Hi, I've been trying off and on again for 5 years I guess to convert all of my VHS tapes (old commercial movies and things taped from TV) to digital files.
I'm hoping some of the people here can give me pointers on what to do, and answer a couple of questions that I can't seem to find answers for.
Originally, I tried capturing video to huffyuv or another lossless format, thinking I would do post-processing and convert to each format I needed, but I've stopped doing that now because it's just wishful thinking at this point.
What I'm doing now is just capturing with a Hauppauge PVR-250 to DVD compatible MPEG2. For a while, I did make DVDs of the the tapes, but now I think I'm just going to skip that and store the videos on a NAS drive, and play the videos on my TV.
The equipment I've got for capturing is the following:
Hauppauge PVR-250 (in use)
Mitsubishi HS-U746 VCR w/S-Video input,output
Sharp VC-A556 (old VCR still around)
AVToolbox AVT-8710 (connected to the Mitsubishi VCR)
The computer I'm using to capture video is rather old at this point, but since I'm taking advantage of the PVR-250's hardware encoder, it hasn't really been a problem. It's an old custom build with an Athlon XP and running Mythbuntu 9.10.
What can I do to get great quality without expending a lot of manual effort after the capture is done (if there's something I can do automatically, I'd be open to that)?
I really like the idea of tinkering with the video, trying to make things better, but at this point, having the the project done is more important than perfection.
I've always captured at 720x480 which is usually fine but sometimes the tape has closed captioning (that's what the noise at the bottom of the video usually is correct?) on it, and that's where I have some issues/questions.
Is there an easy way to transform the closed captioning into subtitles for the digital video?
Is there a way to specify that those lines not be shown on playback, or do I have to crop/remove/etc them?
Thanks so much for any feedback, thoughts, or suggestions you might have for me.
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The PVR-250 and PVR-350 have a registry hack that enables them to capture closed captions. You'll have to search to find it. I used it years ago and it worked on my PVR-350 but that card is long dead so all I can say is that it was possible in the past to do so.
There's some chance you can filter and re-encode using AviSynth, but you do need to understand that VHS tape is a pretty crappy storage medium under the best of circumstances and there are severe limits to what you can accomplish. There are always a few people who swear that they get DVD like quality and maybe THEY do, but YOU almost certainly won't. Usually the best that someone in your situation can hope for realistically is to just make something sucky less sucky, but if you have a lot of time to put into this, you can always get help here from our AviSynth gurus.
I'm not sure that this noise is coming from closed captions, but I can't say that I know for a fact it's not. The only way I know to get rid of it is to crop and re-encode.
The only way I know to get rid of it is to crop and re-encode.