Quantcast Best capture format for master VHS-to-digital? (Huffyuv vs Lagarith vs MPEG) - digitalFAQ Forum
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  #1  
10-01-2011, 03:28 AM
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OK, So I have Faithfully followed the DFAQ Thang,(win XP computer,AIW 9600XT,)with great results,But my Question is...Which is the best file format to Archive My VHS Tapes To, For future Reference (Utube,DVD,home fun)So I only have to do one pass of my Tapes???
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  #2  
10-02-2011, 03:05 PM
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There are four possible workflows:

FormatMediaSize per hourBenefitsDrawbacks
Huffyuv AVIHard drive35-40GB/hourLossless, no compression artifactssize
MPEG-2 for DVDDVD-Videomax 4GB/hourStandard DVDQuality is not "the best"
MPEG-2 broadcast bitrateHard drive or Blu-rayavg 10GB/hour (15mpbs)Better than DVD, smaller than Huffyuvnot DVD
H.264Blu-ray, HTPC~1GB/hourBetter than DVDmust encode to H.264

Note that my size for H.264 may be off (up to 2GB/hour max), as I've not measured it to date.
The downside to H.264 is that you cannot (and/or SHOULD not) capture to it directly. It's not a capturing format.
HTPC = plays in a "media center" like the Western Digital WDTV, and is stored on hard drives.

With an ATI All In Wonder card, you can capture to lower-end MPEG-2 broadcast, up to 20MB/s
Or capture directly to MPEG-2 for DVD, with slight quality loss against lossless > 2-pass MPEG conversions.
And it can capture lossless AVI via VirtualDub or ATI MMC, but VirtualDub is suggested.

So ... which one interests you most? I use all four, depending on what I feel is best for the scenario. There's no one right answer.
  • Personally, I suggest MPEG-2 broadcast specs, if long-term archiving family home movies.
  • If it's just TV recordings, and they're not impossibly rare, then I'd suggest going straight to DVD-Video MPEG specs.
  • If you have some sort of amazingly rare video, capture as Huffyuv, then encode it to a second "watchable" copy (DVD, fore example).

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  #3  
10-02-2011, 05:30 PM
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Thank you!,and just to clarify, First I will mostly be capturing my homemade (one of a kind) VHS Masters from camera,(live footage),and then use that master file to edit,and then prepare for DVD or Utube,or both from that same file,so it sounds like Huffyuv AVI is best for the most precious stuff,But I will need to watch-n-pause while capturing, to keep AVI file size minimized???
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  #4  
10-02-2011, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
But I will need to watch-n-pause while capturing, to keep AVI file size minimized???
Not really.
You can capture, and then trim in VirtualDub, saving a new file with the "Direct stream copy" option under the Video menu.
Mark In/Out the sections you want to delete, then hit DELETE on the keyboard.
Then save as the new file -- direct stream copy does not re-encode, but simply saves the remaining selected video into a new file.

I do this all the time.

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  #5  
10-20-2011, 12:41 AM
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Nice chart lordsmurf, do you happen to know how much space other loseless formats will consume per hour such as Lagarith or Ut Video
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  #6  
10-20-2011, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeS View Post
Nice chart lordsmurf, do you happen to know how much space other loseless formats will consume per hour such as Lagarith or Ut Video
It's not just a matter of space, but one of format trade-offs.

Lagarith is compressed more (even if losslessly), and incurs a harder hit to CPU and RAM, and ultimately speed as the video is decoded. Encoding isn't really an issue as much as decoding is. That's not too dissimilar from CABAC encoded H.264, where there's a massive hit to resources on decode. (Unlike lossless, of course, CABAC H.264 takes a ton of resources to encode.) The size benefit of Lagarith over Huffyuv is maybe 10-15% at best. So instead of 35-40GB/hour, you're now looking at 30-35GB/hour, but with more decode overhead.

Ut Video simply is not as widely support, and can be rejected by software even when system-wide codecs are present. It's very non-standard, and most would consider it the same as Huffyuv -- possibly slightly worse/slow than Huffyuv. Size is comparable, performance may lag slightly.

