Quantcast Capture VHS from USB to VirtualDub - then computer crashes? - digitalFAQ Forum
Go Back    Forum > Digital Video > Video Project Help > Capture, Record, Transfer

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
05-10-2015, 11:32 AM
Koen Koen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 26
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Hi

As a hobby, I have transferred lots of video tapes (a few thousand hours). I've always used a VCR -> DVD recorder setup, but I'd like to start using capturing straight to computer. It means you have to pay more attention since there are more options, but considering my recordings end up on hard drives anyway, computer capturing really goes faster in my case. I'm in PAL territory.

My brother had one of those cheap USB capture devices (USB stick lookalike with yellow/red/white cinch + S video). This is 'Magix' branded. Upon connecting to a USB 3.0 port, my computer identifies it as a 'USB 2828x' device. As far as I understand, this is a rather generic term and many of these cheap devices are identified with the same name.

I have configured Virtualdub to capture the output of this thing in huffyuv, with audio set to 48000/16. This works well... if it works. No dropped frames, not even when I have a capture running while doing things like playing back video or moving a file from the PVR to the computer.

I have been trying this for three days now, and I have had at least four instances where my computer suddenly crashes. BSOD flashes up, claiming a 'Page Fault in Nonpaged Area'. In some, but not all, cases, restarting the computer leads me to a screen that I understand to be generated by the motherboard, telling me the computer was shut down because of a power surge. Twice, the computer crashed just one or two seconds after I had started a capture. In one case, the computer crashed when my capture had finished (but the capture screen in Vdub was still open, so the video information was still flowing in - I just wasn't recording it anymore.) Most crashes happened when I wasn't doing lots of other stuff on the computer.

That's a bit of a bummer, really. :-) The limited experience I've had with the capture devices proves I could get a lot of my time back by having the video going straight into the computer, but I can't stand the uncertainty - let alone the loss of time, with all those tapes still waiting to be transferred - of a setup that crashes several times in just a few days.

I'm wondering whether the problem might be that the capture device is drawing too much power from the USB port. Please bear in mind I'm not a computer expert, so all comments and suggestions are welcome. Must admit I'm just not sure what causes these irritating shutdowns - something with Virtualdub, the huffyuv I installed (as part of ffdshow), the capture device driver, the power the device needs... or something else altogether.

I'd be willing to get some additional equipment if that would solve the problem. Money-wise, think of lower hundreds at most, not thousands...

I have read a bit about things like All In Wonder cards - but I can't see myself building a separate computer on XP to do that. Stuff is coming in from all directions (especially downloads and TV recordings from a Linux PVR) and having new material arriving on another computer just isn't practical. However, if it helps I would be interested in buying something like an internal card that works on my computer (Windows 7). I like Vdub so I'd like it to be able to handle at least uncompressed AVI at 704x576. Audio input on capture card itself very much preferred, again for reasons of simplicity. In most cases, I'd like to end up with h.264 mkv's at a fairly modest size - say between something like 600 MB and 2 GB/hour, depending on how important the material is.

Don't really know what capture card to go for, if I can't solve the BSOD problem I'm currently having - with something like this, the more you read, the more uncertain you become about what you should buy...

Any advice would be most welcome!

EDIT: just two minutes after I had finished typing up this post, my computer crashed again, while I was running a capture with Videopad, straight to h.264. Quality isn't good and I know that, but I was doing this in the hope it would exclude a few causes for crashing, and it has - I think we can assume now the fault isn't with either Virtualdub or ffdshow/huffyuv...

Last edited by Koen; 05-10-2015 at 11:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
Someday, 12:01 PM
admin's Avatar
Ads / Sponsors
 
Join Date: ∞
Posts: 42
Thanks: ∞
Thanked 42 Times in 42 Posts
  #2  
05-11-2015, 07:01 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is online now
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 1,446
Thanked 331 Times in 289 Posts
The MB mentioned power issues? Check your power supply. They do get old and die a slow and sometimes painful death. I've had more power supplies fail on me than any other component. Also check for heat issues.

The typical $29.95 USB capture stick is not very good. If you do not want to build a legacy machine, consider the Black Magic Designs Intensity Pro capture card. Not super cheap, but it gives you both SD and HD capture capability.
Reply With Quote
The following users thank dpalomaki for this useful post: Koen (05-14-2015)
  #3  
05-11-2015, 02:21 PM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,921
Thanked 2,170 Times in 1,870 Posts
The Blackmagic has too many documented issues -- mostly unreported dropped frames with SD captures. So that's out.

The cheap capture stick may be the issue. Magix is lousy, one of the EZCap/EasyCAP (easycrap!) family of cards.

Any time I've had a computer crash, it's hardware failing. It often does strike during times when adding a new component, so the inclination is to always blame the new doodad. But that's never it. Motherboards, power supplies, and graphics cards are often the guilty party. Check the PSU first, then the graphics, then the motherboard last.

