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06-16-2015, 12:50 PM
mnewxcv mnewxcv is offline
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Hello all, I look forward to learning all I can on this forum, super informative!

I have been reading threads, and am just not sure I understand exactly what I need to convert dozens of tapes to store as files on my hard drive (to potentially be burned to disc at a later date)

1. First off, I have a powerful enough computer with a quad core cpu, enough ram and storage to do most tasks. I have about 4TB of hard drive, but i dont want to use a file format that takes up a ton of space, unless, well, I have to. I want a file that is as good of quality as the tape it came from "to the naked eye".

2. I have a sony VCR. it is a 4 head with digital tracking, but nothing special. SVL-760HF. I can buy a JVC HR-S3800U locally for $30 if that is worth it over the sony.

3. I need to pick up a capture device. I see praise over the ATI all in wonder 600 usb stick, but that uses coax. is coax good enough for this project? I figured on getting a hauppauge HVR-1800 to use s-video capture, but there doesn't seem to be much talk about it. If s-video is worth it quality wise over coax, what is a good card? My motherboard will take a pci card, or pci express x1, x4, x8, x16 card. I also have USB ports.

4. I had never heard of a time base corrector before today. They seem to be the most expensive part of this project. Would it be worth it to pick one up?

5. Finally, if using virtualdub, what file format should I capture to, with all the information I have given? (wanting good quality, potential to be burned to DVD)


thanks for reading! I'm trying to make sense of all the info on this forum. most of it is all new to me.


oh, one last thing, assuming this all goes well, what is a good way to store the vhs "masters" to prevent degradation of the over time?
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06-16-2015, 02:53 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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About how many tapes - "dozens" is a bit vague?
Are these tapes home videos, off-air/cable recordings, pre-recorded tapes, SP/LP/SLP speed, VHS or S-VHS?
Do you plan to do any image restoration (e.g., clean up of colors, brightness, VHS artifacts)?
How much time to you have to devote to the project?
What is your budget to buy stuff you do not already have?
What is your ultimate delivery format? DVD? uTube, or or say, standard definition-class files on a PC.

The easy way for a moderate number of tapes is to hire it out to a reputable service; arguably the best way if you are not technically inclined and don't want to fight a learning curve or take this on as a new hobby.

- In general, a TBC is almost always necessary to obtain stable video.
- A S-VHS VCR is strongly recommended for its s-video output, and not all models are worth getting (see separate threads on this). Old, used VCRs may require servicing and in some cases component replacement.
- COAX is a type of cable, and is generally used for both audio and video signals (component, s-video and composite). Composite uses one cable (often with yellow connector), s-video two cables built in to one, usually with a 4-pin mini-DIN connector, and component typically has three cables (RBG) in one sheath. For VHS s-video is generally sufficient.
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06-16-2015, 04:56 PM
mnewxcv mnewxcv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
About how many tapes - "dozens" is a bit vague?
Are these tapes home videos, off-air/cable recordings, pre-recorded tapes, SP/LP/SLP speed, VHS or S-VHS?
Do you plan to do any image restoration (e.g., clean up of colors, brightness, VHS artifacts)?
How much time to you have to devote to the project?
What is your budget to buy stuff you do not already have?
What is your ultimate delivery format? DVD? uTube, or or say, standard definition-class files on a PC.

The easy way for a moderate number of tapes is to hire it out to a reputable service; arguably the best way if you are not technically inclined and don't want to fight a learning curve or take this on as a new hobby.

- In general, a TBC is almost always necessary to obtain stable video.
- A S-VHS VCR is strongly recommended for its s-video output, and not all models are worth getting (see separate threads on this). Old, used VCRs may require servicing and in some cases component replacement.
- COAX is a type of cable, and is generally used for both audio and video signals (component, s-video and composite). Composite uses one cable (often with yellow connector), s-video two cables built in to one, usually with a 4-pin mini-DIN connector, and component typically has three cables (RBG) in one sheath. For VHS s-video is generally sufficient.
these are generally home movies. (somewhere in the number of 100 probably)

image restoration if possible would be great.

time isn't much of an issue, this is something for me to do in my spare time.

ultimate delivery format is most likely DVD, however, I additionally want a hard drive backup, so they will be permanently stored on the hard drive once they get there in whatever format decided on.

I am techincally inclined and do want to do this personally.

