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  1. mr. Eric-jan's Avatar
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    Hi, Christina, i completely agree with ozymango, i'm using a Mac (MBP early 2015) I sometimes use MacX Video Converter Pro which is easy in use to do some good video conversions, Davinci Resolve is a good and (free) video editor, your mac should be "up to it" because Davince Resolve does need some resources, and does have a "learning curve" but is much like FinalCutPro in use.
    ProRes422 comes in different "grades" i use ProRes422 LT which suits me fine for my VHS captures, a lot of quality of your captures depends also on a good VHS recorder, some time ago, i bought (new) the Panasonic DMR ES35V, it's VHS DVD recorder combo, with exellent (TBC?) stabilisation, which even give no problems with my Intesity Shuttle, the Intensity Shuttle needs a very stable analog video signal, which a lot of "normal" VCR's can't provide, so it's more "mis" then "hit" with BMD products this way.
    A good "device" for playback or passthrough is most important, but you already discovered that, i think you're on the right track, the way you are handling "things" a lot also depends on the quality of the tapes themselves, what i thought what was a "good" VHS recording when i watched it on a CRT tv, turned out to be recording that was a heavily smoothed out video image, there's a lot of difference if you watch video on a CTR display or LCD/TFT/OLED display, also size matters i watch all video on a 32" LCD tv, because the room isn't that big where i watch it, and i'm happy with the setup i have, be aware, that the speed (slow) of your storage device, during the capture can also cause dropped frames, so using a codec that compresses during capture helps, it will also speed up your work in post, that way, that's also the main reason why ProRes422 is used in Pro camera's and the editing room.
    Have fun and success !

    btw. I have a capture guide (most of it you already know, i guess) on the BlackMagicDesign forum:
    http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=78838

    btw2. try to stick with the Mac operating system, it's much more secure than the Microsoft Windows operating system, a Mac stays speedy in operating during time, and mallware is almost non existance on the Mac OS, which does comes with "free" software on the Microsoft Windows OS.
    With the "Apple" Force Quit, you can break out of a lot of misshap... M$ Windows ? never for me again...
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 3rd Apr 2019 at 03:46.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    You have a very limited choice for USB capturing in the Mac domain unfortunately, Just use what you got. If you have PC I would recommend that USB device you linked in your post with AmaRecTV capture app, Capture in lossless compression and encode to mp4.
    So USB 2.0 is truly capable of data transfer rates for lossless capture? When you capture on a PC, what is the usual container and what format is the RAW file in? Is that something I would later be able to use on my Mac or I'd have to convert to something else if I wanted to use my Mac to edit? If I even consider going the PC route, it would strictly be for capturing - the machine I have is so old I don't think I'd trust it to do much more than that. Otherwise I am sticking to what I got.
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    Originally Posted by medeamajic View Post
    I was under the impression you were connecting your VCR to the Digital-8 to get the VHS tapes into the computer. A lot of DV cams can work like a DV converter box.
    That is correct! I am. I would consider using something else like a used Canopus ADVC 110 just to not kill my camcorder in the process. I have a lot of 8mm/Digital8 to do next and I don't want to fry my only camcorder in the process of VHS. But I still don't really know where the audio sync issue is happening. I suspect something in the transfer process or the codec, since I used the same camcorder back in the day with my Windows machine and had no issues. So if I can capture with an NLE, and convert out of that NLE to mp4 (h264) then maybe I wouldn't have any issues.


    Is this you/your channel?

    You can capture using Premiere Pro, iMovie or FCPX. I know Premiere Pro will stay in sync on the PC side. I imagine it will on the Mac as well. Premiere Pro Elements should work but I cannot say for sure. I can try iMovie and FCPX out in a few days if you can wait. Until then these links might be help. Premiere Pro might let you playback the timeline through your DV cam and then onto a Broadcast Monitor. If you have a lot of tapes viewing them on a broadcast monitor helps out a lot.
    I'd prefer to avoid Adobe's monthly payment for Premiere Pro if I can. Final Cut Pro, I'd be stuck a version behind (10.2.3) because I'm running OS 10.10 (I may have to cave and update soon but I have other programs that run only on older OS) and I was reading last night that the most recent version of FCPX has a lot of improvements. Even with Premier Elements, I'd be stuck with v 15 which I think is 2 versions back. For simple capture/export though, it may suit my needs. I think all have free trials so I can do some experimenting. I can only use iMovie HD to capture analog video which I had to hack a little to install on my OS 10.10. And it breaks the files apart at 1 hour, so if I have a 1 hour 3 minute video, it makes 2 files, one 3 minutes long. Then I have to join using some other program (I used mpegstream). And the old version of iMovie is not up to speed with h264 compression so then I'm forced converting elsewhere. I'd love to be able to use one thing and stay in it for everything.
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    Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    So USB 2.0 is truly capable of data transfer rates for lossless capture? When you capture on a PC, what is the usual container and what format is the RAW file in? Is that something I would later be able to use on my Mac or I'd have to convert to something else if I wanted to use my Mac to edit? If I even consider going the PC route, it would strictly be for capturing - the machine I have is so old I don't think I'd trust it to do much more than that. Otherwise I am sticking to what I got.
    Yes, USB 2 supports realtime SD video plus audio. On a PC, you would save to an AVI file, which can be opened by most editors including Adobe Premiere. If you use the HuffYUV lossless codec and install Perian on the Mac, you should be good to go.
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    Originally Posted by JVRaines View Post
    If you use the HuffYUV lossless codec and install Perian on the Mac, you should be good to go.
    Perian.. awesome! (Assuming this works how I think it works, and that I can install it on my version of MacOS.) I didn't know this existed. Every time I try to play one of my old AVI captures, Quicktime runs through a conversion process currently and then plays it, and prompts me to save it when I close. I assume Perian will allow me just to play those files now? I will give that a shot. Thanks.

