Quantcast Capturing old VHS videos? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
11-16-2019, 08:58 AM
Ninja99 Ninja99 is offline
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After watching some old VHS tapes recently I would like to capture them in a digital format just to prevent those videos from deteriorating even further.

I've used the search function quite a lot and found some useful ideas. I decided to post so that I could narrow in on my final setup before I start to purchase.

Videos to Convert:
Majority of these are from the 90s and were recorded using I'd say "semi-professional" camcorders. I'm not sure as to what model/features these camcorders has, as we had hired "professional" cameramen for these. My guess is that these camcorders would cost in the region of 1,500 to 3,000 at retail.

They are all on VHS tapes, nothing on super S-VHS.

My current setup:
Very basic set up at the moment, in essence this is just a list of equipment I have found lying around at home.

Macbook Pro 2015
Intel Compute Stick Atom Processor with Windows 10 32-bit
EasyCap USB Capture Card (never used this at all)
Panasonic NV-SD440 VCR
Sony SLV-E720 VCR
Sony SLV-E820 VCR

I am looking at building a set up that would (possibly) include:
S-VHS Player - I have read the buying guide and had a look at a few models on eBay so far
Windows XP Machine - Looking at possibly restoring an old Dell Machine
External TBC
Capture Card

I would only do these in my spare time, and realistically looking at a budget of 500-650. Possibly I would consider doing these purchases in steps, i.e. setup the pc and capture card first, followed by the S-VHS player and then when I have more cash, buy an External TBC.

My questions would be, compared to using a basic set up such as what I currently have now, given the camcorder types that have been used would I see a dramatic/beneficial effect using a better setup?

Also, is it better to use an XP machine to capture? In terms of capture card, I am only looking to capture old VHS, so I do not need a capture card that does HD, 4K video etc.

Your help is much appreciated!

Many thanks
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  #2  
11-17-2019, 01:21 AM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Forget the EZCap and eBay searches and contact lordsmurf either through PM or his thread here: For sale: Complete workflow = JVC S-VHS + TBC + capture card! His prices are a bit more than your stated budget, especially with shipping to the UK, but they're guaranteed quality.

Also read this article for a tutorial on what a proper capture workflow entails:
http://www.digitalfaq.com/editorials...g-workflow.htm

Your VCRs aren't on the recommended list VCR Buying Guide (S-VHS, D-VHS, Professional) for restoring video, but he can give you some valuable input on them.
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  #3  
11-19-2019, 03:44 AM
Ninja99 Ninja99 is offline
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Given how my original videos were recorded would there be much difference in capture if I went for a better set up?

Also, would someone be able to provide me with some sample videos at all showing the difference? I thought that would be better than me just getting a generic video from YouTube.
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  #4  
11-19-2019, 05:47 AM
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650 is about $850, and that's a workable budget to build a complete workflow. For example, within that range, I can do a capture card + TBC(ish), and then help you select the right VCR for your needs. (And you can PM me about that.)

Yes, Youtube is where the blind lead the blind. So much horrid advice there. It's probably time we launch a channel there, to combat all the nonsense we regularly hear about.

I have a number of captures, for that specific request (crap VCR vs. recommended VCR), but not sure where they are at the moment. I'm so overloaded right now, disorganized, when it comes to my on-computer digital assets. Essentially, this is the difference: with a plain VHS VCR, the image has
- varying degrees of wiggles (slight or extreme)
- faint splotchy patches of random colors (chroma noise, usually red/blue misty noises)
- unnatural motions
- just an overall general grainy/noisy feel
- and then the biggie, the capture card balks at the lousy incoming quality signal, as capture cards demand clean signals, and VHS is inherently a flawed/chaotic/noisy signal

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- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
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  #5  
11-19-2019, 05:59 AM
Ninja99 Ninja99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
650 is about $850, and that's a workable budget to build a complete workflow. For example, within that range, I can do a capture card + TBC(ish), and then help you select the right VCR for your needs. (And you can PM me about that.)

