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  #1  
07-18-2016, 09:30 PM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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I made the mistake of posting an enquiry about vhs to digital conversion options with my available set of hardware/software on another site. The mistake? Not elaborating on the concepts I understood full well. Mention HDMI output on a vcr, you get a lecture about being a newb and how your not getting HD etc... So regarding the following, assume I understand concepts such as garbage in/garbage out, upconverting resolution from vhs capture will not give "HD" result, every step or conversion will reduce quality and/or introduce noise/artifacts etc....

As the title says, this is regarding capture of old family vhs tapes. I'm not a pro, and I don't have a budget to go out and track down one of the "prosumer" s-vhs/tbc vcr's. Having said that, I have a half decent set of resources to work with. My pc rig has a current gen Skylake processor (i5-6400-4 cores @ 2.7 Ghz, but overclocked to 3.1 Ghz), 16Gb of DDR4 performance RAM, and a "good enough for what I need" GEFORCE GT 630 Dedicated GFX card with 2gb dedicated video memory. So not a pro rig or a powerhouse, but powerful enough to handle most tasks. My original plan of attack was to use my existing Pinnacle "Dazzle" capture device for input of the VCR analog signal, and an upgraded version of the Pinnacle Studio 19 Ultimate (full suite). Used this previously with acceptable results. I always felt that the limiting factor was the vcr used for playback. The Dazzle capture device only has standard composite inputs and s-video available. The existing vcr was not terrible, but certainly did NOT have any kind of TBC or enhancement outside of auto tracking. I kept my eyes out for a possible gem in the used VCR's market. Never found anything that actually would have been a step up without a hefty price tag. Finally, I lucked out.....I think. Someone was offloading a practically new condition VCR/DVD combo player (Samsung model #DVD-VR355). Now, I know this isn't the ideal device out there, bear in mind i'm working with the best I can get. I know I can do the easy direct copy method all within the device, having the unit record a DVD copy of the vhs tape without any further steps. The goal however is to try and get the best possible quality I can achieve, and I very much doubt that this 1 button solution is the answer.

Now remember my opening paragraph before you jump to the reply box and start ranting about Vhs to HD/upconverting etc.....The reason this unit piqued my interest apart from affordability and condition: My old playback VCR was basic composite. This new unit not only expands the possible output connection types significantly(Output connections offered on dvd-vr355:composite, s-video, component, digital audio out etc...plus) ....It's the first time i've ever seen a VCR that had an HDMI output that ACTUALLY could output the VHS signal. Other units that had the hdmi had a small aside that hdmi/dvi/component etc.... only works for dvd output, aka: tease. Now again, my brain keeps chiming in "but vhs is better off at the original 480 resolution for capture etc..." There's more to it.

This unit claims to also feature a TBC and other features to optimize the VHS signal and playback. If i'm reading correctly, it carries out all the analog to digital conversion, "cleaning", and upconverting the picture within the unit. I know mentioning upconverting vhs is a guarenteed angry mob on these forums lol. Ignoring the upconverting for a second, short of a standalone hardware TBC and other dedicated equipment, I can only assume that a single step hardware solution to carry out all this processing HAS to be superior to multiple passes using the software route...no?

This is getting long, but I wanted to throw out all the information and specs I have to work with. I'm attaching the manual for the DVD-VR355 unit. If possible, i'm requesting that members and veterans look through my details above, check out the attached manual to ascertain capabilities/specs etc... and post back the recommended plan of action. I know nothing of the quality of the new unit or how to extract the best possible capture right from the start. I can worry about post processing afterworks


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File Type: pdf dvdvr355.pdf (20.22 MB, 7 downloads)
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  #2  
07-18-2016, 11:31 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threepeak View Post
Mention HDMI output on a vcr, you get a lecture about being a newb and how your not getting HD etc...
Pardon me, but I'm the person who responded to you on VideoHelp. I would politely suggest that you misinterpreted my post. I never called you a newbie. The capture setup that I use myself utilizes HDMI, so I'd like to think I don't have a bias against it.

Quote:
This unit claims to also feature a TBC and other features to optimize the VHS signal and playback.
"The 10-bit 54-MHz DAC, 2D Y/C Separating circuitry and Time Base Corrector processor technology provide you with the highest image playback and recording quality."

The TBC could be good. "10-bit 54-MHz DAC" refers to the analog outputs, and Y/C separation shouldn't be part of the process for VHS digitization.

