Quantcast Opinion of my current workflow? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
03-08-2021, 09:55 AM
J2fusion J2fusion is offline
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Hello Everyone,

This is my first post here as I just joined and have been reading some of the posts and I must say, the knowledge here is incredible. More so as fewer people have been needing to transfer from old VHS tapes as time passes. I expect this will be a lost art soon similar to manually adjusting the spark as you drive in a Model Tremember those. That said, like DetroitPaula I have a collection of VHS family tapes I want to transfer to digital. Also like her I am a Mac user though, since Im the family historian, Ive been planning this as a retirement project for years. I purchased equipment years ago new and have dabbled with it off and on since I bought it. Here is my list of equipment:

JVC SR-VD400U DVHS
JVC HR-DVS3U SVHS/DV (I have a few DV tapes from various camcorders)
Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U
Apple 24 iMac from 2007 set up to exclusively record video.
Various inexpensive Sony VHS VCRs for rewinding tapes, etc.

Ive made successful transfers over the years but after reading the posts here, Im not sure I am getting the best quality since I did not see my connection method mentioned here. I am currently connecting the FireWire in/out from my JVC SR-400U directly to the iMac and using an old Apple developer program called AVCVideoCap that directly dumps the FireWire data stream to hard disk. The JVC outputs an MPEG2 data stream through a build in TBC that I record. The resulting recording is stable as even blank spots in between takes maintain sync although it takes a couple of seconds for the video to stabilize. My reasoning of recording this way is the signal is going through a minimum of electronics by going directly to MPEG2 and, in the case of camcorder tapes, the luminance and color were never squashed together in an NTSC signal.

I would really love to hear what others think.

-- merged --

Sorry I should have included the MPEG2 Data rate at 9.93Mbits/sec. seems somewhere between Broadcast and DVD. Sorry about that.
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  #2  
03-08-2021, 11:53 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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I've done that method -see here- but compared to a lossless capture the difference is night and day not to mention that a D-VHS deck costs an arm and leg now.

True story: I got my JVC HM-DH5U for $100 with 14 pre recorded tapes, So I decided to sell the D-Theater tapes since I have no use for them, to my surprise the tapes were sold for over $1500 in total, didn't know that they are collector's items, The deck is selling on ebay for over $1000 now, Crazy world.
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  #3  
03-08-2021, 12:30 PM
J2fusion J2fusion is offline
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Interesting I looked at the thread you posted and the images from the two different methods ant the MPEG4 definitely has a higher saturation. I might rethink my process. I did forget to mention that I'm am bringing the video into Final Cut Pro for editing and conversion to Apple ProRes422 for archiving.

I know what you mean about prices. I happen to find the ebay slip for my Mitsubishi when getting the equipment together and in 2007, I bought it new for $175.00. I never bought any D-Theater tapes but is is amazing what can become collectable.
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03-08-2021, 02:15 PM
bookemdano bookemdano is offline
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Wow, I had no idea there were devices that would transfer MPEG2 over firewire. Interesting!

Anyway, if you want to stick with your Mac but capture lossless you may want to look into some threads/posts here by the user jwillis84. He detailed a few different capture boxes that worked well for him in OS X.

Namely:

honestech Vidbox NW07 + Videoglide software (make sure you specifically seek out the NW07 as none of the others work with Videoglide). It uses USB 2.0 and Videoglide can capture uncompressed.

AJA Io (LA). AJA has always made pro gear, and these old boxes can be had cheapish on ebay. If you can spare the space, I recommend the full-size rack mount Io over the more petite Io LA, mainly because the former can accept audio connections at consumer levels. The Io LA can only accept balanced audio sources, and to make matters worse you have to use an unwieldy, expensive breakout cable to do it.

Both boxes use Firewire 400 connections, but they use their own drivers (you can't use AVCVideoCap). They are designed to work in conjunction with legacy FCP and work best under snow leopard. Very high quality captures!

You could also just do bootcamp on the iMac to run XP or Win7 and get a PC capture card + VirtualDub like most users here do.
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  #5  
03-11-2021, 06:52 PM
J2fusion J2fusion is offline
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Thanks for the information bookemdano, I’ll check out some of your suggestions. While I have you, any suggestions on how to at least temporarily fix a broken VHS tape so I can digitize it? I’ve heard horror stories about how a splice breaks a head when it passes over. Something I would like to avoid. Also, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of splicing supplies and/or equipment any more.

In any case, s for all your help.
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  #6  
03-11-2021, 07:27 PM
bookemdano bookemdano is offline
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I've never done it but this is probably the best way to go:

https://www.repairfaq.org/sam/vcrfaq.htm#vcrrdobt
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  #7  
03-12-2021, 01:15 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J2fusion View Post
Also like her I am a Mac user though, since Im the family historian, Ive been planning this as a retirement project for years. I purchased equipment years ago new and have dabbled with it off and on since I bought it. Here is my list of equipment:
Apple 24 iMac from 2007 set up to exclusively record video.
What OS X version? Videoglide and certain cards may be your best path here.

Quote:
JVC SR-VD400U DVHS
JVC HR-DVS3U SVHS/DV (I have a few DV tapes from various camcorders)
Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U
Various inexpensive Sony VHS VCRs for rewinding tapes, etc.
Excellent.

