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  • new user ADVC-55 capture image quality problems

    Hello. I have a MacBook Pro, an ADVC-55, a USB MyBook 500GB harddrive, (a firewire harddrive available to me too if needed), Final Cut Express 4, and a Sony Hi8 HandyCam that I can connect to the ADVC-55 via either SuperVideo or Component Video.

    I have set my FCE4 to use the easy setup of NTSC DV Converter.

    I have attempted a few captures. It works - it captures video and sound, but the video quality is very poor. When I connect my camera to my tv using the same connections, the image is nice. But when I try to import it, there are visible horizontal lines throughout the image, it's resolution isn't great and there's a thin line at the bottom that kinda looks like the tracking is off, though I don't think I can set the tracking on my cam. Again, my source video is fine. I know it's not a digital camera and that Hi8 isn't as nice as the digital videos my Canon PowerShot can take, but I didn't expect the image quality to degrade so much.

    Any advice? Is it possible my converter is bad? I tried capturing using SuperVideo and using the component video - the image was exactly the same. I tried changing the IRE dipswitch setting but that only brightened up the image, which was noticeably dark too.

    Thanks for your help! [email protected]

  • #2
    Believe it or not, the thin strip at the bottom that looks like bad tracking is normal. When you play your camera directly to TV, it is still there but is hidden because the TV does not display the edges of the video (it is hidden in what is called the overscan area). You can see it on the computer because it displays everything. Once you burn it to DVD and play it on a TV, once again the edges will be hidden. If it really bothers you (for example, if you will always be watching the captured video on a computer, you should be able to mask off the edges in FCE.

    Not sure what you mean by thin lines, are they lots of horizontal lines (like a comb) when there is lots of movement in the scene, but not there when there is no movement? If so, this is because your computer is displaying a progressive video whereas the captured video is interlaced. Once you burn it to DVD and play it on TV, they will no longer be there.

    If you are seeing something else, then perhaps you could capture a screenshot image which shows the problem and attach the image to a post here for us to look at.

    Ken.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the response. What you described about the black lines is what I am seeing, so that must be my problem. It's a bit unexpected since I also have a digital camera that can create videos and they look great right out of the camera on my computer. Plus all the demo videos I was using to learn the software were really nice and clear.

      So I have to edit together poor looking video knowing it will clear itself up once I burn the finished product to DVD? What if I don't want to make a DVD of my finished product? What if I just wanted to create a video file I view on my computer? Is there some finishing step I haven't read up on yet? Do I export it to some video file format?

      Also, I noticed that the Status light on my ADVC-55 is always red. Does that mean anything or is that the only color it makes?

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      • #4
        Your digital camera's video is most likely progressive, not interlaced, so you won't see the interlacing artifacts on the computer.

        When playing out to a normal television you won't see the lines.

        The Status light shouldn't be red though....

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        • #5
          The status light shouldn't be red. A red light can indicate Macrovision protection, but this shouldn't be the case with tapes that you have recorded yourself on your camera!

          Ken.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
            So I have to edit together poor looking video knowing it will clear itself up once I burn the finished product to DVD? What if I don't want to make a DVD of my finished product? What if I just wanted to create a video file I view on my computer? Is there some finishing step I haven't read up on yet? Do I export it to some video file format?
            Consider one of your sources was originally analog, which is inherently of lower resolution than what was recorded digitally, so yes, it is going to look worse in comparison, especially if you're mixing the content of the 2 sources in the same project/DVD.

            If you intend to deliver the video in a format other than DVD, then yes, you will require a transcoding/encoding of the video before you do so. There are a variety of programs out there than do that job, but many editing programs have those capabilities built into them (though they are usually limited to some degree or other). If you're using FCP, you'll need to look into Apple's Compressor, or at the very least, QuickTime Pro.

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            • #7
              When taking interlaced video to a format for PC display, make sure you deinterlace it (in EDIUS you can use the Antiflicker filter), so you don't get the interlacing artifacts on playback.

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