Yes, Youtube is where the blind lead the blind. So much horrid advice there. It's probably time we launch a channel there, to combat all the nonsense we regularly hear about.

I have a number of captures, for that specific request (crap VCR vs. recommended VCR), but not sure where they are at the moment. I'm so overloaded right now, disorganized, when it comes to my on-computer digital assets. Essentially, this is the difference: with a plain VHS VCR, the image has
- varying degrees of wiggles (slight or extreme)
- faint splotchy patches of random colors (chroma noise, usually red/blue misty noises)
- unnatural motions
- just an overall general grainy/noisy feel
- and then the biggie, the capture card balks at the lousy incoming quality signal, as capture cards demand clean signals, and VHS is inherently a flawed/chaotic/noisy signal
Cool, would that 650/$850 include the VCR or would that be an additional cost?

Whenever you have time and manage to find the captures, if you can send them over that would be great. I have about 20 videos to convert split between 4 parties. So if I can show the others of capturing them using a proper system, I can get them to split the cost with me.
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  #6  
11-19-2019, 06:23 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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Yes, the $850 budget would cover the VCR.

I'll see if I can locate some files for you this week or next.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
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  #7  
11-19-2019, 07:26 AM
Ninja99 Ninja99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Yes, the $850 budget would cover the VCR.

I'll see if I can locate some files for you this week or next.
Thanks!

Also, which capture card and tbc do you have for my budget?
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  #8  
01-05-2020, 05:06 AM
Ninja99 Ninja99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Yes, the $850 budget would cover the VCR.

I'll see if I can locate some files for you this week or next.
Hi,

Did you manage to locate the videos?

Thanks
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  #9  
01-11-2020, 07:00 AM
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No, too busy. Nov/Dev was a really lousy time for us.

Still playing catch-up.

But honestly, you're not going to be impressed until you see the improvements on your own videos. That happens quite often. Seeing how the video is improved just doesn't have the same "wow" effect as seeing how your own videos gets improved.

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  #10  
01-11-2020, 08:17 AM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja99 View Post
I have about 20 videos to convert split between 4 parties. So if I can show the others [the benefits] of capturing them using a proper system, I can get them to split the cost with me.
If you plan to sell all of the equipment after, I wonder what % loss you'll take on the turnaround.

If you never get around to re-selling, your budget range gives a per-tape cost of $32.50 to $42.50. If delivered to a service instead, that would buy you some nice-looking transfers with near-zero time investment.
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  #11  
01-11-2020, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
If you plan to sell all of the equipment after, I wonder what % loss you'll take on the turnaround.
Depending on market conditions, 50% to 125% (yes, profiting off it) is average.

Quote:
If delivered to a service instead, that would buy you some nice-looking transfers with near-zero time investment.
Sadly, that's not necessarily true. Quality matters. A lot of "professional" places are video mills, and use low-end equipment.

For example, LegacyBox seems to only invest in radio commercials, as their quality of work is mediocre at best. They also seem to pay for biased "reviews" (fake!) by offering freebies to would be "reviewers". And then there's horror stories like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOrhXeJ2fdA (and ESPECIALLY watch the former employees at the 2-minute mark! yikes!)

When selecting a service, you must be extremely careful.

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  #12  
01-11-2020, 03:48 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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It is a world filled with good and bad news.

Bad news spreads faster than good news.
All it takes is one employee with a Monday AM hangover to ruin a lot of input.
One pi..ed-off employee can trash a lot of stuff no his way to quitting that day.
Old, poorly stored film and video tape can be problematic. It can become brittle and snap when played.
Only in government employment can one "attaboy" wipe out 1000 "ah sh.ts"

Entrusting valuables to an unknown involves risk. There is no way around that. Research can help mitigate that risk, but on-line reviews can be suspect. That is why some companies do "verified" reviews, which may provide some comfort if the company itself is reputable.
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  #13  
01-30-2020, 09:50 AM
Ninja99 Ninja99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Depending on market conditions, 50% to 125% (yes, profiting off it) is average.
Is that a 50% loss to a 25% profit, or a 50% to 125% profit?

Thanks
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