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  #1  
01-07-2020, 01:43 AM
wyattladd wyattladd is offline
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Not sure if this is the correct thread.

I've tried to read a bunch and frankly, my head hurts. So I'm going to just ask the question even though it may have been answered elsewhere.

I have Hi8 tapes that I recorded from a Sony CCD-TRV98. Camcorder still works. I've looked and it says it has TBC, so I think I've read that is good.

I also have a Magnavox MDR 515. I'm original owner since around 2012. Originally purchased for this project but became very intimidated, so just used it as a DVD player. Now trying to bite the bullet and get this job done. DVR works as I just attempted to record to DVD tonight. I think it's my first time. I haven't finalized it as it was a 4 minute test and I don't want to waste the DVD, so I have no idea what it looks like on my computer.

My computer has Windows 10.

I have Verbatim DataLifePlus DVDs, DVD-R, Made in Taiwan.

Hoping that I could finally finish this project, I recently purchased an Elgato Video Capture. It is extremely easy to use and I've been very thankful for that. But as I'm sure you can guess, I'm not very happy with the video quality.

I'm not sure if it's the Elgato (which I know is not looked upon highly at this site), or if it's the actual source that's causing issues. The issue that is obvious to me is graininess. When video is smaller size, it looks better than when it's on my 55" tv, or even fullsize on my desktop monitor for that matter.

My original thought was to capture the videos and upload to a private YouTube channel to invite family members to view. It seemed like an easy way to have access to the videos, especially if family is far away. Plus it seemed an easy way to "store" the videos.

I was prepared for complications in my understanding of the technicalities of video transfer. Then I began reading about DVRs and I read that they can be very helpful for this kind of transfer.

If I have the right equipment for the job (I know the Elgato is not good), then is it possible to do halfway decent videos for memories? I'd be willing to purchase the Hauppauge 610, but I realize it is not the professional solution. (But do I really need a professional solution?)

I really just need a Dummies explanation of how to do things. I know how to make all the connections (S-video option, right?), but I don't know what settings I need to pay attention to while I'm recording to DVD.

For example, I assume TBC needs to be turned on when camcorder is in playback mode when recording to DVD? Or was it something used during the recording process on the camcorder?

Do I need to worry about 4:3 or 16:9 choices on either the camcorder or the DVR when recording to disc?

Do I record in HQ which the Mag manual says is the best quality? But it only gives 60 minutes of record time on each disc, then.

Once I get DVD finalized, put in computer and then I think use DVD Decrypter and follow the process here?
http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/vid...d-recorder.htm

Would I still need to run it through VirtualDub? Is there a Dummies guide for that? I read the much of the "Information Overload" thread, and frankly that's intimidating.

What about all those other acronyms? Should I be paying attention to Codec or AVI or any of the other more frequently used terms?

So, all this information is scrambled in my head and makes me overwhelmed so that I freeze up on this project. Is there someone who can help me sort it all out step by step so it's more manageable?

Thank you.

PS. The attachment is from Elgato Capture Device. I had turned on the "Preserve Source Format" option on the Elgato.


Attached Files
File Type: mp4 My Great Movie 2 preserve source format S-video.mp4 (15.32 MB, 11 downloads)
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  #2  
01-07-2020, 08:51 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Other threads and posts will go into detail on issues such as clean-up and restoration of video, and provide recommendations on hardware and software for use in capture and so on.

SD Home video, even Hi8 and S-VHS recordings, generally look bad on large screen HD TV sets. Especially indoor shots where lighting is usually not adequate. That results in lots of noise in the image, which may look bit like grain. This noise also kills quality when the file is compressed, as it must be for DVD and most other common distribution formats. The old analog home video formats tend to look best on the gear of their era, i.e., SD CRT TV sets smaller than 27 inches or so and viewed from a distance (not arms length as at a computer workstation).

The first question is how serious are you about this project in terms of how much time, energy and money you want to invest in learning curve, doing the job, and gear beyond what you already have (some of which can be resold when you are done). For a small number of tapes it may be easier and lower cost to hire it out to a good service (but be aware that a lot of services are not very good), unless you are doing this as a new hobby or a personal labor of love.

The second question is how good is good enough, and only you can answer that. Some folks would be content with your sample (but not most participants at this site). You know your audience and what they and you expect to produce. Quality takes time and effort.

