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  #1  
07-30-2012, 07:44 PM
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I have a bunch of old VHS tapes that I am looking to transfer to digital using my Happauge HD-PVR, which has a component input.

I know about the JVC D-VHS players, but they're really hard to find, and they cost 300$ on eBay.

Since I already have a cheap VHS player with Composite, it would be hard to justify spending more than 100-150$..

So, is there such a device?

Thanks!
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  #2  
07-30-2012, 07:50 PM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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I'm afraid the answer is no, and that's because there's no point. The D-VHS units have not much to do with VHS because they use a digital format. I doubt that they even play analog tapes through the component outputs.
VHS is inherently only s-video, and most VCRs only support composite.
The composite input on your pvr is the best you can do for now.
If you really wanted to, there's composite to component converters, but there's no point.
If you wanted to invest some money, a TBC would be your best investment.
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  #3  
07-30-2012, 08:18 PM
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Okay, how about this - a SCART to Component adapter.
Wouldn't that be better than Composite?
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  #4  
07-30-2012, 08:48 PM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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Component is a high-quality carrier of video, however, if the source is of lower quality, component won't "improve" it, it will just carry the quality that exists. So converting from a lower quality cable to a higher one, doesn't improve the quality, in fact, any extra conversions can only lower the quality (but only slightly).

You are right about component output at the source generally being higher quality. We don't have component output at the source here though.

Again, I suggest that either a better VCR or a TBC be the focus of your investment.
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  #5  
07-30-2012, 10:17 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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From what ive been told the HD-PVR isnt good for VHS capture anyway.
Get a good Super-VHS VCR and an ATI capture card
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  #6  
07-31-2012, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac698 View Post
Component is a high-quality carrier of video, however, if the source is of lower quality, component won't "improve" it, it will just carry the quality that exists. So converting from a lower quality cable to a higher one, doesn't improve the quality, in fact, any extra conversions can only lower the quality (but only slightly). You are right about component output at the source generally being higher quality. We don't have component output at the source here though. Again, I suggest that either a better VCR or a TBC be the focus of your investment.
How much of a difference are we talking between my old VCR that only has Composite and a decent multi-head VCR with SCART?

Quote:
Originally Posted by volksjager View Post
from what ive been told the HD-PVR isnt good for VHS capture anyway.
get a good Super-VHS VCR and an ATI capture card
I think you've been out of the loop for a while. ATi doesn't even exist anymore, nor have their parent company released any TV cards in the past 7 years, while the HD-PVR captures very decent (to my mind) 1080i video.
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  #7  
07-31-2012, 08:17 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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umm... you need to read up a bit on this forum. the ATI AIW cards are much better for VHS capture. ATI was bought by AMD. the best hardware for VHS capture is no longer made - you need to buy it used. just like the best VCRs are no longer made and need to be bought used.

the HD-PVR is not designed for VHS capture - it cannot capture uncompressed. it better suited for TV and Video games.

if you want the best quality from your VHS tapes you need:
- a good Super-VHS VCR ,
- a TBC
- and either an ATI capture card or an LSI equipped DVD recorder.

Read this thread on VCRs: VCR Buying Guide (S-VHS, D-VHS, Professional) for restoring video
and this one on capture card: Best ATI All In Wonder card alternatives, to transfer tapes to digital?
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  #8  
08-01-2012, 02:21 AM
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Okay, but I need to know what the difference will be between my HD-PVR and an old ATi TV card and between my old VCR and one from your list. There must be some kind of comparison shot/video that can be made..
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  #9  
08-01-2012, 03:26 AM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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I'd be interested as well, in fact you can see many comparisons on videohelp. There can be a difference in noise and especially sharpness (factors of the VCR and in-built noise reduction function). Also brightness, though this is trivially adjusted.

Besides just video quality, you have to consider other important aspects, for example how well time-base errors are corrected (which relates to the quality of the TBC or even the VCR's in-built TBC), how well the VCR can track bad tapes (if it doesn't, there is a big band of noise in picture).

The difference between the PVR and other cards, are in two categories. In terms of actual video quality, IMHO, there is hardly any difference when used with VCR's. The ATI cards are very good in terms of dot-crawl reduction, but this artefact doesn't seem to come up much in VHS.

Another important category is the "horizontal dejitter" ability of the card. This is one of the aspects of a TBC. If you don't have a TBC, the capture card can fix some of the wobbly lines, and some are better than others. I don't know the comparison in this aspect for ATI/PVR.

From what I can tell, a TBC has 3 important functions in terms of practical fixing of artefacts;
-horizontal line jitter, or wobbly lines
-missing HSYNC in order words, flagging which means the top part of the picture is bent inwards
-missing vertical sync which causes the picture to jump by a huge amount downwards, or maybe it's replaced by a freezeframe for that moment.

I've made some tests here of 3 VCR's and two capture cards, but only one of my VCR's (JVC 5900) was in the recommended series, although a lower end model. It is an S-VHS, the others are VHS.

