Quantcast Is onboard sound OK for VHS home video capture? - digitalFAQ Forum
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12-02-2010, 04:12 PM
GroverXpup GroverXpup is offline
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Hi! I was wondering if someone could tell me the value (if any) of upgrading a sound card for a VHS home video capture? I have an old HP Pavilion from around 2003 or 2004 and this is the PC I'm going to use for the capture. Would an upgraded or dedicated sound card improve the audio in THE CAPTURE? Or is there no difference between onboard sound and a dedicated card for this purpose?

To clarify, I realize that a better card sounds better when say watching a surround sound DVD, but I only want to know how a sound card effects the quality of audio during a VHS capture!

Thanks so much...
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  #2  
12-02-2010, 04:34 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Linear VHS audio isn't the greatest, while VHS Hi-Fi comes close to matching CD quality. Most on-board sound cards have no problem capturing the source material. The thing you want to avoid is any added noise/hiss during the analog-to-digital conversion. Cheap cards have horrible signal-to-noise ratios. A well designed card will have proper shielding (the inside of a computer is a hostile place in terms of electric noise), and a high quality analog-to-digital converter to avoid hiss/static.
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12-02-2010, 05:11 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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The biggest issue with embedded sound cards is their tendency to lose audio sync -- be it audio drift, or simple butchering of the signal. The clocks are not always stable, hence the suggestions for dedicated sound cards from better companies like Creative (SoundBlaster) or Turtle Beach.

Poor shielding from soundcards also lends itself to adding weird noises into your audio playback and recording -- little beeps, buzzes, helicopter sounds, etc.

I honestly don't even waste my time trying onboard audio anymore, if the machine is meant to edit audio or capture/record audio or video. It's a good $25 investment to just get a decent card. The only time I'll use onboard audio is if the system is a encoding box or non-editor (web design system, for example).

For example, at only $30: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000LP0R3E
I'd buy that, if I wanted another sound card.

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12-02-2010, 06:34 PM
GroverXpup GroverXpup is offline
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Thanks for the fast response guys! I actually purchased 2 Sound Blaster cards on Black Friday and decided I'd just return them if they weren't necessary. I got one for my capture PC and one for my main PC. My main PC has a Gigabyte board that's fairly new and says it has: High Definition 7.1 channel audio, s/pdif in/out, CD in and support for Dolby Home Theater. Do I need a sound card in this one as well? Or am I OK because I'm not capturing VHS recordings on it?

Thanks again-
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  #5  
12-02-2010, 07:09 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Not capturing = not a need for separate card.
Onboard is fine for playback-only systems. I don't see the need for the extra card.

You're probably safe to return one. How much was it?

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  #6  
12-02-2010, 07:17 PM
GroverXpup GroverXpup is offline
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They were actually regular price at CompUSA ($29.99). I was there shopping for other stuff on Black Friday and just decided to get them while they had them. So I'll just return the one then. Thanks again. I'm sure you'll hear from me again as I'm starting my "project" at the beginning of the year and have so many questions that I don't know where to start!
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