Quantcast VHS to DVD equipment/hardware - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
07-07-2013, 10:40 AM
nameless1 nameless1 is offline
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Hello 2 all,

I don't know if I posted this thread in the right place as I am new here. If I posted wrong, please (admin) move it were it belongs.

I've got some questions for the professionals and for the people that have experience in this kind of stuff.
So here it goes:

I want to transfer VHS tapes to DVD.

1. What's the best/one of the best (by best I mean to achieve the best quality) hardware/equipment to do that ?

From what I've searched on the internet there are a couple of ways to do it:

a. VHS/DVD recorder combo
From what I've red this is the easiest way to do it. But some of the people that used it complained about the quality of the DVDs.However, I know that some people expect their converted DVDs to be HD-like quality, so I don't know if the ones that gave bad reviews complained about something serious or about something that is imposible to achieve in the first place.
Also others complained that their VHS/DVD recorders didn't have TBC, so their DVDs had poor quality.

b. VHS player -> TBC -> DVD Recorder
I've red that hooking up your VHS player directly to your DVD recorder won't create good quality DVDs, but if you put a time base corrector between them, you will get good results.

c. VHS player -> Camcorder -> DVD Recorder / PC
Another option i found would be to connect your VHS player to your camcorder and your camcorder to your PC or DVD recorder.

d. VHS player -> Capture Card -> PC
And the last option that I've found would be to connect your VHS player to your PC.However here are two options:
d.1. capture card that you put in your desktop
d.2. USB DVD recorder (for example Dazzle, Roxio etc.)

If there are better ways to transfer VHS to DVD please tell me. If not which of these will give the best quality end result. PLEASE select them from best to worst, for example : In my opinion C A B D1 D2 ; C being the best quality end result and D2 being worst than the others.

2. From what I've searched on the internet one of the best way would be to buy a good capture card, connect your vhs player to your PC and then edit(improve) your video with some good software and then burn it to a DVD. However this takes a lot of time in comparison with popping in a VHS and a blank DVD in your VHS/DVD recorder.
Will the quality of the video between those 2 be noticeable by the normal everyday user ? Or will the differences be noticed only by a pro ? Because i saw a couple of VHS/DVD recorders (I don't know if they have TBC or not) that have very many positive reviews.

I have almost no experience in this field so please try to explain it to me as you would to a child

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
07-07-2013, 02:37 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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your best bet is:
a GOOD super VHS VCR -(AG-1980 , JVC 7000/9000 series , Mitsu 2000)
a good TBC - TBC-100,TBC-1000, AVT-8710
an ATI AIW capture card on a PC running windows XP
capture lossless or a high bit-rate mpeg-2

DONT use a crappy VCR (which is 99% or them) or crappy capture card

using a cam as a converter (most likey a mini-dv or D8 cam) will net you DV - which is less than ideal

the DVD recorder method works and saves time BUT you must use only a few select JVC DVD recorders that have the LSI chipset - the best being the DR-M100 and again you have to use a good VCR and TBC.

never use a VHS/DVD combo deck to direct dub - almost all those units have crappy VCR sides and no TBC

Last edited by volksjager; 07-07-2013 at 02:49 PM.
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  #3  
07-07-2013, 03:31 PM
nameless1 nameless1 is offline
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first of all thanks for the quick and useful info!

Quote:
a GOOD super VHS VCR -(AG-1980 , JVC 7000/9000 series , Mitsu 2000)
a good TBC - TBC-100,TBC-1000, AVT-8710
an ATI AIW capture card on a PC running windows XP
capture lossless or a high bit-rate mpeg-2
If I go with this setup will the quality be noticeable better than the DVD quality from a DVD/VHS combo ?

Are LG, Panasonic,etc. (big brands) VCRs any good ? Or should I stick with JVC ?

Thanks!
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  #4  
07-07-2013, 03:39 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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Yes - lightyears better than a combo deck
you can capture lossless or very high bit-rate Mpeg-2 - something no combo deck can do

LG vcrs are crapola

read this:

VCR Buying Guide (S-VHS, D-VHS, Professional) for restoring video
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  #5  
07-08-2013, 03:02 AM
nameless1 nameless1 is offline
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Thanks a lot for shedding some light on this!
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  #6  
07-11-2013, 03:44 PM
tomswift tomswift is offline
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I would not recommend MPEG-2 at any bit rate for VHS, it will leave you with a highly compressed signal. I would also not recommend using any set top DVD recorder. Aside from uncompressed, DV does a much better job with VHS, since with VHS, and other interlace tapes, you have already lost resolution due to the interlace format; MPEG tends to compound the issue.. Of course, if you look on this forum, you will see that there is a disagreement on the DV/MPEG-2 issue.
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  #7  
07-11-2013, 04:27 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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the JVC LSI chipset DVD recorders remove grain and chroma and come highly recommend by the site staff.
they are a good option

here we go again...
Tom is about the only person on this forum that thinks 4:1:1 DV is better than Mpeg-2

