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  1. hello all,

    for the last two weeks, i'm struggling with various formats and cannot decide whice one to choose.
    i have more than 30 hours of old and very precious family vhs tapes.
    i'm using virtualdub in order to capture the video
    at first, i thought about capturing it directly to xvid with a bitrate of 5000kbps
    but after some thoughts, i decided that xvid is not really a standard format, and maybe in the future it will be impossible
    to decode it, also, i noticed that xvid loose the original quality far more than other formats.

    later i decided to capture directly to Mpeg-2 Files, using CyberLink PowerDirector 11 with a custom profile of 9000Kps
    mpeg-2 , AC3.
    the output is good quality, but i saw there is some problem with video been interlaced, and cannot find a way to make it Deinterlaced within this software,
    also, i googled and found out the Mpeg-2 is a very Lossy format, unlike H264, or maybe i'm wrong?
    but mpeg-2 seems to be out to date, and maybe it will dissapear in the next few years in favor of HD H264
    so i tried to capture directly to H264, but my pc, whice is a new I3 CPU, cannot handle my requiremnts:
    H.264 , 720x576, PAL 25fps, 6000kbps.
    and its loosing frames in the live capture proccess.

    so i left with capture to HuffYuv, whice is a lossless option
    i capture on tape of 90 minutes to Huffyuv , whice brought me a very large file of 50GB.
    after that, i added the Deinterlaced filter to virtualdub, and convert the Huffyuv file into H264 file with 6000kbps
    everything is ok, but the proccess is too slow, and i also want to save it in mpeg2 as well, but cannot find a good
    program to convert it to Mpeg-2 with deinterlaced.

    so now i need to capture again every tape , the second time, live to mpeg2.

    so after this long story... my question is:
    1. what is the best way to archive old vhs ?
    2. whice format should i choose : Mpeg-2 or H264
    3. what you guys using in order to archive those old vhs tapes?
    4. what am i doing wrong?

    Thank you!
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    Originally Posted by video80 View Post
    so after this long story... my question is:
    1. what is the best way to archive old vhs ?
    2. whice format should i choose : Mpeg-2 or H264
    3. what you guys using in order to archive those old vhs tapes?
    4. what am i doing wrong?
    The "best" way is the way you captured earlier: with VirtualDub to YUY2 AVI with lossless huffyuv. Yes, you get a big file. To answer that in another way: probably one of the worst ways is to capture home-made noisy fluttery tape dropouts, rips, chroma noise, dot crawl, rainbows, halos, chroma shift, and other natural VHS problems directly to lossy formats like MPEG, h264, DivX, etc. What you will archive are 90 minutes of the usual VHS defects, forever immortalized as digital artifacts.

    DVD is usually interlaced. The trend today is to encode as progressive -- that depends on your playback equipment; all playback equipment is not equal. VirtualDub's deinterlace is OK for viewing and analyzing, and maybe OK for pristine source, but the best deinterlacer around is QTGMC, and probabaly better than your player or TV. You can go with h264, but it' might not be compatible with your grandma's old player when she wants to see the videos. If you capture to lossless AVI, you have your choice of many final delivery formats without destroying your source. Most users archive that original lossless capture onto an external hard drive. Once you deinterlace a capture and discard it, you have no chance of taking of advantage of better deinterlace methods that will be coming along.

    One thing you're doing wrong is what many people do: they assume that transferring old VHS to digital will somehow and magically clean up analog problems that digital encoders really don't like, which usually looks worse than the source.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 09:54.
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    If you plan to author the video as a DVD, or BD, or use a hardware media player to play the video on TV, skipping the de-interlacing is perfectly fine. You do not really need to de-interlace unless the video format used does not support interlacing or it will only ever played by a computer, or you plan to upload the video to YouTube.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th Apr 2013 at 16:49. Reason: clarity
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    sanlyn's advice is similar to that of some others here. I seriously question whether most users really and truly need to do what I consider to be overkill in capturing lossless. Since the OP knows enough to talk about interlacing then I am willing to admit that he may be such a person, but realistically most people just want it to be watchable in good quality and if it was really cheap to do so, they'd just pay someone to do it for them and never ask questions about what was done. For such people, capturing directly to MPEG-2 or H.264 may be fine.

    video80 - VHS is a wretched video storage method. As you work with your tapes, you'll begin to understand what I mean.

    Neither Xvid nor MPEG-2 nor H.264 are going to go away where they "can't be decoded". That is just simply NOT going to happen. Good grief, man. People can STILL work with VCD, which is early 1990s technology and uses MPEG-1. 20-30 or more years from now there will be ways to play MPEG-2, Xvid and H.264, all of which are lossy formats. Xvid is actually more state of the art than MPEG-2, so your supposition that it is inferior is not correct.

