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Poll: Which format do you use to archive VHS captured videos?

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  1. Hello,

    I'm going to capture my old VHS tapes (home video, proms, sports recorded from TV) and I still did not decide in which format I'll keep the digital files. So I'd like to know what most people are using today.

    - MP4 (h.264/AAC)
    - Bluray/AVCHD (h.264/AC3)
    - Other?

    If I choose MP4, I would put the files on a NAS to be readily available and keep backups on BD-R media. It has the advantage of not requiring authoring, I could just encode everything in Handbrake. But it has the disadvantage (I guess) that the video must be deinterlaced (right?).

    If I choose Bluray/AVCHD, I have the advantage of keeping the video interlaced, but I'm still messing with multiAVCHD. The "Fit All" option does not work, it always produces too small or too large output. I already tried encoding through Handbrake, but multiAVCHD always complain of non-compliance and/or TSMuxer fails.

    Thinking about longevity, I still don't know which format will have better support in the future. I guess Blu-ray as it is a bigger standard, but optical media is likely to disappear and Blu-ray players may become the next VCR.

    Thinking about accessibility, I guess more people are ready to watch Blu-rays on their TV than single MP4 files, especially if they have low restrictions, as Handbrake will use 16 ref frames on auto, maybe too much even for MP4 ready devices, but that won't be a problem in the future as devices will be more powerful.

    So, which path are you using?
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  2. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    It should be possible to encode interlaced, BD-compliant files in Handbrake by forcing the necessary advanced options in x264's command line.

    And AC3 audio is supported by MP4. So you can make one encode that works for both destinations.

    The downside of BD compliance is that efficiency may be worse, since the settings need to be constrained.
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  3. I'm running a few tests to see if I can get the best of both worlds: not deinterlacing to avoid losing any detail and MP4 files.

    VLC is handling interlaced h.264 fine with Yadif 2X. Now I have to check how Kodi and WD TV Live will handle this.

    Then I will check which is the highest h.264 profile level WD TV Live supports. I already checked that Level 5.1 is too much for it, but maybe 4.2 will be fine.
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  4. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fbreve View Post
    Then I will check which is the highest h.264 profile level WD TV Live supports. I already checked that Level 5.1 is too much for it, but maybe 4.2 will be fine.
    Most devices stop at 4.1, but you don't really need to go above 3.1 for SD VHS rips. If you are trying to get better compression you should use the High Profile with one of the slow presets.
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  5. I'm already using High Profile and VerySlow Preset. Since higher profile levels gives me slightly smaller files I was trying to go as high as I could without losing compatibility with my devices.

    With 1080p videos, WDTV Live is fine up to Level 4.2. I guess it can't handle 16 ref frames of Level 5.1 and above.

    It's worth noticing that WDTV Live specs say it supports only 1080p24 and 1080i30, but it actually runs 1080p60 fine as long as the bitrate is not too high. So maybe I should keep Level on 4.0 or below so the bitrate stays below 25Mbps. Or I can use higher levels but using an aditional vbv-maxrate flag. But I guess it's unlikely that SD video will go higher than 25Mbps with RF=18 anyway.

    I also noticed that for some reason Handbrake refuses the ttf flag when the level is set to 4.2 or higher. Therefore, my interlaced video testings will be on Level 4.1. I'll come back with the results.
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    ı suggest you capture thenm with a high wuality card.not with a analog tv card.it captures low picture quality.you can choose 720*540 4:3 resulotion and choose h264 2000 kbit video bitrate 128kbit aac audio bitrate.
    Last edited by montevo; 2nd Jul 2016 at 04:43. Reason: video codec
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  7. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    IMO, the deinterlacing quality of the WD TV Live sucks.
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  8. Originally Posted by montevo View Post
    ı suggest you capture thenm with a high wuality card.not with a analog tv card.it captures low picture quality.you can choose 720*540 4:3 resulotion and choose h264 2000 kbit video bitrate 128kbit aac audio bitrate.
    And what would be a high quality card?

    You mean hardware encode at 2000 kbps? I prefer to capture 720x480 lossless (Huffyuv or Lagarith), so I can apply filters if needed. Then encode to h.264 using handbrake, I guess x264 is better than hardware encoders. I also intend to use variable bitrate with a target quality (RF=18, probably).
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  9. Originally Posted by vaporeon800 View Post
    IMO, the deinterlacing quality of the WD TV Live sucks.
    Indeed, WD TV Live deinterlace is bad.

    VLC Player did a great job with Yadif 2X.

    Kodi is in the middle, I don't know which deinterlace method it is using, there is a field to select it, but it's on auto and greyed out.

    Now it's a matter of deciding between keeping interlaced or deinterlacing with Yadif 2X in Virtualdub before encoding. In other words, it is a matter of guessing if future devices will have better deinterlacing methods or if they won't deinterlace at all as interlaced stuff becomes less common.

    Since interlaced stuff are still around with 1080i broadcast, I believe deinterlacing methods will still be around for a while, so I'm inclined to keep it interlaced now.
    Last edited by fbreve; 2nd Jul 2016 at 14:12. Reason: grammar
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