My budget hasn't been determined yet, however, somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 at the top end for tuner, TBC, and vcr.
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06-16-2015, 05:50 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Tuner? Mm. I think you mean capture device. A decent outboard frame-level TBC starts at around $200. You can also use a legacy DVD recorder from Panasonic or Toshiba (certain models) as a tbc pass-thru, which offers both line-level and frame-level tbc's -- not as powerful as the "real thing", but still pretty effective. At least one can afford it. And, yes, you need both types of tbc. See below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
I have been reading threads, and am just not sure I understand exactly what I need to convert dozens of tapes to store as files on my hard drive (to potentially be burned to disc at a later date)
Maybe you've already seen these guides: http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/video.htm.

"Dozens of tapes" captured as high quality digital video would very quickly fill much of your 4TB drives. You could do it as lossy compressed video, the quality depending on several factors including bitrate. Experienced members here usually don't recommend lossy digital capture if you intend to do any corrective restoration work or fancy edits. For the best quality you'd capture to losslessly compressed YUY2 AVI using lossles huffyuv, Lagarith, or even UT-codec compression. Lossy compressors would be MPEG2 (DVD), DV (obsolete, and Pc-only playback. No TV play, and lower quality than lossless AVI), or h264 (very difficult to edit without damage). Lossy compressed video of these types are designed as what's called "final delivery" formats -- that is, not designed for editing or restoration. DV and other lossy formats can be "edited" safely (i.e., simple cut-and-join with smart-rendering editors). But denoising, transitions, color work, title overlays, etc., involve lossy re-encoding, more quality loss, and more compression noise.

Some file sizes you can expect:
Lossless compressed YUY2 AVI, highest quality: 30 GB/hour
Lossy DV, good but lower quality, visible compression artifacts, PC-only play: 20 GB/hr
High bitrate MPEG2, good, but with some analog-source artifacts: 4GB/hour
Middle bitrate MPEG2, fair quality, more analog-source artifacts: 2GB/hour
Low bitrate MPEG2, fair to very poor quality, plenty of artifacts: 0.75 to 0.5GB/hour



Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
but i dont want to use a file format that takes up a ton of space, unless, well, I have to. I want a file that is as good of quality as the tape it came from "to the naked eye".
This requirement tells us that the quality bar is lowered from the start. Analog tape isn't seen by digital devices the same way your TV sees it. They expect a perfectly timed, noise-free signal -- soemthing that analog tape doesn't offer. Playback timing anomolies from the typical VCR such as your SONY will be seen as bent borders, top-border tearing or ripping, bent and wiggling verticals and angular lines, line and edge twitter, jitter and frame hopping, dropped frames, and often poor audio sync. The typical noise present in analog tape would be, for example, chroma noise and rainbows, dropouts, spots, comets, chroma smear, color shift and bleeding, DCT ringing (halos, edge ghosting), tape noise (noisy grain), invalid video levels with crushed blacks or blown-out highlights, fluctuating luma levels and color imbalance, noisy dot crawl, border stains, and bottom-border head switching noise, too mention a few. For capturing to lossy formats, to those problems you can add compression glitches like macroblocks and mosquito noise.

If your naked eyes are not very discriminating you can ignore some of that. But many folks who watch their most valued tapes aren't pleased with it. It's up to you. A few problems can be prevented with the correct type of tbc:
- a line-level tbc corrects line timing errors within frames, targets wiggling and bent lines and boders, jitter, and sometimes reduces chroma bleed, etc.
- a frame tbc corrects the overall frame to frame timing signal and prevents dropped frames and bad audio sync. If any of your tapes are copy-protected, a frame tbc is essential. A line tbc has no effect on copy protection. A frame tbc has no effect on in-frame scanline sync.

As dpalomaki mentioned, what you do and what you get depends on your expectations. Many are satisfied with direct-to-MPEG capture and don't plan on any restoration or improvements. Just as many folks will see lots of problems or will decide that they want to make things look a little (or a lot) better. Your SONY player is low-budget with only composite output, which would cause several problems that an s-video output would likely avoid. The JVC HR-S3800 has no line tbc or strong tracking ability, but it has s-video output. It's OK for SP 2-hour tapes but is a poor choice for 6-hour or 4-hour recordings.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
I need to pick up a capture device. I see praise over the ATI all in wonder 600 usb stick, but that uses coax. is coax good enough for this project?
The 600 accepts composite and s-video.

