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  1. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Search Comp PM
    I would be interested in hearing about how individuals in this fourm manage their VHS to DVD captures, as far as what hardware and software they use in the process and what observations might be made of their particular process and the strengths and weaknesses or potential problems you've come across, just sort of in quick summary style.

    I'd also be interested in how people archive their footage (what format you capture and store it in and what backups you make or don't make). I suppose your methods will depend a lot on what type of footage you have and the volume, so I would be curious to hear your situation as far as that goes too.

    Personally I have a lot of tapes I need to go through, so it was really important to find something that would let me do things at a reasonable quality while considering the time to accomplish the task. I've "refined" my process over the year, but these days the average VHS capture goes something like this:

    I take my tape and run it through my JVC 7600 (or SRV101US or sometimes a Sony for other tapes) which feeds into my DataVideo TBC-1000, which feeds into my Sign-Video detailer and color corrector directly into my JVC DVD recorder. I make my initial captures on DVD-RW's, which after finalizing I put in my computer to extract the files using DVD-Decrypter (always extracting it as one continuous file and not letting it break up the VOBs). Then I put this VOB in MPEG Video Wizard DVD and do any trimming that is needed or any combining from alternate or better souces then save the whole thing to an MPG without re-encoding anything. Then I take this file and demux it into elementary streams into DVD-Lab Pro 2 and author it from here (I don't have much of a need for menus at this point, so I pretty much just do them as movie only discs and DVD-Lab Pro doesn't ever try to do any inappropriate transcoding to my files like a lot of programs do). Then I take the files I created from the authoring process and burn the whole thing using IMGBurn. After I've done this, I take the DVD compliant files that I burned off of my HD and copy them to another hard drive and keep them as my backup copy.

    It took me a long time to figure out that you MPEG Video Wizard DVD does not like when you split up a VOB file into multiple parts and try to join them together on the timeline, as you get some sort of "corruption" that occurs at the point where you join them. Also, the only drawback that I don't like about my particular method is that I can't really do any filtering or editing to my video without losing quality since I'm in the MPEG2 realm right from the start. Overall though I am really pleased with my results, although I could really use another VCR with a different tracking range then my JVCs, because I do have a few tapes that are very pesky as far as that goes (the Sony does well with some of them, but not with others).

    So what about you guys (and gals)? I'd also be curious to hear about how people keep track of their projects over time. I tend to drift among projects, so I usually have a few going at once and sometimes it gets hard to figure out where you left off on the last one when you go back to it!
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  2. Banned
    Join Date: Aug 2002
    Location: beautiful
    Search Comp PM
    this were my ways of transferring:
    VHS/LD thru mDV camcorder to PC (as dv codec avi, then encode with CCE and so on)
    VHS/LD thru capture card to PC:
    either as uncompressed avi (then encode with CCE and author)
    or directly as MPEG-2 (with settings either fit to disc size, or at max. bitrate CBR and then reencode down at 2-3 pass VBR to fit the disc)

    lately, since i dont have anything to transfer from analog sources anymore for ages, if i have to out of the sudden transfer some suddenly found old analog video to digital - say some VHS-C to DVD - I just capture it directly on a standalone dvd recorder at HQ/XP mode (the 1hr mode) on a -RW or -RAM if I am to add some nice menus later on a PC (or straight to DVD-R if no menus or exact chaptering needed).
    but
    If I am to transfer some rare old stuff worth the effort, I always go with uncompressed avi capture on my PC, encoding multipass VBR with CCE and authoring everything manually. No machine or automated process beats the 'human touch' yet
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Search Comp PM
    That's interesting. Part of the reason I don't transfer to the computer even though I have a DV camcorder with analog passthrough that I could use and have some good encoding software is that I have NO idea how to use most of the software filters and figure I can do a lot more of an improvement in the hardware realm with all of my devices, although there are a few tapes I wish I COULD do more with. Maybe I will set aside some of my tapes for when I get around to learning how to use filters to achieve my purposes -- although most of my problems are either tracking problems or due to a tape playing back poorly and being jumpy and I am not aware of any software solutions, it seems like these are problems that need to be fixed at the hardware and playback level. I do everything in XP or an FR (free rate) mode on my JVC DVD recorder and am satisfied with the video quality of the encoding.
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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: Want my advice? PM me.
    Search Comp PM
    It looks like you're following my method:

