Quantcast VHS to digital, newbie overwhelmed! - digitalFAQ Forum
Go Back    Forum > Digital Video > Video Project Help > Project Planning, Workflows

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
04-24-2019, 08:40 AM
Stephen Stephen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Okay, this is completely new to me. Iím good with technology but never done anything like this. Iíve been reading the website and forum and researching converting vhs to digital but there is SO much to consider. What Iím wondering is if itís possible to get great results with corrections and such with a workflow that is simple and easy?

So here is where Iím at. Iím on the board of a non profit youth ballet performing company that does full production balletís using only youth. Our Artistic Director is 84 and been teaching for over 50 years. We have hundreds and hundreds of vhs tapes from shows, teachings, etc that span decades and Iím sure quality. We want to convert these to digital, save them on a network storage so that we can easily burn them to dvd and also upload some to YouTube.

Before I started researching people just wanted to grab a vhs to dvd all in one recorder and go to town. These recordings are a true time capsule and I want to do them the best we can...given we will be using volunteers not professionals and donít have the budget to do them professionally.

Is there a workflow that will be easy for volunteers? Iíve read about S-vhs like the better JVCís, external TBC, and some software that apparently can also be useful at cleaning things up a bit. I was planning using some component to usb converter cables.

This is a huge project and Iím starting to sink. Hahaha. I have around $500-$750 to spend on equipment and software and I will be using volunteers who can hit play and record and maybe do a few things....but are not going to be engineers by and stretch of the imagination. Itíll be your typical mom that can use a computer and is waiting on her daughter to get out of rehearsal.

Is it possible, with the right equipment, to get great results with a workflow that once setup is fairly simple? Also, is my budget of $500-$750 going to cut it?
Reply With Quote
Someday, 12:01 PM
admin's Avatar
Ads / Sponsors
 
Join Date: ∞
Posts: 42
Thanks: ∞
Thanked 42 Times in 42 Posts
  #2  
04-24-2019, 04:29 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 341
Thanked 64 Times in 57 Posts
"Simple" meaning that, with some experience, an amateur can learn to operate it and get good results? Yes. But if "simple" means that you pop a tape in, press a button, and get a high-quality digital output with no work or effort in the middle, then No. If that's your definition of simple then you might want to just bite your tongue and get a DVD burner.

If you (or a few volunteers) are willing to put in the time and effort to practice and learn, then you really won't do any better than spending time on this forum. But a $750 equipment budget will not get you good results. If you really want to get top-quality results, you'll need to spend at least a G. What you will need:
  • Time Base Corrector...and one built for consumer-grade VHS work. These haven't been built in several years, and many of the later models (AVT-8710, I'm looking at you) were critically flawed. You really need to look for a DataVideo TBC-1000, 3000, or 4000, or else an early production (green) AVT-8710. Anything you find on eBay is a crapshoot at best. Check the Marketplace in this forum or similar sources to find working units from knowledgeable sellers.
  • Top-quality VCR: Which should be obvious, but there are a few things to keep in mind. JVC made some very fine S-VHS VCRs; you want one with a built-in line TBC to stabilize the signal (Yes, you still need one of the full-frame TBCs mentioned above...they work together). But, if (a significant number) of your tapes were recorded in EP mode, you'll probably want to look elsewhere as JVC machines don't have a good quality reputation with EP (SLP) tapes. The Panasonic AG-1980 is the gold standard here, but they're very expensive and if they haven't been rebuilt with new capacitors by a professional shop, they'll need to be. I've personally had very good results, though, with a Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U when capturing EP tapes...almost as good as the Panasonic, and they're much cheaper to buy if you can find one.
  • A quality capture device. Best is a computer running Windows XP dedicated completely to capturing with an ATI All-In-Wonder video card. Next best is a USB capture device on a similar computer. Some of the USB devices will also work and give good results on more modern (Win7 and maybe even Win10) computers. But don't use a capture device manufactured in the last 10 years; they're unlikely to give quality results with legacy VHS video.

If you get lucky, you may be able to put together a full workflow for $1200-$1500 or so. And, if you (or your volunteers) learn to operate it correctly, you'll get results which are archival quality and light-years ahead of anything which you could do "on the cheap". And, if this is a limited project, your gear ought to retain its resale value when the project is done.
Reply With Quote
The following users thank ehbowen for this useful post: Stephen (04-25-2019)
  #3  
04-24-2019, 05:36 PM
Stephen Stephen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
"Simple" meaning that, with some experience, an amateur can learn to operate it and get good results? Yes. But if "simple" means that you pop a tape in, press a button, and get a high-quality digital output with no work or effort in the middle, then No. If that's your definition of simple then you might want to just bite your tongue and get a DVD burner.

If you (or a few volunteers) are willing to put in the time and effort to practice and learn, then you really won't do any better than spending time on this forum. But a $750 equipment budget will not get you good results. If you really want to get top-quality results, you'll need to spend at least a G. What you will need:
  • Time Base Corrector...and one built for consumer-grade VHS work. These haven't been built in several years, and many of the later models (AVT-8710, I'm looking at you) were critically flawed. You really need to look for a DataVideo TBC-1000, 3000, or 4000, or else an early production (green) AVT-8710. Anything you find on eBay is a crapshoot at best. Check the Marketplace in this forum or similar sources to find working units from knowledgeable sellers.
  • Top-quality VCR: Which should be obvious, but there are a few things to keep in mind. JVC made some very fine S-VHS VCRs; you want one with a built-in line TBC to stabilize the signal (Yes, you still need one of the full-frame TBCs mentioned above...they work together). But, if (a significant number) of your tapes were recorded in EP mode, you'll probably want to look elsewhere as JVC machines don't have a good quality reputation with EP (SLP) tapes. The Panasonic AG-1980 is the gold standard here, but they're very expensive and if they haven't been rebuilt with new capacitors by a professional shop, they'll need to be. I've personally had very good results, though, with a Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U when capturing EP tapes...almost as good as the Panasonic, and they're much cheaper to buy if you can find one.
  • A quality capture device. Best is a computer running Windows XP dedicated completely to capturing with an ATI All-In-Wonder video card. Next best is a USB capture device on a similar computer. Some of the USB devices will also work and give good results on more modern (Win7 and maybe even Win10) computers. But don't use a capture device manufactured in the last 10 years; they're unlikely to give quality results with legacy VHS video.
If you get lucky, you may be able to put together a full workflow for $1200-$1500 or so. And, if you (or your volunteers) learn to operate it correctly, you'll get results which are archival quality and light-years ahead of anything which you could do "on the cheap". And, if this is a limited project, your gear ought to retain its resale value when the project is done.
This is wonderful information, thank you! It confirms for me what I was reading. I wasn't sure how much to expect to spend, and it sounds like a proper setup is outside of our budget, however, I may can stretch it since I can resell the equipment and recover most of the expense.

