Quantcast Capture from JVC SR-VS30U - VHS using DV? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
06-22-2019, 02:20 AM
cad614 cad614 is offline
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Hi all. Quick intro about me and the project. Like most new users to the forum I have been tasked with transferring home videos (VHS) to a digital format. After running across a box of tapes while cleaning out the storage room, my wife mentioned we should find an old VCR at a garage sale and figure out how to get them on the computer. Sounded good to me - a VCR is a VCR and surely a capture card wouldn't be too expensive. Then, a week later I wandered into a pawn shop to find this "Professional" VCR with an IEEE1394 port on the front of it for $30. Perfect! My computer has a firewire port, no capture card needed. Then the fun started... I started searching for info on the programs needed to transfer the footage (WinDV or VirtualDub) and additional info on the JVC SR-VS30U. That has led me here and the wonderful rabbit hole that is video capture, restoration, and archiving.

My primary goal is to save the footage for the family. Once the footage is digitized, I will either burn them to data discs or place on external drives that will be given to family members to do with as they wish. Ideally the video will be in a state that would be usable if turned over to a professional for editing or restoration (or at least to a point where that person wouldn't be cursing at each file ).

Is it ok to capture my VHS through the DV port with this particular player? If not, what would be the preferred method?

I couldn't find any info on capturing this way so I tested this setup with a single tape captured through WinDV and it appears to look very good to my untrained eyes... my memories of VHS were of old worn out tapes from Blockbuster played on whatever VCR my parents happened to find on sale at WalMart.

I admit I was a little shocked at the file size - coming in over 7 GB for 34 minutes. I now know it's normal for the DV format. How would the quality / file size compare with using S-Video and a lossless codec if I were to purchase a capture card?

Ideally I also keep the costs down towards the original "garage sale" price my wife envisioned when she tasked me with the project. Thanks for reading, I look forward to hearing your advice.
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  #2  
06-24-2019, 10:43 AM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Let's see how brief this can be.. for me (I write long posts).

1. DV is not a good format to capture in today. It throws away color and detail and makes the picture fuzzy or blurry. Ten or 20 years ago it was an acceptable trade off for "smaller" file sizes. No one would accept its results today.

2. Small file sizes always trade "editability" for the smaller file size. What this means is "frame accurate" editability becomes impossible. Small file sizes mean many frames are reconstructed in between whole frames by interpolation. You can't cut (aka edit) on an interpolated frame.. so when you try to edit the software will (move) your edit point to the nearest whole frame. For cutting out "commercials" or large sections this is okay, but most people don't call that true editing.

3. Large file sizes are video capture with no inteprolated frames, they are called Raw or Uncompressed. They make the best video files for frame accurate editing, and color or detail correction or fixing. They retain the most video information per frame.

4. Some would be very happy with DVD quality video from a VHS tape, which is about 4.7 GB per Two hours but it can be hard to achieve without dedicated hardware. Most PC capture setups capture Uncompressed and then edit and correct the raw video, then compress it into a "distributable form" like DVD video.

If you don't have the time or patience and the video is very important its more practical to outsource the project to a professional.

If you understand and know what a DVD recorder with a hard drive is, that may be an acceptable alternative to pair with a VCR for capturing video direct to DVD files or discs.

Last edited by jwillis84; 06-24-2019 at 11:14 AM.
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  #3  
06-24-2019, 01:30 PM
traal traal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
3. Large file sizes are video capture with no inteprolated frames, they are called Raw or Uncompressed. They make the best video files for frame accurate editing, and color or detail correction or fixing. They retain the most video information per frame.
Counterexamples:

1. HuffYUV is compressed yet it's a good codec for video capture.
2. MJPEG has no interpolated frames yet it's a bad codec for video capture.

Expect 40+ GB/hour for HuffYUV. If you want the best potential for restoring color and detail, this is the price of admission, otherwise you'll get visual noise, banding, and other artifacts when you try to do any kind of restoration.
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06-24-2019, 02:41 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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well.. technically HuffYUV is Uncompressed but compressed "losslessly".. so when its edited you are editing Uncompressed frames.
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06-24-2019, 03:43 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
1. HuffYUV is compressed yet it's a good codec for video capture.
2. MJPEG has no interpolated frames yet it's a bad codec for video capture.
Those really aren't accurate statements.

Huffyuv is data compression, not image compression. Sure, there can be some rounding errors that affect an image, but only when the quality is really rough (an nth gen tape that is more noise than picture), and that's an outlier that most people never deal with.

MJPEG is craptastic because it's literally "motion JPEG", compressed badly. It's all intraframe compression, not GOP based, so worse than MPEG.

The term "interpolated" was used wrong in the thread.

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06-24-2019, 11:14 PM
cad614 cad614 is offline
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Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I had a feeling that DV wasn't going to be a good option due to the lack of topics discussing it. Thanks for clearing that up and explaining the drawbacks of the format.

As for the larger file sizes, I was surprised mostly because I was used to the h.256 encodes where 700MB would hold an hour plus. I appreciate the insight on what to expect when using Huffyuv. Fortunately I have several TB free, so storage space shouldn't be an issue unless we uncover several more boxes of tapes... and with prices dropping everyday I think it will be within our budget to get a few external drives as Christmas presents to hold all of the Raw video files.

Reading several other threads, I saw that Win XP and the ATI All-in-Wonder cards are the preferred way to go for the home user. It reminded me that I still had an old machine with a capture card. Dusted it off to confirm it's running Win2K with a Voodoo 3 3500 TV. Sadly it looks like most reviewers complained about lost frames so I don't think the card will do me much good. Will Win2K do everything needed or do I need to dig through my software for an XP disc? The motherboard is an ABIT BE6-II, if that matters.

Are the AGP cards still available or do I need to look into the USB / PCIe cards for my Windows 7 or 10 setups?

Thanks again for all of your input. I knew this would be a fun rabbit hole to go down.
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06-25-2019, 05:32 AM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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The ATI All-In-Wonder cards will work under Windows 2000, as will VirtualDub 1.9. You shouldn't need to upgrade your operating system. You will need to find an AIW card for an AGP slot; make very sure that it comes with all input and output cables. The AIW cards used some proprietary cable configurations and these days the cables can be more valuable than the cards! I have an AIW 9000 card from a system I'm not using (card was good when last used, but the motherboard is bad) which I'd be willing to sell for a reasonable price; contact via PM.

You'll also need a good sound card which will work under Windows 2000. The host here recommends the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. They're available used if you look around. It's best to take the load of processing audio off of your CPU and motherboard while you're capturing video; hence the sound card. Also, look for a SATA card which will fit your motherboard and install either a hot-swap bay in your system (if you have an empty 5-1/4" drive bay) or an external eSATA dock. It's handy to be able to capture to a big hard drive (just keep in mind the capacity limitations of your system...WinXP won't handle anything over 2TB; I'd have to look up the specs for Win2K) and then physically transfer it over to a modern Win7 or Win10 system for editing and processing.
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