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  1. Can you recommend a Windows external USB capture device that can capture composite, S-video, component video in ProRes 422?

    Edit: Found one. https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/intensity
    Last edited by digicube; 23rd May 2019 at 16:27.
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  2. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Those are terrible cards for SD capture.
    The SD capturing is a pathetic afterthought features, many problems.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 5th Jun 2019 at 17:52. Reason: typo
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  3. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    If you don't have an external TBC and good quality VCR you will be having a lot of problems, That box is designed for HD capture not SD.
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  4. I captured some Betacam SP video with the USB Intensity Shuttle using 10bit Quicktime uncompressed YUV. The details and color is slightly better than ADVC300 but not by much. As for TBC, I can use ADVC300 as a line TBC. File is 100GB per hour.

    My question is will the Thunderbolt Intensity Shuttle work on a USB 3.0 port?
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  5. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Betacam deck is more stable than a consumer VCR so you shouldn't have problems connecting straight to BM device, However hooking up ADVC300 in the stream you are bottle necking the signal down from lossless 10 bit to a lossy DV signal, So converting DV back to 10 bit in software is just a waste of data, You may not see a degradation in quality but you are not gaining anything other than larger file sizes.

    BM made two versions of the device one with USB 3.0 and one with Thunderbolt, You should have bought the right one in the first place.
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  6. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    That are terrible cards for SD capture.
    The SD capturing is a pathetic afterthought features, many problems.
    What problems?
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  7. Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    If you don't have an external TBC and good quality VCR you will be having a lot of problems,
    This is true for any capture device.

    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    That box is designed for HD capture not SD.
    Can you provide links discussing this topic ? So far SD capture is working fine for me.
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  8. Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Betacam deck is more stable than a consumer VCR so you shouldn't have problems connecting straight to BM device, However hooking up ADVC300 in the stream you are bottle necking the signal down from lossless 10 bit to a lossy DV signal, So converting DV back to 10 bit in software is just a waste of data, You may not see a degradation in quality but you are not gaining anything other than larger file sizes.
    I'm using ADVC300 as a TBC passthru, I don't think it's converting it to DV. Someone who owns ADV300 should chime in on this.

    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    BM made two versions of the device one with USB 3.0 and one with Thunderbolt, You should have bought the right one in the first place.
    I got the USB one but my question is will the Thunderbolt Intensity Shuttle work on a USB 3.0 port?
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    I think you misunderstand the relationship between Tbolt and USB.

    Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C connector and includes usb 3.x (and 2.0 and 1.1) in its supported protocols, along the DP/HDMI and pci-e. Thus it is a superset of usb.

    Tbolt1 and 2 uses the mini-DP connector and includes DP/HDMI and pci-e protocols. It is unrelated to usb, and so any capability there would require some active conversion.

    If your device is Tbolt3 and you are hooking up to usbc, with the expectation of using ONLY usbc featureset, or if your device were usbc hooking to tbolt3, you are good to go. Any other scenario will not work, without additional conversion, etc.

    Scott
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  10. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    I'm using ADVC300 as a TBC passthru, I don't think it's converting it to DV. Someone who owns ADV300 should chime in on this.
    - Forum members reported having problems with that BM device when capturing VHS tapes without TBC or DVD in the stream. if you don't have problems then why use a passthrough?
    - ADVC-300 is a DV capture device, What comes out of the DV port is a lossy DV 4:1:1 for NTSC, there is no turning back, just because you set your software to capture lossless doesn't mean the source is lossless.
    - Good capture devices need external TBC for bad VHS tapes only, Chinese crap devices or devices that are not made for SD capture require an external TBC almost all the time for VHS.
    Last edited by dellsam34; 1st Jun 2019 at 15:56.
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  11. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    BM cards have issues even when TBC is present. Not just without. That's the problem.

    DV is bad enough (for NTSC), but ADVC-300 really screws with the video quality. All those "filters" just smear and make a quality mess, for both PAL and NTSC.

    TBC does not fix HD or crap Chinese devices. Nothing fixes that.

