Quantcast Best hardware/setup for capturing VHS to MPEG? - digitalFAQ Forum
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03-16-2015, 08:12 PM
LFonseca LFonseca is offline
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First, thanks for the great site and all the free information.

I've "upgraded" to premium, you guys certainly deserve it.

Some background info, I run a computer services company in Cascais, Portugal, and have in the past worked with video with less than satisfying results, but I'm not a complete novice. We work mostly with photography and film. But I do have a large collection of VHS, VHS-C and betamax tapes that I would like to convert to digital, and I'd also like to resume providing this as a paid service assuming I can do it with quality. 99.9% would be PAL system.

I do already own some equipment (all PAL):

Panasonic NV-HS1000 SVHS (owned from new, but longtime in storage, probably very clogged with dust)
JVC HR-DD857MS PAL/NTSC (also owned from new, also probably "dusted")

based on information from this site, I bought:

JVC HR S9600 S-VHS (supposedly in good condition, still waiting for it to arrive)
Sony SL-HF950 super Betamax (same as above).

I also own a CYP-CDM800 video system converter which supposedly has an internal TBC.

As for capturing hardware, I have a Blackmagic Intensity Pro (never used ) and an Hauppauge WinTV HVR-2200 which I use regularly. I also have an hauppauge HD PVR.

I currently edit with VideoRedo TV suite.

I would be interested in trying to capture directly to MPEG2 with as much quality as humanly possible, as human resources to capture to uncompressed AVI and then recompress would make the cost/benefit less interesting. That would be available as a premium if I could justify the extra cost.

Am I on the right track? What do I absolutely need / should get?

I'm in the process of cleaning the VCRs I already own, all local repair shops are no longer working so it'll have to be a d-i-y project, but I should have the first results soon.

Thanks again for any help.
Luis
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  #2  
03-17-2015, 09:22 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LFonseca View Post
First, thanks for the great site and all the free information.
I've "upgraded" to premium, you guys certainly deserve it.
Thanks.

Quote:
Panasonic NV-HS1000 SVHS (owned from new, but longtime in storage, probably very clogged with dust)
JVC HR S9600 S-VHS (supposedly in good condition, still waiting for it to arrive)
Sony SL-HF950 super Betamax (same as above).
These are great units, and should serve you well. The JVC for anything SP, the Panasonic for EP, and of course the Betamax for Betamax.

Quote:
JVC HR-DD857MS PAL/NTSC (also owned from new, also probably "dusted")
I also own a CYP-CDM800
This sort of equipment always yields crappy results. The PALK<>NTSC is always lousy, and mostly uses drop-frame "conversion" with blends. So it's really not conversion at all. You're much better off capturing PAL with a PAL S-VHS VCR, and NTSC with an NTSC S-VHS VCR. Then convert the video post-capture in Avisynth. That's the truly professional way to convert video formats in the post-analog era. That equipment is leftovers from a pre-digital age.

Quote:
I also own a CYP-CDM800 video system converter which supposedly has an internal TBC.
Cypress makes the CTB-100 and the 1T-TBC, which are rebadges by AVToolbox, TVOne and others. So it probably does have an actual TBC, and the circuitry is likely a clone of the CTB-100 (aka AVT-8710).

But how old is it?
Hopefully you've had it for a while, and it predates (pre-2011) the bad chips now used by Cypress.

Quote:
I currently edit with VideoRedo TV suite.
This is one of several good choices.
I prefer Womble MPEG Video Wizard, and some others here prefer TMPGEnc Smart Renderer.

Quote:
I would be interested in trying to capture directly to MPEG2 with as much quality as humanly possible
Then you should capture to Blu-ray spec MPEG-2 at 15mbps VBR. I do this for myself, and it looks quite fine. My own tapes (mostly S-VHS ET) are in excellent condition, and often do not need any restoration. However, I would suggested that VHS often does need some restoration, possible only with AVI files and Avisynth with VirtualDub.

Quote:
as human resources to capture to uncompressed AVI and then recompress would make the cost/benefit less interesting. That would be available as a premium if I could justify the extra cost.
Yep. Advanced work = advanced cost. Or rather, MPEG is budget work, while AVI is not.

Quote:
Am I on the right track? What do I absolutely need / should get?
... As for capturing hardware, I have a Blackmagic Intensity Pro (never used ) and an Hauppauge WinTV HVR-2200 which I use regularly. I also have an hauppauge HD PVR.
I 'm not sure that I like your capture card setup. Modern Hauppauge cards are pretty much useless for analog capturing, and excel at H.264 stream dumping/capturing of HD signals. The Black Magic is indeed good, but it has caveats. Some workflows don't work well with it.

