Quantcast Help choosing the proper VHS capturing workflow? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
12-04-2016, 06:47 AM
mparade mparade is offline
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Hello There,

I am newbie to your forum.
After 25 years I decided to capture all my VHS and VHS-C casettes....
I would need your expertise to decide what workflow to follow for VHS capturing.

I have been preparing (some of the products are under procurement) the following setups for this workflow:

1.
S-VHS recorder (I have 5 types of prosumer level recorders, 4 from JVC and 1 from Panasonic) - TBC (I have 1 from Datavideo and 1 from AVToolbox) - Blackmagic Pro Intensity 4K with direct S-video input - capturing is via Virtualdub in Huffyuv format.

2.
S-VHS recorder (I have 5 types of prosumer level recorders, 4 from JVC and 1 from Panasonic) - TBC (I have 1 from Datavideo and 1 from AVToolbox) - Analog to SDI converter - Blackmagic upscaler and deinterlacer to 50fps (PAL sources) - Blackmagic Decklink mini Recorder 4K with SDI input - capturing is via Virtualdub in Huffyuv format.

I know at DigitalFAQ the products described above are not the preferred ones, but I have only access to those at the moment. I have a Windows 10 64 bit operating system.

The workflow number 2 would include a "upscale&deinterlacingˇ stage as well which maybe useful IMO. This would be done on the SDI signal by a borrowed Teranex Express product which is using very high quality deinterlacing and upscaling algorithm. This signal would be sent to Decklink directly. This way using VirtualDub a 1080p 50fps signal could be captured in Huffyuv, so at least no any deinterlacing would be required afterwards by the software.
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  #2  
12-04-2016, 10:21 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Welcome.

No, BlackMagic cards are generally not recommended here for VHS capture. Do what you must.

The workflow and capture method depend on the content of the tape. If your tapes are filmed TV shows or movies, you cannot deinterlace telecined video without damage.
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  #3  
12-04-2016, 11:56 AM
mparade mparade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Welcome.

No, BlackMagic cards are generally not recommended here for VHS capture. Do what you must.

The workflow and capture method depend on the content of the tape. If your tapes are filmed TV shows or movies, you cannot deinterlace telecined video without damage.
First of all, thank you for the answer.

There is no must from my side (I like to learn from more experienced people).
I would like to work the way how it is recommended by professionals here (Meanwhile I realized that the mostly recommended workflow here is to build up an XP PC with an All-in-one card. Fortunately I could buy 4 pcs on Ebay five minutes ago that are included in the list made by "kpmedia").

Anyway, all of them are PAL VHS and VHS-C casettes captured from year 1987. There is only "family" content included. Some of them are in very bad condition.

I think, I have to learn a lot more on your site by reading out other threads. Afterwards, I will be back.

P.S. Sorry for my bad english. It is poor...
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  #4  
12-04-2016, 01:02 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Thank you for the additional information. No need to apologize for your English. Many Americans use worse English than you.

Video that's in poor condition needs post-processing cleanup and should be captured using lossless compression as near to a true copy as posssible for that cleanup to have be effective -- this means no deinterlacing during capture and no upsampling. Why would you want to upsample damaged and aging noise and other defects and then try to clean the resized artifacts? Standard definition interlaced video captured to lossless huffyuv YUY2 runs about 25GB to 30GB or so per hour depending on content. You can imagine the file size those captures would be if deinterlaced, double the number of frames, and every frame enlarged. Besides a very tough cleaning task, your upsampled captures would more than triple in size.
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12-04-2016, 02:46 PM
mparade mparade is offline
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I have tested it previously and resulted in a ~500Gbyte *.mov container/3 hour cassette, averagely.
Format was 10 bit DNxHD captured by DaVinci NLE software. The results were not so bad, that is why I tried to follow the (JVC HR-S9600 + Datavideo TBC-5000 + Analog to SDI converter + borrowed Teranex Express + Decklink mini Recorder 4K) workflow. But I did not ever compare my results to the workflow you recommend here. So, simply I would like to follow the workflows now (I am not a pro at all, far from this, but want to get the best quality out of my "family" captures) the pros recommend here. On top of it all, a lot of filter should be used in the post-processing stage on my captures IMO, generally a lot of kind of artifacts are there in the captured files as I saw from my recent tests. I will be back to get some more assistance (if possible) from the experts after building up my XP PC with my fresh ATI All-In-Wonder 9700 PRO 128MB AGP 4x/8x Bus DirectX 9.0 NIB mounted.
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  #6  
12-05-2016, 03:37 PM
mparade mparade is offline
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Is it so important to have a Windows XP installed on a PC specialized to analog-to-losslessly compressed capturing?

