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  #1  
11-29-2015, 12:08 AM
SoManyTapes SoManyTapes is offline
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Hi,

I am facing the gruelling challenge of archiving my extended family's home movie collection. This is hundreds of PAL VHS tapes, mostly camcorder footage from the late eighties/early nineties. The tapes I have looked at appear to have been stored properly and haven't deteriorated very much, however some would probably benefit from a bit of post-processing.

My main goals
- Capture all the VHSes in an uncompressed format that will allow me to optionally do some restoration work
- Store archive-quality versions on my NAS
- Later: batch-encode to formats that are easily watchable for my family (eg. DVDs and/or h.264 for copying to iPads).
- Later: attempt to catalogue the video content (no idea yet how I'm going to do this, considering it out of scope for now)

I have captured some of the tapes before and produced DVDs of them but was never too satisfied with the quality. I was hoping for a critique of my planned capture setup and some suggestions for improvement.

My current capture setup:
- Sony SLV-EZ77 consumer-grade VCR
- JVC GR-DX75 with analog passthrough
- Capture via FireWire using WinDV/VirtualDub
- Basic post-processing with AviSynth

The problems as far as I'm aware with this setup:
- Consumer-grade deck: unfortunately probably not going to resolve this one, I am having a lot of trouble finding a good SVHS deck.
- Lack of time-base correction
- Capturing via DV results in compressed AVI source that's not so ideal for restoration - PAL colour space for DV is 4:2:0.

I am planning to upgrade my setup by:
- Buying a AVT-8710 TBC
- Using a capture card instead that will let me capture at 4:2:2 (or even 4:4:4 but that hardware is out of my budget ) and store as a Huffyuv/Lagarith lossless AVI.
- Continuing to search for a SVHS deck

For a capture card, I'm having trouble choosing from the following options:

- Buy a BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle - I have seen these have issues capturing VHS which are often resolved by the use of a TBC. Since I am getting the AVT-8710 TBC this should be okay?
- Using my old LifeView FlyVideo 3000 PCI capture card - this has a Phillips SAA7134 chipset, I don't know if that's good or bad...?
- I have an EasyCap USB device that I have never used, I guess I could use that but I don't know about the quality.
- Buy any other modern capture device (Hauppage Colossus? StarTech?)
- Rescue an old machine with AGP and try to find a ATI All-In-Wonder card - but which one?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated
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  #2  
11-29-2015, 10:11 AM
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Since there are a few solutions.

Here are just an example

only problem is to find the right matching for receiving recorder.
If you're unlucky, you have to try more than 5 recorder.

addendum
The audio delay can be corrected in the postproduction yet.
if you digitized a few movies


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File Type: jpg _Captureloesung 1.jpg (54.7 KB, 70 downloads)

Last edited by Goldwingfahrer; 11-29-2015 at 10:22 AM.
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  #3  
11-29-2015, 07:52 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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"...hundreds of PAL VHS tapes..." represents a lot of time, and uncompressed storage, and effort on your part. I trust there is an audience waiting to watch the resulting videos. (A restored and converted video that no one watches is of little value beyond the fun of doing it.)

Other posts, threads, and forums here go into detail as to the recommended hardware, software, and work flows to do the task at hand. The used gear market is a good source for much of it, but it takes time, continual monitoring, and a bit of luck to find good deals.

But first you should assess how much you are willing to spend on this task, both money and time, and how good is good enough. With that you can go about the decision making process, and then buying the needed gear. Hundreds of tapes to convert gives a broad base against which to amortize any purchases.
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11-30-2015, 10:06 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoManyTapes View Post
I am facing the gruelling challenge of archiving my extended family's home movie collection. This is hundreds of PAL VHS tapes, mostly camcorder footage from the late eighties/early nineties.
Adding to dpalomaki's earlier post, "gruelling" is an apt description of much VHS work, although the level and extent of problems vary. Every tape tape is different even when formats are similar. In my own experience, which started in 2004, I didn't make a count of the number of tapes, but I did know the time involved from notes on tape cassette labels: there were a total of 380 hours recorded on both cheap and expensive tapes and several VCRs good and bad. I don't mean to say that I spent all of the last few years continuously on the project. There were breaks of several weeks, months, and a year or two off here and there. I now have about 40 hours remaining. And it wasn't all gruelling: a lot of it worked out easier than I expected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoManyTapes View Post
The tapes I have looked at appear to have been stored properly and haven't deteriorated very much, however some would probably benefit from a bit of post-processing.
VHS always needs post-processing. The effort depends on your expectations. VHS is riddled with noise. You might think the noise is just the usual tape grain, but it's more than that: chroma noise and rainbows, combing from sloppy interlace playback, spots, dropouts, ripples, halos and edge ghosts, invalid luma and chroma levels with crushed darks and blown out highlights, sudden changes in color balance, buzzing edges, color bleeding, chroma shift, and a host of others. The typical NLE, and even some very expensive prosumer "editors" are not adequate for the task of cleanup. The problem with noise is that digital encoders don't expect it. They hate noise. None are designed to ameliorate it. Encoding makes noise look worse than the original source, and wastes data bits Cleanup is the subject of hundreds of capture and restoration threads in forums like this one. Fortunately, almost all tools for this cleanup are free, as are many high quality encoders.

