I have a Canopus ADVC-300. I'm new at this. I'm capturing vhs. I have a regular Sony vcr that works well, would I see a difference in capture if I bought a vcr with a s-video output? I'm just wondering if it's worth the investment as they are expensive on ebay. I wanna do a good job transferring and I plan on doing it for others, wanna get into this hobby slowly. just wanna be a little bit wiser and I'm open to any suggestions. While I'm at it, I'm thinking of purchasing PowerDirector, I'm interested in transfers and making chapters on a dvd with basic editing tools. I've tried some of the free software but I figure PowerDirector lets me capture edit and burn all in 1, any suggestions on software or what route to go? PowerDirector has a lot of bells and whistles, I just want to make DVD's properly with menus and chapters, I don't need all those bells it comes with, just wondering if I would be making a smart purchase.
Thanks in advance everyone,
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S-video reduces (or eliminates) dot crawl by avoiding putting the video into luma and chroma on separate channels (the round yellow composite cable has them mixed together). That is its main function. A VCR with good circuitry (comb filter) can also minimize this artifact.
S-video should make zero difference in the cost of the unit. Perhaps you are seeing S-VHS units, which are indeed higher in price. S-Video and S-VHS often get confused with each other. You don't need a S-VHS unit unless you have tapes that have been recorded in that format. In that case, it is mandatory.
If you are doing a LOT of tapes and are new to this, I would recommend a VHS to DVD combo unit. Granted, you don't have as much editing flexibility, but what I have found, when helping dozens of neighbors do this job. is that everyone starts out all enthused and then finds out how many ways things can get screwed up and, most of all, how long it takes to finish the project. They bog down and it never gets finished. I had one guy who called me every year, for seven years, wanting more help and each time we talked I realized that he had only transferred one or two tapes since the last time we talked.
Other people will probably post that these units don't do as good a job as something else, usually a very expensive $1,000 VCR with a $1,000 TBC, etc. A professional rig can get pretty expensive, and most of the hardware you can buy that fits into those categories will require refurbishing, which is yet another expense.
The combo units I am recommending usually permit basic start/stop editing, meaning that you can pause the recording to DVD, fast forward the tape, and then resume. The beauty of doing it with these units is that you simply play the tape once, and when the tape is finished playing, your DVD has been burned, and you are done. Nothing else to do.
A VCR with well-designed s-video (Y/C) output will give a better picture than composite. Brightness and color are modulated separately in the recorded signal. If they are kept separate all the way to the converter, there is less potential for artifacts and loss.
Will this make a big difference with the ADVC? Maybe, depending on recorded signal levels and the quality of the Sony's composite output. Won't get you much in the way of color improvement, though, since the ADVC produces DV-encoded video with 4:1:1 color decimation.