[Home]Pinnacle

MovieBox DV

Pinnacle Systems produces digital video hardware and software.

One of their external analog to digital converter boxes is the Pinnacle MovieBox DV. Like the name MovieBox DV suggests it's connected to your computer via the firewire ([ieee1394]) interface. I bought it because I thought it has an realtime MPEG hardware encoder. Returning home I discovered that it is actually an analog to DV converter which is better because:

This page covers some experiences with the MovieBox DV. Generally you can transcode grabbed data like described on DVtoDVD or just use the script described and provided in Dvtodvd.Sh. Please read also video codecs/DV, Camcorders and Interlacing.


1 Connecting your MovieBox DV

Just plug in audio and video cables, plug in the firewire cable to DV Port B and choose the correct input (Composite/SVHS) with the select button on your MovieBox DV.

The Pinnacle MovieBox DV V9

From the manual:

Mode Select: Via the Mode Select Button you can toggle between the different video sources, e.g. "DV to analog video", one click "Composite to DV", next click "S-video to DV", one more click "DV to analog video", ...
Reset: The Reset button resets the MovieBox DV to the last selected operating mode.

DIP switches "One" and "Two":
12Audio Rate
OffOff48 kHz 16 Bit
OnOff32 kHz 12 Bit
OffOn44,1 kHz 16 Bit
OnOn32 kHz 16Bit

DIP switch "Four":
4Audio Input Level
Off1 V (RMS)
On2 V (RMS)

The other DIP switches are reserved or for country TV norm settings.

2 Accessing your MovieBox DV

The most simple way is something like that:

cat /dev/dv1394 >recording.dv (I love the simplicity of un*x systems ;-) )

A better way to access it is with the raw1394 device and [dvgrab] (don't forget a "modprobe raw1394"):

mkdir recording; cd recording; dvgrab --noavc --format raw

You can also use the --size 0 option to dvgrab if you don't want dvgrab to split a huge recording in single files. But I recommend dvgrab splitting because transcode can handle directories and you also might want to cut off some garbage at the start and the end of your recording (i.e. with [kino] or "dd bs=144000 ...") which is more easy with a couple of small files.

3a transcode, case 1/ Rescue an old commercial VHS tape (Walt Disney's Junglebook)

I use ffmpeg two pass encoding with 2 B frames, toolame for audio, clipping some 'dust' lines, some gamma correction, two filters and the following ~/.transcode/ffmpeg.cfg

[mpeg2video]
vrc_maxrate=7500
dark_mask=0.1
vhq=1
vmax_b_frames=2

First pass ignores audio

transcode -i dvgrab -x ffmpeg,dv
--pre_clip 4,0,4,0 -j -4,0,-4,0
-G 0.8 -J unsharp=luma=-1:luma_matrix=5x5:chroma=-1:chroma_matrix=5x5:pre=1 -J hqdn3d=pre=1
-w 6000 -b 224 -s 1.8 -N 0x50
-o jungle1v -m jungle1a
-y ffmpeg,null --export_prof dvd-pal --export_asr 2 --encode_fields b -R1,ffmpeg.log

Second pass

transcode -i dvgrab -x ffmpeg,dv

--pre_clip 4,0,4,0 -j -4,0,-4,0
-G 0.8 -J unsharp=luma=-1:luma_matrix=5x5:chroma=-1:chroma_matrix=5x5:pre=1 -J hqdn3d=pre=1
-w 6500 -b 224 -s 1.8 -N 0x50
-o jungle2v -m jungle1a
-y ffmpeg,toolame --export_prof dvd-pal --export_asr 2 --encode_fields b -R 2,ffmpeg.log

I tried some filters/denoisers, but hqdn3d doesn't work well because the video tape contains much too much noise (connected via composite). With the unsharp filter (blur values around -0.5 to -1, matrices 3x3 or 5x5) and the followed hqdn3d I got good quality. The clipping blacks out the 4 upper and 4 lower lines.


NOTE: If you want clipping and zooming like described on DVtoDVD or Filter Plugins/Filter Hqdn3d with i.e.

-j 0,8,0,8 -Z 720x576

you will maybe run into a bug of transcode (I use v. 0.6.14): Because my DV source is already 720x576 the zoom will be in transcode internally set to off (ignoring any clipping). Here's a dirty bugfix:

--- transcode-0.6.14.orig/src/transcode.c       2004-11-03 04:45:38.000000000 +0100
+++ transcode-0.6.14/src/transcode.c    2005-03-18 13:54:40.000000000 +0100
@@ -2920,14 +2920,14 @@
        }
       }
  
+      if (pre_clip) pre_im_clip = TC_TRUE;

+
       //FIXME hack, kludge, etc. EMS
       if( (vob->im_v_height != vob->zoom_height) ||
          ((vob->im_v_width != vob->zoom_width) && (vob->ex_v_width != 704)))
        zoom = TC_TRUE;
       else
-       zoom = TC_FALSE;
-
-      if (pre_clip) pre_im_clip = TC_TRUE;
+       if (pre_im_clip != TC_TRUE) zoom = TC_FALSE;
  
       printf("XXX: zoom=%s pre_clip=%s\n", zoom?"yes":"no", pre_im_clip?"yes":"no");
  
Now you can use something like:
--pre_clip 0,8,0,8 -Z 720x576

3b transcode, case 2/ Rescue an old commercial VHS tape (TV series "Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy", BBC 1993)

Content of ~/.transcode/ffmpeg.cfg:

[mpeg2video]
vrc_maxrate=5000
vhq=1
vmax_b_frames=2

First pass:

transcode -i dvgrab -x ffmpeg,dv

--pre_clip 4,0,4,0 -j -4,9,-4,9 -Z 720x576 -G 0.94
-J unsharp=luma=-1:luma_matrix=5x5:chroma=-0.5:chroma_matrix=3x3:pre=1
-J hqdn3d=luma=3:chroma=2:luma_strength=3:chroma_strength=3:pre=1
-w 2800 -b 224 -s 1.3 -N 0x50 -o hitch1v -m hitch1a -y ffmpeg,null
--export_prof dvd-pal --export_asr 2 --encode_fields b -R1,ffmpeg.log

Second pass:

transcode -i dvgrab -x ffmpeg,dv

--pre_clip 4,0,4,0 -j -4,9,-4,9 -Z 720x576 -G 0.94
-J unsharp=luma=-1:luma_matrix=5x5:chroma=-0.5:chroma_matrix=3x3:pre=1
-J hqdn3d=luma=3:chroma=2:luma_strength=3:chroma_strength=3:pre=1
-w 2800 -b 224 -s 1.3 -N 0x50 -o hitch1v -m hitch1a -y ffmpeg,toolame
--export_prof dvd-pal --export_asr 2 --encode_fields b -R2,ffmpeg.log

The options mean (summary):

With these settings I put both parts (together approx. 190mins) on one DVD.

Hint: To get the max amplification factor I use ecasound.

tccat -i dvgrab -d 0 | tcdecode -x dv -y pcm -d 0|ecasound -f:16,2,48000 -i stdin -ev -o:null


Soon to fill: More experiences with Pinnacle MovieBox DV


(Authors: Frank "reichhart" Bergmann, et al.)

Transcode Wiki | Recent Changes | Preferences
Password required to edit | View other revisions
Last edited April 26, 2011 10:47 pm by Reichhart (diff)
Search: