Quantcast Improving Hauppauge HVR-1600 capture? - digitalFAQ Forum
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12-31-2017, 12:50 AM
Porfinicle Porfinicle is offline
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Hello,

I started the process of capturing family VHS tapes some years ago, became busy, and am now getting back into it. After browsing the forms, I feel like I rushed into the process without doing the proper amount of research.

Previous Workflow:
- Capture with Hauppauge HVR-1600 card with included WinTV7 software. This seems to have worked ok, but I've wondering if there is some quality loss since I'm taking this into Premiere Pro to cut clips out, and encoding to MPEG (DVD spec). I may do more complex editing in the future as I learn more, so I've been attempting capture in an uncompressed format.

Attempted Workflow:
- Use Hauggauge HVR-1600 and capture with VirtualDub, Huffyuv in uncompressed format. This seems to work, but the forms seemed to imply this type of card is only meant for MPEG capture. There are some obvious audio sync issues, but I assumed those are due to the use of a basic VCR and not having a standalone TBC. Has anyone had success with using this card to capture with VirtualDub, using Huffyuv codec?

Future Setup: might be awhile do to cost
- Purchase one of the S-VHS VCRs recommended by DigitalFAQ
- Purchase an external TBC. The DataVideo TBC-1000 seems to be scarce these days, so I was going to look for the AVT-8710, but there was some discussion about some models having issues. What should I look for? Any new recommendations, or do the previous still apply?
- Maybe new capture device, if the current one isn't going to cut it. Would like an ATI AIW, but that would take installing Windows XP (currently in Windows 7 64 bit) on a seperate partition or hard drive. Is there a significant difference in quality between ATI AIW capture and ATI 600 USB?

Thanks. This is a very informative site. I now cringe when I see all the websites I previously looked at for VHS capturing advice.
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12-31-2017, 06:57 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porfinicle View Post
Capture with Hauppauge HVR-1600 card with included WinTV7 software. This seems to have worked ok, but I've wondering if there is some quality loss since I'm taking this into Premiere Pro to cut clips out, and encoding to MPEG (DVD spec).
Yes, with many image correction operations there is quality loss through lossy encoding in the original stage and lossy re-encoding in the processing and final stages. Lossy codecs at mainstream bitrates are final delivery codecs, not designed for modification without loss. Lossless captures are usually employed for edits, noise reduction, color correction, and other image repair. Damage through lossy re-encoding is accumulative; the original data loss is never recovered. More loss occurs with each re-encode. Lossless compression saves 100% of what goes into and comes out of the video. Also keep in mind that Adobe PP is an editor and encoder, and a good one, but not a modification or repair app. MPEG at very high broadcast-grade bitrates can be used for archives. For post-processing and cleanup, encoding to lossy codecs is asking for very hard work and considerable detail loss.

I don't see that anyone has tested or used (or even mentioned) the Hauppauge HVR-1600 for VHS work. If it uses Hauppauge's other DirectShow capture drivers and appears as a valid device in VirtualDub, it's working properly. If VDub could not use the unit's capture drivers, you wouldn't be able to see it as a capture device in the first place. Virtualdub is used for capture into a YUY2 colorspace using huffyuv lossless compression. Don't make the mistake of capturing in RGB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porfinicle View Post
There are some obvious audio sync issues, but I assumed those are due to the use of a basic VCR and not having a standalone TBC.
Lack of TBC is the most common cause, but even with a tbc your VDub settings can be optimized to avoid dropped frames and other nusinaces. An updated guide is here: Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide].

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porfinicle View Post
Future Setup: might be awhile do to cost
- Purchase one of the S-VHS VCRs recommended by DigitalFAQ
A better VCR will make obvious improvements, notably in noise reduction, elimination of many chrona defects, and correction for scanline sync errors. Advanced VCR's have a line-level tbc, which makes image corrections that a frame-level tbc doesn't effect. Line tbc's and better tracking correct the vertical distortion present in all analog tape playback, help reduce horizontal dropouts and ripples, and reduce jitter. External frame=level tbc's correct frame timing and inherent signal errors, such as incorrect a/v timing, and prevent false macrovision detection that can occur with many types of timing errors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porfinicle View Post
- Purchase an external TBC. The DataVideo TBC-1000 seems to be scarce these days, so I was going to look for the AVT-8710, but there was some discussion about some models having issues. What should I look for? Any new recommendations, or do the previous still apply?
An AVT-8710 less than 7 or 8 years old will likely have QC problems. It's a shame, because a proper 8710 is a darn good frame tbc. Check this forum's marketplace area, there are many items being sold in good working condition. This includes high-end VCR's, which you can also find at Tom Grant's recommended website (https://www.tgrantphoto.com/sales/in...fessional-vcrs). Prices for rebuilt prosumer vcr's are intimidating, but they're lower than the original prices. I'd advise against auction sites: if you browse this forum you'll see an endless parade of horror stories about vcrs purchased from auction sites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porfinicle View Post
- Maybe new capture device, if the current one isn't going to cut it. Would like an ATI AIW, but that would take installing Windows XP (currently in Windows 7 64 bit) on a seperate partition or hard drive. Is there a significant difference in quality between ATI AIW capture and ATI 600 USB?
A few points here. First, if your Win7 machine boots to SATA drives in its BIOS, note that XP doesn't have drivers for SATA HDD's.

As for new USB cards, you'd need an experienced eye to tell the difference between an AIW and a USB 600 for lossless capture. But the first thing noticed is that the 600 crushes superblacks and the AIW's don't -- this has implications for the overall dynamic range you can expect from the USB 600 especially with dark or underexposed material. The Hauppauge USB-Live2 has the same behavior, while the similar Diamond VC500 USB doesn't. Whether your current Hauppauge card does so, I can't say -- a short video sample would tell the story. On the other hand, even though the effect is easy to spot in histograms, many viewers don't notice it. In any case, input signal level adjustments are always needed for capture devices.

You can post short, unfiltered excerpts of original huffyuv captures made with your Hauppauge device, which will give readers a chance to give a more detailed evaluation. It could well be that your Hauppauge is more than adequate. If you don't know how to make and post a short sample using VirtualDub, just ask. Please don't post YouTube examples, as these would be heavily reprocessed and would simply cloud the issue.
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