For high bitrate MPEG recording from VHS/Video8/Beta, you'd really be better off with an ATI All In Wonder AGP card with a Windows XP capture-only computer. You already have all the expensive toys, so we're only taking a few hundred more here. (Note that "NTSC" cards are fine with ATI; only the tuner was NTSC, not the composite/s-video input. So if you find a deal on one, it's safe to get.)

A proc amp would probably be a wise investment, though I'm not overly familiar with PAL here. Pretty much every proc amp maker is defunct, so info has always been rare. The Elite Video BVP-4 is the best one, but I'm not sure if it's NTSC only. I wish I could help more here. Search the forum for this: I may have forgotten details on PAL proc amps.

Quote:
I'm in the process of cleaning the VCRs I already own, all local repair shops are no longer working so it'll have to be a d-i-y project, but I should have the first results soon.
Ask questions in the repair forum, if needed. Volksjager is a whiz with these things, as are several others here.

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  #3  
03-17-2015, 10:18 AM
LFonseca LFonseca is offline
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Quote:
Quote:
JVC HR-DD857MS PAL/NTSC (also owned from new, also probably "dusted")
I also own a CYP-CDM800
This sort of equipment always yields crappy results. The PALK<>NTSC is always lousy, and mostly uses drop-frame "conversion" with blends. So it's really not conversion at all. You're much better off capturing PAL with a PAL S-VHS VCR, and NTSC with an NTSC S-VHS VCR. Then convert the video post-capture in Avisynth. That's the truly professional way to convert video formats in the post-analog era. That equipment is leftovers from a pre-digital age.
Well, the JVC 857MS reads NTSC as NTSC (not PAL-60). I do have a few NTSC tapes to convert, but no that many, maybe 20 or so. I'm not sure I could justify getting a dedicated NTSC vcr for this purpose. Plus I'm not sure I can import vintage AC-current electronics from the US as they don't have a CE marking which is mandatory in Europe. But I do know this is not a converting VCR, it just reads NTSC as NTSC, the idea being making NTSC dvds (PAL-60 can't be captured by capture cards afaik).

Quote:
Quote:
I also own a CYP-CDM800 video system converter which supposedly has an internal TBC.
Cypress makes the CTB-100 and the 1T-TBC, which are rebadges by AVToolbox, TVOne and others. So it probably does have an actual TBC, and the circuitry is likely a clone of the CTB-100 (aka AVT-8710).

But how old is it?
Hopefully you've had it for a while, and it predates (pre-2011) the bad chips now used by Cypress.
It's 10+ years old. Probably almost 20. I could set it for PAL input and PAL output, or for conversion, such as NTSC to PAL and vice versa. It does have an internal memory, as if you stop the video input the last image remains on the screen until you turn the unit off. But is it any good? I remember it added some "garbage" either to the top or the bottom of the screen, and the colors were a bit different. I'll add some images when I can plug it on.

I am attaching some photos of the unit motherboard, maybe that will help in comparison though all ICs have their marking erased. Should I be looking into a new TBC?

Quote:
Quote:
I currently edit with VideoRedo TV suite.
This is one of several good choices.
I prefer Womble MPEG Video Wizard, and some others here prefer TMPGEnc Smart Renderer.
Thanks, I'll look into them.

Quote:
... As for capturing hardware, I have a Blackmagic Intensity Pro (never used ) and an Hauppauge WinTV HVR-2200 which I use regularly. I also have an hauppauge HD PVR.
I 'm not sure that I like your capture card setup. Modern Hauppauge cards are pretty much useless for analog capturing, and excel at H.264 stream dumping/capturing of HD signals. The Black Magic is indeed good, but it has caveats. Some workflows don't work well with it.

For high bitrate MPEG recording from VHS/Video8/Beta, you'd really be better off with an ATI All In Wonder AGP card with a Windows XP capture-only computer. You already have all the expensive toys, so we're only taking a few hundred more here. (Note that "NTSC" cards are fine with ATI; only the tuner was NTSC, not the composite/s-video input. So if you find a deal on one, it's safe to get.)
There are a large number of these ATI AGP cards on ebay. Is there a specific model or models I should be looking for? They all seem to double as a graphics card + capture, is this correct?

Quote:
A proc amp would probably be a wise investment, though I'm not overly familiar with PAL here. Pretty much every proc amp maker is defunct, so info has always been rare. The Elite Video BVP-4 is the best one, but I'm not sure if it's NTSC only. I wish I could help more here. Search the forum for this: I may have forgotten details on PAL proc amps.
These are for colour adjustment or am I missing something?