As for me saying "simple"....I don't mind there being complexity in setting everything up and I can learn and then teach others. My biggest concern is how to properly use a external TBC. Does it have any automatic adjustments it makes to correct or does the user have to notice things to correct and make the adjustments to correct? Is that complex or just a matter of 'if * is happening push this button until its corrected'? Also, are there some good video editing software that automatically will apply changes to clean things up?

Is the necessity of the ATI All in Wonder card just to have the component inputs so that the equipment can be hooked up directly without a needing a analog to digital converter like component to usb? In storage I have a old PC that was donated to us that we have never used. It was custom built in 2007 or 2008 as a home theater media server and supposedly cost $8500 to build. It has several component inputs, composite inputs and several other input types. Supposedly has a video card that in 2008 was around $1000 but I don't know what brand any of its internals are. I THINK its running windows 7. Maybe this would be a good computer to use for this purpose but I thought that being from 2007/8 the processor and ram may not be up to par for processing video and such. Doesn't it require a pretty fast machine to process and edit full 2hr movies?

I think you are right about buying the equipment off of the forum as opposed to trying to find it off FB or something. I'm sure users on the forum have taken better care of everything. May even find a full setup ready to go all from one person.

Thanks SO much for all the advice!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
04-24-2019, 05:54 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 341
Thanked 64 Times in 57 Posts
TBCs really are very simple; they just take in an often-unstable VHS signal at one end, put it in a framestore, and output it 1/30th of a second (or so) later as a stable signal which a computer digitizer won't choke on. Some of the higher end units have processor controls which allow you to tweak brightness and color levels and such, but a basic TBC-1000 just has an input, outputs (they were designed to split the signal across four VCRs to facilitate multiple copies), and a power switch.

The All-In-Wonder cards were designed and built for the capture of legacy analog video back when it wasn't "legacy" but current state-of-the-art. They have the reputation of being the best-performing units ever built. You may find one on eBay at a reasonable cost, but be sure it's complete! ATI used a lot of proprietary connectors and breakout boxes for video input and output, and without all of those the card is normally useless. Sometimes you can find the cables separately, but in most cases the cables and boxes are worth more than the cards themselves! If you do shop eBay, look for units posted as "complete in box". They're out there; I've found two so far. One caveat, thought: The All-In-Wonders simply will not work on any computer operating system more recent than Windows XP...the upgrade to Vista broke a number of the drivers that ATI depended on and, with the switch to digital HD video, they were never rewritten. Used Windows XP computers are not that hard to find, but be sure you get the right type to go with your AIW card. Earlier ones such as the 7500, 9000 and 9600 require a motherboard with an AGP video slot. Those are getting hard to find. The next-generation AIW cards such as the X1800 will run on a motherboard with a PCI Express video slot, which are much easier to find. They still won't run on anything past Windows XP, however. And, with either architecture, you'll also want to have a good sound card to take the load of processing audio off of the CPU. Lordsmurf recommends the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, but I've had good results with an ASUS Xonar DGX. Also, do yourself a favor and install a SATA card with a hard drive dedicated for capturing...preferably two hard drives, one of them either external in an eSATA dock or else in an internal hot-swap drive bay.

If you can't put all the pieces of that puzzle together, next best is a good USB capture device. Check with the experts here for recommendations on those, though, as they run the gamut from almost-as-good as the AIW cards to pure crap. Try to get something on the front end of that spectrum....

Good luck!
Reply With Quote
The following users thank ehbowen for this useful post: Stephen (04-25-2019)
  #5  
04-24-2019, 09:34 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA
Posts: 3,648
Thanked 1,266 Times in 973 Posts
Modern USB Capture devices: There are plenty of them around, selling for anything from 50 cents to $200. Unfortunately the majority are either pure junk or not optimized for legacy VHS or other analog formats. The advertising and "user reviews" that you see for those products are either fantasy or nonsense. There are three USB devices that you will see mentioned often in this and other forum, all very good and competitive performers with analog source. They are cheaper than the old All in Wonder line and its branded spinoffs because the AIW's were complete=-service graphics accelerators as well as capture cards -- the newer USB's have capture circuitry only. The three tried and tested units you'll see mentioned in this forum are the Hauppauge USB live-2, the ATI 600 USB, and the Diamond Multimedia VC500. I prefer the VC500 which i think offers a wider dynamic range in contrast and color, and they have updated drivers for XP/W7/W10. But you would have a difficult time telling the results apart. Each of these can be had for less than $50.

When it comes to software, you're in luck. Almost all of it is free, from capture software to repair apps, to editors, to filtering apps, and encoders. if you want special effects or timeline work after your processing is done, you can get Corel video suites for dirt cheap from Amazon. Avisynth and VirtualDub are free. Operating systems: This has already7 been mentioned, but XP and Win7 are your best bets for capture. Windows 10 is a multi-headed disaster, period.

Other than a good rebuilt VCR or some kind of tbc, likely the two biggest hurdles will be, first, getting people accustomed to the idea that direct capture to lossy codecs like MPEG or h.264 are murder if you're looking for damage-free editing and cleanup or correction and, second, the idea that recording tape to a digital format automatically makes it look like a DVD just doesn't happen -- No way. it will look like the tape, and always worse unless it's lossless media. Fortunately lossless media can be archived to more compressed formats after the work and final output is done, and intermediate working files don't have to be saved.

For those tapes that are truly pristine, stored under ideal conditions and well recorded to begin with, there can be time and savings by recording to legacy DVD recorders that used the LSI processing chip. The only Panasonic model using that processor was the DMR-ES20, with 1-hour recording rates suggested or a hard minimum of 2 hours recording time. No other Panasonic is suggested. Lordsmurf might be able to lead you to one or more legacy JVC DVD-R's that used this processor. Mind, however, that this would be for "perfect" tapes that don't need repair or extensive correction, or that were photo'd or recorded with proper signal level management. If the tape is too dark or too bright, forget it -- post processing MPEG imperfections is pure torture and seldom works to anyone's satisfaction.

