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  1. This will be similar to an old post of mine, but with some hardware changes...

    COMPUTER

    AMD Phenom x4 9750 Quad Core Processor
    750 GB HDD
    ATI Radeon HD 6670
    Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP2
    8 GB Ram
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CAPTURE GEAR

    VCR = Panasonic AG-1970 (s-video cable)
    (this has a TBC feature switch on the Panasonic VCR)

    Capture Device = Canopus 110 (Firewire cable)

    Capture Software = VirtualDub ....also have Windv
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    I'm trying to convert VHS tapes to digital and onto my PC

    All the VHS tapes are old and recorded in SP...which I think is 'slow play' or 'standard play'

    I have uploaded a family video on youtube that I'd like someone to please view and let
    me know if the capture is as good as it will get...or if some tweaking to my hardware
    /software can produce better results...

    http://youtu.be/bGJFUb7QmbY

    Here was the process to produce the video and upload to Youtube...

    Panasonic AG-1970--->Through S-Video cable--->Canopus 110--->Firewire Cable--->Computer/Windv software capture.....then edited (shortened) in Powerdirector 10 and exported as mpg4 to reduce the file size...then uploaded to Youtube


    Panasonic AG-1970, with TBC on, Sharpness slider on Panasonic set to about 75%...here's a pic of settings...


    Click image for larger version

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    Issues about the video

    I noticed that the video sometimes has a Green slash/blip that shows up during the capture but
    does not show up when you view the video directly from VCR to TV via Coax cable.

    Video was take by hand held camera...but can any of the Shakiness be take out/reduced in the final capture


    So...Based on my equipment and what can be viewed in the youtube video and my Panasonic AG-1970 settings...can anyone tell me if I could do anything different to get some better capture...or is this as
    good as it gets?

    Please let me know if more information is needed or if my youtube video isn't displaying....thanks
    "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

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    Originally Posted by bthomas View Post
    I noticed that the video sometimes has a Green slash/blip that shows up during the capture but
    does not show up when you view the video directly from VCR to TV via Coax cable.
    Looking at your YouTube video it seems the green flash shows up exactly at the scene change, where at the time of recording the camera operator pushed stop or pause causing an interruption in the signal on the tape. So does this green flash only show up at such scene changes?


    Originally Posted by bthomas View Post
    Video was take by hand held camera...but can any of the Shakiness be take out/reduced in the final capture
    Deshaker


    Originally Posted by bthomas View Post
    can anyone tell me if I could do anything different to get some better capture...or is this as
    good as it gets?
    Personally I would prefer to have the AG-1970 in Edit mode. Set the slider on the very left to "EDIT ON".
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  3. Thanks about the Deshaker plugin for Virtualdub, I just ran it through a few settings and it just makes everything steady...almost like it the video was on a tripod and not in somebodies hands....almost.

    Found a useful youtube video that got me started with understanding Deshaker...

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIo_AuYRVj0

    ...there are guide instructions for Deshaker on the web...

    http://www.guthspot.se/video/deshaker.htm

    ...but the video just made things more clear for me to follow/understand.
    "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

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    Top VCR
    TBC
    Good capture
    Encoded lossless: ?
    Properly deinterlaced:
    Uploaded at full resolution:
    Average and Max bitrates used: ?

    Why is the video not frame doubled during the deinterlacing process?
    You just threw away 50% of your source.

    If you want to image stabilize I would recommend you upscale the video first as image stabilization calculations will result in sub pixel offsets (especially for rotations).

    Last edited by newpball; 8th Mar 2015 at 11:48.
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  5. wow...can someone explain this.

    just had an amazing capture...not from my Panasonic AG-1970...but an old SEARS vcr

    Click image for larger version

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    here's both setups

    Panasonic AG-1970

    Panasonic AG-1970-->s-video cable (video)-->RCA, red+white cable (audio)-->Canopus 110-->Firewire-->computer/Windv


    SEARS VCR ez-2programme, HI-FI vhs 30609, SQPB, pro-cision 19u head/auto head cleaner, 4 head HQ, VCR Plus+

    Sears vcr-->RCA cables (audio+video)-->Canopus 110-->Firewire-->Computer/WinDV

    RESULTS

    panasonic AG-1970

    final video had tracking issues all over top and bottom of video...

    if TBC was on there was a verticall skipping of the video

    sound was like somone screaming into an electronic device, then playing it back...it's all
    scratchy and hard to hear


    SEARS vcr

    amazing, it was as close to watching the vhs tape being played from vcr through coax and into
    the tv as I have seen, sofar, from a capture

    Video was clear, NO tracking lines, NO vertical skipping issues (well maybe one or two)

    sound was clear, super crazy clear compared to the Panasonic ag-1970...and both used the
    red and white rca cables??? what's going on there???


