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101  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: March 12, 2014, 08:20:29 PM
Stupid Executive Officer ?

Surplus Executive Officers ?
102  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 11, 2014, 06:36:45 PM
A decent internal SATA3 hard disk will do the job you'll ask from it just fine.

No problems here with capturing RAW or DV to 5400RPM IDE HDDs.

UDMA mode 4, (~66MB/s), will cover all analog TV resolutions whether it be a compressed or uncompressed capture.

Even UDMA mode 2 will cover all of them but it's good to have a bit of overhead.

It's a good use for those old IDE HDDs lying around providing you have a computer that still has an IDE port and don't put it on the same port as a ODD or the OS HDD.
103  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 11, 2014, 06:33:40 AM
I'm not sure that you'll be able to capture from the EzyCAP to a USB HDD, (I'm talking USB2 of a few years old), without a lot of dropouts due to the way the USB ports are controlled, (polling by the host).

One way to find out I guess.

By MPEG2 quality I'm pretty sure they mean bitrate - the higher the bitrate, the better the quality, (in theory), up to ~9.8MB/s for the video stream.  The three settings might be something like 3500, 6000, and 8000kbps.

If you run MediaInfo on a short sample of each quality it should tell you.

Here's an online bitrate calculator that'll tell you the minimum transfer rate that your HDD will need to maintain to ensure it's not the cause of frame drops, stuttering, etc.

Video Bitrate Calculator

If you click the link for DVD (PAL) on the right, you'll see that you need to maintain a minimum rate of ~15.55MB/s to the HDD - I'm guessing that's at the rate of a normal movie release DVD but you'll probably need to be somewhere close to that.
104  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 11, 2014, 02:30:23 AM
I captured the stream with EZCAP and Showbiz written to MPEG2.
I then used Audacity to capture the audio and Power Sound Editor to twin the single STEREO track into two MONO tracks.
I then used POWER Director 10 to clip out the original audio and insert the twin track MONO - simply to balance the sound distribution. Saved as MPEG4.
I now propose to use PD10 to cut it into scenes and remove the dross.

Is the resultant file likely to have suffered significant loss in the process?

Rather than export the file as MPEG4 from PD10 and then working on that file, I would have done the scene cuts in PD10 at the same time as the sound work - this way it's only recoded once.

I assuming that PD10 doesn't re-encode just needed parts - it may, it may not but why take the chance?

You should be able to save the project so that you can come back to it later, saves unnecessary encodes.

Should I now see if PD10 can actually capture the primary stream from the EZCAP (or an appropriate DVD recorder) and hopefully (remembering that ShowBiz slugged the AAC CODEC), correctly handle the MONO audio?

Yes, if you can reduce the number of encoding steps to one all the better.

Qualifier - Serious Amateur Status, with the divine right to spout bulls**t and sufficient time available to simply re-capture from the original tapes, and follow the experts' advice smiley

As long as I'm allowed the same, spout BS that is smiley
105  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 10, 2014, 05:23:37 PM
Digressing a bit:

You do have to be a little careful since I seem to recall not every Digital8 camera included support for reading Hi8. I'm guessing this is limited to first generation units but that really is just a guess.

It's why I mentioned model dependent but the situation was worse in Europe because of Government greed.

A lot of camcorder models were crippled deliberately by the manufacturers because of EU tax laws.

  • If a camcorder recorded video through the lens, (ie. normal operation), it was classed as a camera recorder and the manufacturer was taxed as such.
  • If the camcorder could also record through its inputs, (firewire, USB, A/V), it was also classed as a video recorder, (ie. the equivalent of a VCR), and the tax for that was also added to the camcorder tax, (ie. double taxation).

So the manufacturers in order to avoid paying the import duty for a VCR on camcorders, removed that functionality from a lot of models.

I have a nEUtered Sony DCR TRV-10e that, (as opposed to the Australian version), did not record via Firewire and the complete analog digitiser circuitry is not installed.  However, input via Firewire could be enabled by the interfacing of the LANC port with a computer serial port and a little hex editing smiley

Assuming that's not an option, my first recommendation for analog capture would actually be an external Canopus DV converter.