Quote:
Quote:
I'm in the process of cleaning the VCRs I already own, all local repair shops are no longer working so it'll have to be a d-i-y project, but I should have the first results soon.
Ask questions in the repair forum, if needed. Volksjager is a whiz with these things, as are several others here.
Thanks! Am already looking at several topics.

Thanks again,
Luis


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  #4  
03-17-2015, 07:23 PM
LFonseca LFonseca is offline
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Also, any specific reason I should get an ATI AGP all-in-wonder instead of the PCI-E version?
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  #5  
03-17-2015, 07:27 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Because the AGP versions are much easier to find. Don't forget that a few models need the A/V breakout dongle in the back in order to capture video.
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  #6  
03-17-2015, 07:40 PM
LFonseca LFonseca is offline
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XP is not the issue, my main problem is that I no longer have any AGP motherboard. There are a number of pci-express ati all-in-wonder on ebay right now. For a pci-e card I have 6 computers available I can easily format one with XP. But for AGP I'd have to get an entirely new setup. And I'm guessing I'd be limited to what, a pentium 4? I don't even remember anymore.

Is there any good reason (other than availability) to get an AGP card instead of one of the PCI-e ones? Out of all the ATI AIWs which is the "best" that supports mpeg2 recording ?

I'm a bit confused!

Thanks again,
Luis
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  #7  
03-17-2015, 07:54 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Any card in ebay being sold without the dongle (which is 98% of them) is useless for capture.

I would grab one of the "cheap" card only PCIe AIWs like this: www.ebay.com/itm/390922132703
and this cable kit while you can: www.ebay.com/itm/141605312342
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  #8  
03-17-2015, 07:58 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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The main issue is that PCI express cards have too many install issues. The card is not cooperative like the AGP cards. It's not simply a matter of changing AGP to PCIe. The card has some fundamental difference that make it less appealing. Yes, you can use it. You're welcome to try. I have a near-100% success rate for the AGP (and PCI), but it hovers around 75% for the PCIe cards.

I'll reply to your other points later.

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  #9  
03-17-2015, 08:29 PM
LFonseca LFonseca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The main issue is that PCI express cards have too many install issues. The card is not cooperative like the AGP cards. It's not simply a matter of changing AGP to PCIe. The card has some fundamental difference that make it less appealing. Yes, you can use it. You're welcome to try. I have a near-100% success rate for the AGP (and PCI), but it hovers around 75% for the PCIe cards.

I'll reply to your other points later.
I see. Welcome to try is not very confidence-inspiring. And considering this fact, from the AGPs, which is/are the best one(s) that supports MPEG2? Considering I'll have to build a new PC around it agp8x is not an issue...

Luis
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  #10  
03-17-2015, 08:35 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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There are some great boards out there, with AGP and SATA. I need to pull the specs on mine sometime soon. Any 7000 or 9000 series card is fine. Some 9600 cards have a known interference issues (poor shielding), but it's rare. I have a 9600 Pro, and do not experience this. There other AGP cards are pretty much flawless.

You'll capture the MPEG with ATI MMC.

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  #11  
03-17-2015, 08:41 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LFonseca View Post
I see. Welcome to try is not very confidence-inspiring. And considering this fact, from the AGPs, which is/are the best one(s) that supports MPEG2?
We were under the impression (I was, anyway) that you were looking for the best VHS capture gear and methods, and that you intended to capture to lossless AVI for cleanup or to encode to other formats such as BluRay/AVCHD. Capturing VHS/analog directly to MPEG2 is far from the best method, although ATI cards can certainly do it. If you want direct-to-MPEG, why bother with a capture card? It would be a waste of time and money, especially since a DVD recorder can do it -- and lossy codecs like MPEG are not suitable for restoration or other filtering work.

You wouldn't want to capture to MPEG if you expect to do any processing other than simple cut and join with a smart rendering editor. Tape-to-DVD is a considerable quality hit from the start. With bad or noisy tape, the MPEG would look worse than the tape. Any filtering, re-encoding or similar processing means piling a lot more damage onto an already inferior capture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LFonseca View Post
But for AGP I'd have to get an entirely new setup. And I'm guessing I'd be limited to what, a pentium 4?
I bouhgt my ATI's when I had Pentium 4's, but they now run on AM2 dual-core and quad-core Athlons in old Biostar with 1.5GB RAM at 2.2GHz and an ASRock AGP board from ebay with 2 GB RAM and a 2.5GHz CPU. Then again, there's nothing wrong with a clean Pentium 4 and XP. A great many people use older XP's strictly for capture, or built a budget new one. I keep a used Dell AGP PC around as a spare.

