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  #1  
02-21-2016, 11:09 PM
greeneagle greeneagle is offline
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I've got 40+ family VHS video tapes that I want to capture digitally for posterity. I'm going to capture .avi files with the Huffyuv codec via VirtualDub. After capturing I'd like to do some light restoration, but I'll ask those questions another time.

1. Does it matter what s-video cable I use? What about yellow-white composite? I bought a Monoprice's molded 3ft S-Video & 3FT RCA Audio Cable but now I've seen mentions of people using Blue Jean Cables for higher quality s-video cables.
2. I'm a little concerned about interference/noise while capturing, would it be a good idea to put a few ferrite chokes on my cables? My desk is against a wall, and on the other side of this wall is a water heater and a furnace that's running a lot.
3. What resolution should I capture at? 640x480? 720x480?
4. Would it be better for me to have an internal connection between my sound card and the ATI AIW 9800 Pro capture card? I currently have them connected by way of an output cable squid from the AIW card with a line-in to the sound card. The internal 4-pin connector cable from the sound card to the CD-rom drive just barely doesn't fit with the AIW card.
5. Any suggestions about my equipment?

EQUIPMENT
Computer
-- Windows XP Service Pack 3
-- Intel Pentium 4 / CPU 2.4 GHz
-- 2.39 GHz 1 GB RAM
-- 100 GB HDD
Capture card -- ATI All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro connected with 4x AGP slot
Sound card -- Sound Blaster Live! Dell OEM model CT4780
VCR #1 -- JVC HR-S9600U VCR --- seems to be in excellent condition
I personally cleaned the video heads & tape path with 99% isopropyl alcohol & chamois-tip swabs
VCR #2 -- Sharp VC-A410 (at least as a backup, or to rewind tapes)
I personally cleaned the video heads & tape path with 99% isopropyl alcohol & chamois-tip swabs
Cables -- Monoprice's 3ft S-Video & 3FT RCA Audio Cable - MOLDED https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2187
UPS -- CyberPower 1000PFCLCD uninterruptible power supply http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00429N192/..._M3T1_ST1_dp_1
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  #2  
02-22-2016, 08:46 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Welcome to digitalfaq.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greeneagle View Post
1. Does it matter what s-video cable I use? What about yellow-white composite? I bought a Monoprice's molded 3ft S-Video & 3FT RCA Audio Cable but now I've seen mentions of people using Blue Jean Cables for higher quality s-video cables.
Cable maker is up to you, but don't use composite. S-video is cleaner. and avoids y/c crosstalk (dot crawl). The BJC s-video wire is well made, durable, less transmission noise, good color and contrast, good impedance control. Whether you would see a difference between that and generic s-video is arguable (many do, many don't). I've used their products for years. If you don't like it, they take returns no questions asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greeneagle View Post
2. I'm a little concerned about interference/noise while capturing, would it be a good idea to put a few ferrite chokes on my cables? My desk is against a wall, and on the other side of this wall is a water heater and a furnace that's running a lot.
Ferrite cores help if you see RF noise (herringbone or crosshatch pattern). You won't know until you're hooked up. Every AIW card I ever used came with 2 ferrite cores when new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greeneagle View Post
3. What resolution should I capture at? 640x480? 720x480?
720x480. If you want DVD or standard def BluRay for output, you'll need 720x480. ATI's capture drivers should accept that size. 640x480 will do OK, but for DVD etc. you can resize in Avisynth after post processing. Some people use 640x480 for 4:3 video because they feel a little odd looking at 720x480 in an editor -- but that's ridiculous, just set the editor's preview window for 4:3 display if it throws you off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greeneagle View Post
4. Would it be better for me to have an internal connection between my sound card and the ATI AIW 9800 Pro capture card? I currently have them connected by way of an output cable squid from the AIW card with a line-in to the sound card.
Almost all AIW's use that connection for audio. The capture drivers cap audio thru the sound card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greeneagle View Post
5. Any suggestions about my equipment?
Looks OK, simialar to my 9600XT/XP setup. IF you get dropped or inserted frames or audio sync problems, let us know. It could require an external frame-level tbc, or it could be the Virtualdub setup. I use VDub's default settings and haven't had any problems. Much depends on how steady the JVC outputs frames and the condition of the tape. I use a Panasonic ES10 or ES15 for pass-thru frame sync, sometimes my AVT-8710. Again, you won't know until you make some captures. The line tbc in the JVC cleans the image, external frame tbc's clean the signal. You can always post a short sample capture for evaluation of any problems.
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  #3  
02-22-2016, 09:45 PM
greeneagle greeneagle is offline
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Thanks for the helpful replies, Sanlyn. From a few short test captures so far I haven't had issues with dropped frames or audio sync, but I'll be sure to look at getting a TBC and asking for advice if I run into those problems.

