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  #1  
10-12-2019, 12:28 PM
Sergei316 Sergei316 is offline
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I have been doing the AIW / XP / Huffyuv/Lagaerith / Vdub capture over the last year and have recently started capturing uncompressed.

I utilize the recommended analog players (SVHS, Betamax, etc), TBC's, Proc Amps, and Detailers and then process them through an SDI converter (525/29.97) and capture uncompressed at 8 or 10 bits.

The results are the same but without headaches.

I have to ask, why didnt I do this from the very begining?

AIW/XP capture is a major PIA. Lots of glitches, crashes, and driver problems during capture. This doesnt work unless you do that, that doesnt work unless you do this, and so on. I have 3 AIW/XP capture systems, all running Intel AGP boards, XP Pro SP2, latest drivers, updated bios, best memory, NEW IDE drives in all, many different AIW cards (7500, 8500, 9000, 9700, 9800, x600 all bought with ALL accessories), capture to a 7200rpm 8tb HD. I have Memtested the systems extinsevly, modified drivers, updated registries, and many other trouble shooting techniques. The process of obtaining AIW/XP based equipment is getting harder and harder. It is just not worth the effort.

I do alot of archiving projects, I mean a lot. I have not seen one professional archiving setup over the last 24 months that use or even recommends the AIW/XP computer based workflow (Not refering to DigitalFAQ as not being professional). Of the many papers, reports, and studies I have read, I have never seen the AIW/XP mentioned.

The SDI hardware is so much easier to obtain, is cost comparable to AIW/XP equipment, works on more modern equipment and OS's (Win7, I never use Win10), can utilize newer technologies (SSD, PCIe lanes, SATA).

Am I missing something? Do I lose anything with the SDI conversion? Losless vs Uncompressed, what 40gb-60gb an hour? 8tb drives are so cheap!!

I guess I need to be talked off the ledge. Please help!!
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  #2  
10-12-2019, 01:11 PM
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WarbirdVideos WarbirdVideos is offline
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What SDI converter are you using? I'm about to embark upon the former capture method, minus the XP os. It sounds as though you have done a side by side analysis of the same video using both methods?
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  #3  
10-12-2019, 01:21 PM
Sergei316 Sergei316 is offline
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I am currently using a BM Analog to SDI converter. Converts both audio and video. I still utilize the recommended analog VTR's, TBC's, etc in my workflow. The results are the same. I use software based waveforms / histograms on both setups on pre and post side and there is no difference. Visually, no difference. Unles I am missing something.

The problem with AIW/XP route is what I have mentioned earlier. I spend more time messing with the AIW/XP setup somedays when I should be capturing.

I am just frustrated. Spent a lot time and money acquring gear for the AIW/XP workflow.
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  #4  
10-12-2019, 01:44 PM
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I'll be curious to see what others say. I will be capturing a limited amount of historically significant tapes from Hi8, so either method should work. But I have a virtualdub/aviSynth learning curve ahead and the less of that the better. Obviously either method is much better than outputting to analogue to 4.1.1 before it hits our drives.
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10-12-2019, 01:48 PM
Sergei316 Sergei316 is offline
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I am curious to see what they say as well.

You can still use Avinsynth/Vdub, but for capturing I might be moving away from the AIW/XP workflow.
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  #6  
10-12-2019, 03:02 PM
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WarbirdVideos WarbirdVideos is offline
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Well, what I've read here in the past couple of weeks, no analogue to computer cards/devices are any good except for the old ones. I was all set to buy a Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro HDMI and Analog Editing Card, but the reviews were somewhat down on it and certainly the people who capture for a living were down on newer cards as well. So I'll be using an older Pinnacle USB device when it arrives.
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10-12-2019, 03:17 PM
ofesad ofesad is offline
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Can you upload a capture with each chain? Trim the videos so they all the same length (frames).
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  #8  
10-12-2019, 04:30 PM
Sergei316 Sergei316 is offline
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Its not the quality of the capture. It is the process.

WarbirdVideos, I understand what you are saying.
I am not using any newer cards in my workflow. I am using AJA Kona 3, 3g, LHi, and LSe cards for uncompressed capture in Windows. The cards capture in 8/10/12bit. I capture in either 8/10bit. The analog signal is converted to 525/29.97 SDI.
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  #9  
10-12-2019, 05:45 PM
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SDI, Blackmagic especially, has it's own set of problems.

