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  #21  
04-29-2019, 02:27 AM
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Long thread... replying as I read...

Yes, lots to consider. Then again, not really. VHS to digital/DVD has a very finite number of methods, varying from excellent to unwatchably crappy. Most methods are equally easy or difficult.

You need to convert that archive to a quality that exceeds usage. Ideally lossless, 5tb USB drives are cheap (~$100), but at minimum MPEG2 15mbps @ 422 (not standard 420/4:2:0). Then you can convert down to DVD copies, streaming copies, etc.

For streaming copies, deinterlace with QTGMC via Avisynth/Vapoursynth (and Hybrid is a good GUI for it there days).

DVD recorders are not the method you want for an organization. Long-term, you'll be sorry if you did.

Volunteers need only be good with paying attention. The should write notes on what to do, beyond any notes you give them. And they should never guess at anything, ask if questions. Guessing gets you in trouble with video, no room for errors. I cannot stress pay attention enough!

You don't want component anything.

$750 buys the external framesync TBC that will be needed. Total expense will be closer to $1500 for all the right gear. And, as mentioned: buy it, use it, resell it. This doesn't have to be a forever purchase, just a project-based purchase.

An external TBCs don't really have anything to setup. At most, put in on NTSC mode (USA video signal), probably reset the proc amp controls (if any), and then plug in/out video. The TBC should be the least concerning item. However, always put it on a UPS, never in the wall outlet, never on a wussy "surge protector", and always turn off when not in use. Never leave it on for more than 6-18 hours, depending on model (due to chip cooling). You don't want a bonehead volunteer to leave on the $750 TBC, and have it not work anymore because the chips fried overnight. Costly mistake -- one I've even made!

Again, no component (3-wire RGB) anything. You need s-video, period. Composite (yellow wire) has issues, with few exceptions. JVC S-VHS VCR has s-video out, to TBC, to capture card.

ATI AIW is analog to digital converter.

Yes, beware of eBay, Craigslist, Facebook, etc. Those are not ideal places to get video gear, mostly because the sellers are NOT video people, but rather "recyclers" or resellers (estate sales, storage units, etc). For example, ATI AIW cards are often incomplete, VCRs don't actually work well, TBCs are defective, etc. This forum has many stories of bad deals and wasted time.

Note: I have a very select few complete workflows available in the marketplace right now (VCR, TBC, capture card). You can PM me about that.

Always keep the tapes for another archive.

Actually, a 2-hour tape takes at least 2x as long to fully process. Not just the 2-hour capture, but time spend scrubbing/verifying the capture, moving the file to a new location, etc. Video is not a fast process. Never was, never will be. The only way to speed this up is with more workstations and more people.

Cloud storage is a mistake. It takes forever to upload these large files, and then clouds cost more than local storage.

It's not easy to "pull" (download) video to make your own DVD. People are generally stupid about video. DVD-Video requires not just MPEG-2 to a certain spec, but must be authored. You can literally provide the burn-ready ISO file, the freeware Imgburn to burn it, instructions to only buy Verbatim DVD-R from Amazon, and you're still going to get asinine questions from a sizeable % of the user base. For example, people will ignore you, buy crap DVD blanks that don't work. Most simply don't read, and will act as if Imgburn requires an engineering degree. Because, again, they won't read.

You can't watch directly from cloud storage. That requires a streaming dedicated server, and now you're talking hosting.

Don't get ahead of yourself. Archive first, think about distribution later.

You need to start slower. Get the capture hardware, start a few captures. Get feedback on the forum. Then look at some distribution ideas, run some tests.

While the conversation may seem complex, understand that you're only asking about advanced hobby methods, not professional. I could make some the advanced hobby users here eyes gloss over and start to drool -- and give myself a headache. Pro work is far less fun, more tedious, and requires lots more costly gear. It diverges quite a bit, too. As a quick example, hobbyists almost never have to worry about metadata.

VHS tapes have a lifespan in the 35-65 years range. But as stated, the bigger issue is the people that have data to contribute to the footage.

