Quantcast VCRs, capture cards: Can this be done cheaper? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
10-15-2016, 12:05 AM
Daegalus Daegalus is offline
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So I have been on this forum for hours and reading all the stickies and researching VCRs, and I just need some help making sure I am doing the right thing.

My fiance found a bunch of old vcr tapes from her family, and it might have the only remaining footage of her father, who passed away a few years ago. To her this would be a dream to hear his voice again, as she has forgotten it.

I want to digitize them and preserve them. There are 22 tapes, so using Walgreens or Costco services is cost prohibitive, going upwards to $1000+ to convert them all.

I found a JVC SR-V10U on ebay for $200, and a Hauppage 610 on amazon for $45. I just want to make sure its worth the money to buy all of this.

Can this be done cheaper? I don't necessarily want to drop $250 on a VCR+extra to do this onetime conversion. I have no other VHS media, and anything I personally had for my family, my father already converted using professional services.

This could be a really important thing, and I want to save it as best I can. But apparently good TBC VCRs are still pretty expensive.

All I need is VHS -> Digital Video (any format, im experience in encoding, so I can convert freely between formats)

If it matters, I am in the USA in the SF Bay Area. The tapes should be in NTSC as they were made in US
Thanks for any help!
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  #2  
10-16-2016, 02:41 PM
JVRaines JVRaines is offline
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The Diamond VC500 and StarTech SVID2USB23 are a few dollars cheaper. You might get lucky and pick up a working VCR at a garage sale for $20 … but then you may find that it gives a crappy picture, breaks down after a couple tapes, or worst of all, eats those tapes and destroys your irreplaceable recordings.

Only you can put a price on making your fiancÚ's dream come true.
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  #3  
10-16-2016, 05:04 PM
Daegalus Daegalus is offline
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Thanks for the info, I actually ended up buying a JVC SR-VC30U on ebay for $125. It sold cheaply as the listing states the DV tape side spits out all tapes and might eat them too, while the VHS side still works. Seeing as I only need the VHS side, I decided to pick it up since its on the recommended list.

My only issue right now is I am trying to pick a converter. I am stuck between the VC500 you mentioned, the ATI TVW 750 USB, and the Hauppage 610.

I just can't find any solid answers on which of these 3 is the best of the bunch. Most conversations devolve into ATI600 talk, but I don't want to fiddle with getting drivers working, or setting up Windows XP in a VM or dual booting.

My ideal setup is the JVC SR-VC30U -> Capture Device -> Computer.

Ive used VirtualDub, AviSynth, and many other tools when I used to encode anime for a fansub, so I got all those tools already setup, including GraphEdit. So I can do post processing work on it if needed.

Thanks again for the info.
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  #4  
10-16-2016, 05:50 PM
JVRaines JVRaines is offline
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You're probably fine with either the Diamond or the Hauppage. Why don't you pick one and if you don't like the result, send it back to Amazon and get another? Converters vary in their ability to cope with timing errors. Hopefully your tapes are stable enough to convert without a lot of dropped or jumpy frames. If they aren't, you will need a frame synchronizer to stabilize the signal. (Your VCR has a feature called Digital TBC/NR that will fix errors on individual lines, but it will not stabilize entire frames.)

Make sure you test the machine with a junk cassette before you put valuable tapes in there!
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  #5  
10-17-2016, 07:12 AM
Maris 55 Maris 55 is offline
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I had to convert a large amount of VHS tapes through Canopus ADVC110. It appeared that Canopus sometimes did not like the signal from some of my 4 VCRs resulting in frame droputs. Afterwards I had the chance to capture these same problematic tapes from the same VCRs through a Sony TRV33 miniDV camera and the results were excelent. No dropouts from the same tapes and VCRs. The manual of this camera does not state the presence of any TBC, but quite possibly there is one. So no need for external TBC.
So maybe a miniDV camera with a Passthrough feature is a solution for you?
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  #6  
10-17-2016, 01:17 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daegalus View Post
There are 22 tapes
That's not very many.

Quote:
so using Walgreens or Costco services is cost prohibitive, going upwards to $1000+ to convert them all.
1. Walgreens and Costco use cheap outsourced service. The quality is terrible.
And nothing is done in-store. There's many horror stories about valuable tapes going missing, because they get lost from all the mishandling. Do you really want a minimum wage lackey handling your precious tape? You have no idea where the tapes are going, and who's doing the work.

2. It should not cost $1k for 22 tapes. However, buying the equipment to DIY will often cost $1k, easy. You need more than just a capture card and VCR.

Quote:
I found a JVC SR-V10U on ebay for $200, and a Hauppage 610 on amazon for $45. I just want to make sure its worth the money to buy all of this.
I'm not fond of Hauppage hardware.
The SR-V10 is good at $200, if it works properly.

Quote:
Can this be done cheaper? I don't necessarily want to drop $250 on a VCR+extra to do this onetime conversion.
You can always buy it, use it, resell it. You still have to take time to do it, and you're not familiar with any of it. There's a learning curve. And that one VCR may not be enough. I often have to test multiple VCRs to find one that will cooperate. I had a tape yesterday that refused to cooperate until the fifth played it okay.

