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  #1  
01-18-2011, 02:53 AM
Winsordawson Winsordawson is offline
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I am trying to fix up old tapes for broadcast and the Internet. Since most of the viewers watching these tapes, like myself, will be acquainted with the quality and attendant issues that plague old VHS tapes, I do not expect 3D QFHD output.

The tapes I am converting to a digital format range from ten to twenty-eight years old. Older ones are in U-Matic, but I will get to those (plea for help on this forum) at another time. Fortunately, the more recent videos are in SVHS. Unfortunately, this was accomplished through melting a hole in VHS tapes!!! He said that the SVHS player played the tapes better when he watched them. I trust him, but will there be any drawbacks to this?

On a particular "SVHS" video, the problems were too noticeable that I was forced to partially revert to an VHS copy. Interestingly, each video suffers from different issues. Do you know what is causing the problems on the tapes? Tracking could not help much on the copy. Is there a method to reduce the static on the bottom of the screen? I know I could crop it, but that would be the easy way out.

I also fast-forwarded/rewinded the tapes before capture. I am using a Grass Valley/Canopus ADVC110.

Recently I received the full Adobe Suite. Is there any equivalent on Adobe or otherwise for programs such as VirtualDub or AviSynth? I want to see if quick touch-ups would help. Yes I have a Mac!

Any help is greatly appreciated.


Attached Files
File Type: mp4 SVHS-VERSION.mp4 (7.64 MB, 34 downloads)
File Type: mp4 VHS-VERSION.mp4 (7.64 MB, 22 downloads)
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  #2  
01-24-2011, 09:15 PM
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I just looked at the S-VHS clip real quick, and it's extremely rough. That's beyond standard signal issues -- it looks to be a malfunction of the playback VCR. What are you using as th VCR to play these?

Quote:
Fortunately, the more recent videos are in SVHS. Unfortunately, this was accomplished through melting a hole in VHS tapes!!! He said that the SVHS player played the tapes better when he watched them. I trust him, but will there be any drawbacks to this?
This is no S-VHS, but a quasi-SVHS type signal recorded to VHS tape. In SP mode, you can potentially get a bit of extra resolution that's similar to EP or LP mode S-VHS -- which is pretty decent (better than standard VHS at any mode).

But much of this depends on the quality of the VHS tapes. For many years, I recorded S-VHS-ET (as JVC, the inventor of VHS and S-VHS formats, would eventually call it). There were really only two tapes that ever did well at this -- TDK and JVC mid/high grade VHS tapes. Anything else tended to be really bad.

The biggest issue was the S-VHS recording was somewhat abusive to VHS tapes, and would tend to cause major dropouts. The oxide was basically rubbed off the tape because it was being used with a method that was never intended.

What are the brands/markings of the tapes? If the original labels/boxes are missing, you'll have to rely on whatever is printed or engraved onto the tape itself. I actually know quite a few of these off-hand, but by visual inspection (have to see high-res photos of the full shell on all six sides).

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I also fast-forwarded/rewinded the tapes before capture
Good move. This can help if the tapes are "sticky" in any way. (Moisture/humidity damage).

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  #3  
01-25-2011, 04:07 PM
Winsordawson Winsordawson is offline
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I have a SVHS Panasonic BRS5220 and a Mitsubishi HsU746. I believe this was captured on the latter device. However, other tapes played on this machine without any of that kind of trouble--including the VHS tape I included, which has a different problem. Since these are archive tapes, most of them have been played maybe once.

The brand of tapes were usually TDK or JVC. This tape happens to be Fuji.

I remember reading something about how FF/RW dedicated machines wind the tape too quickly. Would you instead use an junk VCR for this?
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  #4  
01-31-2011, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Would you instead use an junk VCR for this?
I wouldn't use a damaged VCR for this, no. All VCRs operate a little differently, with many of them fully winding the tape around the heads -- even when it's just FF/REW operations. And because of that, a damaged head could damage a tape, even if it's not being played.

So maybe take the top off the VCR, and with a test tape (easily replaceable commercial movie) see how the VCR operates. If it runs the tape around damaged posts, heads, etc -- don't use it for REW or FF of important tapes.

