Quantcast vhs-decode setup? A Basic Guide - Page 2 - digitalFAQ Forum
  #21  
09-09-2021, 01:30 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Thanks for starting the guide. Just a few corrections. Note that users on this forum can't edit our posts outside of a limited time window, so the OP will have to remain as-is unless the admin wants to change it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
VHS-Decode is something I've been fascinated with
That link is someone's fork of the vhs-decode fork of ld-decode. The repository maintained by oln/hodgey keeps the ld-decode name, and is absolutely buried in search engine results. (The fork you linked is currently 64 commits behind oln.)

vhs-decode: https://github.com/oyvindln/ld-decode

Quote:
The Basic Stuff You'll Need
  • A PC, nothing special, but with a PCI slot
  • A 8GB or larger USB drive, and another PC/Macintosh/Linux machine
  • A PCI capture card
One word though, you'll need something with a PCI slot (so, that's basically anything from the 2000s) but you'll need a full-height PC, not a modern desktop office machine
There are half-height CX2388x cards. My Pixelview XCapture PV-CX881P included both full and low-profile brackets, though ensuring you get both on the second-hand market could be difficult. I got lucky with my cheap eBay purchase from Russia, of all places.

More importantly, PCI support is not required! If one is willing to spend a bit more on the capture card (and wait for delivery from China) there are AliExpress sellers offering CX2388x cards with built-in PCI-to-PCIe bridge chips. So the only requirement is that a desktop computer is used. If someone insists on laptop, they'll have to invest in a Domesday Duplicator and build it or find someone selling a completed assembly.

Example listings with PCIe bridge chips; I'm not specifically endorsing these sellers:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003133382186.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001286595482.html

Another point I would add to the "stuff you'll need" is HDD/SSD space. It's a little over 28MB/s uncompressed for the initial ingest, and storage concerns become a bigger factor once you actually start decoding, because each step produces giant temporary files.

Quote:
There's a rule though, you need to find one with a Conexant chipset, a 2388x series (it can end 1/2/3 with no difference for what we're doing
Slight clarification: it can be 0-3, i.e. CX23880, CX23881, CX23882, CX23883.

Warning: it cannot be 5-8. Those chips are from a different family, based around PCIe.

And while all 0-3 chips will work, it may be that one of these variants generally has better noise characteristics for this purpose. Same goes for specific cards constructed using these chips. At this stage, it isn't clear to me. We're still experimenting. What is certain is that there is variability.
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  #22  
09-09-2021, 01:54 PM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
Thanks for starting the guide. Just a few corrections. Note that users on this forum can't edit our posts outside of a limited time window, so the OP will have to remain as-is unless the admin wants to change it.


That link is someone's fork of the vhs-decode fork of ld-decode. The repository maintained by oln/hodgey keeps the ld-decode name, and is absolutely buried in search engine results. (The fork you linked is currently 64 commits behind oln.)

vhs-decode: https://github.com/oyvindln/ld-decode


There are half-height CX2388x cards. My Pixelview XCapture PV-CX881P included both full and low-profile brackets, though ensuring you get both on the second-hand market could be difficult. I got lucky with my cheap eBay purchase from Russia, of all places.

More importantly, PCI support is not required! If one is willing to spend a bit more on the capture card (and wait for delivery from China) there are AliExpress sellers offering CX2388x cards with built-in PCI-to-PCIe bridge chips. So the only requirement is that a desktop computer is used. If someone insists on laptop, they'll have to invest in a Domesday Duplicator and build it or find someone selling a completed assembly.

Example listings with PCIe bridge chips; I'm not specifically endorsing these sellers:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003133382186.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001286595482.html

Another point I would add to the "stuff you'll need" is HDD/SSD space. It's a little over 28MB/s uncompressed for the initial ingest, and storage concerns become a bigger factor once you actually start decoding, because each step produces giant temporary files.


Slight clarification: it can be 0-3, i.e. CX23880, CX23881, CX23882, CX23883.

Warning: it cannot be 5-8. Those chips are from a different family, based around PCIe.

And while all 0-3 chips will work, it may be that one of these variants generally has better noise characteristics for this purpose. Same goes for specific cards constructed using these chips. At this stage, it isn't clear to me. We're still experimenting. What is certain is that there is variability.
Hi mate,

Thanks for this - I'm having to pick this up as I go.

The point about the fork is CRITICAL and oln had made the error aware to me - that was my laziness as I just opened the first link in DDG when putting the guide together, I should have checked that and please accept my apology - that's the critical thing. I'm writing this on-the-fly so keep any corrections coming as they need to be fed in.

Thanks again,
RR
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  #23  
09-09-2021, 02:13 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by servese43 View Post
I know vhs-decode is nowhere near as good as a conventional capture setup, for now at least, but how does ld-decode compare with the traditional way of capturing, for laserdiscs?
Ld-decode is pure PWM composite video, almost like ripping a CD and extracting PCM data vs capturing from analog audio RCA. Yes PWM is still analog but it doesn't suffer from the inherit problems of tape based formats. So it is totally different from vhs-decode.
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  #24  
09-10-2021, 07:04 AM
ffmpeguserss ffmpeguserss is offline
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Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
...Firstly, props to the guys who've been behind this (and by extension the LD-Decode team) - you're absolute geniuses, I genuinely am in awe at what's been accomplished here, each and every single person who's contributed to this. ...

