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  #1  
03-03-2019, 03:09 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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I was over at my brothers place last weekend, he recently bought a VHS recorder: Panasonic NV HS880,
and a Konig video grabber (USB2)
We installed the software on his Windows 10 machine, we tried it out, and it just worked, the files where saved as MPEG2 files directly on HDD, it all was user friendly, noticed no dropped frames sofar, i have no idea if the capturing/grabbing can be done without compression, the original software showed no options for that,
Does anybody have experience with this device ? it has a knob on it, which makes snapshots in BMP picture format.
It has s-video and composite inputs,and RCA audio inputs, it comes with ArcSoft software, it can capture SECAM and PAL video, software shows no NTSC options.
The NV HS880 has an DNR option but has very little effect on the video quality.
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  #2  
03-03-2019, 05:00 PM
jnielsen jnielsen is offline
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The videorecorder is probably very good since it one of the newer SVHS Panasonics.
Videograppers have different quality based on the chipsets and components used. The cheap models are often not good.
These have good reviews for PAL:
The original Ezcap.tv ( Empia EM2860 USB chip and Philips SAA7113 ADC )
Hauppauge USB-Live2 ( Conexant CX23102 )
Terratec Grabster AV 350 MX (not 300) (Empia em2860, Texas Instruments TI5150AM1), do not use Scart it is only composite.

See also the test picture here
USB capture devices, Pinnacle vs. Hauppauge tests?
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  #3  
03-03-2019, 05:04 PM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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The Konig video grabber seems to be conexant-based judging by the driver, so it's probably similar to the Hauppauge or Diamond VC500 dongles.
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  #4  
03-04-2019, 07:18 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Thank you for those answers ! i was pretty amazed when we got it working straightaway,
The "grabber" was about 19 euro, the recorder 50 euro, with no wear signs,
Some short test grabs, showed decent results, the button on the dongle/grabber makes a snapshot picture in BMP format, handy for DVD menu's i guess, the device was also recognized in an other video editor "Deluxe" ,
The only thing i don't understand is, if it's also possible to capture uncompressed, i can't find much info, next time i will look at the system preffs/manager, for chipset/driver info, Konig is a generic brandname used for lots of "devices" i noticed, mostly for windows pc "add-ons"
Nice to see that this all works under windows 10, i will look which CPU is used, the pc is quiet "capable" i guess that helps with USB2 plus i think the compression is done in the grabber itself.

btw.. the SCART has no S-video ? i thought all is also available through SCART, the manual shows little technical details though....
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  #5  
03-05-2019, 02:08 AM
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I've never been fond of Conexant capture chipset quality. It's imperfect, tendency towards grain/mosquito noise.

As often as VC500 gets praise, we've seen obvious oddities in forum posts in the past 2 years, with the most concerning to me being an overactive AGC at times. That then leads to an idea that the "card" may actually have a running production change in components, thereby actually being more like several variant cards sharing the VC500 moniker. I'm not fond of that, either. Hauppauge had been guilty of this in the past (actually reusing model numbers), a reason I'm not a big fan of their USB sticks.

If I'm buying a capture card, I don't want unknowns like this. It's alraady a big enough PITA to get VCR and TBC in order. The capture card already as drivers issues to mess with. The sealed USB internal chips question is just too much.

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  #6  
03-05-2019, 05:15 PM
jnielsen jnielsen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I've never been fond of Conexant capture chipset quality. It's imperfect, tendency
towards grain/mosquito noise.
Interesting, I have always read good things about the Hauppauge. I find the Hauppauge good when connected to a "TBC" (DVD-recorder or built in) but if the signal comes directly from a standard VCR it cannot handle the solid red areas, the color is flickering.
Actually I find the Pinnacle USB 710 better (not Dazzle, Dazzle is not good), I do not know the chipset, but I do not use the USB 710 because I had some problems with dropped frames, and low sound level.
It means I am still looking for something better. I have read about the ATI USB 600 (TI TVP5150 chip), however it seems to be more made for NTSC, and is not common in Europe.

