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FireWire miniDV with VideoPad


Russ Croucher
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I am having real trouble reading FireWire miniDV with VideoPad. I am constantly working with workarounds to solve this problem but it's getting very difficult.  I have 4 legal versions of VideoPad for my business (CentralVirginiaVideo.com) and running into a problem with miniDVs with FireWire.

I would prefer to import these miniDVs with VideoPad but I get an error saying the FireWire is in use when it is not.  So as a workaround I use Pinnacle version 23 to import the file in FireWire which works great and then exports it as MPEG-2 (.MPG).  Windows says this is a 720x480 file standard for miniDV.  However, VideoPad imports this file as 640x480 which is unacceptable since you lose information.  So I have again found another workaround which works.  I export the pinnacle version 23 miniDV as AVI which is 13 GB.  I then use only version 7.51 of VideoPad which will import the file as 720x480.  All other versions except 7.51 imported as 640x480.  I then export that file as MP4 and any version newer of VideoPad will read that in as 720x480.  This is important because I must image stabilize that file at 720x480 and not 640x480.

I have mentioned this problem before and I don't know if any solution has been resolved.  I prefer to use VideoPad but it may turn out to be that I need to convert to some other software because the newer versions of VideoPad does not export the file name of the project it uses a sequence number.  So I am currently locked into version 8.55 which was the last version that exported the file name as the project name.  However, under this special situation I would probably be willing to use the sequence number since I write lots of scripts over top of VideoPad.  However, my scripts are all locked into the file name of the project as the exporting name of the video file.  If I cannot get a resolution to this problem I will have to move on to another piece of software and abandon VideoPad:(.

I have submitted this is a bug report I'm hoping it will get resolved.

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I don't think you understand my problem this sequence number is embedded in the project so if I change the project file name still uses the old sequence name that I renamed it.  Whereas when I had it set up as a project file name when I renamed the file name the export name would change.  So I am locked in the version 8.55 until this is changed or fixed.  Or I abandon VideoPad.

As far as the pixel size and FireWire my question is why does Windows say it's 720x480 but VideoPad says that 640x480.  I don't care about pixel size I only care about the end result.  All other products will read it in a 720x480 why does not VideoPad?  Sony Vegas, Pinnacle, I have them all.  I prefer VideoPad.  Help me out.  I don't know how to do a PM.  I know you don't like posts here unless they are resolved but I have a real world problem that means $$$ to me and I need a fix.

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Hi Russ,

Have you tried my suggestion in newer VideoPad versions:

http://nch.invisionzone.com/topic/32049-problem-made-in-this-863-version/?tab=comments#comment-85628

If you really want the image being stretched to 720x480, which will look distorted, you can apply a "Stretch to Aspect Ratio" effect. Select "Auto Aspect Ratio"(default) then export to 720x480.

Hope this helps.

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Okay am I finally going to put this 720x480/640x480 to bed.  I'm going to prove that 720 is losing information if you try to upload it as 640x480.  The engineers when they defined the mini DV standard figured out a way to cut down the front porch and back porch of the analog signal a little bit to get a true 720 bits of information.  I have 68 hours of Hi8 video in 640x480 mode of uploaded with an incredibly powerful medical imaging card Matrox card from Germany.

I have a video8/Hi8/digital 8 camcorder that will upload everything as a true 720x480 FireWire.  However, I had to make a decision, do I get those extra few bits of information with the analog front and back porch there and live with the poorer signal-to-noise ratio than what the Matrox card would give me.  I chose not to.  But I was able to get frames pictures one with the true 640x480 analog and the other exact frame of loaded with 720x480.  You can actually see the front and back porch of the analog video but there are a few bits of information that are uploaded.  Which shows that there are is a true 720 pixels that are being converted.  So any stretching that would occur would be done after the fact office 640 and you would be losing information.

I seem to be having problems trying to figure out how to upload these 2 pictures so you can view them yourself.  I could put all my cloud space and give you a link.  Maybe you guys have some suggestions.

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Okay I put my pictures on my clouds site here is the 640 analog version.
https://mega.nz/file/GKohXKRI#vbX5i2O7eErSiy61g9Z62vIbp-FuUxiuzDbCRz9weQE

Here is the 720x480 FireWire.  Notice the front and back porch visible on the analog Hi8.
https://mega.nz/file/2Kg3UIRS#tF5nUJpcGkTuq3A2xildWvA6T6DTKacwqmE6Zi22VM0

Where I noticed the difference is in the 720 version you can see a little bit more of the windshield wiper on the car on the right side.  So it would be lost information if it was uploaded in 640x480.  By the way this was all done with the latest 8.77 version living with the unfortunate sequence number.

