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  #1  
01-19-2010, 01:24 PM
cyber-junkie cyber-junkie is offline
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I am going pro, just need something to capture so I can do some light editing...on the computer this looks not real easy...anyway I have read about the "AIW" card, but came across this..USB VHS to DVD Converter Adapter VIDEO CAPTURE CARD, doesn't look line a "card" at all, a usb 2.0 to capture the video/audio...is this thing any good at all...if it works, the price is right and seems easier than installing and configuring a actual card.
Thanks
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  #2  
01-19-2010, 01:59 PM
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I know I always come across harsh on this topic, but I feel need to mention it.

"Pro" is when you plan to make 90% or more of your income off of something, and you have advanced degrees/knowledge/experience in the field.

What you probably mean is you're trying to learn some more advanced/quality methods, because you may be able to take in a for-pay project or two. Even then, I would mention to you the hazards of taking in work for pay.

When handling customer videos, there needs to be high attention to detail, with quality input and output. Otherwise you'll end up with a bad reputation very quickly. Video work -- much like photography -- is not as simple as buying a doo-dad from the store and hitting the "go" button. There is a definitive difference in the pro and amateur/hobby market, and again down another level to the Joe Bob consumer market.

What you've looking at there is very likely a Joe Bob USB PVR device. It's not meant for high quality capture and conversion, but rather a quick-and-dirty TV recording.

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  #3  
01-19-2010, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I know I always come across harsh on this topic, but I feel need to mention it.

"Pro" is when you plan to make 90% or more of your income off of something, and you have advanced degrees/knowledge/experience in the field.

What you probably mean is you're trying to learn some more advanced/quality methods, because you may be able to take in a for-pay project or two. Even then, I would mention to you the hazards of taking in work for pay.

When handling customer videos, there needs to be high attention to detail, with quality input and output. Otherwise you'll end up with a bad reputation very quickly. Video work -- much like photography -- is not as simple as buying a doo-dad from the store and hitting the "go" button. There is a definitive difference in the pro and amateur/hobby market, and again down another level to the Joe Bob consumer market.

What you've looking at there is very likely a Joe Bob USB PVR device. It's not meant for high quality capture and conversion, but rather a quick-and-dirty TV recording.
I don't mind harsh...if it the truth, it's the truth!!

But you misunderstand me, I want to do this for myself, I want to transfer some vhs videos to dvd and have been reading...and reading...and ...

Seems like a lot of work...and I don't even have down the steps yet...let's see how close I am at this point.
1) I have DVD decrypter to transfer to the computers HD
2) I have Avidemux 2.5
3) Figure out Avidemux, apply filters and try to clean up.
4) Burn it back to DVD, I guess this is authoring? or is authoring a step before burning back to dvd?

So I thought this usb device might be worth a look...what I mean by pro is I don't need to go pro as this will be a hobby, not a career.
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  #4  
01-19-2010, 04:31 PM
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1. That's good.
(Note: HDD = hard drive, HD = high definition, mixing them may cause confusion)

2. & 3. Avidemux just isn't the typical clean-up tool for video. I plan to look at it some here soon, and see more about it. VirtualDub is the GUI tool of choice, while Avisynth is the command-line too of choice, for a lot of video restoration -- including even forensic video work! I was reading a nice white paper about forensic media earlier today, good stuff, and it mentioned VirtualDub a couple of times.

4. Authoring is when you take all the video, audio, subtitles, and "make" the DVD. Often with menus, but menus are not required. After the DVD-Video folder is authored (either as files on a hard drive, or as an ISO file), then you can burn to a disc. Burning is a separate function from authoring. Burning actually has NOTHING to do with video, it's just how your final product is stored and distributed.

Think of "authoring" as cooking a meal:
- By "cooking", I refer to the time ONLY when food is in an oven, on a grill or stove, etc.
- Prep time (cutting up onions, rolling dough, battering fish, etc) was audio/video work done before authoring (Avidemux, VirtualDub, etc).
- Burning is when you put the food on a plate and serve it.


Back to the card question...

