Quantcast Best workflow for VHS capture? - Page 2 - digitalFAQ Forum
  #21  
11-10-2020, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
At issue may well be the ability of a VCR/VCP to cope with poor recordings and the degree of internal signal processing (e.g., noise reduction, automatic gain control, automatic color correction) before output.

Most professional gear has better internal signal-to-noise than consumer gear, and is often designed around professional source material which is normally better controlled than home recordings. Thus a noisy output may more accurately reflect what is actually recorded/read off the tape before any cleanup done by the VCR's electronics.

Of course old machines are subject to the ravages of aging, some more so than others. And some vintages of Pana were more so than others.
The tapes in process are all RoT's recorded on 3M Anti-Static broadcast cassettes, this is why I'm getting confused about LP speeds etc. I can use a vectorscope/VFM in-process to fine tune in the analogue realm. All audio is Hifi so I'm not bothered about linear stereo.

I'll put this aside and move in to the digital realm, accepting that DV probably is 'junk' and that the Canopus was something found in stores from 2002 - what is the best option for capturing S-Video signals, this isn't something we usually deal with. The rack actually has a prehistoric professional DAW in it so I have a well spec'd XP machine (SSD conversion, 4GB RAM, industrial audio hardware) so if that can be put to use any suggestions welcome.
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  #22  
11-11-2020, 03:04 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
As to SDI, I've not tried it but Ive seen some recommendatioss for the Black Magic Design $195 "Mini Converter Analog to SDI." (It is not an up-scaler.) They say it is much better than the BM Intensity series. Has anyone here tried it?
Haven't tried it myself, Maybe something the OP may consider, I do have the second half, SDI to USB2 device which is BlackMagic UtraStudio (USB powered), Works with any SDI input source and has SDI and HDMI out for a monitor.
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  #23  
11-11-2020, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
Even though half of the models. I mentioned have no record function?
The 7750 specifically was an "editing VTR", now 30 years old, and never really intended for VHS nor digital workflows.

Back in 2005, I had conversations on this model on VH and in PMs elsewhere, and feedback on it was very mixed. It was very haevily dependent on the source tapes. I made for a terrible general-use deck, but it was decent (15 years ago) for certain specific capture tasks.

These decks have been infamous since inception.
For example, this old webpage: https://www.cameratim.com/electronic.../modifications

I don't like D-VHS decks, but I'd rather have one of those than one of these, for capturing VHS tapes. That alone should say something.

Quote:
especially routinely serviced and very low-hours like mine are?
How routine?
What's been done, exactly?

You must remember that age is age, and time takes a toll on video gear. Gravity affects alignments, various tolerances undo themselves, grease dries and powders, metal warps, rubber brittles.

These old decks were made for thousands of hours of use, and yet weren't made with a decade lifespan in mind. This is especially true of Panasonic decks, with the worst-aged units being the AG-1980s.

Anyway...

I think you've run into a situation where multiple shortcomings in multiple devices are giving you an overall degraded quality, and possibly miserable capturing experience. Something you wouldn't face with better gear.

I would be interested in seeing some tiny captures.

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  #24  
11-12-2020, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I don't like where this thread is headed. I need to weigh in here...


Out of curiosity, what line of business are you in?

That model VCR may be minimally acceptable, but mostly because of the line TBC. It has lots of negatives, and will contribute to the grainy aspect.

The biggest problem here is that Canopus card. And the 300 model ironically worse than the 100/110 (since it was more expensive).

- For PAL, 4:2:0, it's passably decent. Not great, decent.
- For NTSC, the 4:1:1 color of DV is crushing to quality. It throws out 50%+ of color data, and alters the tint and hues and contrast. It cooks the colors.

Beyond that DV is blocky, and has mosquito noise (digital grain).

DV is the tech of the 1990s, design for use with Pentuim II and III computers. Most people do not realize it's so old. And I don't mean legacy -- I mean old, outdated, damned-near useless.

What could be wrong with my capture set-up here?

It gave you better results than a crummy VCR and crummy capture card. But being better was arguably still not quality.

Are you in Europe?


Huh-uh! Be gentler.

Notice I save the "disservice to clients" comments for stubborn users -- which I've not yet seen from our OP.

Yes.


Foghorn Leghorn!


That's precisely it. Good observation.


