[FFmpeg-user] Capture HDV and S-Video from tape via HDMI-USB to 422 FFV1

Stefan Oltmanns stefan-oltmanns at gmx.net
Fri Feb 17 23:53:04 EET 2023

Hi Terje,

> Currently my HDV camcorder is on service, so I ask: Is it possible to
> transfer/grab HDV files via Firewire to ffmpeg? (I have already
> libiec61883, libraw1394, libavc1394 installed on my Leap). If so, a
> command example or guide to start with would be welcome.

I still occasionally transfer videos from miniDV/Digital8/Video8 tapes
to PC. I use the "dvgrab" tool for that. It's a simple command-line tool
and will save the video without any re-encoding. In the second step you
can transcode the files with ffmpeg to any format you like (also you
might want to consider some advanced deinterlacing/denoising in between
depending on your source material and it's intended purpose).
I never tried HDV, but it does support HDV as well. It's in the standard
Ubuntu repository, no need to compile it yourself, not sure about other

The tricky part is the FireWire interface: Not all FireWire chipsets
support cameras flawlessly, my first tries with an onboard-FireWire
interface resulted in a lot of corrupted and dropped frames.
I got myself an ExpressCard with a VIA VT6315 chipset I'm using in my
old notebook, works perfect.
I tried a PCI-e card with the same chip in my PC, no luck, entire system
crashes every 10 minutes. I assume old PCI-e devices are not completely
compatible with new PCs.

Best regards

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