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  1. Hi

    Im just at the start of a process of capturing some old home videos. Im trying to find a good procedure.
    My budget is low, Im caturing from a LG combined DVD/VHS, but Im using the composite out and capturing that with a König USB device. No TBC.

    The result is quite good. And the aim is to have the videos on my NAS to stream to my popcorn hour mediaplayer.

    Im capturing in Virtualdub with Lagarith YUY2 compression.
    And Im post-processing in Virtualdub with the following filters:
    1. Yadif double framerate deinterlacer
    2. VHS Flaxen - just the chroma shift part
    3. Neat video to reduce noice
    4. crop and resize
    5. Levels

    I then compress with Handbrake to h.264 in an mkv

    The result look quite good on my 50inch TV

    But I have some noice that I need to filter really hard in Neat video to get rid of.
    And I was wondering if anyonehere could give I clue to what it is and if it is possible to get rid of?
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  2. Dot crawl artifacts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot_crawl

    Yes, you can reduce them. A downscale to ~half width, horizontal sharpen, and upscale back to full width will work if the video isn't too sharp to begin with:

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    I did that in AviSynth with:

    Code:
    Spline36Resize(width/2, height)
    Sharpen(0.2, 0.0)
    TurnLeft().nnedi3(dh=true).TurnRight()
    You can combine something like that with an edge detection filter to overlay the blurred image only where there are colorful edges.

    By the way, if you search through these forums you'll find lots of posts about "dot crawl" and ways of removing it. If you want your particular video addressed more specifically you should upload a sample (of the original video, not a reencoded clip).
    Last edited by jagabo; 31st Jan 2018 at 19:07.
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  3. Dot crawl can also be reduced or eliminated by using the correct hardware connections. Using the S-Video connector instead of the yellow RCA composite connector can often eliminate these artifacts. If your VCR and capture device have S-Video, use it. If not, try to get some different equipment which has it.
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  4. Yes, avoiding it in the first place is best. Dot crawl artifacts are the result of incomplete separation of the chroma subcarrier of a composite video signal. If you can avoid using composite video you can avoid dot crawl.
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  5. In case you haven't researched this yet:

    Dot Crawl
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  6. Ok, thanks for the advices.
    I have s-video on my capture card and video, but for some reason I the image was black/white and very grainy.
    Any Ideas what could have caused that? I capture in virtualdub64bit, since for some reason I never could get it any image at all in 32bit virtualdub. I run windows7 64bit
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  7. Originally Posted by sventamyra View Post
    Ok, thanks for the advices.
    I have s-video on my capture card and video, but for some reason I the image was black/white and very grainy.
    Any Ideas what could have caused that? I capture in virtualdub64bit, since for some reason I never could get it any image at all in 32bit virtualdub. I run windows7 64bit
    Ok. Pardon my ignorance. I read up on s-video and realized Im using a scart-s-video converter. There is no s-video out on this vcr. I'll look into a capture device with component in, since the vcr has component out.
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  8. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    You're essentially getting low-end results from low-end hardware. This is expected.

    This is what you need for quality results:
    - S-VHS VCR (preferably with built-in line/field TBC)
    - full frame external framesync TBC
    - known good capture card

    Swapping to component is not really an option.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank Discs • Best TBCs • Best VCRs for capture • Restore VHS
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  9. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    You're essentially getting low-end results from low-end hardware. This is expected.

    This is what you need for quality results:
    - S-VHS VCR (preferably with built-in line/field TBC)
    - full frame external framesync TBC
    - known good capture card

    Swapping to component is not really an option.
    Im having trouble finding both s-vhs and tbc where I live. Are you saying that the component out of the LG would not be any better than the composite out?
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  10. I would think that component would be a tremendous improvement (if your problem is indeed dot crawl) and, depending on the internal circuitry in the VCR, might get rid of the dot crawl. I'd try that first before you go around buying other equipment.

    The TBC is a good addition, but not essential for all transfers. I can prevent "flagging" (the sideways bending of video at the top of the frame) as well as "herring bones" you sometimes see on hard vertical lines, caused by adjacent scan lines not starting at precisely the same moment, relative to each other. I think it can also help with some color issues, although I've never had a good enough TBC to know for sure.

