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  1. Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I'm a first timer to this forum but feel like you all might be the ones to help me with my issue.

    I am a producer in LA who has a feature film that is meant to have the look of an old VHS tape. The film was shot in 2K on an Arri Alexa. We'd like to have a 2K delivery. We'd settle for 1080.

    We have been able to successfully get the film to a VHS tape to get the look we want (using magnets and etc to distort the signal and get specific looks while playing it live), but we are struggling to get it back into the digital space in 2K for final delivery.

    So, does anyone know a way to live capture VHS to 2K. We are fully aware there is a huge quality loss -- THIS IS WHAT WE ARE GOING FOR. We just do NOT want DIGITAL artifacts in the process. I poked around in this thread: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/197551-VHS-to-DVD-conversion-Am-I-expecting-too-much but it isn't exactly what we're going for.

    Our only idea right now is setting up a 2K camera and precisely lining it up with a high-resolution TV and doing a kind of live recording, but we're sure there is a better way.

    All the post houses out here w'eve talked to are all convinced that the only way to do it is using Red Giant plugins, which looks like fake-y garbage to us.

    Any help? Also, if you're in the LA area and have a set-up for making this kind of VHS to digital transfer let me know, we'd love to work with you.

    Thank you,
    Colin
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  2. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    How about you live capture to 480p, then upscale to the desired size + any cropping. 480p is going to be the native resolution of NTSC VHS so I would not trust anything that capture VHS to 1080p.
    Last edited by KarMa; 2nd Apr 2019 at 17:06.
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  3. Member
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    We think the upscaling would add digital artifacts -- is this not true?
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  4. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CWM View Post
    We think the upscaling would add digital artifacts -- is this not true?
    I'm not sure of any way to upscale in the analog field or how that would even be done. It certainly won't add artifacts that look "digital". The simple act of capturing makes it digital anyway and just about anything to upscale it is going to be digital one way or another. Sample is what a direct 480 capture looks like (after some color correction and deinterlacing).
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  5. Banned
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    So, does anyone know a way to live capture VHS to 2K. We are fully aware there is a huge quality loss -- THIS IS WHAT WE ARE GOING FOR. We just do NOT want DIGITAL artifacts in the process. I poked around in this thread: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/197551-VHS-to-DVD-conversion-Am-I-expecting-too-much but it isn't exactly what we're going for.
    A Taranex can upscale SD to 2K and 4K for live broadcasting or video capture but I am not sure about the quality. That is some major up-scaling.
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  6. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    There there are also questions like frame rate, as VHS works at 59.94 fields per second while I'm going to assume this film is 24 frames per second. This isn't a big deal but it has to be factored in. Or intended aspect ratio, as you probably want something like 16:9 while VHS is usually 4:3. It can be forced to 16:9 or whatever, it's just going to kill the already low horizontal resolution.
    Last edited by KarMa; 2nd Apr 2019 at 17:55.
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  7. Originally Posted by CWM View Post
    We think the upscaling would add digital artifacts -- is this not true?
    Anything that upscales from SD to 4K is going to do it digitally. Even if it has analog inputs and outputs.
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  8. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    all depends on the look you are going for. good, ok, or bad vhs. Gaussian blur would do the first. encoding to 2k mpeg-1 might do for ok vhs. bad vhs...no one wants to see it anyway.
    Last edited by aedipuss; 2nd Apr 2019 at 19:59.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  9. Member
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    Thanks everyone for your input here! Good point about any upscaling would be a digital move. Thanks for the sample KarMa -- I gave it to our editor to do some tests with.

    And the Taranex seems like it might be promising -- any idea where to find one of those to use as a one-time kind of thing rather than purchase?

    As for frame rate, yes, we'd like 24FPS. We actually shot the film knowing we were going to be cropping into 4:3, so we want the 4:3 crop on our 16:9 image.
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  10. Member
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    Teranex is a waste of your money. It doesn't do any better upscaling than a good software algorithm. It exists for people who need to do it in real time, like for streaming. Get a cheap USB dongle for your conversion, then try different upscalers until you find a look that you like. You're going to have big pixels no matter what because VHS resolution is roughly equivalent to 330 480 luma and 40 480 chroma.
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