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09-18-2017, 07:31 AM
aalucard aalucard is offline
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Hi all, I want to thank you for all of your guides and post, they helped me a lot.
I was reading many of the post in this forum and now I'm trying to figure out what to do with my equipment.
First of all, I'm sorry for my english, it's not my native language.

I want to digitize all of my tapes (and family tapes), I'm an european citizen, so all of them are in PAL.
This is what I want to do e what I did:
My collections of tapes includes many VHS of a school project in the final years of the nineties and 2001-2002, other than a lot of Hi8 from a relative that shoot all of the footage with a SHARP VL-AH50.
I still don't have a decent (working) VCR and I'm trying to find that in the market, but for now I only found very ruined pieces of scrap for 50-100 euros.
So for now I'm hoping to save almost all of the Hi8 tapes, and in the meantime preparing the equipment for the VHS.

Reading a lot of reviews and posts (before arriving on this forum) I understood that because the quality of most tapes where really bad you couldn't do much, and than I brought an AUGUST VGB 100.
I first tried with the arcsoft included in the box, but I could only import in mpeg-2 with a really big compression, and again, was stated that "because VHS have low quality you aren't losing in therms of video quality".

But my idea was to create an archive with the possible best quality, than convert the video for tv or pc, but maintaining the archive intact.

So I found that I could use Virtualdub (the last time that I used that for a personal project was 10 years ago) with HuffYUV to create the archive and only after the first capture work on the file to make them visible on tv or pc screens.

I need to build the archive and then convert the video to make them visibile on tv screen via USB HDD, and sometimes on pc screen. what is the best choice that I could make?
Create two version, one for the tv and one for the pc? I red a lot of posts where was discussed when deinterlace and when do not. So now I'm thinking on having two different files for different purposes.

And again, I didn't think that my HW equipment is enough, so I kept reading and found that the ATI AIW cards with a mobo that had AGP slots was the best setup, so i found in my storage room a lot of spare parts from my old job (PC fixing).
I have two MOBO with AGP 8x but I don't have a AIW card, I only found others ATI cards, and online I can't find reliable AIW cards, so I don't if is better to wait until i find one.

I know that I wrote a lot, but what do you think I should do?
Wait and find a better equipment (I red that even the SHARP isn't a good camera for this type of work) or I can do something even in this conditions?
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  #2  
09-18-2017, 07:56 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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The basic questions you ask have been asked addressed many times in various different threads.
Key to coming up with a solution or solutions are the answers to several basic questions.

- how many tapes do you have?
- what is your budget for additional gear - hardware and software?
- how much personal time are you willing to invest in this project?
- do you have some 'must be completed by' date in mind?
- to what quality standard, that is, how good is good enough? how much restoration effort do you have in mind beyond what a decent Hi8/VHS player puts outs out natively.
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  #3  
09-19-2017, 12:24 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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I'm in the a similar position to the original poster, I live in the US and have NTSC.

I tend to 'over think' things and prepare for a long time. But it does prevent making lots of mistakes.

1. try not to plan to digitize and then discard the original tapes, consider marking the tapes or labeling them with a code and then logging whats on them, and when digitized label them with the code or label of the digitized file

2. archiving in lossless YUV or huffyuv is admirable, but consider the cost, 1 hour is about 96 GB for NTSC. It might be more practical to archive to MPEG2 now, keep the original tapes and then redo later.. this would be a much cheaper stop gap to reduce degradation, give you a pretty good copy .. you might have to discard the tapes rapidly later, they might become damaged, degrade.. or you might decide to try to re-digitize with better equipment later

3. USB 2.0 or above has the bandwidth you need to capture at the resolution you need, but the quality of the video decoder and digitizer is the most important thing.. (USB dongles however are not cooled well and that could effect the circuitry)

4. the most important thing is probably the quality of the signal coming from the playback VCR, get the best you can, make sure it can be serviced and maintained.. if your digitizing a lot of tapes.. if you have lots of different tapes.. you may need several good vcrs of different types that can be serviced and maintained. Cheap plastic vcrs are unstable, wear quickly and break and cannot be fixed. High-end Broadcast studio vcrs are bad because you can't find people to work on them, or parts for them. There is a middle ground between cheap plastic vcrs and expensive broadcast vcrs. This forum has a good list of recommended vcrs from the panasonic (matsushita) or jvc companies.. choose carefully.. and stay away from eBay.. check the forsale ads on this forum and speciality repair shops (there are fewer and fewer).. prepare for sticker shock.. then re-consider a professional shop to do the conversions for you.

5. consider contracting with a professional to perform the job if its only for a few tapes, and your life is simply too busy to take on this task.. its not an easy or inexpensive "hobby".. it costs a lot of time and a lot of money.. and you won't be happy with the results without a lot of effort

6. learn about de-interlacing, telecine and progressive video choices.. then don't attempt to upsample or upconvert video to higher resolution computer files.. computer files are not video, converting video to higher resolution computer files is a pipe dream with bad consequences.. leave the captured video files as they are, watch them with software that performs upsampling or upconverting as they are played

- a corollary, hobby

which isn't acknowledged often

is there is a category of people who either don't care about the quality as much as simply (doing it) at low cost and with whatever they have

1. be prepared to be disappointed with the results, it will just have to be good-enough

2. enjoy learning how to use your equipment

3. if you can afford the space, invest in labeling and documenting your tapes while you perform this "urgent" conversion.. you might come back and revisit it later

