Quantcast VirtualDub advice to correct 2nd-gen+ VHS copies? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
10-11-2013, 12:03 PM
TylerDurden389 TylerDurden389 is offline
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Hi everyone. I'm trying to restore my old home movies and would like to share some of what I've done so far just to see where I stand in terms of getting the hang of this. Firstly, I understand that in order to get the best out of my old vhs tapes I should've used a capture device to record directly to the computer, but unfortunately the device I bought didn't work. I ended up just recording the vhs footage to my dvd player in XP mode (each disc is only an hour long).

My vcr is a Quasar vhq-960 4 head hi-fi stereo omnivision that I bought more than 11 years ago (sometime before 2002 but I can't remember when). The dvd player is a Toshiba DVD Video Rcorder D-R410 that I bought sometime between 2004 2009. The blank dvds I used are Memorex DVD+R.

At the time I wanted to get this done quickly so I could give out copies to all my relatives, so I did no restoration and did simple cutting-editing (making 6 1 hour long dvds from 20 hours of footage). I used Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD 5.0 for everything.

I have more time now, and wanna see what can be to fix up certain portions. After unsuccessfully being able to clean some of the footage with Video Wizard, I tried Virtualdub and I'm much happier with how it looks now. There's only one portion that's bad because the color is all green and the sound was bad because my mom probably didn't have the volume up when she recorded the stuff off the camcorder tapes all those years ago. The newest footage is in good condition because we used better camcorders, better lighting, and I recorded a lot of the footage from the camcorder vhs-c tapes. It's the older stuff that was recorded onto vhs (probably 2nd or 3rd generation) that I wanna mess around with.

For this first example, the filters in virtualdub were used in this order:

levels ([0.00-1.00] (RGB) )
Color Mill (2.1)RED-GREEN-BLUE (middle): Red +20. Green -20, Blue +20 in Preprocess, keep brightness
Brightness/Contrast (bright +3%, cont 125%)
Sharpen (by 16)

The before is an mpg I made directly from the dvd source, and the after is another mpg that was turned into an avi so I could edit in virtualdub, then turned back to an mpg with Video Wizard (I'm doing this for all my videos that I edit).


Attached Files
File Type: mpg Before.mpg (6.95 MB, 45 downloads)
File Type: mpg After.mpg (4.18 MB, 28 downloads)
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  #2  
10-11-2013, 03:12 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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you are probably going to need to redo them with better equipment
that Quasar VCR is no good - you need a good VCR with TBC
i dont know if that DVD recorder has an LSI chipset, but if not that will need to be replaced as well.
or forgo the dvd recorder and use a an ATI capture card - they are dirt cheap
you should have a good external TBC like the Datavideo TBC-1000 too
also i suggest you switch to Mitsubishi-Verbatum or JVC blank DVD's
memorox are crappy
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  #3  
10-12-2013, 10:08 PM
TylerDurden389 TylerDurden389 is offline
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Thanks for the quick reply. I've been on this message board for almost a week now, going through all the threads and trying to make sense out of all this lol. From the gist of it I understand that setup to get the best out of my tapes. Use one of the vcrs on LS's list, preferably the ones in bold. In my particular case I can't get a JVC because they're not good with vhs-c tapes (of which I have around 6). A TBC, a good dvd recorder with an LSI chipset, and verbatim dvds. As for software, I've been messing around with virtualdub for a few days now and messing around with the filters. I am MUCH happier with how some of the older footage looks now.

My next question is, if I were to capture again with the aforementioned setup and do my restoring to improve the quality with virtualdub later on, will the end result be the same as if I had gone the PC capture route with ATI? I'm assuming that virtualdub lets you use the filters to fix the video as you record it if you record straight to the pc. The reason I don't want to go this route is because I don't want to buy a computer with windows XP. Now, I've read a little here about making a windows 7 computer work just fine, but XP is preferred.
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  #4  
10-13-2013, 07:32 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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an AG-1980 is a good deck with the compact tapes, however it is still a risk.

the best thing to do it respool the compact tapes onto full size VHS shells
i have a post somewhere on here to describes how i do it

if you want to do any editing then you need to capture lossless with an ATI capture card.

an DVD recorder is going to convert to Mpeg-2 which is not good for editing.

only after editing/cleanup do you convert to Mpeg-2 and burn to DVD's

the ATI600 works fine in Windows 7
there is both USB and PCI versions
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  #5  
07-29-2014, 08:46 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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The goal is always to:
1. capture as best as possible first -- that means a good S-VHS VCR, etc!
2. whatever cannot be fixed in hardware, must now be fixed in software

Avisynth is where I'd start with something like this.

The before and after are really not that much different.


Note: If you weren't a Premium Member, that's where my post would have stopped. But you are, so there's more...

FYI: Next time, make the file name unique. I have too many "test", "sample", "before" and "after" files here!

