Composite video capture

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

My p.c. has a Matrox RT.X100 capture card that I use for DV capture from my
camcorder (a Sony TRV30E). You can also use the RT.X100 for composite video
capture, if you're so inclined.

However, the Sony TRV30E has a "pass-through" facility, whereby a composite
video input signal is converted to DV out (or so I thought). This means that
I can use my camcorder as an external converter and capture composite video
to a firewire input on my p.c.

Is there any advantage of using RT.X100 composite video capture over the
above method? Which would give the best quality: capture card or camcorder
"converter"? Has anyone experimented?

When I put this question to Matrox technical support, they replied "Using
your camcorder as an external converter would not be to your advantage
because the analog signal is not converted into DV." Eh? Isn't it converted
into an DV-format 25fps AVI file? If not, what is it converted to then?

Does the RT.X100 convert composite video to DV?
10 answers Last reply
More about composite video capture
  1. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

    "Pandora" <no--spam@pandora.be> wrote in message
    news:pc2dnbKhPdvx_rfcRVn-tg@nildram.net...
    > My p.c. has a Matrox RT.X100 capture card that I use for DV capture from
    > my
    > camcorder (a Sony TRV30E). You can also use the RT.X100 for composite
    > video
    > capture, if you're so inclined.
    >
    > However, the Sony TRV30E has a "pass-through" facility, whereby a
    > composite
    > video input signal is converted to DV out (or so I thought). This means
    > that
    > I can use my camcorder as an external converter and capture composite
    > video
    > to a firewire input on my p.c.
    >
    > Is there any advantage of using RT.X100 composite video capture over the
    > above method? Which would give the best quality: capture card or camcorder
    > "converter"? Has anyone experimented?
    >
    > When I put this question to Matrox technical support, they replied "Using
    > your camcorder as an external converter would not be to your advantage
    > because the analog signal is not converted into DV." Eh? Isn't it
    > converted
    > into an DV-format 25fps AVI file? If not, what is it converted to then?
    >
    > Does the RT.X100 convert composite video to DV?
    >
    >
    Even when recording analogue you want to avoid composite if you can, and use
    s-video instead.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

    "John Russell" <john_e_russell@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:412a64d3$1_2@mk-nntp-2.news.uk.tiscali.com...
    >
    > >
    > Even when recording analogue you want to avoid composite if you can, and
    use
    > s-video instead.
    >
    >

    Perhaps you could clear up an area of confusion for me...

    I recorded the analogue video on VHS-C, not S-VHS. I thought a S-Video
    connection was used for S-VHS only.

    My capture device has a S-Video input. Can I connect a S-Video cable between
    my VHS-C player and capture device, and achieve a better quality signal than
    using the composite video connections?
  3. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

    "Pandora" <no--spam@pandora.be> wrote in message
    news:wPednTelycwT87fcRVn-jw@nildram.net...
    >
    > My capture device has a S-Video input. Can I connect a S-Video cable
    between
    > my VHS-C player and capture device, and achieve a better quality signal
    than
    > using the composite video connections?
    >
    Sorry, I re-read your post, John, and realised that you were making a
    general recommendation for S-Video as the preferred analogue format. Please
    ignore my subsidiary question.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

    Pandora wrote:

    > Is there any advantage of using RT.X100 composite video capture
    > over [using Sony TRV30E with its pass-through analog-in facility]
    > Which would give the best quality: capture card or camcorder
    > "converter"? Has anyone experimented?

    I do not have any experience on RT.X100, so I cannot answer your
    original question, but...

    > When I put this question to Matrox technical support, they
    > replied "Using your camcorder as an external converter would
    > not be to your advantage because the analog signal is not
    > converted into DV." Eh? Isn't it converted into an DV-format
    > 25fps AVI file? If not, what is it converted to then?

    ....all DV camcorders with a pass-through feature convert to
    DV format, so the answer you got from Matrox technical support
    is clearly wrong.

    --
    znark
  5. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

    Pandora wrote:

    > My capture device has a S-Video input. Can I connect a
    > S-Video cable between my VHS-C player and capture device,
    > and achieve a better quality signal than using the composite
    > video connections?

    VHC-C players usually (well, in practice, always, unless it is
    an S-VHS-C deck) only have a composite video output, so there
    is no place where you could plug in an S-video cable and get
    S-video signal to your capture device.

