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01-03-2011, 06:52 PM
setec astronomer setec astronomer is offline
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My family has a whole lot of tape based family videos that we would like to digitize, of course, so that they may be in a more accessible format for viewing and saved for the future. This is what I have, and what I would like to do. I would appreciate any suggestions on other tools I may need and possile workflows since the people who run and post on this board have way more experience than I.

Gear I Have:

VCRS:

Aiwa MX100
JVC HM-HDS1U (in box, never used)
JVC HR-S5200U (not working and would need to be repaired)
JVC HR-S9911U (not a lot of use on it)
JVC SR-V101US (2 of these I bought unopened from ebay)
Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U (in box, never opened)
Sony SLV-R1000 (used)
Sony SLV-R5UC (professionally repaired last year)
Toshiba W804 (used, but probably not much)

8mm/Hi-8 Deck:

Sony EV-C200

Other Hardware:

Darim M-Filter S/A
DataVideo TBC-3000
2 x Canopus ADVC100's
Panasonic AG-DV2000 DV Deck
A Sony HDV Deck bought used off Ebay


Now, I'm sure I can use most of what I have to archive my families VHS and 8mm/Hi-8 tapes onto some sort of archival/intermediary format already, but being a sort of perfectionist, I was wondering what the best way to go may be?

I mean, these tapes, once captured to the PC or Mac, would probably be edited down and placed on DVD's, but infrequently. So my main concern is highest quality capturing for futures sake. Storage shouldn't be a concern, as I don't mind buying a few external Hard Drives to capture and offload the footage onto, as long as the file sizes are reasonable. I was thinking DVCPro50/DV50, as I would be retaining more color info than just using my current Canopus ADVC's.

I was thinking either a BlackMagic board or the Matrox MXO2 mini. The reason for either of these is cause they will work with either a PC or Mac (which my brother uses).

I have ideas of eventually creating two capture stations, maybe just PC based, to handle all the tapes. I would say 60% are DV, 30% are 8mm/Hi-8, and 10% are VHS (I didnt buy all those VHS decks, some belong to my family. Plus I was once thinking of getting in the business, so I have accumulated some gear here and there).

I guess what I am wondering is, without ever having to capture a tape a second time, is DVCPro50 a codec I should look to, or is lossless a better option for archiving with ocassional editing to dvd for family watching? Also, for both VHS and 8mm/Hi-8 tapes, is my current gear adequate or should I look at, say, an AG-1980 for VHS and a different Hi-8 deck as well?

We have had some of our tapes converted by an outside place (My parents were afraid cause some of the tapes are 25 years old, so we sent them off to a place that could bake them, just in case). While they were fine with what got sent back, I noticed a ghosting effect in some of the video that was converted to dvd. Maybe it was the source material, i dont know. Some of these tapes I may revisit myself once I have this operation up and working.

Any help with workflow with any of the gear I have or have proposed buying would be greatly appreciated. I am sure I have missed things and you may have more questions than answers right now. Thanks.

PS. I hit up the donation button to express my appreciation for this forum and site.
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  #2  
01-03-2011, 07:37 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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As usual, I'm quoting and replying as I read...

Quote:
JVC HR-S9911U (not a lot of use on it)
JVC SR-V101US (2 of these I bought unopened from ebay)
Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U (in box, never opened)
You'll probably find these will be the best units in your VHS/S-VHS collection. And therefore the ones you should look at using, for those formats of tapes. Don't put VHS-C tapes in the JVC -- only full-sized VHS tapes. The JVC units tend to eat the mini-tapes, so look at using a Panasonic AG-1980P for those, or the original mini-cam.

Quote:
DataVideo TBC-3000
Very nice. Use this always.

Quote:
Darim M-Filter S/A
Not heard of that device in a long time. Interesting. I always thought of buying or testing one of these, but just never got to do so, mostly because it relied on the dying ISA card setup. I wasn't aware of a non-ISA model until now. I wonder how it compares to non-realtime filtering in something like VirtualDub. For non-MPEG encoding, I also wonder if it is of much use, since software NR methods are (as far as I've seen to date) far more powerful than any hardware, including even the best pro series gear.

Quote:
Sony EV-C200
A nice Sony Hi8 camera may do better than the VTR. For example, a DCR-TRV350 (or any in the TRV3xx series)
It mostly depends on the condition of the VTR, and the quality/conditions of the tapes.