Another great post, very accurate.

Clarification needed.
- For a software workflow, yes.
- For a hardware workflow, no. Consumer analog conversion (VHS,etc) has a recipe. Follow it. Attempting to deviate causes quality hits, sometimes massively so. If you follow advice from 20 yearas go (ADVC), or idiots on Youtube ($5 HDMI adapter), you will do a lousy job not even up to hobby standards.

... and I think you meant software, but wanted to emphasize it.

Read my article about pro vs. hobby conversion, as linked by @lingyi


Be gentle.

And I don't really agree with those assessments.

Yes, DV files are outdated. But H.264 files are equally not ideal for many reasons (mostly because it's compressed).

But H.264 also harder to work with:
- interlaced H.264 can't be watched on most devices, it does not deinterlace on playback
- deinterlaced is lossy (motion data lost), thus not archival -- yet fine as additional copy given to clients
- most editors expect HD H.264, not SD, especially consumer/freeware, and also often fail to understand interlaced H.264
- lossless/ProRes422 is archival, the client/person can do whatever they want once delivered (deinterlace, convert copy to H.264, whatever -- and still retain archival lossless master for later, and later will come)

So lossless + MP4/MKV (H.264) is fine. At minimum, the lossless.

And SDI? Have you ever wondered why I don't like SDI? It's a closed-loop system. TBC+capture is married. It can be limiting when devices don't cooperate. It's why I'm equally not a huge fan of the best JVC LSI DVD recorder combo decks (even if we ignore DVD-Video MPEG). Thankfully, that JVC can be used as just VCR, or just DVD recorder, and allow other hardware (ie open loop). But the SDI converters will often be paperweights in those situations, must acquire separate TBC and capture card. BTW, I see lots of crappy documentary conversions that come from SDI workflows. It can work, and well, but you will run into limitations with some sources. When doing this professionally, potentially lots of limitations, due to varied sources.


And welcome.

We're normally more friendly around these parts ... right guys/gals? (eh-hem)
Sorry to follow up on this, well I guess I'm in Europe in a geographic sense but no longer a political one if that gives you any clues...;.

I'm only looking at PAL cassettes, no call for NTSC here - if I could get in to the Canopus and turn off some of the additional processing it's doing I might be able to make a more objective assessment but it's trying to do all sorts of processing which I think is doing naught but creating havoc. The disc has been long since lost, and I am struggling to find the software to control it.

I'm also experimenting with the 'Big Bertha' VHS machines as line TBC's, I have a Video8, Hi8 deck as well as the pretty much unknown Stateside Video2000 machine too, look up V2K if you've not heard of it before, it was the European third horse in the format war, technically ahead in every way to Beta/VHS but eye-wateringly expensive and notoriously unreliable.

Computer firepower isn't a problem (we're a media company after-all, just not usually in the analogue realm) I have a suite of video workstations at my disposal, that said I've found Avisync runs like absolute crap on our video workstations.

There's a lot to ingest on here, and I've had one almighty refresher in videotape/signal chain and learnt a few things too.

Cheers,
RR
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  #25  
11-12-2020, 12:38 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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You still don't get the idea, It is not about firewire, If you are a pro you should be capturing lossless AVI 4:2:2 720x576 not DV, DV is an obsolete video format that died about 20 years ago and was never intended as a conversion format, It was a portable camcorder format for storing video files on a tape that served its purpose back then.

In 2020 the options are USB 2/3, PCIe (and the likes inside a desktop), SDI (pro).
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  #26  
11-12-2020, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
You still don't get the idea, It is not about firewire, If you are a pro you should be capturing lossless AVI 4:2:2 720x576 not DV, DV is an obsolete video format that died about 20 years ago and was never intended as a conversion format, It was a portable camcorder format for storing video files on a tape that served its purpose back then.

In 2020 the options are USB 2/3, PCIe (and the likes inside a desktop), SDI (pro).
No, politely, I do get it.

However, I think there's an asumption I'm transferring these tapes for some deep archival use ir for restoration, neither of which is true, as said they're RoTs and it's more a case of interest as to what's on them and where anything is found of interest we can go back to the source tapes anyway which is not handled by us.

