184 Napier Street, South Melbourne, 3205
Tel: 61-3-9699 8844, Fax: 61-3-9690 5331

Micronica Video Cheat Sheet
Some Common Questions about Video Cature and Standards

Micronica provides a complete range of video capture devices. Setup is extremely simple. It is so simple you can get it up and running in as little as 15 minutes! And it really works very well ! For full info, check out www.micronica.com.au/digvis/.

Of course the best thing is to get one and try it for yourself ! So you can see and understand how easy it is :)

Following are notes for some specific common questions we have been asked about.

  • Q: I've never captured a digital video file before. It all seems a bit scary. What settings do you recommend to start ?
    A: Don't worry ! With capture video products such as Navis USB or Snazzi VideoMaker USB it's all REALLY EASY ! If you've never played with captured video files before here is what I suggest. Set the Navis USB capture settings to MPEG 1, 1.5 Mbps, PAL. Capture a short video and save it. These settings will give you a good starting point for clarity and file size. And they will play on ANY computer Windows Media Player automatically WITHOUT any special plugins, drivers or codec. So you can then simply pass that file around for all to see. And also edit. Well, at least I've never found a PC that could'nt play it :)
    Edward Jozis.

  • Q: What are some of the Video Standards around and how much time can I record on a typical CD ?
    A: Recording time depends on the quality and file format you choose. Here are some guidelines. They are a general guide only and not necessarily accurate or supported by Navis USB or indeed every VCD or DVD player.
    - PAL: 720x576x25fps, NTSC: 720x480x30fps
    - DV - Not Scalable Video and Audio. Must use PAL:720x576x25fps or NTSC:720x480x30fps
    - VCD MPEG 1 - 70 Minutes on a standard CD. 352x288 25fps PAL, 352x240 30fps NTSC, 1.15Mbps CBR
    - SVCD - 30-40 minutes on a standard CD. 480x576 25 fps PAL, 480x480 29.97fps (NTSC and PAL-M), 2.6 Mbps Average VBR
    - MPEG 2 - 20 minutes on a standard CD. DVD Quality. 720x576 25fps PAL
    - SIF - 352x240 (NTSC), 352x288 (PAL)
    - 576i - 720x576 25fps 50 Hz Interlaced (2x288 lines every 50th of a second), 414720 pixels, Standard Definition
    - 576p - 1024x576 Progressive, 576 Lines, 50Hz Australia, 414720 pixels, High Definition
    - 720p - 1280x720 Progressive, 720 Lines, 50Hz Australia
    - 1080i - 1920x1080 (2073600 pixels) or 1440x1080 (1555200 pixels) 25fps 50 Hz Interlaced Australia,(2x540 lines every 50th of a second)
    - 1080P Full HD - 1920x1080
    - To downscale 1280x720 use 720x404 with FFmpeg. This retains the 1.78 aspect ratio

  • Q: Can I use it on a Laptop Computer and still get good results ?
    A: Quality is the same whther you use a desktop or laptop computer. We can supply both USB or PCI Video Capture devices. Because NAVIS USB and Snazzi VideoMaker USB are so compact and uses USB it's great for both. You can take it to a friend's place or to School to do your Video projects for example.

  • Q: What sort of bit rate will give me decent quality video recording ?
    A: 3 Mbps provides pretty good quality. But even 1.5 Mbps is actually quite decent and certainly very watchable. We can advise you on products which allows 6 Mbps and higher. So your options are open depending on your quality requirements.
    SD (Standard Definition) uses about 6Mbps for DVD Quality MPEG2
    HD (High Definition) uses at least 12Mbps or more.

  • Q: Is MPEG 1 really simply VCD ?
    A: VCD is actually a special "White Book Standard MPEG 1" data stream. Standard MPEG 1 will play on a standard PC and are also great to put on the internet. But to play MPEG 1 files on a VCD or DVD player requires conversion software which is usually provided with your CD Burner such as Nero Burner or Adaptec or Roxio software which create all the necessary files and index information. The VCD video resolution is 352x288 (PAL) and has to be the correct bit rate for VCD.

  • Q: Can I use the MPEG2 files from Navis USB or Snazzi VideoMaker USB to create DVD's ?
    A: To create the necessary DVD you will need to use your own authoring software such as MyDVD or Ulead Video Studio 6.0 or similar to create the necessary DVD compatible files and other necessary index information. Some of our Capture Devices provide suitable software. Also perhaps ask your DVD burner supplier to provide it.

  • Q: Whats the difference between VCD and SVCD ?
    A: SVCD is enhanced VCD. SVCD is MPEG 2 but at a lower bit rate and resolution than a full DVD. 480x576 25 fps PAL 2.4 Mbps. You can burn and read SVCD video using standard CD's but you will need an MPEG2 CODEC on your PC such as Power DVD to play SVCD. Some DVD players can also play SVCD but many can not. The SVCD standard is not well defined and many capture devices do not support SVCD directly. It is up to the user if they want to experiment with SVCD. SVCD is beyond our scope to support and help.

  • Q: Where is a good place to get more info on video conversion and video standards ?
    A: Go to www.divx-digest.com/software and www.vcdhelp.com for lots of conversion utilities and advice about video standards such as MPEG, VCD, SVCD, DIVX etc. LOTS there!!

  • Q: What is the special file structure i see on VCD's ?
    A: VCD File Structure Details (a guide only):
    Directory Files Comments
    Album and disc identification
    Entry point list for up to 500 entries
    Optional Play Sequence Descriptor
    Optional List ID Offset file
    MPEGAVAVSEQnn.DATMPEG files (one per track)
    CDDAAUDIOnn.DATCD Audio files (one per track)
    SEGMENTITEMnnn.DATSegment play items (one per segment)
    KARAOKEKARINFO.xxxOptional Karaoke information files
    Optional extended version of PSD.VCD
    Optional extended version of LOT.VCD
    Optional list of I-frame addresses
    Optional Closed Caption data (one per track)
    CDI(undefined)CD-i program and data files
    >CLICK HERE< for a place where u can see some captured video smaples from VHS Tape to Digital MPEG1

  • Q: The video is black and white, not colour. Whats's wrong ?
    A: You probably have the video input standard set to NTSC and you are trying to capture PAL. Set the input standard to PAL.

  • Where can you buy it ? It's quick and easy !

    You can visit a resellers in your area (not all resellers support all products) or order directly from MICRONICA if you like:

    Micronica On Line Order Service

    [ On Line Ordering | MICRONICA Main Page | Product Catalog ]