Or just a build a dedicated system for capturing. Trying to put video on the same system used for email/chat/Facebook/etc is never a good idea. Video is pissy, and likes to have its own space. It hates to share.

Building an ATI AIW capture system, based on Windows XP, is not hard to do or expensive. All you need is some patience, and a willingness to buy what's needed from eBay. I think I'll sit down one day this week, and outline the best components to use, to build one.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
Reply With Quote
The following users thank lordsmurf for this useful post: archivarious (09-08-2020), Koen (05-14-2015)
  #4  
05-12-2015, 09:00 AM
themaster1 themaster1 is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 299
Thanked 75 Times in 61 Posts
USB is the devil
I had a few words with a dev regarding usb dvb-t cards he told me the drivers weren't optimized/buggy most of the time so i imagine it's the same for analog capture cards.
I always owned pci capture cards starting with the pinnacle dc10+ on a pentium 4 back in 2002 i never had major issues such as a bsod (wel maybe i had...ocasionnally), although i had other issues such as A/V desync and such but in those days 7200rpm hdds and 4Gig of Ram weren't the norm....
Food for thought
Reply With Quote
The following users thank themaster1 for this useful post: Koen (05-14-2015)
  #5  
05-12-2015, 10:32 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is online now
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 1,446
Thanked 331 Times in 289 Posts
Main stream professional gear is usually stable, but the bargain products may be problematic with many systems due to the wide variety of products in the PC world (less so in the closed world of MAC). As one departs from the recommended/tested system listed by the gear supplier one is at greater risk for issues. If the maker does not list tested systems (OS, MB, etc.) there is increased risk.

Low cost consumer gear often is not stable or problem free on a wide range of platforms - not enough money involved to support the needed effort. My experience is that Pinnacle legacy products (e.g., from FAST) were usually reasonably stable for their time era and specified platforms, but Pinnacle managed to dumb them down over time due in part thanks to lack of maintenance of S/W and drivers.

People doing this for a living tend to find a stable platform and stick with it.
Reply With Quote
The following users thank dpalomaki for this useful post: Koen (05-14-2015)
  #6  
05-13-2015, 09:16 PM
Koen Koen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 26
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanks for the replies so far, people. I'd like to get this Magix thing to work properly, but I realise those USB devices have their issues - I just may have to wait for a new computer!

Meanwhile, I have ordered an ADVC 110. I know it has certain drawbacks, but the general opinion appears to be it's stable and I prefer that over using a device that offers higher quality digital output but which also has a mind of its own. Peace of mind and all that...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
05-14-2015, 06:25 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is online now
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 1,446
Thanked 331 Times in 289 Posts
My impression of the Black Magic Designs stuff is it is potentially excellent for its price point, but the firmware and drivers tend to be buggy/tempermental when initially released and may take several iterations before they are stable. My Intensity Pro on a Win 7 system captures analog 1080i HD output from a set top box without problem. I've used it for captures up to a bit over 2 hours. I have not had call to use it for SD analog tape capture.

The main rub with the ADVC devices are they provide standard DV stream as output - not a great format for extensive restoration work. If the capture quality meets your needs it can be quick and easy. If used on a Win 7 platform you may find that you need to use the Windows legacy IEEE1394 driver.

Also, while the 110 can be powered via 6-pin firewire be aware that not all firewire ports have sufficiently robust power available in them, especially with laptops and some add-in cards. It is not unusual to require an external wall wart power supply to get reliable operation. (This is due in part due to the rather loose specification for firewire power.)
Reply With Quote
The following users thank dpalomaki for this useful post: Koen (05-14-2015)
  #8  
05-14-2015, 07:12 PM
Koen Koen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 26
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Something like Black Magic, with its ability to import uncompressed AVI would obviously be preferrable, but there's roughly between 15 000 - 20 000 hours I'd like to transfer (time permitting...) and babysitting a card that may play up at any moment just won't cut it. If I have to trade in some picture quality to get a stable 'workflow', so be it.

I'll have to check whether the cheap Firewire port I bought has enough power to feed my ADVC when it arrives.
If I connect the ADVC using a six pin cable on both sides, will it choose the separate power supply when offered, or not? I ask because the shop where I just bought a cheap 6 pin cable also has a cheap 4 pin <-> 6 pin one, which I'd better pick up if it would be needed in case my computer won't provide enough power...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
05-15-2015, 06:58 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is online now
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 1,446
Thanked 331 Times in 289 Posts
20,000 hours is a lot of video, and a lot of tapes
At the ADVC-110's DV compression around 180 TB of data.
Even at 2-hour DVD compression rates rates is on the order of 50 TB of storage.