If by coax you mean typical RF cable, no, it isn't good enough. But as dpalomaki explained, composite, s-video, RGB component, and audio cables are all coax designs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
I figured on getting a hauppauge HVR-1800 to use s-video capture, but there doesn't seem to be much talk about it.
There is frequent mention that analog tape capture with PVR devices isn't very good. Besides, it's very lossy encoding. If you must record directly to a lossy encoder, MPEG2 would be better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
if using virtualdub, what file format should I capture to, with all the information I have given? (wanting good quality, potential to be burned to DVD)
Analog tape is usually best captured as lossless YUY2, which is closest to the color storage system used on analog tape like VHS or VHS-C. VirtualDub works with lossless, decoded video (AVI) in an RGB colorspace. This doesnt mean that RGB is a good capture method: in fact, it should be avoided for many reasons, one of which is a bigger file size. If you capture to lossy MPEG, MPEG is YV12, which stores less of the color data in YUY2. There is little sense to recording lossy formats and expecting highest quality from VirtualDub, but VDub has decoders for many lossy input formats including MPEG. That's not VirtualDub's fault, it's the fault of capturing to lossy formats. You can get good results from high-bitrate MPEG captures, but lossy encodes are tricky to clean up. The output will be uncompressed RGB AVI by default, but you can set VDub output for lossless YV12 with huffyuv or Lagarith. That output will have to be re-encoded for DVD or other formats. Lossless AVi can be encoded separately to whatever you want: MPEG2 for DVD, MPEG-HD or h264 or AVC for BluRay/AVCHD, progressive video for the Web, or any of many other final delivery formats. The colorspace used by almost all common consumer final delivery formats is YV12. Restoration and color correction are usually done in YV12, YUY2, and RGB, although using all these matrices isn't always necessary. The best app for making those colorspace changes properly is Avisynth, which also offers some 16-bit filters for that kind of work as well as other corrections.

The primary tools for restoration, cleanup, color correction, and other repairs are Avisynth and VirtualDub. Both are extensive. Avisynth can do things VirtualDub never heard of, and vice versa. Both tools have their place.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
assuming this all goes well, what is a good way to store the vhs "masters" to prevent degradation of the over time?
Obviously lossless AVI stored to external drives in the highest quality and closest to the original. You can also use high-bitrate MPEG or h264. Analog tape is interlaced. You should never deinterlace your master. If any of your tapes are movie-based or from TV shows shot on film (most of them are), you can't deinterlace telecined video anyway.

Home-made tapes are a world of their own. They're fraught with problems. If you mean home-made with consumer cameras, some of the more prized segments you'll find are somehow really tough to clean up. One major problem with capturing home-made consumer camera tapes to lossy formats: camera movement, wobbling, fast pans and zooms -- these take a huge toll on bitrates. Captured to lossy formats, you'll see more compression artifacts than you thought possible. You don't have to be a video expert to notice it.

I think you can see that you have more than none path open to you. Each has differing elements of cost, time and effort, and each offers widely differing quality levels.

Your move.

Last edited by sanlyn; 06-16-2015 at 06:18 PM.
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06-16-2015, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Tuner? Mm. I think you mean capture device. A decent outboard frame-level TBC starts at around $200. You can also use a legacy DVD recorder from Panasonic or Toshiba (certain models) as a tbc pass-thru, which offers both line-level and frame-level tbc's -- not as powerful as the "real thing", but still pretty effective. At least one can afford it. And, yes, you need both types of tbc. See below.

Maybe you've already seen these guides: http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/video.htm.

"Dozens of tapes" captured as high quality digital video would very quickly fill much of your 4TB drives. You could do it as lossy compressed video, the quality depending on several factors including bitrate. Experienced members here usually don't recommend lossy digital capture if you intend to do any corrective restoration work or fancy edits. For the best quality you'd capture to losslessly compressed YUY2 AVI using lossles huffyuv, Lagarith, or even UT-codec compression. Lossy compressors would be MPEG2 (DVD), DV (obsolete, and Pc-only playback. No TV play, and lower quality than lossless AVI), or h264 (very difficult to edit without damage). Lossy compressed video of these types are designed as what's called "final delivery" formats -- that is, not designed for editing or restoration. DV and other lossy formats can be "edited" safely (i.e., simple cut-and-join with smart-rendering editors). But denoising, transitions, color work, title overlays, etc., involve lossy re-encoding, more quality loss, and more compression noise.