    VHS tape = TKD, T120 EHG, AGBJ802, Extra High Grade, Super Avilyn Technology Plus

    so my question(s) is...Why would this Sears vcr be better for my capture setup than the
    Panasonic AG-1970??? Is it just it's auto picture/correct feature???

    So far I have no sound/sync issues....can I expect voices to be out of sync in the future if
    I keep using the old SEARS vcr...???

    Is TBC just alot of hype???
    "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

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    wow...can someone explain this.
    I was watching this thread and wondering why is it that you liked the output from the AG-1970 so much. I have one and it's an absolutely horrible machine - not horrible, let me re-iterate - HORRIBLE.

    I have two "ordinary" VCRs, a Panasonic 4520 and a Panasonic 4521, as well as a third one, a Memorex 4046A when I feel like it, and these blow away these IMO over-rated so-called "professional" and "high end" decks, like the 1970, and including my two Panasonc AG-1980s that are either dead or collecting dust, and the JVC SR-V101US which blurs and over-processes most tapes, and the Mitsubishi I had and no longer have...

    These "high end" machines use a technology, processing and D/N/R that is now more than 10-20 years old and suited for the analog age, and have edit features that are useless today with modern computers. As well, the "TBC"s on these machines are either 99% useless or do (much) more harm than good. They create more jitter or output wrong field order, and make a mess of the video. Yes, these internal onboard TBCs ARE alot of hype IMO.

    That is, if these machines are not overly aged and defective and virtually un-repairable as of this post. That's another horror story worse still.

    So, IMO, don't be surprised that your Sears machine is doing better. I see it's a 4-head, HiFi deck, very similar to my "ordinary" VCRs. As well, it's a black and simple unit (not silver or a DvD-combo unit).

    I say you're doing well. If you use a stand-alone DVR pass-through TBC, and a bit of post-processing on a PC, you will do even better still.

    (I prefer to use lossless video for captures myself.)
    Last edited by PuzZLeR; 13th Mar 2015 at 19:17.
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  7. Thanks for the feedback...glad to hear i'm not crazy.

    I was watching this thread and wondering why is it that you liked the output from the
    AG-1970 so much.
    I bought the Panasonic AG-1970 when I was first begining my capturing education.

    Lots of People would recommend some kind of TBC vcr...and the Panasonic AG-1970 was
    one of the names that came up in lists of recommended vcrs...So I went on Ebay and
    picked one up for about $140.00...but about $200.00 after all the shipping fees were
    added.

    If you use a stand-alone DVR pass-through TBC, and a bit of post-processing on a PC, you will do even better still.
    is the Stand-alone TBC just an 'incase things go bad kinda-thing' or would I actually notice
    something better, visually, about my already decent capture...

    So far the Audio and Video seem to be in sync...and the odd random skip I see is something
    I could live with...

    I'm just amazed that using the Sears vcr made the tracking lines vanish, the first few capture attempts I made with the Panasonic AG-1970 were a mess of tracking lines.

    Thanks again for the reply...also....

    Does anyone have any thoughts about the Audio being bad with the Panasonic AG-1970...both the Panasonic and the SEARS vcr were running the Red+White RCA cables.
    "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

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  8. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bthomas View Post
    Thanks for the feedback...glad to hear i'm not crazy.
    I bought one of my ordinary decks, a Panasonic 4521, rather as a whim and because a local seller was selling them new, thinking that it would be just a rewind-forward machine. (Even though it was new, it still needed cleaning.)

    I did hear that a good deck to buy is a clean, black, no-combo, 4 head, HiFi deck from a good brand like Toshiba, Panasonic, Sharp, etc, but I was still floored at how much better the quality was than the professional decks. I had to test several tapes and squint real hard to finally agree, and compare with tools like VirtualDub and Avisynth, that I had better quality with these ordinary decks.

    After messing around with my high end decks for a couple of years, and their quirks and breakdowns, I was so glad to have a deck that works very well and produces awesome sharp quality. Then I bought another similar model, the 4520, as a backup on eBay.

    The captures from these ordinary decks do need some cleanup though, for any cross talk from composite, and noise removal and fixes for chroma dancing, but it's real easy work. I also capture multiple times, and use median methods to remove many tape flaws and random snow noise. The quality is very good afterward.

    This is something someone should be doing anyway with any deck's capture output.

    Originally Posted by bthomas View Post
    I bought the Panasonic AG-1970 when I was first begining my capturing education.

    Lots of People would recommend some kind of TBC vcr...and the Panasonic AG-1970 was
    one of the names that came up in lists of recommended vcrs...So I went on Ebay and
    picked one up for about $140.00...but about $200.00 after all the shipping fees were
    added.
    I bought my 1970 on eBay with similar advice. And yes, the S&H was a killer since it weighs as much as a small tank (that, and the two 1980s also).

