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Video editing/Capturer DV vidéo DV with dvgrab

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Capture vidéo is a delicate operation if one don't have a super computer.

Indeed, in case of any problem, one lose "frames", in fact images. The sound is mixed with the images. If one want only use the mixed sound, no worry, the loss is nearly invisible, but if one uses sound from different sources and want to sync it, each frame loss gives a 1/24s shift and this is very unconvenient

So it's better not to do anything else with the computer during capture. However DVgrab is very secure and I don't think I have lost any frame with it (in this case, it simply stops), but I had frequently the problem with Windows® applications.

Tested on

Initial writing
The 1394 modules are loaded automatically, it's enough to connect the camcorder and run dvgrab

Principle of working

You must have the ieee1394 modules loaded and, of course, the camcorder connected and switched in read mode.

dvgrab is a CLI application, close all the eventually perturbating apps and open an xterm.

Go to the folder where you wan the files to be written. These files are approx 1Gb and must stay at the same place for all the video editing work. They can be moved straight after the capture, but given the size, this is long, so better avoid it.



The capture begins automatically. The files will use the dv2 format, easy to read with nearly any application, cut in approx 1Gb chunks (approx 10 minutes) and named dvgrab-XXX, where XXX is a three digits number, for example:


You can add the --autosplit option to have the file cut at any timecode break (usually new sequence), very handy.

Interactive mode

If you run:

dvgrab -i

You enter an interactive mode.

gives the command list
quits, stopping an eventual capture
play the camcorder. If the camcorder screen is open you will have image and sound from it, but nothing from the PC, but a counter
start the capture
stops the capture
slow back move
fast forward
fast rewind

There are others commands, but on my computer the keyboard/dvgrab interface is not reliable, so I try not to use it.