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  #1  
06-14-2017, 04:54 PM
HomeVHS HomeVHS is offline
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Hello everyone,

I have a large collection of old home videos in both VHS and Hi8 formats for which I've started the process of backing up onto my PC. I'm having some trouble in a couple areas and was hoping to get some input from everyone here on my current setup and how I can improve. My current hardware setup is as follows:

- Panasonic PV-4651 4-Head HiFi VCR using composite output for VHS tape output
- Sony Handycam Vision CCD-TRV75 for Hi8 tape output
- ION Video 2 PC HD for video input
- CyberLink PowerDirector 9 for input recording
- Recording PC is running a Core i5 6600k and a GTX 960 GPU

While this is a working solution overall, I'm having a few issues and feel like I could be doing better with input software (and possibly hardware). The primary issue I have is with copy protection in PowerDirector. I'll be playing back an old family video (often with no music playing whatsoever) and the software will decide I'm copying protected content and cancel the recording, causing me to lose 15-20 minutes of data. The output file sizes are also very large, around 100mb/min. In my search for alternatives, I read many good things about VirtualDub. Is this the best software solution for me?

Due to the significant age of these tapes, I'm also experiencing some quality issues (especially with the VHS tapes). Some color issues, missing images in bottoms and tops of frames, blurryness, etc. Is there anything I can do to help solve this, aside from complete this project asap before they get worse? I've read that some people have good luck using ATI All-in-Wonder cards on old XP machines. I have an old HP desktop with Windows XP MCE loaded on it which I believe has a free AGP slot. If I remember correctly, it has an onboard ATI (x200?) video card and a 2.2 ghz AMD 64-bit CPU. Is this an option I should explore, would it make a significant difference? Thanks in advance for any and all help with this, I really appreciate it.

Last edited by HomeVHS; 06-14-2017 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Added output file size issue
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  #2  
06-14-2017, 08:45 PM
bever bever is offline
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Hi HomeVHS

You are at the right place to get good information. Avail yourself to available how to guides here and there is a search function which is a good way to learn stuff.

I have the Honestech usb and the Dazzle usb converter but dont use them anymore. I just couldnt stand the way the videos looked after I captured them.

I now have working xp systems with ATI 7500 and ATI All in Wonder 9600,

I did have an ATI Radeon X1800 xp PCIE system setup but it never did work right. The input receptacle that looks similar to a 8 pin din was not making good connection. I removed it not knowing it is a three layer (at least ) pcb. It was only 25 bucks shipped. I just have to learn to let go sometimes.

Anyway I digress have fun with your project
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  #3  
06-14-2017, 09:13 PM
bever bever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeVHS View Post

While this is a working solution overall, I'm having a few issues and feel like I could be doing better with input software (and possibly hardware). The primary issue I have is with copy protection in PowerDirector. I'll be playing back an old family video (often with no music playing whatsoever) and the software will decide I'm copying protected content and cancel the recording, causing me to lose 15-20 minutes of data. The output file sizes are also very large, around 100mb/min. In my search for alternatives, I read many good things about VirtualDub. Is this the best software solution for me?
Yes try a different capture software/hardware. BTW I dont think copy protection is listening for copyrighted music is is likely a false alarm (oversensitive) design. A Time Base Corrector can eliminate the false positives.



See me getting schooled ---------here -------- AGC problem but good sync--copy protection?
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  #4  
06-15-2017, 09:22 AM
skycaptain09 skycaptain09 is offline
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Don't use the ION Video 2 PC device. I started out capturing my VHS tapes with that as well. If you don't have anything to compare it to, you might think it's doing a good job. After finding this forum I ordered a ATI USB 600 capture stick from ebay. I was amazed at how much better the captures looked over the ION device. The colors come through much better on the ATI.
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  #5  
06-15-2017, 11:06 AM
HomeVHS HomeVHS is offline
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Thanks for the input everyone! It sounds like it's time for me to make a change in my input hardware. I took a look on eBay in regards to a couple of the products mentioned above. Which would be better, the USB ATI 600 stick plugged into my modern Core i5 / GTX 960 PC or an ATI All-in-Wonder 9600 using an AGP slot in my older HP Desktop with Windows XP?
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06-15-2017, 07:28 PM
HomeVHS HomeVHS is offline
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Also if I go the AIW card route, is there an opinion on the 9600 vs 9600XT - or is it a moot point for these types of projects?
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06-16-2017, 03:15 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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The ATi600 and the 9600/9600XT would be vast improvements, and both can be used on your older PC with XP. The 9600 or 9600Xt is the preferred capture device, although the ATI 600 is no slouch, but the 9600's are better. The main difference between the 9600 and "XT" has to do with gaming, not capturing. Even if you acquired only the ATI 600, you'd see a big improvement.

The AGP cards came with accessories, including a remote. The remote is unnecessary and nobody ever used it, but the accessory connecting cables and adapter are absolutely required. The AGP All In Wonders are useless without them and they're difficult to find separately. The ATI 600 required no additional cables.