Quote:
I can only assume that a single step hardware solution to carry out all this processing HAS to be superior to multiple passes using the software route...no?
The problem is that the hardware has to do the processing in real-time, whereas software can sit and work on the video as slowly as it needs to.
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  #3  
07-19-2016, 12:31 AM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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Nope, wasn't talking about that post. It wasn't you, but I appreciated the feedback. This was a little while back.
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  #4  
07-19-2016, 12:39 AM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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see below, forgot to attach screenshot referenced in this prior post
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  #5  
07-19-2016, 12:41 AM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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That's great that you zoned in on the same passage that I was pondering. See attached screenshot from manual. Is it me? Or does that sound like or give the impression that those features are only present when using the component outs? If what your saying about the "10 bit 54 MHz DAC" referring to analog is correct (which I assume it is , Should I assume this further insinuates that the TBC and/or DAC features are only available for analog output? Could you please elaborate on your statement: "Y/C separation shouldn't be part of the process for VHS digitization."?

Thanks in advance for any wisdom. I'm pretty comfortable when it comes to more modern aud/vid, but the whole flashback to VHS and capture/conversion is a new ball game for me. Getting the best quality possible with what I have to work with is my goal so my kids and their kids can know their history



Read more: Capture options: VHS to digital using DVD/VCR combo (dvd-VR355) and GT


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  #6  
07-19-2016, 12:34 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threepeak View Post
Should I assume this further insinuates that the TBC and/or DAC features are only available for analog output?
The TBC shouldn't be exclusive to analog output. DAC refers to analog output by definition (digital-to-analog converter).

Quote:
Could you please elaborate on your statement: "Y/C separation shouldn't be part of the process for VHS digitization."?
Y and C are pre-separated on tape, and a proper playback to S-Video or better outputs should keep them that way throughout the whole chain. Some combo units combine them and then re-separate, leading to added dot crawl and rainbowing. Only a sample of the unit's output (or an inspection of the service manual) will show which is happening with this one.
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  #7  
07-19-2016, 02:01 PM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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Clarification much appreciated. Although I did one of these when reading DAC definition. The screen shot I attached led me to believe it was relegated only to the components outputs as the only passage I could find anywhere that mentions tbc or enhancement is directly under the heading in bold about component outputs. Hdmi output is listed next, but no mention of anything like that except praising how clear and pure the hdmi connection is.

Your point about software vs hardware makes sense. I suppose it's engrained in my head that picture output at the source being at the highest possible quality is why I assumed that a dedicated hardware enhancement from the start would be ideal. Crap in =crap out right? How do you suggest I proceed then? Should I post some samples to this thread for everyones assessment? Track down the user manual? I had forgotten how ugly analog vhs looks on lcd hdtv.

As for your quote: "proper playback to S-Video or better outputs should keep them that way throughout the whole chain".... I had thought hdmi wasn't an advantage in this case. Better than svideo leaves component. Is that what you meant?
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07-19-2016, 03:19 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threepeak View Post
Should I post some samples to this thread for everyones assessment?
Sure, but see if your Dazzle can be used in VirtualDub to grab a lossless sample instead of the Pinnacle software.

Quote:
As for your quote: "proper playback to S-Video or better outputs should keep them that way throughout the whole chain".... I had thought hdmi wasn't an advantage in this case. Better than svideo leaves component. Is that what you meant?
HDMI itself can offer an extremely minute benefit, when captured at 480. I capture HDMI to avoid an extra digital-analog-digital step, but the difference is barely visible compared to a good analog capture when the source is VHS. That said, you may find that you want to replace the Dazzle with a different capture device anyway as they aren't generally regarded as good.
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  #9  
07-19-2016, 04:23 PM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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"Sure, but see if your Dazzle can be used in VirtualDub to grab a lossless sample instead of the Pinnacle software."

Funny you should mention that....virtualdub was already loaded and ready before you said it fyi: I'm using the "Lord smurf edition" of virtualdub. The one with the preloaded filters for vhs capture. Ver 1.9 I believe. Is that appropriate? Also, for the sample capture, which input should I go with? Svideo? Composite? And wouldn't an uncompressed clip be nightmarishly large for forum upload?
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07-19-2016, 04:24 PM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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"Sure, but see if your Dazzle can be used in VirtualDub to grab a lossless sample instead of the Pinnacle software."