    All VHS tapes are bad, in terms of signal integrity, and visual timing errors. All of them. No exceptions. Some are more tolerable than others, but all tapes suck. Timing issues are an inherent flaw of the format.
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  12. mr.
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    Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    Can you recommend a Windows external USB capture device that can capture composite, S-video, component video in ProRes 422?

    Edit: Found one. https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/intensity
    To make a good capture does not only depends on the capture device, but also all the other hardware/software, Blackmagic Design is not by design bad...
    I have the BMD Intensity Shuttle with the Thunderbold 2 interface, the Thunderbolt 2 interface i also have on my MacBook Pro (2015 early edition 8GB RAM) and is a ideal combination for me with my DMR-ES35V VHS VCR/DVR combo, the VCR part has a geared mechanism, and has stabilized output from the VHS VCR part over the component output which is a type of connection as good as you could have for VHS capture, i loose no frames even when i do a fast forward with picture, there's no picture quality loss when doing this, only some small noise bars are recorded during that.
    The USB3 interface is slower than the Thunderbolt 2 interface, The USB interface was originaly not designed for use with capturing video, VHS video's bandwith can be 5MHz, sound is much less than that, so a sound interface over USB should not be a problem for any PC or laptop.
    The DMR-ES35V can still be found on the internet and is a good starting point for any capture device, and is for shure enough quality for any BMD capture device, since a good VHS VCR video signal is the most important thing, Enough data through put to your storage device like a SSD is also needed, otherwise you loose frames and audio sync problems, i have no problems with this setup, and am happy with the Intensity Shuttle, most of that is because of the DMR-ES35V (PAL) and the component (progressive) output.
    (my setup also defeats Macrovision this way)

    Important ! be aware that the Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt is the Thunderbolt 2 version not the 3 version, so you need an Thunderbolt 2 interface (card/connection) do not rely on conversion when needed

    I have a guide/tutorial on the BMD forum:
    https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=78838
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 5th Jun 2019 at 12:23.
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  13. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Eric-Jan, As you may already know that the video signal is recorded on tape in two components or signals, Luma signal and Chroma signal. Most regular VHS players (Non S-Video) take those two signals and combine them into one single signal called composite (yellow RCA) which will result in some degradation of picture quality. How can you be sure that the DMR-ES35V is taking those two signal and converting them straight to RGB and not taking the composite signal from the VCR section and converting it to RGB? I've asked this before about VCR's equipped with component and HDMI outputs but never got an answer to it.
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  14. What capture devices do you guys use/recommend then? DV is bad so capture uncompressed?
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  15. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    What capture devices do you guys use/recommend then? DV is bad so capture uncompressed?
    Yes lossless (Not uncompressed) is the trend now, Lossless can be compressed without any loss of quality like FLAC for audio. There are different ways of doing it it all depends on your knowledge and your budget. But the best way is when it's done via USB 3.0 (PC) or Thunderbolt (Mac), USB 2.0 is doable but can lead to a lot of problems most of which are hard to diagnose such as frames drop, loss of signal ...etc
    What ever capture device you choose make sure that you have a good VCR (preferably S-Video with line TBC) and possibly an additional external TBC or VCR/DVD combo just as a passthrough for analog signal but don't get one until you hit your first bad tape.
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  16. mr.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Eric-Jan, As you may already know that the video signal is recorded on tape in two components or signals, Luma signal and Chroma signal. Most regular VHS players (Non S-Video) take those two signals and combine them into one single signal called composite (yellow RCA) which will result in some degradation of picture quality. How can you be sure that the DMR-ES35V is taking those two signal and converting them straight to RGB and not taking the composite signal from the VCR section and converting it to RGB? I've asked this before about VCR's equipped with component and HDMI outputs but never got an answer to it.
    I do see the difference between a S-video and component capture, i really like the quality of the capture via the component output in my setup, The Intensity Shuttle does a good job mixing those signals, and i'm basing my judging on the visual aspect , not theory.
    Most combo's only use component for output of the DVD deck/part, i guess HDMI is a different story, because the signal is digitized, and will not give more quality there already is,
    depending how good the electronic components are.
    My point is, a good VHS player with a good electronic sytem, is a better start then to focus on a capture device, also a good stable clean OS is important, one should not save money on that, thinking an old pc will do.

