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Old Dec 27, 2007, 7:26 PM   #1
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I've watched a few rawsample videos I downloaded at work that were made with the A-HD. They played fine. But I just tried some on my home computer and discovered that it doesn't quite have the power. Aiptek recommends a Pentium 4 at 2.8 Ghz minimum. However, I have a 2.53 Ghz. It will play okay for a few seconds, then start skipping and jerking. So they aren't kidding about needing a 2.8 Ghz machine. I tried several different players too.

The sad thing is, the A-HD has no setting between D1 and HD. It would be nice if there was an in-between stage somewhere like maybe 1000x500 or something like that. Then maybe my system could handle it. I was considering going down to Target and buying one to do a review on, but if I can't even watch the movies it makes then I guess there is no point.
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Old Dec 27, 2007, 7:53 PM   #2
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What are you using for playback? I would suggest ffdshow or even better would be VideoLAN Player.
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Old Dec 27, 2007, 9:19 PM   #3
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Lots of computer users find themselves in this situation.

But there's a way.

For $250, one can buy Cineform's "Neo HDV" codec.

Hey, it's cheaper than a new computer.

After you download the codec/applications, you can convert your raw camcorder files to Cineform .avi files, which will play on a weak computer.

The quality is maintained; the codec is designed to maintain the quality.

So after you edit the Cineform .avi files, you then export to Windows Media Video HD format, which can be played on your computer.

Even my 2.4GHz AMD Athlon 64 notebook will play the 720p WMV HD files.

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Old Dec 27, 2007, 11:07 PM   #4
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For A-HD, I only paid $129. Why do I need to pay a simple software for $250? If you can wait for the slow process to convert the video to different formats, you can use many free software out there.
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 8:26 AM   #5
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I'm fairly certain that for $250 I could get on ebay and buy a computer fast enough to handle it. Besides, the whole reason I stopped using a Mini-DV camcorder was I hate the fact that I had to download and convert the videos in order to store them. (as storing tons of DV footage takes a lot of space) Besides, I can convert the video over to other formats with the software I have. But, as I said before, it is a pain.. I'd rather not.

Anyway.. Point being.. If I bought an A-HD, I'd probably wind up using the D1 mode more than anything because the HD mode is just a bit too high definition.
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 9:18 AM   #6
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If I dump it to a raw avi, my P4 3.2Ghz handles it fine....
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 11:44 AM   #7
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When you think about it, MPEG compression is an amazing technology that is taken for granted now. It allows us to handle high quality video with relatively small amounts of storage at a lower bandwidth than we would otherwise need. The low bandwidth is why these camcorders can all use the cheapest low speed SD cards. Of course the flip side is that it requires a powerful CPU to handle all that computation in the first place which is why it takes its toll on your PC.

I am betting this is probably one of the reasons the miniDV format is relatively lightly compressed, because CPU's were not as powerful when it came out. Of course the other effect of the light compression is easier editing, which no doubt was also influenced by the fact that PC's were not particularly powerful back then.

I also wonder how far compression can go? Is h264 the last word in how compressed you can make a video, or will it be surpassed once we get more powerful CPU's and custom chips? Of course there is going to be a physical limit in that you can only compress data so far, but I wonder if that has already been reached.
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 12:12 PM   #8
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The other nice thing about DV video is that it doesn't use any temporal compression, so each frame is compressed individually. When I say nice, I refer to editing purposes. That way when you jump around to different frames it only has to process the 1 frame and not the 100 or so frames in front of it in order to render the image.
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 1:51 PM   #9
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adric22 wrote:
Quote:
The other nice thing about DV video is that it doesn't use any temporal compression, so each frame is compressed individually. When I say nice, I refer to editing purposes. That way when you jump around to different frames it only has to process the 1 frame and not the 100 or so frames in front of it in order to render the image.
Which is why I have never understood why the hard drive based models don't offer the option of DV format as an option seeing as even the basic 30GB models would give just over 2 hours of DV video!

I am guessing the reason they use mpeg2 is so they can burn straight to DVD without a lengthy conversion process as most consumers won't have the patience for this and don't do any editing anyway.
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Old Dec 28, 2007, 5:26 PM   #10
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1. I've tested the I-Frame Cineform .avis and they maintain quality.

2. Editing long GOP (MPEG) formats is problematic, especially for audio.

3. I don't know of a *free* I-Frame intermediate codec that preserves quality of the original as Cineform does.

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