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  1. I figured this was the best place to ask since people that know about Decks and VTRs would know a whole lot about this. If there's another forum this would be suited in let me know and I'll post it there instead. I'm in the process of bringing all of my old family tapes and videos back to life in the digital age, and making an online hard drive for our family with all the videos, dated and listed. I sort of understand how to go from the individual devices to the computer but I'm no expert in doing so. I bought the Elgato Video Capture and tried it out for a day...wasn't satisfied. So now I have a few questions on what to do next and how.

    * I have the option tomorrow to purchase a Canopus ADVC-100 tomorrow off Craigslist, the asking price is $95, with FireWire/power cable/RCA cables included. Is this device great for me to get for what I'm doing? And is the asking price for it a bit high in today's world and should I look elsewhere?

    * So I have 3 devices I'll be using to physically play these: JVC S-VHS Camcorder - GR-SXM260U, Sony Hi8 Handycam CCD‑TRV318, and a LITE-ON LVC-9016G DVD/VCR Combo (but the DVD tray is stuck). What exactly is the best way to get the best quality possible from each of these devices and with the Canopus in play too and how? Here are pictures of all the ports on all of them: https://imgur.com/a/h7Ymt

    The 1st picture is of the S-VHS-C camera's ports, the 2nd is of the Hi8 camera's ports, the 3rd and 4th are of the VCR player's ports, and the last 2 pictures are of the computers FireWire ports (one in the front and one in the back).

    With all these options, what would be the BEST method for EACH type of tapes: the VHS-C tapes on the JVC camera, the Hi8 tapes on the Sony camera, and the VHS cassettes on the VCR? Based on all the ports that I showed you and that they have. S-Video over composite if that option is available? Use the A/V out thing on the Sony camera instead of the S-Video port..? Things like that please, this world is all new to me...

    * Should something else be used for the VHS-C tapes other than this JVC camera? Like an adaptor to plug it into the VCR and let me capture it from there? Or another VHS-C camera with more port options? When I was using the Elgato and recording it, noise would only be present out of one side and one speaker. This is because the JVC camera has only one audio jack...right? Or was that an Elgato problem and it shouldn't happen with the ADVC-100 if I get it? There was literally no noise coming out of one side...so what actually happened there and should I just go the VHS adapter method? Unless that makes it worse quality?

    * Some of these VHS-C tapes go blue for a second when playing and then goes back to the video, plays for a bit and then goes back to a blue screen for a second, it only does this in some parts. I'm guessing this is just because the tape is old? It fell on the ground once and a bit is damaged? It's dirty? I don't know, is this fixable or only able to be done in post?

    * I see that the DVD/VCR combo has a "DV Link" or FireWire port in the front? Would it be possible and better to go straight from that into my computer with a cable and capture it like that (if that's possible)? Or would it be better to go through it with the Canopus like everything else?

    * I also heard about some method called the "pass-through" where you connect one camera to another and go from there, over and over? Can you explain this and would it be better if one (or all) of my captures went through a specific thing, like the Hi8 camera maybe? Or the JVC one? Speaking of, would me passing through the JVC to the Hi8 fix that audio out of one side problem? I don't really understand it so if you could explain that and let me know if any of these tapes would get better quality going through this method I'd appreciate it.

    * Does the ADVC-100 do the whole interlacing/decombing bit I always hear about or is that done manually after capture in your software (and is it supposed to be done with all of these tapes: VHS, VHS-C, 8mm)?

    * What software do you recommend for capture or is it all really the same because the source will always be what you're giving it? Or are some really better than others and there is a difference? Would Premiere Pro CC 7 be okay?