Now, this is a quick script:
Code:
AVISource("c:\Before.avi")
ChromaShift(C=0, L=-6) # align chroma over luma
ConvertToYV12 # script below this line requires YV12
Deen() # remove edge noise
TTempSmooth(maxr=4, strength=4, lthresh=5, cthresh=25, lmdiff=10, cmdiff=15)
RemoveGrain(mode=2, modeU=2, modeV=2) 
SeparateFields() # for analog interlaced source
TurnLeft()
DeScratch(mindif=4, maxgap=20, minlen=500, blurlen=50, keep=10, border=2, maxangle=0, modeY=3)
TurnRight()
Weave() # restore fields
ColorYUV(autowhite=true)
ConvertToYUY2 # assumes VirtualDub or MPEG encoder is next in video workflow chain
- The order may not be optimal.
- You'd need to play with the DeScratch fitler settings: http://avisynth.org.ru/descratch/descratch.html
- More testing may show other filters to be a better choices for certain errors.
- Some of the filters may be too strong, and need tweaking to avoid a "plastic" look.
- There's minimal color correction applied.
- Audio is not touched.

And then from Avisynth, next comes VirtualDub in the chain. Attached in the VCF settings file.

Code:
VirtualDub.audio.SetSource(1);
VirtualDub.audio.SetMode(0);
VirtualDub.audio.SetInterleave(1,500,1,0,0);
VirtualDub.audio.SetClipMode(1,1);
VirtualDub.audio.SetConversion(0,0,0,0,0);
VirtualDub.audio.SetVolume();
VirtualDub.audio.SetCompression();
VirtualDub.audio.EnableFilterGraph(0);
VirtualDub.video.SetInputFormat(11);
VirtualDub.video.SetOutputFormat(11);
VirtualDub.video.SetMode(3);
VirtualDub.video.SetSmartRendering(0);
VirtualDub.video.SetPreserveEmptyFrames(0);
VirtualDub.video.SetFrameRate2(0,0,1);
VirtualDub.video.SetIVTC(0, 0, 0, 0);
VirtualDub.video.SetCompression(0x75796668,0,10000,0);
VirtualDub.video.filters.Clear();
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("Camcorder color denoise 1.6 MT");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[0].Config(30,1);
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("Median filter");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[1].Config(200);
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("resize");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[2].SetClipping(24,8,10,14);
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[2].Config(100,100,1,4,3,1,720,480,4,3,1,4,1,0x000000);
VirtualDub.audio.filters.Clear();
This shows the types of things that are possible.

I bet that video color could be corrected more, all noise removed, and audio perfected.


Attached Files
File Type: mpg tyler-sample_out.mpg (5.75 MB, 44 downloads)

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  #6  
07-29-2014, 02:48 PM
TylerDurden389 TylerDurden389 is offline
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Sorry about that LS. I was still pretty new to this stuff when I posted that. Thanks for the advice and the sample video

Ok guys, I'm back to business. My new PC is all hooked up and rare'n to go. I've reformatted my hard drive on my old PC and removed/uninstalled as many programs as possible that I don't think I'll need (though when I click "administrator" on the processes screen, more processes show up). I've put all the programs I need (ATI Catalyst center, Virtualdub, HuffyUV) previous edits I've done in the past, filters and saved chains and other misc. info. onto the old PC where I need it. I have all the SVideo and other cables hooked up properly AND I'm happy to say I have audio now.

With that all done, now my problem is dropped frames. I'm getting the usual jitters, and the sound pitch keeps changing. There are no hidden programs running. Do I need to defrag? Do I need to remove more programs?
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  #7  
11-25-2014, 07:38 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Congrats on getting the system together, but sorry to see you're having problems. Frankly I hate anything past WinXP for capture, but maybe that's just me. Before we go further, tell us the components you're using for capture now -- player, capture device, etc., and any playback/capture hardware you use.

One factor that often contributes to dropped frames is capturing to the same hard drive that houses your operating system. This is a common problem.
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  #8  
11-25-2014, 09:03 AM
TylerDurden389 TylerDurden389 is offline
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Right, sorry. I thought I posted my specs but that must've been a different thread lol.

- AMD Anthleon II X2 215 Dual Core
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit edition
- System Memory - 3 GB
- Hard Drive - 500 GB
- VCR - JVC SR7800U
- TBC - AVT 8710
- Capture Card - ATI TV Wonder HD 600 with the loading programs from this site (the RAR files with the iso disc)
- Capture program - Virtualdub with loaded filters (from this site)

I forgot to mention earlier that I forgot to get AVISynth. I was intimidated by the program at first just cuz the whole "text based" setup looked, like, HARDCORE techy type stuff (if that makes any sense) but I watched a tutorial on youtube and it doesn't look that bad. Plus now I see it works with the virtualdubmod.

