(Crossposted at digital FAQ)
My dilemma: I need to have a small group of semi tech capable people around the country digitally capturing hundreds of non-commercial, ďhome madeĒ tapes of historic live concerts into one standard format that will be archived.
File space is not a concern, and cost is secondary to detail. I need every possible bit of luma and chroma to be captured. (I will need need to learn/teach how to use histograms to make sure thereís no clipping, etc.)
For my purposes, I donít need to know about any downstream restoration or editing, other teams will be working on that. I just want to know I am giving them (and future generations) the most possible image data to restore.
Iím going around and around in my head about the best way to accomplish my goal. I have had lots of conversations and have read everything I can find here and at videohelp, but I still canít settle on the best workflow.
- Need to capture historically valuable concert footage from various vhs/s vhs/hi8/beta original master tapes.
- Accomplished by a small team of people (4-8) across the us. Technical ability solid but varies. Video experience limited.
- Captures will be archived ďas isĒ, and then made available to other teams of restorers and editors who may choose to use various tools and programs to enhance/edit/fix the capture. (Totally volunteer/ ad hoc)
- Sound is secondary, as audio was taped separately using pro audio gear. As above, the captured video will be made available and other teams will create synched edits. (Totally volunteer/ ad hoc)
Progress so far:
- have been accumulating good gear with help of LS. Have several jvc vcrs & beta machines, tbc 100, Canopus avt-8710, Es-15 (2), hi 8 camera, sign video dual process amp, signvideo detailer.
- have a bunch of capture cards/devices - ati600 usb, blackmagic shuttle, pinnacle usb, Aja kona LHi and others to start testing. We will share and or buy additional as needed.
- We have unlimited storage available, size of archive is not a concern.
Format/workflow considerations: Most of the group have recent windows based machines. We donít have any windows xp machines. We donít have any experience with avisynth or other command line based editors.
So, what do we decide to make the ďstandardĒ in terms of capture and archive?
The simplest thing to me seems to buy several capture devices that support modern drivers and capture everything in a 10-bit lossless 4:2:2 format.
Overkill? Perhaps. But probably more forgiving in terms of histogram clipping and easier to get up and running on pc equipment already owned.
Downsides? I donít know....
I realize virtualdub matched with an ati card and huffyuv lossless is the way things are usually done around here, and if thatís the absolutely best way for us to accomplish the task we will learn to do that as well.
But if thereís an alternative workflow that would meet our specific needs better, Iíd love to figure it out now, before I go much further down the rabbit hole.
Thanks in advance for the discussion and experience,
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Last edited by Judd the bud; 14th Jul 2018 at 17:58.
Here's the problem.
If you only had one tape, you likely could not get 5 people here to agree on what should be the best playback device, then, IF you try all 5 devices, you likely would not get all five to agree on the best one. Don't forget the TBC, frame or line, or both, or neither, and the sharpener, or not.
Next, after capturing in lossless AVI was agreed upon, you would not get them to agree on what resolution it should be, on de-interlacing or the method used, other filters to apply, then there is compression codecs and methods, ultimate storage goal, etc., etc.
If you really do have "unlimited storage available", then leave them in lossless AVI. You will quickly find out that your storage is limited, after all.
Like many things is life, it is all a matter of "compared to WHAT?", also understanding that the great is the enemy of the good enough.
I am assuming this is a collection of Grateful Dead concerts, or something similar. Include crowd shots, advertisements, parking lot, after-concert shots, or just the band?
Does a really, really good apple pie, absolutely HAVE to have ice cream? How about raisins? Ever tried it with rhubarb? Which one is the BEST one?
Somebody is going to have to make a whole bunch of decisions, and also decide if other people's decisions were good enough, or the work has to be re-done.
For me personally, the quality of the video is not that important as long as decently watchable, sound quality more so although studio-grade is usually available, the "authentic nature of the experience" is more important, many others would feel different, and prefer a more cosmetically enhanced, artificial and historically untrue presentation.
Yep. Grateful Dead. . Just live concert footage. No other stuff.