Does Windows 7 have so many restrictions compared to XP regarding post-processing stage etc? (I am currently building up a separate PC, just for analog-to-losslessly compressed conversion)

Anyway, do you prefer 32 bit to 64 bit OS?

Thanks for the support in advance.
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  #7  
12-05-2016, 04:01 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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An XP machine isn't absolutely necessary, but if you want to use an All In Wonder 9700 you must have XP. The drivers don't work in post-XP systems, which also don't have AGP card slots.

Windows 7 has some restrictions in post-processing, in that many free software products and utilities won't run in Win7. Avisynth and Virtualdub have no problem with Win7. Win8 and 10 are worse.

Whether you use a 32-bit or 64-bit system doesn't matter that much with later Windows, but use 32-bit apps wherever possible. Why? If you have several hundred filters available for 32-bit Avisynh and VirtualDub, but only a handful of 64-bit versions, you can see why those 32-bit apps are still preferred. 64-bit filters and codecs don't run faster anyway.
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12-05-2016, 05:54 PM
mparade mparade is offline
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Thanks. Is there a difference in quality between the lossless capture made by a "classic" ATI card and the one made by a PCI Express ATI card (Both with theatre 200 chipset)? It seems to be completely impossible to find a PC with AGP slots nowadays which fulfills the minimum requirements for proper capture. Much much easier to find a very powerful "used" one with PCI-E slots for only some bucks.
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  #9  
12-05-2016, 06:02 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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The theater 200 chip produces consistent results across the ATI product line. There is nothing wrong with a PCIe version of an AIW card with a Theater 200 processor. But the drivers are for XP.
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12-06-2016, 01:12 PM
mparade mparade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
The theater 200 chip produces consistent results across the ATI product line. There is nothing wrong with a PCIe version of an AIW card with a Theater 200 processor. But the drivers are for XP.
Tomorrow my "used" Quad-core AMD PC will arrive at my workplace without OS. My "new" ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon X800 XL is supposed to arrive within 2 weeks from the UK. Then I mount it in and install XP 32 bit. This will be the first "step" in building-up my "only for capture" PC.
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  #11  
12-06-2016, 01:49 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Good work, and good luck with the setup.
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  #12  
12-07-2016, 03:33 PM
mparade mparade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Good work, and good luck with the setup.
I have just a few "pre-questions" touching upon the post-processing "filter" phase:

- Is there a remedy (some special filter) to handle properly Hanover lines (regular horizontal lines) in PAL captures (they were very visible in some parts of my previous, even lossless captures. Am I able to control them via one of my quality S-VHS player too? (maybe each player handles them differently);

- On all my captures there is an "only a few pixel row heigh" running bar at the bottommost part.
Is the main reason for that the VCR with which I recorded the tape is different from the one I am playing it back? (so, VCR head problem). All my quality VCR shows this running bar effect on the output and independent whether using manual tracking or not.

