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01-21-2022, 08:14 AM
mrfrankmrfrank mrfrankmrfrank is offline
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Hello all, this may be my first post on this forum even though I've been registered here for a few years. Back in 2017 I purchased a tbc and two vcrs from @lordsmurf as well as an ATI AIW 9600XT from ebay. Unfortunately after those purchases the parts remained unused in storage until I was prepared to start this adventure.

Now is the time.

I have wanted to build the "best" capture setup I can to convert 100 or more family vhs tapes. Some of these tapes are over 25 years old. I have an OCD problem where if I don't do something to the "best" standards, it will drive me nuts.

I am looking for feedback regarding my proposed setup as well as answers to some lingering questions.

My current setup is as follows.

::Computer::
Motherboard - Abit NF7-S2
CPU - AMD Athlon XP running at 2.2 GHZ
MEMORY - 3 gigs of Crucial 333 UDIM SDRAM DDR

Sound Card - This computer currently has a Creative Labs SB0350 Sound Blaster Audigy which looks like a nice card. 24-Bit PCI sound card. HOWEVER... I am not opposed to acquiring a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz if I'm told I need to.

:: Capture Card ::
ATI AWI 9600XT

:: VCR ::
I embarrassingly don't remember what lordsmurf sold me. I know it's a nice one. I have to look at it in storage.

________________________________

My couple of questions is as follows. I see throughout this forum.....and I could be wrong, that a few times lordsmurf and others have advocated for a minimum of SATA II... however I'm not sure if I've found a motherboard with AGP and SATA II. I'm not sure if the two technologies ever overlapped. I also see that at minimum SATA I should be running as AHCI, however this motherboard that I have can only run SATA in IDE mode. It was nice as I did not need to slipstream any drivers into the Windows XP installer, but I'm concerned if IDE mode on SATA I will be an issue.

Next I see that using an SSD on windows xp is hotly debated. I've seen a few posts saying "stay away" or "it doesn't really matter" as well as a few posts encouraging others to do it, that it does have its benefits. I'm currently running on a spinning disk and will stay there unless I SHOULD go to SSD... however the speed benefits are unlikely to be seen with SATA I in IDE mode.

I wanted to ask a question. There is often talk on these forums about what is "good enough" or "should be ok" when questions regarding systems / builds / minimum specs.

Is "good enough" = no dropped frames. Is that what we're talking about when we say one spec is better than another, or "should be ok".....is the goal simply "no dropped frames?" If a combination of hardware, whether its SATA I VS SATA II, SSD on Windows XP, 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM, 1.5 gb of ram vs 2.0 gb of ram results in no dropped frames, have we succeeded? Or are there other variables to consider?

With all of the hardware I currently own, my goal is to capture AVI video in Virtualdub at 29.97 fps (full NTSC) 640 x 480?? I see on the guide it says "640 x 480" or "720 x 480" I haven't investigated how to differentiate the choice yet. I assume 640 x 480 will be the proper one for home movies. Compression to YUY2 with HuffYUV.

AVI
29.97 FPS
640 X 480
YUY2
HuffYUV

I'm also thinking of going with these composite cables... keep them shorter for organizational purposes.
https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-106...ps%2C90&sr=8-2

If I think of more questions I will post them here. My goal is to turn this into sort of a worklog. I will also be purchasing a premium membership on payday. Thank you all.

Last edited by mrfrankmrfrank; 01-21-2022 at 09:13 AM.
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  #2  
01-21-2022, 11:31 AM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfrankmrfrank View Post
There is often talk on these forums about what is "good enough" or "should be ok" when questions regarding systems / builds / minimum specs.

Is "good enough" = no dropped frames. Is that what we're talking about when we say one spec is better than another, or "should be ok".....is the goal simply "no dropped frames?" If a combination of hardware, whether its SATA I VS SATA II, SSD on Windows XP, 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM, 1.5 gb of ram vs 2.0 gb of ram results in no dropped frames, have we succeeded?
Yes (at least in my opinion, and specifically regarding the pure "computer" hardware as opposed to the "video/audio capture" hardware).

Quote:
With all of the hardware I currently own, my goal is to capture AVI video in Virtualdub at 29.97 fps (full NTSC) 640 x 480?? I see on the guide it says "640 x 480" or "720 x 480"
Capture 720x480 and when you go to encode the actual playback "distribution" files, flag the aspect ratio accordingly to un-stretch it.

