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01-13-2019, 10:53 AM
Rehnquist Rehnquist is offline
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So like many newbies I'm jumping feet first into archiving family VHS tapes and I've gotten the impression that the easiest/best way to do a lot of this is on legacy tech, running some release of XP. How difficult is it to stand up a workflow with the ATI HD 600 or AIW on a 64-bit (Ryzen) Win 10 machine?

And how does this impact my choices for TBCs?
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01-13-2019, 08:21 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Its my opinion after working on something like this for over two years.

You would do best to consult with LordSmurf before sinking cash into anything and deep diving off the 'Bay.

The basics are

1. Get a good VCR with a built-in Line TBC, not cheap and getting hard to find, buy only from a trusted source (if they have any left).

2. Decide if you need Lossless or restoration services.. this is hard, it depends on the material and how important.. Wedding, Firstborn.. tapes of this sort need this. Typical low end 8 hour TV show tapes do not need this.

3. If you need Lossless then go XP SP2 (never SP3), sourcing retro parts for such a system can be hard, this is where a pre-built and tested capture system will save you money and headache. And a "good" ATI capture card, they are not all "good".

4. If MPEG2 or DVD is good enough there are lots more options, you can still edit MPEG2 and not degrade the video, but its not great for correcting defects in the video itself. You then have to re-encode that type of fixed video and it does degrade the video. VHS is so low resolution you can't afford any degradation.. if it needs fixing go Lossless first, fix the video and then transform into MPEG2 or DVD.

5. Bulk capture, 100-500 tapes or more is probably beyond the patience of most people, each is hours x that many tapes in "real time" they have to be played in a VCR in "real time", plus any post editing or burning. Be selective and if you can't part with them, seal them up in plastic bags and hold them for hope sake.. but don't sink too much hope into ever getting that done. - If your serious.. then send them out to a contractor to get them done, then they will get done and you'll save a lot of money in the process.

6. Long tapes, over 2-3 hours need special attention, MPEG2 or DVD limits the amount of video that can be captured reasonably "good" on a single DVD. Even a vast PC hard drive can fill up fast, but archiving direct to a DVD fills up faster and you may have to span DVDs. That can get complicated and very time consuming. Most people think 2 hour movies and 1 hour shows when capturing VHS, not really long tapes.. I don't think this is stressed enough. Even Blu-Ray only has about 5 times a DVD in storage space and working one into an SD workflow is time consuming. When reality 'sinks in' people often have a long rethink and either settle on MPEG2 for everything,... or start thinking.. is MPEG4 good enough?. But, if your watching these on an HDTV be prepared for a quality shock. - get lots of experience and reality checks up front.

I all reality. TBCs are getting mighty rare.. good TBCs.. all the oddballs you see today used, are not good and selling for far too much money. Its that time when people "get creative" and start looking at old DVD recorders with "pass-thru" as an acceptable alternative. -- again.. I would consult a trusted source, like LordSmurf on the "current" situation and be aware things tend to get worse over time.. not better.. in the market.. that is, they become more scarce and less available from reliable sources.

.. and the bad news, forget using Win10 for capture.. it can be done.. sort of.. but mostly people don't discuss it because the only hardware that works with Win10 isn't really good for VHS capture. Yes.. you can cobble something together, but it will be sad.. and make you mad.

Last edited by jwillis84; 01-13-2019 at 09:16 PM.
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  #3  
01-14-2019, 03:01 AM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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We currently do capturing on Win10 here using the Diamond VC500 capture card. So I can attest that that is workable. I would still prefer using an older Windows version, or Linux if there was some better capture software for it, but I'm stuck with this for now.

Not going to claim it will look quite as good as a AIW setup but I find the results pretty good. There's also the DVD-Recorder with HDMI -> HDMI splitter (to remove HDCP copy protection)-> HDMI capture card route option where you can use a more modern capture card that works on win10 for the HDMI capture bit.
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01-14-2019, 09:55 AM
Rehnquist Rehnquist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
I all reality. TBCs are getting mighty rare.. good TBCs.. all the oddballs you see today used, are not good and selling for far too much money. Its that time when people "get creative" and start looking at old DVD recorders with "pass-thru" as an acceptable alternative. -- again.. I would consult a trusted source, like LordSmurf on the "current" situation and be aware things tend to get worse over time.. not better.. in the market.. that is, they become more scarce and less available from reliable sources.

.. and the bad news, forget using Win10 for capture.. it can be done.. sort of.. but mostly people don't discuss it because the only hardware that works with Win10 isn't really good for VHS capture. Yes.. you can cobble something together, but it will be sad.. and make you mad.
Thank you so much! This is great info

I don't think I need lossless, while these are family movies from my childhood I'm not sure how much time I'm personally going to commit to hunt down and pay for an XP rig and meticulously clean or restore the footage.

I first hopped onto the 'Bay and checked back here and realized that since it's a total crapshoot over there I'd likely be better off buying from a trusted source here so I've been in contact with LordSmurf about some of his old equipment.

I did a little research and sounds like the ATI HD 600 work(ed) on Win10 back in 2016 but a couple of results since then seemed like it may more iffy now. I'll PM LordSmurf about that before making any big purchases...
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