Quantcast VHS Capture Device Advise - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
07-07-2010, 05:56 AM
Drazick Drazick is offline
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Hello.
I'm looking for a VHS Capture device.

I'm using Windows 7 64Bit so it's must be compatible.
I would like to use Virtual DUB / Virtual VCR with it.

It should be simple and cheap, I have no special requirements.

Do you have any recommendations?

USB Sticks are preferred (Though, if there's a cheap PCI-E card that would be fine).

Thanks.
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  #2  
07-07-2010, 06:01 AM
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I think I have a perfect suggestion for you.

I've used it in Windows Vista x64 and Windows XP x86 with no problems. I'm about to upgrade a machine ti Windows 7 x64, so I'll test this on it today or tomorrow, and then get back to you with verified results.

The card I would be suggesting is the ATI 600 USB stick.
Best price and availability is from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.ht...reative=390957

And it can capture in VirtualDub just fine, PAL or NTSC, and you can select any number of codecs (including the recently-free Matrox MPEG broadcast codecs, DV and uncompressed!)

The Win Vista64 and WinXP captures have all come out looking stellar. These cards work great with laptops or desktops. (Capturing to internal drives, not USB drives. Too much traffic to write to USB2 drive while USB bus is capturing.)

Will get back to you soon.

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  #3  
07-07-2010, 06:10 AM
Drazick Drazick is offline
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All I can find is a TV Tuner.
Moreover, it seems to be pricey (~199$).
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  #4  
07-07-2010, 06:23 AM
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No, look at the other two pages for the same thing.
  1. http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.ht...reative=390957
  2. http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.ht...reative=390957
There's a few of them there in the $70-80 range, shipped. If you look at link #2, you'll see a new in box unit being sold by INTEGRITY BOOKS for $66 plus $6 shipping ($72 total).

The MSRP on this thing was in the $100-150 range. The person/company trying to sell it for $199 is a moron. Clearly don't buy that one.

If you went to a local store like Best Buy, you'd find more junky boxes from Pinnacle and Dazzle for $70-100, and those use proprietary Pinnacle software. You can't use VirtualDub. So finding this ATI card for $70 is a good price.

If you're wanting to spend less, for a USB/external card, you won't really find anything. At best, a piece of junk. Or maybe somebody's used-but-good device on eBay. In the future, eBay may be the only choice. (And at that time, prices may be in the $50-100 range still!) But for now, there's still some old stock of the ATI 600 cards (now discontinued), so I'd opt for that while it's there to be had.

Also...

Ignore the "TV tuner" stuff. Those stock photos of the card are horrible. It only shows the USB stick and the coax connector. It fails to show the wire bundle that accepts s-video, composite, audio, etc. I need to take a photo for the guide anyway. A guide is being written on using the ATI 600 card with both VirtualDub and the ATI Catylast Media Center software (ATI CMC -- not to be confused with the older ATI MMC).

And no, the wire does not connect to the coax. There's a port on the side of the card that's never shown in the generic stock photos. I've only used the coax on mine for testing purposes.

Again, I'll test it on a Win7 x64 install here in the next day or so, and then post back test results. Your question just happens to coincide with the planned upgrade. Nice timing!

Thanks.

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  #5  
07-14-2010, 08:19 AM
Drazick Drazick is offline
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Hi admin, Any updates?
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  #6  
07-15-2010, 07:05 AM
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It seems to work just fine on a Windows 7 64 and Windows Vista 64 system.
Works well here.

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  #7  
08-07-2010, 05:42 PM
Drazick Drazick is offline
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Those are great news.

Just one thing to make sure before I but it.
Does it capture PAL?

Thanks.
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  #8  
08-07-2010, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
It seems to work just fine on a Windows 7 64 and Windows Vista 64 system.
Works well here.
Just curious, how does this capture device compare to the AIW AGPs?
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  #9  
08-08-2010, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Does it capture PAL?
Yes, it does PAL.

Quote:
Just curious, how does this capture device compare to the AIW AGPs?
The ATI All In Wonder AGP Radeon cards perform better than the ATI 600, because it's internal, and the ATI MMC software does more than the ATI CMC software. Both can use VirtualDub, however.