I also wanted to clarify -- should I use an internal connection to the sound card? As opposed to the external output cable squid? The output cable squid does work for capturing sound, but I wasn't sure if an internal connector would be better. If the internal connection is preferred then I've been having a hard time finding the appropriate 4-pin connector cable to use there.

Again, thank you for looking over my setup and for answering my questions!
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  #4  
02-23-2016, 08:50 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greeneagle View Post
I also wanted to clarify -- should I use an internal connection to the sound card? As opposed to the external output cable squid? The output cable squid does work for capturing sound, but I wasn't sure if an internal connector would be better. If the internal connection is preferred then I've been having a hard time finding the appropriate 4-pin connector cable to use there.
It's hardly worth the trouble. Some have tried it, some worked, some didn't -- AIW cards and PC's differ. Stay with ATI's hookup design. There's no benefit to hassling with the internal 4-pin connector.

No capture device is designed specifically for VirtualDub or any other capture program, nor for any specific computer or audio card. AIW's capture drivers are set up to work with circuitry common to most PC's. Deviating from that design might work in your PC, or might not, and will make no difference in audio quality.
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  #5  
02-23-2016, 06:37 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Inside a PC case is usually an electrically noisy place. Keeping analog audio cables outside the case is probably a good idea.

4-pin connectors on a sound card? Weren't they generally used to connect to a CD drive's audio output?
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  #6  
02-24-2016, 03:03 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Maybe too long ago to recall. Sound Blaster cards have internal audio connectors, but I think an old Win98 PC is the last time I saw one of those audio cables in use -- or maybe it's a gaming thing nowadays ?

Last edited by sanlyn; 02-24-2016 at 03:14 AM.
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  #7  
02-24-2016, 06:46 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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As I recall, Turtle Beach did offer some decent sound cards back in the Win 98/Win 2K days, better than the generics and the lower end Sound Blasters of that era per tests I read back then. It would be model dependent since not all were of the same quality.
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  #8  
03-01-2016, 11:55 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Lots to read here.

Good, good. Capture VHS to AVI, restore as needed. VirtualDub can restore many things, Avisynth is for tougher problems.

s-video is s-video. I've never seen a difference between $1 cables and $10 cables. I get many of mine from Monoprice as well. Note that these can go bad in time, so just toss it and get a new one when that happens. I probably toss one per year.

Cable-based interference is actually rare. More commonly you get internal noise to the card, computers, etc. In 15+ years of digital capturing, I've had maybe 3 issues with cables? And in those cases, ferrite did nothing. The cable needed to be replaced or moved.

I'd be more worried about heat in the VCR, or with the TBC. They get testy after 4-6 hours, depending on heat.

For AVI, 720x480 for NTSC, 720x576 for PAL.

Yes, internal audio wiring for ATI AIW is best. But both work.

I saw Turtle Beach mentioned. The Santa Cruz card is best. Less issues compared to others. Some SoundBlasters are fine, others not. The big problem with cheap SB cards is that it really distorts the audio. Too loud, etc. The TBSC cards are from the XP generation (early-mid 2000s), not 98/2K.

SP3 has too much junk running. SP2 was best. If using SP3, make sure all that internet and "security" stuff is shut off. No bubbles, no notifications, nothing. It can cause dropped frames. XP SP3 was the beginning of the nuisance we know as Vista.

You'll need more space. And have the OS drive separate from the capture drive on single-core systems.

JVC VCR looks fine.

Sharp VCR may be fine. "to rewind tapes" --

Good job cleaning with 70%+ IPA and non-cotton swabs.

PFC UPS? Is that a PFC power supply in the system? I've actually never tried a PFC UPS with anything not PFC. I'm using the non-PFC UPS for video and capture systems.

You should post a test capture here for us to see as well. I'm mostly concerned about your audio. I'd open it in Sound Forge and visually analyze the waveform.

@dp: No, different 4-pin cable. Those are wide, flat and black. These are small and white.

@sanlyn: Dropped frames on an ATI can also mean that the drivers are fubar and/or the card is having problems. I'm in that pickle right now. Main system is down again.

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The following users thank lordsmurf for this useful post: sanlyn (03-02-2016)
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