    One last question for you - I've heard about HuffYUV a lot. How do you tell your computer or software program to use a particular codec? Usually when I capture there are no settings. Sorry if this is obvious!
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    Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    One last question for you - I've heard about HuffYUV a lot. How do you tell your computer or software program to use a particular codec? Usually when I capture there are no settings. Sorry if this is obvious!
    It depends on what the application exposes to you. If it does the Right Thing, it will give you a list of installed codecs to choose from. If it does the Wrong Thing, it will pick one for you.
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    My parents have a Samsung Combo VCR/DVD player at their house and on the back it has both composite and component outputs. I assume the component outputs are only for the DVD player? Or can a VCR output to component too? There is no S video output though. It's a Samsung DVD-V9800. I have a photo of the back but the upload image function isn't working for me here.

    The VCR I have been using is a regular JVC VCR, I forget the exact model number but it says Pro-Cision 4 Head on the front. It seems to work fine but I have nothing to compare it to.

    If only I had known 20 years ago to buy a S-VHS VCR!
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  8. Hi again, Christina;

    Boy, I leave the conversation for a few hours and look what I miss. Too much interesting stuff to respond to in any great depth, but what people have shared so far has prompted a few more thoughts in my head:

    * If you already have to work with DV anyway for DV tapes (ie. you do NOT want to input a DV tape into your Mac via analog-to-digital video capture card/device), let's focus on getting that working as good as possible for starters.

    * If I'm understanding you correctly, the DV file you get after transferring your tape to your Mac plays fine as-is, in whatever video player you're using? The video and audio are in sync on the master file, the audio sync issue only arises after transcoding to mp4/any other format/compression? If so, then we know your camcorder DV output is okay, the DV file transfer is okay, it's the conversion/handbrake part where the issue is.

    * I think Eric-jan above mentioned he uses MacX Video Converter Pro as a editor/transcoder on his Mac? I love Handbrake, I use it on my PC and Linux machines, and it's great. BUT, I have had various issues with it, from time to time -- and audio sync is most definitely one of them. Of course audio sync issues are enormously common in any kind of video conversion (dumb question maybe but did you make sure to set the video framerate in Handbrake to 29.97 and constant? I think it often defaults to 25fps and variable framerate). I do know a few people with Macs who use MacX Video Converter Pro, I think it costs around twenty-five bucks, and you can probably download a trial copy to see if doing an edit/conversion in that software to see how it behaves, see if you still have audio issues.

    * On a PC I often use AVS Video Editor for doing quick edits/conversions of video (DV, AVI huffYUV, mpeg, mp4, etc.), I bought a copy years ago because it worked great for capturing DV video from my JVC DV camcorder (which I still use sometimes for AV capture, using the "pass-through" feature, composite to DV), and it's amazing what you can get for under fifty bucks nowadays. I would definitely try any "trialware" versions of Mac video software to see how it behaves on your machine, with your material. Bonus: Progs like AVS Video Editor and (I would guess) MacX Video Converter Pro tend to work just fine on older, less "state of the art" machines when you don't feel like hauling out FinalCut.

    * I'm not the least bit interested in a pissing contest here, pardon my language, but yeah, I have Adobe Premiere, and can edit with it if I want. I have half a dozen Core i5/i7 PCs and more than a dozen Core Duo/Core 2 Duo PCs to choose to work/play with at any time if I want, I can install Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 right now on any machine if I want, I can also set you up with Mac OS Lion/Mountain Lion/Mavericks/Yosemite/El Capitan/Sierra/High Sierra/Mojave, I've got a Mac Pro on one of my shelves here at work (the one that looks like a shiny little black trash can), and as for video capture devices ... whoo boy, if they made one, I've probably got it, mostly piled in a box somewhere upstairs at home in my "computer room" (aka "The Black Hole").

    * Why mention all the above if not for a pissing contest? Because I have access to lots and lots of stuff because my day job is a tech analyst for a university and we (the university) have all sorts of licenses with Adobe and Microsoft and Apple and Dell that lets me get to play around with much more cool stuff than I could ever do if I had to pay for it all. So as long as I've been the beneficiary of all this time and experience with hardware/software a lot of people never get to try for themselves, I feel it only fair to pass on to others whatever I can about what I've learned, so you decide if it's helpful for what you're wanting/needing to do, or if I'm just full of it.