    If you read all that I appreciate it and I await your answers to all my questions, thanks for reading.
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  2. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Both of your camcorders have S-Video so that's what you are going to be using even if the tapes are recorded in VHS-C and 8mm formats, Use S-Video output only, Get yourself a good, short and better shielded S-Video cable, don't use the ones that came with the camcorders, Toss that LiteOn DVD player in the trash can, The raison why some people use DVD recorders in line is to use the TBC features, Fortunately both of your camcorders have TBC and DNR functions so turn them On unless you have a problem with the picture, You can get better capture with a $30 USB stick than a $90 DV box, trust me on this. I don't know about elgato but there are a lot of USB capture devices or cards that can get the job done, Just avoid the Chinese ones that sell for $11 on ebay. Lastly use VirtualDub and HuffYUV compression, If you are not familiar with them take few hours to learn about them here in the forum. And from there do what ever you want with the raw footage, Edit, clean, encode to a portable format...Just post in the right section as this forum is for capturing only.
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  3. Both of your camcorders have S-Video so that's what you are going to be using even if the tapes are recorded in VHS-C and 8mm formats
    Alright, but what about the audio only coming out of one side problem I described with the JVC VHS-C camcorder? Is that due to it only having one audio jack or does that sound like an Elgato bug? Sound was only coming out of one side on the JVC camcorder.

    "Toss that LiteOn DVD player in the trash can, The raison why some people use DVD recorders in line is to use the TBC features"
    I wasn't planning to use the DVD recorder (as I said the disc tray was broken in the original post), I was only planning to use it as a VCR player to capture off of. If you don't think this is a good idea either, then what do you suggest I do with my VHS tapes?

    "unless you have a problem with the picture, You can get better capture with a $30 USB stick than a $90 DV box, trust me on this. I don't know about elgato but there are a lot of USB capture devices or cards that can get the job done, Just avoid the Chinese ones that sell for $11 on ebay."
    If you could point me in the way of some...I'd be more than happy to do that instead. But I just had bought a 80 dollar USB capture device and the picture didn't look anything close as to what analog straight to my TV looked like, so as you can see I'd be hesitant to buy something even cheaper than that of the same method. I'm curious as to why you think that about DV boxes? Practically everywhere I've looked they're recommended over straight USB capture...
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  4. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Sorry I missed the part where you said you have VHS tapes, Well the best way is to use a S-VHS player with built in TBC but that can cost some extra money, So it's up to you if you are ok with the LiteOn playback, I wonder if it outputs VHS signal out of the S-Video output and if it does have TBC or not?
    Both of your camcorder should have stereo audio output, So I can't tell why you have audio on one side only, replace the audio cable and see if it fixes it.
    What model elgato is ? $80 sounds like a good device, like I said use VirtualDub don't use the software that comes with it, it usually compresses the video on the fly.

    Edit:

    DV is as good as compressed MPEG2, But with USB devices and capture cards you have an option to capture losseless in 4:2:2 chroma subsampling, with DV devices you don't have that option because the compression is done by hardware not software, So you cannot get the uncompressed signal from a DV device unless you are a genius and know how to tap into the microchips of the device.
    Last edited by dellsam34; 13th Apr 2016 at 03:46.
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  5. Both of your camcorder should have stereo audio output, So I can't tell why you have audio on one side only, replace the audio cable and see if it fixes it.
    That's the thing, if you look at my picture album you can see in the first picture that the JVC VHS-C camcorder only has one audio jack, and the Elgato device looks like this and can't be changed, so since only the white audio cable can go into the camcorder it doesn't matter if you plug in the red one into Elgato as well, you still only get one side audio. I just did it now in VirtualDub too, same thing, noise only out of one side.

    And since I just said that, yes I just took the Elgato back out of the box and used VirtualDub to capture it...and yes, the quality actually is better, here are two pictures: the top is Elgato's own software and the bottom is VirtualDub. I know they're different parts of the video but you can see it if you zoom in on the text how much clearer it is. But there are still some problems and weird things going on here.

    1. I captured about 50 seconds with VirtualDub...the file is 1.02 gigabytes...for 50 seconds. I can't...do that, that's insane. You would need a terabyte for a half hour.

    2. They're both the same resolution, 720x480, but the one in Elgato is actually more...4:3? VirtualDub one makes it like stretched out for some reason, you can see it in the pictures. So who's right here and who's wrong and how do I find out?

    3. The bottom of the videos have this blurry rainbow bar that constantly moves in both captures. It's not present in the camcorder screen. Is this normal and a thing for every VHS-C tape or is this an Elgato problem? I don't know why it's there...

