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  1. Hey everyone,

    I run a small project studio out of my home. I have built a large media PC for all my multi media projects. I do video editing, music production, photo/video archiving, ect. I have a power multimedia PC with a AMD Threadripper 1950x CPU, 2 SSD drives, 5 HDD drives, 32 gigs of ram. You can see all my specs and pics of my build via my PC Parts picker page here:
    https://pcpartpicker.com/b/BqHhP6

    I am getting more and more requests from clients/customers to convert VHS and VHS-C tapes to dvd/digital files. Most of them are family video type footage where they want to avoid wear and tear on the tapes and play the digital media versions.

    I have a VHS VCR/DVD burner combo unit I use to play the VHS tapes. I also have a Hauppauge Colossus PCIe Cpature for analog capture sources. I am currently having an issue with it. The Hauppauge Capture software doesn't not pick up on video signal very well, and when I use the program Xplit to capture the video, it is in black and white. Going out of the VCR with composite cables, I am going into the Colossus card using the correct red and black audio cables, and for video I am putting the yellow cables into the green cable, as the only video cables the card has are red, green, and blue for video. In the past, using the yellow composite in the green works for composite video capture.

    I have had several issues in the past using this Happauge card. So, I am wondering.... should I upgrade to the Happauge Colossus 2 card? I also have the Aver Media Live HD card, but that only takes HDMI cables. Are there options to use composite cables into a HDMI adapter of some sort?

    I have also in the past recorded VHS tapes to DVD using the VCR/DVD burner combo unit. I would then take the burned DVD and rip it into the pc through the PC disc drive. Is this another solid option? I am just looking for the best possible capturing I can so I can get the best video capture.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions!
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    If your B&W issue is only on a few tapes, are you aware of the NTSC/PAL video format issue?
    PAL format VHS tapes show up as B&W(if they show up at all) in NTSC equipment.
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  3. Thanks for the reply, but I'm 100% positive this is not the issue. All my tapes I am testing are all NTSC. I have never had a PAL format in any media.
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  5. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by liberty610 View Post
    I have a VHS VCR/DVD burner combo unit I use to play the VHS tapes.
    Which exact one?

    Most are low quality, and should NEVER be used for capture purposes. If the unit is not good, you're doing your customers a disservice, and giving them crappy low-quality work. And that will come back to bite you in the ass.
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  6. Fair enough. This is why I have been researching and testing things out before I start advertising or taking jobs. I currently have access to two units. One is a Panasonic - I can't recall the exact model number. My back up one is an Emerson - Model EWR20V5. If you have any suggestions on which one(s) to look into getting, I am all about it.

    I am currently shopping around for an HV30 for digital mini DV archiving, and looking into 8mm cam corders for digital options. Any feedback on those would be great as well.
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    Originally Posted by liberty610 View Post
    I have a VHS VCR/DVD burner combo unit I use to play the VHS tapes. I also have a Hauppauge Colossus PCIe Cpature for analog capture sources. I am currently having an issue with it. The Hauppauge Capture software doesn't not pick up on video signal very well, and when I use the program Xplit to capture the video, it is in black and white. Going out of the VCR with composite cables, I am going into the Colossus card using the correct red and black audio cables, and for video I am putting the yellow cables into the green cable, as the only video cables the card has are red, green, and blue for video. In the past, using the yellow composite in the green works for composite video capture.


    A bit dated but way ahead of where you are now - - - > > http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/video.htm
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  8. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    A bit dated
    Not for long.

    All these new writings take so much time.
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  9. Thanks for the replies. I guess I am looking to update my current setup and make sure I get the best results possible. I have been more of a hobbyist over the years for my own doings, but people have seen my setup and asked me to capture for them, so I did. I am sure my current capture cards and not the highest end ones, so I am looking to see what I need to be a little more updated and professional. I have been capturing, editing, and archiving my own videos for years, but with more 'consumer based' setups. I started in 2004 with Pinnacle Studio 8 software and the breakout box that came with that and moved on from there, but never looked into high end pro tape gear, mostly because I grew into the digital formats with my cameras (I currently shoot most my own videos on a Sony NX100).

    I started looking for professional VHS players the other day, but couldn't find much info on what exactly I should be looking into. I found a Tascam unit for audio cassettes that now sits in my rack, but nothing for video tape sources. Most of my recent footage and archived files I handle for myself come from straight to card digital sources. The last tape source I used the most was mini DV through a canon HV30 camcorder. I have had a lot of people ask me to capture and put their videos on DVD or hard drives for them, and they where pretty happy with their results, but a lot of them are not tech savvy at all so it wouldn't take much to impress them. Just need a little help getting to the next stage.
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    Hobbyists, advanced hobbyists, semi-pros, and pros don't normally use pro broadcast players for VHS, if that's what you're aiming at. They use specialized hardware and software that is optimized for analog formats like VHS/VHS-C,Video8, etc. Here's a frequently updated thread of the most highly recommended players: .http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/1567-vcr-buying-guide.html. These recommendations hold true whether you capture to lossless media for restoration and repair, or directly to DVD/h264. Here is one recommended maintenance/sales dealer for several pro-level analog VCRs: https://www.tgrantphoto.com/sales/index.php/categories/professional-vcrs.