The 1-hour DVD-R record mode is based on using the highest DVD data rate, aid is essential to getting the highest image and sound quality recording from noisy video sources in a direct to DVD dump. BTW, dumping the video to a DVD, then extracting the video and audio from the recorded DVD is not a good workflow for cleanup/restoration.
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  #3  
01-07-2020, 01:09 PM
traal traal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
Now trying to bite the bullet and get this job done... So, all this information is scrambled in my head and makes me overwhelmed so that I freeze up on this project. Is there someone who can help me sort it all out step by step so it's more manageable?
I would concentrate first on getting a high quality capture, and save restoration, DVD creation, YouTube uploads and so on for later. One step at a time, because your tapes and equipment aren't getting any younger! Remember to check your histogram. The video you uploaded shows the scene had too much dynamic range for the VCR sensor to capture (you can tell because the colored lights are white in the middle), and you don't want to make it worse during capture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
Hoping that I could finally finish this project, I recently purchased an Elgato Video Capture. It is extremely easy to use and I've been very thankful for that. But as I'm sure you can guess, I'm not very happy with the video quality... I'd be willing to purchase the Hauppauge 610, but I realize it is not the professional solution. (But do I really need a professional solution?)
The video you uploaded is H.264 which already threw away a lot of color information and detail in the shadows. The Hauppauge 610 has the same problem, as do DVD recorders. I think the Diamond VC500 works pretty well, at least for first generation tapes without macrovision.

Another problem with the video you uploaded is that it's 30 frames per second progressive (30p) when the source tape is actually 60 fields per second interlaced (60i). If the Elgato did that, then in addition to throwing away color information, it also threw away temporal information.

After getting a good capture and when you're ready to start restoration, one of the first things you'll want to do is correct the white balance in the video. That alone will make a world of difference! But if you try to do that with a H.264 source file, you will start to see compression artifacts (mosquito noise, macroblocking, etc.) so your Elgato really limits what you can do.

On the other hand, any capture is better than no capture, so if you're satisfied with your current workflow, why change anything?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
What about all those other acronyms? Should I be paying attention to Codec or AVI or any of the other more frequently used terms?
Pay attention to codec during capture. You should use a lossless codec like HuffYUV, not a lossy one like H.264.
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  #4  
01-07-2020, 01:18 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Diamond VC500
The Elgato Video capture has used similar chips/hardware to the VC500 before, though I don't know whether it still does. The software bundled with most capture devices tend to butcher quality though, use a program that can capture to lossless like Virtualdub, AmarecTV etc.

The camcorder you got is one of the Sony ones with TBC, so that piece of the puzzle is good at least.
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  #5  
01-13-2020, 01:26 PM
wyattladd wyattladd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
SD Home video, even Hi8 and S-VHS recordings, generally look bad on large screen HD TV sets. Especially indoor shots where lighting is usually not adequate. That results in lots of noise in the image, which may look bit like grain. This noise also kills quality when the file is compressed, as it must be for DVD and most other common distribution formats. The old analog home video formats tend to look best on the gear of their era, i.e., SD CRT TV sets smaller than 27 inches or so and viewed from a distance (not arms length as at a computer workstation).
Thanks, I didn't know that.
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  #6  
01-13-2020, 02:25 PM
wyattladd wyattladd is offline
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I'm sorry but I just cannot figure out how to answer multiple quotes in a response.

I appreciate the info re: using the DVR, so I'll abandon that idea.
None of the videos need to be perfect. They just need to jog our memories.
And I was hoping to involve my kids in the project, but if I'm having a hard time figuring all of this out, then I don't know how I can teach them. Really, I just wanted a plug and play type of scenario, but I was naive and had no idea of all the complications of this project.

I wasn't sure about sending the tapes off to have someone do them for me. I don't even remember what is on the tapes and so I'd have to watch them all and it seemed more of a hassle to pay someone for a video clip that I don't even want. Each tape probably has multiple events on it as we would tape some and then stop. Then tape another event and then stop. We maybe have 20-30 tapes.


So I ordered the Diamond VC500.

So here's what I think needs to happen:
Plug camcorder into VC500 and plug VC500 into the computer. Make sure TBC is turned ON on the camcorder?
Use VirtualDub to capture the video. Use these sugggested settings:
Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide]
Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide]

Seems like I need to use the histogram in VirtualDub. So does that mean I can't leave the computer at all? Because I need to watch the histogram throughout the copying? (This is where I was hoping to involve my teen kids.)

So any suggestions on how to save the capture(s)? Would they take up a huge amount of space on the computer? Should I put the captures on DVDs? That's why I was thinking of putting them on Youtube - so family could see and it didn't take up space on the hard drive. But I get the wisdom on learning one thing at a time with the first thing being capturing.

Thanks, all, for your patience with my questions.
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  #7  
01-13-2020, 02:40 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyattladd View Post
Seems like I need to use the histogram in VirtualDub. So does that mean I can't leave the computer at all?
You don't use Histogram during capture. You enable cropping on all sides, enable Histogram, preview a representative portion of the tape to hopefully find the extremes of bright and dark and set the Levels accordingly. Sometimes this is less than a minute of tape for me. For indoor shoots, sometimes there is no bright part until the person pointed the camcorder at a window, etc. May not happen until 20 mins into the tape. May require fast forwarding to look for extremes.

After you set the Levels of the Proc Amp, disable cropping, disable Histogram, hit Capture, and walk away. If it's a 2-hour tape, you can set Capture -> Stop Conditions to perhaps 7800 seconds (2h10m) so you don't have to be there to stop it, and can be sure you don't miss a little overrun.
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