VCR Comparison - VCR2PC vs RCA VHS VCR

Compare the differences for yourself, however beware that they had some different brightness/sharpness settings, one was compressed, so it's a bit hard to tell.
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  #10  
08-01-2012, 08:47 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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as i stated the HD-PVR doesnt do uncompressed captures. if you dont care about that i guess it will work for you.

Videohelp is an ok site - but many users there are more concerned with low price instead of quality. i take anything i read there that isnt posted by a select few users with a grain of salt.

both the VCR2PC and ANY RCA VCR are crapola.

a good TBC equipped VCR is an absolute must IMO. if you want to use an inferior VCR go ahead - just dont expect superior results.
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  #11  
08-01-2012, 09:28 AM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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Yes good point, your PVR can't do uncompressed.

I also compared a JVC S-VHS in that thread.

My RCA happened to be the only one that could track a bad tape, which brings the point that you sometimes need several VCRs.

Videohelp has some screenshots of high-end VCRs: http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/2...%28Big-Pics%29
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  #12  
08-01-2012, 09:51 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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the JVC you tested was a HR-S5910U - no TBC on that model - it is only marginally better than a average consumer VCR

yes - sometimes you get bad tapes that only like certain VCRs - maybe that bad tape was made on an RCA deck.
did you try it in an AG-1980?
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  #13  
08-01-2012, 10:32 AM
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Since I don't have THAT many tapes, I think I'd have to choose price over quality.. although I wouldn't be here if I wanted the absolute worst quality there is. I'm looking for a price/performance comparison.

So, what would be the best non-TBC VCR and the best TBC VCR?

Thank you.
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  #14  
08-01-2012, 10:46 AM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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>maybe that bad tape was made on an RCA deck
No, it came direct from a VHS camcorder.

>it is only marginally better than a average consumer VCR
What about my Hitachi S-VHS edit deck?

I have a TBC, I can take the tests again to see if there's any differences. I can also make comparisons with the same test DVD as in the videohelp thread.

@Track
See the site's guide at VCR Buying Guide (S-VHS, D-VHS, Professional) for best video capturing

And nevermind my comparisons, see this thread to judge the differences in quality
http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/2...%28Big-Pics%29
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  #15  
08-01-2012, 10:50 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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if you shop around you can get a decent TBC vcr reasonable

the very best vcr is probably the practically unobtainable JVC SR-W5U & SR-W7U
for reasonable to find units the best is the JVR HR-S9600U - those bring around $300-$400
the 7000 series are almost as good and ive scored those for under $100
the SR-V10U can also be found cheap if you are patient
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  #16  
08-01-2012, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volksjager View Post
if you want the best quality from your VHS tapes you need:
a good Super-VHS VCR , a TBC and either an ATI capture card or an LSI equipped DVD recorder.
Hey.. maybe THE BEST a decade ago, now we have a good selection of cheapo broadcast level capture devices from the likes of Blackmagic and others. ATI card is not required for "the best".
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  #17  
08-01-2012, 12:44 PM
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perhaps - but is the Blackmagic any BETTER than the ATI AIW? (ive never used a blackmagic)
the Blackmagic is around $150-$200 BTW...which inst bad if it will outperform an ATI
but if they are pretty much equal and you can score an ATI under for under $50
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  #18  
08-01-2012, 01:07 PM
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Can't really say. I don't have an old ATI/AMD card at hand to compare directly. Another hidden cost with ATI is the old computer hardware because they don't run well or at all on modern computers. Old PCs are not very expensive to get but storage space and time spent on assembling ad hoc capture system can be seen as expense. Btw one can get BM cards used from eBay too.. around $100 for Intensity.

BM cards don't play well with unstable sources. Frame Sync is needed. This will increase the expenses on BM side.

If it's an one time project thingy, I don't see what the problem is paying a bit more. This stuff is easy to resell after the project is done.
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  #19  
08-01-2012, 01:17 PM
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the ATI AIW cards must run XP. older XP PC's can be had super-cheap and in many cases even free
the newer ATI600USB will run on windows 7
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  #20  
08-06-2012, 04:20 PM
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Just to toss in my thoughts on all of this ...

Component = RGB (YPbPr). VHS is stored as Y/C, not RGB, and therefore component is not desirable. S-video is the ideal connection. Even if a VCR with component existed, some mechanism inside the unit would falsely translate the RGB to Y/C, and likely be done with cheap circuits that leave undesirable artifacts (similar to dot crawl on poor composite/s-video conversions).

In terms of consumer analog formats, Huffyuv lossless capturing (or even decent-bitrate MPEG capturing) is ideal. That includes VHS. And among the hardware best suited to this task are the older ATI All In Wonder Radeon cards, used in a Windows XP system.

If you have any further questions on this topic, reply here.
Or for other questions, start new threads/topic to discuss that.

And Track, welcome to the site.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
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