I used to capture my old VHS tapes using a regular VCR (Gradiente, 7 Head, Stereo) and a Pixelview PlayTV Pro Ultra PCI card. I know I'd better use a TBC, but they are almost impossible to find here in Brazil and importing anything is very expensive (almost 100% product value + shipment on duties).
Pixelview PlayTV Pro Ultra use to capture just fine with Virtualdub. No dropped frames, except to keep audio/video sync eventually. But I had to use a separate partition with Windows XP to do it. Any other software running in background would cause drops. Newer Windows versions wouldn't have proper drivers.
Then I moved to a Pixelview PlayTV USB Hybrid, it had issues in Virtualdub, so I used VirtualVCR to capture with it. Again, no dropped frames. And since VirtualVCR resamples audio instead of dropping frames to keep sync, I even liked it better. Windows 7 I was using then.
Now, on Windows 10, I tried to use it again but I found all kinds of issues. There is a working driver, but VirtualVCR won't work anymore (maybe issues with Windows 10) and Virtualdub works, but drops lots of frames.
My questions are:
- Is there any other capture software, besides Virtualdub and VirtualVCR that I should try?
- Should I buy a newer USB capture device? Any of them is known to work fine with Virtualdub/VirtualVCR and Windows 10? Diamond VC500?
Here most devices I can find are Easycap crappy clones, so I'll have to import a device, paying double its price, so I better choose wisely. I can't afford trial and error. Therefore I'm here asking for advice.
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I forgot to mention:
- The capture card must support PAL-M.
- I'm using Huffyuv to compress video
- Computer has an i7 processor and 32GB RAM
I have a Elgato Game Capture HD60 and a Framemeister XRGB Mini. I tried to capture through them, but Framemeister will eventually lose sync and it takes a while to recover, so I gave up on it.
Some more background:
Some years ago I've captured some of my old VHS tapes with the configuration I've cited above. I didn't deinterlace it since I was going to watch on CRT TVs anyway. I only used a denoise filter and converted everything to DVD5 with 352x480 resolution. It looked good on CRT, but today, with LCD TVs I can see some MPEG-2 artifacts and maybe I'm missing some vertical resolution.
So, as the tapes are still in good shape, I'm thinking about capturing everything again. This time I would deinterlace it. I didn't decide how yet, but a Bob filter doubling the framerate seems like a nice option, right? I accept suggestions on that. I may use other filters to improve the image as well. This time I may convert everything to h.264 (RF 18 on Handbrake maybe) without concerning file sizes. I don't know if my BD Player accepts a regular BD-ROM with only these files on it. Maybe I'll have to author a BD, but 25GB ir probably much more than enough for 3-hour max videos. I'll probably fit a bunch of them on the same disc.
After reading many other posts here I found out Diamond VC500 has different hardware versions under the same model number. I also couldn't find wheter it supports PAL-M or not.
So I'm considering the real EzCAP, as it is cheaper and more likely to support PAL-M, since it even support non-standard stuff like PAL60.
If you were capturing from an old Brazilian TV broadcast, you may need to worry about PAL-M. You are mixing up Broadcast Standards with Video Format. PAL is PAL if you are talking about something like a VHS tape.
The VC500 isn't recommended if you aren't going to use a line TBC, anyway. It's particularly bad with timebase errors.
Some of my tapes were recorded from TV. Others were recorded from another tape using two VCRs and even though the original was NTSC, the copy is PAL-M since transcoding is the default option and not all VCR had an option to output NTSC even if the tape was NTSC.
That's why I need a PAL-M capable USB device.
My first capture card was a Pinnacle DC10. I had to buy a PAL-M -> NTSC transcoder to use it with my VHS tapes. Unfortunatelly these transcoders degrades the image.
I think ALL conventional VHS capture devices are bad choices without a TBC.
As for the drops, try to disable audio capture as this could be problematic. I personally capture video and audio separately (HuffYUV and WAV respectively), and sync and mux with VirtualDub later. Not only is this less stressful on my older XP box that I use for VHS capture, but I have the choice of VCR for best P/Q and audio quality this way since some VCRs are better suited for video, and others for audio.
And yeah, if you're going to buy an ezcap, ONLY buy from ezcap.tv and nowhere else.I hate VHS. I always did.