    Honestly, I don't know if mine is defected, but the picture is absolutely horrible - all blurry, smudged and scratchy, etc. Unlike the obvious defects of my two 1980s (one is dead now), the colors on the 1970 are fine, the tracking is Ok, so I don't think it's defected. I just think it's a horrible machine. I'm not buying another to see if it's going to be any better.

    The 1980 would have been good had it not been so problematic with its internal electronics all messed up. I think you'll be hard-pressed to find a 1980 that would work like new today, or fully restored.

    One benefit from an internal TBC would be in bringing out a bit of detail in dark backgrounds, but the disadvantages would be too many. A proc amp can help here though.

    Originally Posted by bthomas View Post
    is the Stand-alone TBC just an 'incase things go bad kinda-thing' or would I actually notice
    something better, visually, about my already decent capture...

    So far the Audio and Video seem to be in sync
    A TBC in the chain helps clean the video signal, not adjust A/V sync. I personally use a Panasonic ES15 in passthrough, which does wonders, like prevent tearing and reduce line jitter.

    Originally Posted by bthomas View Post
    Does anyone have any thoughts about the Audio being bad with the Panasonic AG-1970...both the Panasonic and the SEARS vcr were running the Red+White RCA cables.
    The audio wasn't great on the 1970 here too. Try the HiFi switch though. It's likely not the cables.

    Use Audacity to capture the audio separately if you like audio from another VCR better. Then you can always use VirtualDub to sync mux the A/V streams after.
    Last edited by PuzZLeR; 14th Mar 2015 at 10:25. Reason: Grammar...
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    What's missing from this discussion of VCR models is condition. Videotape players are mechanically and electronically complex. These machines are old and the popular models, particularly, have seen a lot of use. You can't judge the performance of a VCR unless you know that it's clean, lubricated, repaired and aligned. I would certainly take a Sears in good condition any day over a neglected AG-1970 that's changed hands a dozen times. Moreover, the marriage of machine and recording is idiosyncratic; some tapes just don't play well in the "star" models.
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    Agreed. There's little wrong about an AG-1970 in good condition. The AG-1980 is a bit better and heftier, but the 1970 is not a bad machine if maintained. People buy burned-out models of anything and everything off eBay vendors who sell used dinnerware and trailer hitches on the side and know nothing about VCR's. If you want one of the big boys get it back into good condition, or get one that's already been rebuilt by a pro shop that knows what they're doing. TGrantPhoto is one that's often recommended. They usually have rebuilt pro and semi-pro machines on sale and offer reconditioning services.

    Let's be sensible, people. You want one of the prime machines, either buy it in-box like new (for about $1700) or spend some $$ and get one fixed. Some pro shops will update a 1970 or 1980 for around $200 to $275, or they'll take one in trade for one that's rebuilt. Don't even think about buying one of these guys on eBay unless you're willing to pay a qualified pro to fix it up.
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  11. Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Let's be sensible, people. <snip> Don't even think about buying one of these guys on eBay unless you're willing to pay a qualified pro to fix it up.
    I buy ALL of our vintage VHS and camcorder transfer gear from ebay with near 100% success. I'm talking many dozen's of purchases over the last 5 years.

    Experience is the best teacher... let me share my "tricks" with you!

    #1 - Look for home sellers that have been on ebay for awhile and have a low, but perfect feedback percentage. You want devices owned by the original buyer.

    #2 - Make sure the comments in the description section are of a personal nature and not just pasted specs from a manufacturer page.

    #3 - Look for comments about low usage, like "We've had this in our bedroom and barely used it" or similar comments.

    #4 - Ideally the seller should offer a refund... but if not be SURE the description says that it is in good working order. If the item is described as working and it turns out not true, you are covered by Ebay's return policy and will get an easy refund.

    #5 - Stay away from auctions with "As Is" in the decription unless you want it for parts or want to fix something yourself and use or resell.

    #6 - The auction needs to have clear pictures.. you can't judge general quality by fuzzy pics.

    #7 - VCRs should have no noticable scuff marks on the case, no nicks or dings on any edges and no rub marks on the front flap. Look at the electric cord if it's pictured... the more a device is used and abused and moved around from here to there, the more the cord will lose the original, crisp bends.

    You can simply save an Ebay search, like "Panasonic AG-1970" for example. The results are then emailed to you daily so you can review each auction.

    It should not be long until you find auctions that satisfy all the above variables and odds are OVERWHELMINGLY strong in your favor that you'll be happy with your purchase
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  12. Originally Posted by JVRaines View Post
    ... the marriage of machine and recording is idiosyncratic; some tapes just don't play well in the "star" models.
    Angels came out singing when I read this... nothing can be more true!

    Each of the transfer stations in my business has 5 VCR's... 4 "star" models and one modern model. The star models are good most of the time and on occassion the generic outputs the highest quality of the bunch!

    We're in the process of shuffling the mix at each station... I want to end up with one JVC HR9000 series, one Panasonic AG-1970 or 1980, two JVC SR-V101US and one modern 4 head hifi deck. That should cover most tapes thrown at it!

