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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    United States
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    I fear my situation is too generic , too vanilla , for this forum but here goes;
    At this late stage in my life I have become the family repository for hundreds of old VHS tapes and a couple dozen DV tapes created (some of them many years ago) by family members.

    I am being tasked with Cleaning, Restoring, Editing, Rendering (whatever that is), and then putting the finished product onto DVD, BluRay, flash memory drive, etc. I know I am being expected to work miracles, so I hope to do the best job I can reasonably manage. Years ago I routinely helped family members clean up cracks, hisses, and pops from audio files.

    I recently learned of AviSynth but I do not believe I want to revert to DOS days of command line programming (HTML being the exception of course, insert laugh here).
    Will the new Adobe offering , Adobe Premiere Pro CC provide me with the tools I need? I am not afraid of digging in and learning how to apply the software.
    I have also just learned of HandBrake, which I believe may also be advantageous to learn.

    Any thoughts?

    My system is:
    Win 7 Pro 64 bit OS
    Asus Z97 Pro socket 1150 mobo
    i7-4790K CPU
    32GB DDR3 RAM
    EVGA GTX-970 SC 4GB GDDR5 graphics
    AVerMedia C027 PCIe HD A/V Capture Device
    Samsung VR357 DVD & VHS Recorder
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  2. It depends what nees to be done exactly .

    Premiere Pro CC is a great tool for editing. Not so good for restoration things like VHS tapes (you can still use it to do the editing part, and some color manipulation) . Avisynth has many tools for restoration, but it's not so great at non linear edits (you can edit, but it's painfully slow compared to a real editor like Premiere) . Basically there are a bunch of tools, and some are better or more specialized for some tasks

    Did you want to do this yourself ? There is a bit of a learning curve for any tool, any approach. Thus a significant time investment. The other option is to send it off to some place and have some service do it.

    Quality starts at the beginning. If your capture setup isn't optimal, it only goes downhill from there.
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  3. Member
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    United States
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    Thank you poisondeathray for your timely response.

    I am disappointed learn that Premiere Pro CC may not be the 'be-all to end-all' solution I was hoping it would be. (A lot of 'be's in that sentence)
    I am willing to invest the time to learn a new tool, but if I must learn a half dozen new tools, and they are script driven, will then.....

    Yes, I would love to turn this project over to a pro, but it is a Q of trust.
    I need a local (Tampa Fl area) pro who uses a lossless capture procedure, at a reasonable per tape rate.
    I want to see their operation for myself. I will hand deliver the tapes and required clean HDDs.
    I am not turning my family's precious memories over to a mail-order distant operation.

    I agree with you that a high quality starting point is absolutely necessary.

    Recommendations on a Tampa Fl area pro would be greatly appreciated.

    I am also over in the 8mm film forum ; same song and dance!
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  4. Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Northern California
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    Originally Posted by captmcnet View Post
    Any thoughts?
    Certainly you have all the hardware you need to capture and post process however it starts with a good player.

    That Samsung VR357, well if you ask my opinion, I'd donate it to the Salvation Army. If you insist to keep it never ever even think of capturing this to the built-in DVD.

    Premiere Pro is my favorite NLE however it really doesn't do much for restoration but of course it is a great tool to edit your raw material.

    Most important thing is being committed to quality!

    Here is a list of must do's:

    1. Use a good quality player
    Get a good VHS player, make sure you have clean heads. Also most tapes would benefit from having a TBC installed.

    2. Caputure lossless and interlaced
    No buts and if's, capture lossless and interlaced!
    Disk space is dirt cheap!

    3. Archive the results
    Archive them right away. Best approach is make two sets of two different kind of media and make sure each set is not stored in the same house. Don't wait archiving after you 'improve' the captures. What at the time looked like 'a great enhancement' may turn out to be unresolvable butchering 10 years from now.

    4. Clean up, fixup, restore , process whatever you want
    Use common sense! Don't overdo it!

    For instance sharpening something that has say 240 lines of resolution shown on a 70 inch HD screen will not look good, I guarantee it, unless you want a cartoon look!

    5. Edit and render to whatever format you need
    Many options are here, I'd say the most common are burning it to DVD or converting it to H.264. Make sure that if you convert to H.264 you frame double and deinterlace the source. You do NOT want to throw away 50% of your video.

