Quantcast Amassing Stuff - Now What? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
08-16-2009, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
The AVT-8710 arrived yesterday. Thanks much.

The proc amp I was hoping to obtain didnt work out, so I thought Id take stock of what I have and let someone knowledgeable advise me on next steps.

Hardware:

1. VCR Here I think Im set. I recently acquired two VCRs on eBay and both are excellent the 9800 is nearly new I cant find a mark on it anywhere.
a. JVC HR-S9800U
b. JVC SR-V10U
c. Mitsubishi HS-U576 4 head VCR - original owner, little use
d. Sony SLV-N88 4 head VCR original owner, even less use
e. Sony DCR-TRV230 Digital 8 camcorder
2. Capture Device Im willing to put in the extra time and steps of transferring to a PC and not a DVD recorder. I have a HP Media Center PC with over 1 TB storage space. The PC has S-Video and Firewire inputs.
3. TBC a pristine AVT-8710. . . .
4. Image Enhancer I purchased a Vidicraft Digitizer II inexpensively on eBay.
5. Proc Amp I bid unsuccessfully on two BVP-4+ units. On one, my last counter came in too late. I think I have three options here (I think (a+b) is the best option):
a. Try what I have and see if I like the results.
b. Stay on the lookout for a SignVideo or BVP-4+ unit on eBay at a reasonable price.
c. Look at alternatives there are a number out there, all seemingly with composite video, including
i. Leitch VPA-330N/331N
ii. PESA P-50 (???)
iii. Grass Valley 7510
iv. Grass Valley 3240
6. Cables I have a combination of Monster and AR (Best Buy) that seems to be fine.

Software:

1. Video Capture/Editing - I have the following:
a. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 11. This is the one Ive always gone to on projects because it did everything I needed and it was relatively easy to use, even though I had the feeling there were things Studio couldnt do but I might like to do.
b. Vegas Platinum 7 got it very cheap at a store closing and never really looked at it much.

Do I need something better/something else? Should I upgrade to Vegas Pro 9 or find a used Adobe Creative Suite (I can get a CS3 Master Collection on Craigslist for $200). Forum members seem to have their own software preferences.

2. Audio Editors Here Im in good shape, because Ive done some LP restoration.
a. Sound Forge 9
b. Diamond Cut 7 (amazing program for LP restoration)
c. Wave Corrector (similar to DC but not as flexible)
d. Roxio 2009
e. Audacity

3. Image editing - I have Adobe Photoshop 7 and GIMP.

So my questions are:

Where are there glaring shortcomings?
What should my next acquisition/upgrade be? What is the biggest bang for the buck?
Are any contemplated upgrades a waste of money?

Thanks again!
Wow! Nice list to start with. I'll will print this out and ponder it carefully for a day or two before writing back.

In the meantime, re-describe your projects to me again (or link to any past posts on digitalFAQ where this has been discussed recently), so that I can write advice that is very specific to your exact needs and project goals. I want to make sure we help you create a workflow that suits you, not just give generic advice. One of the advantages of being a Premium Member

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  #2  
08-17-2009, 08:40 AM
reframmellator reframmellator is offline
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I basically have three sources of media that I want to address:

1. VHS broadcast recordings these are things like Super Bowls, some TV series and news stories, etc. Im interested in optimizing their quality and preserving them by transfer to DVD. Editing may vary from eliminating commercials to inserting into a larger piece (see 3 below)
2. Windows Media Center broadcast recordings for archiving in general, these look OK when played through a larger TV, especially if an upconverting DVD player is involved, but as with 1) above, Id like to optimize quality.
3. Camcorder tapes in VHS, VHS-C, and Digital 8 formats first priority is to transfer them to a more stable format. A close second priority is to optimize quality. Third priority is to be able to edit/combine footage to make well-produced home movies what Ive done in the past with Pinnacle. Things like titles, fades, crawls, pan and zoom, etc., are as important as the ability to optimize video and audio quality.

Hope that's helpful.
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08-17-2009, 09:58 PM
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Two updates -

I found an Elite Video BVP-4+ hidden as a video processor and bundled with an Elite duplication station. It was the last thing I was looking for, hardware-wise.

I forgot to mention that I have some VHS-C footage that shows only partially upon replay. The camcorder had a loose tape path guide that would flex some under tension. I don't if a line and/or full frame corrector can recover it, or at least improve it, but I hope to find out.
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  #4  
08-19-2009, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
1. VHS broadcast recordings – these are things like Super Bowls, some TV series and news stories, etc.
Are these your own recordings? If so, what is the recording mode? SP, LP, EP/SLP? Also ifso, then do you have any of the VCRs that originally recorded these tapes? (Just in case.)

Quote:
Windows Media Center broadcast recordings
I don't use WinXP MCE, so you'll need to tell me the specs of the files (codecs, bitrates, resolutions, etc). Use GSPOT for this, if you need. (Not sure what GSPOT is? Ask for more info, I will reply.)

Quote:
3. Camcorder tapes in VHS, VHS-C, and Digital 8 formats
Same question as before... Your own recordings, what odes, have original cameras, etc... (Yes, this can be useful.)

Suggesting what a person ues for their collection differs highly from a setup such as mine, where I can never tell what sort of jacked-up tape a customer might send in. (I have to invest in a significantly wider array of hardware.)