Your ATI AIW problems are not typical, and probably related to the underlying computer hardware. Conflicts happen with anything, especially more complex tasks like video. I've probably built 100 ATI AIW systems, and less than 5 ever gave me grief. Only 1 was unsolveable, but quickly fixed with new build/card that was fine.

Most pros either
(1) never talk about the hardware
(2) only use what was marketed to them (usually Canopus products), and quality is secondary

Lots of facilities have the corporate type mentality, rigid, only deal with places that give POs for buying. Often with worthless warranties, one-sided contracts. That essentially means Canopus, Blackmagic, Avid, and those are NOT really for consumer analog format conversion. And it's why work from those places looks like garbage. It's pure business to them, quality is something that may or may not happen (and usually doesn't). If you want an edge, as the small entity, it means quality, and that won't come from mimicking the bigger transfer mills.

Certain cards gave quality, and ATI AIW was one. They made some impressive strides in video tech that got/get overlooked by number crunchers, rigid thinkers, and the marketing gullibles.

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  #10  
10-12-2019, 08:40 PM
Sergei316 Sergei316 is offline
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One issue on one system is understandable, multiple systems with the same issues is more than driver related. it is not just an AIW issue.

The quality of the captures has been fine. No sync or dropped frame issues at all on all three XP capture boxes.

I think it is the absence of more modern tech in the workflows. Specifically, modern PCIe bridges, SATA III transfer rates, SSD technology, and more modern software (scopes, encoders, etc).

I am not trying to mimic professional/corporate entities by any means. I dont use Avid, FCP, Premiere, BM for capturing. On the contrary, I enjoy capturing with Vdub. I was comparing it to archiving institutes (Stanford, National Archives, Non-Profit Orginzations, etc).

I am not sure what you mean that BM, especially, has problems with SDI. The mini converter converts the signal to SDI and then capture the SDI signal. I have not had an issue and see no quality difference or sync issues.

I suppose, for me, converting the analog signal to SDI opens the workflow up to more modern workflows. I still use all the analog recommended equipment in the workflow but instead of capturing in a AIW/XP box, I capture uncompressed through an AJA SDI card utilizing their capture software.

The question is, what quality am I sacrificing by converting to SDI than capturing uncompressed 8/10bit?
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  #11  
10-13-2019, 05:32 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarbirdVideos View Post
Well, what I've read here in the past couple of weeks, no analogue to computer cards/devices are any good except for the old ones. I was all set to buy a Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro HDMI and Analog Editing Card, but the reviews were somewhat down on it and certainly the people who capture for a living were down on newer cards as well. So I'll be using an older Pinnacle USB device when it arrives.
So the question is should you believe all what they say ? some "Pro" people also need to sell their old capture equipment, old TBC's ,old capture cards, VHS is not a professional format, SDI on the otherhand, is,
But you do need to have a lot of luck buying the right VHS player, most of the time it's a (VHS) recorder combo that does the trick , (because of the electronic converting "to" features build in) after buying several "devices"...... is my experience,
BMD products are not bad like they say, (i have an Intensity Shuttle) and have also better options most of the time, and making use of a recent OS helps also in the "speed department" like you said.
Converters can be handy, but cheap ones are more misses than hits, sometimes you're lucky because of some not so legal "features" and the quality ones are strict about that, where HDMI converters fail at that point.
If SDI works for you, go for it,(long SDI cables are no problem) maybe capture in ProRes, you have full control over the captured material in post, and later compress in x264 or x265
VHS = WYSIWYG

Last edited by Eric-Jan; 10-13-2019 at 05:42 AM.
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  #12  
10-13-2019, 12:31 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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There is a bias built into the question as asked.. "why should I look at old gear that is hard to get.." and implicit "Trust me.. I've built many and compared them and its not worth it."

Why would you expect any other answer than the one you seek?

The only answer is "Why ask that question if you start from a position your unconvinced?" You've already made up your mind and making a statement.

It is a given that fewer and fewer people will be able to go the AIW/XP path.. and that it is not easy.

I don't think that automatically means SDI will be at least as good or better.. only a personal comparison by everyone who asked this question can tell. In the end it may become the only path possible. Is it the one you "should take?"

Its a bit deceptive though that saying SDI is better (or at least as good) simply because you can get it at Costco.

I think the reason there have not been a lot of objective comparisons is more likely that if you have AIW/XP gear.. it looks so much better than anything else that people stuck with it. The few times SDI has been compared by those same individuals.. they didn't switch.. and didn't post about it. That you are posting about it is a bit of a sample case of "one" and leaves it an open question for other people to follow up on.