    The most used codec in post is ProRes, it is lossy, but is called visual lossless, real lossless compression codecs are used, but not many software will work with these.
    You should not worry about that, given the resolution of VHS.
    Some "dilution" might be desireable, to soften dot/noise patterns, because "detail" makes compression harder to be effective.
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 5th Jun 2019 at 15:56.
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  17. dellsam34, lordsmurf, tell us your secret sauce hardware setup.
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  18. mr.
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    Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    dellsam34, lordsmurf, tell us your secret sauce hardware setup.
    yeah, must be secret sauce..... i bet the ingredients are very expensive.. and rare...
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 5th Jun 2019 at 16:08.
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  19. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    dellsam34, lordsmurf, tell us your secret sauce hardware setup.
    There's nothing secret about it whatsoever. I've been telling people about it for 15+ years now.

    - JVC and/or Panasonic AG-1980P S-VHS VCR with line TBC
    - external framesync TBC from Cypress/DataVideo
    - ATI AIW AGP Theatre 100/200 chips have some of the most accurate captures, period

    ATI AIW requires XP, and not everybody is willing to create dedicated capture boxes on that legacy OS. So some USB cards also work decently, in x64 Vista/7/8/10 (though 7 best). I do this with specific higher-end Dell laptops.

    Then you have all the optional goodies, which I also use, such as ES15, detailers, proc amp, audio mixers, etc. There's no one setup, but many options beyond the basic VCR>TBC>card.

    Yes, I guess some might consider certain items costly. But I also come from a digital photo/audio background (early 90s), before I did any digital video (late 90s), and a workflow is a quaint cost compared to a good SLR/dSLR and some lenses. In fact, even one lens, with good 2.8 glass, easily exceeds an entire standard workflow.

    I also don't have just 1 VCR, 1 TBC, 1 capture setup, but multiples.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 5th Jun 2019 at 18:04.
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  20. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Yeah there is no secret ingredients, If you have a legacy OS Digitalfaq has tons of recommendations of legacy USB 2.0 hardware.

    But if you have a modern OS there are options that evolve around USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt and the software that come with them is quite simple and easy to use and free, BlackMagic has Media Express, Aja, Majewell and others have their own free software as well, They all have the option to capture lossless AVI 4:2:2 10/8bit or encode on the fly to a preferred codec. Vdub can be used too.

    Those capture devices don't come cheap, however you can get very cheap old professional capture devices that are based on the SDI standards and then just marry the SDI port with the new OS using an SDI to USB 3.0 dongle which is still pricey but cheaper than a USB 3.0 capture device (either used brand name or new Chinese), These dongles just re route the data from an SDI port to the computer via USB 3.0 or thunderbolt the reason they are little pricey is because they are still being used by professionals.

    Like everyone said, A good VCR is step #1.
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  21. mr.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Yeah there is no secret ingredients, If you have a legacy OS Digitalfaq has tons of recommendations of legacy USB 2.0 hardware.

    But if you have a modern OS there are options that evolve around USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt and the software that come with them is quite simple and easy to use and free, BlackMagic has Media Express, Aja, Majewell and others have their own free software as well, They all have the option to capture lossless AVI 4:2:2 10/8bit or encode on the fly to a preferred codec. Vdub can be used too.

    Those capture devices don't come cheap, however you can get very cheap old professional capture devices that are based on the SDI standards and then just marry the SDI port with the new OS using an SDI to USB 3.0 dongle which is still pricey but cheaper than a USB 3.0 capture device (either used brand name or new Chinese), These dongles just re route the data from an SDI port to the computer via USB 3.0 or thunderbolt the reason they are little pricey is because they are still being used by professionals.

    Like everyone said, A good VCR is step #1.
    Nice... so you are saying, if i have a device like from BMD which has an SDI output, is a working solution, and if i have a U-matic player with an SDI output, i have also a working solution with this SDI to Thunderbolt 2? dongle ?
    But still you need a proVHS player with SDI output, and SDI output is stable from such a proVHS player, i take ?

