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  1. I have read the sight, and it it clear that there are a number of options to transfer vhs to dvd and increase the quality as much as possible.

    The CanopuADVC300 looks a nice bit of kit but is not the cheapest.

    What is the "best" (i.e highest quality improvement at lowest cost) option?

    From reading the group I am considering:

    hardware

    VCR - TBC - analogue video converter

    Capture to HDD then run TMPGEnc


    Is the TBC required? or is there a better (i.e similar cost) device that is better to use that does more than a basic TBC?
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  2. Member dphirschler's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2001
    Location: Kennesaw, GA - USA
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    Sometimes the cheapest was is not the easiest or most convenient. But being a cheapskate myself and also quality minded (which produces quite the conflict at times), I have settled on a pretty good balance. My setup is as follows:

    VCR: JVC HR-S9911U (with built-in TBC)

    Capture: $29 Pinnacle PCTV Pro or $35 (ebay) Hauppauge. Both cards are bt878.

    Capture and edit software: Virtual Dub (free), AviSynth (free)

    Encode: TMPGenc (shareware)

    Author: DVDauthorGUI

    Burn: Img Tool Classic, DVD Decrypter

    But you gotta be patient. It's not real-time. My 3GHz machine can take 24 hours or longer to encode a two hour movie. Then I have to author and burn which also takes some time. Yout might find more satisfaction in a DVD recorder with built-in harddrive. But the one piece I would say is most critical is the JVC VCR.


    Darryl
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  3. Instead of a capture card and all the time you will have to spend software filtering and encoding... how about a standalone DVD recorder? The cost is low - about $150 for a used (or even new) Pioneer 220. Real time MPEG2 encoding with AC3 audio, very easy, very fast, great results.
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  4. Here is the setup I use. I am on a budget, but after trying multiple cheap capture cards and fighting audio drift with reasonable success, I finally bit the bullet.

    Here it is:
    • Pinnacle Studio AV/DV Deluxe - This $249 card has a breakout box, captures flawlessly, and never has a single problem. Also allows DV capture.
      PICVideo MJPEG 3.00.12 Codec for capture
      CCE Basic for Mpeg conversion
      AC3Machine for AC3 conversion - The Prologic encoding transfers perfectly, yielding a 2 channel AC3 that plays through all 5 channels using Prologic decoding that is built into Dolby Digital.

    Many people slam Pinnacle Studio. I hate it as well. But I used the Pinnacle DC30 and DV 500 back in the 90s with Premiere and loved them. I use the card for capturing, not editing.

    Just my thoughts.
    Mike
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  5. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2003
    Location: In the shadows.....
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    I agree with gshelly61 that using a dvd recorder like pioneer 220-S is fast and the results are great.
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  6. To convert my vhs tapes to dvd, I use an ILO R04 (with updated firmware).

    Quick and simple, and an ILO is $138 at WalMart.

    I'm happy with the quality.
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  7. What's an ILO?
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2002
    Location: Olympic Peninsula, US
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    I agree with the others on use of a DVD recorder. Before getting one, I used an ADVC-100 to convert to DV. I then tried appying different types of filters before encoding with CCE. The results were always mediocre (remember, the source is VHS).

    I then purchased a Pioneer recorder and found the results to be actually better and certainly a lot less effort. I've done head-to-head comparisons on captures from satellite TV and the recorder simply looks better to me. I like the Pioneer since you can manually enter the time of the recording so as to maximize the bit rate.

    I record to a re-writable DVD, copy the files onto my computer, and then do whatever editing and/or authoring. The process actually works quite well and again, certainly a lot less work. Would highly recommend this approach.

    wwaag
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  9. Member Capmaster's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by gshelley61
    Instead of a capture card and all the time you will have to spend software filtering and encoding... how about a standalone DVD recorder? The cost is low - about $150 for a used (or even new) Pioneer 220. Real time MPEG2 encoding with AC3 audio, very easy, very fast, great results.
    Agreed. So easy it feels like you're cheating somehow
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  10. my vote goes for the ilo dvd recorder for a $138 at walmart its value priced and makes great recordings and there is all kinds of hacks for it too.