    VCR Buying Guide.. the best that ever was and ever will be... https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/286055-VCR-buying-guide-%28S-VHS-D-VHS-Professional%29

    I have a couple TBC-1000's getting flaky with darkening and flashing after 4-5 years of continuous use, where tapping the side temporarliy fixes it <yikes>, so I'm going to try the Panasonic ES10 DVD recorder with pass-through and see how that test goes.

    Oh and here's my transfer tip-of-the-day... don't forget to fast forward and then rewind every tape before transfer! This retensioning solves playback issues.
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  13. don't forget to fast forward and then rewind every tape before transfer! This retensioning solves playback issues.
    I literally just learned this about 4 hours ago...

    I was watching the tape before I began capturing...wanted to rewind and watch something over again...and that's when I noticed that the tape cleared up.

    Out of curiosity, if anyone knows, I'll try to describe the messy tape before I rewound it...

    The tape seemed to temporarily fast forward...or at least the effect was like that... with all of these weird squiggly horizontal lines...and the audio was like hearing the chipmunks talking.

    is that anything OTHER than a re-tensioning issue?
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  14. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    I am not one of low income, and as an enthusiast could spend $2000 on a fully working Panasonic AG-1980, or even on a good 1970 if you say it's as good as it is and mine is really only a bummer.

    However as of today I won't, or won't recommend any of these units, at least not with any good conscience, and can go on and on (and on, and on, etc) about their breakdowns, unreliable repairs and useless/problematic features (edit, TBC, NR, etc), the headaches, added costs, etc. that many will side with me on as well.

    But the main reason is that you don't need a "star model". All you need is a unit that has sharp detail and tracks well. The rest is easy.

    And with solid and reliable line-TBCs available in frequent and inexpensive supply (such as those ES units) any other "shortcomings" from an ordinary VCR, can be easily overcome with software techniques, such as multiple captures and median methods to remove random tape flaws, noise removal, color correction, etc. - many such methods that captures from professional models wouldn't be exempt from regardless.

    A good clean 4-head, stand-alone, HiFi (preferebly black for some reason) VCR from a good brand is more than capable of producing a well-tracked, steady picture with sharp color and detail. You may as well get a second in the mix since they are so inexpensive and easy to find, even today.

    And capturing from composite is so much better with VHS if you know what you're doing - and if there's any crosstalk/dot crawl, etc., when it comes to lower-resolution and color formats with VHS captures, it's easly removed at the software level.

    It's not just the (immense) costs you save, but the peace of mind you achieve, which I value more than money.

    But the best thing is, I also like the final result quality much better from an ordinary good unit.
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  15. O.K...little update on this crazy adventure call "video capture"

    Maybe I was a little quick to judge my Panasonic AG-1970

    I just had a video capture, with SEARS VCR, that was not as good as I would like it to be...there were some tracking lines/blurs creeping up from the bottom of the video...they would maybe cover 1/5th the screen for a few seconds then fade away down and out of the screen when the SEARS VCR would correct them...but it was an off and on thing...

    So I got curious and put the VHS tape into the Panasonic AG-1970 just to see what would happen...GREAT capture...audio great and video has not tracking issues...it's like both VCR's will give me great captures...but not with every VHS tape.

    Captures that came out great...

    Panasonic AG-1970 (settings)

    Click image for larger version

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    VHS Tape = Kodak, T-120 HG (no cover box = no other data to give...purchases in mid 1990's)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SEARS VCR ez-2programme, HI-FI vhs 30609, SQPB, pro-cision 19u head/auto head cleaner, 4 head HQ, VCR Plus+

    VHS tape = TKD, T120 EHG, AGBJ802, Extra High Grade, Super Avilyn Technology Plus
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Also to note the Panasonic AG-1970 detected the tapes recording speed (if speed is what I mean)

    Kodak = SLP (extended play was marked on tape and there is about 6 hours-ish of tape to view)

    TDK = SP (and only about 2 hours of tape to view)

    I do appreciate the advice...hope this post didn't ruin anyone's day...I was honestly thinking that my Panasonic AG-1970 was a waste of money until it goes and does a capture better than the SEARS VCR...yet depending on the VHS Tape being used the results vary. Should also add that the Quality/Condition of the tape may be a factor as well...they are old tapes.
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    Very easy problem to fix if you like the Sears quality better. I do this for the odd tape that doesn't track as well on my ordinary machines when I really like the output.

    Capture the tape as normal with the Sears, with the tracking fuzz at the bottom. (Let's call it "Upper.avi".)

    Capture the tape again with the Sears, this time set the tracking to clear the bottom fifth, even though the top will be all distorted. (Call it "Lower.avi"). Don't change any settings on color or sharpness with anything.

    Then use a script to keep the top of one, and the bottom of the other.

