I have two video capture cards from Hauppauge, Colossus and Colossus 2. Both are great for watching TV remotely and capturing the TV episodes and news bits. The capture quality is smooth and great from the TV.
Now I am going ape trying to find the best solution to capture my VHS and MiniDV with similar quality to source. I know I can't go right from my sony handycam trv16 to the card, result is choppy, shaky video. I need pass through device to stabilize, but my Panasonic DMR e75v is not working, washed out colors is the result. I tried the sabrent usb capture, but the quality is not great, and I would prefer going directly to card as the quality will be better? I don't have firewire either. My pc is decent, like a gaming pc.
What do you recommend? At this point I am willing to pay for something decent, as long as I get decent quality. Right now at trial & error, will try another VCR as pass thru when I get home.
So is the Hauppauge capture a good way to go? It is HDMI /composite in only, so need something that will output that.
I should mention, result is same when I go to TV, the dvr produces poor result, but the Camcorder to TV is very good, or much better. SO DVR is reducing quality.
Thanks for any input
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Last edited by litlin; 5th Mar 2018 at 13:54.
I googled "Sony Handycam TRV16" and it appears to be a Video8 camera, not a DV camera. Video8 is an analog tape format. DV is a digital tape format, and DV cameras have a Firewire out port. If you actually had a DV camera, I would strongly suggest that you find some way to transfer the digital video on the tape via Firewire out from the camcorder instead of using a capture device. There are still some good Firewire add-on cards available if someone has a desktop and a spare PCI-e slot.
I would try the original Hauppauge Colossus. The original Colossus came with both component breakout cables for HD and an A/V breakout cable with composite, S-Video and stereo audio connections for SD, illustrated here http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/webstore2/webstore_avcable-svideo.html If you lost the SD cable, the blue component connection on the component breakout cable works for composite input.
The original Colossus is supposed to include a TBC, which you can turn on using the following registry hack:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\hcwD1capture\Parameters\0] "Enable_TBC"=dword:00000001Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord
Anything that is already in DV or Digital8 format should always be transferred via Firewire. This provides you with an exact digital copy of the video on the tape; there is no re-encoding. By contrast, if you capture the analog output of these cameras using one of your Hauppauge devices, the video will be re-encoded, and you will have unnecessarily degraded the video by one generation.
This is also true even if you use this TRV-16 as a pass-through (if it permits you to encode external analog video from a VHS deck).
However, if you want to encode from the VHS deck directly to your Hauppauge, that's OK, and it might produce a better result. You won't know until you capture a few 10-20 second sample clips using both the pass-through as well as the Hauppapuge. Each capture will have different artifacts, and you'll have to decide which you prefer. There is no "right" answer.
Firewire gets more fiddly with time (OS and hardware), so it's not always easy to transfer direct.
Any analog capture from DV will always re-encode the video and therefore degrade it. It's unavoidable. Here's why.
The video has already been encoded to DV (because it is a DV camera). When you send it out of the camera as analog video, the DV is first converted to NTSC analog. This step always degrades the video, especially given how awful the NTSC standard is for color. If your camera can send the video out as component rather than composite (or S-video), that will help reduce the degradation, but you still won't have video as good as you would if you simply transferred the DV.
Then, when you digitize it with whatever capture you use, that will introduce degradation, whether you capture as lossless or not. This is because the A/D and D/A conversions are not perfect conversions.
I am not sure what sort of problems you have had with DV, but I've been transferring DV and HDV from camcorders for eighteen years. I've done it with almost a dozen computers, five different cameras, and countless cables. I've never dropped a single frame or had any problem. It is, by far, the most bullet-proof digital video workflow I've ever experienced. The key is to use the right software. Scenealyzer (a.k.a., ScLive) was always the recommended application. It is now free.
I am not aware of anything that ages with 1394/Firewire, and all my computers and cameras operate the same today as when I first got them eighteen years ago. And, I recently got a Digital 8 camcorder on eBay. It too uses 1394/Firewire and it works great.
- Lossless won't degrade it.
