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  1. Hello,

    I'm working on my old VHS and trying to get best quality and reasonable size (400 up to 800MB / hour).
    I have a device called "not Only TV" video grabber.
    It came with honestech VHS to DVD 3.0.
    It's using MPEG2 video and MPEG1 audio encoding.
    ONE hour is about 3GB.
    After handbrake (x264, CRF=28, veryslow) = 600MB.

    I tried to use AmaRecTV with x264 (CRF 23)
    The quality is about the same but file size much larger -> 2minutes = 200MB.
    Also after handbrake (x264, CRF=28, veryslow) still almost 100MB.

    Is there anything I could do differently to improve quality within the reasonable size range?
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    San Francisco, California
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    I would capture the native MPEG2 stream and then experiment with Handbrake (or VidCoder, which is easier to use) or FFmpeg to find the best combination of quality and file size. If file size really is your first priority, then you should do two-pass VBR encoding with a size target instead of constant quality.
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  3. That's what I've actually been doing:
    Capturing MPEG2 and then using handrake.
    Just thought to myself there must be a better solution as far as software..

    How about getting a better VCR?
    I use old Sanyo from the late 80's (composite only).
    My VHS' were recorded using this device.
    Does it make sense to buy for example Panasonic nv-hs950 (s-video)?
    Would the quality improve?
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  4. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    San Francisco, California
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    All those applications use the x264 library, which is one of the best encoders available.

    You will get a better picture using an s-video output. But a better VCR with a more detailed picture will be harder to compress and result in larger files.
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  5. Are you happy with your results? Have you tried viewing them on bigger and/or better TVs (friends or relatives?) are you still happy with your results? As long as your brightness and contrast levels are good, and your colours are fairly close and not over saturated then you're probably not going to get much better results without spending more money and LOADS more time on it. If you're happy to do that then fine, but don't be surprised if in a year's time you look back at these captures that you're doing now and wonder if it was worth it.
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  6. MWell, the quality is ok but could be better.
    today I hooked up my PC to my Sony TV with HDMI
    and is much better than watching it from a USB device.
    I guess I would have to look for better usb device..

    Also, i'd like to give it another try with amarectv.
    But this time mpeg2 / x262.
    Does it make sense?
    How big would be 1hour recording? Is it about 3-5 GB?
    I could then use hanbrake and use x264 compression to decrease the size.
    Would that work?
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  7. IMO You'd be better off capturing with AmarecTV to a lossless codec - Lagarith, Huffyuv, MagicYUV, UT Video etc. - make any adjustments and apply any filters in either Virtualdub/Virtualdub2 or Avisynth, and then use Handbrake or Vidcoder or Virtualdub/2 (or HC Enc etc.) to encode to final format. Capturing to Lagarith I get about 15Gb per hour of PAL SD.
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  8. Thanks for the tip.
    I'm attaching two files:
    1. amarec(20180701-0957).avi - Lagarith codec with AmarecTV, 34s, 377Mb
    2. DVD_095514_0.mpg - Honestech 3.0 software which I got along with the USB device, 32s, 46Mb

    What do you think about quality?

    Tried to use VD's filters (temporal smoother = 3) and did not much, except file size.

    Is there anything else I can do?

    Honestly, I think the best solution would be to buy I a better VCR, for example Panasonic SVHS with TBC...
    Image Attached Files
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  9. Those are some pretty poor VHS caps. Blown out brights, bad black level, over saturated, mediocre horizontal time base, poor deinterlacing (DVD only), huge amount of noise (2nd generation VHS?), DCT blocking artifacts (DVD only), severe oversharpening halos... And why is a North American basketball game captured as PAL?
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  10. Thanks for your reply.
    Can I fix these things with VDub / Avisynth filters?
    Or is this a matter of
    1. Old vhs without tbc and / or
    2. Old tapes
    As far as Pal; the game was recorded in Europe back in 1993..
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  11. Blown out brights: Can only be fixed during capture. Adjust the capture device's proc amp settings.

    bad black level, over saturated: Can be fixed in post. But better done with the capture device's proc amp settings.

    mediocre horizontal time base: must be fixed before capture with a SVHS deck with line-tbc or DVD recorder passthrough with line TBC.

    poor deinterlacing (DVD only): This appears to be caused by the capture device deinterlacing while capturing/encoding.

    huge amount of noise (2nd generation VHS?): The noise here is much worse than normal first generation VHS. But the other properties of the capture don't look like second (or more) generation VHS. Maybe a bad OTA analog signal? If your VHS deck has a sharpness control turn it down (sharpening will increase nosie). A better playback deck might do better. Do not use any noise reduction filter built into the playback deck or capture devcie. Those will blur detail and may lead to ghosting.

    DCT blocking artifacts (DVD only): don't use MPEG compression while capturing. Capture with a lossless codec, like in your AVI cap.

    severe oversharpening halos: Turn down the sharpness control of your VHS deck. If it has no such control use another deck. You can reduce oversharpening halos in software but it will damage the picture (blur, loss of detail, posterization). It's best to avoid it in the first place, then sharpen in software later.
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  12. What is 2nd generation vhs?