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You guys have posted one of the best images of the aspect ratio problem.  Computers use square pixels and TVs use rectangular pixels.  I don't know if the engineers thought of this when they figured out that they could increase the horizontal 720/640 or not.  But we do know that computers cannot represent 720x480 accurately.  So yes we have to live with our square pixels on our computers.  However, VideoPad has an incredible product that does image stabilization and it must be stabilized at 720x480 even though the aspect ratio is not correct.  VideoPad is just one of my steps in my process.  Ideally, the final product should be image stabilized and then output at 640x480 keep the aspect ratio correct.

I appreciate you guys taking the time to explain this for all the readers not just myself this aspect ratio has gone round and round with computers/TVs for years from all of us engineers that use TV products (rectangular pixels) and the computer products (square pixels) together.  Showing the actual circle around the wheels definitely brought out that the computers do not see the videos the same as we see videos with TVs.

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Actually, what is important is that VideoPad actually read the file in at 720 x480 so it can be stabilized without any losing any information.  The Moscow State University that created the image stabilization wants to use all the information even though the aspect ratio is not correct.  Then after the stabilization is complete it can be stored as 640x480 so that the aspect ratio will be correct even in the digital mode.  There is no intention to go back to analog.  It all has to do with the make sure the image stabilization does not lose the 80 bits of information that are located between 640 and 720.

I think once we know that information will not be lost were good to go.

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  • 9 months later...

I'm finally trying to put to bed the retrieving of video with FireWire.  I cannot get FireWire to work with videpad so I am using Pinnacle 23 which works fine.  It will output an AVI or an MPG file with Windows saying it's 720x480 (aspect ratio 3:2).  However, once that file is inputted into video and it will only load 640x480 (aspect ratio 4:3).  I think in the previous post we already have determined that 4:3 is the correct aspect ratio.  However, because of the image stabilization I need to read the file in 720 by something bigger than 480.  I think the correct aspect ratio would be 720x540.  Is this possible?

Here is the original file that Windows says is 720x480 with Pinnacle 23: 

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AuSetTxgq7JxqNsA0szXACY5cMu1Aw?e=DtcPjW

I then use a bug in videopad v7.51 which will read in the video at the correct resolution (720x480) but the wrong aspect ratio.  Then I take and convert it to MP4 which could be read in later on any newer version of videopadwith the resolution 720x480.  I would be happy was 720x540 which would be the correct aspect ratio.  Here is the output file I create MP4 with version 7.51.
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AuSetTxgq7JxqNp_6061iwurXbs7zA?e=JQ9E8b

Can you guys give me some insight to what I should do?  I don't want to lose the hundred bits of information that video is throwing away when is downsizing 720 to 640.

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What I'm really trying to do is use Pinnacle 23 to collect the data in FireWire and produce either an AVI or an MPG file at 720x480.  Knowing all this that the aspect ratio is incorrect it would be nice to have the ability of videopad to import this as either 640x480 the default or 720x540 the correct aspect ratio with no loss of pixels.  Do you know of any way to do this with the current version?

It's okay to add extra pixels before the image stabilization but not take them away.  That's why you have to use the input resolution of correct horizontal or vertical size that matches the original file.  Taking information away before going into the image stabilization is not allowed.  Should I make this is a request for possible addition if it's not possible now?

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Here is the file I'm looking for from video pad 10.52 or the latest version.
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AuSetTxgq7JxqNp_6061iwurXbs7zA?e=uW8M0n

It is the previous file in 720x540 resolution with the aspect ratio 4 x 3.  This provides no loss of detail on the width and stretches the vertical 482 match 540 for the aspect ratio stretch.  This was done with version 7.51 storing the file in 720x480 and then reloading the same file with the latest version and stretching the vertical to 540 with the output being 720x540.  This can then be image stabilized.  I did verify that 7.51 could read the AVI file of pinnacle 23 and directly stretch the output vertically.

So my real question is is there any way to do this exact same same thing with the latest version so I don't have to go back to 7.51 and rely on a bug?  If I can force video pad to read the width at 720 or greater, not 640 I think the rest would be history.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Russ,

VideoPad always read the file as 720x480(which how it was stored).

You can manually add a "custom" export resolution - 720x540 and select "stretch".

I guess your problem is that since export settings are saved in project file, when you start a new project the settings restored to default?

