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  1. Member
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    Hello everyone, I have a lot to say and I've found alot of helpful information on this forum so I finally got an account and am hoping to get some tips and help and keep improving in what I do!

    First of all, I am an avid searcher of lost media. I try to track down old shows and other pieces of media that are lost and attempt to make them public. I eventually want to do this on a much more professional scale.

    What does this have to do with this forum? Well I spend alot of time ripping VHS tapes since that was the preferred way of storing video for the average consumer for over 20 years. Alot of things were broadcast on television once or twice and then never seen again. I track down VHS recordings people made and convert them to digital.

    Now I'm sure there are tons of professionals on this forum and that is exactly why I joined. I want to upgrade my setup. Currently I'm using the, "Dazzle DVC100". I then capture using virtualdub, where I deinterlace it and resize it. I then convert the AVI file to MP4 at a constant frame rate of 59.94 FPS using handbrake. After that I take it to lightworks where I do any final edits I need. Finally I upload to YouTube. In the future I will be uploading the AVI files to archive.org.

    I know that is probably very basic and I'm probably not digitizing to the highest potential my tapes have, so I want to do more. I plan on buying an AJA Kona LHI capture card and hooking it up to some sort of Time Base Corrector. I already own a pretty good VCR so I've already got that problem out of the way.

    Here are some questions I have:

    - Virtualdub seems to be very glitchy AKA I have no video preview when I capture. This makes things very difficult. Can I fix this? How would I fix this?
    - What TBC should I buy? Preferably something in the 100-200 dollar range. However if I can get something for cheaper that would work just as well that would be great too.
    - What are the benefits of (encoding?) to 59.94 FPS? Downsides?
    - Did I use the word encoding correctly?
    - Is there a better capture program I should use?
    - A better capture card I should buy?

    Thanks for everything and I look forward to reading many replies.
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    Start by reading this article by lordsmurf at digitalfaq.com: http://www.digitalfaq.com/editorials/digital-video/professional-analog-workflow.htm and this article about VCRs: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/1567-vcr-buying-guide.html and this article about TBCs: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/2251-tbc-time-base.html

    Note the list of quality VCRs is rather short (and even shorter when you narrow it to down to what's available today) and quality TBCs is even shorter. Also note that a single proper workflow, high quality VCR, TBC and capture device is ~$1000 and you'll need several different VCRs to handle the varying quality of the tapes you receive.

    Hopefully lordsmurf will post here as he may be willing to sell you a proper highly quality capture setup (VCR, TBC and capture device). You might also try contacting deter at digitalfaq.com also as he has a solid reputation for refurbishing and selling high quality VCRs (he may have a few TBCs also). Buying piecemeal from anyone you don't know (i.e. eBay, craigslist, etc.) is a crapshoot at best and getting repairs is getting harder to find someone to do them and more expensive.

    I haven't done any capturing in years, but your workflow seems overly complicated and prone to quality loss. I'll leave it up to others to comment, but in general, you want to work with the original capture (ideally to a lossless codec) as much as possible, converting only at the end for upload or distribution.
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    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    Start by reading this article by lordsmurf at digitalfaq.com: http://www.digitalfaq.com/editorials/digital-video/professional-analog-workflow.htm and this article about VCRs: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/1567-vcr-buying-guide.html and this article about TBCs: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/2251-tbc-time-base.html

    Note the list of quality VCRs is rather short (and even shorter when you narrow it to down to what's available today) and quality TBCs is even shorter. Also note that a single proper workflow, high quality VCR, TBC and capture device is ~$1000 and you'll need several different VCRs to handle the varying quality of the tapes you receive.

    Hopefully lordsmurf will post here as he may be willing to sell you a proper highly quality capture setup (VCR, TBC and capture device). You might also try contacting deter at digitalfaq.com also as he has a solid reputation for refurbishing and selling high quality VCRs (he may have a few TBCs also). Buying piecemeal from anyone you don't know (i.e. eBay, craigslist, etc.) is a crapshoot at best and getting repairs is getting harder to find someone to do them and more expensive.

