Quantcast Feedback on workflow to capture VHS video tape? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
11-11-2020, 01:44 PM
Regular805 Regular805 is offline
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Hello-
I am capturing VHS video tape from a Panasonic AG1980. I have been scouring this and other websites to get a workflow that suites my needs. I was hoping to get some feedback regarding the choices I have made from the experts here whose prior comments have provided me with so much guidance, esp Lord Smurf. I use Premiere Pro often so I chose to use this as my primary tool. Not sure that VirtualDubMod has advantages here.

1. Play VHS on my Panasonic AG1980
- Chose not to use a separate TBC because of expense/benefit
2. S-video connection
3. USB 2.0 Diamond VC500 video capture device
4. UBS Studio capture stream
- 720x480 @29.97
- BT709
- Output simple, audio 320, Lossless quality
- UBS Studio defaults to UT Video YUV 420 BT.709 which keeps the file size small.
- I am not planning to edit these files in this color space. Just trim a break up the capture file into clips
- Must understanding is that the VHS tape does not contain more data than this. So, it is good for 1st capture & archive.
5. Open file in Adobe Premiere Pro after adding UT Video codecs
6. Trim unwanted material, break into clips based on date using PP
7. Export each of the clips in the same lossless UT Video YUV 420 BT.709
- No generational loss
- The file sizes are small enough that the original source material can be kept forever
- Now the gigantic VHS tape is broken cleanly into clips based on date/topic/interest/size
8. Use AVI MetaEdit to adjust the RIFF: DateCreated and add some other useful metadata such as author, location, etc]
- Built for the US National Archive so that they can catalog their video clips
- At least it is some sort of standard
- EXIF tool won't edit this. Not many tools do.
9. EXIF tool to assign File Creation Date and Modify dates based on the RIFF: DateCreated set by AVI MetaEdit
- These clips are now to archive set.
- AVI UT Video YUV 420 BT.709 (edits other than dividing clips do not take place in this color space)
10. Premiere Pro
- Deinterlace with RE:Vision deinterlacer. This is a purchase only very configurable and sophisticate deinterlacer (at least I think so).
- Adjust color to remove color cast using Lumetri color for white balance, deepen blacks, etc
11. Save in whatever format (H265, H264, etc) in 4:2:2 color space
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  #2  
11-11-2020, 04:04 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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BT.709 is not for SD video, it is for HD, you should be using Rec. 601 or BT.601. 320 audio is not lossless, PCM 24/16bit is lossless.

I'm not too sure that Adobe premiere can cut clips losslessly even when you keep the same parameters, NLE software suck at this task, it will most likely go through a render process regardless, The right tool for that is Vdub, it is 100% quick and lossless as long as you keep the same color space.

I don't think there is a better de-interlacer than QTGMC and it's free.

Also keep the chroma sub 4:2:2 all the way, if down sample it to 4:2:0 that's a loss.
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  #3  
11-12-2020, 07:57 AM
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Premiere re-encodes. Lossless re-encode isn't really a big deal, but should still be avoided when possible. For lossless AVI no-encode, this is why I use VirtualDub2 in Direct Stream Copy mode.

Still nothing better than QTGMC. Avisynth or Hybrid.

FieldsKit RE:vision is crap, and it's been shown before to be wholly inferior to QTGMC for many years now. There was a long article on it (vs QTGMC) at some documentary studio within the past 2 years. It was actually amusing, because they acted like QTGMC was some cutting-edge sci-fi hard-to-use tool that only existed in the underbelly of the internet. In reality, they finally crawled out from under whatever rock they'd been trapped under for the all of the 2010s.

4:2:0 is only fine for final delivery formats, MPEG or H.264 (generally required, not optional).

I've not used VirtualDubMod is many years. VirtualDub for capture, VirtualDub for any use of masking with resize filters, VirtualDub2 for many other restoration tasks or Avisynth.

VC500 is a variable card. Watch for AGC issues. If so, you need another card. It's not great.

UBS? I bet you mean OBS. That's terrible analog capture software. It's a streaming capture tool that also does analog poorly. Use VirtualDub.

After capture, virtual scissors to cut up the clips, then load into Premiere for editing and color correction.

Metadata is DAM (digital asset management), and that's fine. I don't do it -- I use folders, a spreadsheet, and keep organized.

I try to do 4:2:2 H.264 as much as possible, good bitrates, low GOP, etc. But sometimes my specs make players balk, including my own BD player. The BD players expects more compression.

AG-1980 is fine, but you also need external frame TBC to not have problems capturing.

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  #4  
11-12-2020, 02:25 PM
Regular805 Regular805 is offline
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Thank you Latrech34 and Lordsmurf,
You have honed in quickly on some issues with my process. I've got some work to do. I really appreciate the quick feedback. The last time I did this, I used VirtualDubMod, TempGaussMT which was painfully slow. I'm eager to see the improved deinterlacing with QTGMC over RE:Vision FieldsKit which has motion compensation and temporal smoothing, but there are jaggies sometimes.

Rec. 601 & PCM audio
Thanks, Latrech34 for those tips. I'll switch to Rec. 601 or BT.601 and PCM audio. Vdub.

Capture device
The VC500 is unstable. I think it is the drivers. I'll get a new one. Not expensive.

Archiving and 4:2:0
Perhaps I am looking at this incorrectly. I keep thinking of capturing at 4:2:2 like upscaling resolution. You get more pixels, and larger file, but no improvement in quality. Why is capturing to 4:2:0 a loss? Does VHS contain more color resolution than that? If you capture at 4:2:0, what can you do to the video with doesn't need a larger color space? Trimming/clipping? Maybe that's why you recommend 4:2:2. Once you do anything to the video beyond trimming/clips, you need the larger colorspace.

