What is the best hardware and software to use to capture standard definition video from my VHS VCR, then edit it, then save it to mp4 files or else to some other widely used computer video format?
Please tell me if you think what you recommend is better and/or faster than what I'm now doing which is:
1. capturing video off the rca composite video & audio cables from my VHS VCR into my Canopus DVRex capture/edit card which captures in pure dv video so that the captured video looks as good as the original. This allows me in the next step, step #2, to edit the video in pure dv so there is no loss which otherwise would have occurred if the video was compressed during capture.
2. editing that captured video using the Canopus editing software which does an excellent job
3. Play the edited video/audio out of the Canopus DVRex card into my Panasonic DVD recorder which I use to record the video to a DVD-RW physical disc.
4. Put the DVD-RW disc into my computer's dvd drive and copy the dvd format files to hard drive. Erase the DVD-RW disc for use on the next video to be captured. Now, I can play those files using any software that plays dvd files that are on hard drives. I can also burn those files to physical dvd discs in the future if I wish.
Note: the reason that I do steps 3 and 4 above is because the DVRaptor card does not convert it proprietary video file format to mp4 or any other video file format. Supposedly, it will convert to mpeg 2, but whenever I have tried doing that, it crashes my computer.
The results I get with my present method are excellent, but the problem is it takes what I believe is far too much time due to having to play the edited video in real time during step 3 above.
I hope there is some reasonably priced capture card that will let me edit video with no noticeable loss and when I'm done editing, the edited file will be the one I can keep on my hard disk library and therefore when I'm done editing I'm also done period.
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Last edited by audioresearch; 28th May 2016 at 16:53.
This allows me in the next step, step #2, to edit the video in pure dv so there is no loss
...which otherwise would have occurred if the video was compressed during capture.
Play the edited video/audio out of the Canopus DVRex card into my Panasonic DVD recorder which I use to record the video to a DVD-RW physical disc.
Well then I stand corrected about dv being lossless.
So what hardware and/or software do you recommend I use to capture video from a vhs vcr, edit it, and put the result into an mp4 or other commonly used computer video file format hopefully in a way where the final result looks good enough compared to the original that most or all people can't tell the difference and that saves a lot of time compared to the way I'm doing this now?
I might add that I also already own some version of Adobe Premiere and if you think that should be used, by all means recommend it.
Please note that the only reason I converted to dvd files was because I own a dvd recorder and it's record-playback quality to my eye was as good as the original and that also gave me a way to get files onto my computer hard drive because I could take the dvd-rw disk out of the dvd recorder and put it into my computer's dvd drive and then read all the dvd format files off the dvd-rw disk onto my hard drives for archiving.
I really don't have any preference for dvd files. Any commonly used computer video file format such as mp4 or possibly flv or mkv is fine with me.
My only goal is to save time without losing any quality compared to the present way I am doing this. The way I'm now doing it means I have to play video in real time into my capture card and then after the editing is done, play it back out once again in real time from the capture/edit card to the dvd recorder and so just in those steps, a lot of time has been eaten up. I probably have one to two thousand hours of video and so wasting that kind of time is going to waste a huge number of hours.
Last edited by audioresearch; 27th May 2016 at 02:36.
What do I recommend? I don't recommend anything. You ask 50 people and you'll probably get 50 different answers. I can only tell you what I use. I usually cap through my Canopus box using WinDV to DV AVI. Sometimes I cap with my USB capturing device to lossless HuffYUV. I edit and filter using AviSynth filters and scripts in VDub to Lagarith AVI intermediates. Most audio work is done in Audacity. Finally I make DVDs using CCE, with Muxman to author, DVDAuthorGUI for menus. I use RipBot264 to open AviSynth scripts for making MP4s for upload to YouTube.
None of this saves time; it only uses more time - much more time - than you're probably willing to invest.
I'm using a DVRex, not the DV Raptor. I'll fix that in my previous post.
The editing software I'm using is the software that came with the Canopus DVRex which they call "RexEdit". It works nicely and I'm very happy with the video/audio quality of the capture and the editing and even with the transfer using the dvd recorder and a dvd-rw disc. 99.99% of the time, my eye can't tell apart an original sd video with one that I record to dvd and playback from dvd. In fact, I can remember seeing a difference only once in about ten years! It was a scene in a football game when there was a fadeup to the game from black and the green grass pixilated just a little bit compared to a video tape I simultaneously made using Super VHS.