I don't know a lot about SDI except.. I think it by definition "de-interlaces" the signal.. which means it throws away detail.. there is no doubt about that. That progressive is beneficial for your work flow and eliminates a step might be more useful.. or more agreeable to your methods than someone who wants to retain every bit of detail, even that which they cannot readily see. So in "Theory" its a non-starter that its a bad idea.. to much bias built into the assumption that its "just as good".

"Easier" is also rather subjective.

"Seller economics and charlatan salemanship" is also reaching for evidence to support a position... its far too easy to test this by "trying it yourself".

But if you've already made up your mind.. why post about it?

I hope its a genuine inquiry for information.. but it doesn't look like such an innocent post.
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  #13  
10-13-2019, 12:46 PM
Sergei316 Sergei316 is offline
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Jwillis are you serious??

You have way to much time on your hands to come up with those statements.

Did I say in any of my posts, "why should I look at old gear that is hard to get.." or "Trust me.. I've built many and compared them and its not worth it."

I was looking for people who give me some insight to using SDI with analog workflow not listen to you ridicule peopel who are unsure of the disadvantages.

So if you do not use or know anything about SDI... why comment?

By the way I havent made up mind, that is why I asked.

Thanks for all your insight...
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10-13-2019, 01:08 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Understood.

SDI is not my area of pursuit at this time.

I do plan on looking at SDI, but not now, not here.

I hope you find the answers you seek and the people your looking to talk to.
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10-13-2019, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
I don't know a lot about SDI except.. I think it by definition "de-interlaces" the signal.. which means it throws away detail.. there is no doubt about that.
That's not true at all. SDI is a interface for transferring digital video signals. It's essentially the "professional" version of HDMI. It includes flags for whether the video is interlaced or not. In theory a SDI "converter" could do deinterlacing as well and output a deinterlaced signal, but that's not what's being talked about here as far as I know.

"Capturing" the SDI signal is simply decoding the raw digital video data (e.g RGB or YUV) to some file format. It's a bit like the data stream that goes from say the Theater video decoder chip on an ATI AIW, over the AGP bus and to the driver interface, but instead of hooked up via wires and connectors on the Graphics card and motherboard PCBs, it's hooked up via a cable. The AV -> SDI "converter" is essentially what does the actual video decoding. Capturing HDMI output from say a DVD-Recorder or a game console is similar, just using the more restrictive HDMI standard from consumer gear.

I think we need some actual comparison shots for this.., any suggestion for a reference source? I don't have any SDI gear, but I could do a comparison between an ATi VIVO (once I get it up and running), VC500, HDMI from various DVD recorders etc, and others could upload shots from the same reference to get more comparisons.
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  #16  
10-13-2019, 03:42 PM
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Wait, wait ...

Don't jump on jwillis, because he's not wrong. Not entirely correct, but also not entirely incorrect. You need to remember than SDI is just an output, serial interface, not really any different from s-video, composite, or even coax (or more comparable, Firewire/IEEE1394). It's just a signal carrier. The presence of SDI doesn't preclude monkeying with the signal between device input (or playback source) and the output. So it can be true that certain devices will enforce various (and stupid) choices, like forced deinterlace. Since he's not really delved into SDI, he can be forgiven at the conflicting info that may be read about the topic of SDI.

Now that in itself is why a "pro-SDI" argument is both silly and moot. Again, it's just an interface. You can have both excellent and craptastic cards that use it. The presence of SDI, or lack thereof, is not a determiner of quality. Quality is the determiner of quality. For s-video it/out, you have ATI AIW as an option. For SDI, I've not heavily tested items, but I would be somewhat shocked if Blackmagic was quality, seeing as how so many other BM items are utter failures at SD video.

Most analog SDI interface items, at least quality ones, were from the 2000s, and more costly than even overpriced BM, since those were the choice of capture card within the broadcast industry. For at least a decade, I had a subscription to Broadcast Engineering, read about many cards. My studio days were somewhat adjacent to broadcast, as some of the source I dealt with were SD semi-delivery MXF from a broadcasters (History Channel, etc), as the submitting entity was lazy (although this did make it easier on me, so not a complaint). At this late date, I don't remember specifics, but there were times where I'd see flaws that I knew I'd not have had with my own ATI AIW setups. But the attitude was "that's not professional" even if quality from the AIW was greater than whatever had been used (with DV being the worst). That piss-poor attitude was present in the photo industry for decades ("film is better than digital", "MF better than FF/APS-C", etc, simply because "that's what pros use"), but unlike video has since softened in the era or smart phones and mirrorless.