Anyway, my S-VHS players are:

Panasonic NV-HS 1000
JVC HR-S9600EU
JVC HR-DVS3 High-End miniDV- / S-VHS ET-Videorecorder
JVC SR-VS10 miniDV-Recorder / VHS-Recorder

Thank you.
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  #13  
12-07-2016, 04:07 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mparade View Post
- Is there a remedy (some special filter) to handle properly Hanover lines (regular horizontal lines) in PAL captures (they were very visible in some parts of my previous, even lossless captures.
Yes, in Avisynth. The coding to filter chroma-only for Hanover lines is is rather simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mparade View Post
Am I able to control them via one of my quality S-VHS player too? (maybe each player handles them differently);
I'm afraid not, although they may be more distinct on one player and less so on another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mparade View Post
- On all my captures there is an "only a few pixel row heigh" running bar at the bottommost part.
Is the main reason for that the VCR with which I recorded the tape is different from the one I am playing it back? (so, VCR head problem). All my quality VCR shows this running bar effect on the output and independent whether using manual tracking or not.
Head-switching noise is forever present on analog sources, sometimes more, sometimes less. Sometimes it differs with the player, sometimes not. The thickness can also vary during tape play. It's eliminated with Avisynth (you can also use Virtualdub, but VDub is pretty clumsy with it). Avisynth can fix it in a single line of instruction without affecting the core image content. The notorious "amateur signature" methods are to simply mask over it with black, or crop it off and distort the image by resizing, but both methods look the way they're nick-named.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mparade View Post
Anyway, my S-VHS players are:

Panasonic NV-HS 1000
JVC HR-S9600EU
JVC HR-DVS3 High-End miniDV- / S-VHS ET-Videorecorder
JVC SR-VS10 miniDV-Recorder / VHS-Recorder
All very good machines.
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12-07-2016, 05:17 PM
mparade mparade is offline
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So, regarding the two types of issues above (Hanover lines and head-switching noise), just to clarify:

I should capture them with the content and then in the post-processing phase filter them easily out;
Unfortunately, I am not so familiar with avisynth and Virtualdub yet (you know I am waiting now the parts for my "new only for capture" computer).
Is the preferred method here by the users to provide support for each specific project by evaluating a sample or
is there a general "user manual" for post-processing filters including how to use them and for which artifact can they be used for. Sorry if I am asking "matter of courses".
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  #15  
12-07-2016, 10:53 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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While this work isn't exactly a milk run, it's not rocket science. Obviously you consult basic guides on how to "operate" the software, which is no challenge. Filtering is an acquired skill, learned step by step like learning to cook from scratch, and no one comes to the table knowing how to do it. It's acquired by studying what others do and how they do it, and experimenting on your own. If you've never worked with video before you'll soon become familiar with basic video properties and formats mostly by working with it first-hand. This knowledge is acquired rather quickly, and you don't need an M.I.T. degree in physics to know when video is noisy or ugly and whether it needs fixing.

Most people get their feet wet by browsing restoration forums to see what kinds of problems other users encounter and how they are solved. These threads almost always get into more detailed discussion. If you encounter a filter with a name like "Limited Sharpen", you would assume correctly that it's a sharpener of some kind and that it is 'limited" somehow (and looking over the filter's brief documentation you find that its limits are configurable and that it attempts to limit its action by not creating oversharpening defects such as bright edge halos, or you can limit its sharpening action to edges-only to avoid sharpening wide expanses of grain, or you can adjust the strength of sharpening). Of the many processing guides that abound on the 'net, most of them are sheer nonsense written by clueless hacks who never practice what they they preach and are just copying one another's posts anyway (which probably explains why they all read alike ??). There are guides to Avisynth and to VirtualDub from more respectable sources such as doom9 or the Music Anime workshop or Scintilla's site, but they have their limits and some are rather dated.

Still, you might want to take a look at ancient intro material from two doom9 sites, Post Processing Video Using VirtualDub and Post Processing Video Using Avisynth. Neither are recommended often these days because at least half of the filters and techniques shown are either obsolete or replaced. But the principles remain the same, so you might get a little insight into post processing from those old sites, even if you'd likely use newer filters not shown there. Avisynth comes with an online guide that starts out teaching you how to type stuff, then to what a basic command is (which is pretty basic, actually), and goes on to explain several hundred of its functions in great detail, although you'll probably use only a dozen of them or less. There are also guides to VirtualDub, easier to understand than VirtualDub's own online help, but mostly outdated. However, many VDub menu items are self-explanatory. and so are the names of many of its built-in filters.

Of course, you can always ask. That's what forums like this are for.

