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  1. Hi all,

    I'm in the process of converting my old videos to DVD or VCD.

    I have found that if I capture at VHS resolution (352x288) that there wil be a lot of artifacting in the captured file. If I capture at DVD resolution (720x576) then the file is as good as the original footage but I can only fit approx 60 minutes of video on a DVD.

    I have tried various resolutions of capture (eg SVD quality, Lower DVD quality) but none of these caputured files are as good quality as the original footage and have noticable artifacting. The videos are mostly sports footage and action movies.

    All I want is for the captured footage to be as good as the VHS originals. I don't understand why capturing at the VHS resolution is so poor. Am I just expecting too much?

    I am using a GC990w LG video hooked up to my Leadtek TH 380 vivo gfx 5950. I have winfast PVR and I have also tried Video studio 7 SE. I use video studio to output to DVD.

    Cheers in advance,

    Linebacker
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  2. I felt like you a year ago. Keep reading posts and you'll find that what you're doing is one of the more involved tasks that hobbyists who visit this site undertake.

    You might check the guides to your left. There are also useful capture settings suggestions at www.digitalfaq.com but it's skewed to ATI cards. I've postponed any further vhs captures until I can afford a TBC. Good luck.
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  3. Man of Steel freebird73717's Avatar
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    Check out these articles.
    http://www.digitalfaq.com/understandsource.htm
    http://www.digitalfaq.com/capture/nonatiavi/nonatiavi.htm
    http://www.digitalfaq.com/capture/nonatimpeg/nonatimpeg.htm

    I have found that 352x576 is a good resolution for vhs. As long as you have sufficient bitrate you should get a good capture.
    Donadagohvi (Cherokee for "Until we meet again")
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  4. To make the most of capturing at lower than full DVD resolution you want to...

    Capture to a lossless video format - uncompressed or HUFFYUV codec.

    Use a video noise reduction filter when you re-encode your capture to MPG for authoring to disc.

    If you capture more than 288 lines of horizontal resolution then you can or may capture the source as interlaced video.
    Interlaced video needs to be de-interlaced if you're authoring a (MPEG1) VCD.
    But if you're authoring a (MPEG2) DVD then interlaced video will look better when played back on a TV - so don't de-interlace it.

    Both noise reduction and de-interlacing dramatically increase the amount of time it takes to re-encode your capture, but your VCD or DVD will look infinitely better!

    I capture with VirtualDub and re-encode with TMPGEnc, both of these utilities have easy access to the various settings required to make the best original capture and then re-encode it.

    Martin.
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  5. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Office Linbacker
    If I capture at DVD resolution (720x576) then the file is as good as the original footage but I can only fit approx 60 minutes of video on a DVD.
    You need to adjust the bitrate for your output file and use AC3 audio. Since your in PAL land you can use mpeg audio too as I've been informed by those living in PAL land that mpeg audio plays fine on all standalone DVD players. Lower bitrates produce smaller files.

    For VHS you can lower it quite a bit and get at least 2 hours of footage on a single DVD when combined with AC3 or MPEG audio with minimal to no quality lost. Get a RW and make up some short test clips to see how low you can go that is acceptable to you.
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  6. If you are outputting to DVD, then capture at DVD resolution. Use HuffyUV, like the above poster mentioned. Then use a good MPG encoder, and you should be able to achieve the results you want and still fit about two hours on a DVD using an average of 6000 kps. Depending on the quality of your source material and the quality of your MPG encoder, you can even try half-DVD resolution (352x576) and fit even more per disc without much loss in quality. A lot depends on the software you use. Most consumer-grade encoders aren't that good. And don't capture directly to MPG.
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  7. Member
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    Hi,

    My experience is the half resolution capture /352X480 or 352X576/ although all claims here is not nearly as good as the full resolution capture /720X480 or 720X576/. The latter unlike the first /depending on the source/ looks almost identical to it. If you have a crappy tape or tv signal then you can go with half res.
    For full res capture use at least 4000kbps, better 6000kbps CBR orVBR depending on the footage and your system. Capture audio in PCM and after that convert to AC3 / more space for video/.
    You have to play with settings in order to get the best that works for you.
    When I have time I capture 1 min of a footage with different resolutions and bitrate, burn them to a DVD+RW disc and play them one after another to see if I notice the difference. I stick with a setting when I stop noticing the difference or when it looks acceptable for me.