    * Possibly related: I have a tremendous amount of experience getting "obsolete" operating systems to work/run optimally on non-officially supported hardware (e.g. yeah I have a working XP box, which I mostly use for syncing my Google calendar with my Palm Pilot ), and for the most part, it's not worth the hassle -- if you like playing with it that's fine, that's great, more power to you, but it's really easy for things (drivers, mostly) to break on you and even though drivers still break today on newer systems, good luck trying to get support if/when your vintage system blows up and you have to start over again from scratch. It can be done but mostly you end up spending a lot of time on chat boards like this one where you get one small piece of useful advice for every two dozen lectures from old farts moaning about why you really should be doing everything via SSH on a *NIX shell or like that.

    * So do I have a point after all the above rambling ... oh, yeah ...

    * Stay with your Mac, stay with DV for now, but try another (or several other) video editors/converters just to see how those work.

    * Don't waste any money on USB video capture devices, unless you just like playing with them (a dangerous rabbit hole!). The best you'll get is maybe as good as an old BT878 chip PCI capture card, which you can pick up (the BT878 capture card) on ebay for under ten bucks, and the BT878 will work great with VirtualDub/HuffYUV on your old PC.

    * It might be fun to get your PC back up and running, but that's also possible rabbit-hole territory -- it could be fun, but it'll probably take several days of things not working and things needing updating before you get it all going, and you'll be spending a lot of time on the forums talking to/with old farts on how to get that @#$# driver working.

    * If you do decide to go down the rabbit hole of getting your PC back up, PM me and we'll chat about whatever questions/issues you have, as I have had them all. Believe me, I have seen it ALL when it comes to Windows PCs.

    * But if you do decide you want to try capturing non-DV video, using a capture card -- definitely go with a PC for that. You can get a working PC for so little money nowadays, just for video capture, that no point in jumping through the hoops you'd need to do it via Mac.

    * FinalCut Pro is way overkill, so is Premiere. I like a good cheap NLE for this kind of work -- you drop in your DV file, you can cut out the seasick camera shots and Uncle Bob scratching himself, add a few titles (I'm amazed how much people really appreciate when you break down a long video tape into smaller parts with titles, like 15-minutes max of somebody's birthday, then the Christmas section, then the dog running around dragging Uncle Bob's dentures, etc.), export to mp4, and voila, instant karma.

    * Backup, backup, backup. Get yourself a big stack of Western Digital 4tb NAS Red drives for backup, 2 copies local, 1 off-site.

    * I think that's way more than enough for now. If you're still reading, keep up the good work and let us know how it goes!

    P.S. I'll do a few short VHS/DV/mp4 conversions this weekend to demo my own work/results, which I'll post somewhere with a link so you can see if it's worth any more of your time listening to anything I have to say. Don't worry about hurting my feelings, you should see what I have to put up with from people who pay me to work for them!
    Last edited by ozymango; 3rd Apr 2019 at 11:37. Reason: Hit enter too soon
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    The DVD-V9800 manual says "The Component Video jacks only output video from the DVD player."
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  10. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    What is a quality USB capture option in your experience?
    ATI 600 USB is the main one, and some clones.

    I do have an old PC in the basement with Windows XP that I built to be pretty powerful (wayyy back when) and it also has a firewire card in it too. I COULD see if that still runs, and then get a USB capture for the VHS stuff. I just don't know if or how that computer is running after sitting for so long collecting dust.
    That'd be great, and it probably is still running.

    I also have an unused Dell laptop from my job that is no longer being used, has Windows 7 on it but I am sure the specs are not good for video work. Capturing maybe... but without checking, I would guess the machine is not that powerful.
    Find out the model, there are some Dells that make for nice portable capture studios.


    Originally Posted by ozymango View Post
    Okay seriously, it sounds like you're doing extremely well already with what you've got, you may not consider yourself experienced but hell, I'm impressed with what you've done so far, and your attitude and creativity going forward.
    No, stop, back up. We've not seen any of her actual video captures. So I'd not say that whatsoever at the juncture.

    1) Being you've already got a DV input/capture setup working for your DV tapes, assuming your DV camera has an analog/composite video input for your VHS tapes, just stay with that for now -- you'll have a consistent work-flow
    Consistent, but not quality. And the whole reason she's posting is she ran into issue, wanted to seek advice on what better methods existed. Odds are, even if subconscious, she's seeing quality issues relating to DV.

    It's not like you're throwing your tapes away afterwards, you can always re-do things later if you get a bee in your bonnet about "improving" quality,
    Why waste time redoing it if you know how to do it better the first time?

    but whenever I start hearing from anybody starting to go on a bit about "best" quality, it gets me thinking of guys I know from car and motorcycle shows and swap-meets, we/they spend a hell of a lot of time debating the finer merits of flat tappet cams vs. roller cams, as roller cams have much more aggressive ramp rates that would cause a flat tappet lifter to dig into the ramp, whereas with your roller cam the ramp rate allows the valve to open faster and stay at a higher lift while ... see, it's a path to madness, and a good way to never get around to digitizing any of your old tapes.
    That's not what we're ding here. It's not a finer point whatsoever, but a fairly large issue. If you went to a car show, do you really want to debate the merits of a 1995 Ford Taurus vs. a 2009 Toyota Corolla? Because that's what DV vs. lossless is like. Some old never-really-great (Taurus) vs. somewhat newish model with good resale value (Toyota).

