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  #1  
12-11-2010, 11:01 AM
John John is offline
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The way I make my DVD from VHS tapes. I have a JVC HR-S7900 Vhs player. The settings I have set are: Stabilizer OFF, Calibration,OFF Picture mode Norm, and R3 OFF. I have the built in time base corrector on. I have an external TV1T Time base corrector. ( I wish I had a DataVideo TBC-1000, but I talk to a sellsman and he told me the TV1t was better. I know different now.) I use ATI 9600xt to capture in mpeg on Asus motherboard using AMD computer running at 2.2 Gigs. I capture at 325x480 using MMC 8.8. I use Ulead DVD Workshop 2 to make the menus and authorize the video. I burn it as a ISO file on the computer using Ulead DVD Workshop 2, then burn it with Imgage burn to the DVD. I am not doing any editing. I learned this information from reading your site. About one year ago I didn't know really anything about VHS to DVD conversion. Also, how much better would my DVD quility be if I had a DataVideo TBC-1000? Thanks for all your information. PS. I set all the MMC8.8 to your specs on your web page.

Last edited by John; 12-11-2010 at 11:15 AM. Reason: I forgot something
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  #2  
12-11-2010, 11:12 AM
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At the risk of sounding like a boneheaded college kid -- You're rockin' a pretty sweet setup there!

That's almost precisely what I do for many good sources:
  • ATI All In Wonder 9600 + ATI MMC 8.8
  • Intel motherboard, Turtle Beach audio card
  • 352x480 MPEG-2
  • edited as MPEG with Womble MPEG-VCR to trim junk/commercials
  • dehiss audio in SoundForge, as needed, when needed
  • authored in Ulead DVD Workshop 2
  • burn in ImgBurn
  • DVD cases made in Adobe Photoshop, printed on color Minolta laser
  • it's a moderately fast yet high-quality workflow to get from a decent source to a really nice DVD
Moving on...

The AVT-8710 mostly removes "signal junk" for lack of a better non-tech non-jargon term and description. If the TV-1T can perform that same function, then you're fine on the external TBC front. The main reason to keep an external TBC/sync is to prevent dropped frames. Digital capture devices want a continuous steady signal, which VHS isn't. The corrector corrects that, as per its name.

Is there any specific error that you're seeing?
Any specific quality problems that you can post samples of?

The really only higher-end work is to starting altering color and sharpness on damaged tapes, maybe pre-filtering audio with a mixer board with 3-4 EQs.

If you think any of that applies to you, then I can give a run-down on the gear needed. It's all hardware.

Push yourself for better and more advanced menus -- don't just settle for the templates, to get the truly professional quality product capable of DVDWS2. It can easily perform as well as DVD Studio Pro (DVDSP on Mac), and I've have DVDs pressed from work I've done in DVDWS2, distributed to many thousands of people.

This is absolutely excellent to hear how far you've come by reading the information, articles and guides at this site. Outstanding, my friend.

Thanks for sharing.

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  #3  
12-11-2010, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Stabilizer OFF, Calibration,OFF Picture mode Norm, and R3 OFF. I have the built in time base corrector on.
Good, good, good --- all good. You've clearly been reading and learning.

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  #4  
12-13-2010, 08:47 AM
John John is offline
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I am really happy with the way my DVD are turning out. I have no problems. I was just checking in to see if I am doing everything right. I also, forgot to mention that I also have two hard drives and a sound card. I am running windows XP home edition. I am going to stay with this set up. Thanks again for all the information on your web site. I will keep reading. I also have told other friends about your site.

PS I have used Ulead DVD Workshop 2 to make my menus, not the premade ones. I make my own up from scratch. It is a good program.
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  #5  
12-13-2010, 10:58 AM
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Well, there is room for tweaking, based on the content you're recording. Bitrates can be altered as needed. And then VideoSoap (ATI MMC) can be used, if needed.

Answer these:
1. Are you primarily recording live-action movies, cartoons or anime, news or documentaries, or something else I've not mentioned?
2. And then were the VHS tapes recorded in SP, LP or EP (SLP) modes?
3. Are the tapes very clean, or is there any noise in the signal?
4. Do you have a target size that you're trying to achieve (i.e., 3 hours on a DVD, 2 hours on a DVD< etc), or do you have the mindset that it simply takes what it times in order to end up with high quality? Sometimes I only put 60 minutes on a DVD, and sometimes I can get 4 hours on a single disc. Quality is the goal, not high compression -- while also not wasting media or storage space.