I'd say a good dedicate rewinder would work okay. Problem is, it may not be able to FF.

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  #5  
02-05-2011, 06:07 PM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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Hi,
This is pretty easy to fix, but the easiest way is semi-automatic, it might take longer to develop the fully automatic way. Anyhow, could you capture the same section of both tapes again, two more times in fact, and post them? My favorite technique requires 3 copies of the same video. That would help a lot.
How long is the total program? Do you have a deadline for it?
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  #6  
02-08-2011, 02:37 AM
Winsordawson Winsordawson is offline
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Thanks for the helpful responses.

Unfortunately, my video converter is another city at the moment, and I will not be able to visit until June. There is no deadline, and I guess I could just revive this post at that time. Could you explain to me what this problem is and the semi-automatic vs. automatic technique?

The total program is originally around 30 minutes, but I will also be cutting it into two 15 minute sections.

These video captures have been stored on my external hard drive. Before I made this capture I had conducted numerous play-throughs to see if the problem would persist. It usually improved from a obvious movement to a flash. However, since I am capturing a VHS tape with a SVHS player, every time I play the video I risk damaging it.

***Luckily, I just checked my hard drive: I have a different video with a similar problem, which I captured more than three times. I stopped after awhile to prevent myself from jumping out the nearest window, after suffering from previous A/V delays. The video quality is much better than what is uploaded. I do appreciate the help.


Attached Files
File Type: mp4 FirstTry.mp4 (7.79 MB, 5 downloads)
File Type: mp4 Announcer-Latertry.mp4 (7.00 MB, 4 downloads)
File Type: mp4 Announcer-EvenLatertry.mp4 (7.97 MB, 5 downloads)
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  #7  
02-08-2011, 11:03 AM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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Yep, that's fixable, so is the other one. The glitches occur in different spots, you probably only need two passes of the SVHS one. Your SVHS copy is going to be better quality regardless. I was wondering if you get the same glitches when viewed on a real analog TV?

I don't disagree with the facts mentioned by the previous poster regarding quasi-SVHS and dropouts, but I have a different interpretation. With a burned hole, the deck doesn't know the difference, so of course a real SVHS signal is being recorded, it's just that the tape formula of VHS doesn't hold the higher frequencies very well, leading to noisy signals. The "dropouts", I would suspect are not from the tape oxide physically flaking off, but due to the signal response being so low that it's zero, which causes the video circuit to return pure white by default. The same thing would occur if bits of ferric oxide came off, also leading to no signal and a white line.

For a technical comparison of SVHS and punched VHS tapes, see
http://www.hembrow.eu/oldpage/svhs/index.html

Anyhow, I'll post the fixed video of "announcer" when I'm done, it's kind of pointless though as it's not captured right.

The announcer is interlaced 15fps, and each field is blended. There's something not right with your process here. The other one is fine.

As far as your video converter, no big deal but you could just pick up a cheap one now, others will probably scream at me for this but for just $25 you can get a USB one and in my opinion, the difference in quality of this device is not nearly as important as the intelligent processing of the video. I've captured the same tape in 3 different VCRs and posted to another thread, there's only slight differences between them, and the differences between capture cards is even less.
You just have to know enough to go into your settings to adjust sharpness and color because these have different defaults, causing some people to complain that the device is too "soft", when all they had to do is change the default.
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  #8  
02-08-2011, 11:18 AM
Winsordawson Winsordawson is offline
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Thank you for the help. I've had to de-interlace the videos to fit them on this server. I believe the last video is better quality.
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  #9  
02-08-2011, 11:25 AM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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Yes, that's a typical problem. Try http://www.megaupload.com/
There are many services like this, one click to upload and share a file for free with no registration.
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  #10  
02-10-2011, 02:48 AM
Winsordawson Winsordawson is offline
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Thank you for the site suggestion. I put the videos in one file, from earlier to later captures. For some reason the videos seem to look a tad worse compared to the original, perhaps since I had to re-save the .dv as a .dv during splicing.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=RIT7MBMG
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  #11  
02-10-2011, 07:30 AM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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Hi,
I've got the answer to that too, try http://www.avcutty.de/english/index_info.htm
It's free and lossless.
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  #12  
02-10-2011, 07:53 AM
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I took a look at the VHS-VERSION.mp4 from the first post, and what I see is a tape or VCR error. You have tracking issues. Possibly alignment, but more likely it's just tracking. The ideal way to fix this would be with a better VCR, or a VCR that's been "broken" (misaligned) to match the specs of the original tape.