Because analog tape capture is real time - that represent about 7 years going at it for 8 hours a day, 365 days per year.
Reply With Quote
The following users thank dpalomaki for this useful post: archivarious (09-08-2020)
  #10  
05-15-2015, 07:06 AM
Koen Koen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 26
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
I know. :-) Luckily, most of it is not all that important, so I start with the stuff I like most, and I'll see how far I get. Not going to keep much as DV AVI, by the way - a lot of it I'd like to end up as h.264...

-- merged --

ADVC 110 plus dedicated Firewire PCI card up and running.
Test capture went well, albeit only with Nero's in-built capture software - both WinDV and DVIO won't recognise the source. (Running Win7 64 bit - suggestions welcome.)

The real problem I'm facing now is that I'd like to keep the output as interlaced h.264 and no software I have tried so far will process the Nero output succesfully (I have tried both type 1 and type 2 avi).

Avidemux (2.6.something) won't open the files. Same goes for Avidemux 2.4, which was suggested somewhere as being better at this than later versions.

VideoRedo won't open the files.

Super processes the files with deinterlaced look - yuk!

Handbrake also gives me deinterlaced files. A few places suggest you can force Handbrake to do interlacing when it doesn't so automatically by adding a double colon followed by 'bff' or 'tff' respectively in the advanced options menu. Tried both (although I understand DV AVI is really bff) but neither produces an interlaced file.

Standard Virtualdub will open the file but I'm struggling to add the necessary bells and whistles to it to get it to output mkv etc. If anyone could point me to a foolproof explanation, that would be great. After some time it all gets so confusing... Did somehow manage to ad ffdshow so I could capture (with something else...) in huffyuv...

VirtualdubMOD won't open the files.

Nero Recode produces deinterlaced files, using both the automatic and the 'don't deinterlace' setting, while pointing to a TV as the destination display.

Somewhat to my frustration, most information Google gives me refers to the horrible practice of deinterlacing stuff. Should be prohibited by law.

In short, I'd really appreciate pointers to any kind of stable workflow that allows me to end up with properly interlaced files at a reasonable size (lots of what I'm hoping to capture is not all that important, so I'm looking at somewhere around 1 GB/hour max).
Reply With Quote
The following users thank Koen for this useful post: archivarious (09-08-2020)
  #11  
05-26-2015, 05:12 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is online now
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 1,446
Thanked 331 Times in 289 Posts
ADVC110 output is a DV format (typically captured as an AVI.)
Some system may need the Win 7 legacy IEEE1384 driver.
Will TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works do it for you?

Last edited by dpalomaki; 05-26-2015 at 05:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
05-26-2015, 05:36 PM
Koen Koen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 26
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanks for your reply.

I had read about that legacy driver for Win7 and installed it immediately after connecting the new PCI card, which came by post earlier this morning.

I don't have TMPGEnc, and I'm reluctant to buy it just on the off-chance it could work.

However, I can report some success: Adobe Premiere reads the DV AVI file and outputs that as interlaced h.264 in mp4 container. Yes! :-)

Still up for suggestions to get this up and running with free and lean software - not necessarily a fan of heavy duty packages like Nero or Premiere. I may get a bit further by doing some more reading...

By the way, I tried the trick of passing the DV AVI through WinFF, hoping to create something that could be read by Avidemux (as suggested in another thread). Didn't work for me, sadly.

-- merged --

Some further progress: WinDV now works! Not quite sure what happened there, might be a matter of the software taking its time to recognise the stream. More testing is needed to be sure about this, but might it be that WinDV doesn't easily detect DV streams that are connected when the computer is already up and running? Anyway, rather pleased with this. At least WinDV tells me how many frames have been dropped. Nero doesn't.

-- merged --

(I completely edited the following post about an hour after posting...)

I have now added the necessary codecs to Virtualdub to output h.264 (x.264, actually...) in an AVI container. At first, I had simply installed the most recent x264vfw codec, but that appeared to have dropped some interlacing settings I could see on the following page:

I was looking at a guide how to install h.264 for Virtualdub, here: http://www.wcreplays.com/forums/show...-and-Lame-mp3=

Luckily, I persevered and managed (despite my limited computer skills...) to install an older version of this codec. Hey presto, settings present, including interlacing off/tff/bff. Guess what: this worked!! Most happy with that. Need to sort out some minor stuff (no audio on my test output file, wrong aspect ratio etc.) but I think I just may have conquered the biggest problem I was facing with this. Good!

For reference: current (2015) x264vfw codec installers do not give interlacing options in Virtualdub. I installed one that was released around the time the guide I linked to was written (2009). I got it from here: http://www.videohelp.com/software/x264-VFW/old-versions

The one I picked was x264vfw.2019kMod.x86.exe.

-- merged --

Looks like x264vfw plugins released up to 2013 or so have the necessary interlacing settings available. I think I'm right in saying those are the plugins as tweaked by 'Komisar', as opposed to those by 'Masternobody'.