Anyway I think that about does it. Oh, I do have to buy some more hard drives before i actually get to work on this. Last night was just getting everything set up, making sure everything worked correctly, and doing a few test runs. I plan on getting the Phantom Drive external hard drives for this project, as they were suggested by a few people here (including LS), and are considered the best ones. Personally, I hate that A) Some are still quite expensive these days, what with other ones being much cheaper, SSD drives becoming the norm (I've seen deals for some as low as 20 bucks), and black friday pretty much here now, and B), There's 5 or 6 similar Phantom Drives that look the same (all 2TB, as the pros here have suggested NEVER going over that size due to faulty issues with larger sized drives, which is OK cuz the amount of Home Movies footage I have shouldn't go over 2TB in AVI lossless format anyway) but have slightly different codes at the end of their names, varying prices, and varying reviews. I'll probably end up going with the more expensive ones simply cuz they usually have the better reviews and I don't have to take the chance of getting faulty ones just to try and save 20-40 bucks (Having a job now may take up my time getting around to doing this project, but at least it means being able to buy this stuff guilt free lol).

**UPDATE**

Found this sweet deal. Is this a good model? $79.99 for a 2TB Phantom Drive with a decent rating/score.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...&sku=M261-8322

Last edited by TylerDurden389; 11-25-2014 at 09:21 AM.
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  #9  
11-25-2014, 10:15 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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While USB drives aren't as fast as in-machine drives, I see where many people capture that way. The product shown is a "green drive", which spins down when not active and is a bit slow to start. I'd give it a try as soon as you get it. If it doesn't serve well, Newegg is easy to deal with. But you'll need an extra drive anyway. Won't take you long to find out why. I have cheaper USB drives like a Casio for storage only, not capture -- those little 2.5" drives are too slow for that.

Avisynth does look intimidating at first. I managed to avoid it for years until members here like lordsmurf and others at videohelp dragged me kicking and screaming into it. But it didn't take long, and now I can't live without it. The script lordsmurf posted earlier is daunting, but that script was designed to repair some really bad video. Most of the time it's not so complicated.

You should be using all 32-bit software, including VirtualDub, which belongs in the Program Files (x86) folder. Check to see that you installed the ATI according to guidelines in this thread: ATI 600 card doesn't work in Windows 7, how to use? (see posts #9 and #15). If you have jitter in your capture, that's usually something that a line tbc is designed to address. I believe your JVC has a tbc built-in (?). It should be enabled. The AVT won't help with line sync or jitter, but it should help avoid dropped frames. You can try a short capture without the AVT in circuit to make sure it's not causing a problem.

If you still have the same errors, it's time to look at JVC and Vdub settings.
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  #10  
11-25-2014, 10:57 AM
TylerDurden389 TylerDurden389 is offline
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Right, when I did my test run last night I didn't even touch the JVC or AVT to see what could be corrected (Picture and sound quality was fine so I just overlooked 'em. Rookie mistake lol).

Also, I plan on capturing the parts in segments, usually by events (Christmases, birthdays, etc..). I figure after I've gotten the scene captured, then I'd put it on the external storage drives and then my internal hard drive has space again.
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  #11  
11-30-2014, 12:15 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerDurden389 View Post
I'm getting the usual jitters, and the sound pitch keeps changing.
The pitch should not be changing. That implies you have the sound running to your sound card instead of the ATI 600 and/or have VirtualDub misconfigured. "Sync audio to video" is the setting that causes it to warble the pitch, but having said that, it should only create large changes if there is a big drop or drift between the two tracks.
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  #12  
11-30-2014, 10:49 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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[EDIT] oops! Started to suggest a couple of things but msgohan beat me to it.
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  #13  
12-01-2014, 02:09 AM
TylerDurden389 TylerDurden389 is offline
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Thanks for the tips MS. I'll fix that tomorrow.

Ok, I unplugged the wire that was going into my sound card from my tv. I used a second set of red, white, and yellows and set the wires as follows:

- 1st set of Red and white in capture card go into the VCR IN
- 2nd set of red and white goes from VCR OUT into the appropriate red and white plugins in the back of my tv.

I now have sound when I'm in capture mode. I can hear it as my vhs tape plays. However, in order to hear the captured video, I need to plug a 3rd red and white that has one black on the end back into the sound card so that I can hear the audio on my PC. Unfortunately, the captured video has no sound. Another thing to point out is that I get no dropped frames when there's no audio.

Next thing I need to point out is the setup in capture mode:

- Device is set to: 1 ATI TV Wonder (Direct Show)
- Video set to Overlay
- Audio options CHECKED: Enable Audio Capture, Enable Audio Playback, 0 Capture device
- In the timing section, resync is set to "Do not resync between audio and video streams"

I'm not supposed to have to keep switching the red and white wires in the back of my tv when going back and forth between capture mode and video editing mode right?
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  #14  
12-08-2014, 06:38 PM
themaster1 themaster1 is offline
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Have you tried with softwares like virtualvcr or Dscaler ? I advise u those
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  #15  
12-08-2014, 10:01 PM
TylerDurden389 TylerDurden389 is offline
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Nah never heard of them.