- The only thing that would "degrade" it is the down-conversion in resolution from s-video. But again, low-resolving consumer lens on camera = not really.
- The D>A won't really do anything.
- The NTSC formatting won't really do anything.
- MiniDV won't have component output anymore than it'd have HDMI.
The issue is modern OS don't like legacy hardware (ie FireWire in Windows 7/8/10), and legacy hardware specs don't always work well in modern hardware slots (ie, FireWire on PCIe).
This assumes you even have desktop card-adding ability, which many don't. Just USB.
You and I know "the best" method, but analog capture of DV via s-video is quite acceptable when the source camera was just consumer grade. You'll be hard pressed to actually see a big difference.
He has a Sabrent USB capture device, I'm guessing the Sabrent USB-AVCPT, which he said produced poor-quality captures. Maybe he tried capturing with a lossless codec, maybe not. He didn't say. He has another thread where he complains that a Panasonic DMR e75v as a pass-through made his captures washed-out and grainy, using its component video connection and the Colossus II. Did he try the Panasonic DMR e75v using S-Video with the Sabrent USB capture device? Unknown.Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord
Also, conversion to NTSC most definitely screws things up. As you know the chroma capability is so bad that for years various wags have dubbed "NTSC" as standing for "Never The Same Color." This is due to how the color signal was added to the existing B&W TV signal back in 1954. All sorts of circuits have been added over the years to try to extract "correct" color from NTSC video, but they all fail, even including the various filters (e.g., comb filters) that started to appear on high-end equipment in the late 1980s and early 1990s, in the waning days of analog TV.
These days everyone seems to focus on lossy codec, long GOP compression artifacts, as if that is the only thing to worry about. There are plenty of other ways in which the video can get changed. I could go on for pages, but just to add one more, think about all those extra lines used in analog TV (the VBI, for one). They don't exist in the original DV video, but they get added to the video signal when converted to analog. They then get stripped out when that now-analog version of the DV video gets converted back to some other digital format. When you do this, you get into the old discussion of 704x480 vs. 740x480. Are lines of video going to end up on the same line when you go from analog to digital and back to analog, or digital to analog and then back to digital. Remember that analog video is not actually stored as pixel so you are going to have all sorts of shifts in the horizontal location of video information.
Good point about modern O/S, but the old hardware can almost always be made to work, even if it takes a few extra minutes to initially set up.
Back to the OP: just transfer the DV because that is the cleanest, least problematic way to handle this very, very simple task you are proposing. Everything else is more work, and everything else will not end up with a better result. There is no way that any other way of capturing will end up with something that looks better.
I'm not a follower of video dogma. Yes, I care about quality. But I also know where you can take shortcuts.
- Visually, D>A from DV is negligible.
- DV chroma is already crap (4:1:1), and NTSC D>A won't make that worse.
If the OP/whoever has Firewire for DV, then obviously use it.
If not, then don't fret. Of all the situations where quality is harmed (usually substantially), this isn't one of them.
The VHS portion of his question is where far more care need be taken.
Thanks for the tip about the component, I put the yellow to blue and the capture looks great. Colors are fine. I also applied the registry hack and the capture is smooth like a Tv. Atleast I have something now to experiment with.
The cam is Not DV so no FireWire at all. So for now, best method is to just connect cam to capture card and press play? I am using Hauppauge capture software to capture the video, first tape had two hours of video in it. What resolution should I capture in Mbs? Ie. 14Mbs is high.
Most of the captures will be from vhs or the video 8 tapes.
Thanks again for all you help and explanation
Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord
It seems you need a better capture card, and very likely VHS player.
H.264 is the wrong way to go here, you'll lose lots of quality. That's simply not a card made for VHS/Video8 transfer work.
I am understanding!!!! ( I can get FireWire card? Is this same as having one on motherboard or will It be glitchy because it is a card) and I can buy DV cam as passcthru to FireWire. Or Canopus converter
Or I can leave Hauppauge card with h264 encoding because it will be good enough, thank you for you help
I am on my way
Last edited by litlin; 7th Mar 2018 at 03:18.