    2) You definitely want to keep ... archives of all your conversions, which you backup to at least three different locations (two local, one remote), keep your old tapes safely stored for if/when you decide to convert them later, and then convert the DV into mp4 (x264) via Handbrake (as you've already worked out) just for sharing purposes and for your average viewing.
    Yes, good backup policy.
    For the H264, you need to deinterlace with a good method -- something not done in NLEs.

    Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    I am already a bit down the rabbit hole as you said - mainly because I experienced some sync issues in the beginning and started searching for a better way, to jump through less hoops and streamline my process without having to pull apart files only to put them back together in order to keep the audio in sync (which is so counter-intuitive!).
    You need a good S-VHS VCR, some sort of TBC, and a better capture card. You're losing audio sync due to dropped frames. There are known good, and easy, ways to convert video. But you need the right tools to do it. You can't just get any random VCR, computer, software, not have TBC, etc. You'll give yourself a miserable experience trying to rush, cut corners, use the wrong tools, etc.

    I'd like to hopefully only do this once,
    Yep, do it the best you can the first time around.

    But like you said, for now I just want to get them all done NOW while the tapes are still in decent condition. We're talking about tapes over 38 years old. Luckily we stored them well and they still play so far, but I don't know how much life they have left in them.
    This is a myth instilled by companies that want to convert your videos (and usually using garbage methods themselves). Your tape are not disintegrating on your shelves, nothing is "fading", etc. If stored properly (not attic, not basement, not garage, etc), they should be fine for another 10-20 years (assuming 80s/90s recordings). So don't rush, do a bad job, but do a diligent job, without procrastinating.

    Would I be doing myself a disservice if I used something like this: ... which captures directly to mp4 (I think - I'm not sure if I can use other software to capture to a less-lossy format)?
    Maybe. It does work with VirtualDub in Windows, I have one here for testing. It works in Mac, but I've never tested that aspect. The "free" software it comes with is for sure crap, and don't capture to "MP4" (a meaningless nonsense term, since MPEG-4 is a wrapper, and you don't know the actual codec in use, though probably H.264, with unknown specs). BTW, I have probably 100 different capture cards, for testing, going back decades now. So understand when I tell you XYZ card isn't good, it's because I either have it myself, have used it, or have colleagues that have knowledgeable experience with the card.

    Plenty of people seem more than satisfied with the results they're getting but I don't know what type of eye they have or quality they're expecting compared to us crazies who spend hours combing through forums and talking to strangers about flat tappet cams vs. roller cams!
    A lot of people have zero idea about quality. They just assume VHS looks bad, because their conversion methods are garbage. That's also given rise to "VHS filters", which are really just "bad VHS conversion" filters.

    I'm trying to wrap my head around how a USB capture device can do a better job than DV/Firewire because, without going into the limitations of DV (chroma, lossy, etc) I didn't think the data transfer rates of USB could keep up with a good quality transfer rate.
    It's not about data rates. DV is not Firewire, DV is DV. Firewire surely could have supported a lossless device, but none were made. USB was chosen, mostly because even Mac abandoned Firewire before USB cards were popular and being made.

    Originally Posted by medeamajic View Post
    use DV converters. They just work! No drivers needed.
    To me, that's just laziness. I don't care if the worse method is easier, I'm not doing it.
    For example, I'd rather mash my own potatoes, because it tastes much better, than whip up powder from a box into hot water. It's not the same. And it's not like mashing a few potatoes is so overly laborious that I can't do it. Boil them, chop them with a knife, then smash with a big spoon. So much tastier! Also easy, if not completely lazy, or ADD about it.

    Originally Posted by JVRaines View Post
    My advice is to use a Windows machine. You'll have a lot more control that way.
    As you predicted, the Holy War rages over DV versus lossless. My advice is still to try to establish a lossless workflow. You've taken such good care of these tapes for decades — you will convert them once and then you are stuck FOREVER with the digital results. Isn't it worth a little effort to get the best masters within reason? Along those lines, I would also advise you to use an s-video output. In most players, it provides a noticeably sharper image without color artifacts. And watch your audio levels as you convert; if they are too high, you'll get digital distortion.
    That's exactly it.

    Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    None of the VCRs I have access to have S-video output (I checked) and I can’t believe how much money people are getting for used SVHS VCRs.
    I'm guessing you're not aware of the original prices. S-VHS VCRs are selling for about half of original costs these days, which is about accurate for used photo/video gear. These weren't something you'd buy at Best Buy, but places like B&H and Adorama. High end video, not home VCRs. Consumer VHS VCRs were low-end crap, while S-VHS decks retained the full quality of the original signal. Many had better transports, filters, internal line TBCs for sync/stability, etc.

