Quantcast Is my VHS-to-PC video setup optimal? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
04-19-2020, 12:57 PM
displays displays is offline
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I have been visiting this site for some driver related issues and stuff but got everything to work. I need to transfer a lot of VHS tapes to PC in the best quality possible without spending a lot on hardware.

Currently, I capturing with the following setup:
- VCR: Philips DVP3100V
- Connection: Composite cables
- Capture card: EasyCAP
- - Capture filter: Default (everything 128)
- Software: VirtualDub 2
- Compression: Lagarith Lossless Codec

Averaging at around 30-35GB/hour.

My questions are:
* Is there something I can improve?
* Are there settings good enough to throw away the original tapes? (If not, what is)
* Any tips? Am I doing something wrong? Tips for Handbrake processing?
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  #2  
04-19-2020, 01:34 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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You're using one of the worst possible setups, so the answer to question 1 is yes, there is a lot of room for improvement.

VHS/DVD combo player (the worst VCRs ever made) -> composite -> Easycrap Chinese garbage

An example of a proper workflow:
S-VHS VCR with selectable line TBC & DNR filter -> S-Video -> full-frame TBC -> ATI All-in-Wonder AGP capture card

Quote:
Originally Posted by displays View Post
I need to transfer a lot of VHS tapes to PC in the best quality possible without spending a lot on hardware.
What you're actually saying is that you don't care about the best quality. So what is your budget, your location, and how much quality loss are you prepared to accept?
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  #3  
04-19-2020, 02:19 PM
displays displays is offline
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Thank you for the reply

I am in the EU, my budget is $100-200 equivalent. Quality loss is a difficult thing for me, as I have nothing to compare it with.

Can you recommend where to buy that card or the second best after that one?
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  #4  
04-20-2020, 08:04 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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- VCR = terrible
- capture card = terrible
- software (VirtualDub) = excellent, continue to use that
- codec (Lagairth) = problematic, heavier CPU use, often causes dropped frames (even on "powerful" systems, because it owns the single core use for the capture), use Huffyuv instead

$200 is a weak budget, almost nothing can be done. At best, get the ES10/15 (added as passthrough), and cross your fingers. You'll still run into issues, but at least you'll start to see what can be possible with better hardware. You'll have some successes, some failures.

Ditch that $5 POS Chinese capture card.
It's not a "recommended" card, but even a Dazzle DVC100 isn't as crappy as the Easycap (aka Easycrap, a deserved nickname)

Do not throw away the original tapes. You will regret it, as you WILL someday have the means/motive to do a better conversion job.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
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  #5  
04-20-2020, 08:31 AM
displays displays is offline
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I can probably borrow a VCR from someone, so I will not buy one

Regarding the capture card, I have found the following for sale close to me:
- Avermedia AVERTV
- Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500
- ASUS Q3994
- VS-DVBT210RF
- TERRATEC Cinergy 400 TV
- Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1300
- Philips capture card (no model)
- MSI TV@nywhere Plus

Are they all better than Easycrap and worth buying?

So, if I can borrow a non-combo player, I am already better off. Plus a real PCI capture card and S-video instead.

Huffyuv is not difficult to use, as I just need to install it.
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  #6  
04-22-2020, 08:39 AM
dave_van_damn dave_van_damn is offline
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Can someone explain why EasyCap is poor? Is it because it drops frames or because the capture quality is poor? Or all of the above? People always say EasyCap is bad but rarely give reasons as to why.
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  #7  
04-22-2020, 12:05 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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In the first place, your "EasyCap" isn't even a genuine product. It's a an even worse Asian ripoff that doesn't spell the original product's name correctly. The original is spelled EZCap and costs several times more than the "EasyCrap" copies. The "genuine" EZCap itself is notorious for poor quality control, dropping frames, audio syc problems, poor audio response and "dirty" looking, garish color that's impossible to correct. Add video noise problems that don't exist on the original source and poor accutance that makes every tape player look like a cheap VCR.
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