    H.264 requires more CPU power to decode than MPEG-2 but it is the current state of the art and provides better quality at smaller file sizes than MPEG-2 so if you can't store lossless, it's a reasonable way to go. You can deinterlace in AviSynth too, but it requires you to spend some time learning to write scripts.

    Finally, you might state what your capture device is as someone might have advice specific to it if we knew what it was.
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    Having put many of my family videos onto my computer...

    I would suggest that whatever you to capture your videos... Do so at the highest resolution.. For me it was AVI .. You only want to do once .. At the best you can...

    You can then convert to mpeg2 or what ever you wish.. And retain the original AVI files ... External hard are cheap now .. 1 terabite (1000gb) around 55 in the uk.. You will have plenty of space .. As 1 hour of saved avi .. Is 13gb .. Converted to mpeg2 ..is about 4gb..

    So 30 hours of AVI at 13gb per hour will be around 400gb ... small portable drives now are easy to use.. Powered by the USB port on any computer.... Good luck .. Take your time .. To me well worth it.. Now I can edit and convert my videos to anything I wish...once on the computer ..
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    Originally Posted by LOWTECH View Post
    Having put many of my family videos onto my computer...

    I would suggest that whatever you to capture your videos... Do so at the highest resolution.. For me it was AVI .. You only want to do once .. At the best you can...

    You can then convert to mpeg2 or what ever you wish.. And retain the original AVI files ... External hard are cheap now .. 1 terabite (1000gb) around 55 in the uk.. You will have plenty of space .. As 1 hour of saved avi .. Is 13gb .. Converted to mpeg2 ..is about 4gb..

    So 30 hours of AVI at 13gb per hour will be around 400gb ... small portable drives now are easy to use.. Powered by the USB port on any computer.... Good luck .. Take your time .. To me well worth it.. Now I can edit and convert my videos to anything I wish...once on the computer ..
    The AVI container can be used for video encoded in a variety of formats, from HuffYUV at over 30GB/hr to XVid at under 1GB per hour for standard definition video. I assume you are talking about using DV AVI for archiving, since you mentioned 13GB/hr.
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  7. Thank you all for your great help!

    Lowtech, that you for your reply,
    did you capture it to DV AVI ?
    i think DV avi is not lossless
    i already thought about buying a 500GB hard drive or more, thats not a problem
    the problem is what format to choose.
    i need to capture 30 hours of VHS video, using lossless huffyuv, it will take 30GB an hour
    so i will need 900GB.
    what about FFV1 codec (lossless) or Mjpeg-Lossless

    is DV a good option to capture to ? to keep a good quality ? is it better than high bitrate H.264 or high bitrate xvid (8000kbps).

    do i really need to capture my files into 720x576 ? (PAL in my country)
    maybe 640x480 will make it easier with the interlaced issue ?

    i already tried so many codecs and options the last 2 weeks
    and everytime i think i found the right one, and later i found out that maybe i'm wrong
    and dont want to waste 30 hours just to find out later i captured into a format or using a codec
    that will not be the best.

    for now, i let go of my idea to capture to Mpeg-2, i think its really a lossy option

    wish i could capture directly to h.264, maybe that will solve the problem.

    i could capture to XVID with a bitrate of 10,000 if i want to, and its clear and looks great
    but i dont know if its the right format to choose for the future.

    i'm using a CONEXANT based PCI capture card.

    please help me decide
    i really want to start capture all that stuff, and get over with it.

    Thanks
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    None of the other lossless codecs greatly improve upon Huffyuv's compression ratios. There is just a limit to what can be done with that kind of math until someone thinks up a new algorithm. Lagarith and FFV1 have moderate gains with much slower encode and decode times. Ut Video offers small compression improvements with nice decode times.

    Yes you really need to capture to 720x576. For VHS you can safely downscale to 352x576 if you want, but you're going to run into compatibility problems in the future (DVD supports this resolution but Blu-ray doesn't, so we've already seen the spec-makers drop support for lower res). ___x480 is not an option for PAL, and even if it was you wouldn't want it!

    You can capture directly to H.264 with x264-vfw but the quality options available will be limited by your CPU speed.
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    I save to dv AVI at 13gb per hour... Then render to mpeg2 for DVD compliant ...

    That said I no longer burn to DVD anymore but use a western digital media player plugged into any tv to view my files... Direct from portable hard drives or memory sticks ..The player is very portable.. And no worries about fitting big files onto a DVD..... A 32gb usb memory stick can hold many hours of files...instead of countless DVDs .. Or as said a portable terabyte hard drive...

    I use ulead videostudio program for capturing ...AVI 720x576 PAL 25 fps for UK.. Or direct saving to mpeg2 if you prefer ...

