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Weekend Aantel’s Blog » 2009 » December

Archive for December, 2009

Sony’s hi-def camcorder - Handycam HDR-XR500E plays nicely with Fedora 10

Monday, December 28th, 2009

I had borrowed my friend John Bose’s expensive new toy, the Sony Handycam HDR-XR500E to record Devdas “f3ew” Bhagat’s lecture at WBSU (Barasat) on the 26th of December, 2009.

HDR-XR500E. Image Copyright Sony
The specs of the device was *nice* - 1080i, 120GB HDD, 5.1 Dolby recording etc. It was a last minute arrangement. I didn’t like this! There was no time to tinker and see if the device was compatible with Linux and Kino for post-recording stuff.

It was set for 1080HD AVCHD or Advanced Video Codec High Definition. The camcorder was easy enough to handle. Most of the controls being easily accessible via the touchscreen. After coming back home that night, I was eager to see the results. So, with some trepidation I decided to plug in the mini-USB cable (that had came with my trusty old Canon PowerShot A610) into the mini-USB slot on the side of the HDR XR-500E.

Immediately the standard tail -f /var/log/messages routine threw up the following details:

Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 5
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: New USB device found, idVendor=054c, idProduct=0346
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: Product: HDR-XR500E
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: Manufacturer: Sony
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: SerialNumber: 0C59300C6CC1
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: Initializing USB Mass Storage driver…
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: scsi6 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: usbcore: registered new interface driver usb-storage
Dec 27 00:24:49 localhost kernel: USB Mass Storage support registered.
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: scsi 6:0:0:0: Direct-Access Sony Camcorder 1.00 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0 CCS
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] 234413857 512-byte hardware sectors (120020 MB)
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] 234413857 512-byte hardware sectors (120020 MB)
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
Dec 27 00:24:54 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
Dec 27 00:24:55 localhost kernel: sdb: sdb1
Dec 27 00:24:55 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk
Dec 27 00:24:55 localhost kernel: sd 6:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
Dec 27 00:25:24 localhost hald: mounted /dev/sdb1 on behalf of uid 500
Dec 27 00:25:24 localhost gnome-keyring-daemon[3043]: adding removable location: volume_part1_size_120019828736 at /media/disk

Sweet!!! Camcorder’s being correctly auto-detected with it’s 120GB HDD storage being propering mounted and being made accessible. Going by the AVCHD file / directory structure, using Dolphin, I browsed to the STREAM folder and found the video recordings from the day, present in MTS format. The files opened nicely using the VideoLAN client (vlc) on Linux, except for the some spots of interlace combing (for an example, see this link). Oh well! we *are* working with 1080i here.

AVCHD file/directory structure. Courtesy Wikipedia

Right now, I’m using Kino 1.3.3 to import the .MTS file by converting them to raw DV files needed by Kino for its own workflow. So far, FFMpeg seems to be working nicely.

Input #0, mpegts, from ‘/home/stephanie/Desktop/wbsub-vid-raw/00017.MTS’:
Duration: 01:09:09.0, start: 1.040000, bitrate: 4096 kb/s
Program 1
Stream #0.0[0×1011]: Video: h264, yuv420p, 1440×1080 [PAR 4:3 DAR 16:9], 25.00 tb(r)
Stream #0.1[0×1100]: Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, 5:1, 448 kb/s
Output #0, dv, to ‘/home/stephanie/Desktop/wbsub-vid-raw/00017.MTS.dv’:
Stream #0.0: Video: dvvideo, yuv420p, 720×576 [PAR 16:15 DAR 4:3], q=2-31, 200 kb/s, 25.00 tb(c)
Stream #0.1: Audio: pcm_s16le, 48000 Hz, stereo, 1536 kb/s
Stream mapping:
Stream #0.0 -> #0.0
Stream #0.1 -> #0.1

Right now FFMpeg is about half way through conversion process. I’m already looking at a ~7 GB file. Let’s hope I do not run out of space! :)

Upcoming - “System Administration Reloaded” a lecture by Devdas Bhagat on Dec 26, 2009.

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

What : A lecture by Devdas (f3ew) Bhagat, who will be passing through town and was coaxed into giving this talk.

Where : Dept of Physics, West Bengal State University, Berunanpukuria, Barasat.

When : At 12:30 PM on Saturday, 26th December 2009.

Lecture Synopsis - “Most people who end up being system administrators are self taught. There is little formal theory in this field so far. System administration also involves very different sets of tasks, ranging from helpdesk issues to management reports, from wiring to software.

A very large number of people also start off with small numbers of machines to run and few issues to troubleshoot. As the number of machines grows, keeping pace with troubleshooting becomes impossible. Sysadmins spend time firefighting, and then burn out. Hiring is often very limited due to budgetary constraints or simply due to lack of available labour.

This talk deals with the constraints sysadmins work under, and how to work around them so that they aren’t as big a bottleneck. We take a look at the mindset required to do this work, and how to convince management that the solutions you are implementing are cheaper than the alternative. We also take a quick look at some of the solutions available for sysadmins to reduce their workload.”

Speaker Bio

Devdas Bhagat is just another recovering sysadmin, and is currently playing database administrator for a large domain registration system. In his copious spare time, he works with other business units at his workplace to help tune their systems, add business benchmarks and other general monitoring stuff. He has spoken at the sysadmin miniconf at LCA’09 (Linux Conference Australia) on system automation and on DNS benchmarking. He has spoken at various network operator group (SANOG) conferences on spam control, DNS, operational issues, large scale email systems, etc. He has also been a speaker on databases at FOSS.IN and it’s previous avatar, Linux-Bangalore. When not busy working with computers, he spends time in the hills trekking and photographing.

Organised by : West Bengal University of Technology in association with Kolkata Linux Users’ Group (ILUG-CAL.ORG)