DV is a more or less dead format - it was only ever good for shooting with a camcorder.

remember that DVD's are Mpeg-2
even High Definition D-VHS was encoded in Mpeg


use DV only when you have to - (like if you have Mini-DV or D8 tapes)
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  #8  
07-11-2013, 04:39 PM
tomswift tomswift is offline
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And it seems like you guys are the only ones who support capturing in MPEG, when MPEG is only good, in terms of standard definition, for playback, as it is the S-VHS of the digital domain.
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  #9  
07-13-2013, 12:53 AM
Jarvis Jarvis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volksjager View Post
here we go again...
Tom is about the only person on this forum that thinks 4:1:1 DV is better than Mpeg-2
Just about. Elsewhere, this opinion is and will be challenged. Given how unpopular the format is here, and how strongly you feel about it, it's with wariness that I offer my own opinion. That is, VHS direct to MPEG2 only makes sense when you either a) don't intend on much or any restoration, or b) you are happy with restoration in the analog domain, including the use of proc amps.

I own two JVC LSI recorders, the DR-M10 and DR-M100. I tested their chroma reduction abilities and was not convinced. They have nothing in common with the performance of the JVC Digipure filters. Good results can be achieved by pairing them together, but switch to different brand of deck with lesser filtering ability, like good Panasonic models eg. AG-1980/NV-FS200, and it's obvious the DR-M10(0) models are inadequate.

This topic also comes up too often under the impression that the final goal is DVD-spec MPEG2. But how about Blu-ray? It has the goods to provide a perfect result from the DV master, and assuming the DV option has no capture issues, its far higher bitrate and editing capability easily makes it the better choice for the end goal. Having said that, re-encoding is not the devil and there is no reason DV to DVD won't look great if done with care.

Onto the 4:1:1 issue that's always brought up. To quote from another post "NTSC DV 4:1:1 chroma = 180 lines. VHS chroma = 30 lines. NTSC DV is not a bottleneck problem for VHS capture." The problem is with DV decoders that duplicate chroma rather than interpolate it. Cedocida is the recommended choice here and avoids chroma issues.

Direct to DVD-spec MPEG2 is good for one thing only. DV gives you a superior master file that is better equipped for all variety of delivery options, and is the simplest form of capture after DVD recorders.
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  #10  
07-17-2013, 08:48 PM
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I've been reading this from the beginning, but haven't replied until now. Here goes...

Replying as I read it...

1. Never get a DVD/VHS recorder combo deck. They're all inferior. Why? They shared components. Beyond that, I'm only aware of about two high-end JVC decks ($1,000+) that had a decent S-VHS VCR inside. Most are crappy plain VHS VCRs. That combo was overpriced, and it still shares components. When 1 unit goes, you lose both the VCR and DVD recorder. Yuck.

2. VHS > TBC > DVD recorders is great ... but you need to get a good S-VHS VCR and an LSI-based DVD recorder. Preferably the JVC DR-M10 or DR-M100, as those were best of the best. You need the TBC to stabilize the signal, so yes, you're read correctly.

3. The VHS > DV camera > DVD recorder route is not suggested. The DV cam does not have a 100% true passthrough TBC in it. It's not the same as the TBC-1000 or AVT-8710. It may work, it may not. You may have to watch it carefully as some of your tapes might work, others might not. Sometimes the issues is IRE or luma related, so it's not always obvious at first (but will be later).

4. The VHS > TBC > capture card method is fine too. I see you left TBC out of your chain. Don't. You still need it. This isn't necessarily a better or worse workflow, just different. I use the DVD recorder on some projects, and I use the capture card for others. And when it comes to the capture card, sometimes I record losslessly, sometimes directly to 720x480 15MB/s Blu-ray. In years past, pre LSI DVD recorders, I even did direct to DVD. It's fine.

5. Use a good USB device. Use the ATI 600 USB. Roxio, Dazzle, etc all look like crap and really suck. To add insult, the ATI is often cheaper, while the crappy devices cost more. Go figure.

6. The capture card method does take a lot of time. The DVD recorder, using 1-hour mode (or 3-hour mode, when present, such as JVC FR180) is best. Never do 4+ hours. The 2-hour SP and 4-hour LP look the same, and are not as good as the 1-hour/XP and 3-hour modes. If the bitrate (record mode) is good, the VCR is good, and a TBC is in use, the DVDs should look better than the original tape. And it's saves time. Nothing wrong with that!

