I have my setup to archive my old VHS tapes by recording them through my capture card. I want to encode them using x264 in a mkv container because I think that would have the best outcome in quality. I'm comfortable with StaxRip as an encoder, but I'm wondering if anyone here has a good template for StaxRip for archiving old VHS quality captures. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
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Without knowing what video codec was used during the original capture(or any other specs for that matter), I don't know how you expect to get any kind of qualified answer.
VHS is a chaotic format, and will vary per capture, even within each capture. Just like regular video, but much worse.
Having said that, I will highly recommend you use an x264 CRF value in your settings for StaxRip. Many other settings are taste, and don't need special adjustment for VHS IMO (but should use high profile features like cabac, at least 3 b-frames and experiment with deblocking, etc. Also I would choose --tune film if available in StaxRip).
You may also want to apply some sort of denoising beforehand for VHS video. This is important if wishing to keep the bitrate down using a highly compressed format like x264.
Keep in mind though, using x264 in an MKV container will not be the best quality as Source, but only a good delivery (playback) solution for good quality at lower bitrates. I would recommend you keep the Motion JPEG as your Source, and archive it, regardless of what you do after. This is the Source you will want to work from in case you wish another format down the road.
Last edited by PuzZLeR; 7th Jul 2014 at 07:51.I hate VHS. I always did.
Complete name : Untitled 20.avi
Format : AVI
Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
Format profile : OpenDML
File size : 24.1 GiB
Duration : 1h 7mn
Overall bit rate : 50.7 Mbps
ID : 0
Format : JPEG
Codec ID : MJPG
Duration : 1h 7mn
Bit rate : 49.1 Mbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 486 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 3:2
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : NTSC
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:2
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Interlaced
Scan order : Top Field First
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 4.684
Stream size : 23.3 GiB (97%)
That's what the Blackmagic Intensity Pro record to with Blackmagic Media Express. Tell me that's not insane.
Okay, it's not insane. But what does all that have to do with PuzZLer's suggestions? That the size is too large to archive? So don't. Or burn it to a Blu-Ray disc.
Yes, the files are too big to archive, but the point is VHS recordings shouldn't be that high to begin with. 50 MB/s, c'mon, a typical HDTV stream is like 14-16 MB/s, so this should be less than 10 MB/s. There's no reason the archiving should be that big, and encoding with x264 CRF would bring the size down dramatically with the right template. I'm not gonna waste space or blu-ray discs to store these outrageously sized recordings.
Why don't you convert it to mpeg-2 and make a DVD?
Could you provide a 10 second sample of the source?
The source appears to be about 6MB per second. Not too bad for mjpeg.
Last edited by davexnet; 7th Jul 2014 at 22:40.
I'm not gonna waste space or blu-ray discs to store these outrageously sized recordings.
MediaInfo was a sample from one of them, but if you can suggest me a program that will record my Intensity Pro (somewhat lossless) to a much more reasonable format and size, I'm open to listen.
So everyone here is going to suggest that I keep the raws and not encode to x264?
Originally Posted by BrettNYC
What you use to capture is a totally different science, and many will suggest lossless, or other huge files for this, as they are better designed for the task, and retain the most quality at the capture level, and should be using even if you plan to delete them after encoding.
Capture and archive files are rarely meant to be the "viewing" files. They are typically encoded to playback formats, and if archiving them, they are typically put aside in secured storage.
What you use for delivery - the playback method - is purely choice, and what works for you and your system you wish to view this on. Using x264 and MKV is a good idea if it works for you as Manono chooses DvD for reasons of his own (and with his experience, I bet his DvD productions look almost like, maybe even better than, the lossless format).
What I was suggesting to you is that using x264/MKV is fine as a delivery method, but not a viable archive. And it's only really a "current" format. If you wish to change delivery/playback methods down the road, and you may, x264/MKV files are not a good (re-)start.
Yeah, I know, the archive files are huge, but, is it really a problem when you can now get a 4TB drive, and backup, dirt cheap? Also, physical space is not an issue when I personally am able to store hundreds of hours of VHS content per drive using huge lossless AVI files.
It's your choice, but ponder first: How important are these memories, and every vital detail, to you?I hate VHS. I always did.
Interesting how this thread touches upon two of my most fundamental axioms (underlined) that have applied so much peace of mind into this hobby for me, so I share.
1-If you keep the Source (or digital equivalent from tape), it doesn't matter what format you encode to for playback - DivX, DvD, H.264, etc - as long as it works for you, and your current system. You can always change down the road with best possible results if you've archived the Source.
2-Don't worry about settings, bitrate, zones, templates, yaddy-yah, too much when encoding for a playback method, or even the filesize, etc, or even make individual adjustments per Source. Instead of that, just decide the quality you want, and use quality based encoding (in one pass), such as CRF in this case, and everything else is quite secondary and really only taste.I hate VHS. I always did.
If the content is important and irreplaceable, keep what you have. Previously, I'd captured family video to mjpeg or huffy,
then converted to mpeg-2 (DVD) and a much smaller de-interlaced xvid file for keeping on the PC.
Then I deleted the captured source file. But I still have the original tapes, and they're in good condition.
(as long as my hi-8 camera keeps working!)
I plan to dispose of at least 90% of my tapes when done. Lossless captures and archives (from good hardware/methods) give me that confidence to do so.I hate VHS. I always did.
I'm looking to digitize my VHSes to a reasonable size format in good quality (this is where x264 mkv comes into play) and store it on a hard drive. A lot of the VHSes aren't family memories, they're stuff recorded from TV as well as some old retail VHSes. I am looking to dispose of them once they're digitized since they're slowly fading out anyway, but its not the utmost important that I keep the source. Any quality close to what is on the tape in a reasonable format is what I want. That's why encoding to me made sense. I would just keep the source and screw the encoding if it recorded to something that wasn't outrageously sized.
Yes, I agree it's outrageously sized, but reasonably stored on today's HDDs if precious enough.
That was the fundamental question - how important were they to you? If they're not family vidz, or just viewing material that you'd like to have, but don't care for the highest quality, then fine, go ahead and use x264/MKV if the size is a pain for you. Although I would do it differently, I can relate.
I don't have a template for you, but I would suggest you use a CRF value. Let it decide how much bitrate it needs since VHS is so chaotic. (But try and denoise first, otherwise the bitrate will balloon and the benefit of using a high compression format will lose alot of benefit.)
As an aside, if you're looking for a reasonable compromise, almost like lossless, but a file size much smaller, then you can encode to DV with the Cedocida codec and use this as your archive. This is about ~13GB/hr and the quality is only a bit less than lossless. Still big, but much more manageable. (This is what I use for my - meh - not so precious stuff.) But if this is still too big for your taste, I understand. Just a suggestion.I hate VHS. I always did.
You go to edit profiles > import and that should do it