That sounds like a cheapy TV USB card. Many of them are limited in what they can do. it really depends on the make/model of the card. You didn't give too many details in that first post.

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  #5  
01-19-2010, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
1. That's good.
(Note: HDD = hard drive, HD = high definition, mixing them may cause confusion)

2. & 3. Avidemux just isn't the typical clean-up tool for video. I plan to look at it some here soon, and see more about it. VirtualDub is the GUI tool of choice, while Avisynth is the command-line too of choice, for a lot of video restoration -- including even forensic video work! I was reading a nice white paper about forensic media earlier today, good stuff, and it mentioned VirtualDub a couple of times.

4. Authoring is when you take all the video, audio, subtitles, and "make" the DVD. Often with menus, but menus are not required. After the DVD-Video folder is authored (either as files on a hard drive, or as an ISO file), then you can burn to a disc. Burning is a separate function from authoring. Burning actually has NOTHING to do with video, it's just how your final product is stored and distributed.

Think of "authoring" as cooking a meal:
- By "cooking", I refer to the time ONLY when food is in an oven, on a grill or stove, etc.
- Prep time (cutting up onions, rolling dough, battering fish, etc) was audio/video work done before authoring (Avidemux, VirtualDub, etc).
- Burning is when you put the food on a plate and serve it.


Back to the card question...

That sounds like a cheapy TV USB card. Many of them are limited in what they can do. it really depends on the make/model of the card. You didn't give too many details in that first post.

Thanks for the info..."HDD"

Avidemux would load the video after "ripping" I guess it's called from my DVD through DVD decrypter but I couldn't get Virtualdub to, maybe I wasn't doing something with virtualdub?

As for the "card" which is not a card at all, just a usb with composite and s-video and L&R audio connectors and software "Ulead Video Studio 10.0", for the price of this "card" I will take a chance and see...sure looks and sounds easier to use a vhs w/tbc through a vidicraft and just record on a standalone dvd player, but I don't think you can get as good of a product or do as much as on the computer.

Thanks for the advice and help
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  #6  
01-19-2010, 06:03 PM
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Computer capture method better than a standalone DVD recorder?
As long as you can capture lossless AVI, then that would be true.
If the USB dongle can only record to MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 in special software, then it probably won't be accurate.

Did you use the VirtualDub pre-made setup from this site? It's at http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...-pre-1727.html
It has all the right filters and plugins pre-loaded for you. This includes an MPEG2 input plugin. DVD uses MPEG-2.

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  #7  
01-19-2010, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
Computer capture method better than a standalone DVD recorder?
As long as you can capture lossless AVI, then that would be true.
If the USB dongle can only record to MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 in special software, then it probably won't be accurate.

Did you use the VirtualDub pre-made setup from this site? It's at http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...-pre-1727.html
It has all the right filters and plugins pre-loaded for you. This includes an MPEG2 input plugin. DVD uses MPEG-2.

If you capture standard file type (MPEG-2), the standalone would do a better job?....but the computer has all those filters.

I thought I had the virtualdub from here, downloaded this one and the saved file or whatever it is in DVD Decrypter loaded, dual screen, I assume the one on left is raw and one on right is filtered...

Is there a tutorial on using this software, I know the computer rather well but know next to nothing about computer editing and virtualdub.

Thanks for the help.
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  #8  
01-19-2010, 06:58 PM
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Many of the standalones can do better, yes. It really depends on the card and the software. Or in the case of the DVD recorder, the chipset. This gets very complicated quickly.

The best DVD recorders use LSI chipsets, but those are no longer made. Some certain Toshiba HDD models also use a special filter kit to record in clean high quality.

Many of the DVD recorders sold in store now tend to make lousy quality MPEG recordings. Not all, but many. See the reviews page for more on that: http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-recorders.htm

ATI All In Wonder Radeon PCI/AGP cards were well-known for their quality. Although newer ATI cards are inferior to the older ones, the models can still do decent, albeit limited (MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 only, for example). The ATI USB2 PVR 600 card, for example, can input s-video, composite or tuner pretty well, and record to a high bitrate MPEG-2 file! That is decent to edit from, before re-encoding to a new DVD.

