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Does ALAMDV2 support DV CODECs?

Posted: Fri, 16th Nov 2001, 7:28am

Post 1 of 6


Force: 0 | Joined: 5th Jun 2001 | Posts: 8


Hi guys,

great news with ALAMDV2 on the horizon.. but I guess an eagerly awaited answer to our question is:

Does ALAMDV2 let me import compressed DV video, edit and then export compressed DV video?


Posted: Sun, 18th Nov 2001, 1:13am

Post 2 of 6


That is an interesting question. I've tried a bit with DV codec (or any other codec) with ALAMDV version 1 and was not to impressed how it handled it. (it didnt)

Atleast it should Support the DV codec, hell it even has DV in its name.

Well, I see the new version 2 has skinning support. Now THAT is a useful feature in this sort of program (sarcasm?)

Posted: Thu, 22nd Nov 2001, 3:22am

Post 3 of 6


Force: 250 | Joined: 2nd Jun 2001 | Posts: 23

Gold Member

Jesus Crimmeny you people can be savage! Man I haven't seen cut throat action like this since John Travolta did Battle Field earth! IT's just a DV codec!
Posted: Sun, 2nd Dec 2001, 12:44am

Post 4 of 6


Firstly there is no such thing as 'the DV codec' in the sense that you mean, there are a bunch of proprietary wrappers which put DV inside an AVI. These codecs are all pretty shoddy and don't offer support for all the functions they should, if they did then they would go through alamDV just fine.

There is a raw DV format which it doesn't handle but nothing else really supports that anyway.

As to Quicktime DV, well you'd better ask one of those Mac freaks.

So does alamDV support DV? Well no, it used to for a while in beta, along with DivX but the DV codecs were crappy and they were barely usable.

You aren't meant to create a finished movie just by running it through alamDV. Yes they could spend time making the compression side work better (personally I like to do this in my editing program where I have more control anyway) or they can continue to work on the effects and the easy interface which are the features that make the product.
Posted: Sun, 2nd Dec 2001, 11:44am

Post 5 of 6


Force: 732 | Joined: 1st Jun 2001 | Posts: 248

EffectsLab Lite User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker MacOS User


The Quicktime version of the DV codec works like a charm - that's the format of the 2 tutorial files are in.

Posted: Mon, 3rd Dec 2001, 7:34pm

Post 6 of 6


Force: 390 | Joined: 29th Mar 2001 | Posts: 315

FXhome Movie Maker


umm, prior to QT5 Apple had screwed the pooch with their dv codec (yes Virginia there IS a dv codec, many in fact) but that has been fixed with version 5.

One thing to keep in mind is that "hardware" vs "software" doesn't matter when it comes to picture quality: both give excellent if not identical results. Minor codec differences can cause accumulated errors over multiple compression/decompression cycles

A codec is a compresser/decompresser, a bit of software or hardware that takes raw video and compresses it, and can take the compressed video and decompress it back to raw video.

Codecs exist for all kinds of compressed video, including DV, motion-JPEG, MPEG, Indeo, Cinepak, Sorensen, wavelet, fractal, RealVideo, vXtreme, and many others. (Indeo, Cinepak, Sorensen, RealVideo, and vXtreme are trademarks of their respective trademark holders.)

Where did codecs come from? Well a codec was needed with old-style analog video to capture and playback video. The DV codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. This is where video is encoded and decoded in real time.  Otherwise it is done through an software export or render.

You can't live without a hardware codec if you  want to encode or decode video in real time, but with DV, that's already done in the camcorder.  So why get a codec at all for DV? Because you need one to decompress the clips for editing. Hardware codecs don't shine in this process. They may encode and decode in real time, but because so much data has to be sent across the bus to the board, decoded, sent back across the bus to memory and copied around, they actually can be quite slow.

Cameras are the latest part of the video production process to go digital. The new DV (Digital Video) cameras provide two major advantages over conventional analog cameras:

1.Image quality: by storing the video in a digital format instead of analog, it is possible to attain excellent image quality on moderately priced gear. Furthermore, as a digital signal, it does not degrade with time, or suffer generation loss.
2.Video capture: The video is digitized as it's being filmed, and is stored as files on a tape in the camera. Video "capture" simply involves transferring those files to the computer. There is no additional digitizing to be done.

The DV codec is different from most of the other codecs , in that it is not intended for multimedia output. Instead, it is used in two primary ways:

1.For storing original footage, and transferring it to the computer
2.For storing final edited footage, for playback to a television.

A point oftentimes overlooked is that compressing DV Video with different DV codecs reveals major differences in quality loss over generations. Well that is true for just about any compression scheme, too for any file formats.

The fact that some hardware, such as Canopus boards, write with their proprietary Dv codecs makes it even more difficult to share dvfiles cross platfor or cross system...not good in a production environment.
DV Quality? Get a's about the best you can get!!! The video is sampled at the same rate as D-1, D-5, or Digital Betacam video -- 720 pixels per scanline -- although the color information is sampled at half the D-1 rate: 4:1:1 in 525-line (NTSC), and 4:2:0 in 625-line (PAL) formats. 4:2:2 is better (MJPEG what I use professionally).

The advantages of shooting on DV formats are that it is equal to or slightly better than Betacam SP and MII in terms of picture quality (however, DV holds up better over repeated play cycles, where BetaSP shows noticeable dropout). They are also quite a bit better than 3/4" U-matic, Hi8, and SVHS. Important if you are wanting to maintain image quality prior to output from your edit suite.

DV can be stored and manipulated in native form, without transcoding to JPEG, MPEG, Wavelets, or the like. The same high quality seen on DV tape is maintained in the computer.

When capturing from or or outputting to DV VTRs using a 1394 connection, it doesn't matter what kind of codec you have. A DV-based editor stores the same data on disk that travels across the 1394 wire; no compression or decompression occurs. Thus when you're doing capture or playback across a 1394 connection, all you're doing is a real-time data transfer; the codec isn't even in the loop.

The codec comes into play when you need to:

*Display DV video on the computer screen.
*Render transitions, titles, and effects.
*Capture from or output to non-DV VTRs.
*Buy a system, and pay for it!

Sooo what did I say??
Well...When all is said and done, the basic principles of video acquisition and editing have not changed. To achieve the best output quality, it is important to minimize the number of times you convert your source material to another format in your editing process.
Each unnecessary digital-to-analog, analog-to-digital step, or transcoding between compression formats, decreases quality. In addition, the compression scheme must keep enough data available during the editing process to maintain image integrity.

The best option for the highest quality output is to maintain data in the original acquisition format – if the source is digital, keep it in digital format throughout the editing process – and keep it in the same digital format throughout the process.