    4. And again the audio thing I can't fix, sound still only comes out of one side in both software, and I already described how the Elgato device looks and works...
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  6. Originally Posted by CZbwoi View Post
    1. I captured about 50 seconds with VirtualDub...the file is 1.02 gigabytes...for 50 seconds.
    You capped uncompressed (right?). Capture lossless but compressed. I use HuffYUV.
    You would need a terabyte for a half hour.
    You might want to redo the math for that statement.
    So who's right here and who's wrong and how do I find out?
    They're both right. I suppose the Elgato capped as MPEG-2 (?). So it has a DAR of 4:3 and got resized at playback. The AVI has no DAR and just stayed as 3:2 (720:480=3:2). People are slightly 'fat'. You'd set the output playback ratio when encoding for your final format. Or resize to something like 640x480 (1.33:1).
    Last edited by manono; 13th Apr 2016 at 05:22.
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  7. You capped uncompressed (right?). Capture lossless but compressed. I use HuffYUV.
    Just followed a tutorial and installed it, see how it goes.

    You might want to redo the math for that statement.
    Joke due to the absurdity...

    They're both right. I suppose the Elgato capped as MPEG-2 (?). So it has a DAR of 4:3 and got resized at playback. The AVI has no DAR and just stayed as 3:2 (720:480=3:2). People are slightly 'fat'. You'd set the output playback ratio when encoding for your final format. Or resize to something like 640x480 (1.33:1).
    Nope, Elgato exports as a "high quality H.264 file." And they're both still at 720x480 so I don't really see what's happening here. So is normal to always re-size Hi8 videos when you're done with them in Vdub? Meaning they're not supposed to be that wide and Vdub gets it weird, right?

    Also what do you suggest I do about the audio problem? If you look at the pictures, the JVC VHS-C player has one audio jack and the Sony camcorder doesn't even have one, it only has an "A/V out" port for sound (and I just checked the manual that says it's mono sound, if that has anything to do with it), which again is giving me sound out of only one side just like on the JVC player. How can I make this work if I keep this Elgato thing?

    And ultimately what do you suggest I do? Get other camcorders from somewhere with more port options..? Get the ADVC-100, stay with this, get another USB capture card that you suggest? Is the DV unit better or worse than USB capture..?
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  8. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Be sure to capture using YUY2, not YV12 or RGB.
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  9. All you need to do for the audio is get a Y adapter so you can plug the single audio line from the player into both the left and right audio inputs of the capture device.

    https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-y-adapter-phono-plug-to-rca-jacks?variant=5717464773
    http://www.amazon.com/RCA-AH201-Y-Adaptor-Cable/dp/B00005T3G4/

    Most capture devices capture NTSC video with a 720x480 frame. The video is then flagged so that the player scales the video to 4:3 during playback. Uncompressed AVI doesn't support the aspect ratio flag so you get a 3:2 display rather than 4:3. That's not a problem because you can tell tell the editor to add the 4:3 flag at you final encoding.
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  10. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CZbwoi View Post
    That's the thing, if you look at my picture album you can see in the first picture that the JVC VHS-C camcorder only has one audio jack, and the Elgato device looks like this and can't be changed, so since only the white audio cable can go into the camcorder it doesn't matter if you plug in the red one into Elgato as well, you still only get one side audio. I just did it now in VirtualDub too, same thing, noise only out of one side.
    Unfortunately both of your camcorders are monaural, So if the tapes were recorded on them that's fine, if the tapes were recorded in stereo on other stereophonic camcorders and you want stereo capture you cannot use those camcorders, If you are ok with mono than like Jabago said just get an audio splitter cable.

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  11. Be sure to capture using YUY2, not YV12 or RGB.
    How exactly do I do this? I'm googling what you're saying and I'm getting slightly more confused. Do I need to use a different set of cables than these RCA composite cables? And do you think I should get another capture card and stay away from the Elgato/ADVC?

    Most capture devices capture NTSC video with a 720x480 frame. The video is then flagged so that the player scales the video to 4:3 during playback. Uncompressed AVI doesn't support the aspect ratio flag so you get a 3:2 display rather than 4:3. That's not a problem because you can tell tell the editor to add the 4:3 flag at you final encoding.
    I see, so this is normally what people do when using VirtualDub, and it's normally needed to convert to 4:3 afterwards.