Quote:
I'm also thinking of going with these composite cables
Presumably LS sold you a S-VHS VCR, so you should be using S-Video, not composite.
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  #3  
01-21-2022, 11:56 AM
mrfrankmrfrank mrfrankmrfrank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

Presumably LS sold you a S-VHS VCR, so you should be using S-Video, not composite.
I guess I didn't realize the TBC-3000 had s-video input and output. I will adjust my workflow accordingly. Thank you for the tip!

At some point I need to read up on how to actually use the TBC-3000. I have no idea if there are settings I need to adjust / tweak. Is it as simple as plugging it into the workflow? haha. One step at a time.

-- merged --

I have started with a few practice rounds. I still need to finalize cabling, power distribution, and workflow. I'm going to use this thread for now as notes / questions to myself.

In the tutorial how to capture avi using virtualdub, with regards to audio.

"Go back to the Audio menu. This time go down to Volume Meter. The Balance should be in the middle, meaning both the left and right stereo get the same amount. The Volume control bar should be at about 50 to 75 percent. Never put volume at 100 percent, as it will often lead to distorted, cracking audio. The left side of the slider bar is 0 percent, the right side is 100 percent. Click the X when done."

The way I read this multiple times initially I expected to see audio sliders and configuration options within virtualdub. This is my first time using virtualdub. I've come to the understanding that I need to adjust the audio within the windows sound settings and not any sliders on the virtualdub volume meter.

My first 3 test runs capturing 3 different vhs-c tapes (in vhs adapters) have all resulted in significant hiss in the audio and muffled sound. It is not inaudible, however it is surprising how much hiss there is. I started reading with regards to hiss and audio issues on this forum. It posed another question to me with regard to my source tapes.. I guess I didn't give much thought to if they are mono or stereo on the source. I assume mono? These tapes were recorded 22 years ago on a camcorder in my family. I MAY actually have the original camera so that I can look at what features it has.

If the source tapes were mono the vcr should be outputting the same mono signal over left and right stereo correct?

Lastly, I found a great youtube video on how to "deinterlacing with avisynth and qtgmc" and managed to set up a test environment. I am pleased with the results of that workflow for a final "steamable" filetype. I plan to keep the original avi files for archiving purposes and .mp4 for viewing. I need to figure out how to crop and or mask in virtualdub2 for my final .mp4 files. I would like to remove the head-switching noise at the bottom of the tapes and do this properly.

It seems that each step of the way leads to more that needs to be learned and I want to do my best to do this properly. I understand that I should be avoiding "cropping" by the traditional sense of the term. Another rabbit hole of self instruction.

-- merged --

More notes to follow up on. I am looking at whether or not I'd want to use DNR on the source vcr or capture without and reduce noise in post. When enabling TBC/DNR on the vcr would this affect having the tbc-3000 in line? Is this essentially dual time base correcting? (i made this up)
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  #4  
02-01-2022, 09:57 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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The VCR's line TBC should be on by default, you should only turn it off when it gives you problems, It is part of the helical scan system to correct line jitter from mechanical imperfection of the tape transport. CRT TV's back in the day did this task so VCR's don't have to but most capture cards don't have this function so a VCR with line TBC is a must, Your average RCA, Daewoo and Funai VCR's are not up to this task.

https://www.youtube.com/@Capturing-Memories/videos
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  #5  
02-01-2022, 12:05 PM
mrfrankmrfrank mrfrankmrfrank is offline
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I tried my hand at lordsmurfs avisynth script for color correction etc. I don't think it's going well... haha

-- merged --

ok, i made some progress past this, at least it looks better. I will post what lines I'm using with questions and comments after this 9 hour render is done.

-- merged --

I am still fine-tuning my workflow and testing recordings. I have moved on from vhs-c capture testing to some 8mm capture testing. I have a mix of 8 and hi8 tapes. I have not come across a digital8 tape yet. I am using a DCR-TRV460 to play the tapes using svideo. When I play some of these tapes the video appears to be widescreen on the viewfinder and looks fine... but virtualdub is capturing the apparent "widescreen video" as 4x3 and appears "squished" I have attached a diagram I made to show the issue.


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File Type: jpg Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 12.03.33 PM.jpg (72.2 KB, 17 downloads)
File Type: jpg 8mm.jpg (25.0 KB, 12 downloads)
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