The one-line instruction for handling Hanover bars depends on what the bars look like, and whether or not they really are Hanover bars. One would know only by examining a short edited sample of captured video, which you can post in this forum. If you need help preparing a sample .avi cut with VirtualDub without altering or re-processing the image, just ask.
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12-11-2016, 09:15 AM
mparade mparade is offline
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Finally, I have access to the following AIW cards:

- ATI All-In-Wonder X1800 XL Video Card 256MB PCI Express x16 GPU/ TV Tuner Card;
- ATI All in Wonder 2006 Radeon X1300 256MB DDR3 DVI ATI IO CATV FM Tuner PCIe GPU;
- ATI ALL IN WONDER X800 GT X800GT 128MB VIVO DVB-T VKF;
- ATI RADEON ALL-IN-WONDER X800XL 128MB PCI-E

All are included in the "recommendation list" in this forum.

Is there anyone above which is preferred to the others/or which is not so respected?

Is there a way to identify if my full frame external TBC is faulty? I have a Datavideo TBC-5000, and an AVT-8710 black unit.
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  #17  
12-14-2016, 01:53 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Connect it in your capture setup and play a tape. Or hook up between your VCR and TV and play a tape. The first step, of course, is to see if either or both will power up. In your viewing window you should see a clear picture from your VCR (as clear as you can expect from VHS. If you see anything unusual, report what you see. If you can make a short capture of several seconds, save it and you can post it here for analysis (if you dont know how to make an unprocessed copy for sampling, just ask and let us know how you captured).

Last edited by sanlyn; 12-14-2016 at 02:24 PM.
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  #18  
12-16-2016, 01:37 PM
mparade mparade is offline
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I am right before installing the proper AIW card in my XP computer.

What do you think about ATI AVIVO? Is it a good/bad "thing" during capturing?: "During capturing, ATI Avivo amplifies the source, automatically adjust its brightness and contrast. ATI Avivo implements 12-bit transform to reduce data loss during conversion; it also utilizes motion adaptive 3D comb filter, automatic color control, automatic gain control, hardware noise reduction and edge enhancement technologies for better video playback quality."

I have now cards both with (X1800 XL, X1300) and without (X800 XL) AVIVO function.

Thank you in advance for the help.
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  #19  
12-16-2016, 03:50 PM
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AVIVO is software.

On some cards, it's required. On others, it messes things up. ATI was very slipshod in their final years pre-AMD, and it's sometimes hard to tell what drivers/software will work with what. It requires experimentation. When I was (re)building my final systems, I had a heck of a time getting the installs to fully cooperate. Some would appear fine, but then you'd run into capture issue in VirtualDub or MMC, or both. And I'd have to start all over. Getting these last builds done literally took me 6+ months.

All AIW cards are technically "VIVO" (video in, video out).

This is horrible: "amplifies the source, automatically adjust its brightness and contrast".

Don't install AVIVO unless the card simply refuses to capture correctly. I forget which card was most stubborn, but I believe it was the x600 (aka 2006 PCIe). Even then, it may have simply been the driver version causing issues. Note that I never saw AGC issues on it, so AVIVO may have been disabled even when installed.

AGP and PCI tend to be more cooperate than the PCIe cards. (The difference = PCI is VGA, where PCIe is DVI. AGP is mostly both.)

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  #20  
12-16-2016, 06:38 PM
mparade mparade is offline
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Thank you. Do you happen to know if there is any difference between an XL and a GT version of the same card? E.g. I have found both an AIW X800 XL and an AIW X800 GT.

In my Datavideo TBC-5000 there are two function which can be used on the input signal: AGC (Automatic Gain Control) and VTR (Revision picture quality when VHS source in). Are any of those recommended for a proper capture?

I got stuck during building up my XP PC for capturing.
After installing the AIW card into the PCI express slot located on the motherboard neither the VGA output of the motherboard nor the DVI output of the AIW card has a signal after connecting a monitor.
With the AIW uninstalled from the slot the VGA output of the motherboard has a signal back again.
Any thought?

My computer is a HP 6005 Pro "bought for a song".

Thanks for any help.
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