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  1. Member
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    ****o, folks at VideoHelp!

    I'm planning to capture an about 75 long VHS-PAL-movie via cheap EasyCap (or what was written onto the device, EasierCap) device and the VirtualDub software. I did figure out how to remove some of the problems after recording, like ghosting or some called it a chroma effect, but is there any more ways to improve the quality of the video even though I know that VHS-cassettes has a weak quality compared to much more recent digital formats.

    Here's a captured video for the sake of testing, and it does run very well without any noise. However, what does rather bother me in here is some kind of moving or flashing grain or whatever it's called. The player or recorder where I managed to capture this scene has an HDMI output, which was plugged into a plasma TV and the picture is much cleaner in that tv screen. I also found this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ss0wobHzwc) showcasing the power of restoration with the same software and its restoration does look much cleaner and doesn't have any of that moving grain like my video has.
    So, is there any more possible ways to make it much cleaner?
    finished vhs cap.mp4



    Here's the history of how I managed to create this video:
    1. I plugged my Easycap into the cheap underpowered laptop (which is why it features some lagging or errors at the end and I'll use a much powerful system for the sake of capturing), and plugged the AV plugs into the SCART-adapter with output turned on and plugged that onto the DVD/VHS-player or -recorder (The model is LG rct699h).

    2. Then I launched the VirtualDub, opened it's capture mode and set what I needed according to a very helpful tutorial video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn_TDa9zY1c&t=500s). I set up 25 per second framerate, the needed compression (which is Lagarith the lossless codec), and then I started recording. The recording got laggy and weird a bit later due to the underpowered system, but it went fine. That grain that I was talking about is seen in this raw-capture and is still is in the finished video, so maybe it's due to the capture.

    3. Then I used the deinterlace filter into the captured video, which didn't ruin the quality that much. It removed the chroma problem by using the "Interpolate using Yadif algorithm" and "Double frame rate, bottom field first" like in that mentioned tutorial.

    4. Then I saved the filtered video into AVI via same compression codec, and finally, I have used the HandBrake software, in which I have converted the huge AVI file into this video that you are seeing and that's it.
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  2. Member Bernix's Avatar
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    Hi,
    as mentioned in tutorial. Bottom field first or Top field first, you get correct info from mediainfo of your captured file. Wrong field order should be disaster. I always see TFF just on my video camera only is BFF. So best is mediainfo information here.
    That's all I want mentioned. I also hope You will have not trouble with audio, it could be, if you have some dropped frames.

    Bernix
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  3. Member Bernix's Avatar
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    Actually he corrected it later to Top field first in this tutorial. Also your video is 24 progressive, so you don't doubled frame rate in deinterlace option?
    EDIT: you can also set more reference frames to at least 8 <- animation has big benefit from this, you have 2, Motion Estimation set to UMH you have hex, and subme to 9 you have 6, but not sure if it helps in vhs capture file lot.
    Bernix
    Last edited by Bernix; 19th Nov 2017 at 10:23. Reason: EDIT
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  4. A quick AviSynth example from your MP4 file.
    Image Attached Files
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    Alright, thanks for these replies.
    First off, I didn't really mean the frame rate issue. I think the clip plays as smoothly as in the original tape. What I mean is how these frames are rendered or capture into the digital format.
    The clip has that a bit distracting and flickering noise-like thing through the entire video that I can't explain and it's not even seen through the HDMI output at all.

    However, thanks jagabo for trying out to fix that problem. It actually worked. That noise is gone.
    Though I would like to make the colors more vibrant in the final result.

    I'm aware of the AviSynth, but I just don't know how to use it.
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  6. I thought the original colors were too saturated. You're free to make whatever adjustments you want of course. The major noise reduction I used was TemporalDegrain (at its default settings which are too high for live video but work ok with cartoons). I used dehalo_alpha() to reduce the halos on vertical edges. And aWarpSharp to smooth and sharpen edges a bit, with stronger settings on the chroma (VHS has very low chroma resolution). Here's a modification of the script with less color adjustment (only a little loss of saturation from the levels adjustment):

    Code:
    LSmashVideoSource("finished vhs cap.mp4") 
    Dehalo_alpha(rx=4.0, ry=1, BrightStr=1.2)
    Spline36Resize(480,height)
    TemporalDegrain()
    ColorYUV(gain_y=60, off_y=-10) # levels adjustment
    Dup(blend=true, show=false) # make near duplicate frames exact duplicates
    Spline36Resize(712,height)
    MergeChroma(aWarpSharp(depth=10), aWarpSharp(depth=20))
    But you should have provided the original cap, not a partially filtered and AVC encoded version. And why is the clip 712x568, not 720x576? I'm guessing you cropped away 8 lines of head switching noise at the bottom of the frame and 8 lines from the left/right edges to match. How did you come up with 24 fps? Check some panning shots to see smooth they are. I suspect there will be jerks.
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    Thanks for this great tip.
    Right now I'm very busy, but here is an original capture file that this file was based on. You can improve the quality further if you need the original file for it.
    rawcap.avi
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    Originally Posted by TommyL View Post
    I'm planning to capture an about 75 long VHS-PAL-movie via cheap EasyCap (or what was written onto the device, EasierCap) device
    You really need to get rid of that EasierCrap POS before you ruin 75 tape captures. At least use the real EZCap at http://www.ezcap.tv/usb-video-capture/ezcap116-capture-card and save yourself (and us) some grief. That capture sample is a disaster.
    Last edited by LMotlow; 20th Nov 2017 at 16:18.
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  9. I agree. Some of your noise problems are caused by the capture device. The attached video is cleaner and retains more saturation but still has some of the diagonal and horizontal line noise.