    - high end JVC S-VHS
    - TBC, be it DataVideo TBC-1000 or AVT-8710
    - optional proc amp and/or detailer (SignVideo, Elite Video, Vidicraft, Studio 1)
    - JVC DVD recorders with LSI chipset with FR modes, or ATI AIW AGP Radeon card using Theatre Rage or Theatre 200 chipset
    - DVD Decrypter to rip streams as single VOB per title, if from recorder
    - Edit as MPEG in MPEG editor (Womble products, mostly)
    - Restore audio or video in software as needed (would take a novel to explain this one)
    - Author in good a authorware, such as DVDWS2 (DVD-Lab Pro, Architect, Encore ... if able)
    - Burn with ImgBurn or px-based burner (RecordNow, Prassi), using good burner (Pioneer) and good media (MCC/MKM or TY/YUDEN or PVC)

    I also do uncompressed AVI and edit in Premiere CS3, but that's far more complicated.

    This is only from VHS.

    DV is archived on sources tapes, clips saved as 720x480 MPEG-2 I-frame high bitrate for data disc archives, masters burn high bitrate DVD-Video

    Lots of methods, for lots of scenarios.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2002
    Location: Bradford, England (UK)
    Search Comp PM
    Well I spent a few years capturing to M-JPEG avi files with an old Hauppauge WinTV FM PCI (bt878) and struggling with all the associated issues that causes, i.e. drifting sync and dropped frames etc. After that I switched to a hardware MPEG2 based capture card, namely the Hauppauge WinTV PVR-150MCE which works perfectly, even on really bad VHS source material.

    I tend to capture at the maximum standard DVD video settings of 9800kbps video and 384kbps audio. I can do pcm wav sound but I choose to have more space for video instead. Video is PAL resolution of 720 x 576 MPEG2, 25 fps, 10bit.

    I edit the MPEG2 files in Womble MPEG2VCR and save them as lossless files again, so no quality loss. I then open them in TMPGEnc DVD Author to create menus and chapters and finally create a completed VIDEO_TS folder of vob/ifo etc. This is burned with Nero to DVD-R discs.

    I've tried a few standalone DVD recorders but they don't give the same quality or flexibility that a computer can offer. I find the computer method I use is a good balance between quality and speed. TMPGEnc DVD Author also opens DVD discs and saves the chapters to seperate lossless MPEG2 files in the same way DVD Decryter does (a fine program by the way).
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  6. Member
    Join Date: May 2006
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    I used to have a VHS movie collection. I threw it out. No value. I have never transfered a movie to DVD. No 5.1! This is the 21st century.
    I do SVHS transfer of my own content to DVD. I use a big old Panasonic SVHS deck with a Hotronic TBC to a Panasonic DVD recorder. I have also used an ADVC-100 to go to my PC. All work fine.
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: Want my advice? PM me.
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by videobread
    I used to have a VHS movie collection. I threw it out. No value. I have never transfered a movie to DVD. No 5.1! This is the 21st century.
    I do SVHS transfer of my own content to DVD. I use a big old Panasonic SVHS deck with a Hotronic TBC to a Panasonic DVD recorder. I have also used an ADVC-100 to go to my PC. All work fine.
    Good for you. Some of us are quite fond of our home movies with grandparents, or recordings of old movies not released to DVD (or even VHS, for that matter). These are not trashed due to some ridiculous idea of obsolescence, but rather archived and cherished as the personal treasures they are.
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  8. Member orsetto's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2007
    Location: NYC
    Search Comp PM
    robjv1 wrote:

    Overall though I am really pleased with my results, although I could really use another VCR with a different tracking range then my JVCs, because I do have a few tapes that are very pesky as far as that goes (the Sony does well with some of them, but not with others).
    Sometimes it pays to keep a "cheap" spare VCR (or two) handy for those problematic tapes. About 1 in 10 tapes I convert will jitter or mistrack on my high-grade VCRs with TBC, even if I turn all filters off. There seems to be a slight head circuit modification in all vcrs that contain TBC/DNR systems, it makes them sensitive to certain types of recordings. When otherwise-perfect tapes don't play correctly on the "good" vcrs, I pull out a Quasar-by-Panasonic VHQ960, which was a very decent quality compact vhs hifi vcr of the mid-1990s. These can be had for the price of shipping on eBay, people give them away, I've picked up 3 mint ones for $18-22 delivered. The VHQ960 has a pretty good picture and does especially well with chroma issues, also it will track almost anything with rock-steady playback- no jitter. For some reason the actual Panasonic version is not as good, the Quasar production runs are noticeably better. Alternative models are VHQ950 (near-identical) and VHQ940 (identical but not stereo hifi). These sold for around $100 when new, so they aren't the junk-level stuff of recent years. They won't solve problems that require TBC or noise filtering but they are inexpensive lifesavers with some stubborn jitter issues.