Some file sizes you can expect:
Lossless compressed YUY2 AVI, highest quality: 30 GB/hour
Lossy DV, good but lower quality, visible compression artifacts, PC-only play: 20 GB/hr
High bitrate MPEG2, good, but with some analog-source artifacts: 4GB/hour
Middle bitrate MPEG2, fair quality, more analog-source artifacts: 2GB/hour
Low bitrate MPEG2, fair to very poor quality, plenty of artifacts: 0.75 to 0.5GB/hour
First, thanks for an extremely detailed and informative post. I will click the thanks button as well. Now, 30GB/hour is..... well, its a ton. And I am ok with that (it allows roughly 125 hours on my 4TB array) to start. However, I would want to "fix" the lossless video, restore as you say, enhance perhaps. At that point, it seems you say that involves lossy re-encoding. Would that final file be substantially smaller? What I am getting at is, I want to do some quick correction to the video (color balances, maybe cropping if the edges are a mess, etc) but nothing that major. I feel that these tapes (which are 90% home video taken with a consumer grade camcorder from the late 80s) are already of low quality nature (nothing like broadcast quality), so doing "light correction" would be an improvement. The only thing I want to be sure of is that I do not degrade the quality further than it already is. Most of these tapes are 20 years old. So capture, light editing where needed, then save a file (that I am OK with re-encoding if I decide to burn to DVD). Based on what you've said, I feel that capturing to lossless, editing/correcting, and re-encoding to high bitrate mpeg2 would fit my needs.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
This requirement tells us that the quality bar is lowered from the start. Analog tape isn't seen by digital devices the same way your TV sees it. They expect a perfectly timed, noise-free signal -- soemthing that analog tape doesn't offer. Playback timing anomolies from the typical VCR such as your SONY will be seen as bent borders, top-border tearing or ripping, bent and wiggling verticals and angular lines, line and edge twitter, jitter and frame hopping, dropped frames, and often poor audio sync. The typical noise present in analog tape would be, for example, chroma noise and rainbows, dropouts, spots, comets, chroma smear, color shift and bleeding, DCT ringing (halos, edge ghosting), tape noise (noisy grain), invalid video levels with crushed blacks or blown-out highlights, fluctuating luma levels and color imbalance, noisy dot crawl, border stains, and bottom-border head switching noise, too mention a few. For capturing to lossy formats, to those problems you can add compression glitches like macroblocks and mosquito noise.

If your naked eyes are not very discriminating you can ignore some of that. But many folks who watch their most valued tapes aren't pleased with it. It's up to you. A few problems can be prevented with the correct type of tbc:
- a line-level tbc corrects line timing errors within frames, targets wiggling and bent lines and boders, jitter, and sometimes reduces chroma bleed, etc.
- a frame tbc corrects the overall frame to frame timing signal and prevents dropped frames and bad audio sync. If any of your tapes are copy-protected, a frame tbc is essential. A line tbc has no effect on copy protection. A frame tbc has no effect on in-frame scanline sync.
I feel that some anomalies are acceptable, since if I were to watch all the tapes on a TV, they would be visible anyway, and not worse than the source, if that makes sense. If I do not need a 30GB/hr file to make that happen, then I would rather not. I would like to clean up a bit though. Is there a device with both types of TBCs? None of my tapes are copy protected, do I still need a frame TBC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
As dpalomaki mentioned, what you do and what you get depends on your expectations. Many are satisfied with direct-to-MPEG capture and don't plan on any restoration or improvements. Just as many folks will see lots of problems or will decide that they want to make things look a little (or a lot) better. Your SONY player is low-budget with only composite output, which would cause several problems that an s-video output would likely avoid. The JVC HR-S3800 has no line tbc or strong tracking ability, but it has s-video output. It's OK for SP 2-hour tapes but is a poor choice for 6-hour or 4-hour recordings.
Noted. My sony does in fact have s-video out, but no other features to note. I did find the VCR thread stickied, so I will look into one of those models.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
The 600 accepts composite and s-video.

If by coax you mean typical RF cable, no, it isn't good enough. But as dpalomaki explained, composite, s-video, RGB component, and audio cables are all coax designs.