It's very easy to get a signal full of errors: wiggling image, bad exposures, hissy/buzzy audio, etc.

Quote:
This could be a really important thing, and I want to save it as best I can.
All I need is VHS -> Digital Video (any format, im experience in encoding, so I can convert freely between formats)
We do transfer work. Consider it: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/sendmessage.php
Less headache, less than $1k for sure.

Quote:
ended up buying a JVC SR-VC30U on ebay for $125. It sold cheaply as the listing states the DV tape side spits out all tapes and might eat them too, while the VHS side still works. Seeing as I only need the VHS side, I decided to pick it up since its on the recommended list.
Tip: Test with a non-important tape. Don't give it anything valuable until you're throughly tested it. I'd also open it, and inspect it. For example, you don't want to use a machine that smells like an ash tray.

Quote:
My ideal setup is the JVC SR-VC30U -> Capture Device -> Computer.
It's not going to work.
You must, at a minimum. have VCR > TBC > capture device
Without it, you'll have all sorts of problems.

Quote:
Ive used VirtualDub, AviSynth, and many other tools when I used to encode anime for a fansub, so I got all those tools already setup, including GraphEdit. So I can do post processing work on it if needed.
Ah, so not a complete novice.

Quote:
Most conversations devolve into ATI600 talk, but I don't want to fiddle with getting drivers working, or setting up Windows XP in a VM or dual booting.
There's honestly no problem with drives. Complaints about the ATI 600 reminds me of bad Amazon reviews; it's obviously user error, not driver error.

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  #7  
10-18-2016, 09:21 PM
Daegalus Daegalus is offline
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Thanks for the info lordsmurf. I went ahead and ordered the AVT TBC for $100 on eBay. I'll take your advice and sell it when I'm done.

I like learning new things so I rather do this myself and I think I can pull off a good capture. Thanks for your suggestions though.

I also got the ATI600 for $20 brand new on eBay also. So I am just gonna do this right.

Also apparently my dad said he still had some 20 tapes he didn't convert due to expensiveness so I'll be converting some 42 tapes total.

Also ordered a 5$ boxes set of the star wars movies for testing before I put in the home videos.

I think I'm all set.
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  #8  
10-25-2016, 12:42 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Hopefully that AVT-8710 will function for you. Many, many (all?) of the all-black units have chipset flaws, and have for 5 years now. The older pre-2011 green unit, and some overseas Cypress CTB-100 units (the AVT is a rebadge) of the same era, are the only ones guaranteed to be working. Easy test: what happens when you view a JVC menu? If it's fine, the unit is fine. If it flickers/etc, then it's bad.

The ATI 600 is good, should serve you well. It's never been my favorite card (the ATI AIW AGP is), but it's easily in the top 5.

Indeed, I think you're set.

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  #9  
10-25-2016, 01:10 AM
Daegalus Daegalus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Hopefully that AVT-8710 will function for you. Many, many (all?) of the all-black units have chipset flaws, and have for 5 years now. The older pre-2011 green unit, and some overseas Cypress CTB-100 units (the AVT is a rebadge) of the same era, are the only ones guaranteed to be working. Easy test: what happens when you view a JVC menu? If it's fine, the unit is fine. If it flickers/etc, then it's bad.

The ATI 600 is good, should serve you well. It's never been my favorite card (the ATI AIW AGP is), but it's easily in the top 5.

Indeed, I think you're set.
Actually, the AVT that arrived was dead on arrival. Did not power on. So I still lack a tbc.

the VCR directly to the ATI worked, but it has a weird problem that i am hoping the TBC fixes. Audio is great, but video, i have this weird bunch of crap at the bottom 25% of the image that changes colors and gets lines from the scenes. and its on multiple tapes, so its either the VCR or just a bad signal that can be cleared with the TBC. Could just be the heads need cleaning, trying to figure it out.
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  #10  
10-25-2016, 01:42 AM
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Post a sample clip.
Nothing large, please. Skip the AVI, post MP4 or MPG. Too many unneeded AVI files lately.

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  #11  
10-25-2016, 02:34 AM
Daegalus Daegalus is offline
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So, something happened between my last test and this one, either the VCR got its work in, or maybe it was a loose connection, but the image is fine now.

This is what I get from VCR -> ATI600USB -> PC. I guess once i get a new TBC it will be better. Need to find a used cheap 8710 again, that isn't broken. Or open this one up and try and fix it, seeing as the seller doesn't want it back and will just refund.

So, ignore what i said before, might have been just a connection problem or vcr staleness.

I attached my result though, for reference to what i get right now without a TBC (excerpts of a home video, nothing private though, some Christmas school event thing)


Attached Files
File Type: mp4 test.mp4 (7.34 MB, 7 downloads)
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  #12  
10-25-2016, 03:07 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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That looks to be getting dropped frames. TBC will fix that.

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