What's covered

This document can help you resolve problems that occur while you capture or play back DV in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. This document is for people using OHCI-compliant IEEE 1394 (FireWire or iLink) cards. It's also for people using nonOHCI-compliant, third-party capture cards that allow analog/DV input and come with their own editing mode and compressor.

Capture or playback problems can manifest themselves in many different ways, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Video plays stuttered or jerkily.
  • Video output contains blocky artifacts.
  • Video appears in the Clip window but not in the Monitor window.
  • No video appears in the Capture window.
  • A system error occurs.
  • Playback quality is degraded or audio plays as static.

Different factors can cause capture or playback problems, including conflicts among device drivers, software, and hardware, and corrupt elements in specific files. Although some problems occur only when you work with Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, it's not necessarily be the cause. It could be the only application that is memory or processor intensive enough to expose the problem.

To benefit the most from this document, perform these tasks in order. Record the tasks you perform and the results of each, including errors or other problems. Adobe Technical Support can use this information to better assist you, if you call.

Beginning troubleshooting

These tasks can help you resolve the most common problems that occur when capturing or playing back digital video. Always restart the computer after a system error occurs to refresh the memory. If you continue to work without restarting the computer, you can compound the problem.

1. Make sure that the system meets the minimum requirements for Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.

  • 2 GHz or faster processor for DV; 3.4 GHz for HDV; dual 2.8 GHz for HD (an SSE2-enabled processor is required for AMD systems)
  • Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) or Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP and 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista)
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 10 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on flash-based storage devices)
  • 1,280 x 900 display with OpenGL 2.0compatible video adapter (For updates to system requirements and more detailed information about video hardware compatibility, visit www.adobe.com/products/premiere/systemreqs.)
  • Dedicated 7200-RPM hard drive for DV and HDV editing; striped disk array storage (RAID 0) for HD; SCSI disk subsystem preferred
  • For SD/HD workflows, an Adobe-certified card for capture and export to tape (For updates to system requirements and more detailed information about video hardware compatibility, visit www.adobe.com/products/premiere/systemreqs.)
  • OHCI-compatible IEEE 1394 port for DV and HDV capture, export to tape, and transmit to DV device
  • DVD-ROM drive (DVD+-R burner required for DVD creation)
  • Blu-ray burner required for Blu-ray disc creation
  • Microsoft Windows Driver Model or ASIO-compatible sound card
  • QuickTime 7.4.5 software required to use QuickTime features
  • Broadband Internet connection required for online services

This product may allow you to access certain features that are hosted online (online services), provided you have a high-speed Internet connection. The online services, and some features thereof, aren't available in all countries, languages, or currencies. They can be discontinued in whole or in part without notice. Use of the online services is governed by separate terms of use and by the Adobe Online Privacy Policy. Access to these services can require user registration. Some online services, including services that are initially offered at no charge, are subject to additional fees. For more details, and to review the terms of use and Online Privacy Policy, visit www.adobe.com.

2. Re-create the Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 PluginCache file.

A damaged PluginCache file can cause problems. To re-create this file, hold down the Shift key while choosing Start > Programs > Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. Release the key when the Select Initial Workspace window appears.

Note: In previous versions of Adobe Premiere Pro, re-creating the Preferences file eliminates similar problems. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, however, stores the application preferences in the PluginCache file. It stores only the user preferences in the Preferences file.

3. Determine if the problem is specific to a clip or a project.

By eliminating variables, you can determine if a problem is specific to a clip or to a project. For example, if you're unable to capture a particular source tape or section of source tape, try capturing from a different tape. If you can capture from a different tape or different section of tape, then the problem is related to the source material. If you're able to capture footage in a new Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 project, but can't capture footage in an existing project, the project file could be the cause.

Troubleshoot capture issues

4. Check cable connections and camera mode.

If you try to capture video and either an error occurs when you choose Capture or no signal or preview appears in the Capture window, make sure that cables are secure and functional. If you use a camera, make sure that it's set to VCR/VTR mode.

5. Disable scene detection.

Scene detection in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 works by reading the Time/Date stamp information encoded onto the videotape. If no Time/Date stamp information exists, or if the Time/Date stamp information contains data errors, scene detection fails. Video capture is prohibited.

To disable scene detection, do the following:

  1. Open the Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 Capture Window by choosing File > Capture.

  2. Deselect Scene Detect.

6. Change or disable device control settings.

Device control allows Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 to communicate with and control a DV camcorder or DV deck. The device control protocol used to communicate with these devices varies by brand and sometimes by model. Ineffective device communication can result in capture problems and even capture failure. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 provides DV device control settings for various device brands and models. If your specific model is not listed, use the Standard Device Type setting for your DV device brand. If the Standard Device Type setting doesn't improve the capture process, then try the Alternative and Generic settings and attempt to capture video again. If these settings don't improve the capture process, then disable DV Device Control and attempt to capture manually.

