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  #1  
02-16-2015, 12:53 AM
olek olek is offline
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Hi, I'd like to archive about 30 home videos on VHS tapes recorded in SP (some NTSC some PAL). Goal is to store archival quality full videos on a family server and extract and compress "best" clips for sharing, primarily for viewing on the computer, possibly on DVD. I'd like to do minimal processing (other than error correcting) to retain as authentic a copy as possible (don't lose details in highlights or shadows, no blurring to remove noise, etc.).

The more I read on this website and others and the more I realize how much there is to this process than I thought and how complicated it can be. I don't have any previous experience with capturing analog video, so it's a little bit overwhelming.

My current setup: I have two VCRs 1) Samsung SV-5000W and 2) Sharp VC-780E (multi-system no conversion), Diamond VC500CTX USB capture, and using VirtualDub for capture. My plan is to capture uncompressed then archive in MPEG2.

I did some tests with the two VRCs and there's quite a difference in quality, samples attached. Both have pros and cons. The Samsung image looks more washed out but the Sharp has more noise, more lines of "garbage" on the bottom, and the "offset" of the interlacing is greater. Both look skewed (black on side). At some point the 5000W was outputting frames that looked like half the frame was interlaced and has was not, possibly doing some unwanted conversion/processing? Even worse, the same captured clips are different lengths (same start and end frame). I'm assuming this is due to dropped frames. Virtual Dub is reporting a variable frame rate around 32fps and is therefore dropping frames. On a side note, I don't understand why the frame rate from the VCR or capture device is variable and as high as 32fps. I thought NTSC was defined as 30 fps?

From what I've read here, at a minimum I would need to get a TBC (such as AVT-8710) and probably a better capture device, maybe even VCR. At that cost and since I'm only doing this once (I have a finite set of home videos) and I will probably run into more issues, I'm considering using a pro service (like this website). I'm wondering, since these are home videos that were not recorded or stored in very high quality, how much of a difference in quality can I expect from a pro service compared to the setup I have now (+TBC)?


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File Type: jpg VCR_Comparison_Sharp.jpg (66.7 KB, 5 downloads)
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  #2  
02-16-2015, 04:54 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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For less than 50 tapes, it's always better to just have it professionally done. It'll be cheaper and easier, and you'll likely get a much higher quality end result. The DIY method is really only suggested for serious video hobbyists with 100s of tapes.

Where are you, and what exact tapes do you have?

Note that we offer video services. (Most of our work is B2B, for studios, etc, but we also take small projects from individuals.)

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- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
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02-16-2015, 04:55 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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The tradeoffs include time and cost.
DIY takes a lot of your time and some investment in gear. (At least the gear can be resold once done).
A pro service charges, but you get to do other, perhaps more important, things with you time and don't need to build a new skill set you may use only once for this project.

Not all "pro" services are equal, some may be "pro" only in that they charge for their services and not the quality of the end result. If you plan to go pro, consider doing an "audition," send a representative (but expendable) tape as a test. If you are happy with the results, send more.

The folks who provide/staff this forum obsess about quality - be sure to consider them if you decide not to DIY.


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  #4  
02-16-2015, 10:59 AM
olek olek is offline
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Thanks for the quick replies!

I had originally considered "pro" services but was disappointed with all the top results from google. It seemed like they would just use one of those VHS to DVD converters and I didn't trust them with my only copies of these home videos.

It wasn't until I decided to do it myself and then found this website that I realized there are really professional services that do focus on quality where the people really know what they're doing. I particularly appreciate that people here are really willing to share their knowledge (not just sell you services) and that the owners (employees?), such as lordsmurf, are very involved! That being said, I'm still a little concerned about shipping the tapes. I'm considering copying the tapes as a backup first.

I'm outside of Boston and frequently travel to the north Jersey/NYC area, and occasionally to Nashville as well (I think I saw that Nashville is one of your locations?). I only have a few of the tapes with me (rest are in north Jersey) and the ones I have are TDK "Super Avilyn" T-120HS, I believe they're all about 2 hours (recorded in SP?). I'll find out about the rest.
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02-17-2015, 07:23 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Many services are only "pro" because they say so. Their work suggests otherwise.

The setup of the business is complicated (aren't they all?), but I'm once again in charge of the video work, yes. For the past few years, I wasn't in charge, due to health. I'm hopefully better now.

Shipping tapes is simply (1) package them well (padding! sturdy box!), and (2) ship them quick (priority!). I'm always floored by people that send us tapes in envelopes with no padding, and shipped via cheap rate. That's insane.

I'm more worried about damage, not loss. We've not had a loss issue, ever, for videos. We use a secure dropbox for mail. Between that, and your safe shipping, it's fine.

We're not in Nashville anymore. That's my "fault" (we moved back closer to more family due to my illness). I need to find where that is, and change it. Now that I'm back, I need to change a lot of things on lots of pages. Everything is several years out of date.

Contact Us, and we can get your memories converted.

- 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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  #6  
02-17-2015, 02:46 PM
olek olek is offline
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Thanks. I'll use the contact form.
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