[FFmpeg-user] Problem capturing native HDV stream from camera (macOS)

Olivier Bruchez olivier.bruchez at epfl.ch
Mon Oct 28 12:17:44 EET 2019


I'm trying to capture old DV and HDV tapes using a 15-year-old HDV 
camera and Firewire on a MacBook Pro. I'm using a fairly recent version 
of ffmpeg.

I don't have any problem with the DV tapes, using the AVFoundation input 

ffmpeg -f avfoundation -capture_raw_data true -i "HDV-VCR:1" -c copy 

The resulting file contains a dvvideo video stream and a pcm_s16le audio 
stream. Everything works as expected.

With HDV tapes, though, the command above doesn't work. Using 
avfoundation, ffmpeg apparently expects DV frames and can't find any. It 
stops with an error.

If I set capture_raw_data to false, I can somehow manage to capture 

ffmpeg -f avfoundation -capture_raw_data false -i "HDV-VCR:1" -c copy 

But the resulting file contains uncompressed video (rawvideo (UYVY / 
0x59565955), uyvy422, 1416x1062, 1k tbr, 1k tbn, 1k tbc) instead of the 
native stream. I could specify a video codec, of course, but the stream 
would then be transcoded (mpeg2 -> uncompressed -> mpeg2). I want to 
capture the native stream, untouched.

iMovie and LifeFlix don't seem to have any problem capturing the raw HDV 
stream into a MOV file (mpeg2video (Main) (hdv2 / 0x32766468), 
yuv420p(tv, bt709, top coded first (swapped)), 1440x1080 [SAR 4:3 DAR 
16:9], 25000 kb/s, 29.97 fps, 29.97 tbr, 30k tbn, 59.94 tbc). The "only" 
problem is that ffmpeg sometimes fails to read those MOV files 
correctly. This is another problem. I've created a ticket for that.

Question: is there any way to capture an HDV stream using ffmpeg on 
macOS? Should I switch to Linux, using the iec61883 input device? Or 
Windows, using the dshow input device?

Thanks in advance,


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