    just remember when you tie in the cost it takes to get good quality the PC way you are better off buying a dvd recorder hands down..
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  11. Member
    Join Date: Dec 2001
    Location: Israel
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    The ADVC-300 is not the cheapest, but I tried everything, with various degrees of success. A few years ago I did my first captures with a AMD 500 Mhz 256 MB ATI AIW 8MB, using the excellent guides on this site, to which I owe 99% I know about capturing. I managed to do some really nice VCD's, including menus and all, with the freeware and guidance from the different seccions here.
    Now I have a 3200Mhz AMD 64bit, 1GB RAM, Win XP Pro and ADVC300. I have a VIVO ATI 9600 XT. I capture via the ADVC300 to AVI and edit on that. It takes me less than 1 hour to encode a 1 hour movie to a VIDEO_TS folder ready to burn or to a VCD image.
    Video capturing is not cheap, but also, it's now that expensive. I"ve tried some DVD recorders here in Israel, that are really cheap. Without naming brands, they all got really hot, couldn't finalize the DVD and if so, it looked worse than my first VCD (colours all wrong, sound out-of-synch, the lot).
    My main reason to buy a good system is to preserve archival material, most of it on public domain by now, of argentinean TV and films. I do that with sound recordings as well (Shellac 78 RPM and 90 RPM's, acetates, etc) and wanted to preserve films and videos on a format which I wouldn't hesitate to play. Needless to say, I don't do that for a profit. When and if I loan material to radio or record companies, I don't charge them and wouldn't think of doing so.
    But if you are going to capture or prduce your DVD's, do a good job, one you'll enjoy watching. The cheap DVD recorders are, by now, junk. Semi pro equipment is not that expensive, even here in Israel and you'll be pleased with your captures and DVD's. If you live in USA or in Europe, you are in a better situation than me,as you can pick up 2nd hand gear at a good price.
    I love this hobby (it became more than that...) and personally, think that's it's worth to do it the proper way.

    All the best

    Daniel Beller
    daniel.beller@gmail.com
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2005
    Location: Earth (Sometimes)
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    canopus advc 300
    new s-vhs system
    video stabilizer
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  13. Originally Posted by thrasimacus
    canopus advc 300
    new s-vhs system
    video stabilizer
    That's at least $800. Before including the computer, DVD burner and software that will still be needed. Not cheap.

    By a standalone DVD recorder. You can get a decent name brand entry level machine on eBay these days for $100-$200, shipping included. Brand new Panasonic DMR-ES10 and Pioneer DVR-220 are both less than $200. Get a Sima Copy This or GoDVD for your commercial (copy-protected) VHS tapes. No computer required.
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  14. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
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    Originally Posted by daniel_beller
    The cheap DVD recorders are, by now, junk.
    That's not even remotely true.
    Do not fall into the mass myth that "more expensive means better" philosophy.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank DiscsBest TBCsBest VCRs for captureRestore VHS
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  15. Member DVWannaB's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2001
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by daniel_beller
    Video capturing is not cheap, but also, it's now that expensive. I"ve tried some DVD recorders here in Israel, that are really cheap. Without naming brands, they all got really hot, couldn't finalize the DVD and if so, it looked worse than my first VCD (colours all wrong, sound out-of-synch, the lot).......... But if you are going to capture or prduce your DVD's, do a good job, one you'll enjoy watching. The cheap DVD recorders are, by now, junk. Semi pro equipment is not that expensive, even here in Israel and you'll be pleased with your captures and DVD's.
    I dont understand this portion of your post. You mentined video capturing is not cheap, but you used a "cheap" DVD recorder then wouldnt call out names or brands. Why use a cheap DVD recorder, as you rail against it in your post? Why not tell us what brands caused the fuss? Thats what this forum is for. Sharing info and what not, so that people know what to look out for and what to stay away from. Just for curiosity sake, what is considered a "cheap" DVD recorder?
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2005
    Location: Earth (Sometimes)
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    That's at least $800. Before including the computer, DVD burner and software that will still be needed. Not cheap.
    Yes you are right.
    But it this is all relative.