If you're forced to worked with the available captured video, then I would do this:
  1. Deinterlace with Yadif+NNEDI2 in Avisynth
  2. Crop the worst of the bottom of the screen, in VirtualDub
  3. Crop the top and sides as little as possible -- just enough to cut out the garbage.
  4. Re-center the leftover image in the center of the 720x480 screen.
  5. Denoise, including the median filter for attacking any minor leftover "magnetic" dropout noise, be it in-picture or along the bottom from the tracking issues
  6. Color correct
  7. Save new AVI, encode out to desired final format (MPEG-2, H.264 MP4, etc) in a good encoder
I don't see any other options.

I'm downloading your other clips right now.

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  #13  
02-10-2011, 01:45 PM
Winsordawson Winsordawson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac698 View Post
Hi,
I've got the answer to that too, try http://www.avcutty.de/english/index_info.htm
It's free and lossless.
Thanks, again!--But is it better to capture in avi vs .dv? I have read otherwise on different forums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
I took a look at the VHS-VERSION.mp4 from the first post, and what I see is a tape or VCR error. You have tracking issues. Possibly alignment, but more likely it's just tracking. The ideal way to fix this would be with a better VCR, or a VCR that's been "broken" (misaligned) to match the specs of the original tape.

If you're forced to worked with the available captured video, then I would do this:
  1. Deinterlace with Yadif+NNEDI2 in Avisynth
  2. Crop the worst of the bottom of the screen, in VirtualDub
  3. Crop the top and sides as little as possible -- just enough to cut out the garbage.
  4. Re-center the leftover image in the center of the 720x480 screen.
  5. Denoise, including the median filter for attacking any minor leftover "magnetic" dropout noise, be it in-picture or along the bottom from the tracking issues
  6. Color correct
  7. Save new AVI, encode out to desired final format (MPEG-2, H.264 MP4, etc) in a good encoder
I don't see any other options.

I'm downloading your other clips right now.
Well, I just gave the VHS version to compare with the "SVHS" version above it. I know there are tracking issues, but there were also problems on the top, so I wanted to move the problem to one side. Recently I showed that video to some technicians at Food Network and they told me that it might not be worth deinterlacing, given the quality. And if I recall, if done right, it would cut my video to half the size.

Which of the programs can denoise the video? Since I have Adobe, is the NeatVideo add-on better at this?

Thanks again.
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  #14  
02-10-2011, 02:12 PM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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avi and dv should be easily convertible back and forth, as far as I know. I don't know why avi would be bad, however I tried to open your file today and I'm having trouble. I can't get ffdshow to play it. I can play in VLC but when I used VLC to convert to avi, the avi still couldn't be read. As far as I'm concerned an avi is going to be a lot easier to open.
Avidemux crashed when opening it. I probably have a few more programs I can try.

Anyhow, you don't need to recapture anything with that program, my main point was that it can edit the files and cut them up without losing quality.

I got it open and found 5 copies of the interview. The music video is film, btw, so it would deinterlace perfectly.
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  #15  
02-10-2011, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Recently I showed that video to some technicians at Food Network and they told me that it might not be worth deinterlacing, given the quality. And if I recall, if done right, it would cut my video to half the size.
That doesn't even make sense. None.

Quote:
not be worth deinterlacing
The act of deinterlace is to allow for advanced noise reduction methods that are too abusive for interlaced content. So either they don't understand the point of your workflow, or they don't understand interlace.

Quote:
it would cut my video to half the size
That doesn't make any sense, either.

In terms of video resolution, a proper deinterlace (i.e., "Yadif + NNEDI2 in Avisynth" vs drop-frame in a cheap editor), quality would retain detail and resolution. Here a deinterlace works to decomb non-destructively. It's not 100% perfect, but it's the best choice for the scenario.

