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  1. Member
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    I have some VHS tapes that are almost 20 years old (has it really been 20 years?!) I'm going to convert to DVD. This is really more of a hobby than anything else but I would at least like to get something decent out of my trouble. I bought an SVHS vcr (a lower end JVC 2902 or something). The SVHS made a HUGE difference compared to using the composite on my older VCR. Now my question is would upgrading to a more expense model (7000 or 9000 series) really make that much difference? I'm using an ATI AIW card if this info is needed. Here is a still shot that I captured using MMC. I wasn't sure what people use for their screen shots so I just used what I had. I've captured to MPEG2 and AVI. I've tried denoising filters in both Vegas (what little their is), Virtual Dub, and TMPG. None if them really made a difference in the quality. That lead me to think that maybe a better VCR would help, although I really don't want to shell out big bucks for something that is just a hobby. I have gotten all my tips from this site (and digitalfaq, thanks LS!) so I'm hoping that some one can tell me if this screenshot even looks like something that can be cleaned up with better hardware? Maybe I'm just not understanding what I need to clean and I am using the wrong software filters. Either way, I'd really appreciate any feedback.



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  2. Member
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    guess I should have read the sticky on how to post pics first!
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  3. Member
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    Hmm..looks like there is a bit of macroblocking there. Hey, can you do us a favor and tell us the settings in ATI MMC you are using? Things like bit-rate, resolution, video soap, etc...

    I'm guessing by making some changes there, you can improve your capture quite a bit.
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    This was a still shot taken while the video was playing using the still shot thing in MMC. It was late and I was tired so I didn't have time to figure out how to take a screen shot of something i captured. Do you think that would be a better idea? I guess it probably would be more representative of what I'm doing. LMK.

    I tried different capturing methods and bit rates. For MPEG I used around 5 for an average bit rate and tried both 720x480 and 352x280 (or somthing like that). FOr AVI, I just kept all the presets the same bor bit rate so I think it was CBR of 8 and I think I tried both the resolution I used for mp2.

    Again, this info might not be helpful since i didn't actually use a screen shot from a capture. I'll admit that the captures actually look a little better than this screen shot does. Also, I have an Athlon 64 X2 CPU and from what I could tell on ATI's crappy support site, video soap is not supported on 64 bit platforms?
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    I would try to capture it using huffyuv uncompressed (just a short stretch), use virtualdub to open up that file and save a single frame to a high quality .jpg (from virtualdub) and post that. It should be largely artifact free and would give you (and us) an idea of whether this is an encoding issue or not.

    I have some 20 year old tapes that have looked a lot better than that, so....
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    Will do! I already have a HuffyUV capture of about 10 seconds so I'll work on that. I don't know what I was thinking when I did the still shot in MMC... Duh!
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  7. ideally, you would want to take the entire video can capture it to huffyuv, then convert to whatever output format...using the filters as needed......also, as far as video capturing, upgrading to a better model of an AIW wont make any differance really.....another thing you may wanna look at, is the cables your using between the computer and the VCR.....i'd use gold plated, and do NOT use monster cables, contrary to popular belief, they are average at best, and horribly overpriced.....instead, use something like acoustic research, for example......or even high end radio shack branded RCA cables......if possible, use s-video output (not sure if that model has s-video or not on it)
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    Upgrading your VCR to a JVC with Digipure or Toshiba with similar circuitry would be more worthwhile than anything else. These units have excellent line TBCs and hardware noise reduction to clean the image. Looking on ebay, you could probably find one of these VCRs.
    Your screenshot shows significant chroma noise that could be reduced heavily by implementing a hardware solution.

    If not then capturing Huffyuv then using a filter made for VirtualDub, called 'Chroma Noise Reduction' ( http://freevcr.ifrance.com/virtualdub/cnr-en.html ) should provide better results.
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    Well, I captured the same clip to an AVI using Huffy and the frame shot looks exactly like the picture I posted so I won't bother uploading the image. I am capturing with S-Video using a regular monster cable. I agree that these cables are crap so I will try a better one and see how that does. I'm using a JVC 2902 model. Its cheap but the S-vid makes a huge difference over the composite I was using. So I guess what I really am trying to find out is if you think this picture will really look better if I get a better VCR? again, these tapes are 20 years old recorded on a crappy vcr using the EP setting so I'm really wondering if a better VCR can really make that much of a difference?

    I tried the chroma noise reduction and it didn't seem to do much at all.
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  10. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    How does it look when you view on a TV?
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  11. I would suggest that you do upload the AVI capture. There are more macroblocks in the original mpeg image than one would expect from a non-motion scene with a 5 Mbs bitrate probably due to noise. An AVI capture uses less compression so I would not think they would look the same unless what is bothering you is not the blocks.
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  12. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    I would try a JVC 76xx-99xx so I could use the TBC &/or stabilzer (spelling). Than a image ehancer. Then go straight to software like video soap. Vegas or adobe Pre. should have color correctors inside program. Thats a good start. Anything else will be $$$$$.
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    There are screen grabs and examples from various SVHS VCRs equipped with hardware filters on this forum and the 'Capturing' forum. You might have to search through them though. The results are quite impressive.

    The differences in picture quality between modern day cables is questionable. Many can't see a clear difference, especially between S-Video. There was an informal test done not too long ago. https://forum.videohelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=279561
    Good solid cabling should serve you well.
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    Well I compared captures from the JVC 2902 to some captures from my other VCR and I am definitely sticking with the JVC. Since I really don't want to shell out mucho dinero, I think I will live with the hardware that I have. The results I'm getting look just fine on my Sony 40inch XBR. There not great but there not unbearable either. Since this is more for fun than anything, I think I can live with it.

    Now I'm wondering if you could recommend software filters? I've tried some noise reduction and chroma filters in Vdub but the previews didn't look any different. I didn't burn any results to see how they look on TV though. The part in the video that bothers me the most is when you look at the black region to the right of the man's face. You see these whiteish blotches. What is this? My eyes aren't yet trained to know what I'm looking at. Can this be filtered out with software? Or is expensive hardware the only way to fix this?

    THanks for the help so far!
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  15. MSU's deblocking filters are about as good as it gets, however expect an EXTREMELY long conversion......like be prepaired to leave the computer for a few days (no exaggeration!) per conversion......well, im figuring that your conversions are gonna be like hour and a half to 2 hours long each......
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