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  #1  
05-22-2019, 09:33 PM
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SVHS Fan SVHS Fan is offline
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Hello -

I'm really happy to have discovered this forum, to find people who are concerned about quality analog to digital conversions and I've already gained a lot of insights that I didn't have before. I have collections of BetaHiFi, SVHS and MiniDV tapes and the need to preserve them has been eating at me for a long time and I'm determined to get the project underway.

But on the other hand, after reading about all the complex video hardware/computer interface issues, and the lack of available off the shelf equipment, it does make me want to curl into a fetal position, wishing that I had come to the party about ten years earlier!

So to get my feet wet, I figure I should try tackling the "easiest" format first - the MiniDV tapes. The first question is which computer to use and these are my choices:

I have a 2012 era HP computer that is currently running Windows 10 Pro. The specs are: Intel i7-3770 quad-core CPU, 3.4GHz, 8MB shared cache, 12GB RAM, 256GB solid state hard drive for OS/programs, 1TB hard drive for storage, AMD Radeon HD 7570 video card). Since I'm mainly using laptops now, I could dedicate this desktop to video transfer and based on what I've read here, installing Windows XP could be my best choice.

The second option would be to use my older desktop PC that already runs Windows XP, but is less powerful (Celeron 1.80 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM). But I'm concerned that this setup would not be able to handle video processing reliably.

I suppose a third approach might be to try to install dual OS's on the faster computer. But I'm not a computer techie and I don't know if this approach would cause me more grief than it's worth.

So I'm leaning towards putting Windows XP on the faster machine - any downsides to doing this?

Thanks!
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  #2  
05-23-2019, 09:11 AM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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Windows XP lacks a feature called TRIM which is necessary to properly index and delete data on Solid State Drives. If you choose to capture using Windows XP (as is recommended by this forum) your OS needs to be installed on a Hard Disk Drive.
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05-23-2019, 09:31 AM
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SVHS Fan SVHS Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPMedia View Post
Windows XP lacks a feature called TRIM which is necessary to properly index and delete data on Solid State Drives. If you choose to capture using Windows XP (as is recommended by this forum) your OS needs to be installed on a Hard Disk Drive.
Thank you very much for the advice - much better to find out now rather than later!

So if I wanted to remove the solid state hard drive from my PC, install Windows XP on the existing 1TB hard drive and then buy a second (larger) hard drive for file storage, does that seem likely to work? Given my PC configuration, are there any particular types/specs that I should seek out or avoid (besides solid state) in purchasing a new HDD so that it would be compatible with Windows XP?
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05-23-2019, 10:37 AM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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Originally Posted by SVHS Fan View Post
So if I wanted to remove the solid state hard drive from my PC, install Windows XP on the existing 1TB hard drive and then buy a second (larger) hard drive for file storage, does that seem likely to work? Given my PC configuration, are there any particular types/specs that I should seek out or avoid (besides solid state) in purchasing a new HDD so that it would be compatible with Windows XP?
Can you go into greater detail about your XP PC? For example, is it a tower or a laptop? Can you list the specific model number of the CPU? You can probably upgrade your processor which will be beneficial for capture. Also, because the components are very old, you can purchase a relatively powerful CPU from the era on eBay for around $20. Also what expansion slots exist on the motherboard?
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  #5  
05-23-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JPMedia View Post
Can you go into greater detail about your XP PC? For example, is it a tower or a laptop? Can you list the specific model number of the CPU? You can probably upgrade your processor which will be beneficial for capture. Also, because the components are very old, you can purchase a relatively powerful CPU from the era on eBay for around $20. Also what expansion slots exist on the motherboard?
Here are the specs for the PC that I'm considering installing Windows XP onto (it's currently running Windows 10 Pro):

Model: HP Pavilion h8-1360t (purchased new in 2012)
Type: Tower
CPU: Intel i7-3770 quad-core CPU, 3.4GHz, 8MB shared cache
Expansion slots: Two are available, PCI Express x1 (Gen 2.0)
RAM: 12GB, DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [3 DIMMs] (I can add another another 4GB RAM)
HDD1: 256GB solid state hard drive for OS/program, SATA (this would be replaced with a conventional HDD for Windows XP compatibility)
HDD2: 1TB hard drive for storage, 7200 rpm SATA
Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7570 video card, 1GB DDR3

Based on what I've read in this forum, I thought I was in the ballpark with this machine in terms of CPU speed and RAM for video capture. Will this configuration work?

Thanks.
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  #6  
05-23-2019, 12:56 PM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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Originally Posted by SVHS Fan View Post
The second option would be to use my older desktop PC that already runs Windows XP, but is less powerful (Celeron 1.80 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM). But I'm concerned that this setup would not be able to handle video processing reliably.
I should have been more clear before. Can you list the same information, but for your second computer with the Celeron processor.
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  #7  
05-23-2019, 01:30 PM
traal traal is offline
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MiniDV transferring doesn't require a powerful computer, just a Firewire port, plus sufficient storage.
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05-23-2019, 01:37 PM
Feedbucket Feedbucket is offline
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Certain older SSD models (Intel 330 and earlier, Samsung 830 and earlier, I believe) have Windows XP software that will perform trim-like functionality, so I wouldn't completely write off the idea of using an SSD for XP if any of the supported drives are an option. If you're writing your captures to an HDD then the SSD shouldn't need much maintenance anyway if you use it exclusively for booting and applications. It's also a good way to reduce I/O overhead so your system can dedicate itself to its capturing task.
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  #9  
05-23-2019, 11:31 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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AFAIK, i7 CPUs don't allow installing anything earlier than Win 7. The bigger issue however is finding compatible XP drivers for your hardware.

You can get a pre 'i" series computer for less than $100 that will be faster than your Celeron.

Edit: I can't find the thread right now, but lordsmurf recently (within the past few months) posted a link to a customized, stripped down XP image optimized for capture PCs. Hopefully someone will post the link or you can contact ls via pm if he doesn't come to this thread.
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  #10  
05-24-2019, 06:38 AM
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The new hardware is too new for WinXP.
The old hardware is really too old for anything, Celeron 1.8ghz was weak, could drop frames.

That's like 15 years difference. Did you have nothing in between? Something from late 00s, early 10s, is perfect for XP systems for capture.

I bought a fast Core 2 Duo for $10 last year. Old CPUs are usually dirt cheap. The motherboards cost more, up to $100 for the better Asrock AGP boards. RAM is fairly inexpensive. New case/PSU tends to be the most expensive items. Don't skimp on CPU cooler, at minimum get a Hyoer 212.

XP is only needed for ATI AIW setup. If you go another direction, Win7 may be more ideal. AIW best, but some other cards are not bad options. My main systems are AIW on XP, but I have a couple laptops with Win7 with USB capture card options.

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  #11  
05-24-2019, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPMedia View Post
Can you go into greater detail about your XP PC? For example, is it a tower or a laptop? Can you list the specific model number of the CPU? You can probably upgrade your processor which will be beneficial for capture … Also what expansion slots exist on the motherboard?
For my older computer (running XP), it's a tower type, but I couldn't find much more detail on the CPU than the name "Intel Celeron 1.80 GHz CPU". It's the 1.80 GHz speed, as lordsmurf pointed out, that makes it a bad choice for video. The PC is also limited to 2 GB RAM. It has three available PCI slots (I'm pretty sure I won’t be needing my expansion card for dialup modems anymore!)
Also, transferring (not capturing!) my Mini DV tape collection is just Phase One of my plans for tape conversions. Capturing the SVHS tapes, Phase Two, will need more horsepower.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feedbucket View Post
Certain older SSD models (Intel 330 and earlier, Samsung 830 and earlier, I believe) have Windows XP software that will perform trim-like functionality, so I wouldn't completely write off the idea of using an SSD for XP if any of the supported drives are an option. If you're writing your captures to an HDD then the SSD shouldn't need much maintenance anyway if you use it exclusively for booting and applications. It's also a good way to reduce I/O overhead so your system can dedicate itself to its capturing task.
For the newer computer (currently running Win10), I did some research about its 256GB solid state drive (Samsung MZ-7PC256HAFU-000H1). The Samsung website says it supports Windows 7 and up, so looks like my SSD would not be compatible with Windows XP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
AFAIK, i7 CPUs don't allow installing anything earlier than Win 7. The bigger issue however is finding compatible XP drivers for your hardware.
So I'm now leaning towards installing Windows 7 on my newer computer and working with compatible hardware and software.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The new hardware is too new for WinXP … That's like 15 years difference. Did you have nothing in between? Something from late 00s, early 10s, is perfect for XP systems for capture.
Looks I missed the Goldilocks Era for video transfer! I got my newer PC in 2012!
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
XP is only needed for ATI AIW setup. If you go another direction, Win7 may be more ideal. AIW best, but some other cards are not bad options. My main systems are AIW on XP, but I have a couple laptops with Win7 with USB capture card options.
I'm not too keen on getting yet another PC, so at this point, I'm leaning towards putting Win7 on the newer PC, and hoping that the CPU and OS will work for SVHS transfer. But for the more simple task of Mini DV transfer, wouldn't I just need a Firewire 400 expansion card for DV inputs (4 pin output on camera to 6 pin input on PC card), plus software? I bought a Firewire card recently, but couldn't get Win10 to recognize it – it's likely a driver issue, or else the brand. Are any Firewire cards better than others? They all look kind of similar, though price varies. Also, is the WinDV software OK on Windows 7, or is there better software that's more Win7 friendly?
Much thanks to all!
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  #12  
05-24-2019, 05:44 PM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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Originally Posted by SVHS Fan View Post
For my older computer (running XP), it's a tower type, but I couldn't find much more detail on the CPU than the name "Intel Celeron 1.80 GHz CPU". It's the 1.80 GHz speed, as lordsmurf pointed out, that makes it a bad choice for video. The PC is also limited to 2 GB RAM. It has three available PCI slots (I'm pretty sure I won’t be needing my expansion card for dialup modems anymore!)
Also, transferring (not capturing!) my Mini DV tape collection is just Phase One of my plans for tape conversions. Capturing the SVHS tapes, Phase Two, will need more horsepower.
Hey man, you do you. But,

Many people who have previously been in the same position as you have chosen to build a dedicated XP rig exclusively for capture. You don't need an i7 for analog capture, but a more modern processor makes sense for editing.

Users such as colony and myself recently built new XP capture towers with a combination of old and new hardware. We used the same new stock motherboard, the ASRock 775i65g r3.0. As lordsmurf mentioned above, the motherboard is often one of the most expensive parts of a capture PC build and the point stands in this instance. You shouldn't feel inclined to build a new XP PC from scratch, but maybe your XP PC has an LGA 775 socket for its motherboard. There are many cheap powerful old processors for that socket type available on eBay that you might be able to swap into this machine.

Also, you should familiarize yourself with capture PC hardware. Who says you need more than 2GB of RAM for analog capture? I've been capturing from an S-VHS deck with 2GB 400 MHz DDR memory for about a year now and my captures are fine. Do some preliminary research about the XP computer you have available. It might be cheaper than you think to upgrade. Regarding PCI slots, the recommended soundcard on this forum is the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. It uses a PCI connector. Many of the better Firewire capture cards also fit into a PCI slot.

Do not be so quick to dismiss legacy PC hardware in the context of your project and this forum. Do you research.
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  #13  
05-24-2019, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JPMedia View Post
... You shouldn't feel inclined to build a new XP PC from scratch, but maybe your XP PC has an LGA 775 socket for its motherboard. There are many cheap powerful old processors for that socket type available on eBay that you might be able to swap into this machine...
For my XP PC, the motherboard is an IM845GL and it uses an MPGA 478 socket which, based on some internet searching, is older than the LGA 775 socket. So ... not an ideal setup for an upgrade?

I'll keep an open mind about buying an XP machine that would be more likely to give me good results on my SVHS captures. I'd rather start with a reliable setup than have hours of grief with poor captures later on.
But in the meantime, for my MiniDV collection, is there any downside to installing Win7 on my newer PC and using a Firewire card to do the transfers? It would be a start ...
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  #14  
05-24-2019, 08:32 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVHS Fan View Post
I bought a Firewire card recently, but couldn't get Win10 to recognize it – it's likely a driver issue, or else the brand. Are any Firewire cards better than others? They all look kind of similar, though price varies. Also, is the WinDV software OK on Windows 7, or is there better software that's more Win7 friendly?
Much thanks to all!
The Firewire card must stipulate that it uses a Texas Instrument chip.

It's my understanding that many people are using WinDV with Win7.
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