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  1. Okay then, now down to business . Now after a bit of browsing I've taken the advice I can find on these very helpful forums. Though the system I have has a pretty powerful set up i will by slapping in a pci siundcard for the recordings to help with matters. Likely to be an SB Live or similar.

    SO this leaves the capture card. Now since my budget is tight i'm looking at these two :

    ADSTech Instant TV Deluxe (PTV-305)
    Hauppauge WinTV PVR-150
    Hauppauge WinTV PVR-150MCE

    Now here's where you guys come in. which of these will do what I need. Just to refresh the project will simply be recording old VHS tapes onto my computer. No fancy editing expected beyond maybe trimming and cutting. The VHS tapes are a mix of SP , SLP and my priority is to get a match for the quality in both audio and video if not improvement.

    HD used will be a devoted SATA 150gb hd 7200rpm in addition to the os drive and the the devoted swapfile drive.

    System RAM is effectively 3gb DDR2 (Due to XP 32-bit limitations)

    The VCR that will be used is a 4 head model with Analog composite out (i think that's correct). 3 cables. Yellow video and two audio L and R respectively.

    Software well I have access to Adobe Premiere 6. But any recommendations in this area would be great. From what i gather virtual dub is pretty popular.

    Now as another note. although I may be moving these to DVD at some point that's not priority right now and that's something that can be dealt with down the line. Priority is getting 1:1 quality (or as close to it as possible).

    Is there anything i've forgotten, anything else I need to pick up, overlooked, should be aware of, alternatives? Chime in! I need your wisdoms!

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't those ADSTech and Hauppauge cards capture video as mpeg-1 or 2 only? You're going to have a hell of a time trying to cut that footage with .avi editors (i.e. VirtualDub and Premiere 6).
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  3. Originally Posted by filmboss80 View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't those ADSTech and Hauppauge cards capture video as mpeg-1 or 2 only? You're going to have a hell of a time trying to cut that footage with .avi editors (i.e. VirtualDub and Premiere 6).
    Well now see this is why I post here. From what I'd gathered MPeg-2 Hardware was a good thing since it cuts down on System load and the headaches that come with that. Also that MPEg-2 was already the format used for DVD so the quality would match my requirements (again my understanding).

    Also the editing is as I said nothing complex. Mostly in the form of trimming Segments. Example. One tape is of the CHurches New Years eve mass. It was a rather long, CHurch Service, Dinner, Dance, Affair. All on one tape.

    My plan was to simply to dump the whole thing in a file and then trim out the segments that I wanted. Say I wanted 00:15:00 to 01:00:00 as one file. and then 01:25:00 to 02:12:45 and so on etc, etc. The sort of edit that could be achieved with a pause button during recording.

    Are those cards up there gonna be a problem? If so, could you post a link to the ones recommended from the handy list on this site. Though you can probably gues from the cards I've posted what my budget is like.
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    No, the cards aren't necessarily any problem, as far as I can tell; but you'll need to use something other than VirtualDub or that old version of Premiere to cut MPEG-2 footage. Consider AviDemux, MPEG-VCR, SolveigMM Video Splitter, or some of the other software tools listed here: https://www.videohelp.com/tools/sections/video-editors-mpg-dvd
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  5. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    There are quite a few MPEG editors available in our 'Tools' section. If you're familiar with VirtualDub, you might try AVIDemux as it works similar, but does work with MPEG video. It can also use quite a few of the VD filters available. The downside of filtering is you have to re-encode, and that always involves some quality loss. Also popular is VideoReDo. For basic 'trimming', a simple editor should work fine.

    The Hauppauge cards should work OK. The MCE one is for Windows Media Center, maybe more suited for recording off of cable or antenna for Media Center playback. If you do plan on extensive filtering, a less compressed video format may be better, such as a lossless one like HuffyUV or Lagarith. Then you could filter and re-encode to DVD compliant MPEG-2 with minimal quality loss. But they create huge files.

    More critical is the condition of the VHS tapes, and the quality of the playback VCR. If you were planning to do extensive VHS backups, a TBC (Time Base Corrector) would be nice to stabilize the somewhat unstable VHS output.

    Not sure what help a PCI sound card will be. Most motherboard sound chips are pretty decent these days, but to each his own. I usually run the audio through Audacity if I need to do some audio cleanup.
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  6. I don't mind huge files so much, and as you say I can always encoded down to mpeg-2 from there.

    Now about these Time Base Correctors... this is the first I'me hearing of these. What do they fix, why would I need? How would I avoid needing them.