I am considering:
Terratec Grabster AV 350 MX (seem similar to Grass Valley ADVC mini)
Chipset according to pictures in the link below is Empia em2860 and Texas Instruments TI5150AM1
https://plus.google.com/112000435930...ts/SXfRwdWzQUL

The original Ezcap.tv ( Empia EM2860 USB chip and Philips SAA7113 ADC )

Canopus ADVC-55, mixed reviews, but better reviews for PAL than NTSC.

What would you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
with the most concerning to me being an overactive AGC at times.
What does that mean?
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  #7  
03-06-2019, 09:48 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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I found some info about the brand name > Nedis
https://webshop.nedis.nl/nl-nl/shop-by-brand

About the Terratec i notice, it doesn't mention Windows 10 ......

Last edited by Eric-Jan; 03-06-2019 at 10:12 AM.
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  #8  
03-06-2019, 12:10 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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AGC is (automatic gain control) its essentially responsible for centering your analog signal within the upper limit for "white" and lower limit for "black" so that the most of your signal is captured without "overexposing" your whites and loosing that part of the picture, or "underexposing" the blacks and loosing that part of the picture.

In photography you have to sort of "center" your image on the most sensitive range of your film, a capture card is no different.. it works best in a specific range.. the "gain control" moves it up and down to capture the most detail within the range of the card.

People don't like doing this manually, or don't have the skill.. so devices started coming with "automatic" features.. the problem is they work by a circuit or "smart algorithm" and they make mistakes. (A lot of newer) devices do not let you shutoff or control the AGC "at all" and ruin everything universally.. those are called (bad capture cards/devices).

After the ATI 600 USB many (most?) capture cards and USB devices had a "Static" undefeatable, "uncontrollable" AGC.. and it became the bain of everyones existence.. it was either good out of the factory.. or the only control you had was your pocket book and the trash can.. each a bit extreme.

Only now, or with very expensive capture devices is "AGC off " being trumpeted as a (New Feature!) worth hundereds of dollars.. lol... .. what's old is (new) again. AGC is in the dog house and considered "evil".. and we thirst for "AGC off" control.

The problem is a rogue AGC "keeps" mucking things up even if you have a seperate proc-amp to manage the gain, you can't compensate for a bad AGC because it meanders all over the place, flickering and ramming the levels up and down like a two year old throwing a tantrum.. you just can't "make it stop".. (like me you start dreaming of taking a knife to the circuit board and cutting it out..).. also, beware the false advertising that says (comes with AGC off, or AGC manual control.. ) there are those who enagage in false advertising and will try to take you to the cleaners.

These days if they don't mention AGC, assume it has it, assume its bad to awful.. the cheaper the dongle, the worse the AGC control at being at least "stable".. and jump from one scene to the next, ramming the whites into the ceiling like the Incredible Hulk found Loki again.. and can make it wobble like a bowl of Jello-O that could give the crawling eyeball a headache. ugh.

"overactive..."

hmm.. he was being nice.

Last edited by jwillis84; 03-06-2019 at 12:32 PM.
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  #9  
03-06-2019, 12:41 PM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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The A/D converter chips typically have an AGC that can be both turned off and on, and is adjustable. However the windows drivers typically don't include the functionality to do so. On linux you can communicate with the A/D chips on the empia and conexant USB dongles directly over the i2c bus which lets you adjust a ton of settings, including the AGC, but I haven't found any way to do this in Windows.
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03-06-2019, 01:24 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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This AGC "story" sounds to me a bit like color grading, which can be done in Davinci Resolve... in post work.
so when there's no AGC on, levels could be restored, with the right tools/system OS capture device ?
But i also notice different levels in video recordings them self, so correcting such a tape even with the right equipment, so even then it can be a tedious job to do, (with key-frames?)
What i learned sofar is dat analog video capture is no exact science, and a lot of "elements" are at play,
And even analog recordings made at a certain time long ago are not perfect, so correcting them to today's standards, should be an option ? or make it a realistic "capture" ?
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  #11  
03-06-2019, 01:48 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
The A/D converter chips typically have an AGC that can be both turned off and on, and is adjustable. However the windows drivers typically don't include the functionality to do so. On linux you can communicate with the A/D chips on the empia and conexant USB dongles directly over the i2c bus which lets you adjust a ton of settings, including the AGC, but I haven't found any way to do this in Windows.