    --
    znark
  6. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

    "Pandora" <no--spam@pandora.be> wrote in message
    news:u-GdnU0JxtJW5rfcRVn-gQ@nildram.net...
    >
    > "Pandora" <no--spam@pandora.be> wrote in message
    > news:wPednTelycwT87fcRVn-jw@nildram.net...
    > >
    > > My capture device has a S-Video input. Can I connect a S-Video cable
    > between
    > > my VHS-C player and capture device, and achieve a better quality signal
    > than
    > > using the composite video connections?
    > >
    > Sorry, I re-read your post, John, and realised that you were making a
    > general recommendation for S-Video as the preferred analogue format.
    Please
    > ignore my subsidiary question.

    As already pointed out, the reply from Matrox tech line is silly. People
    have recommended using camcorder's AV-to-DV over tuner/grabber cards, though
    I haven't seen any explanation or justification why that would be better. My
    experience with a (Pinnacle PCTV Pro) tuner card is that the sound and the
    picture tend to get out of synch, as it has a separate sound system to
    capture the sound (ie., the sound card). If the picture is better, I have
    yet to see and test. It does offer me an ease of use though due to the said
    OOS problems.

    One thing that might be an advantage of the camcorder as a video grabber is
    that its output is a DV, while the grabber cards (their hardware or
    software) tend to produce an MPEG. With a DV, you have more control over how
    the MPEG is created - and if you even want to have a MPEG in the end.

    My advice is, do a few test captures, compare the ease of the process and
    the end result. I plan to do the same as soon as I have time for it.

    As for the S-Video over composite, S-Video generally produces a better
    picture. However, unless you have an S-VHS deck, plugging an S-Video (as an
    input or ouput via a SCART) will produce a greyscale image. A nice one, but
    still not in colour :)

    Matej
  7. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

    "Pandora" wrote ...
    > When I put this question to Matrox technical support, they
    > replied "Using your camcorder as an external converter
    > would not be to your advantage because the analog signal
    > is not converted into DV." Eh? Isn't it converted into an DV-
    > format 25fps AVI file? If not, what is it converted to then?

    Clearly an incorrect, mindless drone response recited off the
    generic script.

    However, to be precise, it is converted to a DV25 stream.
    Whether that gets recorded as an AVI file (or a MOV file,
    or even as a DV, DVCAM, or DVCpro tape) is an independent
    process.

    Note: "DV25" refers to the bandwidth, 25 MB/s, and NOT to the
    frame rate (25 for PAL/SECAM, and 30 for NTSC nominally.)

    Video standard (PAL/SECAM 25fps vs. NTSC 30fps) seems
    irrelevant to this question. DV is defined for both.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

    "Richard Crowley" <rcrowley7@xprt.net> wrote in message
    news:10ioq0hh4ju371@corp.supernews.com...
    >
    > However, to be precise, it is converted to a DV25 stream.
    > Whether that gets recorded as an AVI file (or a MOV file,
    > or even as a DV, DVCAM, or DVCpro tape) is an independent
    > process.
    >
    > Note: "DV25" refers to the bandwidth, 25 MB/s, and NOT to the
    > frame rate (25 for PAL/SECAM, and 30 for NTSC nominally.)
    >
    > Video standard (PAL/SECAM 25fps vs. NTSC 30fps) seems
    > irrelevant to this question. DV is defined for both.
    >
    >

    Thanks - that's helped my understanding.

    I'm struggling to see the value of the Matrox RT.X100 as a capture card when
    I can use the pass-through facility on my camcorder. The main value of the
    RT.X100 seems to be for real time editing.
  9. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

    Richard Crowley wrote:

    > Note: "DV25" refers to the bandwidth, 25 MB/s, and NOT to
    > the frame rate (25 for PAL/SECAM, and 30 for NTSC nominally.)

    Just to be pedantic, 25 Mbit/s (3.125 MB/s).

    --
    znark
  10. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop,uk.rec.video.digital (More info?)

    "Pandora" <no--spam@pandora.be> wrote in message
    news:yuCdnRQwk9K-DbHcRVn-tw@nildram.net...
    <snip>
    >
    > I'm struggling to see the value of the Matrox RT.X100 as a capture card
    when
    > I can use the pass-through facility on my camcorder. The main value of the
    > RT.X100 seems to be for real time editing.
    >

    Not everyone wants to use a camera to do mundane tasks like analogue to DV
    conversion when it (the camera) can be out shooting more rushes. In short
    you might not have a use for the board but most people will I suspect. As
    for the outputs on the RX cards, have you not got your monitor or TV
    connected to it ?
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