Damn evil technology

So – years ago I bought a TV capture box. A relatively nice one. A Miglia Evolution TV. All brushed aluminium and shiny. They went bust, and so software support was discontinued with OS X 10.4.

…which means that for all its shiny shiny, it doesn’t work. At all. Current versions of OS X don’t know how to talk to it and won’t let you even install the drivers.

Which is upsetting.

So I bought a cheap USB capture device from t’internet.

Because, y’see, back in days of yore when this was all fields, and so on, there was an actual incompatibility between videos sold in the US and those sold in the UK. UK VHS videos were PAL – 625 glorious interlaced lines at 25 frames per second, and US ones were a somewhat lower res 525 lines, but a slightly faster frame rate of 30 frames per second.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, I largely don’t give a monkeys. At this point in history nearly all video cassettes have been consigned to landfill or plastic recycling. However, I’ve four cassettes – and actually a fifth containing a film that shows no signs of coming out on DVD – that I’d like to capture.

So I found a spare old tape to test it with and after freeing the motors off a little cerchunky-whirry:

Then I had to find the video cables for it. Because it uses SCART, which is a wildly convenient standard if you’ve got a SCART cable going into another SCART device. Less so if not. But, today I located (in the bucket of wires) my SCART to S-Video adaptor cable.


Only not.

Because I can’t get the tracking good enough for the crappy cheap USB capture stick. If I plug the video into the telly it’s VHSarrific. A bit wobbly, in the way that VHS sometimes was, but not unwatchably so. And fuzzy, in the way that I’d forgotten how bad VHS was. But otherwise… it works.

Plug it in to the capture card and it is unwatchable. 2005 Video for Granada TV

Imagine that high quality image flickering about all over the shop. It’s dreadful.

Now, the question is, is this something that possibly a better video recorder (like lovely John has) might fix, or is it something that is a sign of such a flawed USB capture stick that it won’t work even then.

Hopefully we shall find a solution. Not, of course, that I’m sharing this wonderful Promo that Nikki and I made for Granada. Oh no. Although, it’s quite entertainingly bad.

Good News!

Well, I think it is. Jejy is off to have welding done in a week’s time, and my catalogue of jobs to do before she went consisted of:
– Service brakes and Engine
– Find and fit (at least one) exterior mirror
– Fit new indicator repeater to LH side
– Find fault with hazard warning light circuit

The last of which seemed likely to take a while (because the indicators work, but the hazard lights don’t), the second of which seemed likely to be potentially spendy (although I need to find a local scrappy, ‘cos they’ll be cheaper, one presumes), the third of which will take a while to do neatly, and the first of which will just take a while.

Fortunately through reading the MOT manual, it now looks like this:
– Service brakes and engine
– Remove Hazard warning light switch and tape wiring up.

Thus meaning all I have to actually do is service the brakes and engine, which I hope I can get done before I get the car trailered away. I am, however, slightly concerned by the slight rattle the car’s developed (went out for an hour today to pop ‘er up on ramps – Low hold or no Low Hold, she didnae want to go up the slope. Should my project with Nikki come together you’ll probably get to see that rather entertaining 5 minutes) for which which I couldn’t easily locate the source.

Anyhow, I should get back to my ATLS course.

In other news…

The A Pride of Minors 2006 EuroPride video is now available for download at the video page. In two flavours, Huge and Quite Small But Not Very Good Quality. It’s also in the process of being added to Google Video, so for those without enormous bandwidth availability it should be on there soon. Just getting verified at the moment.

V is for virtuous

Which is how I’m being with not swearing at Premier. I don’t know quite what it is about Premier which winds me up so much – but it does just annoy me.

The editing functions are nice, but why does exporting video have to be a trial by experiment affair – especially when rendering each time takes ages. I’ve no idea why it won’t export video that anything else can actually view, or why everything leaps up and says “this video has not been rendered for sequential viewing. You should reinterleave the video before exporting it to a slow medium” and then plays something of such staggeringly poor quality that it’s unwatchable.

I don’t know what settings it *should* have, but none of the ‘default’ options work. I just end up fiddling with it until it works, which is tedious and because I’m normally tired and “just want the fucking thing to save the fucking movie” by the time I get to exporting, well, my patience tends to be a bit thin.

This is my last attempt of the night though. And I need to work more tomorrow, so, well, we’ll see what happens. I’ll probably play a bit but I can’t afford to spend my whole day trying to coax it into rendering video.

Packed full of green badness

I have clearly caught some revolting child-related lurgee ;-)

I’ve managed to pick up a cough, a cold and a sore throat. I don’t feel *really* lousy yet, but I can tell it’s working on it, and some of the stuff coming out of me is *revolting*. Is that too much information?

Anyway, last night I finished [I hope] the next in the Issigonis Eggs videos. This one however is, uh, a bit big. It’s 23 minutes long, as it stands, and you won’t believe how much stuff I cut and ditched. Anyway, it’s being uploaded for checking by my co-conspiritor and main presenter; if it’s passed then it’ll move onto the ‘published’ phase of existence.

Warning: The Approaching Video is Unfeasibly Long

At just shy of 25 minutes, this excessive piece of video created by me, Nikki, and our group of mad people who put up with us, well, it’s so long that I’m going to leave it to render overnight, and then view it in the morning. I’m praying I’ve edited it okay; why? Because at 25 minutes it’s too long for me to sit and watch it though now, at half twelve at night….. So I hope it’s okay, otherwise I’ll have to re-edit and re-render it tomorrow. I should be asleep.