As far as video file size goes, that's controlled by bitrate, and only bitrate. For lossless or uncompressed video, cleaner streams will lend themselves to smaller file size, but we're maybe talking a 10% to 25% reduction in a best theoretical case.

Quote:
Which of the programs can denoise the video? Since I have Adobe, is the NeatVideo add-on better at this?
Use Avisynth and VirtualDub. Adobe Premiere is pretty decent at color corrections these days, but noise reduction is a significant weakness of most NLEs.

NeatVideo is a good plugin, but it honestly works best in conjunction with other filters in the loop. Ideally, you'd want the VirtualDub plugin version. If you end up with the standalone or Premiere plugin, then you'd have to add the NeatVideo NR later in the workflow, after the other freeware tools have done their part.

Quote:
avi and dv should be easily convertible back and forth, as far as I know. I don't know why avi would be bad,
Remember that AVI is a wrapper/container, not a format. Yes, you can go between DV and other AVI codecs, but you would not want to continuously re-compress. DV to uncompressed won't result in quality loss, but going back to DV will re-incur that 5:1 compression, which will result in visual loss within a generation or two distance from source.

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  #16  
02-10-2011, 03:55 PM
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Admin,
He has a Mac, so VirtualDub etc. are out of the question, unless you want to use an emulator.

As for size, I think he might have meant half the geometric size, in which case, no, deinterlacing doesn't imply a change in dimensions.

My comment about dv<-->avi, I meant using the untouched dv codec video inside the avi container format. That's exactly what I tried to do with VLC, I selected Copy Video and container AVI.

I should have no problem fixing this source, by comparing the frames of video in three copies, where one differs I can say that one has bad frames and automatically replace them from one of the other copies.

l8r
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  #17  
02-10-2011, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Admin, He has a Mac, so VirtualDub etc. are out of the question, unless you want to use an emulator.
Macs lack any serious video filter/restore tools, so this is unavoidable, I'm afraid. This very minute, I'm running Parallels Desktop 6 in coherence mode, and have a VirtualDub batch running. VirtualDub works in WineBottler, too, but it's somewhat buggy.

Quote:
I meant using the untouched dv codec video inside the avi container format
Container switching -- excellent. Avidemux and VLC both do this fairly decently. So does VirtualDub, actually, via stream copy. THe only caveat with VLC is that the advanced conversion tools are not present in the Mac GUI version, so you'll be in the Darwin command-line, or you'll want to run VLC in Parallels (it doesn't work in Wine).


..... This conversation is admittedly moving faster than I can keep up, due to other pending projects on my desk.

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  #18  
02-10-2011, 09:50 PM
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And it was 741mb which I d/l at 1.3MB/s
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02-11-2011, 12:47 PM
Winsordawson Winsordawson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
That doesn't even make sense. None.

The act of deinterlace is to allow for advanced noise reduction methods that are too abusive for interlaced content. So either they don't understand the point of your workflow, or they don't understand interlace.
After researching a little, they must have been referring to the fastest way to deinterlace, which as a result would resize the video to half the size, and not to the Progressive Scan Bob + Weave.

I already uploaded some videos to the Internet, but no one seemed to notice that they were not deinterlaced.

Winebottler seems like a great tool. Will it also run Avisynth? As regards being buggy, do you mean it crashes often or is just a pain to get through?

When I start to recapture again, I guess I'll should switch to PC, though mine is an oldtimer XP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac698 View Post
I should have no problem fixing this source, by comparing the frames of video in three copies, where one differs I can say that one has bad frames and automatically replace them from one of the other copies.

And it was 741mb which I d/l at 1.3MB/s.
Much faster than it took to upload. What program are you using to do this? Does it substitute a different frame when requested, or do you have to splice it each time (the latter would seem to take days)? I'm just trying to understand, unless you would like to edit 250+ episodes!
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02-11-2011, 01:17 PM
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Hi,
Haven't worked on it since yesterday but, it's potentially automatic, using a type of programming in a program called Avisynth. Obviously I need to focus on an automatic method, though for testing I'm creating a reference video semi-manually to see how it turns out.

-- merged --

Hi, been sick haven't done a thing for a week... sorry
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