Funny you should mention that....virtualdub was already loaded and ready before you said it fyi: I'm using the "Lord smurf edition" of virtualdub. The one with the preloaded filters for vhs capture. Ver 1.9 I believe. Is that appropriate? Also, for the sample capture, which input should I go with? Svideo? Composite? And wouldn't an uncompressed clip be nightmarishly large for forum upload?
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  #11  
07-19-2016, 04:26 PM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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Find attached the Samsung dvd-vr355 "repair manual". One more quick clarification: what resolution should the sample be? I assume you want 480, but 480i or 480p? 3d noise reduction on/off. ? Thnx in advance


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File Type: pdf samsung_dvd-vr355-xeh.pdf (4.12 MB, 2 downloads)
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  #12  
07-20-2016, 10:43 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threepeak View Post
The one with the preloaded filters for vhs capture. Ver 1.9 I believe. Is that appropriate? Also, for the sample capture, which input should I go with? Svideo? Composite? And wouldn't an uncompressed clip be nightmarishly large for forum upload?
Version shouldn't matter. S-Video. Use Huffyuv with no audio and a very short sample should be fine. It doesn't need to be longer than a few seconds to get a gist of the quality.

The Dazzle can only do 480i, and 480i is preferable anyhow. I would turn off 3D NR for the clip, but the user manual seems to imply that it's only for disc playback anyway.
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  #13  
07-21-2016, 09:19 PM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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Are you sure the Dazzle can only do 480i? Either way, coming right up. I had captured it and planned to extract a piece but it had audio so repeating
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07-22-2016, 05:54 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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480p can't be transmitted by composite or S-Video.
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  #15  
07-22-2016, 06:55 PM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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Oddly, suddenly virtualdub is showing a torn image from the vcr input after a few successfull captures. Not tape related. It's like the picture got pushed upwards and then the missing section at the top started coming back up from the bottom. This is happening as soon as the input is powered up with or without a tape present. Tried reseating the cables and changing them no luck. Oddly this happened after a few successful captures in VirtualDub, then I opened Pinnacle studio for a few minutes, but back to virtualdub, it's all messed up since even with reboot. What the heck!
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07-22-2016, 08:36 PM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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Ok, fixed that issue, not sure how but..... gift horse=don't look in the mouth. So here's the test capture as requested using s-video. Attached via google drive for sampling as even a few seconds to give a good representation was over 100mb

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B85DslwYEZnOME14R1hudGdtTGc


please confirm that it is viewable and everything needed for assessment. Virtualdub: no audio, no video compression (yuy2). VCR model: DVD-VR355 ouput via svideo
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  #17  
07-22-2016, 10:33 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threepeak View Post
Attached via google drive for sampling as even a few seconds to give a good representation was over 100mb
...
no video compression (yuy2).
This is why. I had mentioned using Huffyuv. For next time: you should never upload uncompressed, since it's such a massive waste of space/bandwidth. Huffyuv would be 58MB, my personal favourite Ut Video would be 52MB. If you had trouble using one of those, RARing your uncompressed AVI would also cut the size down to 70MB.

The tape is not being tracked properly (grey noise bar on the bottom and "squiggly" artifacts throughout). If the TBC is active, it's doing a very poor job. There are oversharpening halos. That thing I mentioned before about Y & C ideally being kept separate: with this player they were combined and then reseparated (this is the least of the problems by far).

It's possible that the TBC is only active when recording to disc. Try setting max quality and recording a short sample that way just to see what happens. I recommend trying to adjust manual tracking before making a recording. It's usually possible to do this by hitting Channel Up/Down on the remote or front panel while playing the tape, but your combo may not offer the option.

The straight lines of the doorway are a good check for the TBC, so you did a nice job picking out a sample clip.
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  #18  
07-22-2016, 10:55 PM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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I assume you mean do a test copy burn direct to dvd from within the machine? With the tracking, it's more pronounced at the first 10 minutes ad expected, but even with manual tracking I couldn't get rid of it. Not really. Am I looking at blocking it off with blacks bars or cropping?
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  #19  
07-22-2016, 11:01 PM
threepeak threepeak is offline
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Sorry I totally misunderstood the compression. Normally I'd use huffyv for compression. What's your take on lagarith? What's the advantages of using UT? I'll record the sample to disk and report and or post results. I take it the Dazzle isn't amazing. But is it worth upgrading to output via component or hdmi capture since the ideal is still at 480? If I do upgrade I take it I want to capture at 480p instead of 480i, no higher correct?
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  #20  
07-23-2016, 01:37 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Yes to the first question in post #18. I'll respond more later.
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