There is capture software in the ATI drivers. I should mention that many readers have known for years that Cyberlink and similar NLE's are terrible capture devices. You also appear to be capturing to lossy DV, which is noisy and difficult to filter and clean up without further degradation, besides being an obsolete format that fewer and fewer systems are supporting, is not supported on the internet, not supported by external players or smart TVs, and was not designed for video restoration. The ATI cards do not support capture to DV, but can capture to MPG or to lossless formats. They can be used to capture to losslessly compressed files for restoration and final encoding, using Virtualdub or something like AmarecTV for capture software. Losslessly compressed capture files are larger than the lossy DV files you are now using.

If you feel that lossy DV capture files are too large, what format were you looking for? Are you modifying your captures in some way? If all you want is recording directly to DVD, why not use a DVD recorder and copy the recordings to a PC for editing? The idea behind capturing to a PC with capture cards is to create working files for restoration and repair work using the proper software tools. Lossy capture formats are not deigned for that kind of work.
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  #8  
06-17-2017, 04:29 PM
HomeVHS HomeVHS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
The ATi600 and the 9600/9600XT would be vast improvements, and both can be used on your older PC with XP. The 9600 or 9600Xt is the preferred capture device, although the ATI 600 is no slouch, but the 9600's are better. The main difference between the 9600 and "XT" has to do with gaming, not capturing. Even if you acquired only the ATI 600, you'd see a big improvement.

The AGP cards came with accessories, including a remote. The remote is unnecessary and nobody ever used it, but the accessory connecting cables and adapter are absolutely required. The AGP All In Wonders are useless without them and they're difficult to find separately. The ATI 600 required no additional cables.

There is capture software in the ATI drivers. I should mention that many readers have known for years that Cyberlink and similar NLE's are terrible capture devices. You also appear to be capturing to lossy DV, which is noisy and difficult to filter and clean up without further degradation, besides being an obsolete format that fewer and fewer systems are supporting, is not supported on the internet, not supported by external players or smart TVs, and was not designed for video restoration. The ATI cards do not support capture to DV, but can capture to MPG or to lossless formats. They can be used to capture to losslessly compressed files for restoration and final encoding, using Virtualdub or something like AmarecTV for capture software. Losslessly compressed capture files are larger than the lossy DV files you are now using.

If you feel that lossy DV capture files are too large, what format were you looking for? Are you modifying your captures in some way? If all you want is recording directly to DVD, why not use a DVD recorder and copy the recordings to a PC for editing? The idea behind capturing to a PC with capture cards is to create working files for restoration and repair work using the proper software tools. Lossy capture formats are not deigned for that kind of work.
Thanks for the suggestions! I found a 9600 AGP card with all accessories for $50 and was hoping to go with that, but the XP computer that I was so sure had an AGP slot - I popped it open and unfortunately no luck so it looks like I'll be going with a USB 600. There's a few offers with accessories included on Amazon, even one brand new, so it looks like I might be going this route (for twice the price unfortunately).
http://amzn.to/2sKdJ4E
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06-17-2017, 04:41 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Sorry to hear about AGP, but the ATI 600 USB is a very good alternative.
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06-17-2017, 04:49 PM
HomeVHS HomeVHS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Sorry to hear about AGP, but the ATI 600 USB is a very good alternative.
That's good to hear. I'll grab one off Amazon over the weekend, haven't been able to find one with the a/v accessory on eBay. Also just realized I didn't respond to your format question from before - the file size isn't an issue for me, I purchased an additional 250gb HDD for storing this project. Just wanted to make sure the file size was normal and I wasn't doing something incorrect which was making them large.
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06-17-2017, 09:48 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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From the software you used the captured files were DV AVI, which run about 20 to 24 GB per hour. AVI captured losslessly to YUY2 with lossless compression from huffyuv or Lagarith will be larger, about 26 to 30 GB per hour. Caps to very high bitrate MPEG2 archival compression would be about 6 to 8 GB per hour. Video recorded to a DVD recorder at the highest available bitrate from standard DVDR's would be 4.5 GB per hour.

If Cyberlink or products like it are the only a/v software you've used for transfer work, be aware that they leave you with a lot to learn about video formats. Some formats are designed for modification and extensive edits -- these files tend to be rather large because of their frame and pixel structure, and they use lossless or extremely low compression to prevent quality loss during processing. Files that use lossy compression are called final delivery formats, not designed for further modification without quality loss, which can often be severe.

The DV-AVI format sits in the middle: it is lossy compression but doesn't compress very well, has serious compression artifacts when made from noisy analog sources, does not recompress without quality loss when used as working files, and because it is PC-only playback it must go through additional lossy encoding to final delivery formats that can be played on standard devices other than a PC. But lossless compression can be modified and recompressed into several generations with no quality loss whatever, which is why they are used as working files for edits and image modification before being encoded into final delivery formats. Because lossless files don't use lossy compression algorithms, they are used to capture noisy sources like VHS without adding compression artifacts to the capture.
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