    Unfortunately both of your camcorders are monaural, So if the tapes were recorded on them that's fine, if the tapes were recorded in stereo on other stereophonic camcorders and you want stereo capture you cannot use those camcorders, If you are ok with mono than like Jabago said just get an audio splitter cable.
    Is it safe to say that back in the day stereo camcorders were rare and obsolete and most people recorded with mono camcorders? And if they were recorded in mono but you stick them into a stereo camcorder and export it, would that make a difference? Or would it still be captured with mono sound because that's how it was originally recorded?

    edit: and manono I just captured with Huffyuv on and it still got me to 7.78gb with 6:39 of capturing time...this still seems crazy high if you want to capture an hour. Is this normal or did I do something wrong?
    Last edited by CZbwoi; 13th Apr 2016 at 14:09.
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  12. I have a Canopus ADVC-300 and it does a great job of digitizing virtually any analog video source. The ADVC-100 will do a similar job! The whole process is extremely simple!
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  13. I have a Canopus ADVC-300 and it does a great job of digitizing virtually any analog video source. The ADVC-100 will do a similar job! The whole process is extremely simple!
    Ai ai ai...see, and this is where I get thrown off into different directions lol... Everywhere else I asked they said to stay away from Canopus as DV transfer like that will kill quality in analog and to always go USB or capture card method...

    Be sure to capture using YUY2, not YV12 or RGB.
    KarMa, so I'm using VirtualDub with Huffyuv now. But when I go to Video > Set custom format (which I'm assuming is what you meant by using YUY2) it says that my capture card (Elgato, I assume) is not compatible with it. So if this is the case and what you meant for me to do when you said to use YUY2, what do you suggest I get instead of what I have which can do YUY2, any specific USB capture device or something I should find that can do YUY2?
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  14. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Which Elgato capture card are you using?

    There are some USB capture cards that I see recommended around here, maybe someone can mention one of them. I have an older internal card but you should be able to get the same level of quality from a USB version.

    May want to look at what PuzZLeR recommended for USB capture cards: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/376375-Capture-card-for-VHS-and-coaxial-%28TV%29-ad...=1#post2428090
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  15. Which Elgato capture card are you using?
    This, Elgato Video Capture.

    There are some USB capture cards that I see recommended around here, maybe someone can mention one of them. I have an older internal card but you should be able to get the same level of quality from a USB version.
    I don't see anyone even mentioning the name Elgato on there once :/ ...even though it's by far the most famous/known and best reviewed USB capture card online, from what I see. So this is odd, I have a feeling that if I get something else it'll be the same thing, but no way to know unless I have both of them on hand to test.

    Can I get your professional opinion on if this is good? Every single video was captured with the same device, the Elgato Video Capture USB to composite/S-video. Every single video captured is using the S-video instead of the composite video, and every single video has only 1 RCA audio jack at its disposal because that's how these 2 camcorders are, both have only 1 audio jack.

    The first file is from a VHS-C tape played by the JVC camcorder captured by Elgato's own software, in the high quality setting, software which you are told to download on their website. The second file is the same clip in VirtualDub with Huffyuv. The third file is from a Hi8 tape played by the Sony camcorder captured by Elgato's own software. The fourth file is the same clip in VirtualDub with Huffyuv.

    I uploaded on Dropbox, download them all here please, all 10 seconds long: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fq0kd6rst9mbg05/AAA4gjYLTo8fRINtiBLWf4bSa?dl=0

    Now I'm no expert in this, but the same device did way better in vdub than in Elgato's own thing, you can notice it immensely if you look at the text comparison in the first 2 files. But you know more about what to look for than me. So seeing these files and what can be done in vdub would you say this is great and the best I can get with USB capture and to stick with it..?
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  16. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Camcorders were always stereo and mono it depends on the budget, if the tape is recorded mono there is nothing you can do about, if the tape is recorded stereo it will play stereo on a stereo camcorder and plays mono on a mono camcorder, Those are your tapes and you should know where they came from.
    As for DV, if the slight difference in quality is not worth the hassle of capturing lossless then go for it. DV format is getting obsolete and as it is already compressed, you still need to re-encode to another format that is recognized by modern media players.
    I don't see any problem with legato according to online reviews.

