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04-05-2020, 07:21 PM
rom828q rom828q is offline
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I recently posted in another thread asking questions about setting up a workflow using Mac, but it appears that no one really does that, so I will likely find use a spare Windows laptop I have sitting around or buy one. But for now, I would like to get my workflow setup figured out so I can start buying stuff that I need. I have hundreds of VHS tapes I need to transfer, and a couple dozen Video8 tapes, and I'd like to get near the best quality I can out of them for doing it myself. I have limited understanding as to what I am doing, other than what I'm reading browsing through here.

I have found a VCR and a TBC I would like to buy, but I don't know if the TBC is a good one to buy or not? Also, I have yet to decide on a capture device.

1) VCR: JVC HR-S7900U
2) TBC: Kramer FC-400 ... Any recommendations or concerns with this model? I have only found one of the recommended Datavideo TBC-1000, and that's $2000. I'm willing to spend some money on this project, but how much is reasonable for a TBC?
3) I am still unsure on the capture device. I was thinking the Diamond VC500 USB, if I go with using Windows. I may also buy the Canopus ADVC-110 to use with my Mac. Based on my reading, it appears there are problems with color compression due to the DV codec.
4) I have an old laptop sitting around with XP on it, so I think I could set that up to use as my capture system. Is there anything I should know about that? It appears I can download any of the software I need for free, like Virtualdub.

Thanks for any help as I figure this out.
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  #2  
04-05-2020, 07:39 PM
rom828q rom828q is offline
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Also, I haven't been able to find a list of recommended Video8 players or cameras?

Edit: I did manage to find a list in a thread. Will likely buy a Sony CCD-TRV615.

Last edited by rom828q; 04-05-2020 at 08:10 PM.
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  #3  
04-06-2020, 10:16 AM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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I still like the Diamond VC500 on WinXP. It also works on Linux, but I haven't tried that and user hodgey has stated that he gets slightly different capture results using the Linux driver compared to the Windows drivers (when capturing a bad VHS tape, specifically).

Lordsmurf has reservations about it, due to possible hardware variations and potential AGC issues*. There are two known revisions of the Windows VC500, but they are clearly labelled on the outside of the device if you are able to look at the back of it, and the old revision hasn't been sold New in years. The version worth buying is VC500CXT. There is also a VC500 Mac which is completely different (worse) hardware, has a white shell, and doesn't have Windows drivers.

It's less useful on Win7 (64-bit) because the drivers don't offer full Proc Amp controls. There's no way to disable a slight Sharpening, unless you load their software to do it, but then blacks below Y=16 are clipped until you reboot. And when you do reboot, the Sharpness setting is lost, so you've gotten nowhere! http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...perblacks.html

* AGC = Automatic Gain Control. "All" capture devices have (video) AGC. A small minority offer a tweak to disable it and control video gain manually. The VC500's AGC is sensitive to Macrovision and can react weirdly in certain other situations. These situations are not something the casual observer would notice. The device was on the market for years before anyone on here or VideoHelp complained of AGC issues.

http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...-form-agc.html

^ My post in this thread links to a previous discussion in 2017, where metaleonid found a VC500 AGC issue but also incorrectly claimed that his All-in-Wonder capture was free of AGC error.

I don't know anything about that Kramer TBC, specifically. Have you done a search regarding Kramer TBCs using this site's own search and the Google Custom Search Bar? These are accessible from the Search dropdown near the top of every page.

EDIT: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/mark...kramer-fc.html

-----

The workflow that I personally advocate for is cheaper and IMO higher-quality. It doesn't rely on antiquated, scarce TBC hardware.

http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...html#post47557

Last edited by msgohan; 04-06-2020 at 10:32 AM.
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  #4  
04-06-2020, 01:49 PM
rom828q rom828q is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
I don't know anything about that Kramer TBC, specifically. Have you done a search regarding Kramer TBCs using this site's own search and the Google Custom Search Bar? These are accessible from the Search dropdown near the top of every page.
Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I finally found a list of recommended equipment on here, and the Kramer-FC400 was listed, so I bought it since it was available and it appears getting ahold of any quality TBC is rare. It cost some me a pretty penny though. I also bought a JVC HR-S7900U, and a Sony CCD-TRV615 for the Video 8 tapes.

What I'm really struggling with at this point is figuring out the computer specs I need for a capture system, as well as the capture card still. Should I use Windows 7 or XP? The posts I've been reading, it appears Lordsmurf uses Windows 7, but XP is recommended by most? Benefit to using an built computer with an internal capture card over a USB one like the VC500CXT? I'm not into building or having a specific PC built, unless absolutely necessary. I'd like to find one I can buy right now off eBay that would be sufficient.

Last edited by rom828q; 04-06-2020 at 02:00 PM.
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  #5  
04-06-2020, 02:28 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Lordsmurf mainly uses Windows XP for capture, with ATI All-in-Wonder AGP cards.

There's nothing inherently better or worse about a USB capture device vs an internal capture card just based on the form factor alone. There's a USB 2.0 device that uses the same chip as the recommended All-in-Wonder boards (Theater 200) and I believe it produces equivalent quality lossless captures.

Later, ATI even made basically the same capture device in three form factors: one USB, one PCI, one PCIe. (I'm referring to ATI 650, which is not recommended in any of its flavours due to extreme AGC problems.)
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  #6  
04-07-2020, 01:26 PM
rom828q rom828q is offline
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Thanks again for the input. I have an old desktop sitting around I think I can convert into a capture system. I said I don't want to build a computer, but considering it's here and that's what is likely best, maybe I will if I can use this one. It's a Dell Dimension 9200 Core 2 Duo 6600.

Tentative plan to upgrade it:
- Upgrade to 4GB Ram
-Upgrade to two 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 hard drives
-Install XP SP2 (should I install home or pro?)
-Use an ATI X1900XT as a capture card?
-Creative Labs CT4810 Sound Blaster Audio Card?

I should be able to internally connect the sound card and the capture card correct? Do I really need anything else as far as hardware?
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  #7  
04-07-2020, 02:47 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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  1. You won't use any significant amount of RAM during capture. Pointless upgrade, unless you're also using the computer for other stuff.
  2. Personally I would add larger drives, but sure. Definitely have 1 fast drive for OS & 1 for files.
  3. Home vs Pro doesn't matter. But I like Pro...
  4. You mean ATI Radeon X1900XT? No, definitely not. You want an ATI All-in-Wonder card. Search past threads here about buying complete PCIe All-in-Wonders and installing drivers for them. You need to make sure the card comes with all necessary cables. The PCIe versions require an extra cable compared to the AGP cards. I think NJRoadfan once mentioned one exception that doesn't require the adapter cable.
  5. Don't buy Sound Blaster. But if you already have it, you can try it.
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  #8  
04-07-2020, 03:15 PM
rom828q rom828q is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
  1. Home vs Pro doesn't matter. But I like Pro...
Out of curiosity, why one over the other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
  1. You mean ATI Radeon X1900XT? No, definitely not. You want an ATI All-in-Wonder card. Search past threads here about buying complete PCIe All-in-Wonders and installing drivers for them. You need to make sure the card comes with all necessary cables. The PCIe versions require an extra cable compared to the AGP cards. I think NJRoadfan once mentioned one exception that doesn't require the adapter cable.
  2. Don't buy Sound Blaster. But if you already have it, you can try it.
I found a New in Box, with all cables, ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder X600 Pro. Would that work? Based on what I've read in threads it should?

I haven't bought any computer components yet. Why not sound blaster, and which one instead? It's one of the audio cards I've read is recommended.

Thanks a ton for your help!
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