This
Quote:
my main concern is highest quality capturing for futures sake.
eliminates these:
Quote:
2 x Canopus ADVC100's
... as it's DV compression -- double-compression for NTSC (5:1 for bandwidth, 4:1:1 vs 4:2:2 for colorspace)
You would be wise to stick with HuffYUV or even high-bitrate MPEG-2 (I-frame only).
However, some of this comes down to your archival storage, as HuffYUV, or even Lagarith if you want, is about 30-40GB/hour. If you only have several dozen tapes, then it's not an issue, with 2TB drives now available in the $100-125 range.

Quote:
I would say 60% are DV
Just DV-in "capture" (data transfer) from a camera. Those are easy, so 60% of your work is going to be simple.

Quote:
I was thinking DVCPro50/DV50, as I would be retaining more color info than just using my current Canopus ADVC's.
Or this. That's an excellent choice, too.

Note: DVCPro50 is a type of "DV50 compression" (3.3:1 compression vs 5:1 DV25 compression, and 4:2:2 vs the 4:1:1 NTSC or 4:2:0 PAL colorspace compression). The DV50 scheme is used by D9 and some other digital tapes formats.

DV50 is similar to Sony's Digital Betacam -- meaning it's really nice.

Quote:
I was thinking either a BlackMagic board or the Matrox MXO2 mini. The reason for either of these is cause they will work with either a PC or Mac (which my brother uses).
You'll find a Mac is a tough tool to work with, for most video workflows. However, DV50 should work okay. (Don't quote me on that just yet -- still testing the waters with current Intel-gen OS X 10.6 Macs, and available 2010-2011 software. So far, it's workable, but Windows systems work better with video.)

Quote:
I guess what I am wondering is, without ever having to capture a tape a second time, is DVCPro50 a codec I should look to, or is lossless a better option for archiving with ocassional editing to dvd for family watching? Also, for both VHS and 8mm/Hi-8 tapes, is my current gear adequate or should I look at, say, an AG-1980 for VHS and a different Hi-8 deck as well?
The AG-1980 is mostly best used for really bad-tracking VHS tapes, EP/SLP mode recordings, and the mini VHS-C tapes. In all other conditions, the JVC setup is better.

DVCPro50 and lossless are more or less the same in quality, as far as I'm concerned. File sizes aren't all that different, either. I think it's roughly double DV25, so about 26GB/hour -- not too far off the 30-40GB used by various lossless codecs. The DVCPro50 may do better for the Mac editing, and Mac workflows.

Quote:
We have had some of our tapes converted by an outside place (My parents were afraid cause some of the tapes are 25 years old, so we sent them off to a place that could bake them, just in case). While they were fine with what got sent back, I noticed a ghosting effect in some of the video that was converted to dvd. Maybe it was the source material, i dont know. Some of these tapes I may revisit myself once I have this operation up and working.
I'd want to see examples.
Also understand the sad state of video services. Many of them have no clue what they are doing, like monkeys with sticks, poking at the gear, hoping it will magically work with minimal effort, knowledge or investment. So when I hear that a so-called "professional" service has done a bad job, I'm not even remotely surprised. Most of the ones located in strip malls are the worst -- truly professional locations tend to be in various private settings, such as industrial areas, or office lofts above retailers, maybe even freelancers with converted residential space.

Quote:
PS. I hit up the donation button to express my appreciation for this forum and site.
Thanks so very much.

That's how we're able to keep this site online, and provide the kind of advice that folks like yourself find most useful. It's very much appreciated.

If you have more questions, need more clarification, etc, post away.

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  #3  
01-04-2011, 03:07 AM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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I have one tip for you, I recently did a comparison of all lossless codecs and these are my recommendations:
Quote:
1 minute of VHS video:
Utvideo 420 449833 2.70
FFV1 AC-Lrg 529714 2.29
Utvideo was 4:2:0 version, which is fine if you will put the result on DVD. It compresses 2.7:1 or 400k/minute.
FFV1 with settings AC, Large Context, does 4:2:2 (high quality) and compresses about 500k/min.
You can get 23GB/hour with UTVideo. It's also quite fast, which is a factor if you want to process the result further.

