05-29-2011, 01:29 AM
rappy rappy is offline
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First off - thanks for this great site! Though I still get confused, without this site and all it's knowledge I would be really lost.

goal: (again) preserve about 150 family VHS tapes (1985-2000/ shot with a Quasar-XXX Camera). I have been reading on this topic from this site and others, on and off for the last few years. I have been able to capture a few tapes, (with the equipment I have purchased) but I am not sure if I have gotten the most out of them with what I have. I want to capture at the best quality possible to my PC, so that I can watch/stream to my TV. I dont think I will do much editing after capture, but I do want to retain that option. I will put the videos to DVD as a back up along with additional "back up" options (hard drives)- But for now, I just want to capture all of the material.

Equipment I have:
- WIndows 7 OS (on a SSD) - Q6600 CPU - ASUS P5B Deluxe Mobo - EVGA GTX460 vid card - Creative
Sound Blaster X-Fi (currently just useing mobo sound)
- JVC HR-S9900U
- Canopus ADVC 300
- Canopus Lets Edit RT+ capture card
- Vegas video X.X
- Ulead DVD Movie Factory X.X

Equipment I am thinking of getting:
- AVT 8710

Equipment I should get?
Black Magic Intensity Pro/shuttle?

I would like to go VCR=>AVT8710=>Canopus Lets EditRT+=>capture or VCR=>AVT8710=>BM Pro/Shuttle=>capture

So my questions are:

Which set up would be better? Or is there an alternate set up (I know ATI cards are recomented)?

I really dont want to build a "capture PC" but I will if I have too?

From what I have read, I dont think there is a need for the ADVC300 in my set up - correct?

I am currently useing the on board sound - Is this ok? or should I reinstall my sound card?

Is my current editing SW ok?

I hope I am in the right track, and I look forward to everyones comments/suggestions. I am sure I will have plenty more questions, so please be patient! I am really looking forward to being able to easily share all of
these videos with my family - I hated taking the videos when I was a kid, but now I am glad I have them!

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Someday, 12:01 PM
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05-30-2011, 11:46 AM
rappy rappy is offline
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While I patiently await some feedback, I went thru my spare"equipment". In addition to what I mentioned previously, I also have (hardly used):

Liteon 5005a DVD recorder.

ATI AIW 7500 video capture card (also very little use). I should have all the cables, but not sure about the SW.

As mentioned before - my current rig is: Windows 7 (32bit), SSD OS, Q6600 CPU, GTX460 video card, 1 TB Western Digital Black HD (empty), older WD 320 GB HD (has pics & first set of captured video), and my old OS 150 GB Raptur HD.

I mention this because I was planning to upgrade to a new P67 board and a K2600 CPU any day. I also have a spare Lian Li case, and power supply - basically an entire PC! So - would building a barebones XP (need to purchase that) rig just for capture be the best solution? If so, should I use the ATI 7500, or maybe get the ATI 600 USB be better? Or should I use the Canupus Lets Edit RT+ capture card? Again, I want to do this once, and get the best I can out of my tapes? How are the tapes? In good shape I think - But grainy, and dark. I could try to post some examples?

Also, I still think I need the AVT 8710 TBC. Do I also need a stand alone proc amp? The chain would be:

JVC 9900=>AVT 8710=>proc amp(?)=>bare bones capture PC capture device.

1. Do I need the AVT 8710 Yes or No?
2. Do I need a proc amp Yes or No? (whick one?)
3. Which capture device? AIW7500, AIW 600usb, Lets Edit RT+
4. Capture SW (not the editing portion) WINDV or ?

In terms of cost, I look at it this way. My only other option (that triggered the bug again) is to use an on line service - scanc**e.com offers a service. $15 per tape. I've used them before for photos and they turned out nice. That is the cheapest (less with discounts they always mail) from a decent provider. But with the amount of tapes I have (1250 or so) it would still be nearly $1500. And I am not sure how they would turn out? I'd love to use the Digitalfaq service they offer, but again the price ( I no they'd do a great job).

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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05-30-2011, 02:30 PM
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Most cheap online services will mass-run/automate your video, with no corrections. I would never suggest anybody that converts a tape to DVD for $15 each, as you can pretty much expect crap in return -- you're better off doing it yourself, with proper equipment, and the kind of care you want put into your transfers. (The services offered by digitalFAQ.com, since you mentioned it, carefully treat each tape as the unique recording it is, working with it to get the best possible conversion; tapes are never pushed through some kind of "one size fits all" type sloppy method. Most services use a limited range of hardware, some of it lousy consumer-grade gear.)

You do need an external timebase corrector, yes. If you can get a pre-2011 AVT-8710, then do so. There are some potential issues with new-production AVT-8710s right now that you should be aware of. The exact cause it yet to be determined, but is currently suspected to be a bad chip in the frame buffer. Other options include DataVideo TBCs, such as the TBC-100.

You're headed in the right direction, and have a few options for the capturing workflow. I'll post back later or tomorrow. Wanted to at least give a quick partial response.

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06-01-2011, 09:16 AM
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A proc amp is a "color processor/amplifier" and at minimum tweaks the luma and chroma. Better one can tweak gamma, IRE (black level), significantly alter color, and even tweak detail/resolution. In laymen's terms, this adjusts the color, contrast, tint, brightness, and sharpness. It's very similar to the adjustment knobs on an old-fashioned TV set. But it makes changes permanent to the new video, not simply the viewing device like the TV did. Hardware proc amps are far more powerful than software proc amps, which also take place AFTER the signal has been digitized, and the original analog signal is gone -- no way to "pull" more information from the video signal. This is a completely optional, though suggested, piece of video hardware.