On a related note...

I still have three ATI All In Wonder Radeon cards, if anybody is looking.
  1. One is an ATI All In Wonder Radeon AGP 128 Pro, and the ATI MMC 8.x workaround is available on disc.
  2. The other is an ATI AIW Radeon PCI slot 7200.
  3. The last is a ATI AIW Radeon AGP 7500.
No purple input cables available on these, although there are 10 available on eBay for $7 each shipped!
Past cards were sold for $75 each, plus shipping.
These cards are $70 each, use that $5 toward the cable you need. Plus shipping.

I'll give a custom DVD with all the ATI software and instructions, plus this forum has most of what you need, and questions can be asked here.

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  #10  
08-08-2010, 04:31 AM
Drazick Drazick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
Yes, it does PAL.
Are you sure?
Because I couldn't find any documentation for that.

The only thing I can trust is your word.
If you're sure I'm buying it (All I need it for is PAL Capturing, Under Windows 7 64Bit).
Thanks.
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  #11  
08-08-2010, 05:47 AM
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100% positive. Here's the proof...

I mean, it doesn't say "click here for PAL mode" or anything like that. But that's no different from NTSC capturing, although VirtualDub comes in NTSC default settings if I recall correctly.

And the PAL doesn't work in ATI CMC. That software was apparently designed for North America, but the hardware is based on a more open spec.

However, in VirtualDub, you simply have to specify PAL settings.
That is, 25fps, 720x576, PAL-I capture filter video decoder. Then that's that.
Pick your codecs, capture.
If you want MPEG captures (high bitrate), use the Matrox codecs.
If you want AVI, use HuffYUV, uncompressed YUY2 or Lagarith. (I use HuffYUV.)

The one thing I noticed on this particular computer was that the first 6 video frames were junk, but it still buffered the frames. Audio was constant from frame 0, so this caused an offset of 6 frames of audio. When I re-opened the video in VirtualDub, I set the interleaving to -400 milliseconds (6 frames converted to ms), which corrected for those 6 frames. Problem solved. I did this test a few months ago, and I don't remember any frames/audio issue that time, either..

I don't feel like connecting this to the Vista 64 system again, and the PAL VCR is not anywhere near that computer. So this was done on my XP laptop, where this card is used most of the time. But this will be the same in XP, Vista or 7 -- 32 or 64 bit.

I used a commercial PAL VHS tape of a Heathcliff cartoon, played in a JVC HR-S7965EK PAL deck.

Here's the full-sized video opened in VirtualDub after capture:
Heathcliff-PAL.jpg

Here's the Gspot info:
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Here's a sample clip attached below, about 1 second worth of video chopped off (6.5MB):


Attached Files
File Type: avi PAL-Heathcliff-ATI600-sample.avi (6.39 MB, 13 downloads)

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  #12  
08-17-2010, 07:05 PM
Drazick Drazick is offline
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OK.
I got it.
Now, which drivers do you use in Windows 7 which works with Virtual VCR / Virtual DUB?
By the way, What would you recommend, Virtual DUB or Virtual VCR?

Thanks.
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  #13  
08-19-2010, 04:19 AM
Drazick Drazick is offline
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Well I tried the latest drives for Vista.
The quality is poor.
I got much better quality using DVD Rcorder.
What am I doing wrong?
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  #14  
08-19-2010, 08:49 AM
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I also have sound problems.

After few minutes of capturing the voice of the people in the video sounds like "Bugs Bunny".

Something doesn't work well with Virtual Dub.
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  #15  
08-19-2010, 11:56 AM
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Alright, we have to start somewhere. So let's start with this:
  • I know for a fact that an ATI 600 USB card works well under Windows 7 x64, and that it can capture PAL and NTSC in excellent quality.
  • For PAL, you capture AVI in VirtualDub.
  • For NTSC, you capture AVI in VirtualDub or MPEG in ATI Catalyst Media Center (ATI CMC).
  • Quality of video is excellent, similar to professional encoding devices.
Those are facts, truths, constants. Everything else is a variable that may need to be tweaked to get your card and computer performing as it should, so that it too can achieve those known results (functionality, quality, etc).