Completely forgot about them, I was hoping to get one when I was doing all my video transfers but could never scrape up the money or they weren't around when I did have the money :/

My next choice after that was going to be a TV card with a hardware encoder which are still available.
106  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why is my desktop email client breaking mail message headers? on: March 09, 2014, 08:01:10 PM
Maybe start off with Nirsoft SmartSniff ?

Since POP3 is a text protocol, it might be a little easier to get running and understand compared to WireShark.

Just had a thought, if your email server uses TLS/SSL, (eg. Google), then you'll get very little in the way of human readable data through packet capture.

eg. Here's a packet capture from GMail:


Randomised munging instigated by me smiley
107  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 09, 2014, 05:20:45 PM
Hi Vurbal:

That was me actually, I see I did manage to muddy the waters smiley

Video format properties did indeed default to the NTSC version you intimated but I noticed your own example was showing PAL and being in Europe I originally thought I would need to set PAL as well.

I thought you were in the USA at the time, that's why I mentioned the NTSC settings.  Now I know you're in Europe your settings should have been the same as mine except for the Format which might be different from the PAL-B we had in Australia.

I did however leave it at the default NTSC and it seemed to work fine - confused!

It's the wrong frame rate.  As you can see from your two texts outputs above, VirtualVCR is trying to capture at close to 25fps, (PAL), because that's what the EzyCAP is reporting the source is, whereas MediaInfo is reporting 29.97fps, (NTSC), because that's what you've told it to capture at.

This will cause A/V sync problems as you found.

When I tried to adjust the audio volume input level it refused any changes from the default -99db, although after I eventually reset the audio channels to mono I did seem to get the correct amount of audio from both speakers. Not an issue, just wondered why it wouldn't let me change it!

It's dependent on the capture device because the EzyCAP performs the digital conversion in the device it probably automatically adjusts for audio gain - so it's probably not necessary to adjust volume for it.

I also observed that the Default Video Frame setting was 320x240 as you can see from the image below

The Use Custom Setting isn't checked so it's ignored - which is why I didn't mention it Wink

It will default to the resolution of the capture device and this is where we come to with this:

But, the preview monitor showed 640x480 which I believe is probably the source definition.

640x480 is not the resolution of the video source, it's 720x576 - standard PAL.

This is why I don't use the EzyCAP because it's default resolution isn't a television one - it's 640x480, which is standard VGA resolution.

I used it once - the only resolution I could get it to capture at was 640x480, which is definitely not the normal PAL resolution of 720x576.  At that point the EzyCAP was consigned to the cupboard never to see the light of day again.

I didn't care if it was scaling the input signal to produce a nice square pixel output, I wanted the full video frame to work with - which is why I switched to an internal TV card for capture.

I've attached below, the statistics produced by both VVCR and MediaInfo. If you could give them a quick look and verify they're what's to be expected it would be greatly appreciated.

As I mentioned above, you're capturing at the wrong frame rate, you need to set it for the same as I show in my post.

If that doesn't work then under Settings->Video, check the Use Custom Settings and set them to: 720x576 (may or may not be honoured); Colour Format YUY2; Frame Rate 25.00.

If VVCR complains because of the resolution then you might have to change it to 640x480.
108  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 09, 2014, 04:30:19 AM
On the old XP box I do have firewire but not on this 8.1 machine.

The XP machine should have no problem, you'd need about 20GB per 90 minutes.  As long as it's not doing something else CPU or HDD intensive you should be fine.

I use to do all my DV editing on an old 1600+ Athlon XP machine.
109  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 09, 2014, 04:04:42 AM
No problems, if you can get it around that price it's worth taking a gamble.

It says IEEE1394 (Firewire/iLink) in the specs, down under Connections - you may not see my modded post above so:

You do have a Firewire connection on your computer, don't you?

With the transfer via Firewire, I think Scenalyzer might fall back to scene detection since Hi8 tapes don't have the embedded timecodes of DV so you should still be able to capture with it.

