Hello. I have a small box full of 8MM VHS tapes spanning from 1997 to around 2008 and a few commercial VHS tapes from the 90s that I want to capture to my computer uncompressed and in the best quality possible. This is the first time I'm attempting something like this, besides the time I captured my miniDV tapes via FireWire on my old laptop with NeroVision Express 3 once, which I might have to do again sometime down the road. Anyways, here is what I have going for so far.
Source Equipment: A Sony HandyCam CCD-TRV45E for 8mm VHS capture (I believe my father purchased this overseas, but it works with everything that's NTSC, so I guess there are no problems there) and a Sharp VC-A410 4-Head VCR for commercial VHS capture (I have owned this since 2001 and it works perfectly fine for me. http://www.amazon.com/Sharp-VCA410U-VC-A410U-4-Head-VCR/dp/B00005T3NT).
Computer Specifications: Asus R500A-BB71 Laptop (http://www.microcenter.com/product/417698/R500A-BB71_156_Laptop_Computer_Refurbished_-_Mocha_Brown)
Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor 2.3GHz
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
8GB DDR3 RAM
750GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
2 USB 3.0 Ports, 2 USB 2.0 Ports
Intel GMA HD
DL DVDRW Drive/CD-RW Drive
15.6" HD Widescreen Display
Capture Card: Thanks to some of the forum members recommendations, I have settled on the ATI TV Wonder HD 600 USB Digital and Analog TV Tuner with Remote Control. I haven't purchased it yet, but if there are any better options available that are superior to this one, then I'll take those into consideration.
In addition to that, will I get any benefit or problems from plugging in a USB 2.0 capturing device into a USB 3.0 port?
TBC: I have no idea what I should look for when it comes to TBC devices. There are even some that are over $200. I primarily intend to use this for commercial VHS tapes, but will it help a lot with 8mm tapes as well? Which is the best one to buy exactly?
Software and Configuration Settings: Is VirtualDub the best software for capturing VHS and VHS 8mm uncompressed or are there better options? Also, what are the exact settings I should use to ensure that I get the best and uncompressed video quality possible. I don't understand how to do this, so it would be great if someone clearly listed the exact steps I should take to do this right. HDD space isn't an issue.
If there's anything that I'm missing from this list, please tell me. Thank you!
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There are no better Windows capture devices for VHS than the ATI TV Wonder HD 600 USB that can work with a PC made in the last 6 years or so. There are 2 main problems with them. Problem #1 is that have not been made for about 5 years, which means they are not always readily available although they turn up frequently on ebay. Problem #2 is drivers. Only some of the Vista and Windows 7 drivers available for them work with Windows 7 and Windows 8.x. The VISTA® 32,VISTA® 64 VER 22 driver package dated 2008-08-05 (from Diamond Multimedia) worked for me using Windows 7 64-bit. The Windows 7 Version 7 Drivers dated 2010-05-28 (available from Diamond Multimedia) only appear to work for 32-bit versions of Windows 7 and 8.x.
There is nothing to be gained from plugging a USB 2.0 device into a USB 3.0 port.
I have never needed a full-frame TBC, but the AVT-8710 is the one most often recommended here, although apparently there are some quality control problems at the factory.
Virtualdub is great, although I don't use Virtualdub myself. That is primarily because most of the capture devices I purchased had some kind of issue with it, and I don't often capture analog tapes. Someone else will have to advise you on how to best use it. However, as I wrote before, do not bother capturing uncompressed video. Losslessly compressed video (HuffYUV or UT Video Codec) is easier to manage and you'll loose no quality. The advice I read here says always capture using YUY2 colorspace, and save as YUY2 (YUV 4:2:2) colorspace whenever possible.