Last edited by sanlyn; 03-17-2015 at 09:02 PM.
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  #12  
03-17-2015, 08:44 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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A DVD recorder doesn't have the better Blu-ray spec video.
I guess it depends on the workflow. Will the output be DVD only?

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  #13  
03-17-2015, 09:11 PM
LFonseca LFonseca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
A DVD recorder doesn't have the better Blu-ray spec video.
I guess it depends on the workflow. Will the output be DVD only?
I explained it above, but anyway, no. I suppose my way of seeing it is that some stuff deserves the full treatment (home videos, ...) other stuff I just want to "keep", should I ever want to get back to it, but don't necessarily need it to be pristine. As good as possible, but as-close-to-real-time-as-possible. Yes, I realize this is also possible with lossless AVI but filesizes would be rather extreme. This is as far as my own stuff goes.

For work done for third parties, I suppose I'm looking for a method to do it as close to real time as possible, ie, directly to mpeg 2, then from there to DVD (or pen, or blu-ray, or hard drive, or whatever the person chooses). Spending multiple hours on a single tape for 20 is just not doable. At least this is the way I work with other formats. I do basic photo and film scanning for 0.25 (its almost fully automated) but I also do it for 3 a pop at full resolution with color correction...

So the answer is, I'll MOSTLY want to do direct-to-MPEG2 conversion, while also having the option of recording on lossless AVI for further editing...

ATI All-In-Wonder 9800 PRO (128 MB) AGP - is this a good choice?

-- merged --

UPDATE

I've already received the JVC S-9600 VCR, which is apparently in good working order.

The betamax unit is still incoming.

I would like opinions on this PC configuration for a dedicated capturing unit:

ATI Rage Theater All-in-Wonder 7500 64M DDR AGP TV Tuner Card
(based on recomendations from another thread)
Also available:
ATI All-In-Wonder 9800 PRO (128 MB) (100-713100) Graphics Card
(both based on availability in the UK, at a decent price, and apparently complete / working)

Gigabyte GA-K8VM800MNF Motherboard, AMD Sempron 3100+ CPU
2 GB RAM
(this appears to be the "best" one available on ebayUK at the moment that supports AGP, but still has SATA connectors) - will it work well?

1 x Booting + software disc, SATA, 1x Recording disc, SATA
(do I need to go RAID 0 to capture SD video uncompressed?)

Video equipment:

ProcAMP - This one: Kramer SP-11 ProcAmp Composite Video, S-Video & Audio Processor is available for around $300. Is it a good choice? I couldn't find any more available for less than $1000 that support PAL...

TBC:
I was looking at this unit for price and availability as "new" from the UK. Any opinions?
http://cvp.com/index.php?t=product/tv_one_1t-tbc-gl
Quote:
INPUTS / OUTPUTS
Composite Video 1x via BNC Connector
YC (S-Video) 1x via 4-PIN Mini-DIN Connector
Genlock Input via BNC (1T-TBC-GL Only)
Genlock Loop-through with 75Ω Termination Switch
VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS
Impedance 75Ω
Television Standards NTSC, PAL-B, G, N, M, SECAM
Signal Processing 8-bit
Frequency Response Flat to more than 20MHz
Chroma to Luma Delay Less than or equal to 5nS
Differential Gain Less than or equal to 0.5%
Differential Phase Less than or equal to 0.5
Signal to Noise Ratio Better than 60db
Video Level Adjustment Luma,Chroma, Setup, Hue, Sharp
Filter Selection Adaptive Comb, Low Pass
CONTROL METHOD
Display Front Panel LEDs
Front Panel Buttons Up, Down, Reset, Select
MECHANICAL
Size (H-W-D) 30x133x90mm (1.2"x5.25"x3.5")
Weight (Net) 310 g (0.69 lbs)
ENVIRONMENTAL
Operating Temperature 0 to +50 C (+32 to +122 F)
Operating Humidity 10% to 90%, Non-condensing
Storage Temperature -10 to +60 C (+14 to +140 F)
Storage Humidity 10% to 90%, Non-condensing
POWER REQUIREMENT
External Power Supply 12VDC@500mA - Locking DC
REGULATORY APPROVALS
TBC Unit FCC, CE, RoHS
Power Supplies UL, CUL, CE, PSE, GS, RoHS
Thanks again,
Luis
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  #14  
04-04-2015, 08:47 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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You seem to be on the right track.

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