    Plus you never know what it’s been through and I’m afraid of it eating my tapes.
    That is a concern, you must be wary of eBay, even the supposedly "working" units that are not. About 85% of the VCRs sold on eBay are junk, and that includes at least half of those "tested" and "working" decks. The key is to realize that sellers are rarely video folks, but recyclers and estate resellers. Their idea of "works" is to see a power LED of any kind, and "tested" means any quality image is seen on any sized screen. It could have massive issues, and often does. You can find the quality gear, but it often won't be from eBay, Craigslist, Goodwill, etc.

    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Yeah, that's the problems with used equipment, Unless you have the repair skills it's hard to find a qualified technician and parts nowadays.
    This is the primary reason I started to acquire some quality gear from my various sources, after selling off my own extra gear. Every VCR I get is thoroughly tested, even though it was pre-tested and sworn to be good. I actually test, multi-point inspection, graded on a scale of A+ to F. Cleaned, maintenance run, realigned as needed. Refurb'd as needed, and it's needed probably 90% of the time. Getting the gear back into like-new condition is not easy, but I can do it. I spent decades helping others with info online, with guides and posts, but it'd be useless if they didn't also have access to the gear. I'm spread thin these days, but I know people value what I do.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 3rd Apr 2019 at 14:04. Reason: typo
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    You guys are the best.. seriously, thank you for taking so much time to respond with your advice. I really do appreciate it. I've read every word, gone back and re-read, taken notes, and got a lot of good ideas and things to try. The DV war rages on, and lordsmurf, I can absolutely appreciate your quest for perfection (or as close to it as possible) and your experience on this topic - I've come across some posts on this forum from you as early as 2005 so I know you know what you're talking about. I do have to find a good balance though that works for me, and so I also appreciate ozymango's approach as well. And Eric-jan, I'm going to look into MacXVideo so thanks for that too. So much good stuff here to consider!!!

    OK. So for a brief second when I thought maybe a VCR could output in component video, I searched for a converter that could accept component video inputs and quickly stumbled on this unknown, no-reviews device on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZXTPP6F/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A02384876VMQLMNCOLQ4&psc=1

    Obviously the component video part isn't of use to me but I am sooooooooooo tempted to buy it for $29 "just to see" (yes, rabbit hole) but I do enjoy the testing and experimenting process. Unfortunately I work a full time job out of the house and so my testing usually comes at the expense of sleep as I find myself bleary-eyed in front of the computer after midnight. But seriously I am tempted - It doesn't appear to be able to capture losslessly but the settings look fairly configurable, even for the mac. For you guys that have seen it all, done it all, have it all - have you ever heard of this one? Here is another link with a little more info: https://www.ambery.com/3covicorcast.html
    Last edited by Christina; 3rd Apr 2019 at 12:08. Reason: typos!
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  12. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    No, stop, back up. We've not seen any of her actual video captures. So I'd not say that whatsoever at the juncture.
    She seems to be happy with things so far, if not exactly sure of how to proceed from here, i.e. the "quality" she's getting is okay, just a bit painful to get there.

    Any links to any of your work, before and after shots, maybe?

    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Consistent, but not quality. And the hole reason she's posting is she ran into issue, wanted to seek advice on what better methods existed. Odds are, even if subconscious, she's seeing quality issues relating to DV.
    Yes, and she's transferring/editing DV video at this time.. That is, she hasn't gotten to the VHS part yet -- even if she has, let's take one thing at time, and being she's starting with DV video, let's stay with DV video just for this initial conversation.

    Would you first recommend that she not transfer her DV video to her Mac via DV/Firewire input? That is, are you suggesting that she input the analog output from the camcorder to a PC analog video capture system? If so, I'm not clear on how that's going to improve on whatever lacking video quality she's got in the original DV tapes, assuming you find issues with the entire DV recording process itself (i.e. if DV has color issues on the recording side, it ain't gonna get any better just in the transfer process).

    So back to the DV part -- she has to transfer the DV video to her computer to begin with, no matter what. If you're recommending that she not do that via DV (firewire direct) transfer, but instead use a video capture card on a PC, I personally don't see any improvement doing it that way. If you have samples of your work with video transfer using DV from DV, versus DV from analog capture card, and that demonstrate the quality difference(s), I'd love to see them.

    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    That's not what we're doing here. It's not a finer point whatsoever, but a fairly large issue. If you went to a car show, do you really want to debate the merits of a 1995 Ford Taurus vs. a 2009 Toyota Corolla? Because that's what DV vs. lossless is like. Some old never-really-great (Taurus) vs. somewhat newish model with good resale value (Toyota).
    You lost me here. I would not hang around a conversation with two guys debating the merits of a 1995 Ford Taurus vs. a 2009 Toyota Corolla, and I own a 2002 Ford Taurus wagon. I would hang around a couple of guys debating the merits of a 3-cylinder 2-stroke Saab engine vs. the later V4 Saab engine (93/95/96 chassis), or a couple of guys (or girls/women/etc) debating the merits of a Duo core mobile Intel i5 vs. quad core mobile Intel i7 for laptop use depending on whether battery life or performance is the greater concern at the moment (say for traveling counselors vs. desktop docking station setup).