    Good and cheap are opposite forces. Most solutions here (on the forum) cost $2,000+. And you need to spend that much for a "good" solution
    if you intend to do a decent job.

    Lets leave the good, great, etc aside. To get the job done, one needs;
    full TBC ($300-600)
    Good playback device ($350-1200)
    Good cap card ($150- $600)
    Ext Proc P ($300-$1000)

    Anything less than all of that, and you are making sacrifices. Not just sacrifices in quality, but on what you can even do. There will be sources that you will not be able to deal with at all. How much this will bother you depends on what most of your sources are.


    The combo;
    advc300
    good s-vhs system
    digital video stabilizer

    is a solution that will work for most VHS sources and get you good results, most of the time.

    A more cost effective solution may be;
    ADVC55
    good s-vhs system <--But then you need to spend more on this to offset the lack of proc like functions of the 300.
    digital video stabilizer
    ~$550-650 new.


    Buying just a standalone DVD recorder would not come even close.
    That is an amateur solution.
    -- You still have no quality play back device!!! This could bypass the need to fix most problems in the first place.
    -- You can't record protected content on a standee solution (still need TBC or dvs)
    -- You can't fix (clean) the video and sound!! THIS IS A HUGE NEGATIVE.
    -- You can't edit the video and the sound!!! A HUGE NEGATIVE.
    -- No real menu and presentation flexibility.

    The fact is that if you bought a sas you would have to get a tbc or dvs anyway along with. You would feel like you saved money on the day of the purchase but the next day you would hit the wall. Then after you get a dvs, and ultimately TBC purchase, you would still have huge issues with most of the VHS tapes. Then you would buy a new play back device. This would put you back to square one except you would be stuck with an expensive junk sas that has all those negatives. You would then go and buy am ADVC55 or 300.

    Why not just save the money ($250-400) and not get a sas in the first place. You could skip this waste and get a canopus right away on that money.


    If you think you can get a good VHS restoration setup going on for less than ~600 you are just fooling yourself. In all probability you will end up wasting a lot of time and money by buying a lot of junk trying to save $50 here and $50 there. Then in the end wasted 100's for device that collect dust.
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  17. Save yourself a lot of time and money and just buy a DVD recorder. They go for as low as $129 these days.
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  18. Member LSchafroth's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2002
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Originally Posted by daniel_beller
    The cheap DVD recorders are, by now, junk.
    That's not even remotely true.
    Do not fall into the mass myth that "more expensive means better" philosophy.
    I agree. I have a $200+ DVD player and my cheap $40 Apex kicks the crap out of the other one in quality and playing anything you throw at it.

    LS
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  19. this is just the point i was trying to ask yesterday when i asked fo r a good, cheap dvd recorder. i want to convert vhs and my hi-8 tapes and do it simple and well. cheap things will give you what you pay for but also can do the job.
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  20. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Vermont, USA
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    I capture both VHS & Beta with an ATI 8500DV card & MMC 7.7 in mpeg2. I author with Ulead Movie Factory 2. It couldn't be easier or cheaper. And this is using a computer with just a 1 GB Celeron & 384 megs of ram. Thanks to Lordsmurfs guides the results look as good as the original tapes.
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  21. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2000
    Location: Hellas (Greece), E.U.
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    There are plenty approaches for this subject

    The Cheap / Perfect approach

    Mainstream SVHS
    DV analogue converter (etc Canopus)
    Good cables


    The Cheap / Fast approach
    Mainstream SVHS
    Hauppauge PVR (150, 250...)
    Good Cables

    The Cheap / Cheap approach
    Any VCR
    bt8xxx based card
    so/so cables

    The "I want to restore" approach
    Top Noch SVHS VCR
    TBC
    Video Enchancer
    DV/Analogue convertor (PAL) or Quality Capture card (Matrox, NTSC)
    Quality Cables


    With VHS source, all those approaches succeed about the same results. The difference is the time to have to give on the proccess and also the knowledge to do stuff.

    With a bt8xx card and a simply VCR I can succeed results almost like with a top noch SVHS VCR, TBC, Video Enchancers, etc. BUT: For the same project the "cheap" approach gonna be a week (and 5 years of studing every simply parameter of this hobby) and the other approach gonna be realtime and I need to know only the basics of this hobby.

