I've been reading lots of threads on this forum trying to figure out a relatively easy way to transfer VHS to digital. I've got about 200 professionally-produced VHS tapes that I'm looking to put on a hard drive and have come to my first stand-still.
I just bought a Hauppauge 1212 and after hooking everything up, the first capture seemed to go fairly well. The audio was a bit echo-ey and the video had some motion issues but both were possibly livable, but when I tried changing the settings to start comparing different formats, ie from mp4 to .ts, it stopped working and I can't get it back to working again. Now when I try and preview it's super choppy even without capturing and the capture is super choppy as well. I've tried re-booting my computer, putting any settings I changed back to normal, etc. but nothing has worked. I called Hauppauge tech support and they said the 1212 wasn't recommended for VHS, which is kind of a bummer since that is a specific selling point in the product description on Amazon, so while I had tech support on the line I hooked up my dvd player to the 1212 to try and make sure that it wasn't a problem with the unit and it worked smooth as silk. So my question is what now? What other products does anyone recommend? I've seen the Elgato Video Capture Device 10020840 which seems to have good reviews; Hauppauge tech support recommended the HVR-1950 but there's a fair amount of negative reviews for it on Amazon. I've even disconnected and boxed up the 1212 to get ready to re-sell it but can hook it back up if anyone has any ideas.
The one thing I don't think I could live with would be audio-sync issues, I was really hoping that since these are professionally made tapes with no home-movie cuts and starts that this wouldn't be an issue but we'll see. I'm not looking to do lots of fancy filtering, etc, especially since there are so many tapes, basically I'm just looking to transfer from VHS to hard disk in the quickest, most painless way possible (with as good of picture quality as can reasonably be expected without going through lots of post-capturing work). Any ideas/suggestions? Thanks a bunch for any help.
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I had to look it up to understand what you are talking about, but you apparently have what the rest of the world calls the HD PVR. You really shouldn't call it the 1212 as that will prevent people from helping you who know something about the HD PVR.
Your device is fine for VHS capture. Your card does best when capturing to TS format. Avoid MP4 - synch issues are known. I have the Colossus which is in the same family of products. Mine just wouldn't record anything at one point and I had to remove and reinstall all the drivers to get it working again. Try that with yours. Rebooting and changing settings is not sufficient to get it working again when it gets into that crazy state where it won't record anything in a normal way.
The 1212 usb device has a lot of problems locking and syncing the signal if you fast forward or rewind or if the tape has bad sections. The best way I found when I tried mine was to output a separate signal to a tv until the tape was a bit before where I wanted to start capturing and then starting the vcr and then the capture process. Once it's capturing don't play with the tape or the capture program or the 1212 will lose the signal.
BTW) I found it easier to just use my old bt878 tv tuner card when it comes to vhsThere's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
Thanks for the help. I hooked everything back up, reinstalled everything and the same thing happened- the first time it worked reasonably well and then on subsequent attempts it was chop-city. One weird thing is that the software itself has been very laggy and unresponsive. It takes several seconds between hitting a device setting in Total Media Extreme 2 for anything to happen. The reason I'm looking for a stand-alone hardware device is that I'm doing this on a laptop with no tv tuner or graphics cards, etc. I see comments about format being relative to the signal the PVR receives, I think the format (which couldn't be changed in the Total Media Extreme 2 software) was 720x480? Does that sound right? Why would my VCR be outputting in 720x480? Is there a way this could be changed to a lower format since it's only VHS and not hi-def content? Do you think it might help? It is a VCR/DVD combo player though.
Would I be able to use Virtualdub to capture VHS with my laptop? If so what kind of hardware/cables would I need? My laptop is- HP Pavilion dv7, Win 7 64-bit, AMD Athlon II Dual-Core M320, 4GB RAM, AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200. Thanks again for the help.
Last edited by Buster T. Justice; 30th Oct 2013 at 23:16.
Since I'm working with the Hauppauge 1512 now and my 1212 is sitting on a shelf I have to think back a bit.
I guess you tested component cables with your DVD player but are using the composite connectors for VHS so my gut feeling would be to change the composite RCA video cable to eliminate one possibility. I hope you know that to do a clean install of the drivers you have to run a cleaner tool to make sure all traces of the old are removed (hcwclear.exe). Otherwise you may only get a partial reinstall. Also make sure you have the latest version of the driver and all software. The 1st one that came with the pvr was very buggy. Updates are available from Hauppauge for download.
As far as using secondary software almost none will work so I would forget Virtualdub unless there is a recent super upgrade I haven't tried it won't recognize the driver or capture to h.264. Hauppauge did come out with a new separate Capture module for the HD PVR2 which is supposedly compatible with the original HD PVR also. It's available as a free download on their site. You could also build a graph using graphedt. There are a couple of older threads here at VH that discuss the HDPVR, graphedt, sample graphs etc... you may want to search and read.There's not much to do but then I can't do much anyway.
This family of devices only supports 3 capture resolutions - 720x480, 1280x720 and 1920x1080. Anything not high def like VHS or laserdisc goes to 720x480.
So the HD PVR is sold, is there an external device for laptops that captures lossless? The HVR-1950 says it automatically converts to MPEG-2, which from reading around is not the best way to go but I'm on a laptop so that limits all of the internal graphics/capture cards. I have a desktop that such cards could be installed on but as of now it's kind of a last resort since it would be such a long process. Sorry for not knowing what's going on, the learning curve isn't behind me yet. Thanks again for the help.
For VHS capture, the VHS deck, and what's between it and the capture device is much more important than the capture device itself. There are many many threads here that discuss this.
So I use my old Leadtek HD Hybrid Cinema card (MPEG-2) whenever anyone asks me to capture their crummy camcorder tapes.Pull! Bang! Darn!
Yes, the Haupppauge HD PVR often locks up if the incoming signal isn't continuous.