7. The problem with DV is three-fold. (A) The codec, which react differently because of many factors that differ from computer/workflow to another. (B) The colorspace loss and.or conversions, which reduce quality quite a bit. (C) The fact that this is 1990s technology, Pentium III era stuff, and there is now better. Namely lossless codecs like Huffyuv and Lagarith.

8. Using DV because it's old work, locked into the format, etc, is fine. Purposely using DV in 2013 strikes me as silly, given the numerous disadvantages. It's obsolete, and obsolete in an inferior way. It's not just "old" because of age, but "old" because it's not as good as what we have today ... or even what we've had for about 13 years now! The ONLY supported of it is Canopus, and that's because they sel overpriced hardware. Even then, when Grass Valley bought Canopus a few years back, GV has backed away from the whole DV propaganda machine. I often think they are just selling backstock from a ridiculous (piss poor planning) Canopus inventory.

9. It's not just here. This opinion is everywhere. Even studios I used to work with are not happy when the source is just DV. They wanted better. Trying to converted archived non-shot DV masters to streaming, Blu-ray, DVD, is inferior. In that world, it's often poo-poo'd just as much as VHS tape would be. That's just the way things are.

10. A lot of folks quote Adam Wilt, who last update that site in 2006, and originally wrote it in the late 1990s. It looks it, for one. It's dated info, when doing comparisons. Some of his statements regarding VHS in relation to DV are suspect, and heavily disagreed. It's great theory info, what DV was trying to be, but it fails at actuality/practice/reality. That's just not what happens. The biggest snafu was in how the codec were NEVER agreed on by the industry/

11. Don't get me wrong here -- I wanted DV to be great, too, back in the 1990s. But it just fell flat when put into use. I shifted direction back in 2001 because that was just lower quality than I needed and wanted.

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  #11  
07-17-2013, 08:53 PM
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Don't forget this one...

12. For the purpose of site income, I'd love to say "Buy this $200 Canopus item! It's the best!" and give a person affiliate links so we can get a few bucks ($5-10 each). Note: References to ADVC-100 now ADVC-110. But we can't, because it's not. In fact, the best devices are used now (ATI All In Wonder, etc), so the most we can do is direct you to Amazon or eBay, we're we may get $1 at most.

I often think that's why you read some of this "best" crap online. It's not really good, it's just the most expensive, and pays the affiliate the most $$ at your expense. There's no ethics on some sites.

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  #12  
07-20-2013, 09:51 AM
tomswift tomswift is offline
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Huufyuv is also ancient, having been brought out in the late 90's, and with no official support in over a decade (2002 was the last update), its a wonder this horrid codec is even being used in 2013. Even from the start it was inferior to DV.

And I've used the ADVC-300 and it does a lot better transfers than a lot of the software based encoders out there.
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  #13  
07-20-2013, 10:20 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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just curious Tom - do you use Mac or Windows for your transfers?
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  #14  
07-20-2013, 10:31 AM
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It's lossless. That's all there really is to say. Saying "it's lossless" is like being on the playground and saying "infinity times infinity" or "I triple dog dare you". There's no way to one-up that.

There's nothing that needs any updating, as far as I can see.

There's several competing lossless codecs that are more up to date, but most of them had too much CPU overhead to gain popularity, and with only minimal compression gains. Lagarith eventually took second place.

Huffyuv is even supported by Perian (Mac), so it truly is a universal codec.

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  #15  
07-20-2013, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomswift View Post
Huufyuv is also ancient, having been brought out in the late 90's, and with no official support in over a decade (2002 was the last update), its a wonder this horrid codec is even being used in 2013. Even from the start it was inferior to DV
Huffyuv is lossless, DV is lossy, MOT. I think nowdays many people who use Huffyuv use the FFMPEG variant which has some updates.
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  #16  
07-20-2013, 11:47 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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HuffYUV has the major leg up over the others since its supported by the multi platform FFMPEG (I think Lagarith is now supported too). The problem is the various enhancements like the Multi-threaded patch lead to compatibility issues in that the original codec can't play files encoded with those patches back.
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  #17  
07-21-2013, 03:35 PM
juhok juhok is offline
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FFmpeg supports encoding/decoding of original Huffyuv, FFmpeg Huffyuv, FFV1 (FFmpeg native lossless codec), UTvideo, uncompressed YUV and also many other more obscure lossless formats. Lagarith is supported as decoding only.
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