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  #81  
06-08-2016, 10:28 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Beg to disagree, as I've learned far too much from lordsmurf's expertise over the years, but the ATi 600 USB clips at somewhere around y=16 and y=30. It's been observed in a number of posts here in several posts and elsewhere. Clipping occurs before the signal gets to VirtualDub, so raising brightness with VirtualDub's Levels doesn't fix it. Workarounds mention using the AVT8710 or external proc amp to raise black levels to or above y=16, then tweak that in VirtualDub during capture. The Hauppauge 620 USB2 and Pinnacle ATI USB clone do the same thing. It takes only a slight proc amp brightness bump before the signal gets to the cards. Without that pre-adjustment, blacks in a video that's dim to begin with have no chance.

Any way you look at it, VHS always requires fixing levels during capture or observing a capture histogram's changes if using a proc amp -- regardless of the capture card.

I have no experience with the PICe versions mentioned nor have I noticed any posts or tests anywhere using those cards.

Yes indeed, an AIW is still the best way to go. I'm still using my original AIW 7500 and 9600XT in home-built XP PC's and an ancient Dell Pentium-4 retrieved when the owner threw it away for -- yikes!-- a brand new Vista PC.


No way I'm letting them out of my hands.

Last edited by sanlyn; 06-08-2016 at 10:42 AM.
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  #82  
06-09-2016, 09:01 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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@bilbofett: I had a chance to look again at some of your earlier captures with the ATI 600. Whether with obvious clipping or not, some of those recordings look rather dim. I've had many of those myself, especially from my old analog cable box in the 1990's recorded to el cheapo VHS tape. If you can prevent more content clipping, the results are salvageable in post processing. What looks odd in restoration work with dark or bright clipping is that you encounter a loss of "snap" or realism when trying to improve gamma, color, etc. Clipping is the stopping point where no more data is available. You can juice up a dim video, but the best you can do with clipped darks is to make them look like vast blackish areas with no detail, or make clipped brights looked brighter but simply without a convincing "brilliance" in the image because the brightest data you need for it is gone.

Don't feel alone in that respect. Some tape transfers and some recordings are just borked from the start. You learn some tricks to do the best you can. I have original VHS tapes that I recorded with two cheap VCR's on 9/11/2011 starting at 8:56 a.m. and continuing for 72 hours straight. I used my co-op building's antenna for the first hour or so, but lost antenna when the second tower fell. I then found that the old, discontinued cable line in my closet still worked (I could only get local channel 2) and found it would be two days before the cable guys could restore full service. Meanwhile, the cleanest I could still get from that cable was channel 2. The color was dreadful and looked thoroughly cooked. On antenna I could pick up a local PBS broadcast via antenna from Staten Island, 36 miles away -- the hour that I recorded from that channel is almost nothing but noise. Those 72 hours of poor signal have bad color, very little shadow detail, blown-out brights, and a host of other transmission problems, not to mention the poor quality of the VCR's.

That's just the story with VHS. Remember how we all thought it looked great? But in one respect, you don't learn much from pristine videos. With bad video, you learn plenty. Since those early days I have hundreds of digital cable recordings onto DVD that require only quick, simple edits. But even then, some of those cable broadcasts are so bad they're irreparable. Sometimes even the broadcasters don't get it right.

Hope you get better results.
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