The DV capture problem no one could solve.

I’m posting this mostly as a Public Service Announcement. Yesterday I spent several hours capturing all the DV video from a rally. I didn’t even look at the finished product, I just went on capturing 2 hours of video. After that was done I played the first clip. :eek: Keep in mind that the playback speed was fine. I preview it to a monitor as I capture it and it was normal speed.

SP play with LP tape capture too fastThe saved .avi (DV) clip however was too fast. The audio sounded like chipmunks in an RC car. I changed tapes and found it the same for stuff I had recorded months ago. Fine on playback – too fast after capture. So, let me state this again for those desperately seeking search words. When I captured Digital Video from my Sony Handycam in Windows Movie Maker, the video was too fast. One thing I noticed was that while capturing – the clock telling you how much time has been captured was counting up way too slow. The other thing I noticed was the clip was split by two horizontal lines on the screen (see arrows). When the scene would move fast, you could see the difference in the picture between the top, middle, and bottom of the screen.

I have done NOTHING to my PC lately and I sat dumbfounded as to why it would all of a sudden start doing this. I started an exhausted search on the web for: captured video too fast; DV video speed capture; windows movie maker capture too fast. Thankfully someone, somewhere mentioned LP vs. SP and how problems can occur with their use. I defragmented, I chkdsk’d, I reloaded DV drivers – with no luck. I also absolutely hate when people point to a ‘mysterious codec issue.’ No one had any answers as to why my captured video was too fast.

It was only after I started to poke at the camera itself as the culprit that I found the issue. When I turned on the camera yesterday it was telling me to set the time and date. This was an indication to me later that the settings had been lost. I record to 8mm tape in the car on an older Sony unit in LP, then play it in a newer “dedicated” 8mm TRV-460 to my computer. I was still thinking that the LP and SP change was the issue so I set the clock and set the machine to record in LP mode. It made no difference – :( – until I took THAT tape out and put another one in. I noticed that the picture was less grainy and those horizontal lines were gone. Sure enough, when I plugged the firewire cable in and captured a few seconds of video, I had fixed it.

If you do have to record in LP, make sure your player is also set to LP even when playing it back. After setting it, take out the tape and pop it back in. There is nothing wrong with your computer, please don’t load a codec pack – as this is RAW DV and has yet to be encoded. I hope that solves your issue. :D

About The Author


Hardware hacker, technology integrator, and maker. He enjoys staring blankly at code, voiding the warranty, and touching things in the back. When not doing that he is building and racing a rally car.

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10 2007

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