    Now remember I'm fairly New at this as well so What would I accomplish by filtering?

    Though from what i gather the recommendation might be to dump straight to AVi and then encode to Mpeg-2 or whatever I choose.

    Outside size (and that's not much of an isue. As said I have a 150gb SATA I can devote to capturing vids. and twin 250gbs that I can use for actual storage. In short HD space is not so much an isues.

    Okay just looked into TBC's ... Yowza Waaaaaaay outside my budget range at the moment. Though I can see myself needing it. When I have *that* level of disposable income.
    Last edited by MrHawhn; 7th May 2011 at 19:30.
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  7. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Hopefully you can get by without a TBC. The stability problem comes up when a VHS tape is recorded on one VHS deck and played back on yours. VHS decks are analog and the signal from them can vary when using a different VHS deck than what the tape was recorded on.

    Some VHS decks are better than others for playback. But I'll assume you have 'what you have'. If the VHS plays back with no drift in the picture or lines drifting around on the picture, give it a try. TBCs are pricey.

    Filtering may be needed if the colors are off, or there is a lot of noise, or the contrast/brightness is wrong to your view. Capturing in a lower compression format like HuffyUV or Lagarith is one option if you need extensive filtering, but not that many video cards allow that.

    You might take a look at this site. There is a lot of capture info there: http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/video/index-record-capture.htm

    My suggestion if you have some time is to study more. You can also search around a bit on our forum for VHS captures/conversions. It will also depend on the quality you want for the end product and how much work/expense you want to do.

    VHS to digital is not so easy if you want the best quality.
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  8. Originally Posted by redwudz View Post

    My suggestion if you have some time is to study more. You can also search around a bit on our forum for VHS captures/conversions. It will also depend on the quality you want for the end product and how much work/expense you want to do.

    VHS to digital is not so easy if you want the best quality.
    Nothing worthwhile is ever easy but thanks. I have a strong Background in Graphic Design and artwork so I know the trade-offs that come with compresion. Always a matter of size vs quality. As for time and work. I'm willing to put my weekends into this sort of thing.

    But to the matter at hand, the format that would apparently allow the greatest/quality flexibility is AVI correct?

    So that's what I'll likely gear my capture towards. So we come back to hardware. and capture card recomendations. Do I go with an internal cap card or maybe something like an analog-DV external thingamawhatsit?

    My inclination is towards a card that will do AVI but with the option of hardware Mpeg-2
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  9. Okay now based on the feedback I've gotten I've revised my card picks to.

    CyberTainment CyberMail AV
    AVerMedia AverTV Studio
    Hauppauge WinTV PVR-150

    Since the Mpeg2 Hardware's not a big thing for me anymore.

    though in looking through I have some questions.

    I realize I've been making some assumptions and I'd like to clear this up.

    what is dbx stereo

    and when capturing at NTSC d1 720x something, avi, what sort for size are we talking about?

    Also what is the diff between a DV Convertor and a plain old capture card.
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    Haupaugge in general makes pretty good cards, but the PVR-150 has always been problematic. Either it will work for you without any problems or you'll be one of the unlucky ones for whom it doesn't work at all. If you have problems with it you will need to be able to return it and get another card. Nobody seems to have any why the PVR-150 just doesn't work on some PCs and so there's no real way to fix it if you have problems. I understand budget constraints but you get what you pay for. The more expensive Hauppauge cards work more reliably. Do note that most people successfully use the PVR-150 without any problems, but those who have had problems with it after installing it for the first time never got it working as far as I can tell. I have no experience with the other cards. I just wanted to warn you about the PVR-150.
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    Originally Posted by MrHawhn View Post
    I realize I've been making some assumptions and I'd like to clear this up.

    what is dbx stereo

    and when capturing at NTSC d1 720x something, avi, what sort for size are we talking about?

    Also what is the diff between a DV Convertor and a plain old capture card.
    If I recall correctly, the audio of many VHS hi-fi movies were encoded in dbx. Some audio expert will have to elaborate on that particular question.

    As for NTSC D1, that means 720x480 pixels. Do the cards you listed capture at that resolution? (I have serious doubts, just by looking at their specs.) I'm not sure about the Cybertainment card you listed, but I don't think the other 2 cards capture DV video. Please read the digitalfaq link that redwudz cited, especially the quote: "Something to keep in mind is: Can your card properly capture the format/resolution you are considering? Capture cards are preset to capture a certain resolution, and then internally processes/resizes the video, as asked for by the software."