Back in my day....
Back in the day, I use Canopus ADVC-100 to capture Sony VX1000 footage using the IEEE1394 port (Firewire, i.Link, etc), I think the codec was great, the best feature to me was "audio lock", it always result in a perfect audio sync in every single capture.
This is a direct capture
This is Canopus ADVC-100, IRE 7,5 setting.
This is all Canopus ADVC-100 using a set top box and S-Video.
It works great with VHS but I don't have capture to show.
"Audio lock" was complete marketing nonsense. Audio is always locked. However, locked audio does not equate to synced audio. Canopus boxes can, and do, have sync issues. Dropped frames, usually from lack of TBC, is what usually causes sync problems. So again, complete marketing BS from Canopus -- a master of BS when it came to video hardware. ADVC is not a TBC, has no TBC (the 300 claims to have a TBC, yet does nothing), and therefore can still drop massive frames.
Most people no have audio sync issues on most capture cards. That was Canopus trying to insinuate that other cards had audio sync problems. You fell for the marketing BS.
"set top box" means DVR, yes? That's not VHS. A DVR should have perfect quality output. No comparison here. The digital output is already clean, frame drops and audio sync unlikely, aside from copy protection in signal.
If it was a marketing nonsense to you, it wasn't for me, specially when the VCR was unstable by a damaged tape, my upgrade from that was a Geniatech/MyGica X8507 and after that the Blackmagic Intensity Pro, both of these has sync issues that I never had with ADVC-100. Today I use a RAID-0 array, back then I was using the ADVC-100 with a standard 7200 RPM HDD.
Today, sync drift is a common thing that is very easy to fix.
Specially if you set marks on the audio.
When I go troughout my out synced dailies, is not a big deal, people that handle this everyday using different types of cards, has audio sync drifts issues.
Canopus is/was a BS?
That's very subjective, it works. If you don't like it, is your issue, not mine.
Set top box was the ISDB receiver Zinwell ZBT-620A it has no DVR function, that capture was made using S-Video signal captured by ADVC-100, does it look crap to you?
It doesn't to me.
The image quality of the ADVC-100 for SD capture is unmatched, my opinion. Blackmagic intensity pro doesn't capture with the same quality and people in the market know that Intensity has issues with that.
The ADVC-100 is total transparent to the material, whatever you trow at it, it capture the way it is flawlessly.
It definitely was not marketing nonsense. The wonderful Scenalyzer (ScLive) has an option in the audio settings called "keep DV-audio in sync." Andreas, the author, really knew his stuff, and would not have included that without reason. What's more, if you Google
DV video AVI "audio sync"
you get a massive number of links to forums, just like this one, where people complain about audio being out of sync after capturing DV AVI via Firewire. In fact, you don't have to look all over the web. Here is the search, restricted to just this site:
DV video AVI "audio sync" site:forum.videohelp.com
If you read one of the first "hits" from that second link, you'll find a thread where a guy in Germany had sync problems when using WinDV as the capture software. I recommended that he instead try Scenalyzer, which is now free. He did, and he enabled the audio sync feature.
Doing that completely solved his problem. You can read about it yourself:
WinDV capture : out of sync Audio?
I don't have time to go back and look at why this happens. Fifteen years ago I did know the answer. My vague memory is that even though "capturing" DV AVI is actually not a true capture, because there is no encoding or re-encoding of the video, and the video bits are identical to what was on the DV or Digital 8 tape, the audio is transferred separately and then re-muxed with the video. This is because the DV standard provides for two audio tracks, but I think the AVI container doesn't easily let both of those exist within the AVI file. I am not sure that last statement is correct, but I do know that Scenalyzer was one of the few DV capture apps that let you capture the second audio file, and that when you did, the second audio track was saved as a separate WAV file, rather than within the AVI file itself.
So "audio lock" when capturing DV was not (and is not) nonsense: my results and experience mirror those of amaipaipai, exactly.
