The last time I dealt with video capture on my PC it was a card with MJPEG hardware compression, about 15 years ago, so Iím a bit out of touch.
First of all, Iíd note that Iíve spent a good couple of hours searching for info but havenít answered the sort of questions going through my mind yet. I know this is a well-treaded topic on various forums.
I have a few old VHS Iíd like to convert, playback with a mid to high range Home consumer VHS player. Iíve been looking at USB devices on a budget up to £100 or so. The market seems to be awash with USB dongle devices powered off the USB bus. That sounds very much like a software encoding solution to me, and my past experiences have been that frame dropping and video interruptions can be problematic (though perhaps not as bad as they were 15years ago!) I donít know how much of this is down to the encoder and how much the signal quality.
There do seem to be some models, like the Hauppauge HD PVR, which are a self contained and powered unit with on-board video encoding. These sort of things seem a little more appealing to me as they remove some of the pressure on the USB transfer speed and computer processor. However, I still seem to find they have mixed reviews for performance. The ATI 600 usb has had a few mentions, but Iím assuming itís not got on board encoding.
Am I going down the wrong path looking at these sorts of units? Have things moved on and Iím left with bad memories for poor performing systems of the past? Any advice on what to look for from a relatively budget friendly USB device of this type would be appreciated!
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You get uncompressed SD video and PCM audio through most USB 2 dongles these days. They are perfectly adequate so long as you stay away from the awful EZCap clones. Compression is done on the host, not in the converter.
What i have learned sofar is, have a good vcr with build in stabilization, and capture with a codec that has compression > ProRes422 LT it's visual lossless, this way you avoid dropped frames,
I use the DMR-ES35V from Panasonic, only when i use more HQ ProRes codecs i loose frames because the lack of speed to the storage drive, I have no noticeable image loss at 720x576p50 resolution, the ES35V has both vhs and dvd decks, the vhs can also output progressive video over the component video output, which gives just a sharper image and also better color representation i noticed, sharper then my SVHS JVC, that outputs only over S-Video or composite.
btw. USB has never been a good option to capture over.
I capture with the Intensity Shuttle, which works great, I have the Thunderbolt2 version with a MacBook Pro (early 2015 model) i think the Mac OSX is a good and stable OS to use for video capture, the core of it is UNIX.... with windows you mostly have to degrade your system so it will be compatible with the hardware capture device
Davinci Resolve runs fine on my MacBook Pro, which has great features to work on the capture, and have a correct 720x576 image.
Last edited by Eric-jan; 6th Nov 2018 at 13:56.
Well.. visual lossless so it's not .... ProRes422 is a "edit-codec" after that you encode it to MP4, the main advantage is that i can capture over component video connection, progressive, so de-interlacing is done within the ES35V, the ES35V does also a good job making the video signal stable, i also can capture fast-forward video this way, while the Intensity Shuttle is very picky on input video signal...
A 30 minute capture is a 8GB file, (720x576p50) so each field is a frame, (PAL in my case)
I very much like my setup, the MacBook Pro has also a good retina screen.
The USB (3.0) version of the Intensity Shuttle only works with a selective set of (USB) chipset on Intel pc's Blackmagic Design has a list of that.
So ... what's most important ? 1. a good vcr with stabilisation (internal TBC), a not too weak OS, with enough RAM for buffering, and for good performance of the software,
fast storage space, SSD preffered.... using a codec that compresses, will lower the date rate for transport to storage drive/space.
Use the best video connection available, > component or s-video, component has the least artefacts, (almost none) HDMI could have protection build in.
Component progressive video also defeats macrovision in my case.
using a DVR or VCR as passthrough , you will pass through 3 times the composite or s-video conection, 1. out from source device, 2. in from passthrough device, 3, out from passthrough device to in capture device, (in from capture device not counted)
the ES35V VCR goes from component video (YUV) RGB directly to the RGB (component) of the Intensity Shuttle.
I believe the GC500 of Diamond has also component inputs, and the ES35V is still for sale on the internet.
my guide to capture VHS on BMD forum:
Last edited by Eric-jan; 6th Nov 2018 at 16:40.
I'm currently using a VC500 but would like to upgrade to a ATI 600 USB. They seem rare to come by. I just purchased a Panasonic AG 1970 and am going to pass through my DMR-E55 for TBC. I just want to get rips that I'm satisfied with so I can get rid of all these VHS haha.
MJPEG usually needed in-card hardware to work well, though sometimes it was fine with software depending on codec settings. I remember those days quite well.
"modern" (actually 5-10 years old) USB card are lossless, no hardware required, The CPU needs were low on Pentium 4, and modern CPUs don't even notice. The main resource bottleneck for lossless was drive space and speed, another issues mostly mooted by the past 5-10 years of computing.
What you don't want is to buy an HD cards that "also does SD", because it's an afterthought. Many issues.
Or the EZcap (aka EZcrap).Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
FAQs: Best Blank Discs ē Best TBCs ē Best VCRs for capture ē Restore VHS
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