I'm just interested in getting the best results without capital outlay, we have an AVDC which is not giving fantastic results and I'm happy to accept DV isn't the best format but I'm happy to do the best I can with what's in the office.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
No, politely, I do get it.

However, I think there's an asumption I'm transferring these tapes for some deep archival use ir for restoration, neither of which is true, as said they're RoTs and it's more a case of interest as to what's on them and where anything is found of interest we can go back to the Betacams anyway which is not handled by us.

I'm just interested in getting the best results without capital outlay, we have an AVDC which is not giving fantastic results and I'm happy to accept DV isn't the best format but I'm happy to do the best I can with what's in the office.
The non-VHS is just incidental, again a few candidates for transfer but they're not for archival or any deep restoration.

I think there are a lot of assumptions here and I'm willing to invest a few thousand in hardware if it's really required or we start getting archival work, but at the moment I was just interested in the best options with what we have.

There's a lot of very interesting information on here, don't think I'm being obtuse but I don't think I've been very clear. Thanks everybody for their help.
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  #27  
11-12-2020, 03:35 PM
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Yes you were not clear in your first post as you said you are transferring for clients.
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  #28  
11-12-2020, 03:43 PM
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Yes you were not clear in your first post as you said you are transferring for clients.
I am, I'm not sure what's controversial about that?
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  #29  
11-12-2020, 04:17 PM
traal traal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
there's a ton of digital noise I'm having to deal with in post.
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However, I think there's an asumption I'm transferring these tapes for some deep archival use ir for restoration, neither of which is true
The first quote above says you're trying to restore the video, and the second one says you aren't, so your goal isn't very clear.

If you just want the easiest workflow for digitizing analog video, DV/firewire is fine. It shouldn't give you much digital noise, unless the analog source is really noisy or shaky. DV compresses the colors slightly; and unless you have op-amp controls or an external video processor, your workflow may not be able to recover information from really dark or really bright areas; so your options for restoring the video would be limited.
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  #30  
11-12-2020, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
I'm only looking at PAL cassettes
PAL 4:2:0 DV isn't overly damaging like NTSC, and looks more like DVD-Video 4:2:0. So for no-restore captures, it will not look obviously degraded without side-by-side comparisons. 4:2:0 is alternating halving of colorspace, closer to 4:2:2 than 4:1:1 destructive quartering on NTSC DV.

Quote:
if I could get in to the Canopus and turn off some of the additional processing it's doing I might be able to make a more objective assessment but it's trying to do all sorts of processing which I think is doing naught but creating havoc.
This is why the ADVC-300 is never suggested. That's what it does. Good idea, poor follow-through. The device is outperformed by the lower-model ADVC-50/55/100/110 that doesn't do all the processing BS.

Quote:
I'm also experimenting with the 'Big Bertha' VHS machines as line TBC's
That's a road to nowhere.

Quote:
Computer firepower isn't a problem ... that said I've found Avisync runs like absolute crap on our video workstations.
Specs?
What fps (or hour:encode time) do you think is slow?
Sometimes Avisynth is about the scripts, and that is what determines speed. Too many newbies make wrong choices. (Open a new thread about your Avisynth, We can guide you.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
DV is an obsolete video format that died about 20 years ago and was never intended as a conversion format, It was a portable camcorder format for storing video files on a tape that served its purpose back then. In 2020 the options are USB 2/3, PCIe (and the likes inside a desktop), SDI (pro).
Quoted because this is 100% correct. DV boxes are hacks, and the process of converting analog colorspaces is destructive. But in the era of Pentium II and III computers, the 1990s, when these devices were invented and sold, digital video was still magical at any quality.

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Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
No, politely, I do get it.
Always the intention here.

Quote:
as said they're RoTs
RoTs?

Quote:
However, I think there's an asumption I'm transferring these tapes for some deep archival use ir for restoration, neither of which is true,
and it's more a case of interest as to what's on them and where anything is found of interest we can go back to the source tapes anyway which is not handled by us.
I think there are a lot of assumptions here and I'm willing to invest a few thousand in hardware if it's really required or we start getting archival work, but at the moment I was just interested in the best options with what we have.
Ah, this makes more sense now.

You want a rough catalog of footage. In a decent quality for review, but not necessarily archival. I get that. I do this often with JVC LSI DVD recorders, or ATI AIW 15mbps MEPG captures, run a full tape. If something looks important, I go back and fetch that piece in lossless for full software workflow processing.