Hmm. "Hundreds" of tapes, you say. Good heavens. Look at it this way: no matter what capture method you use, a 2-hour tape requires 2 hours of capture time.
Reply With Quote
The following users thank sanlyn for this useful post: Stephen (04-25-2019)
  #6  
04-25-2019, 07:21 PM
Stephen Stephen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Hmm. "Hundreds" of tapes, you say. Good heavens. Look at it this way: no matter what capture method you use, a 2-hour tape requires 2 hours of capture time.
Literally hundreds. He was director over a college dance program for 35 years and still likes to get out oldddd VHS tapes to use the audio and watch them to teach someone a certain dance. (that used to be reel to reel but at some point in the 80's and 90's were converted to VHS). Its an amazing body of work really so we are trying to archive it in a way that it doesn't get lost to damaged tapes and bring it into modern technology.

Since you mentioned various types of codec what is going to be best? We will be storing all of this on some kind of cloud based storage. From there, when we want to create a DVD I just want pretty much anyone to be able to pull it up in storage and burn it straight to a dvd real easy (where it will play in most any dvd player). We also want to be able to easily upload them to YouTube, Facebook AND easily pull them up to watch directly from the cloud storage using a ipad (during dance classes). What would be the best format to record them in for this?

Its going to be a massive undertaking that we want to start this summer. We are going to start with the most used videos and I imaging we will be doing this for 2 years. I'm hoping to have volunteers help and for them to be able to record 1 tape per day. I even have reel to reel video and audio that I plan on sending somewhere to have converted.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
04-25-2019, 09:31 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA
Posts: 3,648
Thanked 1,266 Times in 973 Posts
On the basis of these new details, methinks you need to sit down with a few principles and have a long, intimate, detailed discussion.

Cloud storage is fine, until someone screws up or the outfit goes out of business. Does it happen? You bet it does. Be very cautious. Don't discard the tapes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Literally hundreds. He was director over a college dance program for 35 years and still likes to get out oldddd VHS tapes to use the audio and watch them to teach someone a certain dance. (that used to be reel to reel but at some point in the 80's and 90's were converted to VHS). Its an amazing body of work really so we are trying to archive it in a way that it doesn't get lost to damaged tapes and bring it into modern technology.
Some of these tapes, then, are multi-gen dubs. They're really murder to clean up and to play and capture with consistent stability. Expect some frame hopping and frame dropouts, as well as noise from degraded magnetic layers. This won't happen everywhere, but it does happen. There are ways to fix it. But not in the way you seem to be planning to capture. Fixup and cleanup require lossless media.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Since you mentioned various types of codec what is going to be best? We will be storing all of this on some kind of cloud based storage. From there, when we want to create a DVD I just want pretty much anyone to be able to pull it up in storage and burn it straight to a dvd real easy (where it will play in most any dvd player). We also want to be able to easily upload them to YouTube, Facebook AND easily pull them up to watch directly from the cloud storage using a ipad (during dance classes). What would be the best format to record them in for this?
VHS is YPbPr 4:2:2 color resolution. It is captured as 720x480 YUY2 color into AVI files using lossless compressors such as huffYUV or Lagarith. Lossless capture using these codecs runs about 30 to 35 GB per hour. It's not possible to maintain anything near the original quality by capturing to lossy codecs like DV, h.264, or MPEG, and every processing step that follows lossy captures loses more quality. A possible compromise would be to capture to the ProRes codec, which is not native to Windows but can be downloaded free for the Windows use. It is slightly lossy, but not nearly as destructive as DV or h.264, and makes slightly smaller (but still large) archives. The only problem with ProRes might be its capture-time performance; if it's too slow, you could have problems with lost frames and audio sync. HuffYUV/YUY2 is still the standard.

If you intend to go directly to DVD from your capture, you're losing quality and wasting time capturing to a PC in the first place. If you're not going to do any cleanup, you may as well capture directly to 2-pass DVD-compatible MPEG2 at high variable bitrates, which would be about 1 hour of program time per DVD disc, which translates to just over 4Gb per hour. If you want more on a disc, burn to double-layer DVD. What will these DVD recordings look like without cleanup? They will look like the tapes, although slightly worse for the added digital compression artifacts that don't exist on analog source.

You can use any DVD recorder or capture card that encodes directly to MPEG2. Budget Corel software can be used to pull of MPEG selections from your archives, assemble them into desired sequences, and author and burn them to DVD (authoring does not involve re-encoding. It's just a copy and reorganization step into containers from MPG to VOB). You can also use the same Corel software to make decent standard definition Bluray encodes and discs. This may or may not involve re-encoding, since Bluray can use MPEG encoding but requires a different container (M2TS). You can put several hours of MPEG video on a BluRay disc. In many cases, however, depending on the exact structure of your MPEG file, re-encoding for Bluray might be needed.

DVD is encoded as lossy MPEG2, which is a final delivery format not designed for edits. if you want any cut-and-join edits, you can get smart-rendering MPEG editors from Corel for about $70. However, if you want to do any color correcting or image modification, it will entail considerable quality cost and involves time and re-encoding. Simple cut-and-join edits with smart rendering will involve re-encoding only the immediate GOP's in the cut area. If you don't know what a GOP is, you'd best find out so that you can explain this to those who keep saying they want high quality transfers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_of_pictures). A GOP, or Group Of Pictures, contains at least one I-frame or key frame which is a complete image. The other frames, which are P and/or B frames, contain only the changes that have occurred since the previous I-frame and sometimes work to predict changes for subsequent frames. P and B frames are not complete images. I think you can see that if you want to cut a piece of video in a spot that isn't a complete image, the software will have to manage the cut by rearranging, recreating, and re-encoding the full and partial frames into new GOP's in the area of the join. If the software has no smart-rendering function, it will put the entire video through another lossy stage of re-encoding, for an easily visible quality loss and noise increase. The average GOP size for NTSC DVD is a max of 18 frames, a minimum of 12. If you expect to edit DVD's, encode specifying Open GOP's.

