Quantcast Sony Digital Handycam for VHS conversion? - digitalFAQ Forum
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11-10-2018, 11:42 AM
Auggie Auggie is offline
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Based on reading the various FAQs here, I embarked on building a vintage XP box based on an ASUS P4P800 SE board, 3.4GHz P4, and ATI AIW 9800 Pro to capture from a JVC HR-S9911U when I just realized I had an old Sony Digital8 Handycam DCR-TRV830 lying on a top shelf for many, many years.

I remembered using it to transfer some VHS stuff way back when and I'm curious if I could still use this setup to convert about 50-100 VHS tapes, almost all in SP mode with a couple in S-VHS. From the FAQ, I'm striving to save the masters in a lossless format for later post-processing on duplicates, with the end goal of displaying these videos through a media player on HD/UHD TV sets, computers, and a few on DVDs for ease of distribution to less "techy" family members.

The advantage of using that DV conversion setup is that I could capture directly on my Mac; but I'm just not sure if there would be any noticeable degradion of the video quality (I have a keen eye for defects as I used to do graphics design and owned a commercial printing shop, so I'm really OCD when it comes to getting everything visually as perfect as possible).

I read a thread on another forum that capturing VHS directly into DV for one professional was that he couldn't tell the difference on the final product output on a big screen in realtime between sources captured lossless versus DV; only if he paused and zoomed in on a section that he might be able to detect some difference.

Anywho, all the components are already on order for the dedicated XP capture system so it's really about collecting feedback from others' experiences.
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  #2  
11-10-2018, 12:01 PM
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DV 4:1:1 NTSC loses half/50% of the color detail and fidelity. It quarters colors, or rather halves the equivalent 4:2:2 from the VHS tapes. You'll notice, especially when viewing larger that a tablet/phone or preview window.

I call shenanigans on any professional that cannot easily see the difference. johnmeyer is a film guy, and if I said "yeah, just videotape a film playing on a sheet, it looks great!" he'd probably freak out. DV is destructive, as is sheet-film method. BTW, I like him, go to him for film advice, sometimes Avisynth advice, so no animosity there, we're friendly. Most of that conversation was arguing about the future availability of codecs, which is somewhat off-topic to the thread, and shouldn't be a deciding factor whatsoever. And FYI, DV is not "bulletproof" any more than any other capture setup.

The XP AIW hardware look good, so good luck getting it all setup.

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11-10-2018, 12:23 PM
Auggie Auggie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
DV 4:1:1 NTSC loses half/50% of the color detail and fidelity. It quarters colors, or rather halves the equivalent 4:2:2 from the VHS tapes. You'll notice, especially when viewing larger that a tablet/phone or preview window.
Yea, that's the problem with my OCD when it comes to anything visual: my perception of "acceptable" is leaps and bounds much more stringent than many that I know (my family see's no problem watching streaming videos on their big screen HDTV sets, but I'm dying and cringing at all the dithering artifacts I see; I just can't deal with that low quality stuff and thus avoid all streaming services).

Alas, we can only work with what we have and VHS will always be inherently inferior to todays content. I want to minimize degrading the video quality any further during the transfer process.

SO, it looks like the XP machine is going to get real busy real soon
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11-10-2018, 12:41 PM
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In addition to the potential loss of colour information, the DV compression (well lossy video compression in general) doesn't react well to lots of random noise, so if the source video is very grainy you can end up with a lot of compression artifacts that look bad and make it hard to denoise well. Depends on the source of course, have barely used DV passthrough myself, but it's quite noticable on miniDV tapes shot in underexposed low-light conditions.

You could also risk blown out video levels depending on how well the cameras gain control works.

On the flip side, I think some of these DV cameras have some line TBC that works on the input, and not just on Hi8/Video8 playback (at least I seem to remember the DCR-TRV330 we had was capable of it), so I guess they can be an upgrade from say using a cheap capture card.
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11-10-2018, 12:47 PM
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On a tangent, I was contemplating using an SSD to receive the capture since vhelp mentioned in another thread on this forum that there could be some dropped frames when using RAW YUY2; I haven't gotten that far yet in determining which codec to use but hoping that using an SSD should mitigate any dropped frames due to the high bandwidth of data being saved to the drive.

Any thoughts on this? I would use the SSD only for data; the XP OS will reside on a regular SATA or IDE spinner (I still have a few of those around).
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11-10-2018, 01:13 PM
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I can capture lossless without drops on IDE droves.

Uncompressed YUY2 is senseless, waste of space, and can indeed cause drops even on SATA drives, though not likely SSD. The historical answer to uncompressed YUY2 without drops was to use RAID. Preferably not abusive 0, not JBOD, but a real RAID level like 10.

XP doesn't know how to handle SSD, and the major problem is no TRIM.

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11-10-2018, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
IXP doesn't know how to handle SSD, and the major problem is no TRIM.
As the SSD's sole function is to act as an intermediary, receiving the digitized stream, lack of TRIM support shouldn't be an issue. Once captured, the data would be transferred to a NAS for master archival from which copies would be made onto whichever editing system I choose (haven't decided on a Mac or Windows workflow yet) for post-processing. At least, this is how I'm envisioning the workflow. Once the digitizing session is complete, I will erase the SSD completely for the next session. I can always pop the SSD into another computer for proper TRIM handling if needed. Once I've completed the project, the SSD will be repurposed into one of my other systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Uncompressed YUY2 is senseless, waste of space, and can indeed cause drops even on SATA drives, though not likely SSD.
Since I might as well make the decision now, what codec would you recommend for my VHS, most of which are home videos?
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11-10-2018, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auggie View Post
Since I might as well make the decision now, what codec would you recommend for my VHS, most of which are home videos?
Huffyuv cooperates best for capture, especially with XP.
Lagarith can work under the right conditions. Just test capture with it. Main issue is dropped / no dropped frames.

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11-10-2018, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Huffyuv cooperates best for capture, especially with XP.
Settled then! That's what I was leaning towards from the FAQ and other threads
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