But there's also a couple of other simple programs that will let you capture video via Firewire:

Most NLE programs will also capture DV without a problem, (eg. Vegas, Premiere, etc).
110  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 09, 2014, 03:46:18 AM
Since you're in Europe, I would specifically ask if it will play back Hi8 tapes and transfer them over Firewire .... but then if they're clearing house they may not know.

Do you have a link for the item?

PM it if you don't want those sneaky DC people to see it  smiley

BTW, your computer does have a Firewire interface, right?
111  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 09, 2014, 01:29:36 AM
4wd: Have found a Sony DCR TRV-355 which seems to have AV interface component video and s.video - not sure if it's one of these that's supposed to connect to firewire.

What country are you in?

I had thought you were in the USA.  That models PAL, as long as the Hi8 tapes are recorded in PAL there should be no problem.

The TRV-355 would be suitable according to specs, it has Firewire, (IEEE1394), and according to this review on Amazon it should fit the bill nicely.

I had been concerned that I would not be able to save my old Hi8 tapes that had been taken over tha past 8 years when my old camcorder packed up. I trawled the net to find a product that could use my old tape format Hi8 but also give me the new digitised system Digital 8 of recording. Well, this camera does it and more! Within minutes of it's arrival I was linked up and downloading my video footage. [Pre order a firewire cable]. ......

To transfer DV from the camcorder will require ~2GB for every 10 minutes of footage IIRC.
112  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Directory Opus 11 Released! on: March 08, 2014, 09:20:30 PM
This behavior may have changed since the release of v11, ...

V11 contacts = markmonitor.com = Google

NetRange -
Handle   NET-173-194-0-0-1
Parent   NET173 (NET-173-0-0-0-0)
Net Type   Direct Allocation
Origin AS   AS15169
Organization   Google Inc. (GOGL)
113  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: usa job stats on: March 08, 2014, 09:00:32 PM
Heh you just said "professional". That means you are getting paid!

Just because people do things in a professional manner it does not follow that they are a professional.

It also means to competently tackle something.
114  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 08, 2014, 08:36:27 PM
Not trying to muddy waters or anything but you might try VirtualVCR.


Hit the Settings button to get:


Under the File tab set your output file name/location, check the Add Compatibility Index, and optionally whether you want to keep the stats output and/or have the date/time in the file name.


Under the Audio tab, check Capture Audio.  Click the Input Settings button and select your input volume control, (I have to use Front Mic input and Master Volume on my machine), and set the volume level.


Check Compress Audio and select PCM, click the Properties button and select the highest 44.1kHz Stereo setting.


This bit is going to be completely different for you.  Under the Devices tab, select your Video/Audio device, select the  Video Source, and then under Device Settings there'll be an entry pertaining to Video Capture, (there may be more than one), click the Properties button and make sure the Stream Format is correct.  Yours will probably say NTSC-M or J, Frame Rate 29.97, Color Space YUY2, and 720x480 (default).

You can OK out of settings now and click the Save button, (next to Settings button).  Click the Stats button, (second from right), and move the Stats window out of the way.

This sets VirtualVCR up to capture RAW video with PCM audio, space required for the capture will be ~1.2GB/minute, (600GB is good for about 7-8 hours recording).

Here's the Stats window:


The ones of most interest are: Dropped(2), Time/Space Left, and A/V Rate Matching

The first two are how many frames have been dropped due to: poor quality tape, high CPU/HDD usage due to other processes interfering, sync correction if necessary, etc.
Time/Space Left tell you how much more recording you can do to that drive.
A/V Rate Matching informs you of how well synced the output is likely to be - you want the Video fps to be as close to the standard as possible, at the same time you want the Audio sampling rate to be as close as possible to what you chose.  The Delta to be as small as possible.

If you're having problems with keeping A/V sync then you can try playing with the A/V Sync settings.

Until you get the input set up correctly I'd probably enable the Smart Tee filter under Settings->View, this will allow you to view the video stream, (this doesn't work under Windows 8).  After you've got the inputs set, I'd disable it as it puts unnecessary load on the system, something you don't want while capturing.

