XENA HS
      SD PCI CAPTURE / PLAYBACK CARD, which, if I've understood
      correctly, does exactly what I've mentioned above.
      ( http://www.sharbor.com/products/AJAN5010010.html )

      Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!
      Many thanks in advance
        • 1. Re: Canon HV30 - Xena HS capture card (HD)
          Curt Wrigley Level 4
          You bought an HDV camera. HDV records the video to an MPG2 format. So, your capture to Pr as MPG2 is happening correctly.

          If it doesnt edit smoothly, its likly a function of your system's performance (either disk or cpu) You could use a faster system.

          If the quality doesnt look good Im guessing its one of two reasons:

          1. Your system is slow so Pr is showing you previews at a reduced res and frame rate since it cant keep up with the full res and rate. Rendering will fix that.

          2. Your seq preset dies not match your source video.

          Using a capture card may allow you to cature uncompressed via hdmi (for example) but the video is already recodred as HDV MPG2, ergo capturing uncompressed may not have the effect you think it will have.

          Curt
          • 2. Re: Canon HV30 - Xena HS capture card (HD)
            Level 1
            Thanks for the reply Curt, it was very helpful!

            It still doesn't edit smoothly so I might try and upgrade my system.

            I set the view quality, while editing, at draft but the playback is still very choppy and slow (if I add effects it gets even worse).
            Yes, the seq presets and the source video match.

            When I choose the HDV option at the Capture settings of Premiere, there isn't an option to select different settings for the quality captured footage. I guess this is because Premiere automatically captures the footage as compressed MPEG but chooses the best possible quality. If that's the case then that's fine as long as I know that the best possible quality is pre-selected for my captured footage.

            At least I now know that I won't have to buy a capture card.

            many thanks
            • 3. Re: Canon HV30 - Xena HS capture card (HD)
              Curt Wrigley Level 4
              Premiere doesnt capture DV or HDV. It actually transfers it. MPG2 is the format for HDV video. There is no such thing as uncompressed HDV.

              You can uncompress it, some do for editing purposes, but it's origin is still hdv compressed video.

              Note; some say Some hdv cams with hdmi output can output uncompressed 1920 video when shooting live only. If you record to tape, its already hdv format.

              For slower systems, some turn to Cineform ; a sw solution to convert hdv to an intermediate cinform codec. This format is easier to edit and experience less generation loss than hdv. check their website.
              • 4. Re: Canon HV30 - Xena HS capture card (HD)
                Level 1
                Upgrading my system is my number one priority. I will start with RAM and see how it goes.

                Cineform sounds very promising but if I can avoid that by upgrading some of my PC components to a much lower price, I will do that first and call Cineform 'plan B'.

                many thanks again!
                • 5. Re: Canon HV30 - Xena HS capture card (HD)
                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                  To keep in mind when considering upgrades to your system, Aspect is discontinued, your only option with Cineform may be Prospect in it various incarnations.
                  • 6. Re: Canon HV30 - Xena HS capture card (HD)
                    Level 1
                    thanks for that!
                    • 7. Re: Canon HV30 - Xena HS capture card (HD)
                      Level 1
                      Hi again

                      I've upgraded my RAM from 2 to 4gb but it did not improve the real-time playback/editing of the HDV footage at all.

                      I guess I'll will have to upgrade the cpu too in order to get some results.

                      If that won't work as well then I'll think of buying the upcoming Cineforms's Prospect HD codec (compatible with Premiere CS4).

                      The frustrating thing is that the capturing of the HDV footage is done smoothly, with no loss of frames, but then I cannot edit/play it in real time.
                      The only problem with the capturing is that I cannot see the footage on the screen when the capturing takes place - it is done though with the DV footage.

                      I've compared my system's specs with the min suggested by Adobe and I barely pass. But I guess that's not enough.

                      I am still a bit sceptical about not buying a capture card though, since even Adobe ( http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/capturecard_partners/ ) says that, apart from the capturing, they also support the real-time playback/editing of the HDV footage.

                      thanks again for your help above