Hi, AV has been around a long time (I am thinking of composite, the cable which uses Y for video, red and white (or red and black) for left and right audio channels.
We are still recording video straight to computer, using AV output. One of the cameras even has the old small VCR tape.
Whenever you want to time unlimited recording, I have found one thing in common: take out the recording media. That will stop the camear switching off or going to sleep.
Here is how we connect: 3 camcorders’ video output ends up via phono to BNC adapter at 3 of the inputs of a CCTV switcher (bought here in England from Maplin for about ￡30. available options are 4 up to 16 inputs). The switcher has got an adjustable dwell time from 1-15 secs. (I found that Commercial TV never shows a scene longer than 20 seconds). The fourth channel is fed by a VGA to composite converter. (When we have Bible College, the guy at the front shows Powerpoint from his laptop. The signal is split between projector and VGA to composite. The purpose is, to be able to switch what’s being projected and when as an override into the recording video (unfortunately in the editing stage I replace Low resolution Powerpoint with High res output).
I have used a different switcher before wher you could set the dwell time individually per input up to 90 secs, but unfortunately that unit displayed the camera number in the corner without the possibility for that to be turned off.
I’ve found Debut from NCH to be an excellent Program for recording (settings for MPG being used). One output signal from the CCTV switcher goes via Haupage HVR 1900 into the PC, the other goes upstairs via composite over Cat5 adapters including sound from PC, to feed a Sony combination VCR/DVD recorder and TV. The DVD recording is used as backup. (DVD format needs to be DVD+. This also applies to DVD’s made from the PC recording. DVD- isn’t accepted and playable by some DVD players.)
The sound comes from the Sounddesk (Yamaha LS9) via Di box (reduces interfering signals – took ages to figure out) to the Line In on the PC. Using camcorder sound tends to be VERY echoey. It might catch some wha’ts being said (perhaps from the congregation – some might be better than nothing) But it’s impossible to get rid of echo once it’s there. Camcorder sound mixed in for congregational worship singing can work quite well.
(Subsequent editing and output to various formats including DVD-ISO and Youtube in Movie Plus by Serif.
We bought a Panasonic HC-V520 about a year ago. Great camera, huge optical zoom, but: Any new, up to mid range camcorders now sold no longer come with IR remote. Some come with a WiFi over mobile phone control which is really fickle (standard WiFi works on 2.4 Ghz, the same frequency as Bluetooth and Microwave. i.e. the microwave will interrupt the WiFi signal and then you have to reconnect again from scratch. If you do use WiFi remote control, the AV/HDMI output will stop and you only get an image on the mobile till WiFi is turned off (I’m desperately trying to build an adapter that sits on top of the camcorder to wiggle the zoom by remote, leaving outputs intact.)
The next thing I am looking at is changing to using HDMI output via HD-SDI and to PC with new capture unit. I am hoping to be able to feed SDI signal through the switcher as its connections are BNC anyway. Currently one of the cameras’ video signal comes from the other side of the church with a Composite via CAT5 adapters both ends
PC used is: AMD 4core 8GB 64bit Win7 Pro, with 1TB Hdisk
Hopefully this has given you some info. I take the point that some might appear clunky but then I didn’t spend thousands and it still gets the job done.
BTW have a look on the web for Vineyard Norden. The guy there has made several very useful Youtubes. One thing I gleaned was that extending HDMI over twin line CAT5 doesn’t work as well as HDMI via SDI and back HDMI