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  #6  
12-13-2010, 06:44 PM
John John is offline
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Most of my tapes are old tapes from TV shows back in mid 1980's. They are movies. I have done some home movies and a few store bought tapes that I own. I am retired and I have alot of time to make quality movies. Some of the old tapes from TV have snow in them. Also, I do need help in adjusting the contrast or the brightness. I adjust it in MMC. I just guess by playing around with the adjustment until it looks right to me. I don't know what gamma setting is. The blacks are a little to black without the adjustments. Is there a program that an adjustment can be made that I wouldn't have to guess. One of the biggest problems I have is there is no one to show me. I just learn by reading on your site. This is just a hobby. I don't make any money at this. This is something I like doing.
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  #7  
12-16-2010, 07:33 PM
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There are a few things that can be tweaked and tested. The bitrate, GOP length, and "quality" setting in ATI MMC all have some affects on quality. Mostly the bitrates. A lot of this, however, depends on your disc target size. How much video (in hours:minutes -- i.e., the running time) are you looking to put on a disc? 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, more?

As far as automatic "proc amp" (brightness, gamme, contrast, etc) settings? No, not really. Even the best "auto" adjustment tool I've seen requires more work than you probably want to do, and even then it makes a lot of mistakes.

Are you basing darkness on the computer screen, TV set, or both? Rarely do they match, unless you've calibrated them both, or have lucked into gear that is pretty good without having any adjustments made.

Adding hardware is my initial idea, but since it's a hobby that you don't appear to want to spend more funds on, we can keep working with the software option, using what you already have available. (And in the end, it may look the same either way!)

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  #8  
01-10-2011, 03:14 PM
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I haven't gotten back with you right away because the situation has changed. I have been thinking about now making money with this hobby. I have been thinking about this for several weeks. I have a nephew that operates a Photoshop. He is expanding his business. He came to me out of the blue, and asked me if I would transfer VHS tapes to DVD's. I told him that I could do some. I only have two computers with all in wonder 9600xt cards and two professional VHS players. I would like to make the DVD to have as high picture quality as I can for his customers. Earlier in the post it was said if I needed a hard ware run-down that you would share your information. I need it for the customers.
To answer earlier in the post. The darkness of the movies was the monitor. I am Ok. now. Also, I do have a question about quality. If I can get 2 hours on a DVD with the settings at 720x480 with a verable bit rate set between 8 and 6 will I get better quality than having it set at 352x480 set at verable bit rate 4?
P.S. My other VCR is a panasonic 1980. I had redone at the shop.
Thanks for all your help and information. I had no idea that this situation would come about.

Read more: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...#ixzz1AfP5HOf8
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  #9  
01-11-2011, 12:03 PM
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"Stabilizer OFF, Calibration,OFF Picture mode Norm, and R3 OFF. I have the built in time base corrector on."

Why do u want picture mode set to Norm and not sharp and why is the R3 set to off, what does R3 actually do.

What does Video Calibration do to the tape, it was stated before that this feature can harm VHS tapes.
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  #10  
01-12-2011, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
"Stabilizer OFF, Calibration,OFF Picture mode Norm, and R3 OFF. I have the built in time base corrector on."
This is actually the correct setting for JVC VCRs, for almost all use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deter View Post
Why do u want picture mode set to Norm and not sharp
SOFT does some intra-frame NR, with an aggressive setting that causes minor blur
NORM is NR with balanced settings.
AUTO is the same as NORM, but shows as "AUTO" when Calibration is ON
SHARP mostly just makes grainy video, which encodes poorly to MPEG

Quote:
and why is the R3 set to off, what does R3 actually do.
R3 is a lousy edge correction filter, which varies from doing nothing to just added aliasing or chunky grain -- it more or less NEVER helps with anything whatsoever

Quote:
What does Video Calibration do to the tape, it was stated before that this feature can harm VHS tapes.
Calibration is supposed a "smart" function of the VCR that can identify the best alignment/tracking of the tape (when recording), and I forget what the playback function entails (read the manual). It's another lousy filter that only works in theory, and never in practice. Indeed, it tends to make playback worse, and will often record tapes that can never be played back smoothly again -- even on the original VCR.


@John, we'll get to your newest question here in the next day or so -- a somewhat detailed answer is required.

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  #11  
01-17-2011, 10:35 AM
John John is offline
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I have been reading a lot on the form. I read about DR-1000 Image Enhancer and about the SignVideo Proc Amp. I looked on the site where they are being sold. One has a meter and the other does not. My question is how much would it benefit the quality of the video? If you did suggust one. Which one would you suggust? One says Image Enhancer and the other pro amp. Are they the same or different names?