FFV1 means a codec in FFDSHOW. This free and opensource product for windows is likely to be around for a while, which is a consideration for archiving material for a number of years. Who knows what Windows 8 will bring, maybe we'll all compute in the cloud?
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  #4  
01-04-2011, 12:16 PM
setec astronomer setec astronomer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Not heard of that device in a long time. Interesting. I always thought of buying or testing one of these, but just never got to do so, mostly because it relied on the dying ISA card setup. I wasn't aware of a non-ISA model until now. I wonder how it compares to non-realtime filtering in something like VirtualDub. For non-MPEG encoding, I also wonder if it is of much use, since software NR methods are (as far as I've seen to date) far more powerful than any hardware, including even the best pro series gear.
I bought this unit 7 years ago when I was planning on getting into the conversion business. You may think this is silly, but I actually bought it to mask the noise in the bottom part of the overscan area (forgot what those lines were called). My father had Commercial VHS Movies he wanted converted to DVD, cause they were never released on the format, and since his main use for them was screen caps, I needed to black out that area. I know it can be done in software, but my operation was to go from the JVC VCR to the Darim to a set top Panasonic DVD Recorder, no middle step using a PC. I could lend it to you if you ever wanted to test it out for a bit as it does a fair bit of stuff, although maybe not as good as doing things in post with software.

Quote:
A nice Sony Hi8 camera may do better than the VTR. For example, a DCR-TRV350 (or any in the TRV3xx series)
It mostly depends on the condition of the VTR, and the quality/conditions of the tapes.
Would buying a better VTR or this camcorder give me a noticeable difference in quality coming off tapes I may have in the Video8/Hi-8 formats? I am willing to spend money on another deck/camera if it provides a benefit.


Quote:
DVCPro50 and lossless are more or less the same in quality, as far as I'm concerned. File sizes aren't all that different, either. I think it's roughly double DV25, so about 26GB/hour -- not too far off the 30-40GB used by various lossless codecs. The DVCPro50 may do better for the Mac editing, and Mac workflows.
I noticed a post a few months back on this forum showing a comparison between a Canopus Codec and what may have been a lossless codec or something else. The Canopus capture showed some blockiness in spots. Should I expect similiar in DVCPro50 (is it called macrovision blocks?) since it is a DV-based codec?

Quote:
I'd want to see examples.
Also understand the sad state of video services. Many of them have no clue what they are doing, like monkeys with sticks, poking at the gear, hoping it will magically work with minimal effort, knowledge or investment. So when I hear that a so-called "professional" service has done a bad job, I'm not even remotely surprised. Most of the ones located in strip malls are the worst -- truly professional locations tend to be in various private settings, such as industrial areas, or office lofts above retailers, maybe even freelancers with converted residential space.
It may be due to the source material (that was the what the guy said, it was due to the older vhs cameras back then and their imagers, when I asked him about it). He seemed to know his stuff about Analog Tape and its preservation, and had the gear to clean tapes, bake them, etc. But it also possible that when it comes to converting the source material he does not know as much, I don't know. I guess I will have to look back at the source VHS, but I can try to find you a clip from the DVD to see what you think.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac698 View Post
I have one tip for you, I recently did a comparison of all lossless codecs and these are my recommendations:

Utvideo was 4:2:0 version, which is fine if you will put the result on DVD. It compresses 2.7:1 or 400k/minute.
FFV1 with settings AC, Large Context, does 4:2:2 (high quality) and compresses about 500k/min.
You can get 23GB/hour with UTVideo. It's also quite fast, which is a factor if you want to process the result further.

FFV1 means a codec in FFDSHOW. This free and opensource product for windows is likely to be around for a while, which is a consideration for archiving material for a number of years. Who knows what Windows 8 will bring, maybe we'll all compute in the cloud?
Have you tried BitJazz's SheerVideo codec? I know it is commercial, but seems reasonably priced. For capturing and archiving what amount to VHS/Video8/Hi-8 home videos, am I going overkill with anything above DVCPro50, or is there an appreciable difference by going lossless?
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  #5  
01-04-2011, 12:22 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by setec astronomer View Post
It may be due to the source material (that was the what the guy said, it was due to the older vhs cameras back then and their imagers, when I asked him about it). He seemed to know his stuff about Analog Tape and its preservation, and had the gear to clean tapes, bake them, etc. But it also possible that when it comes to converting the source material he does not know as much, I don't know. I guess I will have to look back at the source VHS, but I can try to find you a clip from the DVD to see what you think.
The ghosting is very likely the imager on the old VHS camcorder. The circa 1987 LXI Series (RCA built) camcorder all my VHS footage was shot with exhibits a noticeable ghosting/ringing around bright objects in scenes. I thought it was the tapes, but pulling out the camcorder and viewing the raw feed on TV shows it was indeed the camera. Don't expect perfection from a late 80s consumer grade CCD imager.