Yes, never let perfection stand in the way of good/excellent work, but equally don't let crap pretend to be decent. A balance must be maintainer.

FYI, I do have some advanced JVC SR VCRs that let you concurrently make DVDs while capturing to a capture card. These are quite handy. The DVD is an immediate copy, while the computer capture is the better archival version.

JVC VCR with line TBC > external TBC > capture card
But not just any VCR/TBC/card, but specific ones know to work well for this task.

Lossless Huffyuv is about 35gb/hour
Lossless Lagarith is about 25gb/hour, but often not good for capture (just intermediaries)
Running time x size = TBs needed.

99% of combo DVD recorders are garbage. JVC had a very few pro machines, combo of LSI Logic DVD recorder with SR-V10 type VCR.

Volunteers can maybe handle the ingest/capture of the VHS tapes, but that's it.

Some of the info here is indeed excellent and accurate, but I'm hoping its not overkill.

Never try to clean tapes. You will more likely ruin them.

That donated computer is probably useless or semi-useless. The board may be okay. What size case does the system have? If not good, can transplant to a new case.

Q: Do I think there would be any benefit in using something like a external audio to digital converter
A: None whatsoever. In fact, it may be a downgrade in quality.

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  #22  
04-29-2019, 08:04 AM
Stephen Stephen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Long thread... replying as I read...

Yes, lots to consider. Then again, not really. VHS to digital/DVD has a very finite number of methods, varying from excellent to unwatchably crappy. Most methods are equally easy or difficult.

You need to convert that archive to a quality that exceeds usage. Ideally lossless, 5tb USB drives are cheap (~$100), but at minimum MPEG2 15mbps @ 422 (not standard 420/4:2:0). Then you can convert down to DVD copies, streaming copies, etc.

For streaming copies, deinterlace with QTGMC via Avisynth/Vapoursynth (and Hybrid is a good GUI for it there days).

DVD recorders are not the method you want for an organization. Long-term, you'll be sorry if you did.

Volunteers need only be good with paying attention. The should write notes on what to do, beyond any notes you give them. And they should never guess at anything, ask if questions. Guessing gets you in trouble with video, no room for errors. I cannot stress pay attention enough!

You don't want component anything.

$750 buys the external framesync TBC that will be needed. Total expense will be closer to $1500 for all the right gear. And, as mentioned: buy it, use it, resell it. This doesn't have to be a forever purchase, just a project-based purchase.

An external TBCs don't really have anything to setup. At most, put in on NTSC mode (USA video signal), probably reset the proc amp controls (if any), and then plug in/out video. The TBC should be the least concerning item. However, always put it on a UPS, never in the wall outlet, never on a wussy "surge protector", and always turn off when not in use. Never leave it on for more than 6-18 hours, depending on model (due to chip cooling). You don't want a bonehead volunteer to leave on the $750 TBC, and have it not work anymore because the chips fried overnight. Costly mistake -- one I've even made!

Again, no component (3-wire RGB) anything. You need s-video, period. Composite (yellow wire) has issues, with few exceptions. JVC S-VHS VCR has s-video out, to TBC, to capture card.

ATI AIW is analog to digital converter.

Yes, beware of eBay, Craigslist, Facebook, etc. Those are not ideal places to get video gear, mostly because the sellers are NOT video people, but rather "recyclers" or resellers (estate sales, storage units, etc). For example, ATI AIW cards are often incomplete, VCRs don't actually work well, TBCs are defective, etc. This forum has many stories of bad deals and wasted time.

Note: I have a very select few complete workflows available in the marketplace right now (VCR, TBC, capture card). You can PM me about that.

Always keep the tapes for another archive.

Actually, a 2-hour tape takes at least 2x as long to fully process. Not just the 2-hour capture, but time spend scrubbing/verifying the capture, moving the file to a new location, etc. Video is not a fast process. Never was, never will be. The only way to speed this up is with more workstations and more people.

Cloud storage is a mistake. It takes forever to upload these large files, and then clouds cost more than local storage.