    Associated equipment would be line-level and frame-level tbc's. Excellent videos showing the exact effects of time base errors & TBC. USB, AGP, and PCIe capture cards designed specifically for analog capture are preferred over digital-only cards that are designed for DV formats. The capture software most often recommended for lossless capture and restoration work are Virtualdub and AmarecTV. The software recommended for restoration/repair if you take that route is Avisynth and Virtualdub. There are plenty of NLE editors around at the budget and pricey levels for this kind of editing work, although they are editors, not repair tools. All this stuff is discussed at length in the capture, restoration, and editing areas of forums like this one -- there are literally thousands of examples from very recent active posts and solutions to threads going back several years.
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  11. Thanks for the reply LMotlow. I was actually look at the TGP site earlier. I'll start reading up on the suggestions you have posted here as well. I am not looking for broadcast gear by far. I am looking for the best options for, as you said, to optimize analog formats. VHS, VHS-C, and video 8 are the top 3 I am looking to get gear for. For digital Mini DV, I was planning on picking up a used Canon HV30, as I ended up selling mine several years ago.

    I know from my days of using Pinnacle Studio 8 that a capture card designed for analog specifically is the best way to go, as the AVI caps where always the best quality. My issue is, I am having a hard time finding a solid capture card for this that is in my price range. The aver media card I have is a solid cap card for HD sources as long as I use other software that didn't come with it, as I see a lot of audio sync issues with their bundled software. I am looking into VirtualDub already, based on other articles and pages I read on here.

    For my main NLE editor I am using Vegas Pro 14. I have no real issues with digital video files with that, but like I said, most my newer footage is all digital from newer cameras like the Sony HXR-Nx100,

    I appreciate the replies and help. I see that I still need some more gear before I try and tackle this. I appreciate all the feedback!
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    Please stop where you are and take a good hard look at what you're attempting to do. You're dealing with people's precious memories on videotape and you may have only one chance (due to various bad tape conditions) to capture them. It's heartbreaking to read posts where the member asks how fix or enhance a videotape transfer they had done by a "professional", only to be told that transfer was so poorly done that it's beyond repair.

    Doing proper "professional" videotape capture requires multiple hours of learning and hundreds (perhaps thousands) of dollars of equipment. Thoroughly read through the links you've been provided and assess your willingness to learn and ability to purchase the proper necessary equipment.
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  13. Dully noted. I am starting to see this now, and again, I appreciate the replies and feedback. I may stick with the digital video editing and smaller music production tasks I am currently doing. Thanks for the feedback.
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    Getting back to the problem with black-and-white video, the green component connection carries component video's chroma signal. Chroma is black-and-white. I looked up an old post of mine, and it turns out that in a pinch, the Colossus's blue component connector can substitute for the yellow connector on the composite and S-video break-out cable that is supposed to come with a new device.

    However, the Colossus is not the best choice for VHS capture because it hardware encodes and is only able to output H.264 video and AAC audio from analog sources. Anyone interested in producing better VHS to digital conversions should use capture devices which output uncompressed video and audio to allow the use of lossless codecs for video encoding and PCM for audio.

    AmaRecTV is a good alternative to Virtualdub for capturing with cards that produce uncompressed video output. It produces captures with better A/V synchronization than Virtualdub with a number of capture devices. (The Colossus doesn't work with either of these programs.)
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 26th Jan 2018 at 11:54.
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  15. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by liberty610 View Post
    and looking into 8mm cam corders for digital options. Any feedback on those would be great as well.
    In the late years of Hi8 around 1998 Sony came up with an enhanced version of Hi8 and Video8 named it Hi8-XR and Video8-XR (Don't know the purpose of this one) stands for Extra Resolution, In case that you have some customers with tapes in that format it is better to have a camcorder capable of it, You can still playback those tapes on a regular Hi8 camcorder but you won't get the benefit of the extra resolution, As far as I know none of Hi8 decks have this feature so I guess a camcorder is a must.

    Another important feature to note is the TBC (Time Base Corrector), It helps stabilizes the picture.

    Also some Digital8 camcorders can playback Hi8 and Video8 as well.

    So if you can find a Digital8 camcorder that can playback Hi8-XR and has a TBC you will kill few birds with one stone.
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  16. Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Originally Posted by liberty610 View Post
    and looking into 8mm cam corders for digital options. Any feedback on those would be great as well.
    In the late years of Hi8 around 1998 Sony came up with an enhanced version of Hi8 and Video8 named it Hi8-XR and Video8-XR (Don't know the purpose of this one) stands for Extra Resolution, In case that you have some customers with tapes in that format it is better to have a camcorder capable of it, You can still playback those tapes on a regular Hi8 camcorder but you won't get the benefit of the extra resolution, As far as I know none of Hi8 decks have this feature so I guess a camcorder is a must.

    Another important feature to note is the TBC (Time Base Corrector), It helps stabilizes the picture.

    Also some Digital8 camcorders can playback Hi8 and Video8 as well.

    So if you can find a Digital8 camcorder that can playback Hi8-XR and has a TBC you will kill few birds with one stone.

    I actually was reading up on earlier and planned on doing just that. you filled in some holes for me though, so thank you for the extra info!
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