Alright, I went through the troubleshooting guide and saw that my system is running on DMA. I tested out smaller screen resolutions but that didn't help. i also tried to go down from 32 bit color to 16 bit color but the screen went black except for the cursor and then reverted back to 32 bit about 5-10 seconds later. I have no idea how to check the system's RAM settings or the hard drive cache, so those'll be the next things learn about and attack this.
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  #16  
12-14-2014, 02:50 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerDurden389 View Post
Ok, I unplugged the wire that was going into my sound card from my tv. I used a second set of red, white, and yellows and set the wires as follows:

- 1st set of Red and white in capture card go into the VCR IN
- 2nd set of red and white goes from VCR OUT into the appropriate red and white plugins in the back of my tv.

I now have sound when I'm in capture mode. I can hear it as my vhs tape plays. However, in order to hear the captured video, I need to plug a 3rd red and white that has one black on the end back into the sound card so that I can hear the audio on my PC. Unfortunately, the captured video has no sound.
What.. on.. earth?!

This sounds completely insane to me. Why are you connecting the VCR to the TV? Where is this "3rd red and white" coming from your sound card plugged into? Do you not have PC speakers or headphones? Why are you connecting anything to the VCR's inputs, especially the capture device?

It seems as though the sound you're listening to while the tape is playing is coming from the TV. That doesn't help the computer receive the signal.
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  #17  
12-14-2014, 08:41 PM
TylerDurden389 TylerDurden389 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
What.. on.. earth?!

This sounds completely insane to me. Why are you connecting the VCR to the TV? Where is this "3rd red and white" coming from your sound card plugged into? Do you not have PC speakers or headphones? Why are you connecting anything to the VCR's inputs, especially the capture device?

It seems as though the sound you're listening to while the tape is playing is coming from the TV. That doesn't help the computer receive the signal.
I don't have a monitor. I use my tv as a monitor. No PC speakers either. Yes, the sound is coming from the tv. Gotta admit, I knew one of the experts was gonna be confused about my setup. I guess using the tv is a big no-no lol. Should I buy a monitor ASAP to clear up this mess?
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  #18  
12-14-2014, 09:02 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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No. The easiest thing to do is forget about listening to the tapes while capturing. VirtualDub's Enable Audio Playback option often causes problems itself.

Unplug the cables from the back of the TV and plug those ones into your capture device (VCR output -> capture input). VirtualDub's Volume Meter can show you whether it's receiving a signal.
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  #19  
12-14-2014, 09:23 PM
TylerDurden389 TylerDurden389 is offline
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Thank you for the advice. Tomorrow's my day off so I'll have time to test this out. Hopefully this stops the dropped frames problem I'm having as well since it only happens when there's audio.

-- merged --

Alright, finally had a little time to test this out. Dropped frames are no longer an issue (thanks again MS) but sometimes the audio still goes a little outta synch. I also noticed that frames are now inserted. Another issue I've been having right from the get-go is that the audio has kind of an "echo" like sound. Plus I don't know what's up with the picture, but when I don't have a tape playing and I'm just on that blue screen, the picture is kind of "faded". It's darker than it should be and the letters have kind of a "shadow" or "ghost" to them.

-- merged --

Alright guys, after testing out some of my home movies and seeing no difference in the quality (pre-filters anyway), I've decided to put an end to this project. TBH, I simply don't have the time to be doing trial and error (got a new job a few months ago I'm happy to say). Also, with the exception of the first few hours of footage (the oldest recordings), the majority of the recordings look and sound fine. The clip I posted earlier is the worst looking and sounding footage and is one of only a few examples. Also, I'm the only one who cared enough to try to get the best quality possible, as my family can't tell the difference anyway.

So with that, I've decided to simply use virtualdub and audacity to fix up the picture and sound of my recordings that I did with the DVD player a year and a half ago. After that I'm gonna simply find some free or cheap blu-ray authoring software and make new copies of the new cleaned up footage, for only a few of my relatives that I know will actually care. As well as put everything on blu-ray for my parents and myself.

I'd like to give another thanks to LordSmurf, Premiumcapture, MSGohan, and anyone else I missed that have given out lots of advice. This site really is the best. And the information I got from here will definitely help me out in future (albeit smaller) editing endeavors.

Right now I'm just on the fence about whether to sell all the hardware I've purchased for this project. I'll probably hold onto the VCR, but I may sell the TBC, capture card and the external hard drives in the marketplace here sometime soon.

Peace!!
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