It's not easy to "pull" (download) video to make your own DVD. People are generally stupid about video. DVD-Video requires not just MPEG-2 to a certain spec, but must be authored. You can literally provide the burn-ready ISO file, the freeware Imgburn to burn it, instructions to only buy Verbatim DVD-R from Amazon, and you're still going to get asinine questions from a sizeable % of the user base. For example, people will ignore you, buy crap DVD blanks that don't work. Most simply don't read, and will act as if Imgburn requires an engineering degree. Because, again, they won't read.

You can't watch directly from cloud storage. That requires a streaming dedicated server, and now you're talking hosting.

Don't get ahead of yourself. Archive first, think about distribution later.

You need to start slower. Get the capture hardware, start a few captures. Get feedback on the forum. Then look at some distribution ideas, run some tests.

While the conversation may seem complex, understand that you're only asking about advanced hobby methods, not professional. I could make some the advanced hobby users here eyes gloss over and start to drool -- and give myself a headache. Pro work is far less fun, more tedious, and requires lots more costly gear. It diverges quite a bit, too. As a quick example, hobbyists almost never have to worry about metadata.

VHS tapes have a lifespan in the 35-65 years range. But as stated, the bigger issue is the people that have data to contribute to the footage.

Yes, never let perfection stand in the way of good/excellent work, but equally don't let crap pretend to be decent. A balance must be maintainer.

FYI, I do have some advanced JVC SR VCRs that let you concurrently make DVDs while capturing to a capture card. These are quite handy. The DVD is an immediate copy, while the computer capture is the better archival version.

JVC VCR with line TBC > external TBC > capture card
But not just any VCR/TBC/card, but specific ones know to work well for this task.

Lossless Huffyuv is about 35gb/hour
Lossless Lagarith is about 25gb/hour, but often not good for capture (just intermediaries)
Running time x size = TBs needed.

99% of combo DVD recorders are garbage. JVC had a very few pro machines, combo of LSI Logic DVD recorder with SR-V10 type VCR.

Volunteers can maybe handle the ingest/capture of the VHS tapes, but that's it.

Some of the info here is indeed excellent and accurate, but I'm hoping its not overkill.

Never try to clean tapes. You will more likely ruin them.

That donated computer is probably useless or semi-useless. The board may be okay. What size case does the system have? If not good, can transplant to a new case.

Q: Do I think there would be any benefit in using something like a external audio to digital converter
A: None whatsoever. In fact, it may be a downgrade in quality.

Thank you! When you said "FYI, I do have some advanced JVC SR VCRs that let you concurrently make DVDs while capturing to a capture card. These are quite handy. The DVD is an immediate copy, while the computer capture is the better archival version."

This seems like it would save substantial time, how much would equipment with that ability cost?

Since it looks like a new computer will need to be built would it be possible to build one with two AIW cards and have two workflows so that we can capture 2 vcr's at a time? I know its a lot more money upfront but we might actually finish this century lol. Plus like you and other said, I can sell the workflow equipment later.

When we build a new computer should I basically build the most current fastest thing I can afford then add the AIW card(s) for the graphics card and run Windows 10 on it? Is the horsepower going to make much difference? If the horsepower doesn't really matter I could take the guts of the computer I have and move it all to a different case and just replace the graphics card with the AIW and add a huge hard drive bank. That would be much cheaper if the more current horsepower isn't going to really speed things up.

With a hard drive bank would it be useful to have windows on a 1TB m.2 ssd so that everything works fast then have a bunch of 10k rpm drives for storage? This is how my laptop is setup....it sure does help a system run fast.

What are your thoughts on the direction to go with the computer needs?

I appreciate all of this advice SO much....I would never have just 'figured all this out'
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  #23  
04-29-2019, 08:55 AM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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An AIW card will not run (for capture) on anything newer than Windows XP. That's why I said that I thought your donated computer was ideal for converting to an AIW X1800 system...it's already got XP on it. Now, you may be able to get the ATI 600 USB capture dongles to run on a newer system.