    Also when you post videos, name them like elgato_huffyuv_hi8 and so on
    From the samples I see that elgato MPEG4 encoder did a lot of damage to the captured videos
    Also you need to turn off camcorder info display, you don't want to capture that.
    Last edited by dellsam34; 14th Apr 2016 at 02:59.
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  17. Camcorders were always stereo and mono it depends on the budget, if the tape is recorded mono there is nothing you can do about, if the tape is recorded stereo it will play stereo on a stereo camcorder and plays mono on a mono camcorder, Those are your tapes and you should know where they came from.
    Aha, I see. I know for a fact that all the VHS-C (from my uncle) were recorded in mono (if that's what it means when only the white audio jack is on the camcorder) because that's the only camcorder he had for VHS-C. The thing is, it's different for the 8mm/Hi8 tapes because I wasn't the one that was filming them, my dad was back in the day, I was just a kid. And the one I have here is a newer one than the original one he used...so I have no way of knowing which tapes were filmed in stereo (if they were) before this second Hi8 camera was bought and how to find that out.

    Other than maybe buying another camcorder? Do you have any recommendations for a good Hi8 stereo camcorder? But I still don't know if I get my hands on one how to detemerine if they were orignally filmed in stereo since at that point all the tapes will sound better in theory, but I guess at that point it wouldn't matter since stereo output makes everything better (right?).

    From the samples I see that elgato MPEG4 encoder did a lot of damage to the captured videos
    Yep, what would you say about the VirtualDub w/ huffyuv rips though?
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  18. Originally Posted by CZbwoi View Post
    what would you say about the VirtualDub w/ huffyuv rips though?
    They're much better and much larger -- as would be expected. The color rendering looks very consistent.
    Last edited by smrpix; 14th Apr 2016 at 06:49.
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  19. Originally Posted by CZbwoi View Post
    when I go to Video > Set custom format (which I'm assuming is what you meant by using YUY2) it says that my capture card (Elgato, I assume) is not compatible with it.
    Which of the other choices work? What you want is one of the YUV 4:2:2 formats (YUY2, UYVY, etc.).
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  20. Originally Posted by CZbwoi View Post
    I still don't know if I get my hands on one how to detemerine if they were orignally filmed in stereo since at that point all the tapes will sound better in theory, but I guess at that point it wouldn't matter since stereo output makes everything better (right?).
    Wrong. "Stereo" output from a mono tape will just be dual mono (the same audio played to both speakers). There may be a quality difference between different players, as with all analog formats, but that doesn't mean the stereo one will necessarily be the superior one.

    Without knowing the source of the recordings, playing them back on a stereo camcorder or deck is the only way to be sure what type of audio was recorded. The camcorder would likely have a Stereo indicator as part of its on screen display. If not, it's as simple as capturing the audio and checking for a difference between the two channels.

    They're "probably" mono simply because most camcorders that were sold were only mono. But if your father was a quality freak like your uncle apparently was, maybe he did throw money into a stereo model.

    Finally, I want to say that I feel like we're doing you a disservice by pointing you toward a lossless workflow given that you're getting tripped up by basic audio concepts. Lossless requires being more technically-minded than the DV path does, IMO.
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  21. They're much better and much larger -- as would be expected. The color rendering looks very consistent.
    I should stick with this, right?

    Which of the other choices work? What you want is one of the YUV 4:2:2 formats (YUY2, UYVY, etc.).
    Yep, after I made this post I did some research on the default one it selects for me in there and apparently they're both identical. So I should be good knowing that now.

    Wrong. "Stereo" output from a mono tape will just be dual mono (the same audio played to both speakers). There may be a quality difference between different players, as with all analog formats, but that doesn't mean the stereo one will necessarily be the superior one.

    Without knowing the source of the recordings, playing them back on a stereo camcorder or deck is the only way to be sure what type of audio was recorded. The camcorder would likely have a Stereo indicator as part of its on screen display. If not, it's as simple as capturing the audio and checking for a difference between the two channels.
    Yep, that's what I assumed initially. And I only meant "superior" for all tapes being played through the stereo one meaning "dual audio" for mono, because as of now I have to do that in post (make it dual mono audio), with a stereo camcorder I wouldn't have to do that. That's what I meant.