    Code:
    Upper=AviSource("Upper.avi")
    Lower=AviSource("Lower.avi")
    StackVertical(Upper.Crop(0,0,0,-96),Lower.crop(0,384,0,0))
    This will take the top 80% of the normal capture - the good pixels, and replace the botton fifth with the pixels from your other capture where you adjusted the tracking for the bottom.

    This assumes you are capturing in NTSC at 480. If you are in PAL, and capturing to 576, then replace 96 with 112, and 384 with 464. Notice I used muliples of 16 when cropping horizontal - this is to make sure you don't wreck the interlacing.

    Use the Trim() command to make sure the streams start in the same frame, and make sure there are no dropped frames. (I can get into detail on this correction too if you like.)
    Last edited by PuzZLeR; 17th Mar 2015 at 07:38.
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    My point is still that you don't need a star machine as long as the picture is sharp AND it tracks well, and you use a line-TBC like an ES machine.

    And you have to be adept at some post processing to correct anything else.

    But even so, a tracking problem can STILL be fixed as such. And this tracking problem can be on reverse too, where you'll find a tape tracking better on your Sears than on your 1970.

    Even my Panasonic 4520 and 4521 will play that odd tape differently. Much depends on the tape brand, the machine that originally recorded it, the speed (and maybe even the weather of that day ).

    This is why I mentioned you should get a second unit in the mix. And this is what I meant when I liked the video output from one, and the audio from another unit and to sync/mux with VirtualDub, or even an editor.

    That's the way the tape rolls - VHS is very chaotic.

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    Originally Posted by bthomas View Post
    Originally Posted by JVRaines
    don't forget to fast forward and then rewind every tape before transfer! This retensioning solves playback issues.
    I literally just learned this about 4 hours ago...
    Yes indeed. Just thought of this now too as an aside. This too has solved some tracking issues as well, and I will too recommend that you rewind and forward every tape fresh before every capture.

    It may not solve the O/P's bottom-fifth tracking issue, but definitely does wonders if the tape has "tracking error bursts", or tape flaws from tape drift or tape stick (such as a frame with a random flash of static). Multiple captures and median methods in post-processing correct alot of such flaws too.
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  19. Thanks for the reply

    I have yet to get any grasp on serious editing...esp when it comes to scripts...do I assume that those scripts are to be used with avisynth that I read so much about?

    I might be relying on the hardware to much for my final/finished capture. Your script technique for splitting two sources and merging the good parts sounds very useful. I'll need to start looking into editing more.

    You mentioned mux/demux-ing audio from one source to another...is that a virtualdub option or are there better programs for mux/demux-ing?

    I think my Panasonic AG-1970 was giving me louder audio than the SEARS vcr for the same capture. Which is strange since previously my Panasonic AG-1970 gave me the most horrible distorted sound from a previous capture.

    I'll take any and all software options advice for editing...at the moment I'm just working with these programs...(I know they are not all related to capturing...just listing the software I've used since starting this captur stuff)

    WinDV
    DVio
    Virtualdub (32bit and 64bit...two computers running Vista)
    Handbrake
    MakeMKV
    ImgBurn
    DVD Shrink
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  20. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bthomas View Post
    Thanks for the reply

    I have yet to get any grasp on serious editing...esp when it comes to scripts...do I assume that those scripts are to be used with avisynth that I read so much about?

    I might be relying on the hardware to much for my final/finished capture. Your script technique for splitting two sources and merging the good parts sounds very useful. I'll need to start looking into editing more.
    Yes indeed. Editing is important, but so is processing with Avisynth, which cures lots. It's worth learning. You don't have to be an expert at it, but even if you can get only a few simple, but useful, scripts running it will make a huge difference in your results.

    There are many guides on it, but just for starters, download AviSynth 2.6 and install it. Then open up Notepad and a text file, enter the source file name properly ex: AviSource("C:\source_file.avi"), copy the script into the text file, save it, then change the extension .txt to .avs, then load it into VirtualDub. Select Video -> Compression and the codec of your choice, then Video -> Fast recompress to avoid color space changes (if you're not using any VirutalDub filters). Hit F7 and let it encode it for you.

    Any plugins or filters you download are to be put in the "plugins" directory in the installation directory. (The one I used, StackVertical() is native to Avisynth, among others.)

    Try a few small AVI files for starters. At the beginning, just get a script working, regardless of the results.

    Originally Posted by bthomas
    You mentioned mux/demux-ing audio from one source to another...is that a virtualdub option or are there better programs for mux/demux-ing?
    VirtualDub is the best in my opinion for simple AVI edits, including taking a video source of one and adding an audio stream of another ("muxing" is short for "multiplexing"), and then syncing them to match.

    Say you like the video of Cap1.avi and the audio of Cap2.avi.