...

VHS Decode is an application that means that you can stream the video tape straight from the tape-head (not out the back of the machine) bypassing all of the electrical gubbins in the video player. I guess it would mean practically any old 'junk' video machine will do (although not recommended) and sending the RF (radio frequency) information encoded on the tape straight in to a PC. ...

...
One thought I had was that Panasonic or JVC can reissue the mechanical parts of their VCRs as modules and there's a chassis that I can put those modules in and get different personalities for an RF capture. Just a thought obviously. In addition I'm also in awe of the authors of VirtualDub and HCEnc. The ability of all these geniuses just boggle my mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
You forgot one of the most important problems: hardware fail. It's expensive and/or time-consuming, if even reparable at all. This is the one that keeps me up at night. It's the reason I have a stack of TBCs, VCRs, and capture cards, as backups.

I'm not swayed by the costs argument. ... And when you're done with the project, you can sell the gear to recoup costs. You don't throw it in the trash, it's not lost money.
I get it but kinda contradictive. Can't recoup costs on failed equipment (unless it's really rare I suppose).

I know it's really easy to say but you're not the one taking the risk. Almost anything can happen to these expensive decades-old equipment shipped all across the country or the globe. And of the scarcity of the best condition equipment, or lack of history or provenance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
...I do think sometimes you make the assumption that everybody "should" do things a certain way (a la your remarks a few days ago about the things people post on YouTube).

...

[U]...You do seem to have a very monolithic way of describing 'people', I've noticed this a few times. The value people attach to things varies more wildly than you might imagine (try a car forum or a HiFi forum for example). There's a lot of shades of grey in these matters, and I wouldn't have been as successful or stayed in business as long as have without appreciating these things. ...
Perhaps LS should stand for "Lord Sith," as only a Sith deals with absolutes. (just joking Mr. Lord Smurf!)
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  #25  
09-10-2021, 09:03 AM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffmpeguserss View Post
One thought I had was that Panasonic or JVC can reissue the mechanical parts of their VCRs as modules and there's a chassis that I can put those modules in and get different personalities for an RF capture. Just a thought obviously. In addition I'm also in awe of the authors of VirtualDub and HCEnc. The ability of all these geniuses just boggle my mind.
It would be great if they did but I don't think the economies are there, video-heads especially need very precise tooling (arguably, excluding microelectronics, the video head is/was the domestic item made to the highest tolerance) and fine quality control, the heads even on very modest machines I believe was the single most expensive components on the BOM. I doubt there's any tooling left for heads, so making them again would be a gargantuan undertaking by one of the major players - or it goes to China who probably have a load of Funai bits floating around.

It's a great concept though, and who knows, but considering (JVC especially) are a shadow of the company that they once were and are practically out of the household electronics market I don't think it'd be something viable for them.

Retooling could easily cost millions, so there would have to be a very strong market.

But stranger things happen!
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  #26  
09-10-2021, 10:26 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
It would be great if they did but I don't think the economies are there, video-heads especially need very precise tooling (arguably, excluding microelectronics, the video head is/was the domestic item made to the highest tolerance) and fine quality control, the heads even on very modest machines I believe was the single most expensive components on the BOM. I doubt there's any tooling left for heads, so making them again would be a gargantuan undertaking by one of the major players - or it goes to China who probably have a load of Funai bits floating around.

It's a great concept though, and who knows, but considering (JVC especially) are a shadow of the company that they once were and are practically out of the household electronics market I don't think it'd be something viable for them.

Retooling could easily cost millions, so there would have to be a very strong market.

But stranger things happen!
The market is not there otherwise Funai wouldn't have had stopped their production of VCR's back in 2016, Though those are not the JVC Rolls Roys, but that would diminish the market even further for such machines due to the higher price.

I suppose that with the current un-converted stock of analog tapes left if people take care of their VCR's and pass them along to others without being greedy we should be able to convert most of the home videos and some rare tapes that didn't exist on other better formats in the next two or three decades.

Now if a solution exists in the future that takes a normal cheap modern VCR and add a piece of modern hardware and software to it we can push it further extra decade or two, that should guarantee the conversion of every tape existed, assuming people are pro active and do it right in the first time rather than using cheap capture devices or running to crappy services like Legacy-box just to find out few years later that they have to do it all over again, That's what happened with all the captures made to DVD and DV for the last 2 decades or so.
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  #27  
09-10-2021, 10:53 AM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Interesting point, with regards to DVD

We stopped advertising DVD as a transfer option in May, we will do it upon request but we were not keen to do them anymore. I guess we burn no more than ten a week.

DVD is almost as dead as VHS to many of our customers, hence we've gone to files/streaming almost exclusively.

Which is why I find it quite cute when I was lectured about how people are watching this stuff on jumbo TVs, I've got the sales data to say only about 20% 30% of our customers view our video on television now.