In terms of screwing with quality/signals, DVD recorders are the worst offenders. HD devices with SD video are the next worst.

SDI is probably more akin to DV, as the conversion is all done in-box/in-card, and there really isn't a "capture" happening at all, at least compared to how we all understand lossless. AIW had a unique hybrid MPEG hardware/software method for MPEG (parallel to uncompressed/lossless option), with the more quality-affecting and complex tasks happening on-chip (Ligos tech), while offloading the simple data crunching. However, most MPEG captures were like DV or SDI, all in-box, so in reality the computer just containerizes the data being fed.

SDI historically is/was uncompressed, a waste of bits to save natively/raw, and I don't believe that's changed. If you "do lossless" capturing with SDI, it's my understanding that it's really not any different than a traditional capture. Remember, you can "capture lossess" with a DV card, but the incoming data is still just DV, and will always be DV. And I think this is how you're treating SDI, as a capture card.

So again, it really comes back to the quality of the card. Don't focus on the info carrier, the SDI aspect.

Again, AIW is an excellent option. And you're NOT limited to P4/IDE/etc early 2000s architecture. I've not run any IDE-only AIW setups in years, preferring the Asrock AGP with SATA2. You can even use AIW PCI with SATA3/etc newer boards, with all but the latest supporting/running XP (the only real software requirement of AIW; and it should NOT be a problem for mere capture boxes, where the ONLY task at hand is capturing; remember dual-boot also post-XP option for same box). I do this as well. So AIW isn't outdated, it can be run perfectly well with recent hardware. In fact, x86 WinVista/Win7 could even have the AGP/PCI boards force-installed, though it was squirrelly at times. Both myself and jwillis did it, proof of concept, but XP was/is easier. Only x64 was a no-go, though jwillis looked into this as well, even screwier drivers could be possibly played with to maybe force it. Understand Win8/10 is like MacOX/OS X, very video-unfriendly OS, gives more grief. So video capture on 8/10 is honestly often an experience in self-BDSM to a computer.

To also address lossless vs. uncompressed, it's not at all about space and costs (though it was during 90s-2000s). In the 2010s (and soon 2020s), it's still about time. Those lossless files have 2x+ overhead, and that translates into 2x+ more time spend on projects. You cannot ever escape this fact. Everything from moving files to encode/re-encode to NLE preview/render. It adds double+ time. Total waste.

So that's where we're at with the question, and comments thus far.

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  #17  
10-13-2019, 05:15 PM
Sergei316 Sergei316 is offline
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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Wait, wait ... Don't jump on jwillis
They way I read it, he was jumping on me. Contrary to his belief, I havent made up my mind. The whole reaseon of the post was to get feedback. Not ridicule. I am not trying to disparage the us of AIW/XP in anyway. I apologize if I came across that way. My frustration is with the conflicts in the hardware and software. I have zero video quality capture issues using the work flow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Now that in itself is why a "pro-SDI" argument is both silly and moot.
I am not trying to make a "PRO" argument. I was/am trying to determine if using the SDI "interface" (Thanks for clarfying) affects the quality of the video capture. My goal was to see if any member of the forum has gone the SDI route with the recommended analog hardware and their capture results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
but there were times where I'd see flaws
That is what I am trying to determine. I have compared my captures from the AIW to SDI and have not seen any flaws in the captures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
For SDI, I've not heavily tested items, but I would be somewhat shocked if Blackmagic was quality, seeing as how so many other BM items are utter failures at SD video.
That is completely understable, however, many other reputable companies make (made) analog to SDI converters. I will definetly look at other manufacturers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
But the attitude was "that's not professional" even if quality from the AIW was greater than whatever had been used (with DV being the worst). That piss-poor attitude was present in the photo industry for decades ("film is better than digital", "MF better than FF/APS-C", etc, simply because "that's what pros use"), but unlike video has since softened in the era or smart phones and mirrorless.
I understand what you are saying. I agree. Most of the preservationist workflows I have seen and worked with used mostly pro gear. Again, I wasn't trying to disparage the use of the AIW/XP capture workflow, I was trying to detrmine if their was a more effecient way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
In terms of screwing with quality/signals, DVD recorders are the worst offenders. HD devices with SD video are the next worst.
Got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
And I think this is how you're treating SDI, as a capture card.
I understand what you are saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Again, AIW is an excellent option. And you're NOT limited to P4/IDE/etc early 2000s architecture. I've not run any IDE-only AIW setups in years, preferring the Asrock AGP with SATA2. You can even use AIW PCI with SATA3/etc newer boards, with all but the latest supporting/running XP (the only real software requirement of AIW; and it should NOT be a problem for mere capture boxes, where the ONLY task at hand is capturing; remember dual-boot also post-XP option for same box). I do this as well. So AIW isn't outdated, it can be run perfectly well with recent hardware. In fact, x86 WinVista/Win7 could even have the AGP/PCI boards force-installed, though it was squirrelly at times.
This where the issue is.