    However, if you have a good SP (2-hour) tape, you can get a pretty good transfer without the TBC. With problem tapes, it is almost essential.
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 2nd Feb 2018 at 18:11. Reason: added paranthetical
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  11. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    The TBC is a good addition, but not essential for all transfers. I can prevent "flagging" (the sideways bending of video at the top of the frame) as well as "herring bones" you sometimes see on hard vertical lines, caused by adjacent scan lines not starting at precisely the same moment, relative to each other. I think it can also help with some color issues, although I've never had a good enough TBC to know for sure.
    No.

    You're confusing TBC types here.

    An external framesync TBC is to stabilize the signal. It has little bearing on image quality in most cases. Sometimes it resolves vertical (layman/non-technical) jitter. But the main point is to prevent dropped frames, or prevent the capture from failing period. It's almost impossible to avoid dropped frames on analog tape source without an TBC.

    Internal line, field, and frame TBC all act differently. Those are usually paired with DNR circuits in other devices (usually VCRs, but not always), and affect image quality.

    Note that tearing/"flagging" is not entirely a TBC fix, as non-TBC devices like the ES10 can fix those.

    Color is rarely affected.

    Herringbone isn't affected whatsoever. That's an interference pattern either within your workflow hardware or embedded in the signal (and must be removed with complicated non-realtime software filtering).

    However, if you have a good SP (2-hour) tape, you can get a pretty good transfer without the TBC. With problem tapes, it is almost essential.
    No.

    All VHS tapes, regardless of mode, regardless if homemade or retail, has inherent instability in the signal that must be removed by TBC. You can, of course, record those errors into your signal digitally (yuck), or accept the dropped frames (bad), or just give up when a tape refuses to be captured. But being SP doesn't guarantee anything.

    Are you saying that the component out of the LG would not be any better than the composite out?
    No, that's not what I said.
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    FAQs: Best Blank Discs • Best TBCs • Best VCRs for capture • Restore VHS
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  12. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    In case you haven't researched this yet:

    Dot Crawl
    That was the first response over 14 hours earlier in post #2...
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  13. Ok. Thanx for insightful comments.

    I tried capturing the Y component signal with my composite input on the USB capture dongle. Then there is no dot crawl. I hope that adding the other signals will not induce crawl. So I will attenpt buying a component capture dongle.

    Apart from the dot crawl I have about 2 frames inserted per hour of video. Which I think is ok for my purpose. I had a different capture dongle before, which lost/dropped a lot more. This is when I use the "adjust timing to reduce dropped frames" in the timing window of VirtualDub. Without that setting I get 4 frames inserted. I use the adjust audio to video setting.

    I have cut the borders off the video. But if I look at the vertical edges of the subtitles, it is clear that the edge is not sharp. I guess that would be better with a tbc. But then again I wouldnt get hold of one anyway. Is there anyway to filter this in Virtualdub? Help and input is greatly appreciated
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  14. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sventamyra View Post
    Apart from the dot crawl I have about 2 frames inserted per hour of video.
    That's fine.

    I have cut the borders off the video. But if I look at the vertical edges of the subtitles, it is clear that the edge is not sharp. I guess that would be better with a tbc. But then again I wouldnt get hold of one anyway. Is there anyway to filter this in Virtualdub? Help and input is greatly appreciated
    Don't crop. Mask.
    VirtualDub resize filter, letterbox/crop to current size. OK. Then "cropping" it. The results is centered masked image.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
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  15. I have cut the borders off the video. But if I look at the vertical edges of the subtitles, it is clear that the edge is not sharp. I guess that would be better with a tbc. But then again I wouldnt get hold of one anyway. Is there anyway to filter this in Virtualdub? Help and input is greatly appreciated
    Don't crop. Mask.
    VirtualDub resize filter, letterbox/crop to current size. OK. Then "cropping" it. The results is centered masked image.
    I do a null transform and pull off 29px in width and 23px in height (720x576 originally). Then a resize filter with 4:3 aspect to 640x480.
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  16. Originally Posted by sventamyra View Post
    I tried capturing the Y component signal with my composite input on the USB capture dongle. Then there is no dot crawl. I hope that adding the other signals will not induce crawl.
    That's a good sign.

