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  1. Member
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    Mar 2016
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    Australia
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    Hi everyone,

    I am planning to capture about a dozen VHS-C cassettes while playing on the camera it was shot. (Panasonic NV-S800). I have a fast Windows 7 x64 PC with available PCI-E slot as well.
    I prefer lossless AVI capture, aim for good quality capture (not after the best) and will do some editing in adobe premiere. My hardware budget is around 80 and because I am in Australia my options for new and second hand models could be limited. Sometimes shipping rates are too expensive from overseas as well.

    1. Is capturing while playing on the camera could be as well as capturing from a mediocre second hand VCR using with a adapter. By the way, I do not have a VCR currently. I also read people having problems with the adapter.

    2. USB or PCI-E. I read some comments that newer USB devices are close to PCI-E cards which are harder to find nowadays. After reading about hundreds of posts I would like to narrow my options before deciding on one.
    Genuine ezcap or easycap
    Hauppauge Live USB 2
    Diamond VC500
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ATI-TV-Wonder-HD-750-USB-Diamond-Multimedia-HDTV-on-your-PC...IAAOSwzgRWzM~I
    Startech SVID2USB23

    or some PCI-E card that I could find easily.

    I am looking forward for opinions/other options. Thanks in advance
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Probably wrong here but I am not sure about internal cards with a PCI_E connection. Very few I would have thought - the Black Magic comes to mind but well beyond your budget. Maybe you confuse with the legacy PCI slot.

    But the problem with legacy cards is drivers for systems beyond XP. I have a Hauppauge card and that does not work after XP.

    So you have to content yourself with USB. The Live USB 2 comes well recommended here and the ezcap116 (but buy from an official source since that might have also been cloned by now)

    A bit concerned about that ATI you linked to. It appears to be a tv card rather than a capture device and for US systems. Someone may correct me on that as well.
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  3. Member
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    Thanks for the reply. After reading a lot comments and checking availability I have narrowed it to

    Hauppauge USB Live 2
    EZcap 116

    I have seen comments that there is not much difference between their capture quality. Is that so? Most probably, I will be using virtualdub for capture.

    And is ezcap.tv only source for genuine models? Does anyone know a genuine ebay seller?
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  4. Member
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    Would it be acceptable for you to have the raw material converted into DV-AVI? In that case, I would look out for a Canopus ADVC 55 A/D converter, which converts analog signals into the DV format. It might be more expensive than the other cards (I have no experience with them), but it is very convenient (no need to install separate software on your PC) and offers a very good quality.
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  5. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    You need something to do line TBC if you want acceptable results from the USB-Live2/VC500, and probably for the others on your list too. But those two are particularly unfriendly to unstabilized VHS.

    I have no idea the cost of the known TBC-capable Panasonic DVD recorders on the used Aussie market, but it may exceed your entire budget without even allowing for a capture device.
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  6. Further to the posts above, I have both an EZCap 116 and an ADVC50 (predecessor to the ADVC55 mentioned above). I would make the following comments...

    ADVC55:

    The Good: good quality captures as DV AVI, with guaranteed locked audio (always in sync). Usually work well, even without an external TBC.

    The Bad: You need to have a Firewire input for this device to work. Becoming rarer... especially on laptops.

    The Ugly: The price..... The ADVC55 is now discontinued, so the ADVC110 is now the only remaining Canopus (Grass Valley) ADVC DV capture device.... And it's expensive!


    EzCap 116:

    The Good: It's capable of the same sort of quality as the ADVC devices - with a bit of 'tweaking' - and is a LOT cheaper

    The Bad: I have found the USB audio capture is not good quality. You can get better results by using the sound card line input. In both cases there can be problems with audio 'sync', unlike the ADVC units. Not difficult to deal with, but a bit of a pain!

    The Ugly: As mentioned by vaporeon800 these devices really need some sort of external TBC (Time Base Corrector) to get decent results. Without one, the results are likely to vary wildly in capture quality, depending on the source of course.