The Asrock AGP boards are very hard to find. I like to have multiple of the same equipment in case of any issues. The TIME and energy wasted on obtaining multiples of those types of boards just dont seem to be justified, to me anyway.

You say we can run the PCI AIW on a more modern board, the AGP AIW that MOST people reccommend are NOT that type of AIW card. Are you saying the early PCI cards or the PCIe version of the cards are to use in modern boards? My AIW x600 box is on a modern board and I have zero issue with captures but that AIW card is frowned upon, it seems to me, by many members. I have not had an issue. I am not tyring to follow the leader but the reccommendations that people make on the forum are what alot of people use as a guide to their workflows.

I dont think I said that AIW was outdated. Obtaining QUALITY AIW hardware is the problem. A time consuming problem.
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  #18  
10-13-2019, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergei316 View Post
They way I read it, he was jumping on me.
Not ridicule.
I am not trying to make a "PRO" argument.
My advice here is to not act/be defensive, try not to get frustrated. It's easy to misconstrue intentions, as the interwebs have no facial features to inspect for friendliness/not-friendliness. Neither I nor jwillis is ridiculing, ill will, etc. Emotions cloud judgments. Let's just focus on the tech.

So...

In terms of flaws, also don't forget that not everything is visible. Some capture cards can do screwy things with the files. Not that it is or isn't the case here, just something to remember. I've seen cards that "look good", but spew out problem files. As an example, LSI Samsung recorders have nice quality, but the file structures are fubar. (Almost all Panasonics are also fubar, in addition to looking lousy.)

After ripping out pages I deemed useful, and accruing 2 folders full of tearsheets from BE, I threw away the magazines. Otherwise I'd open a past issue from late 2000s or early 2010s, and give you an idea for some cards to look at. There were plenty of non-Canopus/non-BM cards that were highly regarded, none of which I can rattle of brands/models like I can with other gear.

Asrock AGP boards had several models, some of which were still available new in late 2018 or early 2019 (and maybe even still?), and were discussed in posts on this forum. Furthermore, the exact Asrock AGP boards that I use were more prolific in Europe, as PCIe didn't take foothold as quickly as NA. The typical prices of those Asrocks is about $100, may or may not come with CPU/RAM. But best CPU is $5, still-current RAM $20 or so for 2x1gb sticks. I managed to find both of mine for sub-$50, but that took patience. If you ever want help to run down that hardware, PM me. Although not buying, I do monitor certain pieces online, for this exact scenario (somebody wants help finding/buying).

There's really one one PCI AIW worth using, the equiv of the AGP 7500, and admittedly it is somewhat rare due to lower production. (Note that I recently put my 1 extra in the marketplace.)

The PCIe is mostly frowned on for useless MPEG/MMC functionality, and drivers that cause weirdness or severe offset. I had recommended PCIe for years, as an option (still deferring to AGP), but I became so exasperated by some PCIe (especially the x1800/x1900 models) that I started to recommended shying away from those. The AGP just gave an overall better experience. Part of this is the pre/post-AMD issue, with video taking a hit in the AMD era of ATI.

All video is time consuming. Welcome to my world ... for the past 20 years.

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  #19  
10-13-2019, 06:36 PM
Bogilein Bogilein is offline
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Watch the sdi capture way from Goldwingfahrer, who was a professional from Switzerland. He has own and tested more equipment for capturing video as we all on this board together. In Europe he was one of the best which has written and share his experiences in various videoforums.

http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-workflows/6877-vhs-home-movie.html

Watch the picture in posting 2
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10-14-2019, 01:59 PM
bgalakazam bgalakazam is offline
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I gave up trying to get XP to work. Was able to install the USB drivers on Win 7 32 bit and can capture AVI lossless. From there I choose what to do and how to encode.
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