    Code:
    AviSource("rawcap.avi") 
    Crop(12,0,-4,-0)
    TFM()
    ConvertToYV12()
    ColorYUV(gain_y=80, off_y=-10, cont_u=50, cont_v=50)
    Spline36Resize(360, height)
    vInverse()
    Dehalo_alpha(rx=1.8, ry=1, BrightStr=1.8)
    darks = ConvertToRGB(matrix="PC.601").RGBAdjust(r=0.90, g=1.2).ConvertToYV12(matrix="PC.601")
    Overlay(darks, last, mask=last.ColorYUV(cont_y=100))
    MergeChroma(aWarpSharp(depth=10), aWarpSharp(depth=20))
    TemporalDegrain()
    ChromaShift(c=2, l=-2)
    Spline36Resize(704,height)
    Image Attached Files
    Last edited by jagabo; 21st Nov 2017 at 11:34.
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    Okay. Sorry for the late reply and thanks for the info.
    I did get rid of the cheap EasyCap and I'm about to get a much better device to have a better recording quality without that noise. EzCap does sound good, but how about Diamond VC500? I have heard great things from it so far, so I'm probably choosing this.
    Wouldn't it have any compatibility problems with VirtualDub and will it able to digitize even the copy protected material like this feature well enough?
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  11. If the VC500 doesn't work with VirtualDub there are other choices. AmerecTV, for example. I don't think it will capture Macrovision protected tapes.
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    Okay. Thanks for the quick reply, but is there any other good quality capturing device that can capture Macrovision protected tapes?
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    If the VC500 doesn't work with VirtualDub there are other choices. AmerecTV, for example. I don't think it will capture Macrovision protected tapes.
    In some recent tests by vaporeon800, the VC500 ignored Macrovision. At least, it appeared to ignore it on the Titanic VHS. In any case, with the condition some of the tapes seem to be in, and and to ensure audio sync, I don't see why an external frame-level tbc isn't in use.
    Last edited by LMotlow; 23rd Nov 2017 at 12:55.
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    Good, but then I have found Honestech's Vhs to DVD deluxe 7.0 device. Could that work well on Virtualdub?
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    Honestech has a long history as crap in many forums. The VC500 has been tested here as petty decent stuff.
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  16. The Diamond VC500 is a known decent device. I'd go with that.
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    Alright, but why is the Honestech device considered bad by many? What's the problem with it?
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    Diamond Multimedia seems to have a better track record over the years. The only good report I've ever seen about results with a Honestech device, going back in forums to about 2004, is from the Honestech advertising itself. I've never seen anyone in a tech forum recommend their hardware or software over anything else but have seen reports in tech forums recommending against their hardware as well as their software as producing typically generic, inferior results when compared to better choices. If you think those are all good prospects and you believe their hype, go with it.
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    Great, but how about Roxio vhs to dvd or Elgato video capture device? Are these any good or bad?
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    Roxio sucks. Always has. Elgato is sort of okay, kind of noisy and overpriced but go for it. Some in this forum use it. Look for old posts.
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  21. Member
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    Alright! Sorry, if I ask too much questions, but I really want decide, which of these cards will fit the best. I did hear that Hauppauge has a good reputation, but is Hauppauge usb-live 2 any good.
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    USB Live-2 is pretty nice but clips super blacks. Didn't you say you had a problem with Macrovision? Hauppauge won't let you get past that without a frame-level tbc. This all leaves you with the VC500 and the Elgato. Why don't you do a little research of your own in the forums and look for posts by people using these devices? Since you're not so trusting of anyone's opinion anyway, why not spend $40 on a known entity like a VC500 and if you don't like it send it back to Amazon within 30 days.

    You'll never really know until you buckle down to capture analog tape the way it's been done for the past 3 decades with high-end VCR's, line-level and frame-level tbc's, capture devices designed with optimization for analog input sources, and lossless codecs via VirtualDub, amarecTV or similar.
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    I use Canopus ADVC300 Advanced Digital Video Converter.
    It makes the captured look better then the tape. It cleans up the noise and grain from the tape.
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