If you want to convert DVD to other formats and for the web, you will have to deinterlace, resize to square-pixel frame sizes, and re-encode using other codecs. H.264 and mp4 containers are used for the internet. NLE editors are grossly underpowered for this kind of work, except for the final re-encoding, and will always produce noisy, ugly results. I strongly suggest that for this reformatting you should use Avisynth and save intermediate files to lossless compression. The intermediates can be discarded later. The only deinterlacer worth its salt for noisy DVD reformats is QTGMC, which is an Avisynth plugin, and Avisynth's resizers are superior to those in NLE editors including editors that arrogantly add "pro" to their names for no apparent reason other than raising prices. If any of the videos are actually telecined or use some form of pulldown rather than pure interlace, you'll need Avisynth's Inverse Telecine plugin (TIVTC) to decode those files into progressive video for web mounting. Fortunately QTGMC does feature some denoising as it does its work. The lossless codec to use for this reformatting work would be Lagarith for YV12 colorspaces, which is the native colorspace of DVD and h.264 encodes. There is free software available for reformatting/encoding for iphones and other devices but I don't use them.
Reply With Quote
The following users thank sanlyn for this useful post: Stephen (04-25-2019)
  #8  
04-26-2019, 12:08 AM
Stephen Stephen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
On the basis of these new details, methinks you need to sit down with a few principles and have a long, intimate, detailed discussion.

Cloud storage is fine, until someone screws up or the outfit goes out of business. Does it happen? You bet it does. Be very cautious. Don't discard the tapes.

Some of these tapes, then, are multi-gen dubs. They're really murder to clean up and to play and capture with consistent stability. Expect some frame hopping and frame dropouts, as well as noise from degraded magnetic layers. This won't happen everywhere, but it does happen. There are ways to fix it. But not in the way you seem to be planning to capture. Fixup and cleanup require lossless media.

VHS is YPbPr 4:2:2 color resolution. It is captured as 720x480 YUY2 color into AVI files using lossless compressors such as huffYUV or Lagarith. Lossless capture using these codecs runs about 30 to 35 GB per hour. It's not possible to maintain anything near the original quality by capturing to lossy codecs like DV, h.264, or MPEG, and every processing step that follows lossy captures loses more quality. A possible compromise would be to capture to the ProRes codec, which is not native to Windows but can be downloaded free for the Windows use. It is slightly lossy, but not nearly as destructive as DV or h.264, and makes slightly smaller (but still large) archives. The only problem with ProRes might be its capture-time performance; if it's too slow, you could have problems with lost frames and audio sync. HuffYUV/YUY2 is still the standard.

If you intend to go directly to DVD from your capture, you're losing quality and wasting time capturing to a PC in the first place. If you're not going to do any cleanup, you may as well capture directly to 2-pass DVD-compatible MPEG2 at high variable bitrates, which would be about 1 hour of program time per DVD disc, which translates to just over 4Gb per hour. If you want more on a disc, burn to double-layer DVD. What will these DVD recordings look like without cleanup? They will look like the tapes, although slightly worse for the added digital compression artifacts that don't exist on analog source.

You can use any DVD recorder or capture card that encodes directly to MPEG2. Budget Corel software can be used to pull of MPEG selections from your archives, assemble them into desired sequences, and author and burn them to DVD (authoring does not involve re-encoding. It's just a copy and reorganization step into containers from MPG to VOB). You can also use the same Corel software to make decent standard definition Bluray encodes and discs. This may or may not involve re-encoding, since Bluray can use MPEG encoding but requires a different container (M2TS). You can put several hours of MPEG video on a BluRay disc. In many cases, however, depending on the exact structure of your MPEG file, re-encoding for Bluray might be needed.

DVD is encoded as lossy MPEG2, which is a final delivery format not designed for edits. if you want any cut-and-join edits, you can get smart-rendering MPEG editors from Corel for about $70. However, if you want to do any color correcting or image modification, it will entail considerable quality cost and involves time and re-encoding. Simple cut-and-join edits with smart rendering will involve re-encoding only the immediate GOP's in the cut area. If you don't know what a GOP is, you'd best find out so that you can explain this to those who keep saying they want high quality transfers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_of_pictures). A GOP, or Group Of Pictures, contains at least one I-frame or key frame which is a complete image. The other frames, which are P and/or B frames, contain only the changes that have occurred since the previous I-frame and sometimes work to predict changes for subsequent frames. P and B frames are not complete images. I think you can see that if you want to cut a piece of video in a spot that isn't a complete image, the software will have to manage the cut by rearranging, recreating, and re-encoding the full and partial frames into new GOP's in the area of the join. If the software has no smart-rendering function, it will put the entire video through another lossy stage of re-encoding, for an easily visible quality loss and noise increase. The average GOP size for NTSC DVD is a max of 18 frames, a minimum of 12. If you expect to edit DVD's, encode specifying Open GOP's.

If you want to convert DVD to other formats and for the web, you will have to deinterlace, resize to square-pixel frame sizes, and re-encode using other codecs. H.264 and mp4 containers are used for the internet. NLE editors are grossly underpowered for this kind of work, except for the final re-encoding, and will always produce noisy, ugly results. I strongly suggest that for this reformatting you should use Avisynth and save intermediate files to lossless compression. The intermediates can be discarded later. The only deinterlacer worth its salt for noisy DVD reformats is QTGMC, which is an Avisynth plugin, and Avisynth's resizers are superior to those in NLE editors including editors that arrogantly add "pro" to their names for no apparent reason other than raising prices. If any of the videos are actually telecined or use some form of pulldown rather than pure interlace, you'll need Avisynth's Inverse Telecine plugin (TIVTC) to decode those files into progressive video for web mounting. Fortunately QTGMC does feature some denoising as it does its work. The lossless codec to use for this reformatting work would be Lagarith for YV12 colorspaces, which is the native colorspace of DVD and h.264 encodes. There is free software available for reformatting/encoding for iphones and other devices but I don't use them.
This is where the complexity is going beyond my understanding. I'm wanting to have the video cleaned up as best we can (within reason, not being professional or advanced hobbyist) then save it where it is very accessible such as a cloud storage where we can access them to easily burn a dvd to play in most any dvd player, upload to youtube or facebook, or play right off of the storage location on a ipad. Is what your telling me is that this wont really be possible unless I save it in a lossy format? For instance, if I save it in a good lossless format that you were saying we cant just burn that to a dvd and play it in a dvd player or upload it to youtube, right?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
04-26-2019, 10:06 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 1,436
Thanked 327 Times in 285 Posts
There are a several conflicting requirements in play.
Simple vs. High Quality
Soon vs. Eventually
Low cost vs. Costly.

The clock is running and every playback puts the tapes at risk. The older the tape the higher the risk. The creator of the works - the expert on their content - may well be into the gray-beard age and if his knowledge is necessary for cataloging, documenting, and prioritizing the on going work then sooner is better than later when his/her availability and faculties may become problematic.

Don't Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good and result in nothing accomplished. Direct transfer to a DVD using a DVD recorder can be accomplished with minimal training once the gear is set-up.. As noted above an initial direct transfer to a DVD recorder, using quality VCR and TBC, will give you a recording for immediate use that is essentially visually about as good as the tapes you now have. (Thanks to the TBC and use of better VCRs it might actually play a bit better.) Once you have the DVD it can be viewed and copied without additional loss to additional DVDs, extracted to a computer file for uploading to social media and other immediate distribution and viewing needs without further risk to the tape.

The tape can be saved for more methodical capture and restoration by skilled personnel in accordance with priorities as time permits. Or if you have the right gear setup the capture to a lossless file format for later processing can be accomp0lished while the DVD is being recorded (provided you have the storage available). 200 2-hout tapes is only about 14 TB.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
04-26-2019, 10:25 AM
Stephen Stephen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
There are a several conflicting requirements in play.
Simple vs. High Quality
Soon vs. Eventually
Low cost vs. Costly.

The clock is running and every playback puts the tapes at risk. The older the tape the higher the risk. The creator of the works - the expert on their content - may well be into the gray-beard age and if his knowledge is necessary for cataloging, documenting, and prioritizing the on going work then sooner is better than later when his/her availability and faculties may become problematic.

Don't Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good and result in nothing accomplished. Direct transfer to a DVD using a DVD recorder can be accomplished with minimal training once the gear is set-up.. As noted above an initial direct transfer to a DVD recorder, using quality VCR and TBC, will give you a recording for immediate use that is essentially visually about as good as the tapes you now have. (Thanks to the TBC and use of better VCRs it might actually play a bit better.) Once you have the DVD it can be viewed and copied without additional loss to additional DVDs, extracted to a computer file for uploading to social media and other immediate distribution and viewing needs without further risk to the tape.

The tape can be saved for more methodical capture and restoration by skilled personnel in accordance with priorities as time permits. Or if you have the right gear setup the capture to a lossless file format for later processing can be accomp0lished while the DVD is being recorded (provided you have the storage available). 200 2-hout tapes is only about 14 TB.
I'm sorry I probably seem to be asking the same question over. I just want to make sure I have a good concept of specifically what needs to happen so we can do it right and not waste our time. I do plan on keeping all the originals, we wont be discarding anything.

Okay to make sure I'm following correctly. If I have a good VCR and a external TBC this should send a video to the PC that is as good or potentially a little better than if I just watched the vhs tape as is since the equipment will make some corrections or enhancements. THEN once captured on the computer we would open it up in a software like Sanlyn mentioned where we could then edit the video, maybe put text in the beginning saying what the video is of, adjust the lighting or colors, maybe increase the sound if needed? Then once all of the edits are completed in the software could we then save it in a very 'useable' format that can be uploaded to youtube, played on ipad, etc? Or would that diminish a lot of our hard work? Or should we have two copies saved? One that is easy to open and edit in the software (which I imagine is similar to a RAW image in photography) and one that has been 'processed' to something suitable for youtube (which I imagine to be the video equivalent of a jpeg)?

I do want to capture the video to pc and open it in a software to make basic edits. Then upload the file to some kind of cloud storage where others can use it easily (such as a dance teacher or choreographer). I guess I'm just not sure about the process once it gets to the computer and what are the appropriate codex types to use or is there need to be different ones for different stages. What codex will the video be as soon as it is captured in the computer?

Is my thinking on this correct?

Last edited by Stephen; 04-26-2019 at 11:05 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
04-26-2019, 11:58 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA
Posts: 3,648
Thanked 1,266 Times in 973 Posts
First let me say that dpalomaki made some useful points while I was away earlier today. Then I can address your older post and move up to later questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
This is where the complexity is going beyond my understanding. I'm wanting to have the video cleaned up as best we can (within reason, not being professional or advanced hobbyist) then save it where it is very accessible such as a cloud storage where we can access them to easily burn a dvd to play in most any dvd player, upload to youtube or facebook, or play right off of the storage location on a ipad. Is what your telling me is that this wont really be possible unless I save it in a lossy format? For instance, if I save it in a good lossless format that you were saying we cant just burn that to a dvd and play it in a dvd player or upload it to youtube, right?
Yes, it's complex because you're talking about multiple processing steps, multiple storage formats, and multiple playback systems.

For DVD The codec is MPEG2. The encoding itself has specifioc parameters and bitrates, and the authoring (creating menus and file organization for burning to DVD disc) are also standardized. You can't just burn "any old video" in any old format or frame size to a disc and call it a DVD. It might play on your PC, but it won't play on anyone's DVD player. Besides the DVD specs mentioned, the normal frame size is 720x480 (NTSC) and the audio is either Dolby AC3 or PCM.

Consider the frame size. 720x480 is not a 4:3 image (such as the old CRT TV frame or the squarish classic movie frame), and it's not modern 16:9. 720x480 is a 3:2 frame, also called its "Storage Aspect Ratio". When it's played on a DVD system the player can squish it into a 4:3 image or it can stretch it into 16:9, depending on how the DVD was encoded with imbedded playback instructions. There are other DVD frame sizes, but they're all smaller (less resolution) and none are 4:3 or 16:9. They're all anamorphic and will play mostly at 4:3. So, since 720x480 is so prevalent, and if you want DVD or standard definition BluRay or AVCHD, VHS is captured at that frame size as MPEG for DVD or as lossless. It's a decent resolution for cleanup and processing, and at disc burning time you don't have to change frame dimensions.

You don't have to store MPEG video as authored DVD files. While the MPEG encoding itself could be DVD-compliant and all you'd have to do is author it to DVD spec (which is a copy operation into different container files, not a re-encode), you can just store it as MPEG2 in an .mpg file container and play it directly. The .mpg can be opened by an authoring program that creates the menus and containers and burns the results to DVD disc. You can also save templates in authoring programs that speed the work. An authoring program like TMPGEnc's Authoring Works or a Corel Video Studio app can burn a DVD-R from a template in about 15 or 20 minutes, and you can create and save hundreds of templates if you want. There are also highly automated machines that do the same thing from big pre-formatted storage servers very quickly -- but you can imagine what they cost.

However, a dialup network server/player and the internet have different requirements. Some members here who are network specialists can help with the details here (I'm not a fan of network or streaming systems), but some of those systems can play anamorphic formats and some can't. By and large, the internet won't allow interlace, telecine, or anamorphic frames. So if you want to mount stuff on YouTube or social media, you need to deinterlace and resize to progressive square-pixel formats. Square-pixel means that the storage aspect ratio and the playback aspect ratio are the same, or 1:1 -- that is, if you want 4:3 video playback, then your frame has to be a 4:3 frame, such as 640x480. Likewise for 16:9, where a typical 16:9 frame might be about 640x360. Most websites have a spec list of the frame sizes they accept. If you submit something that's not on the list, it's either rejected or it's resized using the cheapest, fastest, dirtiest means possible.

Server systems and the 'net also have different encoding requirements. h.264 is king of the road, and mp4 containers are the most frequent. Audio generally isn't 48KHz Dolby or PCM but 44.1KHz more highly compressed formats or even mp3.

Yes, there's a problem trying to filter or visually "correct" lossy codecs such as MPEG and h.264. You can use Avisynth and VirtualDub to make lossy things look a little cleaner, but there's a quality cost that requires another round of lossy encoding and more data loss. The results won't be nearly as spiffy as cleaned-up lossless. Those tapes that were not so great to begin with will look even worse and might require special treatment.

What you can do is capture to lossless, do some nominal quickie cleanup or repair where needed (and get rid of the bottom-border head-switching noise, which is so easy to do with lossless media), then encode to MPEG. At the same time you could also deinterlace lossless into progressive square-pixel formats and encode your "second format" to h.264 for other systems, iphones, and the internet. You can then do whatever you want with the lossless originals, or discard them. Regardless, keep the tapes.

The idea behind lossless or professional HD near-lossless formats is that they aren't designed for mass distribution. They're specifically designed for processing without compression damage and for archiving, later to be encoded into the popular lossy formats that we mere mortals are familiar with. A "lossless codec" means that 100% of the data that goes into them, totally unaltered, is what you get back when the video is decoded. Lossless working files can be decoded, altered, and recompressed over and over, with no data loss or compression damage. "Lossy" means that the encoder decides which data is important, while "unimportant" data is discarded, never to be seen again. Different lossy codecs do it differently, with different levels and degrees of data retention/rejection/alteration based largely on bitrate. More bitrate means more data retention and less distortion or encoding errors. Lower bitrates mean smaller files but with higher compression and more loss. When a lossy video is decoded and then altered and re-encoded, the losses are cumulative; additional stages of lossy re-encoding entail additional loss.

Other readers probably have more ideas. For example dpalomaki mentioned that with a good VCR and a good DVD recorder or capture device, VHS can go fairly cleanly to DVD that might suffice for several purposes. There might be a few nightmare tapes that need special attention, but those can be addressed later.

It was mentioned that 200 2-hour lossless captures would consume about 14TB. That could be correct, since I have a few hundred hours of old and new lossless captures on 16 1TB USB drives. As for direct DVD recordings: you can hopefully borrow a decent VCR and a DVD recorder (there are lots of good legacy units around from Panasonic and Toshiba with built-in hard drives) and a good VCR. Throw a tape into the player, connect s-video to the recorder and see what you get. You'll never know until you actually try it. You could cut and post a small piece of that MPEG to the forum (there are guides on how to do it) for further advice.


Whatever you do, don't fall prey to the DVD/VHS combo crowd. Those are terrible machines with worse than terrible tape players. While they were popular, they were designed strictly for price and convenience; quality was absolutely not a consideration. We've seen posts of videos made with those units. I'm so glad none of those tapes were mine.

Last edited by sanlyn; 04-26-2019 at 12:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
The following users thank sanlyn for this useful post: Stephen (04-28-2019)
  #12  
04-26-2019, 12:09 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 1,436
Thanked 327 Times in 285 Posts
Using a "good" VCR, such as recommended in this and other threads, with a full frame TBC will generally output a signal to a TV, or a capture device, that is better than what one gets from a generic consumer VCR only. Some VCRs have built-in noise reduction and image enhancement features that can help - or in some cases hurt the image. The better VCR allow it to be enabled or disabled. Also some tapes will play better on one brand of VCR than another and the next tape be the opposite

"Decent" cuts only video editing using even introductory level NLE software is not a trivial process, and is beyond the ability of typical Joe and Jane Sixpack volunteers. It takes some experience which means time, as well as a bit of talent and tech ability that is a step above the proverbial programming a VCR. But then, you may have a community of good volunteers with the necessary abilities and skills.

Ingesting the video from a VHS tape format to a suitable digital film in a PC is a first step, perhaps the easiest one for volunteers. Then you are adding some editing, image restoration/enhancement, authoring and re-encoding to one or more distribution formats and production of corresponding media (e.g., DVDs, MP4 on the web, etc.), which combined requires a lot of time (generally several times the runtime of the raw video), and skill generally beyond your average Joe and Jane Sixpack volunteer.

The work flows you use will ultimately depend on the deadlines you impose, the resources you have (including the skill set and availability of your volunteers), the distribution formats you intend to support, your budget, and your tolerance for risk that it may never be completed.

In general you would archive a capture to a lossless digital format. Working with a copy of the archived copy you would do such editing, restoration and sweetening as desired remaining in lossless format. Then archive the worked final copy, an use it to generate distribution copies in the desired formats and media.

Starting with a captured digital file (in almost any format short of DVD format) of a 1-hour video, it will probably take another 2-4 hours to take it to a basic authored video DVD. More, potentially much more if extensive cuts-only editing and complex menus and chapters, subtitles, and/or voice over narration are included.

The direct-to-DVD recorder gives you a baseline for immediate use if that is desired. Going through a PC to get an initial (unsweetened interim product) adds time. It is your project, your customers, your call.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
04-26-2019, 12:50 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA
Posts: 3,648
Thanked 1,266 Times in 973 Posts
Again, good notes from dpalomaki.

You're given two choices, one lossy, one lossless. Nothing says you can't use both where required or expedient. Of utmost importance, however, is the quality and condition of the tape player. I know: the good stuff ain't cheap, and never was. Unfortunately there are dozens of $50 and less capture cards that are pure junk, but fortunately there are one or two recommended ones around that offer good performance. The Diamond Multimedia VC500 USB is an old favorite, but there's also the ATI 600 USB and the Hauppauge USB-2 live.

In case you haven't noticed, there was recently a post concerning an MPG/DVD recording that had been transcoded (re-encoded) poorly. There are two camera shots of a scale model exhibition in the sample video. The first two camera shots shot aren't badly damaged. The third shot is a botched encoding disaster full of macroblocks and bad tracking with no explanation about how it got that way. The forum thread deals with the problem, including a post of an original sample and a post of the filtered result. While the original sample isn't as clean as a better recording could be, it's not exactly horrible. You might give the sample and the result a look -- and the explanation of the exhaustive filtering that was required might also be enlightening as a case of (hopefully) seldom required fixup desperation. Unless you're working with horrible or abused tapes, most of the time the transfer isn't as difficult as pictured.

The original sample was a bad offsite download, so I remade it and posted it as an .m2v file (m2v is an MPEG file that does not include audio. any PC media player can play it): output_demuxed.m2v (14.5 mb)

Reworked result, MPG for DVD: Output_25i_playback_4x3DAR.mpg (11.4 mb)
Reworked result, progressive MP4 coded as interlaced: Output_25i_playback_4x3DAR.mp4 (8.9 mb)

The post that explains the cleanup ordeal in excruciating detail (I hate videos like this!): Restoring VHS MPEG-2 transcoded tape?

We've seen worse. But most repairs are easier than this, and often they aren't even needed.

Last edited by sanlyn; 04-26-2019 at 01:09 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
04-26-2019, 03:40 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 341
Thanked 64 Times in 57 Posts
You know, hard drive space these days is CHEAP. I mean CHEAP cheap. It sounds as if you really have a treasure trove of material, and some which may not exist anywhere else. My own personal recommendation:
  • Capture the archive lossless, using the best capture system you can afford. Learn the tricks for tweaking capture settings and using histograms to adjust parameters for the best quality capture, but don't worry about any detailed cleanup just yet.
  • Make an (at least one) archival copy on separate hard disk drives, and store it in a physical location which is entirely separate from both the original tapes and the raw capture copy.
  • Burn the capture copies to DVD "quick and dirty", using Corel VideoStudio or its equivalent. Don't worry about any editing or cleanup at this stage; just have some physical copies which you can use in place of the VHS tapes and which will provide yet another level of backup in case of disaster.
  • Finally, as you or your volunteers learn more about restoring video, take the lossless captures from step #1 and give them the TLC they need to be restored to the best possible quality.
You'll need at least one computer with two removable SATA HDDs...I think hot-swap bays are best, although external eSATA docks are available and work well also. If you do this you'll preserve the originals in the best possible quality and you'll have the lossless files available if you ever want to rework and restore the video (barring possible hard disk degradation, of course...hence the backup[s]). Again, high capacity SATA hard drives are CHEAP. Buy a bunch of them!
Reply With Quote
The following users thank ehbowen for this useful post: Stephen (04-28-2019)
  #15  
04-26-2019, 10:31 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 1,436
Thanked 327 Times in 285 Posts
sanlyn makes excellent points, gives good advice on achieving the best possible end product.

Quote:
...Consider the frame size. 720x480 is not a 4:3 image (such as the old CRT TV frame or the squarish classic movie frame)...
To expand a bit. 720x480 is the common digital representation of a NTSC SD video stream in formats such as DVD video, DV, and digitized SD video. It works for both standard 4x3 aspect ratio video and 16x9. The aspect ratio of the pixel is adjusted for the display width.

But the visible image portion of analog standard definition NTSC, as in old TV broadcast and VHS, is 486 scan lines formatted into a frame comprised of two fields, one odd lines the other even lines. The scan line provides about 52 microseconds of image content before it blanks and retraces for the next scan line. The horizontal resolution of the image is limitd to the bandwidth available to populate the 52 microseconds with useful image data. Thus the vertical resolution of the image is limited by the number of scan lines, and the horizontal by the bandwidth (frequency response) of the system. (Actual resolution observed will also depend on ALL other items in the image chain from the lens and camera to the display.)

Some relative figures for notional horizontal resolution in terms of B&W TV lines (color resolution is much less)
VHS/Video8 - 240
Broadcast - 330
S-VHS/Hi8 - 400
DV/MiniDV/DVD - 500

Why 486 vs 480 scan lines - digital likes multiples of 8, and the top and bottom scan lines in traditional TV were in the "over scan" area and not displayed on a typical TV screen. Over scan hides for the "slop" in set up and alignment of the analog systems of the time, but it is often visible on PC displays because they do not over scan.
Reply With Quote
The following users thank dpalomaki for this useful post: sanlyn (04-27-2019), Stephen (04-28-2019)
  #16  
04-28-2019, 01:03 PM
Stephen Stephen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
You guys are giving me a ton of excellent info that I think is really going to help this project be special.

Should we add some kind of tape cleaning to the workflow? Can VHS tapes be cleaned somehow and if that something we should consider doing to each tape?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
04-28-2019, 10:28 PM
Stephen Stephen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
I mentioned earlier in a thread that we had a donated computer that was customer built for media use in a Home Theater system that was built around 2006 or 2007. I opened it up to see what was inside of it. I think its running Windows Media Center XP 2005

It has a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 that has dual tuners and can record two things at once. It also has a secondary card that has an additional set of composite inputs. It has mixed reviews some people say it does real good and other say it looks terrible. Some reviews say the computer needed plenty of horsepower to really utilize it with dual tuners both recording, that if you don't have enough ram and processor it would get flakey and image quality would suffer. This computer had a lot of horsepower for its time with 2 gig of ram in 2007. https://www.newegg.com/product/produ...82E16815116628

It also had a PNY Gforce 7600GT video card which was pretty close to the top of the line for 2006 or 2007.

It had a Asus mother board called the P5W DH Delux Digital Home Series that had digital 7.1 audio outputs.
https://www.cnet.com/products/asus-p...-i975x-series/

Is anyone familiar with this setup and know if it would be good for this project or is it too old and not high enough quality? I know it is not the specific input card suggested....but is it similar and has anyone used it to know if its of good quality or not? The VHS tapes are not stellar quality so maybe this card would be adequate for VHS? The specs says that it can record two inputs at the same time. With the volume of tapes it would be pretty awesome if I could do two captures at once!!!