    Fire up VirtualDub.
    Load Cap1, then Audio -> Audio from another file... -> load Cap2.avi
    Audio -> Interleaving -> Enable audio/video interleaving, Preload 500, Interleave audio every 1 frame (to make sure it works properly)
    Audio -> Interleaving -> play around with the ms, whether negative or positive to get the audio in sync. This is trial and error and will be very easy with a bit of practice.
    Trim any loose ends with the slider.
    When done, make sure you have Video -> Direct stream copy to make sure you don't re-encode the video and lose quality and encoding time.
    File -> Save as AVI... (to create your new file)

    Originally Posted by bthomas
    I think my Panasonic AG-1970 was giving me louder audio than the SEARS vcr for the same capture. Which is strange since previously my Panasonic AG-1970 gave me the most horrible distorted sound from a previous capture.
    From different tapes? Or was it a setting on your AG-1970. Sometimes having the HiFi switch in the wrong choice gives off bad reverb. If so, try the other choice of Off or On.

    Originally Posted by bthomas
    I'll take any and all software options advice for editing...
    Your hardware can't do it alone. VHS can be horrible quality, even after a successful capture, especially from ordinary VCRs, and needs to be treated.

    Friends, family and clients have been very impressed with stuff I've done for them. Please don't tell them that alot of what I gave them was actually processed stuff from restored garbage.

    Originally Posted by bthomas
    at the moment I'm just working with these programs...(I know they are not all related to capturing...just listing the software I've used since starting this captur stuff)

    WinDV
    DVio
    Virtualdub (32bit and 64bit...two computers running Vista)
    Handbrake
    MakeMKV
    ImgBurn
    DVD Shrink
    WinDV, DVio, VirtualDub are for Acquisition.
    AviSynth, VirtualDub(again) and any editor are for Edits/Processing.
    HandBrake, MakeMKV, ImgBurn, DvD Shrink are for Delivery. (But keep your edited and processed source aside.)

    Focus in that order. Unless you need a DvD quick, just focus on Acquisition until you're done capturing.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  21. So, attempting to use avisynth I've come to some issues...
    ----------------------------------------------

    PROGRAMS BEING USED

    AviSynth 2.6 = installed

    VirtualDub 64bit (Veedub64.exe)

    Text Document (file extension changed to .avs)

    is avisynth a case sensitive program (captial letters and lower case letters???)
    ----------------------------------------------

    THIS IS MY TEXT DOCUMENT

    AviSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\50 Anniversary\50 anniversary_grandpaLOUDER_02.avi")

    In virtualdub I go...File-->Open video file-->grandpa.avs...then I get this error message...AVI Import Filter error: (Unkown) (80040154)

    I've also tried...File-->Run script...and I get another error message...but I don't even get to see my .avs files unless I change a setting from detecting "all scripts" to "all files"
    ----------------------------------------------

    I've even changed the text file to...

    DirectShowSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\50 Anniversary\50 anniversary_grandpaLOUDER_02.avi")

    exact same error message if I try to open this grandp.avs file in virtualdub
    ----------------------------------------------

    just outta the gate and I've already done a face plant.

    This is a Gspot capture of the video file being used

    Click image for larger version

Name:	grandpaG.jpg
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ID:	30805

    UPDATE sound issues

    My Panasonic AG-1970 was giving me distored sound with one of my VHS tapes...I was told to switch a setting on my Panasonic AG-1970 from "HiFi/normal mix = ON" to "HiFi/normal mix = OFF"...so I did that (off)...recaptures the VHS tape...but the audio was still distored...hitting the on/off switch did not seem to make that particular VHS tape capture any better.

    ...and that's ok since my SEARS vcr did a great job of capturing the video and audio...just ran that little test to see if the results would change with that Panasonic AG-1970...they didn't.
    "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

    -Eleanor Roosevelt
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  22. O.K just found this article

    Why Avisynth can't be used with 64-bit VirtualDub

    One problem with attempting to port software from 32-bit Windows to 64-bit Windows is that 64-bit processes cannot load 32-bit DLLs, even on the AMD64 (x64) platform. This is a major annoyance because it means that 32-bit video codecs, audio codecs, filters, and file format drivers cannot be loaded into 64-bit VirtualDub. Unfortunately, because Avisynth is a 32-bit DLL, it cannot be loaded either, and thus Avisynth scripts cannot be used.

    http://www.virtualdub.org/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=42
    I then downloaded a 32 bit version of VirtualDub
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I then tried to reload the .avs file (in text as "avisource")into my virtualdub 32 bit....and got another error message...

    AviSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\50 Anniversary\50 anniversary_grandpaLOUDER_02.avi")

    I then tried to change the file to the DirectShowSource name...and the file loaded with a preview in virtualdub 32bit

    DirectShowSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\50 Anniversary\50 anniversary_grandpaLOUDER_02.avi")
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    are these ok things I'm doing...? Should I be using "avisource" and not "directshowsource"...? Or do I need to be installing some new codecs or something???
    "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

    -Eleanor Roosevelt
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  23. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Hi again.