I referenced this article:
http://www.johnwillis.com/2020/02/41...-transfer.html

Admittedly, my primary reason is that 4:2:0 produces compact files using UT Video lossless codec, but I don't want to throw away quality in the archiving stage! It is likely I could get a smaller file with a visually lossless codec in 4:2:2 such as ProRes or Cineform. I want something standard that won't be obscure and unreadable in 20 years. Choosing the wrong digital archive format could be like having Betamax videos!

4:2:2 and capture/archival format
Is 4:2:2 better once I start deinterlacing? My plan is to archive the deinterlaced version rather than keep the original raw capture. What do you do? I have a 50 TB NAS, but don't want to waste space since I have a lot of old videos/8mm/MiniDV etc. I wasn't sure if you are recommending capturing and clipping/trimming in 4:2:2 using H264 at high bit rates. I can also do ProRes or Cineform. I'm not looking for perfection, just want to get most of the quality stored into an archive in relatively compact form to keep at rest with DAM in file if possible. Some day, I'll generate compilations to share with others. It then becomes less about quality and more about a format friendly to the presentation medium (YouTube, email, thumb drive, etc). I don't plan on using BD or any discs since many don't have them anymore!

OBS Studio
Yes, I meant OBS Studio. I'll ditch that. One less tool to deal with.

External TBC
Lordsmurf, I know you like the external TBCs. They are pricey and I know so little about them. Some are more than $1,000. I don't have enough VHS tapes to justify that! My wife is already wondering why we own three VCRs! I looked on eBay. They look intimidating. Any recommendations? Many don't have s-video interfaces.

I cannot thank you both enough. Your generosity with pro help is incredible.
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  #5  
11-12-2020, 03:25 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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The reason why capture at 4:2:2 is because VHS is low in chroma information to begin with (30 vertical lines or so) so you want to keep it as close as possible to the original, If it was Betacam SP you can go ahead and capture at 4:2:0 or 4:1:1 and you won't make a dent in the chroma quality, That's the whole point.
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  #6  
11-13-2020, 12:48 AM
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VC500 is a model issue. (Hint: I still have a few recommended cards available in the marketplace subforum.)

Analog color is not digital, exists in equivelancies in digital terms. 4:2:0 and especially 4:1:1 are below the information available. In practice, theory is marginal yet unrealistic. The theory/practice is largely due to weak color data being easily harmed by any compression, especially NTSC (aka "never the same colour") resulting in tint/hue shifts, color loss, etc. So 4:2:2 it is.

I wouldn't agree with the BetacamSP + 4:2:0/4:1:1 = no loss. There's loss.

I don't like external TBCs. They're expensive, always have been. It's yet another item that must be carefully selected to avoid degradation. But it's required. So I suck it up, buy it, use it. Unlike most people, I'm not able to buy-use-resell it. For me, it's a longterm cost. For you, not so much. You'll get your money back when the project is done. That's what the marketplace forum is for. (If you get it from me, sometimes I'll even buyback gear I've sold to others, to certify and re-clean/maintain, pass along to the next user, sometimes mix/match into new workflows.)

Wives are easy to get through. Buy the TBC. "Honey, when I'm done with it, I can resell it, and we can use that money for a vacation." Tada! Tell her to go plan a trip for XX date, that'll keep her busy, and gives her a budget. And it gives you a deadline to actually do the project. I've given that advice to so many users here, usually via PMs (and it has worked!).

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  #7  
11-13-2020, 02:24 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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What I meant is not no loss, The quality is still there at 4:2:0, Heck even after youtube butchering, Take a look at this capture:
https://youtu.be/N0qwTjLTtQU
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  #8  
11-13-2020, 02:30 AM
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Oh, there's loss there, obvious to me --- but it's far less than VHS, since the source quality is better. It can handle the quality hits much better.

Who here likes NES Punch-Out?
- VHS being converted down to 2:0/1:1 is Glass Joe
- BetacamSP is Bald Bull (or whoever), can takes hits without buckling under

BTW, Youtube did a number of that sample. Yeesh.

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  #9  
11-13-2020, 02:34 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Now we are on the same boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
BTW, Youtube did a number of that sample. Yeesh.
Maybe I should resize to 1440x1080 and upload another sample to see how much can I get away with youtube butchering.
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  #10  
11-13-2020, 08:13 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Upscaling before uploading to youtube is a good idea in general, especially if the original sample is at 50/60 fields per second. Youtube doesn't keep the video at 50/60 fps in SD quality for whatever reason, so if you e.g want the full 50/60p framerate after deinterlacing you need to upload at 720p or more.

An additional reason for 4:2:2 lossless being preferrable instead of 4:2:0 lossless for archiving is the fact that analog SD video is interlaced. 4:2:0 is rescaled in the vertical direction, and there is a risk that whatever software is used downscales/upscales the chroma part wrongly. With stuff encoded in e.g DV or mpeg format, programs will know the field order and if a file is interlaced or not, but none of the common lossless codecs (utvideo, ffv1, huffyuv, lagarith etc) have good support for flagging field order and interlacing (prores actually does though).

The NTSC standard does technically support full chroma resolution in the vertical direction, but in practice with VHS and such, it won't be due to camera resolution, chroma comb filtering and so on. PAL uses 2 and 2 lines averaged to reduce hue problems so 4:2:0 was an okay match for the digital representation hence why that's use for DV. 4:1:1 was used for NTSC, maybe to reduce generation loss, as it's otherwise a bit limited with sources that have good chroma resolution like broadcast video and betacamsp.

Last edited by hodgey; 11-13-2020 at 08:25 AM.
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