Some one asked me for any sample from the ADVC-100 capture, I don't have any raw material because storage space wasn't cheap at the time. I've uploaded this footage to mega, it was recorded in May 16 2011 from the Zinwell ZBT620A for FTA ISDB-Tb system, the capture was done with the Canopus ADVC-100 using S-Video source and also using the so loved "audio lock" feature. You'll notice how the audio sync is perfect from begin to finish also a very clear audio.
No even the broadcaster has this high quality SD material online, hope you like it.
Last edited by amaipaipai; 9th Mar 2018 at 20:05.
There are such things as locked and unlocked audio in the DV specification, although the difference is not dramatic if implemented properly.
In my experienced, not nonsense, but quite manageable even with consumer equipment.
Simply, If one experiences major drift (> a couple of frames) over 1-2 hour recordings, something in your setup is configured wrong.
It's nonsense. Back up for a second.
DV tapes -- tapes! -- recorded the audio and video onto digital tracks, and required precise 48000Hz bytes worth of data. The effect was "locked" audio, but that's still not was is referenced by the term/jargon "locked". Again, marketing BS muddied that. And none of this has anything to do with AVI files.
- Consumer DV isn't locked. It has clock resampling like any analog capture.
- Professional DV is locked. And whether the Canopus ADVC is "professional" is arguable. But let's just go with it, assume it is professional.
The "locked" feature still doesn't extend to your AVI files. The AVDC ingested, processed, and output audio no different than any other capture card. AVI timestamps control its own "locking", separate from whatever the raw DV stream does, and that's all software can touch. Perhaps some advanced DV ingest software can intercept timestamps from pro locked audio, but I don't believe that's the case.
So the "nonsense" part was the explicit or insinuated idea that non-DV capturing (AVI, etc) with non-"locked" audio was going to drift. Again, it was the marketing of the era. I guess you had to be there, some 15-20 years ago. (B&H photo was a mouthpiece of Canopus BS back in the day, as were some others. There are at least two posts on VH where I called B&H to the carpet for it, and at least one of those they responded to half-ass apologetically.)
This wasn't a secret, and others online have been saying it for the past 2 decades (example).
ADVC errors can happen purely in the hardware workflow, free of drops/skew caused by software. Again, it is purely an issue of timebase correction of the incoming analog signal. A Canopus ADVC box has no TBC. So in reality, it's no different than using any other capture card. The main difference is 4:1:1 crippled chroma compared to 4:2:2 of everything else, simply to achieve that 13gb/hour compression.
Again, we're talking about devices with tech created in the era of Pentium III computers, late 90s and earlier 2000s. The encoding was offloaded to hardware (so no CPU bottleneck), and the compression was the alternative to SDI/uncompressed. This all existed before lossless capture was really possible, due to CPU and space needs of the era. Lossless is 3x larger. Even then, 13gb/hour was huge, often outsizing the drives. I remember info/marketing that encouraged you to convert VHS to DV tapes, not even to computer files. In fact, when I worked for studios, I dealt with those "VHS/analog archived as DV" type tapes from the late 90s (and sadly, the early 00s). Thankfully everything I saw had bee TBC'd during transfer.
Be careful about deferring to Adam Wilt's site. He's very pro-DV, and his information skews to the rosy side of reality. He also narrowing talks about shooting DV, not using it for analog conversion, not the same. You need to read him more carefully, namely that specs and reality don't also coincide. This is true of audio locking especially.
I think my annoyance has been the born-from-marketing attitude that a Canopus box is a magic box. It's not. It has many flaws. If you understand and acknowledge those, and can make it work for your workflow, then great. Feel free to use it. But don't act like it inhales poop and expels roses.
@JVRaines: Yeah, I've used my ATI AIW setups for 10000s+ of hours, and rarely a dropped frame. Never sync issues, none. (And your "remove TBC" action is a great example of learning device issues. TBC is usually essential. But there are times when it can also cause issues. Rarely, but possible. Depends on sources.)
FW fiddly on modern OS? Nonsense, two letters, VM.
You've obviously never tried this.
And the hashtag is nonsense. (And this isn't Twitter, you twit. )
Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord
Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord