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10-03-2022, 08:40 PM
OgreVorbis OgreVorbis is offline
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Hi,
I'm new here. I've got a bunch of VHS tapes I want to archive. It seems like there is a lot of talk on the AIW cards here. I'm wondering how they compare to something like the Diamond VC500 or Elgato USB. It seems that using one of the modern solutions will output MP4 whereas the old ones MP2.

I happen to be a retro PC person and so I already have some old Windows XP PCs. I have an Athlon XP and Pentium III 1.4GHz with AGP slot. I don't have an All In Wonder yet, but I'm wondering if it's worth getting one instead of a modern solution? I'd only go in favor of the modern solution if it's at least 50% better or less expensive.
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  #2  
10-03-2022, 09:06 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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"MP4" is a wrapper, not a video format. Most MP4 contain H.264, which is not a capture format. It's highly compressed, it will ruin the videos.

"MP2" is a demuxed MPEG audio stream, no video is present. Perhaps you mean MPEG-2, but the format+wrapper is MPEG/MPG files. Not MP2.

XP isn't retro. It's just a legacy tool. Win3 (3.1, 3.11) is retro.

One of the best cards ever made for capture is the ATI AIW Radeon series cards. AGP, just 1 PCI, and not really the PCIe. Still, to this day, one of the best. It's worth installing an XP system. However, I prefer newer systems, the old single-core CPU and IDE systems are a PITA. You have no space, and it's all slow. We did that 20 years ago, and I'm never doing it again.

VC500 has AGC problems (random bright<>drak of video, even in middle of scene), while Elgato earned the nickname Elcrapo.

There are other quality USB cards above VC500/Elgato junk, though below ATI AIW.

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  #3  
10-04-2022, 01:14 PM
ThumperStrauss ThumperStrauss is offline
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If you already have a Windows XP machine with a free AGP slot on your motherboard, then by all means find an ATI AIW 9800XT or similar AGP card. I built an XP machine from scratch in order to use an AIW AGP card, so if you already have the PC ready to go, then use it. You'll get one chance to digitize your tapes, so do it right. Once you have those files saved on your computer, you will have years to play around and tweak with settings to remove grain and a thousand other things. But you need the best possible source material possible.
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  #4  
10-05-2022, 09:05 AM
OgreVorbis OgreVorbis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
"MP4" is a wrapper, not a video format. Most MP4 contain H.264, which is not a capture format. It's highly compressed, it will ruin the videos.

"MP2" is a demuxed MPEG audio stream, no video is present. Perhaps you mean MPEG-2, but the format+wrapper is MPEG/MPG files. Not MP2.

XP isn't retro. It's just a legacy tool. Win3 (3.1, 3.11) is retro.

One of the best cards ever made for capture is the ATI AIW Radeon series cards. AGP, just 1 PCI, and not really the PCIe. Still, to this day, one of the best. It's worth installing an XP system. However, I prefer newer systems, the old single-core CPU and IDE systems are a PITA. You have no space, and it's all slow. We did that 20 years ago, and I'm never doing it again.

VC500 has AGC problems (random bright<>drak of video, even in middle of scene), while Elgato earned the nickname Elcrapo.

There are other quality USB cards above VC500/Elgato junk, though below ATI AIW.
OK, thank you. It's interesting that as time went on the quality of the capture devices seemed to go down. Maybe that's just my interpretation though.

Do you have any AIW cards for AGP or should I just check on ebay? It doesn't need to be the absolute best one cause I'd rather not spend over $200. What model would you recommend?

Quote:
If you already have a Windows XP machine with a free AGP slot on your motherboard, then by all means find an ATI AIW 9800XT or similar AGP card... Once you have those files saved on your computer, you will have years to play around and tweak with settings to remove grain and a thousand other things. But you need the best possible source material possible.
Understood. I have an empty western digital 500GB IDE drive and like 25 tapes. Do you think that would be enough space? I'm thinking some type of compression should be used. Like that YUV thing if I remember correctly.
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  #5  
10-05-2022, 10:00 AM
ThumperStrauss ThumperStrauss is offline
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The best practice is to use a second hdd for video capture. I caprure to a 1TB and transfer them to an external hard drive (the kind that plugs into USB for power) and transfer the video files to that. All adjustments to videos are made on my Windows 10 PC. That is a whole other rabbit hole of info. For now just capture the best possible way.
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