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The old & tired way of DV editing uses the analog I/O of your DV gear along with any analog editing gear you already have. Benefits: No extra expenditures, no fear of the unknown. Drawbacks: You will not be getting the full quality of DV, because you will be using some quality due to generation loss and possible transcoding. 

 Depressing recompression.
Step 1. From DV camcorder to capture board DV is decompressed in the camcorder. Recompression to MJPEG  on the capture card results in quality loss. 

Step 2. Editing: Clips which have transitions or effects are being decompressed, merged or edited and  subsequently recompressed to MJPEG. This results in quality loss. Usually not noticeable, because the effect (fade, wipe etc.) usually hides the loss. 

Step 3. From capture board to DV: MJPEG is decompressed  on the capture board, converted into analog video and the compressed to DV in the DVCR. Results in quality loss.


Editing DV the old & tired way.

Most DV camcorders, such as the ubiquitous Sony VX-1000, have analog (and/or S-video) outputs. You can use them for editing just like a regular camcorder. Since the Sony VX-1000  does not have analog inputs, you will need a DVCR such as the DHR-1000 for your final edits. You can also record to any VCR (SVHS, Hi-8 etc.) that accepts analog input. Kiss your quality good-bye when you do that. 

Many DV camcorders and DVCRs accept LANC (CTL-L) device control. You can connect with it to standalone device control equipment, or to device control equipment which interfaces with linear editing applications, like Video Director, now owned by Pinnacle Systems. 

The analog I/O of  DV equipment can also be used to connect with  standard video capture boards which usually employ the MJPEG compression standard. Results usually are quite good. One area of concern is that the DV format employs a "lossy" compression scheme which trades supposedly redundant  information  for higher compression ratios. MJPEG also employs a lossy scheme. The combination of two lossy codecs can result in a loss of quality due to repeated transcoding. Two lossy codecs combined often equal one lousy codec. 

In real life, the loss involved in these steps is less severe than it sounds. One of the reasons is that the DV signal usually is very clean and free of noise. A clean signal lends itself better to compression than a noisy signal.  Recommended: Analog capture boards which employ high quality analog-to-digital (A/D) stages, such as the Plum from Interactive Images. It processes analog in an external, shielded box. 

Editing DV the old & tired way works while there are no other alternatives, but eventually, you want  to edit DV the firewired way. 


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Written mostly by Bertel Schmitt.  Maintained by Alexei Gerulaitis.

Copyright 1997-2007 DV Central.  All trademarks recognized.

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