Thanks for pointing out that consensus will be tough to find, thatís reassuring. Hopefully, some sort of ďbest practicesĒ consensus will emerge. Lossless is a given. Of course everything is finite, but Iíve got many hundreds of TB available now and more if needed.
I donít want to be insane about it, I just want to do a very solid job archiving what I think are historically important videos. And Iíd like to do it in a way that allows people ďdownstreamĒ to have the best data possible to work with.
As far as whether those people want to enhance it with upgraded sound or image enhancement or editing, thatís all up to them. Iím sure people will take it upon themselves to do all of the above, which is awesome.
So all that being said, what is the consensus?
The consensus is that the best lossless archive within reasonable means of those of us who don't have a Disney budget would be high-end JVC and/or Panasonic prosumer SVHS VCR's with built-in line-level tbc's and s-video output, fed through an external frame-level TBC such as AVT-8710 or TBC-1000/2000/etc (if you can find one that still works), using signal level controls in VirtualDub's capture software or a luminance-metered proc amp such as the Sign Video PA-100, an XP machine with All In Wonder AGP or PCIe cards (or go the Aja Kona route if you know how to use shop support hardware with it), cap to 720x480 YUY2 with huffyuv lossless compression.
Detailers worked OK in the CRT era, but an LCD and a modern digital encoder will have fits with the side effects and those who work in post processing will be calling you some very nasty names for using a detailer to sharpen VHS noise and defects during capture.
This has been covered so many times in so many the threads in so many forums for so many years, I'm wondering where you do your research.
http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/video.htm- My sister Ann's brother
Even with all the reading Iíve done - most every post on here and digitalfaq - I learn something with every comment. Your insight on not using detailers is appreciated. Thx.
As I mentioned, I already own almost all of that equipment and am proceeding along those lines, but deploying and supporting a half dozen xp boxes across the us using 15 year old capture cards isnít something Iím looking forward to. Iíd much rather utilize cards or devices that can function under win10 on more modern machines, since thatís what we all own already.
Aja Kona is a pricey capture card/software package that requires advanced analog, digital, and electronics experience. Not for most of us. Probably the only thing that would be better than a legacy AIW. But few can tell the difference.
- My sister Ann's brother
Kona cards w cables are readily available for $200, and are still supported by Aja. Osprey cards as well. Thatís a lot less expensive than me building boxes for xp and buying ati cards. And as important for me, much easier to deploy.
Thats why itís attractive to me, along with any additional benefit that might be gained from increased bit depth or alternate lossless codec.
If itís the opposite - ATI AIW/win XP is the best way to go from a quality standpoint, then Iíll have to fork out the extra money and the added time and go that route.
Which Kona Card are you considering purchasing?
I purchased a Kona 3G for an excellent price - However, I was surprised to subsequently discover after carefully re-reading the specs that it only supports analogue output - no analogue capture.
Aja products are solid and no, you don't have to be a wizard to use them. You do need to be careful about meeting their host specifications. Then there is the gamble of used hardware. These are pro devices and typically see a lot of use. I had to return a broken Kona card I bought off eBay.
I actually have an XP machine and a AIW card if you are looking for one. Haven't used either in quite some time. Capturing from VHS never held any real interest for me once I saw the limitations of the VHS format. Svideo from an HD source with 5.1 surround and subtitles in anamorphic widescreen was more my thing.
I would suggest that the crowd and much else besides the band on the stage is an important part of any concert, and especially a Dead event. Depends on your goals, of course, but at some point, why not just buy the album?
Crazy to think about, but despite the popularity of the dead and the vast catalogue of live concerts that have been recorded and released, very very few videos have been officially released - because no one taped them except the ďbootleggersĒ!
Back in the day, these tapers risked a lot to get this footage, and thank god they did. As time goes by itís more and more historically valuable. The ďextrasĒ are nice as well, and even more rare since usually not captured.
Just trying to do the best job possible preserving what we do have.
Sorry I missed this.
I do have the card and the breakout cables, however the PC has been gutted. Board and chip, but no RAM and no hard drive. Had the latest ATI software on it and that was an adventure to install.
Do you have any members in SW Florida?