    As mentioned, one of the cheapest way of getting a TBC is to look out for secondhand Panasonic DVD recorder from around 10 years ago. Typical model ranges included the ES10 and the DMR E55. Some of that latter model have problems with a regulator in the PSU failing due to insufficient heat sinking, so you need to be a bit wary. (Easy and cheap enough to repair, if you can find a friendly tech who's handy with a soldering iron)....
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  7. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    Oh, I forgot to mention a possible alternative to Panasonic. I've never seen them mentioned here, but this YouTube video shows that Sony made at least one (PAL only) DVD recorder with passthrough TBC: RDR-HXD870. It even has HDMI output. I believe they're more rare than Panasonic's line, though.

    Some UK models that mention "time base correction (TBC)" in the specs:
    http://www.audioholics.com/news/sony-introduces-rdr-hx900-dvd-rw-w-hard-drive
    http://www.backoffice-europe.com/prod_uk/Sony/rdrvx410s.ce1_sony_rdr-vx410s_dvd_record...r_combo_si.asp
    http://www.backoffice.be/prod_uk/Sony/rdr-hx1010_sony_rdr-hx1010_dvd_recorder_hdd_recorder_s.asp
    http://www.backoffice.be/prod_uk/Sony/rdr-hx520_sony_rdr-hx520_dvd_recorder_hdd_recorder_with_.asp

    One US model that mentions it (not relevant for you, but for those of us in NTSC land):
    http://www.cnet.com/products/sony-rdr-vx500/specs/
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  8. Member
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    If I do not use TBC (price/availability issues) and capture directly from the camcorder how bad will it be? Does it depend on the quality of the camcorder and cassettes and could it turn out to be ok quality as well?
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  9. Originally Posted by rob99 View Post
    If I do not use TBC (price/availability issues) and capture directly from the camcorder how bad will it be? Does it depend on the quality of the camcorder and cassettes and could it turn out to be ok quality as well?
    The stability restored by a decent TBC is the single most important step you can take in helping an image look good -- IMHO.
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  10. Member
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    Thank you all for the help. I have bought the Ezcap 116 and waiting for it. Also looking for a possibility to purchase Sony RDR-HXD870. How do you connect it all together. As I understand, from camcorder to "video in" of the DVD writer and from "video out" of the DVD writer to ezcap. And the audio goes directly from camcorder to ezcap or "line in" on PC. Is this right? Do you have to connect the DVD writer to TV or do anything on it other that turning it on?
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  11. Originally Posted by rob99 View Post
    ..How do you connect it all together. As I understand, from camcorder to "video in" of the DVD writer and from "video out" of the DVD writer to ezcap. And the audio goes directly from camcorder to ezcap or "line in" on PC. Is this right? Do you have to connect the DVD writer to TV or do anything on it other that turning it on?
    By the term DVD writer I'm assuming you mean DVD recorder? (The term DVD writer normally refers to a PC mounted unit, which is just a disc player/burner, and has no TV recording functions or internal TBC )

    Yes, you have the correct sequence. I don't know if all analogue TV broadcasts have ceased in Australia - they have here in the UK - so most of the recording functions of those early recorders are now redundant, and you will only be using the internal TBC in essentially a 'passthrough' mode.

    If you have the chance to connect an S-video out from the recorder to the EZcap rather than the yellow RCA composite connection, then go for it. S-video results should be better.

    Audio wise, you may find that using the a sound card line in gives better quality results than recording through the USB connections on the Easycap. That's certainly my own experience.
    Using either option, you may find the the audio signal is out of sync. (That's the single biggest difference from using the ADVC!) but it's normally just a question of calculating any offset. Then just delete a suitable short section at the start of the track or (less likely) add a short section of silence.

    In a long track, the audio my 'drift' out of sync slightly towards the end of the track, and that may require a little more work to correct, but often that extra processing is unnecessary....
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