    Conversion to any other format from AVi is a matter of choice... I keep an AVi original on one hard drive and conversion to mpeg2 on another
    hard drive ...

    Good luck...

    It works for me ... Hbasic and simple for my needs... I can either view on my tv in AVI or Mpeg2
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    What were you going to say when you trailed off into ellipses?
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  11. Thank you all for your help and support
    i really appriciate it

    LOWTECH:
    i think i will choose your way after all
    DV codec seems a high quality option
    the problem is, whice codec should i choose,
    i tested this codec :
    http://www.free-codecs.com/download/pinnacle_dv25_codec.htm

    whice is the Pinnacle DV25 Codec, and its seems very good in terms of output quality

    what is the DVSD codec, i also have it in the ffdshow

    whice DV codec to choose from ? if i want to work with it in the future
    and make sure it will be supported in the long term.

    can someone explain what is the diffrent between panasonic DV codec, Pinnacle DV codec and other DV codec
    whice one to choose?

    Thank you all
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    I am not sure about codecs ... I just have the avi option to save to .. In my videostudio program... I as said i then convert to mpeg2

    If you have any concern about codecs ... Just capture and save direct to mpeg2...
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  13. Thank you all for your great help, i learned alot of new things

    i decided to go with LOWTECH option,
    i'm capturing the old VHS tapes to Avi container, using DV CODEC (i choosed the Panasonic DV codec - i hope its good)
    that is giving me a file size of 12GB for 1 hour of video at 720x576 - 25fps.

    one thing i cannot understand is when i play back the output DV file, the media player of VLC player
    show me a smooth video, no interlaced at all.

    but when i open the file in Virtualdub in order to conver it into other formats, i see the interlaced video
    and i have to use deinterlace filter.

    how come when locally played on my pc, the avi - DV file dont show any interlaced
    but when opened in VirtualDub or in any other editing software, the video becomes interlaced ?

    Thanks
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    Originally Posted by video80 View Post
    Thank you all for your great help, i learned alot of new things

    i decided to go with LOWTECH option,
    i'm capturing the old VHS tapes to Avi container, using DV CODEC (i choosed the Panasonic DV codec - i hope its good)
    that is giving me a file size of 12GB for 1 hour of video at 720x576 - 25fps.

    one thing i cannot understand is when i play back the output DV file, the media player of VLC player
    show me a smooth video, no interlaced at all.

    but when i open the file in Virtualdub in order to conver it into other formats, i see the interlaced video
    and i have to use deinterlace filter.

    how come when locally played on my pc, the avi - DV file dont show any interlaced
    but when opened in VirtualDub or in any other editing software, the video becomes interlaced ?

    Thanks
    Software players like VLC typically apply de-interlacing filters when displaying interlaced video. Sometimes de-interlacing is an option that can be turned on or off, depending on the player. TVs automatically de-interlace when presented with interlaced video input. Editors and capture software frequently don't apply de-interlacing filters when displaying video and may not even offer it as an option.

    Lowtech is probably using a capture device that can only output DV, and is not encoding to DV using software. DV is normally interlaced, especially when the source being captured is interlaced.

    [Edit]To be blunt, de-interlacing video that is originally interlaced to archive it is shortsighted. The purpose for archiving is to allow you to go back and re-convert to different formats or correct imperfections at a later date.

    If you watch broadcast TV or DVD videos on a regular basis, much of what you are watching is interlaced. Interlacing is not an imperfection when the original video was interlaced (VHS is interlaced), so there isn't a need to "correct" it unless the end format does not support interlacing.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 19th Apr 2013 at 11:03.
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    As said before i save to avi dv pal 720x576 with ulead videostudio program.... done over 100 vhs home movie tapes this way

    I no longer use tapes but my digital camera now does 90% of my video needs now....

    I took 3 hours of video and 800 photos on 2 16gb sd cards on holiday.... on my cannon digi camera with 16 x optical zoom, and HD video.....that fits in my shirt pocket..... life is so much easier than a camcorder now....not having to carry it around all day on holiday...

    I have also used windows movie maker to record/transfer from my pvr recorder to my laptop via firewire thru my camcorder....

    I have no idea about interlaced or whatever.... never used virtual dub..... i use a vegas for editing and rendering.... the past 10 years.

    Made and edited over a 100 movies ..weddings...hoildays ... stop frame animation, slide show videos ..etc ..etc.. I keep things simple that work for me and few problems occour..... do not burn to disk any more either....I use a usb memory stick to view via my western digital player connected to my TV .. or a laptop for presentations....all my work is stored and backed up on 2 external hard drives that are power by usb connections to a computer or my WDP..... which i can take and connect to any TV...simple bliss...

