Macbook Pro import vs Mac Pro import

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Rail16, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Rail16 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #1
    I'm using a Canon GL2 to record movies. Hooking up to the desktop system via firewire 400, using front and back ports, the video quality is horrible and blocky with lots of a/v artifacting. So much so that the video looks like I'm trying to stream over a dial up connection.

    Hooking the camera up to my laptop, using same firewire cable, the quality is as it should be.

    Both systems are using iMovie 08 and running Leopard.

    Things I've done other than trying a different computer and firewire ports:

    *at first I thought that maybe the firewire port has dust or something that was making the contact bad, cleaned out the port with compressed air, no change in quality

    *lowered recording quality on the cam

    *changed to a different tape for recording

    *don't have a different firewire cable for testing as the wife is out of town with her cam and has it, but I don't think the cable is an issue since the quality is good on the lappy

    *I have an appointment with the folks a the genius br this afternoon to talk things over, but I'm doubting they will be much help

    Another thought that I just had; is it possible to overlaod the firewire bus or data channel that the incoming stream would be riding on? I have two external drives connected via my cinema display. Would that have any bearing on the import quality?

    Any help would be fantastic, thanks.
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Are you trying to use iMovie 08 as a movie player or as an editor? You are judging it as a viewer. It is an editor. iMovie displays at a data rate that the host can support and still get the job done. The final product will be a file in .mov, mp4, or whatever format that displays in all the glory that you are expecting. OTOH, if you want a movie player, then you should use the QuickTime Player, VLC, or whatever.
     
  3. Rail16 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #3
    i'm wanting to use it as an editor. perhaps my understanding of what i'm doing and needing to may be off.

    this is what i understand to do and i'm doing:

    capture vid to the camera

    hook up the camera to the computer and the import dialog opens

    because it's a tape driven cam, for import i have to play the movie back through the cam. during this capture there is a window showing the playback. this playback i could care less about.

    below is a link to youtube of a test capture i did to my desktop system.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh6Y0lMSJyA

    i'm not going to bother showing the capture from the laptop, because it's the same as that vid, but perfect quality.
     
  4. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Hi Rail,

    Unless you are transferring data on the 2 externals at the same time as capturing the tape, I wouldn't think it would be the issue. If you are, then turn off both externals and try capturing.

    Very confusing to say the least though.

    If anything, keep us posted on the results.

    Cheers,
    keebler
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    Have you tried using a different FW cable or different FW port on your Mac Pro?


    Lethal
     
  6. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    If your doing the comparison by playing the clips in quicktime make sure that "use high quality video setting" in the preferences is checked on for both machines' quicktime. The default is for quicktime to play back big files at lower quality, this might be happening on your mac pro.
     
  7. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    California
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    Did you look at the example he posted on YouTube? It's not a settings problem it's just flat out messed up.


    Lethal
     
  9. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    what really gets me is that i've seen pixelation on tapes during playback before - usually minidvs recorded longer than 1 hour, but Rail says he's used the same tape for both captures. very odd...
     
  10. Rail16 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #10
    yeah, i tired out the front and back ports. no luck.

    i'm thinking that the firewire ports is messed up. i spoke with the apple folks and i let my period to buy applecare pass so it'll cost 800$+ to replace the mobo.

    so i'm looking at buying this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815104261

    figure that getting a fireware card will be easier.
     
  11. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    i'd probably go that route as well. I assume you have the latest firmware for your machine too? I doubt it would make a difference, but trying to think of other options. you never know...
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    Have you tried re-installing the software? It might just be a random corruption somewhere.


    Lethal
     
  13. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #13
    Perhaps import with iMovie HD '06.
    Or can you import with QuickTime?
    Are there any hard drives on the firewire too?
     
  14. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #14
    Canon's implementation of FW is fickle. Apple' implementation of FW is fickle. Leopard is fickle. When using a canon device, Apple recommends nothing be connected to the FW bus except the camcorder.

    I have had no problems with a GL1, dura 80, or HV10 if there are no other devices (FW or USB) connected. I connect the Lacie FW800 drive and some cameras can be controlled but video is not captured. I connect the HP printer and I get pixelization. I have better luck with quality using FCP than iMovie, but iMovie is less fickle.

    Other's experiences vary, did I mention FW was fickle?

    Have you checked the system log for FW bus resets and USB reinits? If it looks clean, you may have a CPU resource, memory, or disk problem, turn off all your dashboard wigits. Watch the activity monitor and see if CPU/Memory/Disk is near maxed out.
     
  15. Rail16 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #15
    i got the firewire PCI-express card today.

    unboxed it, sorry no pics ;), powered down the mac, plugged the card, booted back up.

    no OS hang ups or anything.

    plugged the camera in and opened iMovie.

    began the same xfer as before and the video is clean.

    so it looks like the ports are hosed or something

    to answer Flynnstone's question; i do have two FW external drives running off the FW ports, but i did power the system down, disconnected the drives, booted back up, and same issue.

    ColdCase; i didn't think to check the logs for any of that since the bus itself was working and the data was xferring.
     
  16. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    glad to hear you are up and running. the hosed FW made me think of resetting the Pram? I know it's suggested to do that if FWs aren't being recognized. worth a shot.
     

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