There are three main reasons why experienced users and pros recommend lossless and lossless compression for analog capture. First, you have the right idea in that lossless media is a primary requirement for effective cleanup of analog defects. Second, capture to lossy compression (such as DV) adds more artifacts to the project, something that simply compounds the turmoil and sometimes makes cleanup impossible. Third, lossless media can be archived and encoded to any desired format with no additional compression loss in the final encoding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoManyTapes View Post
I have captured some of the tapes before and produced DVDs of them but was never too satisfied with the quality. I was hoping for a critique of my planned capture setup and some suggestions for improvement.
No surprise about quality problems. You're now a card carrying member of a very large worldwide society of dissatisfied users, LOL!. It does take some learning to identify and solve quality issues, but it's a quick learning experience if you submit a short edit or two for analysis. One short video is worth a multitude of guesses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoManyTapes View Post
The problems as far as I'm aware with this setup:
- Consumer-grade deck: unfortunately probably not going to resolve this one, I am having a lot of trouble finding a good SVHS deck.
- Lack of time-base correction
- Capturing via DV results in compressed AVI source that's not so ideal for restoration - PAL colour space for DV is 4:2:0.
PAL SVHS VCRs are indeed difficult to find, but many somehow locate them. The average VCR makes the work tougher. Two of the biggest problems are the nature of tape playback itself: it's not stable or consistent; scanlines within frames don't arrive "on time", so verticals and angular lines and borders have warps, notches, and wiggles. Frame rates vary as well, so there are audio sync problems, dropped or duplicate or hopping frames imposed by capture devices (which, like most digital devices, expect a clean, stable signal). Even the most highly touted of them, like the Black Magic device mentioned, aren't equipped for plain old VHS. Then there's the problem of dot crawl via composite cable, a glitch that's difficult to clean without seriously degrading the video.

There is a workaround for dot crawl, scan line errors, and frame timing. Many use a legacy DVD recoder as a tbc pass-thru device. The VCR is connected to the pass-thru unit, whose output is connected directly via s-video to the capture device. These pass-thru's have internal line and frame sync tbc's and y/c comb filters that can clean the signal. No one pretends that these are as powerful as built-in line-level tbc's or outboard frame tbc's like the AVT or TBC-1000, but they work surprisingly well. The pass-thru units most often recommended are Panasonic DMR-ES10 and ES15 DVD-Rs. Some have used later products but without the same results, and most such products can't be used as pass-thru. The ES10/15 were very popular for both NTSC and PAL and are not that difficult to find, at decent prices. In some cases with very aged tapes it might still be necessary to add an AVT-8710 or similar tbc between the pass-thru and the capture device.

There was some discussion about the ES10/ES15 having color problems but those rumors are discounted. Another forum has a long thread with a lot of verbiage, examples, charts, and images concerning pass-thru units: http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/3...hat-do-you-use.

With PAL VHS to DV, 4:2:0 or other colorspace aren't the problem. The problem is that DV color and VHS color are two different color systems -- similar but not alike, and not very friendly. Analog to DV has a plastic look to it, is prone to clipped brights, lacks much of the original textural subtleties, and somehow never looks quite right. Of course DV compression, DCT ringing, and sloppy interlace make the noise situation worse.

