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  #1  
12-18-2010, 05:16 AM
Simon76 Simon76 is offline
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Hi all!

I want to capture old vhs tape (PAL). My current set-up is as follows:

JVC HR-S7700 S-VHS (DNR/TBC), Plexgear Video Grabber, Honestech VHStoDVD software, Toshiba Satellite L500-13C laptop PC.

However, my main concern is the capture device. I plan to buy a Desktop PC within the next month or so. So I plan to replace the Plexgear USB capture device with something better.

I would like to know if I should go for an internal capture card (black magic or Haupaugge (?)) or an external solution (e.g. Canopus ADVC-55/110) or anything else.

I don't want to spend more than 100-150 on the capture gear.

Can anyone advice me on a capture device/capture card that suit my needs and whether I should go for an internal or external solution?

Any hands-on suggestions are highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
12-19-2010, 01:54 PM
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What kind of specs are you looking at, on the new computer? Will it have room for an internal card, or do you think you'll be after another USB external device? ---- Or are you trying to decide on the card first, and the computer second?

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  #3  
12-19-2010, 02:00 PM
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Hi!

I haven't decided on that yet. Although I'm leaning towards Intel i5. I'm not sure if I should go for an internal or external solution - don't know which would be best, any ideas?

Cheers!
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  #4  
12-20-2010, 02:27 AM
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I forgot to mention that I'm planning to build my own computer (using a PC configuration service) so I guess that I'm deciding on a capture device/card solution before purchasing a computer.
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  #5  
12-21-2010, 12:17 AM
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One more question...
Quote:
I don't want to spend more than 100-150 on the capture gear.
Is that just for hardware costs, or do you include software costs in that figure?

Okay, maybe two questions...
And just to specify, you're in UK? (That will help us give more detailed info.)

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  #6  
12-21-2010, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
One more question...

Is that just for hardware costs, or do you include software costs in that figure?

Okay, maybe two questions...
And just to specify, you're in UK? (That will help us give more detailed info.)
100-150 just for the hardware, yes (cheaper if possible). So far, I've tried the Honestech VHStoDVD software, and have had a brief look at Virtualdub as well as iuvcr/iuvcs. Don't know which is to prefer.

I live in Sweden, but I used GBP out of convenience.

Cheers!
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  #7  
12-21-2010, 12:52 PM
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Given your location and budget, I'm hoping forum member juhok will chime in on this thread. He's mentioned a couple of times that the Blackmagic cards can be had for about 140 quid, and it's known that those cards work with the i5 systems. Of course, it may be overkill for your intended project, but it will at very least provide a good PAL capturing solution.

The older ATI All In Wonder Radeon (AGP) cards are what I tend to suggest, and those are built around the AGP graphics slot (excluding one PCI model), for the best versions of those Theatre 200 capture card. There are some PCI Express cards, but results can vary due to the forced used of near end-of-life versions of ATI MMC that had some reduced functionality.

The ATI 600 USB2 cards actually work very well for PAL AVI capturing, although it's non-obvious and requires use of VirtualDub. For me, that's not an issue, as I tend to only work with PAL in a restorative context for paid projects.

For PAL capturing, the Canopus ADVC boxes are pretty decent, as the 4:2:0 is the colorspace in use, as opposed to the overly compressed 4:1:1 used for NTSC. You'll need Firewire for it. Use WinDV as the freeware capture tool, then import it to a good program like Adobe Premiere Elements (cheapest from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com). The ADVC-55 is in your price range, at 148.00 from Amazon. Still seems a bit expensive to me, seeing how it's just a DV converter and ONLY a DV converter. I could almost buy a used DV camera for lower cost than that, and use it for "pass-through" if all I wanted was DV.

Blackmagic gets my vote. Maybe Hauppauge if you're able to locate the PVR-250 or PVR-350, although it's MPEG-2 hardware only (no native AVI), and on eBay only I'd imagine.

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  #8  
12-22-2010, 03:11 AM
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Hi, and thanks for the extensive reply! Really helpful!

By Black magic, do you mean Intensity Pro?

I few thoughts:

* I have a vague recollection that someone once said that internal capture cards (in contrast to external devices) may interfere with other internal components so that it may have a negative effect on the output. Could this be true?

* To obtain the highest capture output quality, I suppose I should go for an uncompressed format, which one?

* You mentioned DV-cameras, which connections should I look for? I've seen Canon Legria HV 40 which has AV in, but other than that not many camcorders seem to have analog throuput, at least not the ones available where I'm at. A camcorder could could be useful also for converting Super-8 films in the future I guess...
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  #9  
12-22-2010, 05:33 AM
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Yes, the Blackmagic Intensity Pro (BM/IP).
It's 150 posted from Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...SIN=B001CN9GEA
Or $190 shipped from Amazon USA: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B001CN9GEA -- not bad at all.