    To capture DV-AVI video, you need a firewire interface, both coming out of the capture box and going into the computer; something like the Canopus advc 110. (This is not necessary for capturing MPEG video from your analog VHS source; just needed for DV .avi video--which is also native to miniDV camcorder video.)

    It appears that you are thinking generically in terms of "video" capture, editing, and authoring; but you need to hone in on what kind (i/e. format) of video. It might be best to focus about your end goal and backwards-engineer from there. For example, if your final output is DVD, think about what needs to be inputted into the DVD authoring software; then think about the best encoding method to bridge between the edit project and DVD authoring; then think about the best editing format for your footage; then think about the best way of capturing your VHS footage to that format.

    Analog-to-digital MPEG-2 capture cards are fine for what you want to do, as long as VHS is your only source, and as long as your editing software handles MPEG-2 well (VirtualDub and old versions of Premiere do not). But if you want to capture digital miniDV footage (DV video) as well, you need to consider a firewire option in your capture hardware. And as suggested, learn about time based correction. Otherwise, you may have unstable video doing those captures.
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  12. And yeah I've been reading through the data on those pages. My head is killing me. But It's very informative. IT brought my attention to something I hadn't even considered; Interlacing.

    Thankfully the advice it gives sounds reasonable, capture settings dictated by medium, encoding based on output. The beauty of the advice is, if you have the original capture you can fool around with the encoding settings.

    Hauppauge WinTV PVR-150
    ATI E-Home Wonder

    seem to be my best bet, though I'd like a recommendation for a good AVI capture card as well.

    I guess that I chose the wrong hobby to start on a budget but whatever. It's gonna be a lot of trial and error. but I think it wil manage just fine.
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  13. Member edDV's Avatar
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    As for Premiere, there is a big difference between version 6 and version 6.5 (the first to include the Mainconcept MPeg codec). Version 6 was a buggy mess, version 6.5 was solid.
    Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
    http://www.kiva.org/about
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  14. Okay they, little update. Seems I may not be buying a card after all. One of the old boxes I have has a cap card in it it. Gonna check it out and up the details. It seems to be a lifeview card or something. Either way I'm going to try it out. I figure if I can make a couple attempts with this puppy I can use it as a yardstick to see what or even if I need anything more souped up. I suspect I will but it will at least give me an idea of just what I actually need. Plus it's free so score. If it actually works out as being what I need then Double Bonus.


    Though a related note, the Haupauge MCE card... does it have to be used ina Media Centre PC or can it be used with a regular XP Pro box? Yeah Stupid question I know but better a stupid question than a stupid assumptions.
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  15. A TBC and VCR that works well with the tapes you have will be far more important than the capture hardware you choose. I began attempting VCR capture almost 10 years ago; I now have hundreds of disks and lots of HD space of captured video but absolutely nothing I kept from a VCR source.

    You mention HD space, minimally compressed AVI will go about 3 minutes per Gb, IIRC, if you edit and filter before encoding that can double or triple. If you are going to do extensive repair filtering AVI is necessary but if you decide that what you've got is already good enough then capture direct to MPG is a great time-saver. For simple editing MPG2CUT2 works great and is fast, easy, and free.
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  16. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrHawhn View Post
    Though a related note, the Haupauge MCE card... does it have to be used ina Media Centre PC or can it be used with a regular XP Pro box? Yeah Stupid question I know but better a stupid question than a stupid assumptions.
    You will need the Hauppauge WinTV application for capture. I think the MCE version only comes with MCE drivers.
    Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
    http://www.kiva.org/about
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  17. A TBC and VCR that works well with the tapes you have will be far more important than the capture hardware you choose.
    I gathered that much but asmentioned I'm on a budget. I wish I could afford a TBC unit but since I don't fancy eating my belt leather for a month .

    So as for the VCR I have to make due with what I have for the moment which is a toshiba 4-head. Thanks Nelson37 for the editing app and thanks eD for the info on MCE.

    I'm going to be driver hunting for the card I have today as well as digging up specs.
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  18. Yup It seems I did luck out the card in the system is:

    LifeView Flyvideo 98

    Which from what i've gathered is a pretty decent card. So I just need to find me some drivers and see what i can get out of that puppy.
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  19. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Take a look here for drivers: http://www.lifeview.com.tw/html/downloads/discontinue.htm

    If you're not familiar with MCE, it's usually bundled with a remote control to make your computer function like a digital video recorder, most for cable or over the air video.
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