I'm almost ready to start capturing all my old home videos, using this setup...
• A line-based TBC
• Plus a full-frame TBC if I can afford it (to keep the video and audio in synch)
• The Ezcap.TV 116 to capture
But I have five questions, if anyone can please help...
1. First, the Ezcap is currently only £21.95. That's my kind of price, but other capture devices out there seem way higher. Does this device really do the trick? (These videos are precious to me.)
2. For the line TBC, I was looking at the Panasonic ES10 or ES15 since there are loads of them on eBay here in the UK. But I've read some scary stuff about the ES10: the noise reduction is really aggressive (even when turned off), causing ghosting and posterization of colors! Can anyone tell me if the ES15 is just as bad? The picture quality of my original tapes is pretty good, so I don't want the image needlessly degraded by something I bought to improve the picture!
3. Or, can anyone recommend a line-based TBC that's better than the ES15? I've seen the Sony RDR-HXD870 on eBay, how does that compare?
4. As for full-frame TBCs, I've seen a lot of recommendations for the AVT-8710 or TBC-1000, but neither of these models is available here in the UK (either new or second-hand). Can anyone suggest anything good that might be available? I've seen a S&W TBC11 on eBay. Any good?
5. One last question while I'm asking... after I get all my equipment set up and start capturing, does anyone know a way to test for dropped frames? I don't want to have to sit and watch hours of footage without blinking!
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They say the original EZ-Cap is decent. The problem is telling whether you are getting the original or a copy or counterfeit, which are said to be dismal. There are a lot of USB converter dongles in the sub-£25 range.
I had an ES15 and it worked fine with NR turned off. Only thing I noticed was a small bump in black level, which was easily corrected by software procamp controls. If you have an ES15, you don't need a frame synchronizer (what some call "full frame TBC"). The only reason I had a separate TBC-1000 was in case I only needed vertical stability, or I had a weird source format (like EIAJ-1) that the Panny just didn't like.
Don't use processing if you don't need it! Always try sending the signal straight into the converter to get a sense of whether the tape will behave.
Well... an Panasonic DMR E35S for playing the VHS tape, and using an Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt2) as capture device, does it for me, the video signal is rocksteady, no dropped frames,
this says a lot, if you know that the Intensity Shuttle only accepts clean analog video signals, i do need to mention that i use the component video output of the E35S, a nice feature, playing VHS, which was meant for a plasma or LCD screen those days.
The Panasonic DMR E35S can still be found for sale on the internet these days.
your point 5.... i guess when your sound is still in sync at the end of your capture, it should not be such a drama, dropped frames can also come from slow system performance, or transfer speed to your storage device, if you fail in the data speed transfer rate, you can compensate by using a compressing codec for capturing,
we're talking about VHS quality right ?
Last edited by Eric-jan; 23rd Feb 2019 at 07:53.
Thanks JVRaines, that is extremely helpful advice!
Thanks for your reply Eric, too!
again point 5.... Media Express the capture program i use reports (or can be set to stop capturing) when there are dropped frames or not, i don't know if other capture software has such a feature too, most of the time you have no choice in using capture software with certain devices, if the ES15 also will write to RAM dvd's you could try and see what the MEPG2 files result in quality for your end product, in that case you really have no dropped frames, but you might not like this procedure, because it outputs directly in heavy compressed lossy video, but when the VHS source is as good like you said, this doesn't have to be a problem, without adding effects, you can also edit (cut/join) MEPG2 lossless. (MPEGStreamclip can do this for MPEG2 and MP4 on windowsM$ and MAC)
Last edited by Eric-jan; 23rd Feb 2019 at 14:57. Reason: adding info
Thanks again. I definitely won't be capturing lossy. I want to do my editing and any post-production before converting down to lossy. I will be capturing to an SSD though with lossless compression, so it should be fairly quick.
VirtualDub to capture. Does anyone know if this can report dropped frames?
Is this any good? The price is excellent, but it worries me.
What i notice, is that the software it comes with, only mentions transfer to MPEG2 (disc) end product, but i guess you are going to capture with virtualdub, and is not important.
when you google you find this: https://superuser.com/questions/215413/software-to-capture-video-from-a-device
(the ezcap116 is a populair device so you will find enough info when you Google, that's also a big plus for this device)
What i also noticed, with EZcap it is possible to capture even PAL60, but this is mentioned at the original EZcap software, the device comes with.
Maybe you should still install the original software on your "capture pc" because of the drivers, but a EZcap116 owner could advice you better in this, and there are also many forums to search for, outside like VideoHelp or DigitalFaq, what i noticed is that the moderators of DigitalFaq are mostly very negative or grumpy in their answers, so be warned for that, just try different setups, settings for what suits you, because you have to repeat this, but different tapes may need different "strategies" you may notice.
Last edited by Eric-jan; 24th Feb 2019 at 06:19. Reason: spelling :) Dutch is my native tongue :(
Thanks Eric, that's all very helpful information!