that sounds like a 'dream scenario' for many people

an i2c 'communicator' that "whispers" to the AGC.. behave.. wow
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  #12  
03-06-2019, 01:55 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric-Jan View Post
This AGC "story" sounds to me a bit like color grading, which can be done in Davinci Resolve... in post work.
so when there's no AGC on, levels could be restored, with the right tools/system OS capture device ?
But i also notice different levels in video recordings them self, so correcting such a tape even with the right equipment, so even then it can be a tedious job to do, (with key-frames?)
What i learned sofar is dat analog video capture is no exact science, and a lot of "elements" are at play,
And even analog recordings made at a certain time long ago are not perfect, so correcting them to today's standards, should be an option ? or make it a realistic "capture" ?
Unfortunately, no.. once the levels are "rammed" into the ceiling and the floor until their clipped the data is gone.. it was never captured.. you can't manufacturer data that isn't there.

Its like trying to "Upscale" all that glorious "noise" that sometimes people assume is detail.. if only they could make it (bigger...) lol.. or.. actually.. :weeping:

Davinci.. and all digital tools in the digital domain seem like "magical wands" that can fix anything.. but the problem is you first have to get that analog data across to the digital realm. Meanwhile the Balroc and Gandalf are standing in your way on the bridge.. bickering about passport papers
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  #13  
03-08-2019, 10:56 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post

Davinci.. and all digital tools in the digital domain seem like "magical wands" that can fix anything.. but the problem is you first have to get that analog data across to the digital realm. Meanwhile the Balroc and Gandalf are standing in your way on the bridge.. bickering about passport papers
Yep, i'm very happy with that, Analog PAL capture becomes digtal 720x576 or NTSC 720x480/486
I have a VHS tape, Cutey Honey volume one,(NTSC) the black level was not correct, i could correct that by the "picker" and got a beautiful contrast, not al VHS tapes are correctly duplicated, i guess a recorded test pattern is only a refference.
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  #14  
03-08-2019, 11:42 AM
jnielsen jnielsen is offline
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jwillis84 -> Thank you for explaining AGC

[QUOTE=jwillis84;59840 The problem is a rogue AGC "keeps" mucking things up even if you have a seperate proc-amp to manage the gain, you can't compensate for a bad AGC because it meanders all over the place, flickering and ramming the levels up and down like a two year old throwing a tantrum.. you just can't "make it stop"..[/QUOTE]

I do not think the Hauppauge USB Live 2 (at least not my version) has a "rogue AGC"
The white levels is very stable, but depends very much of the VCR and pass through DVD recorder.
But in most cases the white is not white. But with some VCR´s it is. It depends on the VCR and DVD-recorder.

Here is a test I made with three different DVD recorders as pass through:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsgmuQT4udE&t=12s
1. Panasonic HS820 alone (white level 230)
2. Panasonic S820 + Panasonic DMR-ES10 (white level quite low 208)
3. Panasonic HS820 + Panasonic DMR-ES15 better white as ES10 (white level 225, black level 0)
4. Panasonic HS820 + Panasonic DMR-EX77 (white level 214, black level 0)

Black/white is not centered, sometimes black can be zero and white maybe 225. I am still looking for a way to capture levels 0-255. Or some way to adjust to the equipment. I can increase contrast a little when capturing, but if the black/white is not centered this maybe not is the solution.
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  #15  
03-08-2019, 12:23 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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The USB Live2 had 'maybe six' hardware released versions sold in the red and white box.. I think I have three examples.. all have the same gray silver box, all use the same cable. The red and white boxes vary slightly, the newest is the smallest version yet. Its mostly empty air space.. but I think they were saving money on the cardboard.