I've been researching the best way to edit my sd vhs vides and transfer them to a widely used computer video file format and it appears that I can use the Adobe Premiere capture/editing software I have to capture using my DVRex capture card and to also edit the captured video.
Do you or anyone else here agree that can be done? Do you guys think that Premiere will spend about the same or maybe even more time to "finalize/render/whatever-you-want-to-call-it" the files after the editing is done that recording the edited file in real time to dvd disc is now taking?
Usually, what I try to do is to play an entire vhs tape which I almost always made in "4 hour speed" into my capture card and after that, edit it so that each "program" is trimmed to start at its beginning and end at its end. I then record each program onto the dvd disc as a dvd program. I consider each unrelated clip on the vhs tape to be a separate program. I will often have on a 4 hour vhs tape around 5 to 10 such programs.
I usually capture the entire 4 hour tape so I don't have to babysit it and hang around waiting for the last video clip on it to be done playing.
So, my typical edit is to find a start and stop point for 5 to 10 clips captured from the tape and then when I record to the dvd recorder, I do have to babysit that process. What I do is hit the dvd recorder's "record" button to start to record a new dvd program on the dvd recorder and once I see it is recording, I then start playing out to it the corresponding video clip from the DVRex card.
Let me again emphasize that I go through the dvd recording process because right now I have no other way to get the videos onto my computer hard drive other than by reading in finalized dvd-rw discs into my computer through my computer's dvd drive.
Most of us would do what was already suggested to you. Leave the DVD recorder out of the process. Convert the edited DV video to DVD on the computer using AVStoDVD. We would also convert the DV video directly to a computer-friendly format (H.264 in an MP4 or MKV container) using our video editor, or RipBot264, VidCoder or Handbrake.
Taking the video off the computer to put it on a DVD is of no advantage to you unless you have a very slow computer which takes many hours to convert from DV to DVD-compatible MPEG-2 or you really like the menus that the DVD recorder makes. Putting the resulting DVD video back on the computer to convert it again makes no sense whatsoever. Converting directly from DV to h.264 Mp4 or MKV will produce a better quality result and take less time than converting from DVD, since the DV video is already on your computer!
Last edited by usually_quiet; 29th May 2016 at 11:46.
Let me clarify. Yes, when I capture, video files are created on my hard drive by the DVRex card. The problem is that I know of no standard playback software that will play them back. The DVRex uses its own proprietary file formats. It seems to have one master avi file and then one or more smaller files. It behaves as if the avi file contains a directory pointing into all the additional files.
There is one exception: if the length of the video is less than something like 18 minutes, I can put the video into a DVRex file that will be played back by commonly used software such as vlc player. However, that is only an exception, not general rule.
Also, the DVRex produced files take up double or triple the disc space that mp4, mkv, etc files take up.
I did try some sort of converter that Canopus made available to convert the DVRex files to more commonly used files, but I could never get it to work on win xp or win 7 and using 2 or 3 different computers.
When I use my current procedure, at least the video is in dvd file format and there are tons of universally available software and hardware players that handle that format.
I hope someone here knows if my using Premiere with the DVRex card to do the editing is likely to take as long or longer than the procedure I am now doing.
18 minutes would be around 4GB. It sounds like the software is just designed to split the files into 4GB chunks to be friendly to the FAT32 file system of the era.
It should be simple enough to concatenate any existing captures into one file. Using alternative capture software, including Premiere, should avoid this with future captures.
Enosoft AVI Repair Tool can repackage the data in these smaller files into a standard AVI file.
If you refuse to try something new with no guarantee that it will work, then your process can never change. The DVRex card is a very old device now. Most here who bought a Canopus capture device have something newer, so your chances of receiving a reply telling you what you want to know are not very good.
Yes, I will most certainly try all that and see for myself. I was just hoping I might get lucky and run across someone here who has already been through this and might have been able to warn me it was a waste of time because the processing by Premiere will take too long, or whatever, or else tell me that using Premiere will do what I want and will save time.
Once I've converted my sd tape library to computer video files, I will be totally out of sd for good and will move over to some sort of solution to capture HD and the DVRex cards I own will then be permanently retired.
Thanks to everyone so far for all your answers and help.