Quantcast Archiving video for viewing? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
08-18-2009, 11:23 PM
matt- matt- is offline
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Hello Lordsmurf,

I am currently working on dubbing my family VHS videos over to digital storage. Unfortunately, I have been running into several problems. After reading through this forum and noticing your frequent advice, I decided to join. Perhaps you can help me.

Here is my setup:
VIDEO:
--Composite-----------------S-Video-------------------------------S-Video---------------USB--
GE VG4269 > Prime Image 50II TBC > DMR-ES10 (only when necessary) > Dazzle DVC-100 > P4 2.93 GHz Computer

I intend on getting a DMR-ES10 DVD recorder to pass through video as some tapes are badly damaged (Wavy video).
Note that the audio comes out of the VCR, through a home-made line pre-amp, then into the Dazzle (no need for ground loop isolator as there is no buzz).

So far, I've been using HuffYUV lossless with no audio compression using VirtualDub. Res: 640X480. NTSC-M 29.97 FPS.

Interlace artifacts is one problem.
I know most video archivers would be adamantly against deinterlacing video; however, I've been considering it. Aren't interlaced displays phasing-out? Is there a point to preserving interlace if the future is progressive? Rather than having a special player de-interlacing on the fly, I plan to blend the fields using a VDub filter. Am I missing something huge in this picture?

Storage is the main problem.
Rather than going the one disk per VHS route with bit-rates varying from video to video, I plan to standardize my bit-rates for 6 hours of storage per disk. After doing some excessive codec comparisons, I have been very surprised about the quality produced by H264 (using MeGUI). My initial bit-rate using DIV-X was 1616 kilobits. After switching over to H264, detail has been much better (despite the 15 hour encode time).

I now plan on using DVD-DL disks. This would put my bit-rate around 3000 kilobits/sec, dramatically increasing quality.

Using H264 seems like a good plan to me; however, I would like to standardize format. Is there a way to make these DVD-DLs playable using a Blu-ray player? This way, you don't need a computer to play this format all the time.
Is my thinking mess up by these means too? I know archivers want to be as lossless as possible, but I plan on creating viewable material, not editable.

I'm trying hard to stay ahead with technology. This video dubbing process has been a long journey. Hopefully it will be a successful one.

Thanks for reading through this mass of text,


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  #2  
08-19-2009, 08:06 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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So let me get this straight before continuing...

You have:
  • GE consumer VHS VCR
  • connected via composite (yellow wire) to
  • Prime Image TBC
  • connected via s-video to
  • Panasonic DMR-ES10 DVD recorder(pass-through only, as needed)
  • (and when in use) connected via s-video to
  • Dazzle DVC-100
  • connected via USB2 to Intel Pentium 4 2.93Ghz computer
Is that correct?

I worry about the composite/s-video crossover in the TBC. I think you're losing image quality by crossing, and relying on the Prime Image comb filtering.

A homemade line amp? Really? I'd love to hear more on this! I currently have a $100+ Tapco board between my VCR and DVD recorder (or capture card). Works well for volume, gain, and some EQ to pre-process for hiss or hum.

Software deinterlacing is still wholly inferior to what hardware inside televisions can do. A lot of broadcasted video is still 1080i, with no end in sight. It's going to be a while before it goes 1080p across the ATSC broadcast. Not to mention the understanding that cable, satellite and older formats (VHS,DVD) are all 480i. I would leave the video as-is, match the source. Once you deinterlace the video, it will never look better. Hardware, however, will improve in time, as will the video quality of your interlaced DVDs!

Never blend fields. Ewww, yuck. That makes a ghastly ghostly mess.

A 640x480 H.264 @ 3Mb/s is a decent allocation of bits, and at a size that will well more than retain all the quality found on the source tapes. It's also a standardized 4:3 video size. It won't play in anything right now, but a computer hooked up to a TV will be fine. Then again, to play an interlaced version of these files, you won't have access to the hardware deinterlacer in the TV, you'll be relying on the one in the software (on-the-fly, such as in VLC). But then again, quality of deinterlace will improve in time, on the on-the-fly software playback methods. I've witnessed this for quite a while.

I suggest against DVD-R DL for any reason. I suggest against DVD+R DL for "archival" needs. The second layer's longevity is still suspect. I author and create DVD+R DL discs, too, but I archive the source files to single-layer DVDs and/or hard drives. I don't trust the second layer, even on Verbatim, for "long term archival" storage.

Creating Blu-ray is something I'm not yet into. You'd want to check the specs, to see if 640x480 is allowed (I doubt it is, but could be wrong). And then BD-on-DVD is not necessarily supported (to my knowledge, but again, I could be wrong) by the Blu-ray disc specs. I have TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4, which does MPEG-2 BD authoring, as well as Premiere+Encore CS3 and CS4, which should do MPEG-2 and AVCHD/H.264 both. I can read the docs, but I'm sure same info is available on the pegasys-inc.com and adobe.com sites, if you want to seek out that info yourself.

Hopefully some of this has help you out.

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  #3  
09-22-2009, 07:22 PM
matt- matt- is offline
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Thanks for your response! Note that part of my questions have been directed here:
http://forum.videohelp.com/topic373336.html

Yes, you have interpreted the hardware chain correctly. Reading through the manual of the PrimeImage TBC, it stated that it could do composite to s-video transcoding; I decided to give it a try. I was skeptical so comparisons were done resulting in no visual change. I tried reading a Wiki page about "comb filtering" but I don't understand what it is. Comb filtering is irrelevant to interlace, correct? If you believe that I should stick with composite all the way through, I can make those changes. I had the idea s-video could help prevent quality degradation as it passes through equipment.

As with the DIY line amp, it isn't anything professional. I noticed that all my digital "mixers" on the dazzle were up all the way, the audio was still quiet so I needed an amp. When I went digging for parts, I found a 1 watt multimedia speaker amp based off a single Op-Amp chip. I housed it in a grounded metal box adding line in and out RCA jacks, a balance knob, additional capacitor filters, and replaced several signal wires with shielded wires pulled from an old VGA cable.

Yes, I will stick with preserving interlace when encoding. I see the importance.

Notice the other thread I created. You mention that you wouldn't suggest H264 for my current situation. Is that for playability reasons or because of a format quality problem? I may want to stick with DVD as I can simply copy and give it to others for them to easily play back.

I had no idea that DVD-9 medium had poor longevity. So are DVD-5 and a HDD storage array the only typical means of archiving for viewing?

I've checked the specs on the Blu-ray standards using various authoring tools including TMPEG. I mention in the other thread that the blu-ray standard would not be at all sufficient for my needs. The BD disk itself may not be, but I doubt I'll go that route either.

Thanks again and sorry for the delayed response.
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  #4  
09-25-2009, 12:12 AM
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I would suggest s-video straight through the whole way -- not composite. S-video is a higher grade signal. That's where the comb filter worry comes from.

Avoiding H.264 is for standards. There really is not a set standard on H.264 yet, not for broadcast, web or even Blu-ray -- temporary standards, yes ... final, not really -- so I'd stay with something that is firmly final. MPEG-2 for DVD-Video is a final format, it won't change. There will long be legacy devices for playing DVDs, but H.264 in its current form could disappear much like Divx has. Whether Blu-ray is a force to stay has yet to be seen, early response is still highly unimpressive (think Laserdisc!). Some would argue all this, but I err on the side of "archival safety" here. Most arguers do so from the side of fanboyism and techno-geekiness, they're not thinking long-term from a realistic point of view. Go with the devil you know.

DVD specs are already above the VHS data, so you're not going to lose anything going with a DVD< now will you really gain much from converting to Blu-ray. If this were something shot in the past year on new-age tech, this conversation would be fully different.

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