    I wouldnt worry that much about the noise.
    I think it was just a bad signal during that transmission (astra satellite). Other tapes are much better.

    It looks like the best way to improve video quality is to get a new deck.
    Does it have to be one with tbc?
    Does the tbc make a big difference as far as quality?
    I could get panasonic nv hs 900 but it's without tbc.
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  13. I have also found Panasonic NV-FS200 with TBC.
    Will the deck improve the sound and vision of my recording?
    In other words, is it worth to spend money on this device?
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  14. A second generation VHS recording would be a VHS recording of a previous VHS recording. Quality gets worse with each generation.

    I don't a lot about particular (S)VHS decks. But there are many threads here about them. In my opinion, a line TBC is the single most important piece of hardware when capturing VHS. Consider using an old Panasonic ES10 or ES15 as a passthrough for it's line TBC function.

    For sound quality be sure use the HiFi track if your tapes have it.
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  15. This is a first generation vhs then.

    Thanks for the info.

    I decided to buy panasonic nv-fs 200.
    It does have TBC and s-video, so the picture should improve.
    It's also listed here:
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  16. Originally Posted by mike_23 View Post
    I decided to buy panasonic nv-fs 200.
    It does have TBC and s-video, so the picture should improve.
    It's also listed here:
    Ah, I see. It's the EU version of the 1980. If it's in good shape it should deliver a better picture than you're getting now.
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  17. Ok great.
    I should get it in a few days.
    Will attach a sample for comparison.
    Thank you for your help.
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  18. Have you tried altering the procamp settings in AmarecTV yet?
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  19. ok, I got my "new" nv fs 200 panasonic deck.
    I'm attaching a 30s sample from the same tape.
    I can only say it's terrible - much worse than from my own, old VCR.

    BUT, the quality is terrible only on the EuroSport recordings (the thing floating on top)
    even recordings from other sources on the SAME tape are fine.
    I guess it was just a bad signal while the recording took place..
    on the other hand, my old VCR handles it pretty well.. weird..

    is there anything I could do to get rid of it?

    Should I use a cleaning tape with that deck? if so, wet or dry?
    Image Attached Files
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  20. How does the picture look when you connect the deck directly to a TV? Same distortions? Have you tried adjusting the tracking manually?
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  21. It's the very same thing on TV. Adjusting tracking does not help, nor switching TBC, S-VHS etc.
    In fact, ALL of my satellite (ASTRA) recordings have the same distortions on the Panasonic deck.
    But when I use my old deck (the one the recordings where taken with), they's are gone.
    I guess there's not much I could do, right?

    I have another question:
    Is it possible to remove vertical lines like in the attached sample (starting at 3s, 16s) with Virtualdub, avisynth or other software?
    These distortions are caused by mechanical damages to the tape (while rewinding it with the old deck).
    Shouldn't TBC handle them better?

    Also, when I hit pause, there are similar horizontal lines. Does it mean the head is worn out?
    Image Attached Files
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  22. Hello,

    I'm attaching two files:

    1. Had to cut 50s from the original file using VirtualDub. Both Video and audio saved as "Direct Stream Copy", no compression. The original file was captured with Lagarith compression.

    2. Processed with the following Avisynth script:

     AVISource("E:\NBA\amarec 1993-  boston celtics - phoenix suns.avi")
     ConvertToYUY2(interlaced=true) # alternative that specifies interlacing
    TTempSmooth(maxr=6, strength=4, lthresh=20, cthresh=25, lmdiff=10, cmdiff=15) #better VD's TemporalSmoother =3 ?
    #colors - should I use VD's HSV filter?   
    ColorYUV(off_y=6, gain_y=-12) # lighten gamma 
    ColorYUV(cont_u=-30, cont_v=-130) #increase saturation 
    Most of the code in the script above comes from this post:

    BTW, should I use Multi Thread mode? Does it have any influence on video quality?

    My Hardware:
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6400 CPU @ 2.70GHz, 2701 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 530
    Any suggestions? Would you remove/add anything from/to the script?
    Image Attached Files
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  23. Yuck. Try something like:

    ColorYUV(gain_y=80, off_y=4)
    BilinearResize(360, 576)
    QTGMC(EZDenoise=2.0, DenoiseMC=true)
    MergeChroma(last, aWarpSharp2(depth=20))
    ChromaShift(c=2, l=2)
    The picture might still be a little over saturated. QTGMC's noise reduction isn't great but it's nearly free.
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  24. Thanks jagabo, I will try that.

    Actually I got stuck installing aWarpSharp2.
    It does not include a .dll nor .avsi file.

    I'm guessing I woould have to build it with a C++ compiler, right?
    I downloaded it from:

    How should I proceed?
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  25. This includes dll files for 32 bit and 64 bit AviSynth. You probably want the Win7 AVX2 versions.
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  26. Thanks a bunch for your help jagabo.
    Your script works like a charm.
    Much less code and better end result.
    It's amazing, thanks again!
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