    I haven't done any capturing in years, but your workflow seems overly complicated and prone to quality loss. I'll leave it up to others to comment, but in general, you want to work with the original capture (ideally to a lossless codec) as much as possible, converting only at the end for upload or distribution.
    Thanks. I'm going to try to save a bit of money so I can afford that setup. Those articles were very helpful and hopefully I can get into contact with the people you mentioned to buy the setup.
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  4. Originally Posted by Beyonder123 View Post
    Well I spend alot of time ripping VHS tapes since that was the preferred way of storing video for the average consumer for over 20 years. Alot of things were broadcast on television once or twice and then never seen again. I track down VHS recordings people made and convert them to digital.
    Expect to be sued by an army of lawyers from whoever holds the copyright to those videos. Just because they're not making money off the content doesn't mean they're going to let you.

    But, if you're serious about cleanup and restoration you'll need to learn AviSynth or one of the forks of it, AviSynth+ VaproSynth, etc.
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  5. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Expect to be sued by an army of lawyers from whoever holds the copyright to those videos. Just because they're not making money off the content doesn't mean they're going to let you.
    If OP is making money on this content, sure that's possible. Especially with certain companies that are still around. If OP isn't making money then they will probably just DMCA the website owner. But anytime you handle copyrighted content in ways you are not allowed to, you always open yourself up to being sued or worse.
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  6. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    All of the above. More power to you if you can swing it.
    But don't quit your day job - this is NOT the sort of thing that is a big profit maker. Even Library of Congress Digital Archivists, which is one of the epitomes of this sort of work, don't make much.

    Scott
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  7. Beyonder123,

    What's your YouTube channel? I'm curious to see what you've uploaded so far. Would also make it easier to offer advice.
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  8. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Expect to be sued by an army of lawyers from whoever holds the copyright to those videos.
    There's more public domain works (yet still in demand) that people realize. Note that Wiki entries that supposedly list "all" public domain works are laughably far frrom complete.

    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    But don't quit your day job - this is NOT the sort of thing that is a big profit maker.
    This is more about business sense and marketing than not. And Youtube isn't your friend, but rather the enemy.
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  9. There are so many things wrong with this question that it's hard to figure out where to start:

    Newbie Hoping To Eventually Become A Professional

    You need to differentiate between "expert" and "professional". "Expert" would be "highly skilled, very proficient, knowledgeable"; "professional" means someone who does it for a living. Do you mean you want to get highly skilled or make a living doing it?

    First of all, I am an avid searcher of lost media. I try to track down old shows and other pieces of media that are lost and attempt to make them public. I eventually want to do this on a much more professional scale.

    This right here tells me that you will never accomplish what you hope to, because you don't even understand what it is you desire to do. your sentence taken literally may or may not be accomplish-able and it has nothing to do with knowledge or technical skill level, it has to do with money and the ability to acquire the broadcast and/or distribution rights to the content.

    In your post you conflate unrelated desires and goals and you use terms that are poorly defined.

    What is "lost media"?

    What is an "old show"?

    What is "other pieces of media"?

    What is "attempt to make them public"?

    What is "on a much more professional scale"?

    If your goal is to find rare tv programming that is rarely broadcast, restore it and then make it available to the public viewing, broadly speaking you would need the following steps:

    1) Track down the rights holders, for both the distribution and broadcast rights (2 different things), as well as any other rights holders (it's common for content to have the rights held by different entities with each controlling a certain aspect of the content).

    2) Buy the rights or negotiate a licensing agreement.

    3) Get the masters, if they exist. The fact that you are talking about VHS, TBC, re-encoding, a budget of $100-$200 and other such nonsense tells me you do not know WTF you are talking about.

    4) The master of "old shows" will be in film format so you will need to scan them to digital.

    5) Attempt to "clean" and "enhance" the digital versions, as applicable.

    6) Encode them to a digital distribution friendly format.

    7) Find a platform, such as a tv station to broadcast or a streaming service, like YouTube to distribute.

    If you mean you want to track down old VHS tapes, digitize them and upload them to YouTube and you want to expand your "operations" so that more people will see your "work", well...
    Last edited by sophisticles; 8th Jun 2019 at 20:09.
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  10. Member
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    Thanks for the replies (albeit one harsh one). Here is a bit more information:

    I want to clarify that I dont intend on making money off of my found pieces of media. Media finding is just a hobby of mine. When I was saying I wanted to possibly make digital conversion a career I meant as a service. Not connected to my hobby.

