Friday, March 20, 2009

Ubuntu 8.10 Firewire 1394 DV Capture

I am using an HP A1140n with firewire (6-pin) on the back hooked to a Canon ZR-45 camcorder (4-pin). I saw on the web that there are a lot of problems so I hope that this will go more smoothly having everything in a single place.

I started with a fresh OS with nothing special at all. I did however install ffmpeg since I am going to convert video so you can either skip that section below or go ahead and install it anyways. We use it a lot and I know that it always comes in handy down the line :-)

Before I begin to install ffmpeg I suggest you install some DV codecs and get thing setup. I needed some libraries for DV to ingest I ran the following command:
apt-get install libdv-bin
Then you need to tell ubuntu 8.10 to load the video module when booting.
nano /etc/modules
Add in the "video1394" to the bottom of the list, here is a complete dump of my file.
# /etc/modules: kernel modules to load at boot time.
# This file contains the names of kernel modules that should be loaded
# at boot time, one per line. Lines beginning with "#" are ignored.

It is recommended that you reboot so that the system will load everything properly. Once it reboots you can then test out the capture by typing this command:
dvconnect -v myvideo.dv
If everything went well you can then press play on the video camera and it should write a DV file to the folder you typed the command. If you want to convert the video now just use ffmpeg (there are instructions on our site.)

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