VirtualDub capture in an XP machine is most often recommended, although some devices can be used in Win7.
- Canopus and StarTech: DV only, and Canopus is too overpriced considering the resuls.
- Black Magic devices have more than just tbc problems, as reported in this forum. It's a lot to pay when less expensive devices optimized for VHS-to-lossless do as well or better.
- EZCap is much maligned, notably because there are so many cheap and terrible spinoffs of the real thing. Some have used the original, even if it isn't the best. One could do better, many do worse. The only only genuine EZCaps are manufactrured by one outfit: http://www.ezcap.tv/.
- There's no doubt that the old ATI AGP All In Wonders were so good at analog capture that people still spend an arm and a leg to get them, even if they now sell at lower prices than when new. This could be quite a trek. My 7500 Radeon and ATI 9600XT were purchased new, 'way back then. It's to their credit that they still work and were likely the best of the lot. But those and AGP PCs or motherboards are not easy to find.

Users have good results with ATI 600 USB cards, and I've seen many good captures with the Diamond Multimedia VC500.

You're invited to submit a few seconds of unprocessed original AVI capture if you like. Ask if you have problems making a short few seconds to post.

Wishing you good luck....
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  #5  
11-30-2015, 10:46 AM
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Goldwingfahrer Goldwingfahrer is offline
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Quote:
of them, like the Black Magic device mentioned, aren't equipped for plain old VHS.
But the post I wrote nothing about the Blackmagic cards and analog.
But only from HDMI and SDI in, with the BM card, so already in digital form.
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  #6  
11-30-2015, 05:32 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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SoManyTapes mentioned BM in post #1, near the bottom of the post.
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  #7  
11-30-2015, 06:26 PM
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Post 4
Quote:
Even the most highly touted of them, like the Black Magic device mentioned, aren't equipped for plain old VHS. Then there's the problem of dot crawl via composite cable, a glitch that's difficult to clean without seriously degrading the video.
My 2 Black Magic are for HDMI and SDI in
and I have shown in the picture post. 2

I have not written anything about the analogue terminals of the BM cards, these are worthless.

Tomorrow I'll test a Datavideo TBC 1000, see image 2 in the article ..... instead of AVT-8710
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11-30-2015, 07:09 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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FWIW, I ran some quick tests of the BlackMagic Intensity Pro and newer Intensity Pro 4K capture of NTSC SD SMPTE color bars from component, s-video, and composite signals. The capture software was Edius Pro 7 and BMD's Media Express.

The Intensity Pro capture levels were correct.
The Intensity Pro 4K levels were off for component video input, but S-video and composite were close.
BMD is aware of this, and a fix in in their queue, but no estimated data for a fix.

This was a spot test of capture of a stable, known signal. In general the BM devices require a stable source with good sync signal. They are not forgiving of sloppy signal sources such as old VCRs and tapes. Although the 4K may be more forgiving, it is less accurate as it stands.
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  #9  
12-01-2015, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
In general the BM devices require a stable source with good sync signal.
Exactly.
so I'll just have the HDMI or SDI from Blackmagic Studio cards.

In the current test:
Feeder -----> Datavideo TBC-1000 ----> Datavideo DAC-7 ----> SDI ----> BM card
[1.Test whether the TBC-1000 what is good]

Test Feeder Panasonic.
Setting logic "Edit = ON"

4 photos


Attached Images
File Type: jpg a.jpg (75.9 KB, 34 downloads)
File Type: jpg b.jpg (52.4 KB, 29 downloads)
File Type: jpg c.jpg (71.5 KB, 24 downloads)
File Type: jpg d.jpg (64.7 KB, 29 downloads)
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  #10  
12-06-2015, 07:09 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Huffyuv lossless is the same as uncompressed, but with half the filesize. Use that instead.

Batch encoding never work well. Tapes are too different, you can make mistakes that you only see after encoding 123456 videos (wastes time), and then computers can be unreliable as CPUs heat up for too long.

I handwrite catalogs still. Sometimes while watching the source tape, sometimes while scrubbing the capture.

Not great VCRs, no.

DV is not uncompressed or even lossless. NTSC DV is especially yucky with its 4:1:1.

No external TBC will probably make this project impossible.

ATI AIW based on a dedicated XP capture system is ideal. I have one capture system with TBC and studio-grade speakers for sale. I may be willing to part with a JVC VCRs as well.

Avoid Blackmagic cards.

