My parents were early adopters and heavy users of VHS camcorders and we have hundreds of tapes spanning my childhood. I wanted to capture these to watch them digitally for preservation and accessibility. Over the last 7 years, I have acquired quite a bit of equipment to get the job done, but due to the size of the project, never got around to it. Originally I acquired most of the equipment below when DVD was still the most common method of watching movies. HD-DVD and Blu-Ray were still fighting it out and ipods and youtube were new. The idea was to capture these tapes to a computer and then burn them to DVD. Thankfully, I never got around to it - things have changed! I kept my old computers and keep WinXP on hand specifically for this task - I can run a bunch of the software commonly discussed on here. Now I am ready once again to get started.
To start, and to minimize the flaming and inevitable "you should read the forum" replies, I should let you know I have been lurking on this forum for years, slowly reading, testing, trialing things. Thats how I have the equipment below, most of which is long since discontinued. I have read things over and over. Trying to come to some common pathway to help me with what seems to be one of the most common things on here: VHS capture. Being that I am not a video expert. the rabbit holes are immense and frustrating. Many of them are now 10+ years old and lead towards some dated conclusion related to DVD, mpeg2, etc. Even some of the "sticky" threads are about DVD.
I started reading these forums again and what amazes me is that there still seems to be virtually no consensus on workflow. However I have observe that HuffYUV has emerged as a favored lossless format, storage is quite cheap, and processors are quite a bit faster. I can get additional equipment if necessary.
- Dell running widows XP (tinyXP) (2013)
- iMac retina 27" (2015)
- Mac Book Pro (firewire800) (2011)
- 12TB RAID 5 NAS (can go to 24TB)
- Canopus ADVC-300
- AV Toolbox AVT-8710 TBC
- DataVideo TBC-1000 (couldn't decide between these 2 TBCs)
- JVC HR-S7800U SVHS Deck (s-video)
- Sony RDR-VX500 VHS/DVDR combo deck
- Sony Broadcast 9" CRT Monitors x2 (s-video) (one is for input from VCR, the other post-ADVC monitoring)
- Samsung 4k 55"
- LG Blu-Ray Player
- Integra (onkyo) DVD Player
My capture options appear to be
- VHS -> Canopus ADVC300 (hardware dv codec) -> compressed dv stream via firewire (WinDV)
- VHS -> TBC-> Canopus ADVC3000 (hardware dv codec) -> compressed dv stream via firewire (WinDV)
- VHS -> TBC -> (??? Hardware Capture Device) -> HuffYUC capture in VirtualDub/NLE
The DV format that the canopus device gives me is quick, particularly with WinDV, but leaves a lot to be desired. My main complaint is all the ghosting and interlacing artifacts. I know these are inherent in any analog to digital transfer, but the format of the DV steam is proprietary so I cant easily run the typical filters on these compressed dv files and clean things up. Every time I use avisynth, for example, I encounter some error that I spend hours trouble shooting - usually because it is a proprietary format.
I have heard all the analogies about lossless capture being wildly unnecessary for bad VHS but on the other hand, ever time I read about processing to clean things up, it seems to start with a lossless format. Further NLE's have come a long way, but I still find these proprietary obscure codecs like canopus DV incredibly frustrating. Finally, who knows when the codecs are so aged they get dropped from newer software or are incompatible with newer OS - then I am stuck trying to find a transcoder for a rare format
- Is there a preferred s-video capture device/hardware/card that I should consider to get this stuff captured into a lossless format? What about these USB devices, etc.
- What are some capture devices still available that will work in various price ranges
- Can someone offer up a best-case capture workflow with my equipment?
- Please point me in the direction of the most pertinent "modern" threads on here for what I need to know
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9
...but the format of the DV steam is proprietary...
Every time I use avisynth, for example, I encounter some error...
Last edited by manono; 20th Mar 2016 at 20:04.
You can have a look here :
The original poster used an S-VHS vcr, an AVT8710 and an hauppauge usb-live2. There is no feedback on the final result yet.
Some comments on capture hardware :
Since you have hundreds of tapes the ADVC300 is probably the most practical solution for the bulk of it, you can then try lossless captures for what you really care about and problematic tapes.
Also take a look at the guides and forums on digitalfaq.com and doom9.org
Keep in mind DV NTSC is only 4:1:1, Based on the model of your VCR which ends by U I assume that you have NTSC VHS tapes, If they were PAL VHS tapes than you should be good to go with the ADV300 if adding an inline TBC, The built in TBC of the ADVC300 is pretty much useless, I would get a MPEG2 capture device or card and try for yourself at least you will have an option to capture lossless, With DV you don't have that option, Feel free to take a look on how DV compares to a compressed MPEG2 in my thread here: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/377614-DV-vs-MPEG2-SD
I am new here and I am hoping to find out the best way to capture VHS PAL video with as little loss as possible.
So far I have connected the VHS player to my miniDV-cam and capture it through there. Is this a good way to go or am I loosing a lot of useful information in the process? The file type I get after importing is avi. I am not sure about the codec. The reuslt is so far ok, although its interlaced and I am trying now to somehow deinterlace and still keep good quality. I have access to Final cut and handbrake.
I am also thinking about the capturing through a VHS to DVD- recorder but it seems to be hard to find those nowadays.
If anyone has a good solution for me I would be very happy!
thank you very much
Please start a new thread rather than hijacking a dead one. This one was about "best methods" for NTSC capture for this particular user who has a bunch of equipment. You're asking about PAL and only mentioned owning one VCR with one MiniDV camcorder for transfer.
If you're truly looking to capture with as little loss as possible, the DV method is not the way to go. But it is convenient and you may not notice the loss.
I am sorry, yes I'll do that !