There is frequent mention that analog tape capture with PVR devices isn't very good. Besides, it's very lossy encoding. If you must record directly to a lossy encoder, MPEG2 would be better.
I see that the usb 600 accepts composite and s-video with an adapter. Does this not just convert these to coax (RG6) once it meets that connector? Is that still better than running RG6 from the VCR? Unless, there is another ati wonder 600 I am missing. I would prefer pci (or pci express). Is the wonder card considered a PVR though? what is a "better" capture card then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Analog tape is usually best captured as lossless YUY2, which is closest to the color storage system used on analog tape like VHS or VHS-C. VirtualDub works with lossless, decoded video (AVI) in an RGB colorspace. This doesnt mean that RGB is a good capture method: in fact, it should be avoided for many reasons, one of which is a bigger file size. If you capture to lossy MPEG, MPEG is YV12, which stores less of the color data in YUY2. There is little sense to recording lossy formats and expecting highest quality from VirtualDub, but VDub has decoders for many lossy input formats including MPEG. That's not VirtualDub's fault, it's the fault of capturing to lossy formats. You can get good results from high-bitrate MPEG captures, but lossy encodes are tricky to clean up. The output will be uncompressed RGB AVI by default, but you can set VDub output for lossless YV12 with huffyuv or Lagarith. That output will have to be re-encoded for DVD or other formats. Lossless AVi can be encoded separately to whatever you want: MPEG2 for DVD, MPEG-HD or h264 or AVC for BluRay/AVCHD, or any of many other final delivery formats. The colorspace used by almost all common consumer final delivery formats is YV12. Restoration and color correction are usually done in YV12, YUY2, and RGB, although using all these matrices isn't always necessary. The best app for making those colorspace changes properly is Avisynth, which also offers some 16-bit filters for that kind of work as well as other corrections.

The primary tools for restoration, cleanup, color correction, and other repairs are Avisynth and VirtualDub. Both are extensive. Avisynth can do things VirtualDub never heard of, and vice versa. Both tools have their place.


Obviously lossless AVI stored to external drives in the highest quality and closest to the original. You cah also use high-bitrate MPEG or h264. Analog tape is interlaced. You should never deinterlace your master. If any of your tapes are movie-based or from TV shows shot on film (most of them are), you can't deinterlace telecined video anyway.

Home-made tapes are a world of their own. They're fraught with problems. If you mean home-made with consumer cameras, some of the more prized segments you'll find are somehow really tough to clean up. One major problem with capturing home-made consumer camera tapes to lossy formats: camera movement, wobbling, fast pans and zooms -- these take a huge toll on bitrates. Captured to lossy formats, you'll see more compression artifacts than you thought possible. You don't have to be a video expert to notice it.
Like stated, most tape is from a camcorder. I think capturing lossless AVI, editing (cutting, transitions, color fix, crop), then re encoding to high bit rate mpeg2 would work for me, and look pretty good if I did burn it to DVD. Is that conclusion accurate?
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06-16-2015, 07:36 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
Does this not just convert these to coax (RG6) once it meets that connector?
RG6 is a specific type of coaxial cable often used for cable TV, antenna connections, and radio frequency connections between gear. It is suitable for carrying video signals such as composite, s-video, and component and audio if equipped with the right connectors, but is not commonly used for that purpose in home/consumer environments.

Coaxial in this case means a cable that has a center conductor (hot lead) that is surrounded by a shield (often foil and braid) that provides the ground return. This design reduces pick up of stray electrical noise, and stray emission from the signal passing though the cable.

If the final delivery format (for home viewing ) is DVD, you can store about 2 hours of SP speed VHS quality video on a a single layer DVD (4.7 GB), or perhaps 1.5 hours of broadcast quality video (with compressed audio). This is in MPEG2 format per the DVD specification.

However, keep in mind that home video, especially legacy VHS, also tends to have a lot of noise in it, and that really eats up bits making quality compression difficult.

- Use a good, preferably calibrated video monitor to evaluate you signal and settings to stay within NTSC specifications. Note that computer monitors and graphics cards generally do a poor job displaying analog video - they are designed around computer graphics.
- Capture as lossless as is practicable to minimize decompression/recompression artifacts.
- Ensure the signal is stable and within spec ( line and frame TBC)
- Use an analog processing amplifier (proc amp) after the TBC to make basic brightness, contrast, color saturation, and hue corrections (staying within NTSC spec) prior to capture.
- Make recompression to the distribution format your last step.
- Save your cleaned up uncompressed captures on what ever archive media you choose.

