View Full Version : Dropped Frames

2006-03-04, 02:21 PM
I recently got this DV converter for transferring Hi8's, VHS, etc. to my PC. I run the S-Video & audio cables into my converter (ADS Tech API-550), then a Firewire goes to my PC. I keep getting dropped frames, not a whole lot, but I don't want any because it messes up the video :disbelief . For capturing, I've used Vegas 6, Nero, WinDV....but they all drop frames on me. I've read tips on how to optimize my PC for capturing, like Defragmenting, no other programs running in the background, turning the preview window off, etc, etc, etc. I could really use some more pointers on this subject if anyone knows. Here's a layout of what I'm using:

Pentium 4 w/ 3.2gHz chip (brand spankin' new)
1 gig RAM
75 gig hard drive (65 gig free space)
Windows XP
ADS Tech Pyro A/V Link API-550 (analog > DV > Firewire converter)
Vegas 6, Nero, WinDV (capturing programs)

2006-03-04, 02:44 PM
How much free hard drive space do you have?

you should have at least about a 50 gig chunk for every hour of video.

defragmenting is effective because it moves all your files to the insides of the platters in your harddrive and then you have large chunks on the outsides for capturing.

dropped frames usually happen while capturing when the program runs into some data on the platter and has to jump over it or find a whole nother place to start writing the data stream again.

2006-03-04, 03:33 PM
Well I just built a brand new PC for doing just audio/video stuff. It has a 75 gig hard drive w/ 65 gigs of free space. I also tried on my other older PC (117 gig), but I get the same results. For example...I tried capturing a Hi8 tape thats 69 minutes long. It drops about 32 frames in the beginning. Then it will drop 32 frames a couple more times before the capture is finished. But of course it sucks when I play it back, because it will kinda skip where the frames were dropped. When surfing the web for answers, people seem to rave about using WinDV because it has a built-in memory buffer to prevent frame dropping. But it still drops them. I have my DMA enabled, my "indexing for fast file searching" turned off. All that stuff they say makes capturing smoother. I've also read that using an external Firewire hard drive helps too, but I haven't tried that yet because I don't have one. Could it possibly be my DV converter? I just don't know.

Thanks for the help outpost.

2006-03-04, 03:47 PM
try this if your using vegas

on the capture screen click options
then put a check on smart preview video

it just turns preview off during capture.. and should help w/ dropped frames

2006-03-04, 03:52 PM
I did try that w/ each program including Vegas, but it didn't help. Well maybe it helped, but I still got dropped frames, you know. Thanks p_k. Could it be the source tape maybe?? I've tried quite a few different Hi8's (some new, some old).

2006-03-04, 03:59 PM
disconnect from the interwebth when capturing
id say try a new cord or camera... unless its only droppin a few,
then double check your stuff (footage) :roflol:

2006-03-04, 04:12 PM
Yep, the PC I'm using to capture isn't connected to the internet. I'm using top-quality S-Video cables. I've tried 2 different Firewire cables. Oh, I use a Sony Hi8 home deck, and I've also tried w/ just my Hi8 Camcorder.

What would the footage do to the capture process?

2006-03-04, 05:25 PM
nuthin... just playin

2006-03-04, 05:38 PM
Ya, I figured you were. I didn't notice the :roflol: at first. I've been reading up on the following link:


I guess you fellas have helped as much as you can. I'm on my own now I guess. Thanks guys.

2006-03-04, 06:16 PM
good link
i am going to go with the original tapes
i have tried to convert vhs and some drop frames and some don't
ones in LP tend to drop more

2006-03-06, 07:19 AM
It would help to have a scratch drive to capture too. Your computer looks well within spec otherwise. I think you would see abnormal things when viewing the tape if it had the problem. I bet its something to do with your capture method. Although that sounds like its ok.... Good luck. Sorry no help. Maybe do a memtest on your RAM. grasping for straws here. :lol:

I also disagree that an external hdd will help. IT's just not possible. The transfer rates of firewire/USB etc.. rarely come close to those of the system bus. Although having two drives (a scratch drive for capturing too) will help.

2006-03-06, 08:29 AM
do the digital capture method or pass thru if at all possible...as svideo/captures are shwaggy in comparison..... i use a digi 8 and transfer hi 8 tapes thru it digitally firewired to pc using vegas and never drop frames....sooo <><

2006-03-06, 11:28 AM
Thanks for more info guys. I got it to work now. I was able to transfer a 2 hour Hi8 w/o any dropped frames. The only thing I did differently this time around was using a 3rd Firewire cable (3rd time's a charm). I don't have a digital 8 deck/cam or miniDV. But I am using a DV converter that's made for this kind of stuff. I couldn't say which is better....going pass-thru a Digital deck/cam, or using my DV converter. But it seems great to me. One other thing I did was.....after I captured the video/audio to AVI. I then rewound the tape, and ran just the audio through my Sony DAT deck w/ SBM on > s/pdif > Sound Forge. The cam audio came out much better after running it separetly through the DAT. That Super Bit Mapping function can work wonders, imo.

So ya, seems to be working for me now, thanks for all the help/tips.