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05-15-2021, 03:43 PM
BlueIris BlueIris is offline
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First post. I am a mom trying to digitize our old VHS tapes. I am by no means a videophile.

This is what I am using to capture and digitize.

VCR (borrowed): Panasonic DS850
Upscaler: Easycel Composite/SVideo to HDMI Converter
Capture Card: I have two, and honestly I do not see much difference between the two --- which is disappointing, because I expected the expensive one to be MUCH better.

1st one is ZumYu HDMI Video Capture Card 4K 1080p 60fps Game Capture Card.
2nd one is an Elgato HD60 S.

I tried using Virtual Dub, and used several of the source articles on this site, but did not get very far. I did capture some video, but it was not substantially different in quality than using OBS.

I went back to using OBS because I could find settings and use it more easily.

My main question is this: Why does my preview in OBS look so much better than what I actually capture? While I'm watching the video play in the preview screen it looks pretty good. By no means HD quality of the 2000s, but regular VHS quality of the 80s/90s. Then, I go to my captured digital file (mp4) and review the capture and it seems to be of such a lower quality that I can't help but wonder why?

It makes me feel like I'm going a little bit crazy to be honest. Is this just how it is? Should I resign myself to the fact that I will never capture what I'm seeing in the preview?

I don't want to spend hours of my life working on this and then learn that it was some simple setting that I was overlooking.

Thank you so much in advance for your wisdom all you people who have been doing this for so long!
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05-15-2021, 04:39 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Capturing consumer analog video sources is a multi step process not a one step as capturing video games unfortunately, Analog video is interlaced, noisy, often out of sync. and every step addresses a problem.

A high quality capture job starts with a good VCR not just a low end one and requires capturing the video first in lossless AVI 4:2:2, De-interlace the video, fix the frame edges by cropping to a minimum and masking the rest, and finally encode to a final format.

If the above doesn't sound like a possible route to you just be happy with the results you got, There isn't anything really you can do with the hardware you have, I don't mean to sound pessimistic, I've been in your position.

Good luck.
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05-16-2021, 12:55 PM
BlueIris BlueIris is offline
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Well, I spent all day researching and finding more info online. I pulled two samples into Premiere and looked at them side by side. I feel like I've reached diminishing returns.

If anyone else comes across my post, I will add that I found the OBS settings in this youtube video to work quite well : https://youtu.be/Y7PoNzrECG4

I did use my elgato capture card, but can unreservedly recommend the ZumYu card if you cannot afford an elgato. It works very well for it's price.

My only change was outputting my content (under the video tab) at 720x480. Note: you can type ANYTHING directly into that field. You are not limited to the pull down menu. I learned that from someone else's post, and it helped me tremendously.

I watched one of my captures on our large TV last night, and it was definitely watchable.

I'll keep checking in to see what other advice people have. I know it's a learning process.
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05-16-2021, 03:55 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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OBS is not analog capture software. It's streaming screen recording software.

The "Zumyu" is just a generic Chinese HD converter, and those are infamous for low quality. The colors are cooked, artifacts abound.

"Watchable" isn't the same as quality, or even enjoyable. "Watchable" is a chore, the sort of thing you'd do in a courtroom viewing evidence.

Most people don't give VHS the credit it deserves, and use "VHS quality" to instead refer to low quality.

The formula for a quality capture is easy: VCR > TBC > capture card
- Not just any device, but recommended devices.
- TBC is not optional. Some form of TBC is required, even if the minimalist ES10/15 units.
- Capture cards have some easy rules: no HD, no "gamer" cards, no cheap Amazon/eBay buys for under $50. Win10 makes capture harder, but some good cards still usually work in it.

That Youtube video isn't great.
- JVC HR-S8000 is not recommended whatsoever, so many others JVCs are much better.
- Sony decks are sometimes passable.
- DVD combo advice is (usually) correct
- HD upscaler device is horrible
- RCA adapter device is bad, rings matter on the mini
- No TBC in use, more horrid advice
- OBS, horrid advice.
- 1080p60 recording = really bad, this guy has no idea what he's doing

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
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05-16-2021, 04:52 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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I think this HDMI capture and OBS is spreading more than what we can advice against. I personally gave up already, I also no longer able to help with Window 10 troubleshooting since updates are coming faster than what I can personally experiment with. It will be nice if OBS adds a setting for analog capture based on rec.601 but I don't think they care.
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05-17-2021, 09:34 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is online now
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Crank up the bitrate for the MP4. Whatever it's on now, double it and see what the quality is like.
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capture card, quality, vhs

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