    Related: Is the 1995 Ford Taurus currently running? Is the Corolla? That makes a huge difference, to me, I don't need any more project cars at the moment.

    Lord Smurf, I think you've got some terrific advice, and I hope Christina contacts you personally so you can work with her to get a decent VCR and capture card/device that'll suit her needs, as I know there are many of us out here who want her to succeed. With someone like you advising her, I don't see how she could possibly fail. I look forward to the next chapter in this story.
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    I see in your posts mentioning that you have a XP desktop, If I was you I would get it running and get an expansion capture card (PCI or whatever the motherboard takes), Alternatively a laptop with Windows 7 that you have from work is perfect for capturing analog audio and I bet they are equipped with firewire for native D8 and MiniDV transfer.

    As to that device you linked with multi inputs, It's really hard to judge the book by its cover, I tell you what, those Chinese clone factories have no regulations, no laws, no ethics. they make a product that barely works with the lowest cost possible, video quality is not on their priority list, heck it is not even on their list, So be aware.
    Last edited by dellsam34; 3rd Apr 2019 at 12:50.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    I see in your posts mentioning that you have a XP desktop, If I was you I would get it running and get an expansion capture card (PCI or whatever the motherboard takes), Alternatively a laptop with Windows 7 that you have from work is perfect for capturing analog audio and I bet they are equipped with firewire for native D8 and MiniDV transfer.
    The old XP has a card in it with Firewire inputs, but not any other type of capture card, and the work dell laptop is a Latitude E6430 with Windows 7 Professional. It doesn't have firewire but a few weeks ago I did find a laptop card with firewire that would work in it. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RKUKMG/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_5?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    This is still firewire/DV land though - other types of capture cards are yet another completely foreign territory to me at this point that would require more reading and research.
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    Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    Originally Posted by medeamajic View Post
    I was under the impression you were connecting your VCR to the Digital-8 to get the VHS tapes into the computer. A lot of DV cams can work like a DV converter box.
    That is correct! I am. I would consider using something else like a used Canopus ADVC 110 just to not kill my camcorder in the process. I have a lot of 8mm/Digital8 to do next and I don't want to fry my only camcorder in the process of VHS. But I still don't really know where the audio sync issue is happening. I suspect something in the transfer process or the codec, since I used the same camcorder back in the day with my Windows machine and had no issues. So if I can capture with an NLE, and convert out of that NLE to mp4 (h264) then maybe I wouldn't have any issues.


    Is this you/your channel?
    That link is not to my channel. I post links if I think they will be useful to the discussion. I now know for sure what method you are using (I had thought you were doing that) and it is not a bad method.

    There is a free version of DaVinci Resolve you could try. It may or may not do what you want. I had stated prior that a CRT monitor is helpful and Eric-jan also noted using an old CRT monitor can be helpful. Your DV camera will probably allow you to pass through and see the Premiere Pro preview on CRT monitor most USB capture cards will not let you do that and FCPX will not let you use a DV device for AV output. I do a few freelance video editing jobs from time to time. For me real-time playback on broadcast compliant equipment is important but you do not need it. Below is one of my videos that show Premiere Pro outputting to an old CRT monitor while editing using the ADVC110.

    https://youtu.be/vATw63nn3OQ
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    That link is not to my channel. I post links if I think they will be useful to the discussion.
    I quoted the wrong youtube link before. The TechTVUSA is you? Impressive! Thanks.
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    Originally Posted by ozymango View Post
    Would you first recommend that she not transfer her DV video to her Mac via DV/Firewire input? That is, are you suggesting that she input the analog output from the camcorder to a PC analog video capture system? If so, I'm not clear on how that's going to improve on whatever lacking video quality she's got in the original DV tapes, assuming you find issues with the entire DV recording process itself (i.e. if DV has color issues on the recording side, it ain't gonna get any better just in the transfer process).
    Camera-shot DV doesn't really suffer the same issues as analog-converted DV. I've long been fine with DV shooting, and it can be quality.

    I agree, with her current setup, she should transfer the DV. Start that part of the project.

    But I would note that consumer analog cameras didn't have great glass, not great resolving power, so the 720x480 was more theoretical than actual. You can often capture DV footage with s-video analog to lossless, and quality will not have loss. It also depends on the camera's analog output. So again, we've back at quality of hardware making a difference in video. It was true the moment it was shot, not just year later when ingesting.

    You lost me here. I would not hang around a conversation with two guys debating the merits of a 1995 Ford Taurus vs. a 2009 Toyota Corolla,
    Exactly how not many are sticking around for the DV vs. lossless conversation.

    debating the merits of a Duo core mobile Intel i5 vs. quad core mobile Intel i7 for laptop use depending on whether battery life or performance is the greater concern at the moment (say for traveling counselors vs. desktop docking station setup).
    I'd rather watch grass grow.