    Let me make sure I understand - did you see an image of your video into VirtualDub, or do you see some graphic displaying an error message? Let us know. If you see the video image, we're on our way, and it's "Hello World" time.

    Also, you don't have to load the script through the "File" menu - you can just drag and drop it into VirtualDub since it's easier.

    Some notes on your comments:

    The difference between AviSource() and DirectShowSource() has lots to do with what decodes on your system, and what codecs you have installed, VFW, and/or what is decompressing the DV codec you're using/installed, etc. In your case, for now, either one that works should be fine.

    Use VirtualDub 32 bit - you will have less headaches this way, at least for 2015. I still do, even on my 64 bit machines.

    No, AviSynth is not case-sensitive. The statements should work fine in any case, ex: AviSource() or avisource() would be equivalent with the AviSynth compiler. Keep in mind, it will also ignore anything after the # for the rest of the line (since they're assigned for comments/remarks).

    About the sound issues - again, some VCRs play sound better than others and it could be tape for tape. Some VCRs (particularly my JVC professional machine) will always suck, and others, will be consistent. If you like the audio of one, and the video of another, just capture both and mux/sync.

    Capturing audio is simple work, and muxing later is rather quick so don't let it drive you to headaches.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  24. Originally Posted by bthomas View Post
    AviSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\50 Anniversary\50 anniversary_grandpaLOUDER_02.avi")
    In virtualdub I go...File-->Open video file-->grandpa.avs...then I get this error message...AVI Import Filter error: (Unkown) (80040154)
    Until you get your feet wet, start simple... remove any spaces from filenames and simply put your file in the root.

    C:\file_01.avi

    Looks like you got something to load with the directshowsource, so ignore this if not relevant.
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  25. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    That's why I used the "Hello World" expression. (Programmers would know this one.)
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  26. I've managed to get some avisynth scripts working

    The StackVertical is nice and I've used the code you've given me to merge two different halves of identical captures...by moving the tracking lines around to get one capture with a clear bottom and a second capture with a clear top...

    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    Upper=AviSource("Upper.avi")
    Lower=AviSource("Lower.avi")
    StackVertical(Upper.Crop(0,0,0,-96),Lower.crop(0,384,0,0))
    However...the results were not nearly what I have hoped for...

    Click image for larger version

Name:	D0001.jpg
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ID:	30813

    Moving the tracking lines around on the VCR also causes each video to have different a brightness levels.

    The bottom video/splice is much darker than the top video.

    Even when watching the video I have aligned them as best as I can using the "Trim()" command to get one of the videos to start at the same time as the other one...but it still does not seem to line up perfect...and adjusting the frame in the trim brackets up or down just one frame causes the video to noticeably be out of sync

    The above image is as best as I can get it...if you look at the mans bottom earlobe things don't seem to match.

    Viewing both video clips in MediaInfo says both clips are running at 29.970/fps...if it matters...both videos MediaInfo results are identical except for each videos overall Druation (7 seconds vs 5 seconds)

    This is my entire .avs file
    clip1 = DirectShowSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\Du an Visit\Edit_allClean.avi") ("clip1.avi")
    clip2 = DirectShowSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\Du an Visit\Edit_fuzzyTop.avi") ("clip2.avi")

    Stackvertical(clip1.Trim(50,0).crop(0,0,0,-330), clip2.Levels(0, 1.4, 255, 0, 255).crop(0,150,0,0))
    So...

    Is there a better way to get perfect video alignment?

    And, will tinkering with Level settings correct the brightness to match...ever, or just likely get it close enough?

    Are there different script/changes you/anyone could recommend for me.? Please and Thanks
    Last edited by bthomas; 20th Mar 2015 at 15:52. Reason: edited out a question that I just found out the answer to...how to quote people
    "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

    -Eleanor Roosevelt
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  27. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    First of all, nice going on getting the script running. That's a good start.

    Yes, to align them perfectly, so that both videos start at the same time, you find a common frame, do some arithmetic, and do indeed use the Trim() command to handle the difference. That's actually the advantage of using AviSynth - the script, a tiny file of text, represents an actual video file (instead of having to cut the actual real video files to align them).

    But, before I go further, do the streams line up at the beginning, but later in the video they don't?

    That's because, either or both:

    a) You have dropped, or maybe even duplicated, frames. Yes you do, and the missing or extra frames throw off sync - even if both top and bottom halves had the same brightness settings it would still look wrong if one stream is ahead of another by a frame or more.

    b) You've been using the internal TBC on one of machines, like your 1970, and it outputs wrong, or different, field orders each capture, and throws your whole workflow out the window. (I mentioned this problem, among the many, when using one of these machines' internal TBCs.)