As for the 8mm tapes, any pro VTR with a TBC should do nicely. Sony also put out some very good Hi-8 camcorder units in the last 90s/early 00s that could play/record Hi-Fi stereo and had built in TBCs as well.
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  #6  
01-04-2011, 01:43 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Those old cameras can also have serious latent images, so you can end up with "see-through" people. There are also often serious issues with "light trails" as lightbulbs cause nasty/ugly streaks, or "mouse trails" as some people call it. Luckily, our family's camera did not seem to act badly in this way (also not a cheapo model), but a huge majority of home movies I do see exhibit these problems. It's unfortunate. I often think it's more noticeable on modern TV sets than it was some 20-30 years ago.

Most old VHS cameras were garbage in hindsight.

Quote:
Have you tried BitJazz's SheerVideo codec? I know it is commercial, but seems reasonably priced. For capturing and archiving what amount to VHS/Video8/Hi-8 home videos, am I going overkill with anything above DVCPro50, or is there an appreciable difference by going lossless?
My concern with non-standard/small-time codecs is futureproofing. We all know HuffYUV has been around for a long time, and will likely be around for a good while longer. Same for MPEG-2 I-frame @ high bitrate, or DVCPro50. These are not just codecs, but "standards" in their own right. I would stick with something big. Leave the niche lossless codecs to intermediary/temporary use. Use the well-known codecs for long-term archiving.

I don't think DVCPro50 is overkill, if you have the hardware/software codec support already.

Quote:
The Canopus capture showed some blockiness in spots. Should I expect similiar in DVCPro50 (is it called macrovision blocks?) since it is a DV-based codec?
No.

More notes:
Macrovision = company that creates anti-copy encryption for commercially released video (unrelated to this conversation)
macroblocks = block encoding used by virtually all video formats
macroblock artifacts = the ability to see the edges of blocks, due to insufficient encoding (often due to lack of bitrate)
DV25 can exhibit macroblock noise/artifacts due to 5:1 bandwidth compression (13GB/hour files).
Furthermore, the 4:1:1 doesn't help either, as it can lead to sampling errors that will resemble block noise in certain colors.

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  #7  
01-04-2011, 02:12 PM
setec astronomer setec astronomer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
My concern with non-standard/small-time codecs is futureproofing. We all know HuffYUV has been around for a long time, and will likely be around for a good while longer. Same for MPEG-2 I-frame @ high bitrate, or DVCPro50. These are not just codecs, but "standards" in their own right. I would stick with something big. Leave the niche lossless codecs to intermediary/temporary use. Use the well-known codecs for long-term archiving.
I know what you mean, and I definitely agree, although I may give the SheerVideo codec a try. For MPEG-2 I-frame, is there a bitrate you recommend for 4:2:2? would it be 50Mbps or higher?

Quote:
More notes:
Macrovision = company that creates anti-copy encryption for commercially released video (unrelated to this conversation)
macroblocks = block encoding used by virtually all video formats
macroblock artifacts = the ability to see the edges of blocks, due to insufficient encoding (often due to lack of bitrate)
DV25 can exhibit macroblock noise/artifacts due to 5:1 bandwidth compression (13GB/hour files).
Furthermore, the 4:1:1 doesn't help either, as it can lead to sampling errors that will resemble block noise in certain colors.
I guess I got my terminology mixed up (and had a slight case of forgetfulness), cause I know of Macrovision. I appreciate the explanation of macroblock noise/artifacts.
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  #8  
01-04-2011, 02:43 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by setec astronomer View Post
I guess I got my terminology mixed up (and had a slight case of forgetfulness), cause I know of Macrovision. .
Or as sometimes happens to me, my fingers type things my conscious brain didn't necessarily instruct it to do. Like they're on auto-pilot from typing other similar words that are used more often. I can't promise I've never written Macrovision when I meant macroblocks!

Sort of like a typo, but more complex.

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