    Cars, computers, video gear ... all just tools. I know some about cars, lots about computers, but the subjects bore me. I take interest in the video. But to me, it's just tools for tasks, I have no emotional investment in it. "You want X performance? Great, use Y tool, avoid Z." That's really all this conversation is to me.

    Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    I quoted the wrong youtube link before. The TechTVUSA is you? Impressive! Thanks.
    It would be, if he didn't say so many things that was just not accurate, sometimes outright false. Amusingly, some of his own samples disagree with his statements.

    Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    The old XP has a card in it with Firewire inputs, but not any other type of capture card, and the work dell laptop is a Latitude E6430 with Windows 7 Professional.
    Don't worry about Firewire for DV. Are you able to transfer DV/Digital8 tapes on the Mac okay? The Windows system is mostly for the analog conversions, not any digital format tapes.

    I'll look at the laptop when I get some time, see if it'll work.

    On the desktop, what model is it, or what sort of case does it have? Open it, see what motherboard slots are available.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank Discs • Best TBCs • Best VCRs for capture • Restore VHS
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    Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    OK. So for a brief second when I thought maybe a VCR could output in component video, I searched for a converter that could accept component video inputs and quickly stumbled on this unknown, no-reviews device on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZXTPP6F/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A02384876VMQLMNCOLQ4&psc=1
    If it worked, it would be in direct contradiction to the Samsung manual, which clearly states that only DVD video is sent to the component outputs.
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  19. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    But I would note that consumer analog cameras didn't have great glass, not great resolving power, so the 720x480 was more theoretical than actual. You can often capture DV footage with s-video analog to lossless, and quality will not have loss. It also depends on the camera's analog output. So again, we've back at quality of hardware making a difference in video. It was true the moment it was shot, not just year later when ingesting.
    Oh, yeah, here's where I could definitely chat for hours -- the actual visual quality of the recording device/camera in the first place. Don't get me started on cheap lenses! When I used to shoot 35mm slides I had (actually still have, somewhere) a couple of really lovely Contax lens, which have the same mount to fit a Yashica camera body, and the Yashica bodies were cheap (relatively speaking) but still very good, so I'd blow my money on expensive Contax lens and cheap(er) Yashica camera bodies, because I couldn't afford both Nikon lens and Nikon bodies. So you gots to know where to put your $$$ for the best return on your investment ... though along those lines, that reminds me of what my dad and Will Rogers used to say: "Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement."
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    On the desktop, what model is it, or what sort of case does it have? Open it, see what motherboard slots are available.
    Oh boy, we're going way back. I built the PC long LONG ago, so it's a generic case and was made of parts (good ones at the time), so it's not a model # I can reference. I don't recall what slots are available, but I know one of them is being used by the firewire card, so I could always take that out if I go down that path.

    The Windows 7 Dell laptop from work would be a much easier machine to use if I can. It has an expresscard expansion slot and obviously USB. I also would not have to worry about finding a monitor, working keyboard, mouse, plus a spot to set it all up with the large tower.
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  21. Originally Posted by JVRaines View Post
    If it worked, it would be in direct contradiction to the Samsung manual, which clearly states that only DVD video is sent to the component outputs.
    I don't want to hijack the original thread but this pinged in my head -- isn't there one (or more) models of VHS/DVD combined recorders (i.e. records VHS, records DVD, records from VHS to DVD) that can be used as "pass-through" TBCs to output a more stable Y/C video (SVHS) output you can then capture with an analog capture card? I'm sure there's an entire thread on that in the forums, I was just curious if anyone off the top of their head has any experience with one of those machines, is it even worth looking for one (assuming they exist) for VHS transfer.
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    Originally Posted by JVRaines View Post
    If it worked, it would be in direct contradiction to the Samsung manual, which clearly states that only DVD video is sent to the component outputs.
    I didn't mean to use it with the Samsung DVD/VCR machine or with the component inputs - that's just what led me to stumble on it. I meant to try as an analog capture device (using RCA, for now) straight to the Mac via USB. The settings screens they show make it look like you do have some decent control over the quality settings, unlike something like the Elgato which I don't think gives you much choice. The documentation also mentioned h264 and "apple dv" on the mac. I kinda just want to try it and see.. but probably a waste of money and time.
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    Originally Posted by ozymango View Post
    I don't want to hijack the original thread but this pinged in my head -- isn't there one (or more) models of VHS/DVD combined recorders (i.e. records VHS, records DVD, records from VHS to DVD) that can be used as "pass-through" TBCs to output a more stable Y/C video (SVHS) output you can then capture with an analog capture card? I'm sure there's an entire thread on that in the forums, I was just curious if anyone off the top of their head has any experience with one of those machines, is it even worth looking for one (assuming they exist) for VHS transfer.
    It probably exists, but like everything else, finding a quality one is the trick, from someone who you don't know and can't trust.
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  24. Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    Oh boy, we're going way back. I built the PC long LONG ago, so it's a generic case and was made of parts (good ones at the time), so it's not a model # I can reference. I don't recall what slots are available, but I know one of them is being used by the firewire card, so I could always take that out if I go down that path.
    ...and down the rabbit hole we go!

