A client has asked for info on what I did to restore his videos. Rather than horde this info in e-mails, I'll share here in public, since there is no personal information involved.
What I have here is a PAL VHS tape, recorded in a long play mode, 3 hours of content. It was played in a JVC HR-S8965EK deck ... run through a TBC, a Elite BVP4+ proc amp, and a Tapco audio mixer board -- and captured uncompressed to an ATI All In Wonder 9000-series series card.
The video was then filtered in VirtualDub
- to remove grain, ghosting, herringbone noise, chroma noise
- to correct colors further beyond BVP4+ work
Then audio was
- pre-filtered in SoundForge
- de-hissed in Audacity
- de-clicked/de-buzzed/de-noised in DiamondCut Live Forensics
- leveled in SoundForge
- re de-hissed/de-noised in Audacity (counteract new artifacts from upward leveling)
The video was encoded in MainConcept
Reference MPEG-2 encoder, edited into 3 DVD-sized pieces in Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD, and then authored out to 3 menu-less DVDs in TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4.
Video is a max superbit bitrate of 8.9Mbps, and AC3 is Dolby stereo at 448kbps (max bitrate to avoid re-introduction of artifacts on already-damaged audio waveform)
The outcome is three clean DVDs, audio and video, that looks and sounds better than the tape, and it looks great. Edits were made along natural breaks in the content, so having 3 DVDs at top quality did not interfere with content at all. (Some folks have the desire to "keep it all on one disc", but that comes at a sacrifice of quality sometimes).
Note that filter work and settings in all software is manually created or set. At no time is a template or preset used -- this is advanced level quality work. While advanced NLEs like Adobe Premiere and Vegas are available, those were not the correct tools for this specific project. Broadcast hardware, prosumer hardware, pro audio software, and hobby/consumer video software did what was needed, and quite well.
It's probably archived as good as it's ever going to get.