Quote:
Third priority is to be able to edit/combine footage to make well-produced home movies – what I’ve done in the past with Pinnacle. Things like titles, fades, crawls, pan and zoom, etc., are as important as the ability to optimize video and audio quality.
My work starts after the camera turns off (I'm not a shooter), and then I do "my thing" ... sometimes before the edit, sometimes after. Editing is something I do at an intermediate level -- it's all my projects ever require. I very much want to learn broadcast-level editing. For this, I must practice more with Premiere, Vegas and Final Cut Pro. I suggest you look into consumer Adobe Premiere Elements and/or the professional Adobe Premiere CS4.

Something like Pinnacle will seem very basic (very "Mickey Mouse") as your skills at editing video progress.

Quote:
I found an Elite Video BVP-4+ hidden as a video processor
Awesome! Did you find this because of an eBayer with no idea what he/she had? That's how you can get the best deals!

Quote:
bundled with an Elite duplication station
I honestly have no idea what this is. I'd love to see some images, hear more about that. By the time I started to use Elite gear, they had already divested themselves of their video hardware business. I had previously been using Studio1/SignVideo gear.

Quote:
I forgot to mention that I have some VHS-C footage that shows only partially upon replay. The camcorder had a loose tape path guide that would flex some under tension. I don't if a line and/or full frame corrector can recover it, or at least improve it, but I hope to find out.
I usually give up on tapes like this. The errors are just impossible to deal with. So much time and effort (and therefore costs!) are involved, that it's not an option for most customers. Luckily, no such messed-up tapes are in my personal archives. I wish you much luck on these. I do have some partial success running these through really old 1970s VCRs, or a Panasonic AG-1980P S-VHS deck, but even that is hit-or-miss. TBC doesn't have any affect whatsoever, in my experience.
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08-19-2009, 09:36 PM
reframmellator reframmellator is offline
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Good questions!

Most of my broadcast videos are EP, and of those, it's only things like sporting events and the like that I'm most interested in keeping around. Most of the SPs are recorded that way because I wanted to keep them. The Mistu and Sony VCRs were numbers 3 and 4 respectively, so some of the tapes can be matched to their source. So far, I've been fortunate in that any VHS tape I've tried has played back without incident - knock on wood.

Windows Media Center-

The following table lists the video file types that are supported in Windows Media Center.

Video file types (format)
File name extensions

Windows Media file
.wm and .asf

Windows Media Video file
.wmv

Windows video file
.avi

Movie file
.dvr-ms, .mpeg, .mpg, .mpe, .m1v, .mp2, and .mpv2

Win Media Center saves files in .dvr-ms format, 29 frames/sec, 80179kbps video data rate, 720x480. In the past, I've had no trouble moving recorded dvr-ms files into Pinnacle and manipulating them there - things like a montage of news clips about our startup company. But I'll look into GSPOT -I'd like an explanation of it, please.

Camcorder tapes - are all in SP mode (120 min VHS, 30 min VHS-C, and 60 min D-8). VHS camcorder was recorded on a GE camera, long since gone, as is the JVC VHS-C unit (the one with the bad tape guide post.)

I have a lead on an excess Adobe CS3 Master Collection from a business liquidation. I'd like to spring for the CS4, but for now anything within my current budget is likely pirated.

As for the BVP-4, I don't think he got it. He started the bidding at $9.99 and listed it as an "Elite video processor and duplication station, lot." $88.75 for both. I tried to post the eBay pic but no joy. I'll send a pic when it gets here.

By the way, so far, on two or three pretty decent tapes - one off air, one commercial - I see differences with the AVT-8710 and subtle differences with the Digitizer II - most pronounced in detail adjustments. I expect some poorer quality tapes will show bigger effects. Also, these are through the JVC HR-S9800U which as you have noted is an incredible unit. It does amazing things to a tape. I A/B'ed it against the Sony and the improvement is impressive.

I've pretty much reconciled myself to losing the bad VHS-C footage, but ya never know. I figure I'll go through what I have with the setup I have and maybe try a Panasonic later if there's much left.

FWIW, I've heard Premiere Elements is pretty basic and quite incompatible with Premiere Pro.

Thanks much for the advice.
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  #6  
10-04-2009, 08:39 AM
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Looking back at this, I see Goldwave audio editor as an omission. It can have more artifacts that Audacity or DiamondCut 7, but sometimes it's the best (lesser of evils) choice.

Since you don't have anything aside from SP mode tapes, I don't see much reason in getting the Panasonic AG-1980P, which can work better than the JVC with certain tapes (usually longer play modes). The VHS-C damage you describe is often uncorrectable recording damage, no player will help with it. I get these kinds of tapes a few times per year.

My only concerns about Vidicraft detailers are the composite in/out on them. Your quality is going to be better on a Studio 1 or SignVideo s-video based detailer. I don't recall if the Vidicraft IV has s-video or not. I actually know somebody with one for sale, I can check with him (and if you're interested in buying it, let me know -- price is very fair).

I've started to use Pinnacle Studio 12 in various tests, and I don't really like it for an editor -- it's best as a capture software for compatible cards/sticks. It appears to be as powerful as Womble software, which I would use over Pinnacle's ware. Pinnacle DOES however, have decent encoding, unlike Womble.

That's all -- just had a few follow-up thoughts.

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