Disk space tends to outpace CPU/RAM bottlenecks, so I'd much rather take a 10% space hit than a 25% speed hit. Or deal with a non-standard codec. It used to be argued that "CPU is always getting faster", but many have learned that adding cores doesn't always mean more speed. There's a performance plateau for certain tasks, and we long ago hit that for a number of video codecs. By contrast, hard drive size tends to increase almost 33% every 6 months in recent years, and that's not happened in CPU capacity.

Remember that Huffyuv is one of the few "universal" type codecs that works equally well on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The base version, not the multi-threaded or 64 versions. Fat chance getting Ut Video or Lagarith to work. It's just not supported. That hints at a future where Windows could also not support it.

I'd much rather use a high bitrate MPEG-2 (10-20Mb/s sub-broadcast bit rate), if space was such a big concern that Huffyuv needed to be avoided. It's standard, it can look just as good as a lossless format, and it has a decent balance of both speed and size. With some of the MPEG-aware hardware we have these days, decode can be partially handled in CPU/GPU, making it quite peppy.

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  #7  
09-06-2018, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post

Remember that Huffyuv is one of the few "universal" type codecs that works equally well on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
Could you please what do you mean by work equally on Mac?

I am currently trying to sell the ATI/Huffyuv set-up to a group, but among the bunch there was a
Mac guy who was complaining that I could use this codec on Mac. I did some research but there is
very few information about it, and I don't always trust the source as I trust you Lord

Regards
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  #8  
09-06-2018, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mejnour View Post
Could you please what do you mean by work equally on Mac?

I am currently trying to sell the ATI/Huffyuv set-up to a group, but among the bunch there was a
Mac guy who was complaining that I could use this codec on Mac. I did some research but there is
very few information about it, and I don't always trust the source as I trust you Lord

Regards
That post was from 2011, when Huffyuv was easily added to Quicktime with the Perian freeware. But Mac, like Windows, broke video with each new OS. Huffyuv 32-bit is still a solid capture format for Windows, but opening can be an issues. Mac because Quicktime broke Perian, and Windows because of x64. ffdshow can fix Windows (if needed), but no such equivalent is on Mac.

The post-capture intermediary of choice is now Lagarith on Windows, because it works both in x86/x64 (32/64-bit) OS.

Mac is less fun. You have MagicYUV as an intermediary non-capture option, but I've fond some of the newest software like Adobe Premiere CC 2018 and VLC 3 hates it. That's more a statement about Adobe/VideoLAN breaking stuff than Mac, but broken is broken. The easiest choice is to capture Huffyuv 32-bit in Windows, and then transcode in Windows via VirtualDub2 to ProRes422 (FFMPEG encoder). Configure it to level 1, don't use the default. File size is always estimate 2x size, and final encode is almost always same size as the Huffyuv file. The ProRes is native to Mac, their proprietary format, no issues so far (even if using the reverse-engineered FFMPEG encoder).

Yes, roundabout, but that's the penalty of using a Mac for video.

This is one of the few things that changed over time, but nothing impossible to resolve without much effort.

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  #9  
09-06-2018, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post

The post-capture intermediary of choice is now Lagarith on Windows, because it works both in x86/x64 (32/64-bit) OS.
Does this mean, it is recommended to capture all future VHS in Lagarith as opposed to Huffy for long term archival purposes (if space is no concern)?

What about existing Huffy captured tapes? Should they be recaptured in Lagarith?
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  #10  
09-06-2018, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naripeddi View Post
Does this mean, it is recommended to capture all future VHS in Lagarith as opposed to Huffy for long term archival purposes (if space is no concern)?
No. Capture as Huffyuv.

Post-capture, when editing/restoring/etc, using modern Mac/Windows systems, you'll swap the lossless encoding to Lagarith. (This only applies if you're having issues. If you're not, then feel free to stay Huffyuv throughout the process.)

Quote:
What about existing Huffy captured tapes? Should they be recaptured in Lagarith?
No. Re-capture not needed. Even if you have editing/restoring issues, you can still open to source Huffyuv with VirtualDub or VirtualDub2.

Note: VirtualDub FilterMod's new name = VirtualDub2, a version of VirtualDub that embeds more decode/encode options.

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  #11  
09-06-2018, 11:20 PM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Thank you for the clarification.
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