Just having played with VirtualVCR again, I have to say I'm impressed with Windows 8.1 - one dropped frame over 10 minutes while I was typing this and other programs running in the background.  Something that wasn't even remotely possibly under Windows 7 on my machine previously, I would have had to kill almost all tasks and even then it'd be touch and go.
115  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What happened? on: March 08, 2014, 03:25:12 AM
I won a fine program, but I really can't use it.

You're looking at it from the glass half empty perspective, just consider it a subtle push to broaden your linguistic abilities.  Wink

Or, you could always offer it as a quiz prize here on DC.
116  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 07, 2014, 06:00:33 PM
4wd: Unfortunately, my camcorder is analogue and I don't have a TV card, thanks for your input anyway Thmbsup

Your EzyCAP device is just a TV tuner without the tuner, it uses the same Philips chipset as a lot of analog TV cards, (I've got an EzyCAP lying around here somewhere - the internal TV card always performed better for me).

But here's a suggestion you may not have thought of to make capturing Hi8 ridiculously easy and if you have a lot of Hi8 tapes to do, it might be worthwhile.

Back when MiniDV camcorders were popular, (around 2000), Sony brought out the Digital8w camcorder format, this allowed the camcorder to record DV on to Hi8 tapes.
There was one very good side benefit of this - the camcorder, (model dependent), could convert analog recorded Hi8 tapes to digital output.

Put the tape in the camcorder, plug it into the firewire port, run Scenalyzer Live, scan tape, extract wanted clips.  No fiddling with codecs, capture settings, etc and less prone to dropped video frames.

Sony Digital8 camcorders are still available on ebay, some at very cheap prices.  I'm willing to bet that most of them these days are used for Hi8 -> DV conversion and when the job is done they are sold on.

Check the model number first - even better if you can find someone who still has one and will lend it to you.
117  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 07, 2014, 12:52:47 AM
Normally I would advise against Vegas because I hate Sony.

If it helps, remember that they didn't create Vegas Video in the first place smiley

Out of the NLE programs I've played with, (a few years ago now), it's still the one that was easiest to use and just worked without having to look at the manual.

Their DVD Architect program is a whole other animal though, I just could not wrap my head around how to do anything in it - DVD-Lab has it beaten hands down.

Referring back to the OP:
Anybody know of, or feel like writing a utility to scan video files MPEGs, AVIs etc for the gaps between "scenes".
The target market would be all amateur video photographers who tend to use their new toy more like a video snapshot camera and produce 90 minute tapes with loads of dross between the scenes.
That dross needs to be edited out and finding the stuff - almost frame by frame, takes an eternity.
These gaps are "normally" a few frames - or seconds, with the snowy interference pattern you get on a screen when the transmission ends but the TV is left on, or sometimes just black frames.
If the entire file could be scanned and an index built giving the position to within a couple of seconds, or frames - then it would make life so much easier.

This is exactly what Scenalyzer Live did for DV camcorders - originally US$35, it's now free.

You'd plug your DV camera into the firewire port on your computer, it'd scan the entire tape, (90min), in about 5 minutes at FF.  At the end you'd have a window showing each clip on the tape, (date data is embedded in DV), you then select what clips you wanted and tell it to save them, (you could also join/split, trim out dropped frames, etc).  It'd then control the camcorder to transfer every clip to your HDD.

A magic program and if you have a DV camcorder still, you really should be using it - it might even work with any newer solid state camcorder that has a firewire port.  I honestly can't praise it enough.
118  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 06, 2014, 06:38:23 PM
Something that I've used previously with good results, (analog input via TV card), is VirtualVCR - hasn't been updated for ages but then it doesn't really need to be.

Capturing to either in a MPJG (Motion JPEG) or Huffyuv codec, or RAW video.

One program for capturing where I've never had a problem with AV sync loss is iuVCR/iuVCS - paid program and hasn't been updated for a while and the interface is rather strange to get your head around.  I honestly wouldn't recommend buying it now purely because of the lack of development, (I bought it over 10 years ago and still use it occasionally).

I would consider investing in a copy of Sony's Vegas Video if you can - if only for the reason that if you do get AV sync loss it makes it so easy to correct it, (relatively speaking).  I've never bothered tweaking or fiddling with any capture that suffered AV sync loss, just loaded it into Vegas and corrected it - it was faster for me to do that, (minutes), than spend hours redoing a capture.
You can still get the older Vegas 11 Platinum Edition on Amazon for $36 which gives you DVD Architect as well.