4. if your standards for acceptable go up, instead of digging in and spending lots of resources.. stay open to re-examining the actual goal.. quality versus buying lots more gear.. if the goal becomes buying more gear.. that "is" the goal.. not high quality conversion.. just accept that

5. the real goal.. might actually be self-education.. or to satisfy a curiosity.. or educate yourself enough to feel confident in dealing with a professional who can perform the conversion.. that's perfectly understandable and legitimate

Last edited by jwillis84; 09-19-2017 at 01:10 PM.
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  #4  
09-19-2017, 01:15 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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A correction needed here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
2. archiving in lossless YUV or huffyuv is admirable, but consider the cost, 1 hour is about 96 GB for NTSC.
NTSC captured at 720x480, or PAL captured at 720x576, using YUY2 with huffyuv or similar lossles compression is about 30GB per hour, not 96.
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  #5  
09-19-2017, 02:53 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Hmm perhaps I forgot about the audio
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  #6  
09-19-2017, 03:00 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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That includes PCM uncompressed audio at 48KHz, 16-bit stereo.

If you mean 96GB for those captures, you must mean uncompressed RGB capture, which would be 3 or more times the size of lossless huffyuv YUY2.
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  #7  
09-19-2017, 05:31 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Ah... good estimate.

lossless compression, is amazing
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  #8  
09-23-2017, 04:26 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Reading all the posts above, some comments on what Ive read:

- VHS tapes are rarely too bad to work with.
- Video8/Hi8 can be unworkable if the original camera misrecorded the tapes. ie bad "tracking", noting the Video8 doesn't have tracking, but rather the alignment is recorded into the signal.

The easiest way to watch via USB on TV is (1) first capture, (2) play captured files with something like a Kodi vox

Keep it interlaced. The HDTV will deinterlace. If you hard deinterlace the source, you'll throw away quality, ruin the archived video. On the computer, VLC can playback with a deinterlace filter. So aside from Youtube, or similar sites, there's rarely a reason to deinterlace.

ATI AIW cards can be found on eBay. You do not need a PAL or NTSC card, as the s-video/composite is both aon all cards, only the tuner was PAL or NTSC only (and doesn't matter).

As mentioned, keep original tapes in indoor storage.

Huffyuv/lossless is great for editing, as it's an intermediary. For pure archives, MPEG-2 broadcast/BD spec 15mbps is excellent. Better than DVD, not as much space needed as lossless.

USB should have bandwidth, but it runs via the CPU, and can have I/O bottlenecking when using USB for both high-bitrate MPEG compression and USB capture. Be sure the system is decent, though most anything from the past 10 years usually is.

Lossless AVI is about 30-40gb/hour, and is not fixed in size. It depends on content. Uncompressed YUY2 is almost exactly 76gb/hour for 720x480 29.97fps.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
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  #9  
09-24-2017, 01:32 PM
aalucard aalucard is offline
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Thank you all for the replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
The basic questions you ask have been asked addressed many times in various different threads.
Key to coming up with a solution or solutions are the answers to several basic questions.

- how many tapes do you have?
- what is your budget for additional gear - hardware and software?
- how much personal time are you willing to invest in this project?
- do you have some 'must be completed by' date in mind?
- to what quality standard, that is, how good is good enough? how much restoration effort do you have in mind beyond what a decent Hi8/VHS player puts outs out natively.
1- My tapes are 22, but there are others 30-40 from my relative with the Hi8 (he lends me the tapes where me and my family are on and the camera, so I have to convert ALL of his tapes)
2- My budget is around 100 Ä for now, I was going to buy an AIW card and a VCR, but I can't find something here, it seems that I have to rely on internet.
3- I work from home, I can start the conversion and then watch the result at the end of the day or in the weekend, let's say 10-15 hours per week.
4- I don't have a proper date, but I have to give back the tapes and I think my house have too much humidity because my tapes are in bad shape, so I start this project to prevent a worst case scenario.
5- "good enough" is what takes to have a digital file that I can utilize later for others purpose without having trouble with quality if I can't access to the tapes anymore.

@jwillis84, yes, I'm too an over thinker, I need to be prepared so I don't have to come back in search of others "pieces" for completing the project. Once started I want to complete everithing in one, long, run.
1- Not all of the tapes are mine, and I don't know if I can guarantee a good enviroment so they probably get destroied by the passing time.
2- Well, I have a lot of disk space (3TB mirroring disk) prepared only for this project, and not all of the project is mine, for the others tapes it's my relative concerne how and where to stock the files, I can only give him some advice.
3- Yes, that is the problem, so I was asking here what I should do, because, as mentioned before, I would prefer to start and finish the project without restarting midway for some HW problem.
4- I have two maintenance store near by, I don't know how qualified they are, but it's almost 30 years (that I know of) that they are doing this business. As strange as it might be, there are the repairing stores but I can't find anything in a 200 km radius from the list of device in this site. I can rely only on ebay for now, and the price is doubled if I calculate custom fee and delivery cost.
5- The nearest professional studio that I know of is in UK, at least someone that is not "all-in-one job", and the cost for single tape and delivery is very high (and I don't know if they send the uncompressed files).
6- Thank you, with @lordsmurf last reply I think that for that matter I'm covered for now.

@lordsmurf, thank you, so the only solution for now is to search for an AIW card because I don't know how good this USB device is and how far it can go with complex videofiles. The HW is new, but the technology maybe is outdated, I really don't know hot to verify that.
I tried some of my old tapes on a vcr, but the tapes looked really bad, I'm searching a new vcr to see if with a good vcr I can see any differences.
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