    Let me know if it's dropped frames - this is the first concern and first thing that should be resolved. If so, I can give you more tips on handling this without recapturing, and even getting the top and bottom better matched. I personally use a proc amp and rarely see this problem, maybe faintly on a few extreme frames, less than half a percent of the video here and there, and you'd have to squint real hard.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  28. Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    First of all, nice going on getting the script running. That's a good start.
    You should write a guide PuzZLeR! It seems you have much knowledge in that brain ripe for the pickin
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  29. There's the ColourLike() filter that can match brightness/colors of clips. Or, if the difference between the clips is constant, you can adjust the colors with any of the AviSynth's adjustment tools: Tweak(), ColorYUV(), RGBAdjust(), etc. Or to get a less obvious transition from one to the other you can use Overlay() with an alpha mask rather than StackVertical(). For example:

    Click image for larger version

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    Since I didn't have two files I took a portion of your image, stretched it vertically, and created a dark video and a bright video. On the left is the result of Crop() and StackVertical(). On the right is the result of Overlay() with an alpha mask. The alpha mask:

    Click image for larger version

Name:	amask.png
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ID:	30818
    Last edited by jagabo; 21st Mar 2015 at 07:26.
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  30. Thanks for your tips on blending with that gradient/alpha mask.

    The video below uses the exact gradient/alpha mask that you uploaded...and the results were great...the only thing off I notice is that the lower colors seem more red-ish, were the video splice occurs, and the top half seems lighter...You can see this if you look at the man's lower cheek on his face VS his upper head.

    Video = http://youtu.be/j321av6fCpc (no sound)

    ...you can see the splicing effect tearing at the end of the video...it's ok, one video was just a second or two longer...the overall blend/feathering of the to videos is still pretty nice.

    LEFT= stackvertical(), crop()...splicing of two videos

    RIGHT = Layers(), alpha mask...(Black and White gradient)

    Click image for larger version

Name:	StackVertical_Overlay.jpg
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ID:	30862

    Here is the script I used to put the video clips together
    clip1 = DirectShowSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\Du an Visit\Edit_allClean.avi", audio=true, pixel_type="RGB32")("clip1.avi")
    clip2 = DirectShowSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\Du an Visit\Edit_fuzzyTop.avi", audio=true, pixel_type="RGB32")("clip2.avi")

    channel_mask = imagesource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\Duan Visit\amask.png", pixel_type="RGB32")

    final_mask = clip2.mask(channel_mask)

    right_panel = Layer(clip1.Trim(50,0), final_mask)
    left_panel = Stackvertical(clip1.Trim(50,0).crop(0,0,0,-330), clip2.Levels(0, 1.4, 255, 0, 255).crop(0,150,0,0))

    stackhorizontal(left_panel, right_panel)
    Alot of the,above, script in not necessary...the Horizontalstack...script was just to show the two videos side by side

    Simplified script below
    clip1 = DirectShowSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\Du an Visit\Edit_allClean.avi", audio=true, pixel_type="RGB32")("clip1.avi")
    clip2 = DirectShowSource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\Du an Visit\Edit_fuzzyTop.avi", audio=true, pixel_type="RGB32")("clip2.avi")

    channel_mask = imagesource("C:\Users\USER\Videos\Captures\Duan Visit\amask.png", pixel_type="RGB32")

    final_mask = clip2.mask(channel_mask)

    Layer(clip1.Trim(50,0), final_mask)
    The Trim(50,0) command was only there to shorten one of the videos so that it would sync up with the other video, some people may not need to use it.

    Also I had to put in pixel_type="RGB32" for my video sources and image sources.

    Layer (base_clip, overlay_clip, string "op", int "level", int "x", int "y", int "threshold", bool "use_chroma")

    This filter can overlay two clips of different sizes (but with the same color format) using different operation modes.
    For pixel-wise transparency information the 4th color channel of RGB32 (A- or alpha-channel) is used as a mask.

    http://avisynth.org.ru/docs/english/corefilters/layer.htm
    The Alpha Mask image was given to me as a .png which I think may also be important since some image formats don't carry transparency

    I don't know how true this is for a program like avisynth...since a few lines of code can change things on the fly...but I'm gonna say it anyways

    Raster file formats that support transparency include GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF, through either a transparent color or an alpha channel.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparency_%28graphic%29
    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    There's the ColourLike() filter that can match brightness/colors of clips.
    Any chance you can explain Colorlike() to me...example script would be nice...tried on my own but failed repeatedly.

    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    a) You have dropped, or maybe even duplicated, frames. Yes you do, and the missing or extra frames throw off sync - even if both top and bottom halves had the same brightness settings it would still look wrong if one stream is ahead of another by a frame or more.
    ...is there some software way of detecting Dropped Frames...or is it just having a good eye for it...all my captures using WinDV seem to say that there are no Dropped Frames...is WindDV even reliable when its capture window says Zero Dropped Frames.???

    Also, any other color change/effect scripts that may enhance/correct the video would be appreciated
    "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

    -Eleanor Roosevelt
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