    Only note I have for Media Express, and the Driver software for my BMD capture device, is that i have to check the settings of these apps, if they are still set correctly,
    and this is on a MBP, when set correctly it works perfect, and am happy with my current setup.
    Still capturing VHS is a very precise thing to do, and any small change can make a difference, and a sterting user should first give detailed information about his setup before asking his questions, because most of the time there should be room for some tweaking.
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  22. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Pretty much. What I said is if you want to capture to USB 3.0 from VHS and want to use an old cheap professional capture device that captures from Composite/S-Video/Component to SDI all what you need is a SDI/USB3.0 dongle. Off course you can use the dongle by itself to transfer video to computer from an SDI player, this shouldn't be called capture because SDI is already digital, you are just transferring raw video to computer via USB 3.0, I've done it myself with my Sony Betacam J-3 to transfer Digital Beta tapes (It plays analog Betacam tapes as well and digitizes them internally to SDI), I used different flavors of dongles and their own software, BM UltraStudio SDI dongle with MediaExpress, Magewell Gen 3 dongle with their software and some others that I've sold already.
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  23. mr.
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    This means also, (i'm guessing) you avoid using some of the typical VHS VCR electronics, and getting a better signal off of the VHS tape, although you can't completly "fix" dirt during the recording.... how is this dongle called,(brand/type) and which price range should one expect ?
    (btw. i do know the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder, but this is a thunderbold2 device)
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  24. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    No, VHS is captured via Composite/S-video you can't avoid VCR electronics that's why a good VHS VCR is really important for a healthy capture.
    UltraStudio makes USB 3.0, Magewell have their own line up, Even Chinese dongles have been made but I have never tried them, Usually Chinese digital devices work fine, The analog ones suck like their USB capture devices.
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  25. mr.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    No, VHS is captured via Composite/S-video you can't avoid VCR electronics that's why a good VHS VCR is really important for a healthy capture.
    UltraStudio makes USB 3.0, Magewell have their own line up, Even Chinese dongles have been made but I have never tried them, Usually Chinese digital devices work fine, The analog ones suck like their USB capture devices.
    Well.... so using an SDI dongle is not making any sense then, and waste of money.
    I still am happy capturing over the analog YUV LCD progressive output of my ES35V
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 9th Jun 2019 at 15:05.
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  26. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Eric-jan View Post
    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    No, VHS is captured via Composite/S-video you can't avoid VCR electronics that's why a good VHS VCR is really important for a healthy capture.
    UltraStudio makes USB 3.0, Magewell have their own line up, Even Chinese dongles have been made but I have never tried them, Usually Chinese digital devices work fine, The analog ones suck like their USB capture devices.
    Well.... so using an SDI dongle is not making any sense then, and waste of money.
    I still am happy capturing over the analog YUV LCD progressive output of my ES35V
    One piece USB 3.0 analog capture devices is more expensive than a 2 piece Analog/SDI + SDI/USB3.0
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  27. mr.
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    I don't know when using the ADVC300 as passthrough what it will output over the analog outputs..... i do know that i could use (passthrough) my ADVC100 as standalone device between two VCR's to use it to defeat the Macrovision feature, i did as a test.
    But to come back to the original question: The Intensity Shuttle in general, without any other equipment, or a really good VCR, can't be used with a regular vcr for capture, That's not to blame on the Intensity Shuttle, but on the poor signal quality from vcr. So what to think of capture devices that can do this.....
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  28. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    To clarify and Beware: ADVC300 or 100, etc do not have true "passthrough", just realtime A->D and D->A conversion. *WITH* DV compression. So, full roundtrip is never lossless in any way.

    Scott
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  29. mr.
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    To clarify and Beware: ADVC300 or 100, etc do not have true "passthrough", just realtime A->D and D->A conversion. *WITH* DV compression. So, full roundtrip is never lossless in any way.

    Scott
    Thank you for that, i really had no idea, so i guess there's color loss for those with super eyes
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  30. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    DV compression is visible to MOST users who have regularly worked with it. These eyes certainly are no longer super.
    The nonsequiter (sarcastic?) smiley wasn't really necessary. Many people hear "passthrough" and automaticly believe it means the signal is unaltered (though digital). They may be quite disappointed with the result from those dv devices if purchased sight-unseen and not forwarned.

    Scott
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