    I sense somewhat mild interest in the PC at this time, i.e. you'll use it if you need it but wanna try other things at the moment, but in any case a quick question: Does the motherboard support SATA drives, or only IDE? Even if it's currently only configured with IDE drives (big flat gray cables connecting drive to mb, big 4-prong molex power connector), might there be SATA connectors available on the motherboard? I ask because if it's got SATA ports available it's a whole different kettle of fish working with a SATA-capable (more recent) motherboard, than if it's IDE only.

    Actually a more possibly usefully relevant question: Do you know if the desktop computer can boot from a USB drive? If so, it's definitely worth taking a look at. If you can't boot from USB, if you have to install the OS from CD/DVD, man that's a hassle...
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    Originally Posted by ozymango View Post
    Does the motherboard support SATA drives, or only IDE?
    Hmmmmmmmmm, I have to check. I can't remember.

    Actually a more possibly usefully relevant question: Do you know if the desktop computer can boot from a USB drive? If so, it's definitely worth taking a look at. If you can't boot from USB, if you have to install the OS from CD/DVD, man that's a hassle...
    No idea. But it has a working OS on it already, including all my old software from the last time I tried to tackle this project.
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    There was no such SATA in the XP days, It was either SCSI or the newer then IDE.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Originally Posted by Christina View Post
    I quoted the wrong youtube link before. The TechTVUSA is you? Impressive! Thanks.
    It would be, if he didn't say so many things that was just not accurate, sometimes outright false. Amusingly, some of his own samples disagree with his statements.
    I have mentioned people can decide for themselves if my information is correct. Your information on the other hand is simply incorrect 80% of the time. Having said that why not impress Christina and everyone else by demonstrating how great your equipment and method are?
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    Here is how a hardware encoded MPEG-2 capture looks like:
    MPEG2 Cap.mpg

    The captured tape is slightly worn commercial tape. A D-VHS VCR is used to playback the tape and captured via its firewire to PC, Yes firewire but not in DV format, It was captured in MPEG-2 4:2:0, Lossy but way better than DV. This is just to give an idea of how different codecs work and what do you expect, I'm not suggesting MPEG-2 capturing as I don't use it for my normal capture workflow.
    You would not get that quality with a regular VCR using composite and a USB capture device with MPEG-2 chip on board, You might if you use a S-VHS VCR.

    Here is more clips if you don't mind the extra compression of the drop box viewer, You can always download those clip if you want to see the original capture quality.
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  29. Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    There was no such SATA in the XP days, It was either SCSI or the newer then IDE.
    [Takes a deep breath, cracks knuckles, then exhales]

    My friend, back in the day we used to deploy a lot of Dell Optiplex GX280 computers at the university campus where I work. We would "image" them after creating a disk image using first Ghost, then later Altiris, using a custom sysprep file to configure driver updates for different hardware if needed, assuming the HAL layer was compatible enough to boot a workable machine (this was long before system-independent .wim files were an option). The GX280 was rather a nice PC for the time, and while the primary drive/system was, indeed, IDE, the GX280 had two internal SATA ports, and you could, if you wanted, install a SATA drive, there was a PATA to SATA translator in the BIOS so that the PATA drivers native to Windows XP would work without needing to load SATA drivers, though you could install the intel RST driver during install by pressing F6 to install SCSI/RAID drivers (when installing the OS via CD) and then pointing to a floppy that contains the necessary drivers. Which I admit was a bit of a challenge, finding the right SATA driver for your particular hardware, as Dell liked and still likes to change hardware specs at the drop of a hat.

    So yeah, there was SATA back in the XP days. Perhaps more relevantly to this particular conversation, there was most definitely XP in the SATA days. That is, it's fully possible for a person to have purchased a Windows motherboard that supported Windows 7, yet chose to install Windows XP on it, for whatever reasons. Such a machine could have full SATA capability, yet still only behave as a Windows XP machine, being it is still a Windows XP machine. I don't know what kind of person chooses to put an older operating system on newer hardware, but my contacts tell me there are those out there who still choose to do so, even in this late age.

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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Here is how a hardware encoded MPEG-2 capture looks like:
    Image
    [Attachment 48573 - Click to enlarge]


    The captured tape is slightly worn commercial tape. A D-VHS VCR is used to playback the tape and captured via its firewire to PC, Yes firewire but not in DV format, It was captured in MPEG-2 4:2:0, Lossy but way better than DV. This is just to give an idea of how different codecs work and what do you expect, I'm not suggesting MPEG-2 capturing as I don't use it for my normal capture workflow.
    You would not get that quality with a regular VCR using composite and a USB capture device with MPEG-2 chip on board, You might if you use a S-VHS VCR.

    Here is more clips if you don't mind the extra compression of the drop box viewer, You can always download those clip if you want to see the original capture quality.
    None of those play for me. I tried the one you linked here, and one from your list in dropbox. I downloaded to computer, not streamed, and it opened in Windows Media Player, Windows 10. I get audio only, no video.
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