Things are looking good, although there's one niggle: reencoding to h.264 with Virtualdub using an earlier x264vfw plugin goes rather slow - on my computer somewhere between 20 - 25 fps (and it's clogging up a lot of CPU in the process). Later x264vfw plugins go a lot faster - more like 70 fps - but lack the desired interlaced setting.

Question: would it be possible to run a later x264vfw, setting interlacing options with the command line option?
Edited to add: going to try something myself later on anyway, copying some useful advice I found on the dedicated Handrabre forum, which enabled me to do interlaced DV AVI -> h.264 with Handbrake.

The following works, using Handbrake 0.9.8:
'Picture tab': set 'Anamorphic' to 'Strict' (if necessary).
'Advanced' tab: add in the box at the bottom ':bff=1' or ':tff=1' depending on whether your source has either bottom or top field first.
That's it.

(This may be old news for real pros, but I spent some time looking all this up, so perhaps this may save someone some time, some day...)
I know next to nothing about command lines so randomly typing stuff in the box would be madness. But if anyone has a suggestion, I'd be most grateful.

By the way, going to write something that may be useful to someone, one day. Cutting videos in Virtualdub appears to be rather cumbersome - looks like you can't simply chop out several small bits. Alternative:
Open Virtualdub output (h.264 in AVI container) in Avidemux 2.6.
Save with video and audio both set to stream copy, inside mkv container.
Reopen that file in Avidemux. You can now edit the file.

(Avidemux 2.6 won't allow you to use the glider to go through the recording when you simply import the Virtualdub AVI file. Avidemux 2.4 will do that, but you lose audio after the first cut.)

-- merged --

(Thread is getting messy. This is becoming a log of my progress!)

Addition to the Handbrake story. Don't know where this came from, but all of a sudden HB was refusing to process files with added 'bff=1' argument. When I took a closer look at the other arguments, I saw 'weightp=1', and I remembered a Virtualdub warning that (when I googled it) apparently comes down to the fact you can't have both interlaced and weightp=1 at the same time (not that I know what weightp actually is). Anyway; I bravely deleted it, and then HB once more accepted my files, and at some speed - x264vfw old style with VD is about 20-25 fps, new x264vfw speeds up to about 70 fps, and HB almost doubles that yet again, churning out a file at around 135 fps. Does seem to take up almost all CPU power, but at something like half an hour to process the digital equivalent of a four hour VHS tape I can live with that.

-- merged --

Two further pointers.

-Handbrake should not do away with any side pixels (top, bottom, left, right) it deems unnecessary. Make sure to set all to zero.

-Having done a few encodes, I have noticed Handbrake occasionally/frequently creates files where the pictures breaks up at some point (losing something like a second or so of footage in the process). You don't want that because it may cause problems further down the line - some/many software packages refuse to render such a file beyond the stutter point, and players may stop at that point as well.

In a way, the fact other software doesn't like these files makes it easy to identify them. My solution: import the Handbrake output file into Avidemux. If the file gets accepted, it should be fine. If it doesn't, chances are there's a picture break-up at some point - so best to run the original DV AVI again through Handbrake.

Only started investigating this today, that's why I have not yet had the chance to redo a problematic file. Here's hoping the stutters are not caused by specific incidents that are part of the source DV AVI file, in which case rendering again obviously wouldn't help.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
06-02-2015, 09:56 AM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,921
Thanked 2,170 Times in 1,870 Posts
I merged a bunch of posts. It looks weird when you're replying to yourself.

If you have thousands of hours to capture, just build yourself a dedicated capturing PC. Build a system based on the ATI AIW cards, and get to it. Note that I have two systems now available: For Sale: ATI All In Wonder-based capture systems

Do like me: Capture it as high bitrate MPEG-2 (Blu-ray SD spec), in ATI MMC. Only capture AVI when restoration is needed. You can't capture thousands of hours losslessly, and still be sane by the time you're done.

x264vfw is a quick-and-dirty method through VirtualDub. I'd rather encode outside Vdub in most cases.

NTSC DV just screws up colors, and there's not much to be done about it. Either live with murky captures, or use something else.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
Reply With Quote
The following users thank lordsmurf for this useful post: archivarious (09-08-2020)
Reply




Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cost effective solution to capture VHS to computer ? via Email or PM Capture, Record, Transfer 1 04-10-2012 01:45 PM
ATI All In Wonder video capture card, with capture computer, for sale [SOLD] kpmedia Marketplace 1 05-23-2011 02:09 PM
VirtualDub - Can't Capture Video rckowal Capture, Record, Transfer 7 01-19-2010 06:49 PM
Vdubmod Crashes On Startup Kernel32 Error Konfusion Restore, Filter, Improve Quality 3 10-28-2008 10:03 AM

Thread Tools



 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:48 PM