Your capture system should be dedicated to capture only. No Internet, no networking, nothing (although I do have a couple of retro games on mine!). That's why you want the hot-swap bays, so you can take those mega-gigabyte files and easily and quickly transfer them to your more modern computer for editing, cleanup, and burning to DVD.

Let me know what is installed in the case of your donated machine and how many drive bays (both 3.5" and 5.25") you have available. I'll give you recommendations on how to proceed if you choose to go that route.

Only one capture workflow per computer. Capturing puts heavy loads on the CPU and the hard disk drives. Now, you might have an AIW card installed, along with a USB capture dongle...but only use one of them at any given time. And, if you want multiple capture systems, you'll obviously still need multiple VCRs and TBCs (or else a 2/4 channel TBC such as the TBC-3000 or TBC-4000).

SSDs are nice, but they really don't come into play for capturing. You don't want to capture to an SSD at all (limited space) and there's very little OS access during capturing where the SSD speed would make a difference (as long as you have sufficient RAM...2 gigabytes should be sufficient). Remember, 32 bit systems max out at 4 GB RAM and your capture machine ought to be a 32 bit system. Build your editing and cleanup computer as a 64 bit system with plenty of RAM and a killer (modern) video card.
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  #24  
04-29-2019, 09:01 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
Edit To Add: HOT FLASH: It looks as though this X1800 card is complete with all cables; so you won't need the s-video.com VIVO cable...and it's only $26.88! Grab it!
Is that an AIW capture capable card? The write implies output only.

I wouldn't configure the PC to capture two VCR at the same time. Folks can get confused and stop the wrong VCR. If you need two capture setups, do two PCs, the older PCs are not expensive compared to VCRS, TBCs, etc. and it keeps life simpler.
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  #25  
04-29-2019, 09:30 AM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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It's the same card I have and that one captures very nicely, as long as you have the proper VIVO cable. Lordsmurf says there's an issue capturing MPEG-2 when you use the ATI software, but I use VirtualDub 1.9 and have never had a problem.
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  #26  
04-29-2019, 10:32 AM
Stephen Stephen is offline
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Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
It's the same card I have and that one captures very nicely, as long as you have the proper VIVO cable. Lordsmurf says there's an issue capturing MPEG-2 when you use the ATI software, but I use VirtualDub 1.9 and have never had a problem.

Are you sure its the same one? It looks like there are two versions of it....
The ATI Radeon 1800XT
https://www.cnet.com/products/ati-ra...-512-mb/specs/

And then there is the ATI AIW 1800XT
https://www.cnet.com/products/ati-al...800-xl-256-mb/

It looks like the one of the big differences is the nonAIW version doesn't have svideo input that the svideo is only output and the only input it has is composite. The link is for this nonAIW version....are you sure that's the one you have? Are the specs I'm reading on cnet wrong?

Here is the ebay listing again..... https://www.ebay.com/itm/112386793026?ul_noapp=true
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  #27  
04-29-2019, 08:06 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Are you sure its the same one? It looks like there are two versions of it....
The ATI Radeon 1800XT
https://www.cnet.com/products/ati-ra...-512-mb/specs/

And then there is the ATI AIW 1800XT
https://www.cnet.com/products/ati-al...800-xl-256-mb/

It looks like the one of the big differences is the nonAIW version doesn't have svideo input that the svideo is only output and the only input it has is composite. The link is for this nonAIW version....are you sure that's the one you have? Are the specs I'm reading on cnet wrong?

Here is the ebay listing again..... https://www.ebay.com/itm/112386793026?ul_noapp=true
You know, I think you're right and I'm wrong. Not the first time. Ooops. Sorry about that, Stephen. But if you find an ATI AIW (All-In-Wonder) X1800, you'll still be good to go with that system.
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  #28  
04-29-2019, 08:31 PM
Stephen Stephen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
You know, I think you're right and I'm wrong. Not the first time. Ooops. Sorry about that, Stephen. But if you find an ATI AIW (All-In-Wonder) X1800, you'll still be good to go with that system.

Dang, I thought I have fixing to get a steal. LoL.....thatís okay, thanks for getting back with me about it!
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