On the other hand, a cheapo Pinnacle box is limited to Pinnacle Studio software most of the time, and the quality is grainy and overall crappy.

So the method isn't as important as the details, with details being the software, hardware, models, chipsets, etc. It something an average consumer would know -- but when people like me are willing to share information (and do the research to get it), you don't really need to!

If you're opening to buying anything, just give ma a budget, and I can track down what you need. We might even have some extras for sale -- most of December and January was spent refreshing systems, and there are some extra parts (good stuff!!) leftover and available for sale.

We're doing a LOT of posts now. Maybe consider upgrading to Premium Member status? It covers the upkeep of this site, time it takes to make posts to answer your questions, and is just a few dollars (less than the price of a book or class).

Hope that helps. Thanks!

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  #9  
01-26-2010, 04:00 PM
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I tried out the USB capturing. (it was only a test) I found the interlacing to be a major issue. It had a few dropped frames, this is something I have never seen with one of my DVD recorders. To me it just didn't look natural. I recorded to AVI and MPEG, after my tests I decided to stick with using a DVD recorder.

The DVD recorders are fine for me. It takes 7 minutes to rip a dvd to the PC, than you can play with all the filters.

However, I also found if you save or use the wrong formats you will get audio + video out of sync. Again I can't have this at all.

Avidemux, I tried that out, I really didn't like it because the quality of the picture tended to be worse than before the video was filtered.

I am not an expert on the filters. But so far what I found is they look good on the PC, however when you put them back to DVD they look totally different.

However a 1 hour Program using virtual dub filters basically takes up all the extra space on my hardrive. (If I go this route I need a new hardrive for just video files.)

My tests for DVD playback, is kind of weird.

#1 The old standard TV's, for one I can see how much the video is cropped and if it has computerized noise or distortion in the picture.

#2 The other method is using an upconvert DVD player, with an HDMI cable to an HD TV. (The TV I have actually plays analog VHS tapes pretty good.) When I bought the LCD, I tested every TV out in the store, this was a feature that I wanted. Most people want the best HD picture, I wanted something that would play both well.

It is also a reason why I have only a 37 inch TV and not one of the big ones. On the bigger TV's any of this stuff tends to not look as good.

I also have a computer hooked up to the LCD TV. I can test the playback on the Computer vs the Play Back on a DVD player. All you do is switch a button on the remote for this.

I tried out HD Cables from the computer to the TV, and I didn't like it. It made a little bit of a difference with online HD video, but that was about it. Everything else was horrible...

A few more tests that I do......

1) I try to get something with a lot of motion or moving parts, you can pick up really fast when this is off or jerky.

2) I stand at 3 points and watch the recording
a) 1 Foot from the TV
b) 6 Feet from the TV
c) 12 Feet from the TV

My goal is to try to pick up all the flaws....
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  #10  
01-26-2010, 06:45 PM
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Some of the post-filtering errors -- i.e., video looking different on computer vs TV screen -- may be related to latter video work in your workflow. Encoding, authoring -- both can affect your output quality, depending on the software and setting in use.

I wanted a large TV that also played all my SD video collection with a clean signal. This is one reason I went with a Sony SXRD screen. It has multiple video filters to counteract and remove noise. Most HDTV sets lack filters of any kind, much less multiple axis options (in-frame AND temporal!).

I'm amused by the "Most people want the best HD picture" comment. So many people buy a HDTV set, plug up standard analog cable (or their "digital" standard-def cable/satellite), stretch the 4:3 image to fill the 16:9 screen, and they think they suddenly have a great HD experience. Most of my friends and family do this, and I refuse to watch TV with them. If I try to educate them, I'll end up with silly arguments like "I want my screen filled". Or when I try to fill the screen from a letterboxed movie with a zoom setting, I'm told that the zoom "loses picture". Too many people seemed to have failed basic high school geometry. They wouldn't know a "best HD picture" if it smacked them in the eyeballs.

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