    Finally, I want to say that I feel like we're doing you a disservice by pointing you toward a lossless workflow given that you're getting tripped up by basic audio concepts. Lossless requires being more technically-minded than the DV path does, IMO.
    Oh no, don't worry I'm not getting tripped up, I'm a quick learner. It's just that I haven't done any sort of live feed capturing in my life before this week, and yes, I do want lossless quality compressed down to smaller files. I want the best and to preserve these tapes the best.

    For what its worth my process right now would be JVC Camcorder and Sony Hi8 Camcorder > S-video and 1 audio jack > Elgato USB capture device > VirtualDub with Huffyuv compressor > Premiere Pro export to .mp4 (with target bitrate of 4 from the default 6, and either 1 pass or 2 pass VBR). And if I really want to find out about the Hi8 tapes' stereo thing, I'd have to find another camcorder.

    As you can see, I also haven't gotten to the VHS tapes and VCR part, that's the last thing I'm gonna get to maybe. A lot of tapes are dusty and I have to figure out how to clean them... :/
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  22. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    You can save some steps by getting a RCA mono to dual adapter commonly known as Y adapter, As for Hi8 tapes audio, the only way to find out if they were recorded in stereo assuming that the original camcorder owner doesn't know either is to buy a stereo camcorder and use headphones to listen to the audio output, if it is stereo you should hear a difference in the audio channels. And yes capturing tapes is not like ripping DVD's it takes time, practice and a lot of trying to get the best out of your tapes.
    Last edited by dellsam34; 14th Apr 2016 at 14:42.
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  23. You can save some steps if you get a RCA mono to dual adapter commonly known as Y adapter
    Yeah but that still wouldn't fix tapes capturing in stereo that were potentially captured in stereo by my dad before this newer camera I have. I need to have a stereo Hi8 camcorder to be sure of everything.

    And yes capturing tapes is not like ripping DVD's it takes time, practice and a lot of trying to get the best out of your tapes.
    Yep, it's very meticulous. At this point I'm comparing how the camcorders play on the TV versus how they are captured with the Elgato in VirtualDub and its so...so much better on the TV when comparing it. So as of now, I don't care what the cost is, in terms of Hi8/8mm tapes being played out of my camcorder and the VHS-C tapes being played out of my other camcorder, what's THE BEST capturing device/card/tool/USB, anything that I can buy? I'm done with being frugal after seeing how much better, vibrant and smoother it looks like on the TV and the camcorders' little screens. Forget about the VHS part and the TBC's and all that, I'm strictly referring to Hi8 camcorder and VHS-C camcorder capturing now, if I want the EXACT same thing what do I buy? Thanks.
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  24. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CZbwoi View Post
    Yeah but that still wouldn't fix tapes capturing in stereo that were potentially captured in stereo by my dad before this newer camera I have. I need to have a stereo Hi8 camcorder to be sure of everything.
    Neither the software channels swap, This is to be used with your current mono camcorder, Read the second part of my post about finding out if the tapes were indeed stereo.

    Addition:
    What TV do you have LCD or CRT? analog tapes may look better on LCD TV's as they usually have better de-interlacing circuitry, And they look even better on CRT TV's as they are natively interlaced TV's
    Last edited by dellsam34; 14th Apr 2016 at 14:58.
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  25. Neither the software channels swap, This is to be used with your current mono camcorder, Read the second part of my post about finding out if the tapes were indeed stereo.
    Ah yeah, sorry I didn't catch that you said that the first time. But yeah, that's what I was saying too, no other way around it other than needing to buy/get my hands on a stereo Hi8 camera.

    What TV do you have LCD or CRT? analog tapes may look better on LCD TV's as they usually have better de-interlacing circuitry, And they look even better on CRT TV's as they are natively interlaced TV's
    When I was just playing them today it was on my LCD flatscreen. It looked good, as it does on the camcorder's little screen. And now I'm seeing that even Elgato in VirtualDub looks nowhere near as good, smooth, clear and crisp as on those 2 screens. So alas, I want to buy the best possible capture card, device, whatever now so I can get that same exact quality my camcorder shows plugged into my TV. What do I buy?
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  26. Originally Posted by CZbwoi View Post
    When I was just playing them today it was on my LCD flatscreen. It looked good, as it does on the camcorder's little screen. And now I'm seeing that even Elgato in VirtualDub looks nowhere near as good, smooth, clear and crisp as on those 2 screens. So alas, I want to buy the best possible capture card, device, whatever now so I can get that same exact quality my camcorder shows plugged into my TV. What do I buy?
    For consumer video tape there's very little difference in picture quality between a middling $40 capture device and $1000 studio capture devices. The differences you are seeing are due to the way TVs process the analog signals they receive. They pump up the contrast and saturation, and apply sharpening and noise filters.