What has to be done here is you'll need to give full details of your source tapes, the VCR in use, any other devices in the analog chain, and then we'd have to go over your settings in the OS and software. I'd ask you questions, so that you'd know what details are important. It takes a bit of time, but it's going to be required with pretty much any good device. Better devices take more work, as they have more settings, and therefore give better quality. Junky devices "just work" but are limited in options and lacking in quality.

Given the amount of time it's going to take to analyze your situation, and give the help you need, please Upgrade to Premium Member for $20 as this is the kind of one-on-one detailed guidance we generally reserve for that membership level.

Getting you capturing, and happy with the output, is very possible.

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  #16  
08-19-2010, 01:11 PM
Drazick Drazick is offline
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I wonder how can I recognize the format I try to capture?
For now it seems that VirtualDub chose NTSC while I know the Video Recorder I capture it PAL.

I think this is the cause to the poor quality.
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  #17  
08-19-2010, 03:02 PM
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In terms of settings in VirtualDub, refer back to post #11
Quote:
However, in VirtualDub, you simply have to specify PAL settings.
That is, 25fps, 720x576, PAL-I capture filter video decoder. Then that's that.
Pick your codecs, capture.
If you want MPEG captures (high bitrate), use the Matrox codecs.
If you want AVI, use HuffYUV, uncompressed YUY2 or Lagarith. (I use HuffYUV.)
That's how you control PAL vs NTSC. There are several places to make that change, too, as noted in the quoted text.
Change framerates, resolutions, other capture settings.
PAL is not a "setting" as much as a series of settings (resolution, framerate, signal)

Indeed, poor quality would result from incorrect capturing or quasi-standard capturing (PAL as NTSC, NTSC as PAL, etc).

The VCR is a PAL VCR? Or NTSC VCR? Or multi-standard VCR?
Which is it?

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  #18  
09-02-2010, 10:06 PM
Juan-ito Juan-ito is offline
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Hello those viewing this thread,

I just had a question regarding the AIW cards LS has for sale or similar versions, does it matter how much onboard memory these have as there are versions with 32, 64 and 128MB. I have been looking for one of these and they vary in this area and also many don't have the purple lead so that link you provided is a great help.

Are the ATI Radeon 9600 series of equal use as the 7200, 7500 or 128 pro? I see alot of these around and wondered if the onboard hardware was the same across the entire Radeon AIW series of 7000, 8000 and 9000 cards?

Just to add more in the mix, do the model extensions such as 9600 XT or 8500 PRO vary the on board hardware?

I am looking specifically to capture VHS recordings so would like to use one of these based on the recommendations of LS.

Hopefully you're watching a blue line at the moment and can answer this.

Thanks for the great forum.

Juan

Last edited by Juan-ito; 09-02-2010 at 10:13 PM.
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  #19  
09-03-2010, 02:46 AM
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The on-board RAM only affects the graphics portion of the card, and has zero relation to the video capturing functions of the ATI All In Wonder Radeon (AGP or PCI) cards.

The only time 32MB should be a worry is when you're trying to play big complicated video games on Windows XP. However, I will say that the same group of people who play tons of games are generally NOT the same people capturing video. So it's a moot point.

XT and PRO, again, refer to alterations in the graphics portion of the card. The 9600 Pro, for example (a card I use), has two monitor outputs.

These are gorgeous cards for capturing VHS, either to HuffYUV or high bitrate MPEG-2 for more post-capture processing (restore, filter, improve quality), or even just direct MPEG2 DVD-Video captures ready to author and burn to disc, if the tape is already being filtered by a good VCR.

Hope that helps.

And if you're interested in one of these cards available, three of them, let me know.

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  #20  
09-03-2010, 03:13 AM
Juan-ito Juan-ito is offline
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Thanks for your reply LS. I have to decide if I build a XP based computer or a Windows 7 based computer to capture to.

If Windows 7 then I would look to buy the ATI 600 you recommend.

Having tested both capture devices, which do you find gives the better Huffy compressed AVI?

Thanks again for the forum, I'll be a member soon once I get my workflow set up a bit more.

Juan
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