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Video capture the old way on new Ubuntu 10.10

6. november 2010 · 3 Kommentar

Like probably many people, I have a lot of old analog video recordings on HI-8 and VHS tape I just have forgotten to keep up to date with technology. I guess it’s time to start capturing video. Soon…

First, the camcorders charger is broken, and buying a new one is kind of difficult, but luckily, I got to borrow one from some friends.
Second, I managed to find the last working VHS player I got. A little dusty.
Third, since Mini-DV is kind of legacy as well, I decided to copy those on to my computer as well, if I ever manage to find the camcorder. Got the charger, remote and the casing, but no camcorder. Oh well…

Find the best composite or S-Video cables you can dig up, because this job you only want to do once. I got my overly priced Monster composite cables, ready to start. Soon…

Ok, so I’ve got an analog video capture card that I, in the old days, used with Windows 98 and pulled my hair out to get working on Windows 2000. The card is a Zoran based Pinnacle/Miro DC10+. That’s history. Sort of. I still got the video capture card.

What I also got is the latest Ubuntu Linux 10.10, also known as Ubuntu Maverick, which comes with the somewhat great ALSA audio support. I say somewhat because this version of Ubuntu lacks the legacy OSS compability driver in the Linux kernel. In other words it makes it harder to record or play audio from older kinds of programs, such as lavrec.

lavrec is the video and audio capture application from the MJPEG video tools package. It is the tool recommended for capturing video from the DC10+ card on Linux, but it lacks ALSA support. However, you can get a OSS wrapper program named aoss from the Ubuntu alsa-oss package which provides OSS is most cases for those old applications.

This is how I do video and audio recording, from the command line, enter something like this:

$ aoss lavrec -f a -i p -q 100 -s -R l -U dc10-out.avi

Make sure that the correct recording input line is selected for CAPTURE in alsamixer -V capture such as Line or Mic. I recommend you capture a 10 second test and check the sound.