    The job of the capture device is to get a picture as close to what's on the tape as possible. You then apply whatever processing you want. Your original cap and a highly (over) processed image on the right:

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    Last edited by jagabo; 15th Apr 2016 at 07:37.
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  27. Not to mention that it looks better on the tiny camcorder screen because it's downsizing, causing increased apparent sharpness and hiding flaws. It should look similar if you downsize a VLC window (deinterlacing on) to the same physical area on your monitor, apart from any juiced-up color/contrast.
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  28. For consumer video tape there's very little difference in picture quality between a middling $40 capture device and $1000 studio capture devices. The differences you are seeing are due to the way TVs process the analog signals they receive. They pump up the contrast and saturation, and apply sharpening and noise filters.

    The job of the capture device is to get a picture as close to what's on the tape as possible. You then apply whatever processing you want.
    What processing do you add to your tape restoration videos, what programs and filters?

    Other people online are pointing me towards getting a capture card like an ATI All In Wonder and saying that it does make a difference. And that there's under $100 good cards for me to buy for this, but I don't know where to look since I'm not proficient in that area. For what it's worth, this is my computer.

    Not to mention that it looks better on the tiny camcorder screen because it's downsizing, causing increased apparent sharpness and hiding flaws. It should look similar if you downsize a VLC window (deinterlacing on) to the same physical area on your monitor, apart from any juiced-up color/contrast.
    Those clips I provided looked great when they were playing on the TV from the camcorders. On the capture the colors are washed out, it's not as smooth at all compared to the TV (even with the TV filters turned off), it's overall worse. I scaled it down in VLC too and it doesn't look better, its the same but smaller, that didn't change the color problems or interlaced artifacts from what I've read about.

    I really just want a good capture video card but I don't know what to get or what is compatible.
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  29. In your samples, the black and white level are too high. That is causing the washed out look. You should start by adjusting the capture device's video proc amp to get decent levels, saturation, and hue. You should be able to find them in VirtualDub's capture module's Video menu. Look under Capture Filter, Crossbar, Levels, etc. You'll get a dialog that looks something like:

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    Some capture devices also let you adjust sharpness, gamma, etc. Sharpness should be set to a neutral value -- it will just increase noise with low res tape sources. You should also disable sharpening filters and auto contrast etc. filters in the capture device and the VHS deck. All those will do is screw up the video before your capture it.
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  30. In your samples, the black and white level are too high. That is causing the washed out look. You should start by adjusting the capture device's video proc amp to get decent levels, saturation, and hue. You should be able to find them in VirtualDub's capture module's Video menu. Look under Capture Filter, Crossbar, Levels, etc.
    I'm doing so right now for the last 15min and I can't get anything to work, colors simply aren't matching. Blues are a light purple, then they turn to bright white in some settings, greens aren't bright or alive, I'm trying everything here. It also doesn't help that whenever I enter this proc amp settings my video capture that's playing and that I would rely on to see a live preview of what I'm changing, disappears.

    And once again it looks like there's frames dropped or something, it's not as smooth as on the camcorder and TV at all. Edges of even faces are jaggy and noisy, and now I'm noticing lines breaking in vertically occasionally, like a mirrored sword slash for half a second.

    Some capture devices also let you adjust sharpness, gamma, etc. Sharpness should be set to a neutral value -- it will just increase noise with low res tape sources.
    It's grayed out for me :/

    You should also disable sharpening filters and auto contrast etc. filters in the capture device and the VHS deck. All those will do is screw up the video before your capture it.
    Not even using a VHS deck yet, that's after these smaller tapes, but there are no settings like that on the camcorder which I'm using. Also when I was playing them on the TV I turned all those things off on there and the video still played as well as it does on the camcorder's screen, vibrant and smooth. I simply need advice on something better to buy than this Elgato thing, a capture card that's good for my computer and I'm a n00b in that field.
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