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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2010
    Location: MI
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    I recently acquired Honestech 7 Deluxe in order to convert my collection of VHS operas to DVD. Although I'm generally pleased with the software, there is one bizarre problem that is a deal breaker if I can't solve it. Whenever the subtitles appear there is a sudden fluctuation of the saturation and brightness of the image. This is extremely distracting since the subtitles appear continuously throughout, alternately lightening and darkening the image. I contacted technical support, and they attribute this to an auto-contrast feature of the software, which cannot be disabled.

    My questions are - has anyone else encountered this problem, and if not, what conversion software are you using? Also, do you know any software that would be free of this glitch?
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    I was going to post a very snarky and mostly (but not completely) unhelpful response to this. I will simply say with a bit of snark that our experienced members do not use this card and software and as a general rule in life that you apparently desperately need to learn, it has been my experience that more someone goes out of their way to say that they are honest, the less likely it is that they really are. There is no way in hell I would ever buy a product from a company that puts "honest" in their name because of what I just said, but each person has to make their own decisions here. Looks like you may be regretting that decision.

    Anyway, your choices are probably that you need to buy a different card or maybe (no guarantees at all though) using a TBC between the VCR and the video capture card might prevent the software from freaking out. I have no idea if different software can be used on your card because, as I stated, none of our serious veteran users use this card.
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  3. Member turk690's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2003
    Location: ON, Canada
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    Originally Posted by btmac View Post
    ...and they attribute this to an auto-contrast feature of the software, which cannot be disabled...
    I'd run away as fast as I can from any video capture device that has auto-contrast that can't be disabled. The ads for that device, and all other devices in that class, are glamorous and sexy and I bet make newbies assume as if transferring VHS to DVD was easier than a walk in the park on an early summer day. Not.
    To capture analogue SD video (such as VHS), I do so by way of DV, with various devices that include a Sony TRV350K pass through and canopus ADVC110. Read other wonderful posts on this forum about capturing video and you will get enlightened enough to see that there's hardly anything honest about honestech.
    I'm an opera enthusiast, too but the last time I captured anything off VHS was an ancient caballe orange norma years back. It didn't have subtitles, so I typed in the whole english subs in adobe encore, straight from an english libretto. A lot of these old productions are now on DVD, so I just bought them that way. An example is a 1980 Nilsson elektra met production that I had on laserdisc. But DVD version was worse in two respects: audio was, on average, just -30 to -25dB, peaks at about -15! It was so low even with the volume turned all the way up. The subtitles were also so large (occupying more than and higher than the bottom third of the screen) they were probably meant for visually impaired folks (no offense meant there to those people, huh). I forthwith went back to and just captured the laserdisc on a pioneer player on its last legs.
    Stop feeling suicidal just because he unfriended you on fezbuk.
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2010
    Location: MI
    Search Comp PM
    Greetings jman98!

    For someone who was trying not to be snarky and unhelpful, I must say you have resoundingly failed. If I'm not mistaken, I asked for information, not effetism. But I am so very, very sorry to have rattled the delicate sensibilities of you and all your savvy, experienced videophiles. I hope your case of the vapors won't leave any permanent scars.

    Further, I might offer a few lessons that you "desperately" need to learn, but you are clearly too obtuse and taken with yourself to gain any benefit from them.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If anyone outside of the condescension clique in this forum would care to recommend potential (consumer level) solutions to this problem, I would "desparately" appreciate it.


    P.S. - Those awful scoundrels at Honestech conceded that their software likely was at fault, and have offered a full refund, including return shipping.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2010
    Location: MI
    Search Comp PM
    To turk690:

    It seems apparent at this point that I'm not likely to find a budget fix for this situation, and yours, I would guess, would run to several hundred dollars or more - which I'm not willing to do. As I said in my original post, I was generally pleased with the Honestech system. I was able to create a digital file that was equal in quality to the VHS, both audio and video. If it weren't for the subtitle issue, this thread would never have been started.

    I will phone up some other consumer level software folks and see if their product has the same type of auto-contrast function, and whether it can be disabled. If I can't find an answer there, do you know of an outstanding conversion service where I can get some tapes turned into digital files that I could then edit and burn to disc?

    Nice to run into another opera fan. Actually, my leading candidate for conversion is Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel, which has never been released on DVD, except in PAL in Europe, and is outrageously priced. It may be due to its anti-religious subject matter, capped by the final scene which has to my knowledge the only fully nude orgy of nuns in th world of opera!
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  6. Member turk690's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2003
    Location: ON, Canada
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    Originally Posted by btmac View Post
    To turk690:
    It seems apparent at this point that I'm not likely to find a budget fix for this situation, and yours, I would guess, would run to several hundred dollars or more - which I'm not willing to do.
    How much are you willing to spend? The ADVC110 is about $175. The other serious thing you have to consider is your computer. If that's a laughtop it's woefully underpowered. Any and all other "consumer" capturing scheme (basically a box with audio video inputs on one end and a USB connector on the other plus the uninspired, even unstable capturing programs that come with them) will compound the problem I'm afraid, the honestech with its amazing brightness-pumping ability may not even look so bad after all. If you have the time, you may peruse other posts in this wonderful forum about capturing video, including but not limited to that where I have posted in that is basically the same as your case. You may or may not change your hardware but you will understand much more.

    Originally Posted by btmac View Post
    It may be due to its anti-religious subject matter, capped by the final scene which has to my knowledge the only fully nude orgy of nuns in th world of opera!
    Actually, Meyerbeer called for the damned nuns in his Robert le Diable to disrobe somewhere in their ballet. But not only is this grand opera very rarely performed, but the despotic orgiastic nun dance scene is dropped as well. The last notable production was at ROH, where the very kitschy regie introduced colorful plastic horses. Looked nice on blu-ray though.
    Stop feeling suicidal just because he unfriended you on fezbuk.
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2010
    Location: MI
    Search Comp PM
    Well, they've gone and made a liar out of me. The Fiery Angel has just been released in NTSC by Arthaus.... $27 on Amazon -
    http://www.amazon.com/Prokofiev-Fiery-Angel-Mariinsky-Theatre/dp/B00I32AMPU/ref=sr_1_1...ngel+prokofiev
    Arthaus generally does nice work, but I've got a couple of re-releases of older performances that are less than optimum. I'm hoping they exercised all due care on this one. If you're anywhere as crazy about Prokofiev as I am, I highly recommend it. The role of Renata is a real tour-de-force, and Gorchakova is riveting.

    I'm pretty much out of rope on the capture issue. I've talked again to Honestech to see if they have an older version without the auto-contrast feature. I was told that the previous release had a different mechanism than the new, and they let me download it for free, but it changed nothing. I'll do a mini crash course in capture and editing, then see whether it's worth climbing the learning curve, plus $175 for the ADVC110.
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