More on video capture

After capturing two and a half hours of video with PCTV Vision, I was a little disappointed as the audio and video were horribly out of sync. Reading around various forums revealed that this is a common problem.

I had heard that Showshifter ($74.99) was supposed to be good, so gave it a try but experienced the same problem. I believe the loss of sync is caused when video frames are dropped and the sound card continues to capture audio as it is a separate subsystem. Note that I only tried Showshifter with the default Pinnacle drivers, which I believe are to blame rather than the product itself.

Once again I tried the BtWinCap drivers, and tried a different piece of capture software, WinDVD Recorder ($99.95) from Intervideo. This worked well, and had the advantage of being able to capture straight to MPEG-2 for input into a DVD authoring package.
I then used TMPGEnc DVD Author ($68) to transform the raw MPEG-2 video into DVD object files complete with menus. It also let me to set up chapters and perform some limited linear editing.

I also used a different VCR – a Panasonic 4-head model – which despite its age still produced superior output to the newer Matsui (urgh!) model I was previously using. With phono A/V outputs, this also negated the need for my dodgy custom SCART converter.

The final product (finished at half past midnight on Christmas morning!) was satisfactory, but next time I would like to use the original 8mm footage – the 12-year-old camcorder still works at least on mains power – and find some software enabling me to perform finer editing.

Note that this was a cheap project as I was able to use trial versions of all software products, but I would like to find free or at least cheaper alternatives for future use, so any recommendations are welcome.

Hope you all had a great Christmas!

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