I've been preparing over the last few years to start doing some captures of VHS and Laserdisc material, and it's finally getting time to get down to brass tacks.
I've read the Please review my video capture setup thread in its entirety, and am starting to follow but I need some advice on getting my hardware ducks in order. As Sanlyn posted in the abovementioned thread, the first step in this journey is getting a clean capture with as much of the signal intact as possible.
On the VCR side, I've got a JVC 9800, and on the Laserdisc side I've got the Pioneer X0 (from memory, haven't looked at it in a while - it's the Japanese 100V model).
Having had an unexpected experience years ago when my laserdiscs started looking worse after upgrading to a more modern LED TV from an older CRT which had a superior 3D comb filter, I learned about comb filtration and its lack of a priority in modern playback.
After reading I bought a used Crystalio ii 3800, since it was famous for, at the time anyway, being the best comb filter/playback upsampler on the market. When I noticed that the Cii had BNC connectors, I put it on the back burner and life got in the way for a while.
I've been ripping DVDs and Blu Rays for 15 years+, and LordSmurf's name is well familiar to me. I'm happy to now be a member of this forum.
Looking at the manual online, it looks as though the Crystalio ii may function as an external TBC, and has a 10bit capture capability, which appears to exceed the 8bit standards for most of the equipment I've seen discussed here, such as the TBC-1000. WaxCyl made some contributions to another thread where he was using a 10bit capture via a Brighteye 75, trying to take things a little further. I was interested in his comments as I'd like to take capture resolution as far as I can such that later software work will have more raw data to chew on.
So, that's my brief introduction. Since the analog hardware is inconvenient for playback and besides, I'm very interested in cleanup and optimization of the material, I want to start capturing within the year. Here are my noob questions while I evaluate my current hardware's suitability:
1. Am I correct that the Crystalio ii serves as an advanced TBC, at least the equal of the Brighteye75, and likely with a superior comb filter?
2. I've read here that the internal JVC VCR TBC starts by digitizing the analog to 8 bit internally. Would I therefore get a better quality raw capture by disabling the internal JVC TBC (thereby bypassing the 8 bit sampling), and outputting analog composite into the Crystalio (since the S-video out would use the likely inferior JVC internal comb filter)? I am aware of LS's logical challenge "why bother buying a VCR with fancy digital TBC if you're just going to bypass it?" That makes sense, but of course I didn't know this stuff when I bought the VCR - If I'm going to be doing superior 10bit TB correction/capture outside the box and the VCR is paid for, should I care?
3. Being an audiophile, I'm into my cable quality. I have some very good Nordost RCA composite video cables. Trouble is, my LD and VCR output will be RCA, and my input into the back of the Crystalio are BNC. I'm good with a soldering iron, but I've never had a good answer about whether or not you can just replace a BNC with an RCA ouput. Can you, or more to the point should you? Are the circuits that drive them expecting particular impedances that will get screwed up if you swap? I could make a custom cable that has BNC on one end and RCA at the other, but that really sounds to me like an impedance mismatch problem waiting to happen? If I do modify the outputs on one of the devices for a match, which connector is superior - Should I put RCAs in the Crystalio, or BNCs in the VCR and LD players?
4. Is the ATI Radeon video card that has been recommended suitable for 10bit capture? If not, what card is recommended? (my computer hardware is more than sufficient, and drive speeds are not a concern as I'll likely be capturing to SSD).
5. I understand that using a PC with Virtualdub
and AVsynth will allow me cleanup options that are custom fits for the problems unique to each video, or even scene by scene. These will be better improvements than the Crystalio may apply in its necessary playback "one size fits all" approach. I am therefore thinking that if I were to use it, I would want to capture with all of the sharpeners and other processing effects disabled, correct? Just 10bit capture and TBC only?
Well that's probably a lot to ask in a first post. Thanks for taking me on as a member.