To answer your other questions...

Quote:
I have a vague recollection that someone once said that internal capture cards (in contrast to external devices) may interfere with other internal components so that it may have a negative effect on the output. Could this be true?
Yes, it could be true. It could also be true that you'll die in 10 minutes from an engine that's fallen off a passing airplane and squashed you like a bug. In other words, yes it COULD happen, but it's really not all that likely. The biggest issue is the quality of the shielding of boards and components, the purity of the incoming power source, and the choice of how close component are in the case. For example, PCI audio cards can cause problems placed in the slot directly below a video/graphics card, but fine in the bottommost slot. External devices are not immune, either. If anything, the wires can pick up on FM or microwave signals.

Quote:
To obtain the highest capture output quality, I suppose I should go for an uncompressed format, which one?
I suggest lossless codecs, whether HuffYUV or one of the alternatives like Lagarith.

Quote:
You mentioned DV-cameras, which connections should I look for? I've seen Canon Legria HV 40 which has AV in, but other than that not many camcorders seem to have analog throuput, at least not the ones available where I'm at. A camcorder could could be useful also for converting Super-8 films in the future I guess...
The old Canon "ZR" series worked pretty decently at this. I believe many of the manuals actually referred to "analog pass-through" as it was a marketable feature at one point in time. I remember seeing it as a listed feature on the tags in stores like Best Buy (in USA and Canada).

The HV40 sounds more like a HDV camera -- not SD DV.

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  #10  
12-22-2010, 08:52 AM
Simon76 Simon76 is offline
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Sure, I've learned more here than I did during the nine-years of compulsory school back in the 80s/90s

So these potential interference-related issues more or less levels out, then?

One more thing; how about proc-amps? Not even sure I will need one, but if I do, are there any specific model (consumer oriented, inexpensive) that I should look for?

Thank you for taking time to answer all these questions.
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  #11  
12-22-2010, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
how about proc-amps?
"proc amp" = "video color processor/amplifier" or "video processing amplifier"
Here's a short list:

The best ones:

These are all professional tools from the 1990s and early 2000s. SignVideo still sells new proc amps.
  • Elite Video BVP-4 (BVP4) / BVP-4 Plus (BVP4+) ~ MSRP $750, used $200-400 (no longer made)
  • SignVideo PA-100 ~ new $465, used $200-300
  • SignVideo PA-200 ~ new $665, never seen one sell used (assume $400-500?)
  • NOTE: Studio 1 Productions was a previous name of SignVideo, so PA-100 and PA-200 from that brand, too
Older-but-decent ones:
There are all under $100 used, and were 1980s broadcasting gear.
  • Vidicraft Proc Amp PRC-100
  • Vidicraft AVP-100
  • Vidicraft VidiMate VDM-200 / VDM-200 Plus
  • VDM-300S Vidimate ~ has s-video
  • Jebsee (Model No. 407) ~ Vidicraft clone model
  • NOTE: Vidicraft was 1980s predecessor to 1990s Studio1/SignVideo products -- same product lineage
Some other consumer items, maybe not ideal:
All of these were maybe $150 new, less used -- many were commonly sold for "copyright breaker" devices, which was a secondary function that honestly did not work as advertised. But it could adjust colors a bit.
  • Sima SCC-1
  • Sima SCC-2
  • JVC JX-C7
One of the biggest issues that affects how well the proc amp functions is the ability to input separated chroma/luma video (s-video wire), and not the composite signal. There's just too much signal crosstalk for high quality proc amp adjustments, when using composited signals.

A number of TBCs also have minor proc amp functions, such as the AVT-8710 / CTB-100.

There's also broadcast-grade rack-mounted units available from familiar companies like Aja, Hotronics, Snell & Willcox, and Leitch, amongst others. Quite a few out there, actually, spanning the 1980s-1990s-2000s. Not that you'd necessarily want them all, even being "broadcast grade" (an overrated term, seeing how most of those device were NOT created with the intention of working with VHS tapes and can fail at that task).

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  #12  
12-23-2010, 03:33 AM
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Hi!

Thanks once again for your help!

One final thing;

is there anything I need to think of when transfering captured VHS content to other optical media (DVD/Blu-ray) for playback on my living room LCD TV?

BR & Merry Christmas!

/Anders
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  #13  
12-23-2010, 03:46 AM
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Use the best blank DVDs: http://www.digitalFAQ.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm
Aside from that ... nothing, really.

It's already on the final thing? Sounds like you're all set.

Be sure to post back here (in this thread, or possibly new ones) as to what you've decided to buy and setup for yourself -- maybe even show/discuss your successful conversions, or lament about your challenges. Or even ask for more advice, should it be needed. Keep in touch.

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