    Normally I use either a JVC or Mitsubishi vcr, each with built-in TBC and noise filters, connected directly to a standalone Pioneer or JVC dvd recorder. The very thought of using a computer to back up my huge VHS collection gives me hives, I understand the advantages many members get from this method but with 2000 tapes left to convert I'm willing to sacrifice a little quality and flexibility for convenience. Most of my VHS is obscure television shows and old syndicated movies that will never see the light of day again, they've been out of circulation since the 90-minute afternoon movie format was abandoned by local television 15-20 years ago. If I had priceless camcorder footage I might go the PC/software route, but the source material image quality I'm working with really doesn't merit the trouble. A lot depends on how much time you have and what end result will satisfy you: I struggled with lowering my expectations at first but find my "quickie" results are completely satisfactory most of the time. In the end almost all of us are non-plussed by our our transfer results when viewed on a big flat panel monitor: the good ole 27" Trinitron hides a lot of gremlins. "Good enough" is possible with minimal time and effort, "great" takes rather more dedication
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  9. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: Want my advice? PM me.
    Search Comp PM
    I have a 1981 Magnavox and a pair of 1990s Sharp VCRs on hand, for those few times (2-3 times a year, maybe) when the good JVC VCRs all choke.
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Great suggestions on VCRs! I don't know why I thought the best way to deal with problem errors on tapes that I have with one of my JVC TBC VCRS, would be to buy another JVC TBC VCR for such tapes :P Like I said, the Sony (just a new regular Sony VCR) does well for some tapes, but not for others. Some of my family home movies were recorded on a GE VCR from about 1981-1982 (sort of a portable VCR that connected to a full size Panasonic video camera) and I am still struggling through them -- likely both because of the VCR they were recorded on and the age of the tapes. Still they have come a long way and at some point I guess you have to be satisified with your work and acknowledge that it's the best you can do!
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  11. Banned
    Join Date: Aug 2002
    Location: beautiful
    Search Comp PM
    For the purpose of that occasional jitter on my JVC deck, I also keep a 1992 RCA vcr (panasonic inside according to most components) that I bought brand new from the local tv studio 3 or 4 years ago for $10
    It was probably one of the first in RCA's "Home Theater System" line because it has giant "4-Head Hi-Fi Home Theater System" on the front LOL
    I can't tell what model it is (because the manufacturer label is under studio's property number sticker that is impossible to remove unless maybe if i cut it out with the piece of case - they must've use crazyglue or something), but it does handle SLP tapes better than any other vcr i ever had (it hasn't happen yet that i wasn't able to adjust *any* SLP tape's tracking on it yet!).
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  12. Member Dr_Layne's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2002
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    I use mulitple video sources: VHS, SVHS, Beta, Betcam SP, Umatic, Laserdisc thru a JVC audio video switcher then to a Datavideo TBC-1000 then to a Canopus AVDC-110 firewire to PC. If I need it, I have a tenlab NTSC/PAL converter and a Signvideo detailer. The DV AVI is then filtered in Vdub if needed, then framserved to CCE for mpeg 2 compression. The resulting elementary streams are then used in DVDLabpro2 for final DVD authoring.


    A_L
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  13. lordsmurf's site is probably the most complete, concise and free of the techno-jargon that the average user would find useless. Check it out...

    http://digitalfaq.com/
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  14. Banned
    Join Date: Aug 2002
    Location: beautiful
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by Captain Satellite
    lordsmurf's site is probably the most complete, concise and free of the techno-jargon that the average user would find useless. Check it out...

    http://digitalfaq.com/
    yes,
    DigitalFAQ<---click here
    is where robjv1 should start reading...


    Actually, why don't we have smurf's site in a sticky or something in the noob section?
    IMHO our blue fella did hell of a job there, and his site is not only informative but also bullsh*t free AFAIR (it is rare nowadays)
    Highly recommended (and with my spoiled, picky and naysaying nature I sure don't say it too often )
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  15. Member Marvingj's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Location: Death Valley, Bomb-Bay
    Search Comp PM
    I use mulitple video sources to see which one works the best. I'm always switching around things to get the best details.
    http://www.absolutevisionvideo.com

    BLUE SKY, BLACK DEATH!!
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: South Africa
    Search Comp PM
    I used everything, from Virtualdub, added filters, used TMPEnc, etc; spent hours!! or weeks. But my best quality was simply to connect my VCR to my LG 250 GB recorder and recorded on discs. Worked the best for me
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