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  1. Hi people, new to this forum and I must Say looks nice. I have a burning question that I need tips on. I'm a newbie at this forum but have spent hours with Roxio, pinnacle studio, premiere pro, Ulead and Windvd editing hours and hours of videos from DV cameras.

    But now something different has come up. My parents, sister and I have tons of these very old BETA and VHS tapes (beta was competitor to VHS tapes, "like Blue Ray Vs Hi Definition". Like VHS they use RCA cables). These tapes are deteriorating and it's obvious. I purchased a capture card called Pinnacle MovieBoard for analog to Digital conversion which works superb. This 100$ card will beat any non-professional capture card out there, it does great things, and permits me to make the video at a slightly better quality with some software applications.

    But out of the whole bunch of tapes, 6 of them are home videos (totaling about 15-20 hours.) We would like to have these videos redone and fixed in high Quality. What I mean by this is to have the Image cleaned, all the little imperfections that come up here and there fixed and all recopied to DVD.

    I'm trying to determine whether it would be a good idea to have it done professionally in my city at 60-75$/tape or if I should purchase a good piece of hardware like the Canopus ADVC300:

    http://www.canopus.com/products/ADVC300/index.php

    This is a piece of hardware with TBC and have heard many great things about it. I can get one for about 450$, roughly the same priced we'd pay a pro to restore the video. I am experienced with editing software and am a genius with computers, so figuring out how to get the most out of this box, even though could take me time and test my patience would not be a problem.

    The advantage of buying the ADVC300 or similar priced box would be: I could convert all my other not-so- important tapes using it, I would gain experience, I could do other projects for others when the time comes, and most importantly, for each home video I copy, I could edit scenes, I would take the time to fine-tune the hardware/software myself to get the nicest image possible out of each tape and each scene.

    But all in all, I know there's a limit to the possible quality the ADVC300 or a professional company can provide and don't know HOW good the video could ever turn out using either option since I've never seen either results. For all I know, perhaps the results would be very very minimal and hardly noticeable.

    So can anyone here tell me if a professional company would likely provide better quality than I could using a 450$ piece of hardware? And would it generally be much greater if so?
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Republic of Texas
    Search Comp PM
    It is hard for any of us in this forum to make the decision for you. We don't know what sort of hardware the professionals in your city have. We do not know the exact state of your old betamax tapes. The ADVC300 will stabilize the image and give you certain controls over it, but you must have realistic expectations about "cleaning up" and "fixing" old video footage. With that said, there are a number of high-end video digitizing companies in North America that can do some pretty amazing work--for a price. You might want to test out this company in your city with just one tape. See what they can do with the footage, before committing your collection. That way, you will not have spent too much. If your tapes have a lot of precious memories, then it will be worth it to shell out a few bucks to preserve them.
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  3. Right, that's my prob, i don't know what "realistic" is though. I haven't seen results or ever been able to compare. That's why I'm asking here because I'm sure there are pro's here who have seen results.

    The conditions of the home videos are good compared to the other tapes. There's no damage to the image and nothing specifically wrong. I don't know if there is deterioration on them yet, it's hard to say. For their age and technology they were recorded in, I must confess that i'm actually impressed by their quality if anything. Very minimal video jitter WHEn there is any at all, very good sound and all. So here's the thing, I've never seen the results of using such equipment as the ADVC300. Using a cheap capture card, editing the color and copying to DVD gave some slight improvements.

    For all I know, maybe that's as good as it could ever get. For example, all recorded VHS and Beta tapes that have been made have SOME video noise and a bit of jitter, everyone can see that in all their tapes if they look close enough.

    So for people who have some good equipment, does the quality improve itself that much more? That's waht i'm trying to determine
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  4. Member classfour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    The Heartland, United States
    Search Comp PM
    HOTPROPHET: You may want to poke around the Restoration Forum. That's where I picked up a ton of info. The setup that I currently use is as follows:

    1. Good quality VHS tape (no skips, or playback problems): JVC Pro Grade VCR (uncertain of model at moment - just use a good VCR) -------- Hauuppauge PVR150 (PVR250 and PVR350 much higher rated) and capture at best quality.

    2. VHS tape with moderate playback issues: above setup with TBC (Datavideo TBC1000) in chain.

    3. VHS tape, color or brightness issues - but plays fine: setup #1 with EliteVideo BVP-4 Plus in chain. Very strong tool that must be used carefully and will require much tweeking to get it right. It can help many of us, or make matters worse in the wrong hands.

    4. El Crappo: Scenarios 2 and 3, and may even have to locate a program to correct the final video. The worst of the worst - I hope you don't have any of these.

    BTW: gShelley has some nice posts in the restoration forum. He also has had his hands on these pieces of equipment (LS also), and has spread much knowledge. The Canopus that you listed is a nice product, and will certainly get you on the way. The DataVideo TBC, JVC VCR and EliteVideo BVP-4 were ebay finds, and I can't add up the number of ones that I was outbid on before I finally won these - they are mostly grabbed up when they hit auction.
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  5. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    St Louis, MO USA
    Search Comp PM
    I can only add that you won't see any "improvements". The best it will ever be is how it is right now. Any "cleaning" and "filtering" has a cost. At most, you can expect it to look the same as it does now.

    Your biggest deciding factor will likely be cost. Get a quote for conversion cost for all of the tapes and then decide if the purchase price for all of the needed hardware/software (and your time spent performing the work) is worth it to you when compared to the service.
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