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  5. Originally Posted by captmcnet View Post
    I am willing to invest the time to learn a new tool, but if I must learn a half dozen new tools, and they are script driven, will then.....
    It depends on what needs to be done. Specifically. "Cleaning and Restoring" is much too broad and vague topic.

    But for generic cleanup, you can use something like neat video. It's GUI based. There are plugins available for PP, AE, vdub etc...

    But sometimes there are specific manipulations that need to be done, that cannot be done by neat video alone.


    You should also outline your capture methodology and equipment to see if any improvements can be made on that end

    It also depends on YOUR specific expectations. Some people are fine with some generic cleanup. Others obsess over every little detail
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  6. I restore media for a living. My best advice to you:

    Forget about doing any restoration!

    Why?

    Because the objective is to both preserve the old analog media, and then distribute copies. If you don't get them all transferred, you won't achieve either objective.

    I've been approached by dozens of people over the years, asking this same question, and while I originally gave them instructions on how to do the "ultimate" transfer and restoration job, I eventually changed my advice to tell them how to do the job with a fraction of the effort. Of those who attempted to transfer and then restore their tapes, none finished. Of those who followed my simpler advice, quite a few did manage to make it to the end.

    What is the simpler advice?

    Get a "VHS video to DVD transfer system" and use that.

    Just put a tape in one side, and a blank disc in the other, push a button, and come back when it's time to do the next tape.


    Of course if you really want to do the full-on restoration, then this is what you need to do.

    1. Get a VHS deck that has a "real" built-in time base corrector. If you don't get this, you are wasting your time with the rest of your work. There are dozens of threads in this forum and over at doom9.org that cover this, so I'll leave it up to you to read those threads.

    2. Use the pass-through on a DV camcorder, or use one of the various standalone DV digitizers to get the analog video into digital form. You can also use a capture card in a computer, but I find them to be way too fussy and prone to problems to make the slight incremental improvement (maybe) in quality worth all the additional hassle. Using this DV hardware, you will have a DV file for each tape. DV video consumes 13 GB/hour.

    3. Edit the DV video in your favorite video editing program. I use Sony Vegas Pro. Do all your color correction and gamma correction in that program.

    4. Frameserve from that program into an AVISynth script that does the noise reduction and other fixup that your video might require. I have published many, many VHS cleanup scripts over at doom9.org. Save the results using a DV codec. You will have virtually no visual quality loss rendering from DV to DV.

    5. Put the resulting DV file back into your video program and render a DVD-compliant MPEG-2 file and audio AC-3 file. For best results, keep the length of your video to under 90 minutes, and for anything over 80 minutes, use two-pass encoding. Use single-layer DVDs because they have the best chance of lasting a really long time, and playing on the widest range of players. I use Taiyo-Yuden (now called JVC) premium inkjet printable discs that I purchase at Meritline.

    6. Take the MPEG-2 and AC-3 files and put them in your DVD authoring program. Create menus, chapter stops, etc. Prepare your DVD.

    7. Take the prepared DVD files and put them into Nero or ImgBurn (or burning program of your choice) and burn your DVD

    8. Create artwork for the DVD, and use a printer that prints directly on DVDs (do NOT print paper labels). Print on the DVD, put in a jewel case, and you're done.

    BTW, there is a whole separate workflow for fixing up the audio. If your tapes are pre-1990, they have linear track audio, which is about the same quality as AM radio, and is usually dull, full of hiss, and in big need of help. I use iZotope RX4 (it's a $1,000 program, if you get everything), and it can make an unbelievable difference. Here is a short clip of something I did earlier today for a sports film collector of a 1965 CFL game, recorded on a Kinescope and then transferred to videotape. Play the before and then the after. VHS tape linear tracks have very similar issues:

    Noise Reduction Example (213 kB)

    Or, follow my initial advice ...
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 7th Feb 2015 at 19:39. Reason: added "earlier today"
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  7. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    United Kingdom
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    Hundreds of 3 hour VHS tapes of home movies?

    Ouch.

    Assuming you have a machine that won't damage the tapes, the first task could be to find the parts that someone might actually want to watch again. You don't need to worry about the things that no one will ever want to watch again.

    Cheers,
    David.
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