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01-03-2019, 01:16 AM
MRisberg MRisberg is offline
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Where to begin ..

I'm from Sweden. Registered a couple of days ago because I thought that this seemed to be a nice forum. First post.

My family have been VHS filming a couple of vacations, parties and birthdays etc since me and my younger brother were kids, since 87 through 04 or something like that. (Mostly Super-8 before that but this post will be about VHS.) The usual stuff I guess. Sadly, quite some time have passed since any of these memories were watched the last time. But I've stored most of the tapes at my place, including even a couple of VCRs - because I knew I would want to capture them all one day.

I was asked the other year if there's a way to watch any of these videos again. Perhaps I could lend them the old tapes for them to use a "transfer to DVD service". Or perhaps they could borrow my VCR and play the videos themselves off of the originals.

I never liked any of the ideas above, lending people the ageing equipment or tapes. Not at all because I didn't want them to experience the memories again. Because I knew I might get only one more play out of either of them before they tear or stop working in another way. Also, my experience with transfer services for home videos here in Sweden, or in Germany for that matter, is not even close to acceptable quality wise according to me. (I am NOT including the real / professional services in here. Only the ones that some of my family members have used with other tapes. Cheaper ones. Think mall, kiosk. Really bad! Beware, as you all already know.)

Because of the increased interest, I started gather my tapes and equipment, learnt by googling and put together a capture and process solution. I was finally going to do this!

I got to capture about all the VHS and VHS-C tapes I got. Separated and trimmed the beginning and end of every separate occasion as well as cataloged them. All good. (Never got to capture any of the Video 8 or Hi8 tapes though, because frankly I didn't trust the Sony equipment I had at hand for loan at the time.) Shortly after I completed the capturing process I got busy with another project of life. I made myself and others a disservice of not completing the video project then and there.

Here I am a couple of years later with a couple of TB worth of DV video just laying there. Though I'd continue my project. Finish it. Started googling a bit to find this forum and learn that DV is NOT the preferred capturing codec. And I though I had it all right back then. Hmm. Something called Huffy-Puffy would be the one to use today - or rather has been the one since what .. 2004? Boy was I wrong back when I captured it all. That's sad.

Okay I though, what about just continuing where I am with Handbrake to get this over with. Oh! There's a new version available. Downloaded it and .. what the what?! The imported DV video showed up with the image on its side, like portrait mode or something. And I can't turn the image 90 degrees clockwise to correct because de-interlacing had to occur before rotating the image and there's no way for me to adjust exactly when and where things process in Handbrake. The finalized test video ended up with a burned in interlaced image in a progressive frame. Nightmare. Handbrake all of a sudden seemed like a no-go.

Now, I am giving this a though. Should I start from the beginning or should I just continue where I am? Would this non-destructive HuffYUV captured through VirtualDub really lend to such a better image for me? Should I get another capture solution hardware wise too? Avisynth sure looks interesting compared to Handbrake. Manual work but probably better results in the end. If only I can find the suitable filters I need for the various videos I have - filmed with a handful of different cameras through out the years - and edited using a handful of various VCRs. I don't even know how many visual problems and obstacles I have to compensate for using filter techniques. How much of it will require manual work? How many hours will this cost me?

Wow ...

For a first post, I'm not even sure I have a clear question to ask. I'm quite at ease for the moment to just have a place on this planet where I can open my mind and have a bunch of people in the other end probably understanding where I am at. That's quite a beginning for me I think.

So, where to begin? At the planning stage I guess. Got to think this through one more time. I really don't want to fail this second time.

Ps. There was originally more to the story above but I deleted that because I wanted to shorten the post. Please move my post if it belongs elsewhere in the forums.
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Someday, 12:01 PM
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03-20-2019, 08:30 PM
Tig_ Tig_ is offline
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Wow, it breaks my heart to read your story and see zero replies. Are you still around the forums? I'm new to this all too so may not be much help, but for what it's worth, someone out there read this. Personally, I hope you keep all those terabytes of already-captured footage safe, but then start fresh and really do this in the best way you can learn how; your results are probably pretty good already, but I imagine you'd be happier looking back, knowing you put in the extra effort to preserve those memories as well as you could.

Best wishes! Hope you're still around to update us on your story.
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03-21-2019, 07:59 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Only you can say what is "good enough" for your analog tape (VHS, S-VHS, Video8 Hi8, Beat) video memories. DV is not the best solution, especially if you have restoration in mind. But if you are satisfied with what you have on DV now that is what counts. Arguably better to complete capturing the uncaptured material while you can (in what ever format you move to) before you revisit the material on DV.

Test VCRs/camcorders you are unsure of with a test (unimportant tape) to determine whether or not they work reliably.

In general, VHS viewed on a HD TV looks bad. The bandwidth limitations of the old CTR type SD sets did a lot to hide the warts of SD analog home video.
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