What we don't want to see is when clients get charged $$ or $$$ for poor quality results. We sometimes get "I wants to makes moneys, how can I convert these tapes cheap???? k thx bye", and so that has to be nipped early. Other times, actual pros get snookered by "pro brand name" marketing, and sneer at better gear. And those people need re-education ASAP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
DV/firewire is fine. It shouldn't give you much digital noise, unless the analog source is really noisy or shaky. DV compresses the colors slightly;
Remember that DV also creates blocks, and tends to add mosquito noise. For NTSC, the color compression also results in hue/tint shifts, contrast alterations, etc -- not so much PAL, at least not too differently from DVD-Video. The main issue at 4:2:0 is micro-blocking of colors, and sort of a "digital color bleed" (aliased bleed).

DV is non-GOP at 25mbps, and acts more like a super-super-bitrates DVD-Video MPEG encode than anything else. It's inferior even to MPEG 15mbps with GOP, but is consider archival (especially at 4:2:2 profile).

I'm not anti-DV, when used in the right setting. DV probably would suffice here. But that ADVC-300 filtering is just dreadful, and probably needs replacing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
...
I don't think you need much here. Standard workflow: VCRs/cameras with line TBC > frame TBC > quality capture card. That will serve you now, and for anything advanced for later.

If you wanted best lossless, then I'd suggest certain capture cards under $200 (see also marketplace forum here).

I do think that VCR is causing quality hits. But if your sources is more than VHS, how are other format encodes looking on that DV box? Still bad? Not as bad?

Lack of frame TBC will cause various issues. Some visually, most not.

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  #31  
11-14-2020, 11:33 AM
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Within the context of of his sentence, it seems RoTs means Right on the spot. Though his spelling of the acronym is odd.
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  #32  
11-14-2020, 12:20 PM
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Record of Transmission (Or indeed Recording of Transmission), I've heard both used.

broadcaster overnight material mostly, proof of what was 'actually' transmitted cf. broadcast logs. Can't say too much really, a did try and give another clue when I said these are all 3M Anti Static broadcast tapes.

These are not archival because the sources are I believe still extant and held on Betacam SP or MII depending on company. These tapes whilst interesting have no value as they are off-air recordings, a few interesting adverts ('commercials' stateside) and a lot of dull overnight filler.

It's a long story I not really at liberty to tell.

Anyway...

Switched off all of the additional processing in the Canopus and things are looking much tidier, bit of work in Premiere (all methods suggested here are too slow for me, I personally don't have time for the 18fps I could muster deinterlacing with Avisynth & Virtual Dub) and they're 'good enough' for their duty. I do like the lightweight VirtualDub for capture though. I will try it again for some different client tapes though, when I have more time and incentive.

Thanks again all, still a lot to learn and take in. Still looking at capture options, thinking about AIW cards at the moment as the next step, possibly... Don't fancy anything USB.
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  #33  
11-15-2020, 03:31 AM
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Avisynth+ x64, using QTGMC preset=faster, should not be 18fps slow on any system built new in the past 5 years.

Ah, RoT, gotcha. I've not heard "record of transmission" in at least 15-20 years now. It's been so long that I don't even remember the context of how it was used anymore. My broadcast experiences ended with analog transmissions.

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  #34  
11-15-2020, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Avisynth+ x64, using QTGMC preset=faster, should not be 18fps slow on any system built new in the past 5 years.

Ah, RoT, gotcha. I've not heard "record of transmission" in at least 15-20 years now. It's been so long that I don't even remember the context of how it was used anymore. My broadcast experiences ended with analog transmissions.

Well this is on a 'Threadripper' with 128GB of RAM, it has almighty graphics capability too but I doubt there's any GPU offload with this software. We usually work with VMG and post-processing, we spend most of our time in 3D software.

Admittedly though I'm just running plain old x86 version of it without multithreadding support, I'm sure if I opened the hood of the software and changed to a MT/x64 version things would improve dramatically.

Thanks again,
RR
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  #35  
11-15-2020, 04:20 AM
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Vapoursynth is another option.
Or using Hybrid for the GUI to either Avisynth or Vapoursynth.

Some filters do offload to GPU, but not a deinterlace.

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