    Originally Posted by sventamyra View Post
    if I look at the vertical edges of the subtitles, it is clear that the edge is not sharp. I guess that would be better with a tbc.
    A line TBC will not effect the sharpness of the edges. It line up successive scan lines so vertical lines/edges are straight and not wiggling left and right all the time. Look at the vertical edges in the yellow wall in your second sample image of the first post. Notice how they are not nice and straight (though not as bad as a lot of analog tape decks) and bend a little. If you step through several consecutive frames you'll see bends vary from frame to frame. Aside from looking bad it's a killer of video compression. A line TBC will usually straighten those out. Here's an example I posted a while back:

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/319420-Who-uses-a-DVD-recorder-as-a-line-TBC-and-w...er#post1983288
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  17. Ah, thanx. Those are very clear examples. And I agree that it is very visable in the yellow video. Nevertheless, beeing in Europe, a EH deck would be what I should be looking for. And so far I havent seen any. But Ill keep looking. And I understand that post-filtering will nor sort this out.

    What about blurriness of e.g the left vertical subtitle edge? What could be the cause? It is frame fixed, so it shoulnt be caused by deinterlacing I guess? Possible to sort in post-filtering?
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  18. Originally Posted by sventamyra View Post
    What about blurriness of e.g the left vertical subtitle edge? What could be the cause? It is frame fixed, so it shoulnt be caused by deinterlacing I guess? Possible to sort in post-filtering?
    VHS is an inherently low resolution format. It only has the equivalent of about 320 pixels of resolution across the width of the screen. So you will never get nice sharp vertical edges/lines. To improve the picture a little, many VHS decks include crude sharpening filters. This works when viewing a small CRT from far away, but when watching on modern, large, high resolution devices it's obvious the picture is over-sharpened. There are bright/dark halos on all high contrast vertical lines and edges:

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    That's a 4x point resize enlargement of a portion of one of your images. Notice how each white letter has an extra dark halo to the right and left. And the dark chair leg has bright halos to the left and right.

    Advanced oftware sharpeners can to better (but still not work miracles) if you start with a capture that doesn't have those halos. If your VHS deck has a sharpness control turn it down. If your capture device has a sharpness control turn it down too. It's possible to reduce the halos post-capture but a lot of detail will be lost along with the halos. If you attempt sharpen without reducing the halos you'll accentuate them.
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  19. I'm glad to hear that using component instead of composite fixed the main problem. I thought it would, as I said in one of my earlier posts.

    Jagabo brings up some interesting points about sharpening and there is something you should know that I don't think has been mentioned yet (I'll try to avoid, this time, repeating what others have said). Here it is:

    Turn off ALL sharpening circuits on your playback deck.

    Most better decks (not the cheap $49 decks, but the ones that, back in the day, cost many hundreds of dollars) have either a front panel switch or a menu item that will defeat these horrible sharpening circuits. Many of these circuits were nothing more than a capacitor inserted into the video circuit to introduce a little ringing and overshoot (they were called "peaking capacitors") around abrupt light to dark transitions in the picture. This provided the illusion of a sharper picture. However, they also destroyed detail, and the result looks really bad on big TVs, as jagabo noted. What's more, if you do prefer a picture to which some sharpening can be applied, modern sharpening software available to AVISynth users can achieve a result that is hundreds of times better.

    So, look at the front panel and at your setup menus. The item you are looking for is often called "edit." You want to turn that on. By turning edit on, you are turning sharpening off. A little confusing. The switch or menu item may also be called "tape dub." Other people here may be able to tell you some of the other names to look for. If it is called something else, you may have to turn it off rather than on.

    The difference is not subtle, and the resulting video will be much better, especially if you do some post-capture enhancements like noise reduction and sharpening. It still is going to look like VHS video, but it will have a much better, cleaner, less "artificial" look.

    There is no downside to doing this.
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  20. Ok. Thank you for your advice!
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  21. Ok, so Ive been looking around for a better VHS player.

    It seem to be quite difficult. But then these came up - from an old pro-studio:
    1. Sony Video Cassette Recorder Vo-9850 U-matic SP http://www.broadcaststore.com/pdf/model/4923/4923.pdf
    2. VHS Editor Panasonic AG-6500 http://www.broadcaststore.com/store/prod_detail_generic.cfm?model_id=5697
    3. JVC DR-MV1SE VHS/DVD Recorder - With built in TBC https://www.cnet.com/products/jvc-dr-mv1se-dvd-recorder-vcr-combo/specs/

    Will the Sony and Panasonic have timing issues in the output? Or do they include a TBC? It is unclear to me.
    It seems that the Sony SNR is 72dB, whilst the JVC is 45dB
    None of them has s-video out, so I guess I will have the chroma/luma mixing issues.
    Which will give a better picture quality?
    Is the JVS TBC worth anyting? Given my example above?

    Greatful for some advice on which path I should take...
    Last edited by sventamyra; 25th Feb 2018 at 13:52.
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