HV20, eMacG4, iMovie06, SDV perfect, HDV????

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Bugale Barnenez, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Bugale Barnenez macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2008
    A month ago my wife and I bought a Canon HV20 camescope. So far we have filled 10 one hour tapes with HDV video.

    Yesterday we bought a Sony 32W4000 full-1080 HDTV to watch the tapes on (HD TV transmissions don't start in our area for a few months yet)

    We are stunned, shocked and knocked over backwards by the superb quality of the HDV video we have shot. It's incredible, unbelievable.... better than what we saw with the naked eye. Canon and Sony have just put Hollywood out of business.

    Now for the problem bit - editing and getting copies out to the family.

    I am using an eMac G4 1GHz with 756 of RAM and terrabytes of external firewire hard drives. System 10.4.11 with iMovie 6.0.3 --- (Yes, yes yes, I know, but I love the eMac. It reminds me of my first Mac Pluses

    I can input my HD as SD 16/9 into iMovie, edit it, convert to Quicktime full quality and use Toast 8 to make PAL DVDs (We live in Europe). No problems there. This is all I originally hoped for with a 5 year old eMac.
    Our original thinking was
    a - The HV20 would be much better in low-light filming than any SDV camescope we looked at (And so far the low light performance has far far exceeded anything we ever dreamed of.
    b - Film in HD now, while the youngsters are still young and the oldsters are still with us, and save these tapes for when editing technology and blue ray prices catch up in the future. In the meantime we can put DVDs out in SD .

    But the results have been so good I'd like to experiment with editing HD already.
    Here is the first big problem.
    I open a new project in iMovie, setting it to 1080i format. A 16/9 window opens on the computer and carries the label "Title (HD-1080i-25). Then as soon as it detects the Canon HV20 it closes up to a 4/3 window and the heading changes to DV-PAL
    On the camera I have tried the output format settings of Auto and HDV - no difference. I have also tried disconnecting all other firewire devices - no difference. I cannot see what else to try.

    I assume that iMovie06 is weighing up the task, and the computer resources available, and putting its hands in the air, switching automatically to SD because HD is too big a job for it. However, maybe I am wrong. Maybe somebody can tell me about a secret button or something....
  2. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    I have that same camera. Brilliant. I think that you will need to use the Apple Intermediate Codec to transfer over HD footage. If iMovie '06 doesn't have it then you're likely out of luck.

    It seems that iMovie can certainly handle HD video. The trick is getting it out of the camera in the first place.

    I'm using FCE though but I haven't yet dumped my HD footage. I'll get around to it eventually!
  3. Bugale Barnenez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2008
    Thanks for the info.
    My iMovie'06 I installed from an Apple iLife'06 disk I bought secondhand from the Austrian eBay so if the Apple Intermediate Codec comes with that it should be installed.... Though all I can find on my Mac is AppleIntermediateCodec.component in "Library->Quicktime" This is dated Dec 2005, version 1.1
    My Quicktime Player gets automatic updatings. The latest was 7.5.5 two days ago, so either this AIC.component does not get updated, or is a stray download from the past.
    Just have to keep ferreting away I guess, until a path opens up or we update the Mac and get FCE.
    P.S. You are right about the camera, it's brilliant.
  4. Bugale Barnenez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2008
    Problem solved - There is a control in the HV20 play menu - Play/output Setup2. This lets you switch between DVD Locked and HDV/DV.

    Mine was on DVD Locked, but I didn't know it because this information disappears when the camera is connected to the computer by the firewire cable, and changing it is impossible anyway when the two are connected.

    It took several days to discover this (accidentally) but when the camera is not connected to the computer the data shows. I could see it said "DVD locked" and it was simple to change it to "HDV/DV". Once I did that I could start capturing HDV clips into iMovie'06.

    However, whilst importing SDV is rapid enough - an hour of video takes an hour to capture, importing HDV into the eMac 1GHz was a bit slower. The indicator was flicking between 1/8 and 1/4 speed, so an hour of video would probably have taken 6 hours to capture.

    At that point I was far enough up the learning curve to start wondering what I could possibly do with that captured HD video???

    I hooked up the D15 connector on the Sony 1920x1080 HDTV to the eMac (using an adaptor) and found I could play the video on the TV well enough to see that it was in high definition (probably 1280 x 768 at 75Hz which is the maximum 16/9 size my eMac allows). However it was incredibly jerky, playing about 1 frame in every 20.

    At this point I was reasonably satisfied. I had found how to get the HDV video into the computer.

    Now I know that all I need is _
    A - a faster computer, and
    B - maybe 5 to 10 years of patience before the technology becomes affordable enough, i.e. a blue ray (or similar) writer for me, and HDTVs and blue ray readers for all the family (most of whom seem to be waiting for the TV programme content to improve before even thinking of buying a better TV.

    As to the faster computer .... I am waiting to see what the next update to the iMac 24 inch will be like. Obviously it will have firewire ports won't it? No company could have a big enough death-wish to make three such mistakes in a row.
  5. martin08 macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Brilliant camera apparently. I'm thinking of buying it or the HV30. If you want to see some of the things it can do in more detail, take a look at www.HV20.com
    The forum there is really useful.

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