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Dropped Frames and Out-of-Sync Video

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  • Dropped Frames and Out-of-Sync Video

    I am using my new ADVC-110 for the very first time and need some help. I am a beginner when it comes to video capture.

    I want to transfer all my Hi8 analog camcorder footage to my PC so that I can make DVD's of it all. After transfering the first tape, I noticed that I had 39 dropped frames and 54 inserted frames over the whole 2 hour tape. When I played the resulting .avi file in Windows Media Player, the audio and video were out-of-sync by several seconds. I felt as though I were watching a cheap Japanese Kung Fu movie.

    After all the research I had done on the internet, I felt that dropped frames and out-of-sync video were a thing of the past if I bought the Canopus ADVC-110. What am I doing wrong? Should I expect 0 dropped frames?

    I used VirtualDub to handle the transfer. My PC is a Dell 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 with 1 GB of RAM, and the hard drive is 400 GB with most of it free space. I used an S-Video cable and the white/red audio cable going into the front of the Canopus unit while the firewire cable was attached to the rear of the Canopus unit going into the PC. The "Analog In" light was on, and I was not using an external power supply for the Canopus unit. I did not have the preview feature of VirtualDub going at the time nor was I doing anything else on the computer.

    Any help will be appreciated.

  • #2
    You should have no dropped frames at all. Try WinDV which is a small, free DV capture program that is tweaked for getting good captures. Your system is spec'd the same as mine and I've never had problems with dropped frames on my ADVC300.

    Did you have any other firewire devices connected apart from the ADVC110? Are you running Win XP SP2 or later? Is your firewire port a PCI plugin card or builtin to the motherboard? (If a plugin card, make sure the separate power cable is connected to the card.)

    Also check ADVC Family Common Problems & Solutions for further tips regarding dropped frames.



    • #3
      I did not have any other firewire devices attached. I run Windows XP Professional SP2. The firewire port is located on the sound card that came with the machine. I'll try WinDV and see what happens.


      • #4
        Definitely try to avoid the soundcard-based firewire ports - often times they're flakey, if not proprietary.

        If WinDV doesn't help, a "regular" $10 1394a PCI card may fix everything.


        • #5
          OK - I transferred the same camcorder tape as earlier, but this time I used WinDV. I only had 3 dropped frames, and the out-of-sync Kung Fu movie effect was gone.

          I do have a PCI firewire card in the PC that I could try. I figured that it didn't matter which port to use, so I just went with the sound card port. If you think I should switch to the PCI card firewire ports then I'll try it also.


          • #6
            Definitely try the PCI firewire card, and as I mentioned above make sure it has the internal power connector attached to your computer's power supply (the port will obtain some power directly from the PCI bus, but it is restricted, hence you need to attach the power connector to get power directly from the power supply).



            • #7
              After giving tape #2 a try on both firewire ports, here's what I have. With the PCI card firewire port there were 53 dropped frames. With the sound card firewire port there were 92 dropped frames and the video in Media Player appeared choppy in places.

              The PCI firewire card does not have any power connector. It's just a card that plugs into the PCI slot and that is it - nothing else on it to hook up.

              The only thing I know for sure is that with WinDV, the out-of-sync audio and video is gone. Any other ideas or suggestions? Do I not have the proper PCI firewire card since it doesn't have a seperate power connector?


              • #8
                ADVC300 must be self-powered (you must use the AC adapter), so a non-powered FireWard card power shouldn't be a problem.

                It sounds like your system is having a hard time keeping up with the incoming data flow. Your system is more than sufficiently fast, but there might be something running in the background.

                Try turning off any antivirus software you have, screen savers, and anything that runs in the background (like SETI@home).

                Also, before trying another capture, defragment your hard drive. Even mostly-empty drives can get fragmented. This is most likely not the problem, but it's good to eliminate the possibility anyway.

                And finally... Go to Network Connections and disable any 1394 Network Adapters that might be in there.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GrassValley_BH
                  ADVC300 must be self-powered (you must use the AC adapter), so a non-powered FireWard card power shouldn't be a problem.
                  Actually, damlkm is using a ADVC110, without the AC adapter. I probably confused things by mentioning my ADVC300.

                  You could try your ADVC110 on another computer. That would possibly help you to pinpoint if there is a problem with your own computer.

                  Just to eliminate a dodgy S-video cable, could you try a composite video cable to see if you still get dropped frames?

                  Is it possible for you to disable the firewire port in your sound card?

                  Also, you can check that your hard drive is running correctly with a utility such as HD Tune.

                  Last edited by kbosward; 12-28-2007, 11:44 PM.


                  • #10
                    Oops, yeah, I got confused.

                    If the FireWire PCI card is not powered externally, power could be an issue.

                    Not all PCI FireWire cards have external power connectors, either, so it's hit-or-miss there.

                    Definitely try the setup on a different computer if you can.

                    You might want to check the FireWire cable too. Funny thing... I was capturing from my VX2000 (4-pin port) a while back and noticed that whenever I moved the camera, WinDV reported dropped frames. So I restarted capture and made sure not to touch it!


                    • #11
                      I'm using my advc110 to transfer VHS tapes to my MacBook Pro. For some of the tapes, I get a frame drop at the exact same point in the tape everytime. I suppose this must be a problem with the signal coming from the VCR right?

                      The other possibilities mentioned in this thread probably don't apply here, because if they did, I should get frame drops randomly during the transfer. I tried transferring the video at least 4 times and I got a frame drop at the exact same location every time

                      Can someone tell me how to get around this? Might there be a problem with my VCR or with the RCA cables or with the VHS tape itself?



                      • #12
                        If it is one frame, you may be able to edit around it, replace the frame with a still of the previous or subsequent frame, etc.

                        Since it repeats at the same frame, the most likely issue is with the signal on the tape itself. A different VCR might be able to provide a better playback if it is one with better playback electronics and internal signal processing.