Maybe you can try just replace the clip and export again in the same project?

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My issue is with all later versions of videopad they seem to come up with the properties in the bin directory of 640x480.  So is that what is sent to the image stabilizer or can't send 720x480 even though the property say it's 640x480?  7.51 is the only version I have in recent history that comes up with properties of 720 x480 because of an aspect ratio bug.

I must store the file as a mp4(720x480 or 540) version before he gets reloaded into videopad to do the image stabilization on different computer.  I don't care too much about the aspect ratio before the image stabilization.  I only care about it afterwards.  I am trying to determine if I can use a later version to read a this pinnacle file 23 AVI, do image stabilization in videopad with at least 720x480, write it out as MP4, and then send to handbrake for final processing at the appropriate encoder level.  As you can see I have a very detailed order of which things must occur.

Are you saying if I read in AVI of 720x480 which it says is 640x480 and I specifically say store it out as 720x540 it will write it out correctly without any loss?

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Okay I have a project file I'm using here it is:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AuSetTxgq7JxqNsdqdg1U2lOKMgSig?e=EZUOQp

It reads an AVI file into the system so it can be exported.  The project was created with 10.52 but seems to work with 7.51.  The AVI file read in the property say 640x480 in 7.51 but 720x480 in 10.52.  I was told this file since it is ace 720x480 file an AVI would be read in at that same resolution regardless of what the property say.  However, my question is what is given to the image stabilizer?  Here is the output in 7.51 mode one minute of the export.
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AuSetTxgq7JxqNsfTG19tYclWga2MQ?e=oVczFK

For some reason 7.51 is three times larger than the new version which 10.52 is three times smaller.
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AuSetTxgq7JxqNseUBz6x9MwLKO0qQ?e=7ItL6A

Thoughts?  Help?

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I have a customer privacy issue with the original full AVI file.  This also is not necessary since I'm trying to understand a little bit about the internals of how videopad operates.  If I were to reduce the AVI file I would have to use videopad and to chop it.  What version would I use?  Then it's not the original version.  I guess I could provided in PM of some sort if really necessary.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In putting this FireWire issue with videopad to bed, it was determined that an AVI file stored in 720x480 that now comes in  videopad as 640x480 will be stored with all its resolution at the 720x540 and keeping the aspect ratio correct.  So in converting the AVI file with the latest version of 10.52 I converted to an MP4 at 720x540.  I thought the version 7.51 went away forever.

However, I was wrong!  Now the problem is 7.51 is 6X faster then 10.52.  I don't know if it's because the least compression is faster or what.  I'm in the process of trying to figure that out.  Normally converting a one hour AVI file will take about 30 minutes on my PC(While I'm retrieving the next file with Pinnacle 23).  But the same file in 10.52 took 3 hours.  So being the software engineer I am I decided to try to figure out which version slowed down.  So I created a one minute project and put the results in 7.51 and all the versions afterwards to determine where the problem seems to slow down.  In my 1 minute example it is only a 3X difference so I must've not of chosen the worst 60 minutes.  But the results are still the same.

Here is my cloud link to the 1 minute project.
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AuSetTxgq7JxqNtLprij_LAxTsuuSA?e=j0oqSi

Here is the output in MP4 file which is 3 or 4 times larger than the following versions.  However, it's much faster
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AuSetTxgq7JxqNtLprij_LAxTsuuSA?e=j0oqSi

Here is the output in MP4 of the following version I have which is where it seems to slow down and the file is much smaller in version 8.0.
https://1drv.ms/v/s!AuSetTxgq7JxqNtNlGvgQmg5qiXwNg?e=B6o2Vl

So the problem seemed to arise with the following version that I stored on my computer which was 8.0.  Maybe you guys can shed some light as what I can do by not using 7.51 because so much faster.  Remember my only goal here is to get the file converted into something that video pad can use to pass on to the image stabilizer.  Maybe I shouldn't even have to transfer to MP4, maybe just use the original AVI should be good enough what you think?  I have always avoided that issue because the 640x480 resolution

-0-0-

I just verified with 10.52 with the encoder output level at 25,000 kbps still takes full 2 minutes.  Where 7.51 only took 30 seconds.  So clearly it's not the encoder level.  So looks like I'm still stuck the 7.51.

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Links one and two point only to the VPJ - no source file.  So can't export it or the project.

Link three is apparently the 7.51 export result.  At the auto-selected 960x540 resolution re-export took five-seconds using beta version 10.60(32).

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