I would consider a TBC if it was a sure thing. But the less expensive ones, like AVT-8710, also have their share of problems and bad reviews. Also, I don't know if it is worth getting a TBC without a good SVHS VCR, which is very hard to find here. I can't even import one, as it would probably not support PAL-M.
Regarding Virtualdub capture, I tried capturing only video, but I still had problems. I'm almost sure it is related to the Polaris Windows 10 driver, because I tried another machine and I got the same problem. On the other hand, I can capture flawless from my Logitech webcam (with and without sound) up to 720p. Using 1080p I had many dropped frames, but USB 2.0 isn't sufficent for 1080p anyway.
I'll probably try ezcap.tv alone first. My old Pixelview capture card used to capture without lost frames even with really bad VHS tapes that would output only garbage at some points. If it doesn't work I'll consider the TBCs.
UK currency had a big drop yeasterday. This must be a sign that I should buy EZCAP.TV
As per resolution, anything over 480/576 is overkill for VHS, and/or likely worse. And if you do decide to go for the ezcap.tv, it's a good choice with VHS capture (and works fluidly with VirtualDub, lossless, full rez, PAL), and will work on modern systems like Windows 10.
You don't really need an SVHS VCR in my opinion, with, or without, a TBC. If you're having issues with money, or importing such units, look into a good clean, stand-alone VCR (not a combo), black, HiFi, and good branded, 4-head VCR. That, and a passthrough can be a good economical, and good quality solution.
Originally Posted by fbreveI hate VHS. I always did.
PAL-M is an oddball system unique to Brazil, so he would have to play a lottery with models only available there, hoping they offer decent correction.
EDIT: Actually, it appears Brazil got versions of those and other Panasonic units known to TBC well.
Last edited by Brad; 25th Jun 2016 at 20:34.
I'd like to thank you all for the valuable information. I bought a Panasonic ES10 and EZCAP.TV 116.
Panasonic ES10 costed R$ 300 (equivalent to ~US$ 92 on today quotation). It arrived today. It accepts both PAL-M and NTSC as input and it always output NTSC. Therefore, if the capture card does not support PAL-M it won't be a problem.
The drive is working, but I didn't bother trying to record anything. Moreover, I only have +R and +RW media and it only records on -R and -RW media.
Any advice on the configs? I noticed it has a NR filter which can be set to ON, OFF or AUTO. And there is some dark/light options for output.
EZCAP.TV 116 will probably take 15~90 days to arrive due to customs delays. And after 3 days I ordered there is no update, they just charged, but no shipment yet. Weird...
I tried feeding ES 10 output to Framemeister and now it does not lose sync anymore. I can even pause, fast forward, etc. so ES10 is doing a good job. I could capture Framemeister output using Elgato HD 60, but I guess it will try to deinterlace the source which is probably not a good idea. So I'll wait for EZCAP.TV 116.
I also feed the output of my S-Video modded Atari 2600 through ES10 just to see what would happen. And it did a pretty good job of stabilyzing and denoising the picture. However, the lag makes it useless for gaming. But it was worth doing this test because now I know that audio must also pass through ES10, otherwise it will be out of sync.
Set the NR to off. This setting is saved separately for each input. I think there is also playback NR, which would only apply to disc playback.
There seems to be some disagreement as to the "correct" dark/light settings.
Thanks, I'll do some testing with the dark/light settings. The default settings seemed fine in my first few tests.
Another curious thing I noticed is that Panasonic went through the trouble of modifying ES10 to accept PAL-M, but they didn't bother translating the menus: only English, Spanish and French are available. No portuguese. Not a problem, but unusual.
Holy crap! I found the problem: I disabled the "Force audio clock when audio playback is enabled" box on Virtualdub timing settings and no more dropped frames!
I messed so much on the settings and I was missing this one. The sad thing is that this would probably had fixed Pixelview PlayTV USB Hybrid as well and I wouldn't have to buy Diamond VC500.
vaporeon800: I saw in another thread that you don't use resync with VC500 since audio/video are integrated on VC500. However, when I set Virtualdub to resync, it is actually resampling as if audio/video were not synced.
And feedback on ezcap.tv: They didn't update my order after almost 2 weeks. They don't answer to the contact form. They don't accept me in their forum. That's why I decided to give up on them and buy Diamond VC500 from Amazon.
I'll open a dispute in PayPal to cancel my order with ezcap.tv.