LinuxTV usually have autoposy pictures of (one) example splayed open like a fish carved up for dinner.

Hauppauge imports product from China in bulk, so within one hardware release the properties can be consistent. But between hardware versions they can change batches of chips and the quality can vary. Same design.. its just the properties of that batch of chips is "different" sometimes the quality of the rubber in the cables changes too.. but that doesn't matter.. much.

Its tempting to brand them a consistent relilable brand.. but the details kind of kibosh that a bit.. in a way by buying selling bulk.. they are better than buying one off eBay a single import from China at a time. But general statements are kind of hard to depend on with them.. if they were Walmart the scale would also tend to 'stablize' the product.
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03-08-2019, 12:51 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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I just was amazed that the Konig grabber works with Windows 10, having read so much about devices only work earlier windows OS versions, or are there more USB grabbers that work fine on Windows 10 ? and also of good/reasonable quality ?
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  #17  
03-08-2019, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric-Jan View Post
I just was amazed that the Konig grabber works with Windows 10, having read so much about devices only work earlier windows OS versions, or are there more USB grabbers that work fine on Windows 10 ? and also of good/reasonable quality ?
You always have to be mindful of running production changes. And that's rarely a good thing. When something acts differently than expected, that should be on the troubleshooting list.

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03-08-2019, 02:26 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric-Jan View Post
I just was amazed that the Konig grabber works with Windows 10, having read so much about devices only work earlier windows OS versions, or are there more USB grabbers that work fine on Windows 10 ? and also of good/reasonable quality ?
An elephant can dance, but does it dance well..

Win10 is not a general purpose OS anymore.. its become a loss leader for a Cloud company. Security updates are used as an excuse for feature updates and revisions to the application interfaces. Its a high velocity target to make any hardware work with it "for very long". Each new year introduces new signing certificates and new "vetting requirements" by Microsoft and runs hardware vendors out of the market.

You can only say a piece of hardware is "good" for 6 months of one Windows 10 release, before it becomes outdated, or out of support.

If you take the actual "Service Pack" releases called the "Spring and Autumn refreshes" into account we are on something like Windows 18.. but they don't want to market it that way.. it looks like they are constantly changing things.. which they are. Instead we are on Windows 10.1809 (which is not a build number) by introducing obfuscation.. and "buzz".. people become numb to all the details.. and they get away with it with few complaints.

It used to be the 32 bit versions of Windows 7, 8 allowed you to disable onerous driver signing and verification requirements.. but they got rid of 32 bit under Windows 10.. its hollowing out its feature set and becoming a bootloader with a browser.. and they just killed Edge.. so its becoming a bootloader for Chrome.. the new official OS of the Cloud.

Too much drama with Win10.

Like Latin.. dead OSes serve a useful purpose.. they are stable, and if they have bugs.. they aren't constantly trying to "fix" them.. the landmines stay put. You can write a guide, a book.. a post-it note.. and it remains true longer than the next Patch Tuesday.
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  #19  
03-09-2019, 06:26 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Yes, even with virus protection my windows10 laptop, became useless, and previous pc's too, but i'm lazy too, to keep it clean,
browser security needs also a lot of attention....
But using a Macbookpro brought me a lot of relief, sure it has downfalls too, but i found a lot of software to replace what i had on windows, and not all is free of charge, where needed, i pay for it, recently, i found MPEGStreamclip, which is handy for certain operations, there's no shortage on good video tools what that matters.
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03-09-2019, 04:41 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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MBP is not a safe haven anymore.. same problems there.. perhaps mystified by the faithful. A good 10.6.8 Snow Leopard is about equivalent to XP in tone and feature set. And just about as stable today.
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