Quote:
Ive made successful transfers over the years but after reading the posts here, Im not sure I am getting the best quality since I did not see my connection method mentioned here. I am currently connecting the FireWire in/out from my JVC SR-400U directly to the iMac and using an old Apple developer program called AVCVideoCap that directly dumps the FireWire data stream to hard disk. The JVC outputs an MPEG2 data stream through a build in TBC that I record. The resulting recording is stable as even blank spots in between takes maintain sync
I want/need a copy of AVCVideoCap. If under 99mb, please attach to this thread. If over 99, PM me.

That method may be fine. I like MPEG capture, when done well. It has its place -- non-restoration, and non-editing (simple editing allowed, major editing can pose problems).

Quote:
although it takes a couple of seconds for the video to stabilize.
Hmm. Odd.

Quote:
My reasoning of recording this way is the signal is going through a minimum of electronics by going directly to MPEG2 and, in the case of camcorder tapes, the luminance and color were never squashed together in an NTSC signal.
I would really love to hear what others think.
Sorry I should have included the MPEG2 Data rate at 9.93Mbits/sec. seems somewhere between Broadcast and DVD. Sorry about that.
9.9 is almost max DVD specs (10.08), not broadcast (15-50). That can be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
I've done that method -see here- but compared to a lossless capture the difference is night and day
I don't know about night-and-day, but I'll look at your samples.

Quote:
not to mention that a D-VHS deck costs an arm and leg now.
Some yes, some no. D-VHS decks were always attuned to SP mode playback only, so they're often not really desired by those transferring VHS unless SP only project. On my deck grading scale, most get B+ at best, often B-.

Quote:
True story: I got my JVC HM-DH5U for $100 with 14 pre recorded tapes, So I decided to sell the D-Theater tapes since I have no use for them, to my surprise the tapes were sold for over $1500 in total, didn't know that they are collector's items, The deck is selling on ebay for over $1000 now, Crazy world.
Neat story. Congrats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J2fusion View Post
Interesting I looked at the thread you posted and the images from the two different methods ant the MPEG4 definitely has a higher saturation. I might rethink my process. I did forget to mention that I'm am bringing the video into Final Cut Pro for editing and conversion to Apple ProRes422 for archiving.
If just saturation, easy fix in FCP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookemdano View Post
Wow, I had no idea there were devices that would transfer MPEG2 over firewire. Interesting!
Interesting, but fiddly. It's not even something I want to mess with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J2fusion View Post
While I have you, any suggestions on how to at least temporarily fix a broken VHS tape so I can digitize it? Ive heard horror stories about how a splice breaks a head when it passes over.
A broken tape = two new tapes.
Yes, non-tape on heads (referring to the VHS tapes, not "tape" as in Scotch, duct, etc) will ruin heads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookemdano View Post
I've never done it but this is probably the best way to go:
I didn't read that, but be wary of any splicing/join method. By contrast, making two new tapes carries no risks. This isn't the 90s, or even the 00s, where VCR repair is easy (parts, repairmen, OEM service centers). Now, if you break it, you're screwed, and it's a costly mistake.

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  #8  
03-12-2021, 07:49 AM
bookemdano bookemdano is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I didn't read that, but be wary of any splicing/join method. By contrast, making two new tapes carries no risks. This isn't the 90s, or even the 00s, where VCR repair is easy (parts, repairmen, OEM service centers). Now, if you break it, you're screwed, and it's a costly mistake.
Never fear, it's the two tapes method
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  #9  
03-12-2021, 07:59 AM
J2fusion J2fusion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post

What OS X version? Videoglide and certain cards may be your best path here.
10.7.5


Quote:
I want/need a copy of AVCVideoCap. If under 99mb, please attach to this thread. If over 99, PM me.

That method may be fine. I like MPEG capture, when done well. It has its place -- non-restoration, and non-editing (simple editing allowed, major editing can pose problems).
I've attached it to this thread. The program itself is very lightweight only 6MB. I compressed it to preserve its integrity. Please note this program is a program from Apples Software Development Kit so it's a 32bit program and does not have Apple's usual spit and polish. For example, if you close the capture window, there is no way to reopen it without quitting and restarting the program. I still have the original full SDK as it appears Apple has removed it from their site. I found a short article about it here. https://www.pressleypress.com/blog/?p=35


Quote:
although it takes a couple of seconds for the video to stabilize.
When I say a couple of seconds to stabilize I mean the playback is rock steady but you can see the DVHS locking on the the signal. Hard to explain.


Quote:
A broken tape = two new tapes.
Yes, non-tape on heads (referring to the VHS tapes, not "tape" as in Scotch, duct, etc) will ruin heads.
That is a great idea! I have plenty of old tapes lying around that don't have anything interesting on them. I was really worried about how to do it, thank you big time..

Thank you lordsmurf for all your suggestions and to you too bookemdano...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookemdano View Post
Never fear, it's the two tapes method
Funny, I read the article but didn't get the two tape method. I thought it was just telling me to splice the tape back into a new cassette. Must have been too sleepy. Thanks for the info bookemdano


Attached Files
File Type: zip AVCVideoCap.zip (1.41 MB, 4 downloads)
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  #10  
03-13-2021, 10:25 AM
J2fusion J2fusion is offline
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One more thing...

Does anyone know of a program that just cuts sections without transcoding? I just want to trim blank sections off the beginning and end of my originals without any conversion. Everything I have fond so far, Handbrake, EditReady, VLC even Final Cut, do not seem to have an option of not transcending on save.

Thanks everyone for your help.
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