Easycap is junk. You get blurry, detail-less, off-color video captures from it.

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  #11  
01-04-2016, 12:08 AM
SoManyTapes SoManyTapes is offline
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Hi all,

Thanks for the great replies and advice. It seems like I'm somewhat on the right track...

I have managed to obtain a refurbished ATI AIW 8500DV card and am now trying to get a machine set up to use it. The newest machine I have that still has an AGP slot is an old AMD Sempron 2800+ machine. However it is in a case that won't fit a full-height AGP card so I need a new case for it.

Even though I now have an AIW card, I have been looking around on eBay at a few other cards: I am tempted to try the Osprey 240e/260e, which is significantly more money but PCI-Express so I can use it on a more modern machine. I have seen a few mentions of the older Osprey cards with some favourable results from them. Does anyone have experience with these newer versions? (240e/260e)? Or should I continue on the path of restoring an old machine to use the AIW card with?

One thing I didn't think too much about is audio capture: The AIW card passes audio out and back into the system's sound card. Is there a considerable advantage in getting a decent PCI sound card over the default AC97 onboard audio?

I have also started to think about how to capture tape information (eg. title, date, etc.) along with the video. It would be nice to capture images of the spines of the tapes as well as notes etc. that go along with them. Is there any good database tool or system for cataloguing tapes? I guess the alternative is just a text file in the same directory as the capture file..
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  #12  
01-04-2016, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Does anyone have experience with these newer versions? (240e/260e)?
I've done a few tests.
Not many cards can realize the whole range 0 to 255th

Here a few pictures in ZIP

At ATI, I can not write anything, we have thrown away here 10 years ago


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File Type: zip Viewcast_Osprey_240e.zip (801.3 KB, 25 downloads)
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  #13  
01-04-2016, 06:06 AM
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An AMD Sempron probably won't work anyway. It's too underpowered, and probably has a VIA chipset motherboard.

You can't use onboard sound for video capture. The clock speed is almost never stable (ie, controls audio sync), and there are conflicts in the hardware.

The Osprey is not really a capture card in terms of capturing old video tapes to MPEG (DVD, Blu-ray) or an intermediary for editing and restoring (Huffyuv, Lagarith). It's for use in a small studio environment (hence the cost), and is tailored towards streaming video on the cheap (ie, fully software, no hardware encoding). It's a specialty card, and probably does not work with any standard software or codecs. It's not really an "NLE card", but does requires an NLE for capture (which is horrible). I've also read that most Osprey has a max 640x480 resolution, which is terrible. It's an overpriced card, for what little it does.

I organize my videos in an Excel spreadsheet. Special software not required.

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01-04-2016, 06:30 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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A spreadsheet such as Excel, Quattro Pro, or an open source one such as in OpenOffice gives you a low cost flat file database you use for your information. This gives advantages of the ability to sort and search as well as do some statistics and easily embed or provide links to graphics. It is more convenient and versatile than using a word processing or text file. And it lets you record the information you want the way you want i (subject to flat file limitations).

You can use a flat-bed scanner to capture spine, face, and slip case graphics/content. If you do not have a scanner you can use a digital camera and photo editing software (e.g., PhotoShop, GIMP) to crop the images.

If you need more sophisticated cataloging capability plan on spending some money.
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01-04-2016, 06:40 AM
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I've always found adding images to a database of movies to be pointless and a tedious waste of time.

For one thing, most VHS or DVD covers usually look like crap compared to the original movie posters, or TV PR mini-posters (used in newspapers, magazines, etc).

The db is just to locate the title (like a library card catalog), then enjoy watching that -- not the picture of it.

Just my 2 cents.

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01-04-2016, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
The Osprey is not really a capture card in terms of capturing old video tapes to MPEG (DVD, Blu-ray) or an intermediary for editing and restoring (Huffyuv, Lagarith).
As it is for NTSC I do not know.
For PAL, it is okay.

Test strip Video 8 ......... 21 years old.
On Interlaced Prof.Kontrollmonitor a clean image can be seen.
client scharfis_brain [is a a Avisynth expert]

Capturetool VDub...Lagarith

I'm still waiting on what scharfis_brain writes
which source is best for filtering in Avisynth


Attached Images
File Type: jpg viewcast_osprey_240e.jpg (61.6 KB, 25 downloads)
File Type: png scharfis_brain Dezember 201510.110e_TBC_1000.png (30.5 KB, 18 downloads)

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01-04-2016, 07:02 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Another item to consider for your database is to include links to on-line resources for the captured video if they are available; e.g., to its IMDB.COM page.