Last edited by Stephen; 04-28-2019 at 11:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
04-29-2019, 12:04 AM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 341
Thanked 64 Times in 57 Posts
From a quick look at the manufacturer's site, that looks like an ideal motherboard for an ATI AIW X1800-based capture system. It should also work well with the ATI 600 USB capture dongle. I wouldn't use the Hauppauge card, though; the recording tuners are old-style NTSC analog and Hauppauge's capture quality is questionable. But if you want to put together a top-quality capture PC, here's what you do with the computer:
  1. Go to s-video.com and order "Item# 6110018100" for $7.95. Make sure this cable is available before you proceed. I know the description says that it's for the X800 series, but it works just fine with my X1800 also.
  2. Go to eBay and find a good price on an ATI AIW X1800 video card. Most will say "open box" or "card only." For this setup, that's just fine. The monitor outputs are standard DVI right on the card, and the Video-In-Video-Out cable you just ordered (above) will give you S-Video and Composite in to the card.
  3. Order a good sound card. Yes, your motherboard has decent sound, but the captures will perform better if you take the load of processing audio off of the main CPU. Turtle Beach Santa Cruz in PCI is probably your best bet, but the ASUS Xonar DGX (which is current production and readily available) works well in either PCI or PCIe versions.
  4. Depending on how much room you have in your case: Order either a hot-swap drive bay (which goes in a 5-1/4' bay), or if you don't have a free bay then order an external eSATA dock. Two bays or a bay plus a dock is even better. You'll also want matching bays/docks on the (more modern) computer you use for editing and cleanup. If you have two bays on that computer then you can copy your captures easily to a large (8TB or so) HDD...remember, Windows XP can't handle anything larger than 2TB, so you'll be sneaker-netting your captures to a Win7 or Win10 system for editing. (Don't use Windows 8 or Vista!)
  5. Order at least three 2TB hard drives. Get top-quality drives, preferably Seagate or Western Digital. And get some large drives to copy your captures to for long-term storage.
Disclaimer: I'm making no money on this, so no guarantees as to final results or freedom from troubles. I'm just saying that a very similar setup has worked quite well for me. You'll still need to find a full-frame Time Base Corrector (TBC) and a top quality S-VHS VCR with line TBC for optimum capture results, but you'd need those anyway.

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!

Last edited by ehbowen; 04-29-2019 at 12:18 AM. Reason: Spelling
Reply With Quote
The following users thank ehbowen for this useful post: Stephen (04-29-2019)
  #19  
04-29-2019, 01:09 AM
Stephen Stephen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
From a quick look at the manufacturer's site, that looks like an ideal motherboard for an ATI AIW X1800-based capture system. It should also work well with the ATI 600 USB capture dongle. I wouldn't use the Hauppauge card, though; the recording tuners are old-style NTSC analog and Hauppauge's capture quality is questionable. But if you want to put together a top-quality capture PC, here's what you do with the computer:
  1. Go to s-video.com and order "Item# 6110018100" for $7.95. Make sure this cable is available before you proceed. I know the description says that it's for the X800 series, but it works just fine with my X1800 also.
  2. Go to eBay and find a good price on an ATI AIW X1800 video card. Most will say "open box" or "card only." For this setup, that's just fine. The monitor outputs are standard DVI right on the card, and the Video-In-Video-Out cable you just ordered (above) will give you S-Video and Composite in to the card.
  3. Order a good sound card. Yes, your motherboard has decent sound, but the captures will perform better if you take the load of processing audio off of the main CPU. Turtle Beach Santa Cruz in PCI is probably your best bet, but the ASUS Xonar DGX (which is current production and readily available) works well in either PCI or PCIe versions.
  4. Depending on how much room you have in your case: Order either a hot-swap drive bay (which goes in a 5-1/4' bay), or if you don't have a free bay then order an external eSATA dock. Two bays or a bay plus a dock is even better. You'll also want matching bays/docks on the (more modern) computer you use for editing and cleanup. If you have two bays on that computer then you can copy your captures easily to a large (8TB or so) HDD...remember, Windows XP can't handle anything larger than 2TB, so you'll be sneaker-netting your captures to a Win7 or Win10 system for editing. (Don't use Windows 8 or Vista!)
  5. Order at least three 2TB hard drives. Get top-quality drives, preferably Seagate or Western Digital. And get some large drives to copy your captures to for long-term storage.

    Disclaimer: I'm making no money on this, so no guarantees as to final results or freedom from troubles. I'm just saying that a very similar setup has worked quite well for me. You'll still need to find a full-frame Time Base Corrector (TBC) and a top quality S-VHS VCR with line TBC for optimum capture results, but you'd need those anyway.

For your number 3 about getting a good audio card. What do you think about getting external analog to digital converter? I watch a YouTube channel MrVinylObsessive which he goes from a turn table into a Focusrite Scarlett audio interface for the A/D converting that sends to to the computer via USB where it is then captured in Adobe Audition software for the actual recording. Then he combines the audio with the video he captures separately. His sound quality sounds amazing, even on YouTube! Do you think there would be any benefit in using something like a external audio to digital converter as opposed to just a computer sound card? The external converters are around $100-$150 and then the input would just go into the PC via USB cable and straight to a capture software. It seems like this may be a much higher quality analog to digital conversion as opposed to a sound card since this is designed for music recording of instruments and/or mic's into a computer.

I would still use a high quality s-vhs going to a TBC for video only. Then the video and audio would be merged together in software.

Any thoughts on doing something like that? Is it overkill? I want to capture the video but the best audio I can get is most important because we want to actually play it in theater for performances. The video we will mostly just be using in class to teach the choreography.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
04-29-2019, 01:29 AM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 341
Thanked 64 Times in 57 Posts
I don't have any experience with that setup, so I'll defer to those who have used one.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Newbie needs advice on digital video workflow, tape cleanup! theglenlivet12 Capture, Record, Transfer 20 08-19-2015 03:38 AM
Newbie: Where to begin converting VHS tapes to digital ? kd19 Project Planning, Workflows 6 02-10-2012 09:42 AM
Newbie -creating vcd or dvd migaluchi Project Planning, Workflows 5 02-17-2010 11:52 AM
Newbie converting 8mm to DVD, help me daviey boy Capture, Record, Transfer 4 11-09-2009 03:59 AM
Overwhelmed, but want to restore video: Where to start ? LHTEX Restore, Filter, Improve Quality 8 10-04-2005 05:51 AM

Thread Tools



 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:20 PM