    Enjoy!
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  8. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    If you *are* a beginner, then you are expecting too much.. (too soon)

    First ...

    Capture card/device:
    * What is your capture device ?

    Capturing:
    * What is your capture Codec ?
    * What resolution are you capturing in ?
    * Dropping any frames ?
    * Is source Film (Telecined) or Interlaced (every frame)

    Editing:
    * R U using any filtering ?
    * [optional] --> IVTC


    Encoding:
    * What resolution are you Encoding to ?
    * What bitrate setup ?
    * What is your encoder ?
    * [optional] --> IVTC

    If you can't answer all the above, then you are probably in for
    a ride here, because it indicates to me, that you are lacking
    in certain skills.

    -->

    Then Second, you need to make note ...

    What are you viewing these (specialy VHS) source on ??

    TV set Types:

    * Regular TV set (ie, 32" or less)
    * Flat Screen TV set
    * Plasma TV set
    * Widescreen TV set ( Flat plasma vs. tube vs. ... )

    All these variations give you different quality levels.
    .
    For instance, one person may find a 32" Flat Screen to look great
    ( what's his/her source anyways ? ) while another's 32" (tv type
    unknown for this analigy - work with me) says it sucks..
    while another says, it's ...

    Then, there are those peoples who speak of and insist that VHS is noisy
    and GIGO.. "garbadge in, garbadge out" quality. They are correct to an
    extent, but I disagree for the most part.
    .
    .. that's just the way they've been conditioned all this time
    .. and it's hard to get away from such a strong tradition.

    .
    Its not noisy, and it's not GIGO either. But never-the-less, they
    incorporate filters in their VHS encodings, and only make things worse,
    .
    .. which strengthens the myth that VHS is noisy and GIGO
    .
    Specially when they end up moving on to better TV sets (ie, Widescreen;
    Largers ones; Plazma; etc) and depending on these new'er TV's they will
    magnify (once and for all) the "granuity level" of the VHS, because it is
    lower in detail to begin with. But that will depend on your new'er TV
    .
    If the VHS is a commercial one, then you have a clean source (for VHS)
    If the VHS is something you recorded to, then "noise level" will be
    dependant upon your Own Equipment and the Video being recording to VHS.
    But again, VHS is not noisy.
    .
    The only time when VHS is noisy or shall I say, "bad/poor quality" is
    when it has "aged". Some kind of phenomina happens, and one morning,
    you wake up and pop in your 10 year old VHS tape, and all of the sudden,
    it's not the same. Actually, I think that people recorded in EP mode,
    and forgot about this. EP mode recordings are the lowest quality.
    These tend to be "noiser" than normal SP recordings. But, just because
    they are EP recording, don't mean that they will come out like crap.
    A lot will depend on your skills; your equipment; and time, etc.
    Otherwise, in most cases, chances are, you'll have poor/mixed results.

    If you have NO plans on viewing VHS on big screen tv's, then you can do
    what many do here, and use a lower resolution for your DVD projects.
    The normal choices are: 352 x 480 -or- 720 x 480 resolution.
    .
    But, if your plan (in the future) is to get a bigger TV, specially
    if widescreen, then you best option (IMO) is to use 720 x 480 and
    prepare in advance to encode at highest bitrate (I use 9000 CBR) and
    be ready with a DL writer/burner. Then you should be able to fit 2hr
    programs (give or take a bitrate here or there)
    .
    But in the mean time, you can practice w/ lower bitrates and 2 pass,
    FWIW in your attempts to get closer to the originals.

    -->

    Also, FWIW ...

    But, in all honesty and truth, and specially for VHS sources, you can
    never produce them to look the same as the original. The main reason
    of course, is the bitrate. Even at 352 x 480 there is simply not enough
    bitrate to duplicate each frame pic-for-pic (if you were to
    stand them up to each other) because you would end up seeing a lot
    of macro-blocks. I tried this out on a 352 x 480 res with 4000 CBR
    bitrate encodes using TMPGenc software encoder. This is the most
    often posted number for a given VHS project. Usually its for a 2pass
    (4000 being the average) encode.
    .
    .. but the encoder is partly to blame for these results.

