With the right hardware, Liquid Edition has the ability to digitize the three basic video formats listed below. Using just a FireWire card and a Mini DV or high-definition (HDV) camera it's possible to capture either
With additional hardware, such as the Liquid MovieBox Pro or the Liquid Edition Pro AGP card, it's also possible to capture
The DV/HDV option
Mini DV and HDV cameras use a digital format to record what is in front of the lens. This is then compressed by the camera into a space-saving form before being recorded as digital data to the tape (Figure 2.1).
Figure 2.1. A JVC HD10 High Definition (HDV) camera and a Sony Mini DV camera. Both use Mini DV tapes.
The advantage of this is that when you digitize DV or HDV footage, you are in fact simply transferring digital data from the tape to your hard drive via a FireWire card. This is a relatively simple process and doesn't demand too much from the computer (Figure 2.2).
Figure 2.2. A Pinnacle FireWire card with FireWire lead.
The analog option
Using the MovieBox Pro or the two Legacy productsthe Pro AGP card and the MovieBox Deluxe (Figure 2.3)you will also have the option of digitizing from an analog source such as VHS or Hi-8. However, there is an important difference here in the way analog is captured.
Figure 2.3. The MovieBox Pro (top-center), the Pro AGP card (bottom-left), and the MovieBox Deluxe all give Liquid Edition 6 analog capabilities.
While you are filming, the camera is recording an analog signal to the tape. When you try to transfer this to the computer, Liquid Edition must convert this analog signal to digital data for storing on the hard drive.
This will make great demands of your computer, and to do it successfully, you need a fast, well-optimized system. See the Appendix, "Troubleshooting," for help on this subject.