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  #1  
11-13-2018, 07:14 PM
Brandon Brandon is offline
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Been lurking here for a while trying to learn, but I'm really struggling.

For my mom's birthday this year I told her I would digitize all of her VHS tapes for her. I'm at the point now that I want to hire someone because I just can't get it right.

I bought an Elgato Video Capture device from amazon, it was more expensive than many of the other USB adapters but had good reviews. It was easy to use, but when I watched the digital video, the quality was terrible. Significant details were lost, which was very disappointing for me, and my mom noticed when I showed her how it was going.

I suspected the problem wasn't with the capture device itself, rather the compression used after recording, and the included software has no options to make this better.

I have tried lots of different software, but have read that VirtualDub seems to be the most popular here, so I gave it a go. The audio is very echo-y, if that makes sense, it syncs up but it is like everything is being played in a tin can. The video appears interlaced when I play it back, and it's hard to gauge quality, so I'm not even sure if it's helping.

She forbade me from having the videos shipped anywhere because she doesn't trust the delivery, and I don't blame her with how sensitive these are to heat and abuse, but all of the local places seem to ship them out.

I'm open to any suggestions, and if anyone performs this service locally (Virginia) without shipping I would entertain that as well. Please Help!
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  #2  
11-13-2018, 07:20 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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If you can't ship to a reputable service (like us), then the 2nd choice is to acquire the same sort of hardware that they're using. And that is very do-able, though it will incur some costs, even if temporary (buy, use, resell when done). I'll PM you some more about that.

The biggest problem is the included software is terrible for almost all capture cards, even pricier ones.

And the Elgato cards have been lousy for more than a decade now. The biggest issue with Elgato is the cards have no obvious models, just "Elgato". Lousy audio is probably a symptom of the card, or even the VCR in use. Sync can be hard to gauge ... until it isn't, so best to correct sync anyway (ie, TBC or TBC'ish setup).

You should be able to make the digital version look 2x better than the tapes ever did, not worse. And you've come to the right place to get help on that.

What OS are you using?

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  #3  
11-13-2018, 07:24 PM
Brandon Brandon is offline
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Windows 10.

Where do you guys perform your service? I will travel a long way with the tapes to get this right.
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  #4  
11-15-2018, 07:27 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Do you perhaps have another system to capture from, to dedicated to capturing? Older Windows XP systems actually play nicer than Win10. The new OS are made for internet, not video.

Win10 still works with some cards, but the older systems can make your life easier.

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  #5  
11-16-2018, 01:37 PM
Brandon Brandon is offline
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I have a Windows vista in the closet, hasn't been booted in a year or so but I could try to bring it back.
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  #6  
11-16-2018, 01:54 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
I have a Windows vista in the closet, hasn't been booted in a year or so but I could try to bring it back.
If the "old system" isn't that important, how about we re-format it for using Windows XP?
Does it have IDE or SATA?
How much drive space?
USB2 or USB3?
eSATA?

I think we're onto a plan here, between this post and our PMs.

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  #7  
11-17-2018, 12:47 PM
Brandon Brandon is offline
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The old system has all my old photos and such as a backup, I'd prefer not to format it if possible.

I think it's SATA and it has decent hard drive space. I also have an external hdd that I plan to move the videos too as I make them that is 2TB I believe.

It is USB2, and not sure about eSATA?

Do the All In Wonder cards not work under Vista? Or is it other software? I think it dual boots into Linux as well if that helps.
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  #8  
11-17-2018, 01:14 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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AIW does not work under anything but XP.

What I'd do is
- Migrate all the old computer data to a newer system, using an external USB3 drive (even if only USB2 for old system, the USB3 works for new). In fact, copy that data to a new system, and let the USB serve as your new backup, so nothing is ever lost.
- Then uninstall software that is entirely worthless and unnecessary (including anti-virus, disk utilities, etc). Maybe games. Not anything that you used to "make stuff", your creative data files. The goal is to get the system as small as possible, retain only software that is needed.
- And once this done, use the Parallels software to convert the HDD to VM image. The VM must be saved to a different drive, so inserting an extra SATA is ideal if possible, as USB2 is a bit slow. That can take a few hours. Then move that single VM file to your current newer system, using Virtualbox to run it. You now have your old computer on your new computer. You can run crunching commands to reduce the size of the image file.

The goal is to get not just files you know about, but any you may not have realized are saved in random places on the drive. By migrating/moving known files, then creating a VM for whatever is left, you know 100% that you have everything.

Then you're free to rehab the system. I've done this many times.

The process of clean install also prevents past junk from interfering with capture.

However, if you simply insist on leaving the system as-is, and plan to manually remove system noise (startup programs, poll-home software, etc), know that the ATI 600 USB will natively install in Vista. A good card, just not as good as an AIW.

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  #9  
11-17-2018, 02:01 PM
Brandon Brandon is offline
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I can format it if that's what we need to do. Sigh, do you know how I can get a winxp license? I should take this to pm I guess buti need some components.
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