    You choose!
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  22. Always Watching guns1inger's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Location: Miskatonic U
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    I blew my cash on the Datavideoo TBC-1000, so I settle for the pass-through on the DV camera for the moment. A solid JVC for playback. Avisynth, virtualdub, vegas and DVD Lab Pro and CCE round it out.

    Ultimately, though, lowest cost is relative to the quality and the value you place on the finished output.
    Read my blog here.
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  23. The cheapest way depends on what you already have and what you want. What is easiest or cheapest (DVD recorder) usually has the least flexibility
    (editing, media, menus).

    Most VHS tapes will not have sync problems, but for the ones that do, a TBC will be needed.

    TBCs can be found in S-VHS machines (i.e., JVC HR-S9911), DVD recorders (JVC), DV converters (Canopus ADVC300), or standalone (Datavideo TBC1000). Some TBC are full-frame, others, like in the Canopus' line TBC, are not...full frame TBC is generally better.

    If you will be using non-VHS sources (Beta, Video8, etc.), then the TBC in the S-VHS deck is useless.

    If you want to edit material, the DVD recorders will be more difficult since the MPEG will not allow frame-accurate editing.

    If you already have a DV converter (such as a MiniDV camcorder with analog pass-thru), then the ADVC300 is an expensive add-on just to get TBC.

    If you won't be editing and have various sources, the DVD recorder is the cheapest and easiest.

    If you already have a nice (S-)VHS deck or will use other sources, but want to edit with a NLE program, the ADVC300 or TBC1000/MiniDV are OK choices (but this assumes you have a powerful computer with a DVD burner).

    If you have a MiniDV with A>D pass-thru and only anticipate problems with old VHS tapes, a JVC deck with TBC is a good option.

    When adding up costs, include computer upgrades, software, etc.
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  24. Originally Posted by cbkilner
    If you want to edit material, the DVD recorders will be more difficult since the MPEG will not allow frame-accurate editing.
    Actually, MPEG2 can be frame-accurately edited, without re-encoding (simple cutting and joining), with Womble MPEG-VCR or MPEG Video Wizard. Some DVD recorders with built in HDD's will also allow frame accurate trimming prior to transferring to a disc. I think there are a few NLE software applications that can frame accurately trim MPEG2, as well.

    However, if you want to use fancy scene transitions, add music, narration or graphics... then MPEG2 is not good for that. The whole file has to be re-encoded (with loss of quality as the result). For that type of project, AVI is what you should start with.
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  25. You can get absolutely superb VHS-to-DVD conversions using a very inexpensive setup:

    [1] High-quality used S-VHS or VHS VCR with built-in digital noise reduction. Toshiba W808 or an older model like the M781, or the JVC S9911. Both will do a fine job of reducing video noise and enhancing color during plyaback, and willcost you around $200 or so for a used VHS deck.

    [2] Proc amp. Essential, but need not be expensive. The Elite BVP-4 is overkill unless you're in the professional restoration biz, like Smurf. A Sima EditMaster Plus, although bargain basement, will do well enough if the VHS source is decent quality and not in need of major restoration. Used cost, maybe $30.

    [3] A good used video enhancer, typically bought on eBay -- Vidicraft Detailer II or III or IV. $60 or so at most.

    [3] A first-rate DVD recorder, which IMHO means the JVC DRM10. Cost around $250 from ecost or some other online distributor.

    For < $550 you can get a truly impressive stup that will do an outstanding job of converting VHS to DVD. The JVC DVD recorder actually does some noise reduction during encoding, so the results from this method look even better than what I used to get from a Cnaopus ADVC-100 + proc amp + VCR + software video noise reduction filters running outside of real time in VritualDub + TMPGEnc, or Mainconcept, or CCE, or Procoder, or whatever software mpeg-2 encoder you want to use. I used TMPGenc and mainconcept and CCE but even throwing all that software at a VHS tape + VDub noise reduction filters, the results I now get from the JVC DRM10 + Proc Amp on the input + Vidicraft Detailer look visibly better than the old Canopus ADVC-100 + software method I used to use. YMMV.
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