Are you sure the Sony has a s-video output? The manual for the SVL-760HF does not show one? Only RCA jacks for stereo audio and composite video (often colored red, white, and yellow).
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06-16-2015, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post

If the final delivery format (for home viewing ) is DVD, you can store about 2 hours of SP speed VHS quality video on a a single layer DVD (4.7 GB), or perhaps 1.5 hours of broadcast quality video (with compressed audio). This is in MPEG2 format per the DVD specification.

However, keep in mind that home video, especially legacy VHS, also tends to have a lot of noise in it, and that really eats up bits making quality compression difficult.

- Use a good, preferably calibrated video monitor to evaluate you signal and settings to stay within NTSC specifications. Note that computer monitors and graphics cards generally do a poor job displaying analog video - they are designed around computer graphics.
- Capture as lossless as is practicable to minimize decompression/recompression artifacts.
- Ensure the signal is stable and within spec ( line and frame TBC)
- Use an analog processing amplifier (proc amp) after the TBC to make basic brightness, contrast, color saturation, and hue corrections (staying within NTSC spec) prior to capture.
- Make recompression to the distribution format your last step.
- Save your cleaned up uncompressed captures on what ever archive media you choose.

Are you sure the Sony has a s-video output? The manual for the SVL-760HF does not show one? Only RCA jacks for stereo audio and composite video (often colored red, white, and yellow).
another great reply. thank you. I am researching the ati wonder capture devices as we speak. looking like a 600 is a good one.

would an AVT8710 take the place of both the processing amplifier AND the TBC? I would still need a line TBC, correct?

oh and I was wrong, no s-video here. I know I've seen a VCR with s-video somewhere, perhaps my dad's basement?

p.s. thanks for the cabling info. I do know the differences, I just always considered yellow (composite) with red and white as RCA cables, and considered coax(RF) as RG6 in most applications that I run into (line in to cable box etc).
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06-16-2015, 10:22 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Thanx to dpalomaki for excellent info. Shorter than mine, too !

Pardon any typos found below, folks. It's getting late here....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
would an AVT8710 take the place of both the processing amplifier AND the TBC? I would still need a line TBC, correct?
Yes. And yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
p.s. thanks for the cabling info. I do know the differences, I just always considered yellow (composite) with red and white as RCA cables, and considered coax(RF) as RG6 in most applications that I run into (line in to cable box etc).
Yeah, that's how most people think of the different cable types. The heavy stuff that comes from your cable company is RG6 (usually), but for shorter connects they sometimes use RG59. Different numbers are based on core wire diameter and insulation types, RG6 being thicker. If you remember connecting that "digital audio" cable from your old CD player to your stereo amp, you were using RG6 or RG59 75-ohm digital audio cable.

Final encoding to MPEG2/DVD offers the most universally playable format. Works on TVs, PCs, DVD players, BluRay players, and other stuff.

There's no such thing as "light correction" that doesn't require re-encoding. The lossless capture is kept as-is, pieces are pulled off and cleaned up as needed, reworked and saved as lossless working files, then assembled into whatever you want for a final video, and encoded and authored. Once you have your final output, you don't have to save intermediate working files. But you can save settings or other notes in case you have to rework something (knock wood, LOL!). As you get involved in post-processing, you'll see that it often involves multiple steps or tests. Lossless working files can be compressed, decompressed, and recompressed with hufffyuv or similar compressors many times with no degradation (which is what "lossless" means). You don't archive these.

Once you have your final output, you can archive desired originals to a smaller encoded file if you want, but give it enough bitrate to be useable later if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
I feel that some anomalies are acceptable, since if I were to watch all the tapes on a TV, they would be visible anyway, and not worse than the source, if that makes sense.
Actually, old noisy tapes after lossy encoding usually look worse in several respects without at least a nominal cleanup. The further downside is that once many defects get digitized, it's a rat race trying to improve it. Luma and chroma clipping, for example, are permanent after encoding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
is there a device with both types of TBCs? None of my tapes are copy protected, do I still need a frame TBC?
Yes, there are all-in-one sources. A steady frame signal is the job of frame-level tbc's. Erasing copy protection errors is a side effect. If your VCR has no line tbc, frame-level problems are compounded. The most visible improvement comes from line tbc's. But old tapes commonly have frame-level problems and "dirty" signals--subtle, but effects like missing frames and audio glitches become visible later, if not during capture. Recall that many problems don't appear on VCR-to-TV because TV treats that input as analog and outputs it as analog. Digital recording and encoding devices don't work that way. They interpret analog into digital, which is 1000% less forgiving than analog to analog.