    I stick to something that is simple and gives good results.... with simple basic equipment..... we all have our own opinions this is mine... cheaper, effective and does the job of vhs transfering and basic watching on TV....

    All depends on what you are happy with and at what expense and time you are prepared to give... I have gone from..film to vhs tapes and now SD cards to capture movies over many years...luckly it has got simpler as i have got older....

    Go luck video80 with your vhs tape transfering....
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    Capturing to high bitrate DV AVI is better than some other lossy options. However, there are color problems with VHS to DV. Since most people can't tell good color from a hole in the ground anyway, it might not matter. If brilliance or subtlety is found missing later, you know why beforehand.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 09:54.
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    Originally Posted by LOWTECH View Post
    As said before i save to avi dv pal 720x576 with ulead videostudio program.... done over 100 vhs home movie tapes this way
    Originally Posted by LOWTECH View Post
    I have also used windows movie maker to record/transfer from my pvr recorder to my laptop via firewire thru my camcorder....
    Almost nobody captures uncompressed video and encodes to DV using software like the OP did, especially several years ago before Ulead was absorbed by Corel. Back then people capturing in DV AVI nearly always used a device that did hardware encoding and connected to a PC via a Firewire. So what was the mystery capture device that you used with Ulead VideoStudio? Are you saying you used a Digital8 camcorder's analog pass-through? Many people did that but a Canopus ADVC 100 or similar capture device was often used instead.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 21st Apr 2013 at 19:20.
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    I use my Pansonic camcorder ....NV-GS44EB pass through to transfer VHS from video recorder and to transfer from my PVR .....both saved on my laptop in DV AVI ...then converted to MPEG2 ..... DVD compliant...but I do not burn to DVD anymore just saved on to 2 hard drives as extra back ups to those on laptop....as said I view my movies on ANY tv through my western digital player by just plugging one of my hard drives into it... simple viewing.
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    Originally Posted by LOWTECH View Post
    I use my Pansonic camcorder ....NV-GS44EB pass through to transfer VHS from video recorder and to transfer from my PVR .....both saved on my laptop in DV AVI ...then converted to MPEG2 .....
    You mean capture to lossy and and then re-encode to lossy again?
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 09:55.
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    sanlyn....

    My captured AVI file is around 13gb per hour .... I then convert to MPEG2 down to 4-5gb per hour which is DVD compliant..... I do not understand about lossy... but if that is what I am doing... then the answer is yes......

    I been doing it for 10 years as stated and I am happy with the quality and results ... and I have converted over 100 vhs tapes in this way... and as said before I view my Files/movies on any TV from my portable hard drives via my Western Digitial Media Player about 75 UK Price... No DVD disks used anymore. unless there is a need to burn a disk in the future.... I can even use my WDMP to show movies stored on a SD card or Memory stick..... for presentations... etc..

    Well thats what I do and how I transfer VHS to my computer as and when needed.... ready for editing ....

    But we all do our own thing..... It works for me and the quality is exceptable in VHS transfering and simple to do....

    I now shoot nearly everything on SD cards now.... and thats even more easier........ on my Cannon SX160 IS at the moment.

    Hope this all helps someone ...Good luck.....
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    If you find the results acceptable, don't change anything.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 09:55.
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    I have an Asus Z77 chipset mobo, with an i7-3770K CPU, and 16 GB RAM, running Win7 Pro 64 bit.
    I am using an AVerMedia C027 PCIe HD Capture card which has Component RBG video and L-R Stereo input.
    I recently observed that the AverMedia software allows me to choose MPG2, AVI, or H.264 format for capture.
    I do not know which of these formats will provide me the highest quality end result.
    I had been using the default, mpg2 format.
    Also, I have no idea how to utilize third party video capture software with this hardware.
    All recommendations welcome.
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    I believe AmarecTV works with this, give it a try.
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    When I attempt to capture my home movies on VHS it starts the capture then stops after a couple of minutes with a message that the movie is copy righted I have put tape over the tab but keep getting the same message I am getting a little frustrated thnaks
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  25. Originally Posted by Footscray View Post
    When I attempt to capture my home movies on VHS it starts the capture then stops after a couple of minutes with a message that the movie is copy righted I have put tape over the tab but keep getting the same message I am getting a little frustrated thnaks
    You're getting false Macrovision detection by your capture device. You need to get a capture device that doesn't respond to Macrovision, a "video stabilizer" like the Grex boxes, or a full frame TBC (that doesn't respond to Macrovision).
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    If I connect my vhs and laptop to the tv will this allow me to copy vhs to file?
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    Oh so sad when you don't know what you are doing it seemed so simple to start with then down hill all the way, may take to video place and get them converted thanks for you help.
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