    If you want your VHS conversion to DVD to look as close as the original,
    then you'll simply have to go where no one else wants to go, and *raise*
    your bitrate high enough in your encoding projects for this source.
    Its that simple. But the problem here, is that you wont be able to fit
    the whole source on one DVD disk (assuming it's over an hour long) and
    people's thought process is mostly geared towards *size* and the only
    thing that matters to them is to fit it all on one disk. You can fit
    it on one disk, but at the expense of quality. Weather 1pass or 2pass
    or even CBR modes are used, if your end goal is to *fit* all on one
    disk, don't expect quality to be the same as the original. Its never
    gonna happen with the tools you have, and the level of skills/knowledge
    you process at this point in time.

    -->

    And finally, at this time ...

    There's a whole lot more to go into, but its too much meat for you
    to understand. And, its probably better that you follow the regular
    path and utilize what's ben writen in the many guides here already.
    .
    What you can do, is run many experiments. Like the many of us have.
    And see what looks better to you. Then see what you can made do with
    in the new steps/processes you learned through this.
    The only way you are going to get at better results, is to practice and
    do a lot of "whit if's".. like I have.

    -vhelp 3040
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  9. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    That's a thing of beauty vhelp.
    Everybody should be forced to read it on sign up.
    I'm going to sticky this in the capture forum.

    My ONLY disagreement is this statement: "in all honesty and truth, and specially for VHS sources, you can never produce them to look the same as the original". Why? Because I think you're going after the IPB GOP nature of MPEG, not really VHS. You can get very good VHS->DVD conversion that not only reproduce VHS, but can improve on it, using various restoration techniques.
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  10. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Everybody should be forced to read it on sign up.

    ..you're a mind-reader. I thought the same thing
    -vhelp
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  11. Thanks for the replies everyone. I don't know whether to be embrassed or pleased that this has been stickied

    I am a newb to this but reasonably PC literate. This appears to be a classic case of something that initally appears to be simply but in actuality is far more time intensive and difficult.

    I was aware that things could get pretty complicated but I thought that this was just if you were divx-ing and alike.

    Vhelp I did give an indication of what I was using to capture etc in my original post. Judging by your comments of what to expect my equipment seems fairly capable. I didn't realise about dropped frames etc until quite recently. I haven't noticed this. The artifacting that I have gotten is noticable on PC and on TV.

    I was hoping not to have worry about virtualdub, TMP etc. I know they are very good tools but the registry editing, encoding time and plug-ins was discouraging.

    Looks like some more experimentation with bit rate, resolutions and sound as well as checking out some DL burners since I know that I'll be able to get 2 hours to a DVD.

    Cheers one and all.
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  12. Member
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    I have to disagree with this statement - "But again, VHS is not noisy". VHS uses composite video, which is inherently noisy, especially as regards chroma noise. Also, like any other analog video system every bit of equipment you a VHS signal through (including cables etc) acts like a bandpass filter and distorts the signal slightly, which also counts as noise.

    I also agree with Lordsmurf's comment about the quality of a VHS->DVD conversion. The DVD can at least match the VHS in quality, and in fact if you know what you're doing with temporal noise filters then you can easily improve the quality. However, it will never look as good as a commercial DVD generated from a high definition master.
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  13. .. that's just the way they've been conditioned all this time
    .. and it's hard to get away from such a strong tradition.
    Brilliant! The rest is good too. This needs to be
    more than a sticky - I'd add it to the FAQ on
    capturing or the guides under capturing
    - must read first.
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  14. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Boy, do I have a lot to say, but I'll reframe for the time being

    Give me a while to compose

    -vhelp 3051
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  15. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vhelp
    Boy, do I have a lot to say, but I'll reframe for the time being
    Give me a while to compose
    -vhelp 3051
    Don't change anything. It's perfect as is.

    Just add a new post if you've got additional thoughts. 8)
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  16. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mpack
    I also agree with Lordsmurf's comment about the quality of a VHS->DVD conversion. The DVD can at least match the VHS in quality, and in fact if you know what you're doing with temporal noise filters then you can easily improve the quality. However, it will never look as good as a commercial DVD generated from a high definition master.
    Or proc amps, TBC's, detailers, res boosters, audio filters, etc. LOTS AND LOTS of opportunities with correcting VHS for DVD. More than most people realize. Every month it seems like I learn a new trick or find new hardware to do something I never fathomed.