DVD & BluRay are seen as 'Boomertech' now, interestingly along with Facebook, there's a whole second market coming along with this, but this isn't a treatise on transfer businesses.

We plan to completely stop offering DVD as an option in 2022, but plans could change.

Where were we again?!

Last edited by RobustReviews; 09-10-2021 at 11:07 AM. Reason: **Appears to be higher than I imagined, figure corrected**
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  #28  
09-10-2021, 01:20 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffmpeguserss View Post
Can't recoup costs on failed equipment (unless it's really rare I suppose).
Even failed gear holds value, because it can be repaired, or used for parts to frankenstein with another deck.

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Originally Posted by ffmpeguserss View Post
s only a Sith deals with absolutes.
In our plane of existence, we have both variables and constants. But some folks live in a loosey-goosey world, where everything is a variable. There exist immutable, immovable facts. We don't have to like it, and I know I certainly am not thrilled about various rules/facts, but we have to acknowledge it. I detest how video is politicized, in a modern way, where basic facts (or even just generally-accurate observations) are argued, so conversations cannot move beyond head-in-sand antics.

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Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
Which is why I find it quite cute when I was lectured about how people are watching this stuff on jumbo TVs,
Most people do still watch on their TVs. For example, Netflix? There are studies for this, which show TV viewership of content is still in the 75% range. Why else do you think Youtube, a successful website, is so determined to get onto TV sets? Yes, DVDs are a failing format now, but that has nothing to do with TVs. Most people long ago switched to streaming options, using both streaming services (currently Netflix, Paramount+, Disney+, HBO Max, etc) and home based media servers. Not for phone or tablet, nor computer (which are also going the way of the DVD, for non-work/gaming use), but a giant TV set parked in front of a chair/couch.

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Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
But stranger things happen!
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Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
The market is not there
Vinyl.

...and I"m still in disbelief over this.

Quote:
if people take care of their VCR's and pass them along to others ... we should be able to convert most of the home videos and some rare tapes that didn't exist on other better formats in the next two or three decades.
This will happen, but...

Quote:
without being greedy
Cue the Kumbaya music, and kindergarten lessons on sharing. But it's not realistic, for many reasons. Inflation, costs to repair/refurb into better condition, etc. Yes, there are some definite cases of greed, and selling misrepresented/abused crap. But there's also cases of restoring the units to further their lifespans. When you deal in essentially functional antiques, scarcity is part of the valuation. Hence why even parts/junk decks have value. A lot of screams about video gear "greed" are sour grapes from people that didn't buy the gear when it was new, or first used well over a decade ago. But it's the 2020s, not the 90s/00s.

Quote:
and do it right in the first time rather than using cheap capture devices or running to crappy services like Legacy-box just to find out few years later that they have to do it all over again, That's what happened with all the captures made to DVD and DV for the last 2 decades or so.
Yep. Most of my mid/late 2010s work was spent redoing videos that others had screwed up in the 2000s. Sadly, sometimes without the original tapes, salvaging the crummy digital files as best as possible. But thankfully, many packrats in our society still had the original tapes for a round 2 attempt.

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  #29  
09-10-2021, 01:36 PM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post

Most people do still watch on their TVs. For example, Netflix? There are studies for this, which show TV viewership of content is still in the 75% range. Why else do you think Youtube, a successful website, is so determined to get onto TV sets? Yes, DVDs are a failing format now, but that has nothing to do with TVs. Most people long ago switched to streaming options, using both streaming services (currently Netflix, Paramount+, Disney+, HBO Max, etc) and home based media servers. Not for phone or tablet, nor computer (which are also going the way of the DVD, for non-work/gaming use), but a giant TV set parked in front of a chair/couch.
You're entirely right - however, for my service my AWS Transcoder bill tells a different tale - at least for me as a sample of precisely 1.

Mobile viewing is the majority, at least on elastic transcode anyway, obviously, I don't know what/how/where customers do with files. What I *can* say is, fewer and fewer every sales period ask for DVD copies, that said I've just been asked to create 15 copies of something. I do find if a customer wants DVD, they tend to want multiple copies.

That's all I can say on the matter really, anything else would be sensitive information in the business sense. But the most truthful answer I can give, it seems to be squarely sliding toward the small screen market.

Quote:
Vinyl.

...and I"m still in disbelief over this.
I'm a tape-head, we're currently having a purple patch at moment, I recently parted with a Maxell Metal Vertex for over 125.
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  #30  
09-12-2021, 05:26 PM
ffmpeguserss ffmpeguserss is offline
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Thanks also for taking the time to post this. As time permits I'm aiming to get to at least a live preview of a tape; I'm planning on using a spare Sony VCR and tap into its test point, I dare not open my main capture Panasonic VCR just yet. For the moment most of the time on VHS is spent on cutting footage.

By the way the github page indicates that vhs-decode can run on WSL2 (Windows Subsystem for Linux) so Windows 10 users with WSL2 should be able to set up an Ubuntu VM (provided virtualization support is active in the BIOS) and run the decode process on existing captures conveniently within Windows 10.

Really exciting stuff!
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