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02-24-2017, 06:28 PM
dethsquad dethsquad is offline
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Hi, I'm working on a project where I'm capturing all of my VHS concerts, home movies, etc..I've got some free time and it's kind of a labor of love. I do NOT plan on burning these files to DVD, I just want to be able to play them from hard drives (my MAC hooks up to my HDTV also)

Quality is important and I am happy with my set up (JVC deck > Canopus Converter > MAC), and I am capturing in Final Cut X so no problems there. Final Cut captures the material with the DV codec and uncompressed audio and I can also export to this format as well which I think looks great (I mean we're talking about VHS here, so not literally "great").

My issue lies with the file sizes, it's about 15GB for an hour long file, which is not ideal since I have a lot of tapes to transfer and I don't want to have to use THAT many hard drives. I've done some tests using FCPX and MPEG streamclip exporting to H264 MOV/MP4 and I'm not totally satisfied. Whenever I convert to H264 with either I can see what looks like scan lines/interlacing that is NOT on the original DV file. Unchecking "interlaced scaling" in streamclip did not help, FCPX doesn't really have options like that.

What is everyone else using for this? MPEG2? Even with the interlacing it doesn't look that bad, but I just want to get off on the right foot once I get this project going. Or I can just be happy with the huge files and get a bunch of 4TB HDs, that should probably cover the whole thing...

any advice would be appreciated

-- merged --

OK - I realize this got zero replies because a zillion versions of this same question have been asked and answered in this forum and I read a lot on the subject the last few days, so I'd like to narrow my questions down to just a few, mostly in the export process:

1. my DV capture w/the Canopus box of a VHS tape does NOT look interlaced to my eyes, but when I export to H264 I need to deinterlace the file or else I see interlacing lines not present on the original DV file capture, why is this?

2. accepting that I need to deinterlace regardless of the above answer (since my opinion is that the footage looks better that way), the only other setting in MPEG Streamclip I'm worried about is "Field Dominance" - Upper or Lower - It seems like "Lower" is the correct choice since that is what DV is, but I did a few tests and I cannot see any difference between upper and lower, so does this matter?

3. I am using mpeg streamclip to export to H264 since it gives me way more options (bitrate, etc.) than fcpx. However, I played around with handbrake but a few things seemed wonky to me, esp regarding frame size. Is there any reason MPEG Streamclip is NOT OK for what I'm using it for?

Thanks
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  #2  
03-06-2017, 05:41 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quality matters, so leave interlaced.

I settled on 720x480 MPEG-2 15mbps (Blu-ray/broadcast) bitrate about 5 years ago. The CPU speeds began to work fine, and I could attach the drive to a WDTV and play on HDTV. It looked better than DVD (higher bitrate), wasn't too large. Drives were routinely 2tb for $100 at the time, and space/price has since gotten better yet.

If you want, interlaced x264 in MKV is an option, if the player supports it. Lots of playback have interlaced x/H.264 (in any container).

DV isn't a great capture format, and loses chroma resolution. But it is interlaced. It's the player (assuming computer, not TV) software codec issue. MPC-HD natively deinterlaces, and I've never changed it for MPEG. VLC shows interlace, and only deinterlaces if manually set. On Mac, I prefer mplayerX.

Avidemux works better than Handbrake, and is on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Again, leave interlace, make nice MPEG. v2.6 is best for x264, v2.5 for MPEG. I detest Streamclip, too simpleton.

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  #3  
03-06-2017, 12:09 PM
dethsquad dethsquad is offline
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Thanks for the reply lordsmurf, my uncle actually wrote a bunch of The Smurfs episodes back in the day, but that's neither here nor there! I will run some tests based on your advice + check out Avidemux.

Yesterday I used VLC to make MPEG2 (@9000kbps) + AC3 (256kpbs) .TS files from a few DV captures and the results were not bad. Especially if I played back through VLC and deinterlaced on the fly. I'll compare with my results from Avidemux.

Unfortunately I'm not able to spend any $$ on this project (the reason I have time to work on it is because I'm unemployed at the moment!) so I'm basically stuck with the Canopus box and capturing to DV.

Thanks again!
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03-11-2017, 03:30 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dethsquad View Post
Thanks for the reply lordsmurf, my uncle actually wrote a bunch of The Smurfs episodes back in the day
Neat!

Quote:
Yesterday I used VLC to make MPEG2 (@9000kbps) + AC3 (256kpbs) .TS files from a few DV captures and the results were not bad. Especially if I played back through VLC and deinterlaced on the fly. I'll compare with my results from Avidemux.
Only deinterlace on playback, not your sources.

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