It also does video capture but I haven't used it.
119  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Firefox Extensions: Your favorite or most useful on: March 05, 2014, 06:11:58 PM
To my surprise this works:
Simple Google Ads Remover

There's ads on Google?

I haven't seen ads on Google pages since I started using AdBlock Plus or Edge years ago.

ABE off:

ABE on:

And while we're mentioning search engines and UserScripts: Google Hit Hider by Domain
Script Summary: Block unwanted sites from your searches (Google, Startpage.com, DuckDuckGo).

120  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video Editors on: March 05, 2014, 05:47:42 PM
For AVISynth there's MSU TV Commercial Detector which will make using AVISynth (reasonably) easy.

Besides the normal black frame detection it can also analyse for the station logo, which tends to disappear during commercials so as not to annoy the sponsors.

The resulting .avs file, (which contains sections to keep/discard), can be used by any program that can make use of AVISynth or understand it's files, eg. VirtualDub, AVIDemux.

NOTE: VirtualDub is geared towards AVI media not using MPEG2, (due to licensing), but AVIDemux can handle most media codecs - there's also the offshoot VirtualDubMod which can handle MPEG2.

Don't know how accurate it's going to be, (I use VideoRedo, as Vurbal mentioned).
121  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Directory Opus 11 Released! on: March 04, 2014, 07:08:27 PM
Still giant. :/

Move further away from the monitor or get a 4k monitor, on that a toolbar of only 28 pixels height, (~1.2%), will look quite small.

I'm sure that squinting at the the monitor from a distance of 300mm using 5x bifocals, the toolbars will look giant.

Honestly, saying they're "giant" is rather pointless because you've given no reference, it's in the same league as "It doesn't work."
122  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: XP to Windows 7 advice on: March 04, 2014, 12:07:05 AM
Otherwise I don't want to create any kind of Microsoft account if I don't have to (don't twitter, use facebook, gmail, etc either because I don't have to.)

You don't, you can use any account you like.

I like and use Firefox, so I figure I'd probably be ok with Thunderbird.  Are there things about Windows Live Mail that are better?

I can't tell you, I use Thunderbird v10 smiley
123  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: XP to Windows 7 advice on: March 03, 2014, 05:54:49 PM
Windows Live Mail is web-based, no?  I really like having all my email on my machine.

As Vurbal said above, Live Mail, (from the Live Essentials pack), is a standalone program as was Outlook Express, you use it the same way, eg. download your emails via POP3 to be stored locally.  It's just a largely updated version of OE.

From Wikipediaw:
Windows Live Mail (formerly named Windows Live Mail Desktop, code-named Elroy) is a freeware email client from Microsoft. It is the successor to Outlook Express on Windows XP and Windows Mail on Windows Vista. The application is available for download via the Windows Essentials suite.

Windows Live Essentials:
Programs include Windows Live Messenger, Mail, Writer, Photo Gallery, Family Safety, Toolbar, and Movie Maker, plus Outlook Connector, Office Live Add-in, and Microsoft Silverlight.

Download the web installer and then just select Live Mail, it'll be downloaded and installed.  It'll prompt you to create a Microsoft Live email account when first run, (IIRC), if it doesn't find a program to import from but you can safely cancel those requesters and just import your old emails, accounts, and contacts from wherever you've exported them from OE.

If you used and liked OE, you'll have no problems with Live Mail.
124  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: unattended large file copies that will not prompt for msg on: March 03, 2014, 06:21:37 AM
Directory Opus 10:

125  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: XP to Windows 7 advice on: March 02, 2014, 10:48:29 PM
I just did a data migrate for someone whose computer had died, from XP to Windows 8 - they wanted their emails from OE6 migrated across as well as reinstall of Office 2010 Student Edition (no Outlook).

So I just installed Windows Live Mail (only) from Windows Live Essentials and imported the account and emails, painless.

Person was happy because it was like OE - I'd uninstalled the default Windows 8 email thing so they never had to look at it.
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