My question is that it is not on automatic pro amp.
Quote:
[As far as automatic "proc amp" (brightness, gamme, contrast, etc) settings? No, not really. Even the best "auto" adjustment tool I've seen requires more work than you probably want to do, and even then it makes a lot of mistakes.
The key work is automatic, how about manual adjustment?

I like the outcome of the videos to DVD. I do have a little grain. Not much. I have to look for it. Would the Image Enhancer or pro amp help to reduce the gain and improve the quaility of the video?

I do use video soap on light. Thanks for your answer.
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  #12  
01-17-2011, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
My question is how much would it benefit the quality of the video? If you did suggust one. ..... One says Image Enhancer and the other pro amp. Are they the same or different names?
SignVideo DR-1000 Image Enhancer = detailer/sharpener
Studio 1 Productions DR-1000 Image Enhancer = detailer/sharpener

A video detailer attempts to sharpen video -- it does nothing to color quality. When it comes to VHS, you can honestly only sharpen a good SP mode VHS tapes. You can make it look more like a DV tape or DVD, in terms of clarity. Anything degraded, blurry or LP/SLP/EP mode will be largely unaffected by a detailer. At best, you'll make the grain nastier.

SignVideo Proc Amp, as well as other proc amps = proc amp, or "video color processing amplifier"
A proc amp alters the chroma, luma and IRE of videos (in technical terms) -- effectively changing the color hue, tint, saturation, contrast, brightness, etc. (in layman's terms).

Some proc amps also include resolution boosters (example: ELite Video BVP4+), but those don't operate the same as a detailer -- and tend to mostly do nothing from a visual perspective. From a technical perspective, it adds a lot of noise that MPEG encodings will hate, creating blocky video, and/or making the encoders work harder to give a clean signal. H.264 is better at this (i.e., to create Blu-ray media or streaming videos), but it's still not ideal.

Detailer = sharpen
Proc amp = alter color

Both can help to improve video, if your videos have inaccurate color (using a proc amp), or are otherwise decent SP mode recordings that you'd like to make even better (using the detailer).

Quote:
Which one would you suggust?
It depends on your needs. If I could only afford one, I'd buy the proc amp without hesitation. The detailer is something I could live without, as detail is perceptual (false anyway). But color accuracy is corrective and VERY easily perceived as wrong/imperfect.

Quote:
One has a meter and the other does not
I tend to use my eyes -- I don't really care all that much about a meter. A meter is blind, and I'm not. At best, meters make for interesting information to observe, but I don't much see the benefit outside of studio settings with original pro-created material that needs to be kept in ideal specs for broadcast or distribution.

Quote:
I like the outcome of the videos to DVD. I do have a little grain. Not much. I have to look for it. Would the Image Enhancer or pro amp help to reduce the gain and improve the quaility of the video?
The proc amp won't affect grain.
The detailer can actually make it worse.

Quote:
I do use video soap on light.
The only suggest setting for VideoSoap is the "salt-and-pepper" (S&P) filter at about 18% because many of those ATI filters are aggressive and can simply work to blur the video. Not a knock against ATI MMC or VideoSoap -- the S&P filter is excellent -- but watch for overprocessing. You don't want to blur video too much, or cause ghosting from temporal filtering.

Just be careful using it.

I think I got to everything?

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  #13  
01-21-2011, 02:15 AM
robjv1 robjv1 is offline
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The big benefit with the SignVideo DR-1000 is that you have so much control over how much sharpness you want to add. Having something more than a simple toggle switch on the VCR (SHARP ON or SHARP OFF) is handy -- because some sources can tolerate a good amount of sharpness and others much less.

As others have said, it's really at it's best with commercial SP tapes, although I've had the occasion to use it with some noise free LP tapes and the occasional newer EP tape.

It gives you a ridiculously wide adjustment range, so you'll never need to turn it past even the halfway point. Plus it has some buttons that allow you to adjust how fine or coarse the correction will be.

The only thing I wish it had was a way to soften the video as gradually as it can sharpen it.

The sweet spot for my average tape seems to be with the "Sharpness" knob turned up maybe 3 or 4 ticks and everything else off. I never turn it up high enough to need to use the noise reduction knobs (and I don't like what those do to the picture).

I very rarely use the Detail knob either (with VHS footage) as it is a different sort of sharpening algorithm and is much more severe. On the rare occasion I do use it -- maybe half a tick or so.

Sure, for what it does -- it's pricey and it won't make or break a capture, but for the money it's a nice little addition to a capture setup if you can afford it, especially if you feel your captures are a little on the soft side.
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