ATI AIW 7500 on Windows XP is our favorite solution, so we'll automatically suggest that most times. This is one of those times. But ATI 600 USB on Windows XP/Vista/7 works well for NTSC only, some hack-arounds for PAL (AVI only). Either works. It really comes down to a choice in easy vs not-quite-as-easy. ATI AIW = easy, ATI 600 = not quite easy, though not hard.

Canopus ADVC 300 is actually a problematic device. The noise filters more or less butcher the image, so it needs to keep all those NR/enhancement settings turned off. I know, that defeats the purpose of buying the fancy ADVC-300 instead of the cheap 55 or 100/110, but that's all on Canopus for making sloppy hardware. It's also just a DV box, which comes with all the disadvantages of DV compression (4:1:1 colorspace compression, encoding noise blocks, etc).

The computer sounds excellent.

A Liteon 5005 actually has some uses, too, for chroma noise removal, since it has the LSI Logic chipset. The LiteOn has its own issues, of course, such as jitter potential (vertical imagine bouncing, not horizontal "jitter"). And limitations to DVD-Video MPEG-2 recording only, and the limited CVBR used by LiteOn firmware. But still, in the right scenario, this could be the best piece of hardware for a project from time to time. What's I'm getting at is simple: Don't throw it away.

I would suggest the ATI AIW 7500, and then you can also have an ATI 600 for backup. Or for a second workstation.

For ATI MPEG, use the ATI software (ATI MMC for internal Radeon cards, ATI CMC for the newer "good" cards like ATI 600).
For ATI AVI, use VirtualDub.
For DV on the Canopus, use WinDV.
Leave editing programs for video editing tasks.

This is also an ideal chain: JVC VCR > TBC > proc amp (optional) > capture PC

I don't really see a need to get the Black Magic Intensity Pro/Shuttle cards. Not for your situation. Sure, great cards, but also not flawless and without quirks and irritations. Also $200 each, and those funds may be better spent elsewhere.

Let me put this to you another way -- you've not suggested anything bad/stupid. These are all really decent options. The ATI routes are probably better, especially when a good VCR and external TBC is in the mix.

I don't always like to say "Yes, go buy this" for ethical reasons. I don't really want to insist you buy any specific device here. I think you've done enough homework to narrow yourself down to solid choices, and I'll be glad to give further info to help you in that process, as I did in this post. (Well, other than the TBC -- go buy a TBC, as per the post from admin.)

Is your budget limited, or do you have some leeway to do a mini shopping spree? That's really what this is about. It's also about insistence on Windows 7, vs hesitance on "new" Windows XP system. Those two things are your only real limiting factors here, based on the conversation so far. And it's a decent play to be.

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06-01-2011, 12:23 PM
rappy rappy is offline
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Thanks for the reply! Yes, I think I am going to go the dedicated PC route. I have pretty much everything already. Plus - I just got a copy of XP Pro from the IT guy at work!

I will start off using the AIW 7500. I used it very little when I first got it (I assume it still works). To be honest, I didnt like it - Well I didnt like the SW. But that was a few years ago - I have always had a hard time working with SW though. I always second guess I am doing it correctly. I dont think I have the original SW. I know it is posted here somewhere, so I will start to look. What version should I use?

If I have difficulty with it, or do not like the outcome, I will try the Canopus Lets Edit RT+. Then my 3rd option would be the ATI 600 USB, then finally the Black Magic - Does that sound about right?

I am going to pick up the AVT8710 from B&H. I will take a gamble that it is a good unit. I am also going to pick up a proc amp. Just get it all, and do it right once! As far as cost, this will still be less then sending out the tapes. Besides, once I am finally done, I can always sell the pieces and get at least half my money back? And if it is a decent bundle, I can promote it as a "all in one Video conversion kit". I think I would do pretty good since it would come with the JVC VHS player! For the proc amp, I was looking at the Sign Video pa-100 (I think thats it?). I would like your opinion?I will also test how using the JVC, TBC & proc amp will turn out using the LiteOn 5005? It it turns out ok, maybe I can use that for the "less important" videos?

My goal is to get the PC put together this week, and order the parts I need to capture to the PC by Friday (B&H reopens then. I should be able to start late next week. Once I have it captured, I will make a back up of the files, then I can mess with editing files.

Appreciate all your help,

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06-02-2011, 01:57 PM
rappy rappy is offline
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proble - My Asus P5B Deluxe only has PCI Slots. The AIW is a AGP card correct? If so, what is my next best option?

ps - order the Sign Video PA-100 today. I will be ordering the AVT 8710 tonight. Am I missing anything else?

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06-07-2011, 08:53 AM
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The capture card discussion will be continued here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...e-project.html

As for this:
Am I missing anything else?
Here are the basics:

- VCR: At least one good S-VHS VCR with internal TBC (REQUIRED!) -- two would be better: one JVC, one Panasonic
- Address tearing: Panasonic DMR-ES10 to address tearing, on passthrough only, if needed (optional gear)
- TBC/FS: An external TBC to both act as frame sync and strip bad signal flaws (artificial or natural) - REQUIRED! / Read the TBC guide.
- Proc amp: Correct color (optional gear)
- Detailer: To sharpen already-clear SP mode VHS tapes, rarely used (very optional gear)
- Audio mixer: To correct gain and basic EQ for audio quality (optional, though suggested), like this $55 Behringer Xenyx
- Good capture card: To digitize the signal, obviously (REQUIRED!) -- For example: ATI AIW, ATI 600, Blackmagic Intensity, Aja Kona, Matrox MX02

That addresses the hardware.
Have you given much consideration to software, excluding the capturing tool itself? What about editors, authoring software, etc?

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