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ADVC FAQ (updated 2007/05/04)

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  • ADVC FAQ (updated 2007/05/04)

    Question: Can I capture TV signals using an ADVC?
    Answer: ADVC products do not have TV tuners. However, you can connect a VCR or cable box's analog output to the ADVC and capture that. In this case, the VCR or cable box's tuner would tune to the appropriate station and provide only that station to the ADVC unit's input. Be aware that some VCRs and cable boxes may feature countermeasures to prevent copying.

    Question: Can I capture to some format other than DV, like DivX or MPEG, using the ADVC?
    Answer: This depends on your capture software. The ADVC provides DV data to the system via IEEE 1394 FireWire, so the capture software would need to decompress the DV data, and then recompress it to the desired format in realtime, which is a heavy task. This workflow is solely a function of the capture software - the ADVC has nothing to do with this aside from providing DV data in the same way a DV camera or VCR would. Generally it is better to capture the video as DV, and then convert it later using ProCoder or another video transcoding application.

    Question: Can I connect the ADVC directly to my DV camera/VCR?
    Answer: Yes. You can use an ADVC to provide analog input to your DV camera/VCR for recording analog video to DV tape.
    You can also use some ADVC models, such as ADVC110, to provide analog output from your DV camera/VCR for display on a TV or video monitor, dubbing to a VCR, etc.

    Question: Do ADVC units support 800Mbps FireWire?
    Answer: The DV transfer rate is only 25Mbps. ADVC units should work fine on the faster FireWire bus, but won't have any additional speed advantages. Be aware that FW400-FW800 (4/6-pin to 9-pin) converters do not always work and it is generally better to get a 6-pin to 9-pin cable, rather than use an adapter. Also, not all 6-pin to 9-pin cables pass power, so for bus-powered ADVCs, the optional power supply may be required

    Question: Can I capture to a FireWire hard drive using an ADVC?
    Answer: Yes, through a computer where the ADVC and FireWire hard drive use two separate FireWire ports. You cannot connect an ADVC unit directly to a FireWire hard drive unless you are capturing to a disk unit designed to be directly connected to a DV camera/VCR. Be aware that in some cases issues can arise due to bandwidth sags, due to bursts to/from the drive. The ideal situation would be to use a dedicated FireWire bus for the hard drive and a separate dedicated bus for the ADVC.

    Question: I have a laptop - which ADVC would best suit me?
    Answer: While all ADVC boxes offer external connectivity by nature, several of the ADVC units are considerably large and not designed for rugged, ‘on-the-go’ use. The ADVC55, ADVC110 and ADVC300 units are compact and lightweight, with the ADVC55 and ADVC110 also capable of being powered purely by FireWire connectivity, when connected to a 6-pin FireWire port.

    Question: I have a VHS, Betamax, Video8, (insert your favorite analog video recording device). Can I use the ADVC to output to it?
    Answer: Yes, you can use any unit from the ADVC110 upward to feed an analog video signal to the device.
    The ADVC doesn't know or care about the specific type of device you're connecting to, it just sends the analog signal out.
    Remember that NTSC DV generates NTSC analog output and PAL DV generates PAL analog output. See the next question.

    Question: I have an NTSC (or PAL) analog source and I want to output it as PAL (or NTSC), can I use the ADVC for this?
    Answer: For part of the process, you can. You can use the ADVC to capture the video in the broadcast standard it is output in – in other words, NTSC video output gets captured by the ADVC as NTSC DV, PAL video output gets captured as PAL DV.
    After that, you will need to use a separate software application, such as our ProCoder 3 software, to convert video between NTSC and PAL standards (or vice versa). Then you will be able to output the converted video in the other format.
    Remember that your receiving device must support the broadcast standard (NTSC or PAL) that you're outputting - in other words, if you're converting from NTSC to PAL, you will need a device that can record a PAL signal to output to.

    Question: What is the proper NTSC Setup Level setting?
    Answer: If you live in a country that uses the PAL video standard, you don't need to worry about this setting.
    If you live in Japan, it should be set to 0 IRE. If you live elsewhere, it should be set to 7.5 IRE.
    A special case exists when you are capturing from an analog NTSC source that was recorded with a different NTSC setup level. For example, even if you are in the US (which uses 7.5 IRE), if you are capturing from a NTSC tape that was recorded in Japan (which uses 0 IRE), then you should set the ADVC for 0 IRE setup level for that capture. Essentially, the NTSC setup level should match the setup level of the analog source.

    Question: What digital video formats can I capture with the ADVC products?
    Answer: The ADVC products convert between analog and the consumer DV video compression format - the same format used by DV camcorders and decks. The ADVC does not provide uncompressed data to the device it's connected to, it provides DV-compressed data.
    Thus, an ADVC wouldn't work with a MicroMV device (which uses MPEG compression) even though both devices have IEEE 1394 ports, because the MicroMV device doesn't understand DV, and the ADVC doesn't understand MicroMV. Just like your VCR and stereo may have the same connector types (RCA) on them, it doesn't mean you can connect your VCR's RCA composite video output to your stereo's RCA audio input - it won't work. They're not communicating in the same "language" even though they're using the same method of connection (cable with RCA plugs).
    When connected to a computer, the capture software you use may have the ability to convert the incoming DV data from the ADVC to another format such as MPEG.

    Question: My capture/output software has lots of options to set DV Device Control and branding. What should I set it to?
    Answer: Choose the Generic setting, if available, otherwise choose Sony. It seems counter-intuitive, but you should normally enable device control. Since the ADVC fully emulates a DV deck/camera, it won't start feeding input until it receives the Play command, or won't start output until it receives the Record command. This actually makes the ADVC more compatible with other DV devices, since other devices expect to send a command and get a response, which the ADVC does.

    Question: What is the D1 port on the ADVC300?
    Answer: The D-terminal port on the ADVC300 is for the component YPbPr output. The D-terminal connector is popular in Japan and carries YPbPr signal and a couple of other signals.
    ADVC300 units shipped and sold within the US include a D-terminal to RCA triplet adapter.
    For other regions, please inquire with your local dealer/distributor/office.

    Question: Is there a delay between arrival of the analog input and DV output, or between arrival of DV input and analog output?
    Answer: Yes. Since the analog signal needs to be compressed to DV format, or the DV signal needs to be decompressed to analog audio/video, there is a slight delay for compression or decompression as below. This type of delay is inevitable and is in addition to any increased delay introduced from DV compression/decompression on the computer’s end. This is why it is always best to take both audio and video from the same source device to avoid audio/video sync discrepancy.
    Analog to DV: 2 frames (NTSC: 2 x 33.37 = 66.7ms, PAL: 2 x 40 = 80ms)
    DV to analog: 7/4 frames (NTSC: 7/4 x 33.37 = 58.4ms, PAL: 7/4 x 40 = 70ms)
    Last edited by GrassValley_BH; 09-01-2011, 07:51 PM.