Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Video to DVD Transfer - Capture Problems

When doing a video to dvd transfer project, you may run into problem when capturing the video. This can happen in both analog and digital transfers. Here are some common problems and solutions:

1. Delay from the time video begins playing and video starts recording--this is quite common. In analog projects, this delay is usually 2-3 seconds; in digital video to dvd captures, the delay can be as much as 5-7 seconds. The delay occurs as the computer is converting the signal into digital format. Suggested solution--when recording your video footage (at a wedding, etc.), always start recording at least 10 seconds before the footage you actually want to capture begins. You can always edit out this footage later.

2. Computer you're using does not have a built in capture card--if it's a desktop computer, you can purchase and install a capture card. If this is not an option or if you're using a laptop computer, you can purchase a firewire or USB capture device.

3. Video skips when importing it - if the video is skipping, it usually means you need to turn off as many background programs as possible so the majority of your computer's installed memory can be dedicated to the capture process. Other less common reasons include a cable that has one or both ends not completely seated (into the camera/capture device or the computer); a faulty cable, especially if it has become bent; a background virus scan is taking place which uses up a lot of RAM memory; a final solution is to stop the capturing process, reboot the computer and try again. When in doubt--reboot!

4. Can't decide what video format to capture in - if your video is 1 hour or less, capture the footage in .avi format as it will fit onto a standard blank DVD disc. If the footage is between 1 hour and 2 1/2 hours, choose .mpg (mpeg2 if that's a choice). This format is smaller and size and should also allow you to fit the video footage on to a standard blank DVD. If you want to capture the footage for use with a portable device, check the owner's manual to that device and use the suggested format (usually .mp4 or .wmv).

5. Audio and video and not in synch (like a poorly dubbed Japanese horror movie) - the most common cause is not enough memory available for the capture. Turn off background programs to start. If you are able to resize the video capture window to a smaller size, that will also help. It can also mean your hard drive is getting too full.

6. Capturing video that was recorded from a digital camera looks low quality - many digital cameras allow you to capture short bursts of video footage. However, understand that this is not high quality video footage and is mostly meant for uploading the files to sites such as youtube to share with others. When you import these files to your computer, while they may look good when the window size is small they will lose a lot of quality when you convert them to .avi or .mpg and put them on a DVD.

7. The video capture used to work, but now it's giving me problems - in most cases, you need to uninstall the driver for your capture card or capture card, reboot the computer, reinstall the driver, reboot the computer and try again. That usually solves the problem.

8. Video freezes during capture - quite a common problem. Could be not enough memory, your computer has an older chip, or the tape itself has problems which causes the signal to be lost. In most cases you will have to keep what has been captured, cue the tape where it stopped capturing, and start capturing a second file. It can also mean that your hard drive is becoming too full.

9. I have captured video files on a CD that are in .mov (quicktime format) and I can't make a DVD with them - the easiest way it to upgrade your quicktime program to PRO, open the file and have quicktime convert it to either .avi or .mpg.

10. Frames are dropped during capture - this happens frequently. If it's just a few frames over the course of a large video, it's not a big deal. If you're getting lots and lots of dropped frames, it's usually a memory problem and your computer can't keep up with the capture.