    That's was a big reason I lobbied for a RESTORATION section for this site. There is so much that can be done, if people REALLY WANT to make it happen. And it can happen on both hardware or software side of the equation.

    Every single conversion I do looks much better than the source tapes. Sometimes the output truly is DVD quality, to some degree. Especially when you toss in the detailers and res boosters. (Although watch the noise ratio.)
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    I've found I get pretty good results when capturing at 352x576 @ 3100kbps. I need to get a max of 3hours on a disc and it looks fine to me, and everyone I've given a copy to.
    In some cases the converted DVD ends up looking better than the VHS source tape on my 112cm TV, but thats the lowest bitrate I dare to go.

    If I'm capturing digital cable, then I bump it up to 720x576 @ 6000kbps.


    Once dual layer discs become cheaper, it will be nice to be able to up the bitrates
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  18. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Originally Posted by vhelp
    Boy, do I have a lot to say, but I'll reframe for the time being
    Give me a while to compose
    -vhelp 3051
    Don't change anything. It's perfect as is.

    Just add a new post if you've got additional thoughts. 8)
    That's what I ment

    But, I'm too tired now, and my "train of thought' has left me for the time being.
    Perhaps tomorrow. Sorry. I'm really exhausted, and still not finished w/ my
    other things in life. Anyways.

    -vhelp 3054
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  19. I have done a lot of this and here is my two punds worth!

    1: The original has to be good.

    2: I have tried using a canopus advc300 converter/enhancer and for a good vhs source hitching your good vcr direct up to a good dvd recorder, taking the resulting dvd rw(+ or- doesn;t matter) to your pc the edit and author is a good way to go.

    3: All these "expert" ways, like vurtual dub and learning all about the various settings is really for those with the time.

    4: I have apet hatred for capture cards. Do the conversion outside of your pc.

    Good luck.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  20. 3: All these "expert" ways, like vurtual dub and learning all about the various settings is really for those with the time.
    If a jobs worth doing do it well, If it's not then don't
    do it. Just my couple of kilos.
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  21. I've posted frames I captured from the Titanic VHS before, but here's one again to demonstrate what can be done with a good VHS source.





    The signal chain was JVC SR-W5U ---> Sima SCC ---> JVC DR-M10 DVD Recorder. I've since replaced the Sima with a SignVideo Proc Amp and DR-1000 Image Enhancer. The SR-W5U is a very high end W-VHS High Def analog VCR that is a studio quality S-VHS/VHS unit, too. It has a built in full frame TBC/Frame Synchronizer, so macrovision is not a problem.
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  22. Very clean gshelley61, and well defined;
    but I can't honestly say I like it, being a
    PAL person. NTSC just can not replicate flesh tones.
    You are used to it - I'm not. :/
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  23. Originally Posted by offline
    Very clean gshelley61, and well defined;
    but I can't honestly say I like it, being a
    PAL person. NTSC just can not replicate flesh tones.
    You are used to it - I'm not. :/
    I have PAL envy now... :P
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  24. Found this thread while looking for some help on Betamax conversion.

    I use my Daytek PVR to capture direct to disk from commercial VHS tapes and the results have been quite satisfying. Didn't have the same success with my own prerecorded tapes, notwithstanding the fact that they were mostly done on a studio grade Sony VHS recorder, and generally at SP. I agree with pundit who stated that tapes deteriorate with age, however. This is definitely a problem with some of my Beta tapes.

    I always thought that Beta was fantastic compared to VHS (and it was) but as I try to run them into my computer using my Leadtek analogue capture card, I see much degradation, even before the software does its worst. (I get excellent off-air capture with this card BTW so is the problem with the manner in which the tapes are "encoded", for want of a better word?).

    I had many experiments over the last year, using Ulead VS7, Ulead MF 2.5, Power Producer Gold, and most recently TMPGenc DA 1.6. The Leadtek built in capture software caused A/V sync problems due to some timecode (?) issue. Movie Factory seems to avoid the synchronization issues, but when I convert the subsequent MPEG file after editing and authoring, the resultant DVD is noisy, blocky, and generally of a much lower quality.