You can get both tbc types in one by using older Panasonic or Toshiba DVD recorders as pass-thru tbc devices. That is, you don't record to them. You "play through" them into a capture device. Mind you, these tbc's are not as hefty as built-in tbc's like a JVC-9800 or Panasonic AG-1980. But they're visibly effective and far better than nothing. Only a narrow range of DVDR's can be used this way. Newer models are useless for pass thru. The favorites are Panasonic ES10 and ES15, or Toshiba RD-2 thru 5 and RD-XS series. These are circa 2002-2005. All of them have y/c comb filters to help clean dot crawl with composite input and have good internal composite->sVideo conversion for output. Sometimes you find these selling cheap at auction because their optical drives are dead -- but you don't need that drive for pass-thru. There was a time when you could get these babies in full working order for less than $50, sometimes $25. But users caught on to their tbc's, so prices rose.

You'll find long discussions, debates, and chaos on this issue going back to 2010, plus more charts and tests than you can stand for a lifetime, in this thread: http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/3...hat-do-you-use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
I see that the usb 600 accepts composite and s-video with an adapter. Does this not just convert these to coax (RG6) once it meets that connector?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
Is that still better than running RG6 from the VCR?
Yes.

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Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
Unless, there is another ati wonder 600 I am missing. I would prefer pci (or pci express). what is a "better" capture card then?
Users of those PCI and PCIe ATI versions can advise. My own capture cards are ATI All-In-Wonder 7500 and 9600XT Radeons for Win2000 and XP, both full-fledged fan cooled AGP cards. I know that newer capture-only, scaled down derivatives are used, but I'm not expert on them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
Is the wonder card considered a PVR though? what is a "better" capture card then?
Well...I guess you could say that the old capture cards and the new PVR's got you into the same territory. But the best VHS capture devices are optimized for analog to digital capture. PVRs are optimized for digital to digital. The two processes require different tech. Most PVR's don't capture to lossless media.

For analog capture there are better cards around, if you have $1000 or so plus a few hundred $$$ extra for support gear. The fact that you could get beautiful VHS captures from a $300 ATI card (2004 prices) that gave stiff competition to mega-buck pro cards accounted for a lot of ATI sales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewxcv View Post
Like stated, most tape is from a camcorder. I think capturing lossless AVI, editing (cutting, transitions, color fix, crop), then re encoding to high bit rate mpeg2 would work for me, and look pretty good if I did burn it to DVD. Is that conclusion accurate?
It is indeed. You can also make lower-bitrate h264 versions for PC playback. For a big TV, though, you need good bitrates and the cleaner interlace you get with MPEG.

Good luck. See you folks tomorrow A.M.
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06-17-2015, 05:18 AM
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I just always considered yellow (composite) with red and white as RCA cables,
Cables vs. connectors and common language usage where the connector name is used to describe the complete cable. The following connectors are often seen in analog NTSC gear.

RCA (aka phono plug/jack) is the common audio connector found on most consumer gear. It is also used for composite and component video on consumer gear. It is low cost and easy to use but more prone to failures. Developed as a cheap connector for use on phonographs by guess who.

BNC is a bayonet (locking) type of connector used on industrial and professional gear for video signals and low power RF signals. Much more expensive and reliable.

4-pin Mini-DIN (aka s-video connector) is the most common connector used for s-video. It is modest cost and not especially robust. Not uncommon for the tiny pins to bend or break if not used with care.

Type-F, used for cable TV connections and antenna terminals on TV sets and VCRs. A simple, low cost connector, but not very robust.

XLR (or Cannon [not Canon]) is a locking connector commonly used in professional audio applications. Much more costly than RCA, and much more robust. It also supports balanced audio (important for noise immunity, especially in long cable runs).

3.5mm mini phone - used for mono and stereo audio, headphones, and a 4 conductor variant is used on some camcorders for stereo audio and composite video. Sometimes used for balanced audio on minaturized gear such as wireless microphone systems.

1/4" phone - used for audio, on headphones, guitar amps, comes in 2 and 3 conductor variants. The Three conductor are used for stereo or balanced mono.

2.5mm mini-phone used for LANC connection by Canon and Sony gear, and sometimes for low voltage power..
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