To change the DV Device Control settings, do the following:

  1. Select Edit > Preferences > Device Control.
  2. Select DV Device Control from the Devices menu, and click Options.
  3. Select options for Video Standard, Device Brand, Device Type, and Timecode Format.
  4. Click OK to close the DV Device Control Options, and click OK again to close Preferences.

To disable Device Control, do the following:

  1. Select Edit > Preferences > Device Control.
  2. Select None from the Devices menu.

Note: Third-party capture card manufacturers and plug-in developers sometimes provide their own device control modules. Consult the manufacturer's documentation for the product regarding specific device control details.

7. Capture with another application or capture utility.

To capture video in another application or utility, do one or more of following:

  • Try to capture video or audio with the capture utility that installed with the card's driver. (Check the documentation for the card to determine the capture abilities of the utility.) If the problem occurs with the utility, it is related to the capture card. Contact the capture card manufacturer for assistance.
  • If you have an OHCI-compliant capture card, try to capture video using a different application, such as Windows Movie Maker. If the problem also occurs in the third-party application, your problem could be system-related. See Advanced troubleshooting.

Troubleshoot Playback Issues

8. Make certain that all video placed on the timeline has been rendered.

Video files that have not been rendered don't play smoothly from the timeline. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 real-time playback is dependent upon several things including the system CPU, complexity of the project, video file format, video compression, and available system resources.

9. Select an appropriate playback quality setting.

Playback in the Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 Monitor window can be displayed at either Highest Quality, Draft Quality, or Automatic Quality. By default, the Monitor window is set to the Automatic Quality setting. To choose the Monitor window playback quality, open the Monitor window menu and select an appropriate playback quality setting:

  • Automatic: When selected, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 dynamically adjusts image resolution between Highest Quality and Draft Quality to best address the available system resources.
  • Highest Quality: Displays all the pixels of each frame of video. When Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 is forced to play back unrendered video at the Highest Quality setting, the video could stutter or jerk.
  • Draft Quality: Always displays video at one-half resolution in the Monitor Window. When Draft Quality is selected, playback is smooth, but the image quality is affected.

Advanced troubleshooting

If the tasks above don't solve the problem, try the following troubleshooting tasks.

10. Log in to the system as the Administrator.

If you are logged in to the system with limited user rights, log in to the system as Administrator. Then, start Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, and try to capture. If you're able to capture video, users with limited rights can also log in to the system and capture video without further errors.

11. Use an Adobe-certified capture card or a Microsoft-certified OHCI-compliant capture card.

Problems can occur if the IEEE 1394 card or the video driver isn't compatible with the operating system. Check with your device manufacturer for Windows Vista and Windows XP logo certification.

12. Use manufacturer presets for the capture card.

Apply the manufacturer presets for the capture card to both the project settings and the capture settings. If you use an OHCI-compliant card, choose the appropriate DV-NTSC or DV-PAL preset. Certified capture cards can include a DV device control plug-in that is different from the DV device control included with Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. Be sure to select the capture card's device control in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4:

  • If you use an OHCI-compliant card, choose Edit > Preferences> Device Control, and then choose DV Device Control from the Devices menu.
  • If you use a non-OHCI-compliant card, choose Edit > Preferences > Device Control, and then choose the card's device control from the Devices menu.

13. Run Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 while no other applications are running.

Some applications can interfere with video capture when running concurrently with Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. Before starting Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, disable other applications, including startup items (items that start automatically with Windows).

See the following documents for details:

14. Update device drivers.

Device drivers are files that enable Windows to communicate with devices such as SCSI and IDE controller cards, and mainboard BIOS and chipsets. Contact the computer or device manufacturer for the latest device drivers.

See the following documents for details:

15. Update the video card driver.

Many video card manufacturers frequently update their software drivers. If you haven't updated the display adapter driver recently, contact the video card manufacturer. Or, download one from the manufacturer's website. (To determine the manufacturer of the video card, view the card's properties in Device Manager.) You can often determine if the video driver is outdated by changing the color-depth and resolution of the video card or by disabling graphics hardware acceleration. Follow manufacturers instructions when removing old video card drivers and installing new drivers. Old drivers that are not removed can cause problems.

To change the color-depth and resolution, see the following documents:

To disable graphics hardware acceleration, see the following documents:

16. Reinstall the capture card and drivers according to manufacturer specifications.

For most capture cards, install the PCI card first, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 second, and capture card drivers third. (If you use a Microsoft certified OHCI-compliant capture card, let the system automatically load the Microsoft drivers. Don't install the drivers included with the capture card.) Reinstalling the capture card or software in the wrong order can make the capture card unusable in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.

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