    Like so many on this site, I am low on cash, and even lower on time and patience (mostly my wife's) so I look for the best options that do not require overindulgence in all these areas. Can I reasonably assume that if I expend a little more time and effort using VirtualDub and the Huffy codec, that I may actually get a useable end product. I think my Leadtek capture card software will accept a plug in codec like Huffy, but the last time I used it the results weren't very good - blocky and jerky. Should I just experiment with different frame sizes and bitrates? I have always stuck to 720 by 480, at 6000 bits, in the past.

    BTW, I really like authoring my tapes with TDA, but I am about to experiment with DVD LAB.

    Sorry if I haven't added anything to this discussion, but any suggestions beyond what has already been offered will be most welcom.
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  25. Have you tried capturing (transferring analog video to compliant DVD) with a name brand standalone DVD recorder? I think you would be very happy with the results...
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  26. GShelly wrote
    Have you tried capturing (transferring analog video to compliant DVD) with a name brand standalone DVD recorder? I think you would be very happy with the results...
    Yes, in fact I have had excellent output from my Daytek PVR30 despite the purists on this board who denigrate such shortcuts. Generally speaking though it only worked well for commercial VHS tapes that were already fairly high in quality. The older recordings that I made myself need a bit more nurturing, and my Betamax machine is hooked up to my computer in another room of the house due to space considerations. (maybe I should just try moving it).

    The problem is, I want to author a number of music concerts and put in chapters for songs by title. Is this a viable proposition for re-encoding Daytek (DVD) output if I disable the auto chaptering on the recorder? I have several good authoring programs for this purpose, but the last time I tried to load a direct disk into TMPGEnc DVD author (my favourite) I wound up with multiple (VOB?) files and this left me somewhat intimidated.

    Furthermore, one of the posters higher up this thread said "do not capture direct to MPEG". Why not? I always thought that AVI was simply a "wrapper" that enclosed a MPEG file anyway - perhaps I was misinformed, but if that is the case, why would I use HUFFYUV to capture AVI, and then reencode to an MPEG for editing? Isn't that introducing more potential compression artifacts and noise issues?

    Nobody ever said life was simple!
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  27. Member
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    Great!
    Reading (allmost) all of the posts I'm getting to a hard conclusion mentioned already here from victoriabears - 100% behind his words!!! Just a bit sad that I just shelved out 50 bucks for VideoReDo to edit my captured MPEG2s!

    Now the PC I made was bound to be also not only for office and video camera editing but to become HTPC and video recorder. Blah... I'm close to a big change. When the time is limited and wife is getting frustrated and in the same time expecting to transfer few bags of old VHS to DVD...

    I think I'll just still some cash from the family budjet and buy her birthday present! A standaalone DVD/HDD recorder! Then she can just press few buttons and record whatever she wants and leave me the fun to experiment with the PC stuff. Instead of hearing - 'can you record this show?', or 'ohh, it doesn't have to be on DVD' - so the pile with VHS gets even bigger!.

    And when the program is 2:30h what you expect me to do? Use HUFFYUV? Capture in MPEG2? 2:30h in half DVD at 3600bps looks like crap. And on the top of it the recorded DVD-R might have issues with crappy player.

    I know if I use restoration...and may be spend few days when the material piles up. I'm not archeologist after all!

    I'm out of all this - Pany DVD/HDD/VHS combo with inbuilt TBS is less than 600$ now - half the prices than an year ago. Phewuu... sorry everyone - I had to let it out!
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  28. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    Great Post! This should be a sticky!!!!!!
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  29. You can frame accurately edit multiple VOB's (which simply contain DVD compliant MPEG2) with products like Womble MPEG-VCR, or simply save the VOB's to your hard drive and use TMPGEnc DVD Author as you mentioned (it can do I and P frame editing). Multiple VOB's are not a problem. You can even extract and join them into a single large VOB (or .MPG) if you like.

    As far as capturing direct to MPEG2 goes, that's basically all I do anymore. The computer capture to AVI, edit, filter, frameserve, encode, author and burn method is way too time consuming for my purposes... plus, I get better results with the DVD recorder anyway.

    FWIW, YMMV
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  30. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Marvingj
    Great Post! This should be a sticky!!!!!!
    It is. I made it a sticky weeks ago. 8)
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