As to sound cards, from reviews I've read many consumer sound cards were pretty bad, not up to VHS Hi-Fi quality, and same for early motherboard sound capability. Issues included distortion, noise floor, frequency response, and clock accuracy. Give what you have a test, you might be OK, but don't be surprised it is is not adequate for your purposes.
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01-04-2016, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
The Sony 9800A deck; though I do have two Sony D8 camcorders that do support Hi8 playback as well as A/D conversion,
My Sony EVO 9800P can only analog output,
same as my 2 9700P or two EV-S9000.

The DSP575 is but normal S-Video Anschlüsse.see image

My JVC Broadcaster have special S-Video connectors with bayonet


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09-12-2019, 09:06 PM
sonicboy19 sonicboy19 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
An AMD Sempron probably won't work anyway. It's too underpowered, and probably has a VIA chipset motherboard.

You can't use onboard sound for video capture. The clock speed is almost never stable (ie, controls audio sync), and there are conflicts in the hardware.

The Osprey is not really a capture card in terms of capturing old video tapes to MPEG (DVD, Blu-ray) or an intermediary for editing and restoring (Huffyuv, Lagarith). It's for use in a small studio environment (hence the cost), and is tailored towards streaming video on the cheap (ie, fully software, no hardware encoding). It's a specialty card, and probably does not work with any standard software or codecs. It's not really an "NLE card", but does requires an NLE for capture (which is horrible). I've also read that most Osprey has a max 640x480 resolution, which is terrible. It's an overpriced card, for what little it does.

I organize my videos in an Excel spreadsheet. Special software not required.
(I realize this is an old thread, but I want to reference LordSmurf's comments above, so hopefully that is considered a good reason to reply – if not, I apologize.)

Just wanted to chime in on this since I've been using an Osprey 260e for the past few years for analogue video capturing. I had tried a number of different inexpensive cards & USB capture devices prior to that (Avermedia's CE310B, Hauppauge's WinTV-HVR-1265, Honestech's VHS to DVD 5.0 USB capture device, to name a few), all of which captured at virtually the same level of quality which was decent but not great (the CE310B was the best of the ones I had tried up to that point). Fine for VHS capturing, but I was going to start a project of capturing various concerts from laser disc that have not been reissued on DVD, and was looking for a better card at a reasonable cost (I was already using a TBC with the previous cards as well, I should probably mention). I came across a used 260e at a very reasonable price on ebay (around $40) and decided to give it a try. While I'm sure there are better cards out there, the 260e definitely beats any of the consumer level cards I've tried in terms of quality. And I have not had any issues using it with any of the software I had used with any of my previous cards. I nearly always capture with VirtualDub, but have tested others, and haven't encountered any compatibility issues with the 260e (or with any of the previous cards either, for that matter). I typically capture in 4:2:2 YUV with an AVI lossless codec like HUFFYUV or Lagarith but have tried capturing with other codecs as well and haven't encountered any issues with the 260e. The card's deinterlacer does quite a good job, although I typically capture interlaced.

While I would agree with LordSmurf's comment that, at its listed retail price, yes, the 260e is overpriced. That said, they are an extremely well-built card that will outlive wear and tear and frequent use, so there's really no need to purchase it new anyway when is often available on ebay at a fraction of the cost. I have no doubt that there are better cards and devices out there, but they tend to be more difficult to find at reasonable prices, even when used.

To sum up, I would definitely recommend the 260e to anyone looking to upgrade from the typical consumer level capture card/device who aren't willing to spend more than $100 – but only if you're able to find one at a reasonable price on the secondary market.
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  #20  
09-13-2019, 05:45 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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We appreciate your recommendation, but it's a shame that mediocre performance is now becoming the norm. Digital techynology is probably one of the worst things that ever happened to video. Over the years we've gone from the purity and vibrance of film to the ugly crap of YouTube and cheap Chinese capture setups. Since your personal opinion is what's being touted here rather than objective video samples of the results, I'm countering with my own personal opinion of what I've seen over the years of the typical output from the equipment you describe.
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