    Someone asked what my YouTube channel was. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQtpf-2DPzKPnPcmE0S5UCw (not sure if posting that is allowed. Let me know if it isn't)

    Someone said if i want a piece of media released i should contact the rights owners. While ideally this would great: it really is unlikely that I would get a response especially when dealing with large companies like fox and Disney. There is a large community out there that search for lost media and if it interests you I suggest looking into it further.

    Thanks again!
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  11. Why'd you add the black bars to them all? They look amateurish as a result. You should upload them in the original aspect ratios without adding black bars. Also, I doubt seriously that the framerates are either 29.97 or 59.94 fps.

    Edit later: As I suspected they're supposed to be 23.976fps

    Originally Posted by Beyonder123 View Post
    - What are the benefits of (encoding?) to 59.94 FPS? Downsides?
    You encode to the correct original framerate. 59.94fps is necessary if interlaced and have to be made progressive. Your YouTube videos shouldn't be deinterlaced or bobbed but IVTC'd. Time to learn some AviSynth.
    Last edited by manono; 9th Jun 2019 at 01:52.
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  12. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    You need a better S-VHS VCR (with internal line TBC), ASAP. Those all have horrible timebase errors. Yuck. Your biggest issue will be acquiring the proper equipment, not just using some crappy old VCR and cheap capture stick.

    Ignore sophisticles.
    Some of his questions/assertions are ridiculous, nonsensical, or deliberately obtuse.
    His opinion of VHS is already documented here: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/391068-POLL-Sanlyn-or-Lordsmurf-EDIT-or-NORM#post2535430

    @manono, a lot of commercials are 29.97, not 23.976 film. But even if not, sometimes QTGMC yields better anti-alias than IVTC. However, that said, if you have some sort of default anti-alias for IVTC script, I'd like to see it!

    We seem to have some hobby overlap, so I may PM you sometime in the near future.
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  13. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    @manono, a lot of commercials are 29.97, not 23.976 film. But even if not, sometimes QTGMC yields better anti-alias than IVTC. However, that said, if you have some sort of default anti-alias for IVTC script, I'd like to see it!
    I downloaded one of the episodes (the 'Lost' one) to have a look. It's supposed to be 23.976fps. However, you're right about the sometime aliasing or the fields just not lining up properly with VHS caps so you can perform a real IVTC. In such instances I might do it this way:

    QTGMC(FPSDivisor=2)
    TDecimate()


    It just rubs me the wrong way to create duplicate frames purposely. Sometimes you might make it 59.94fps as the lessor of two evils when there's interlaced content mixed with hard telecine. You get that with anime sometimes, or progressive 29.97fps and hard or soft telecine.
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  14. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Ignore sophisticles.
    Some of his questions/assertions are ridiculous, nonsensical, or deliberately obtuse.
    You two deserve one another. He comes here asking a question he doesn't even realize he asked and you guys are acting like it's not fundamentally misinformed.

    Further, I think you need to add a disclaimer to your responses in this thread, informing people that you can not be trusted because you have a vested financial interest in keeping a 40+ year old technology alive.

    Let's be honest with ourselves, VHS was never a high quality media in the first place and over the years, like all magnetic media they deteriorate in quality over time with picture quality degrading substantially inside of 10 years.

    This guy comes here saying he wants to track down "old shows" on VHS, doesn't define what an "old show" is, are we talking the 50s, 60s, 70s, who knows, he wants to digitize them presumably "restore" them, make them "public" and become a "professional" at it!

    This is so stupid it's boggles the mind.

    Of course you're going to encourage him, you make money from digitizing VHS; I can understand with home movies, where the highest quality "master" is the original VHS tape that something was recorded on but for TV shows?

    Stop acting like what he is asking isn't idiotic.
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    Originally Posted by sophisticles View Post
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Ignore sophisticles.
    Some of his questions/assertions are ridiculous, nonsensical, or deliberately obtuse.
    You two deserve one another. He comes here asking a question he doesn't even realize he asked and you guys are acting like it's not fundamentally misinformed.

    Further, I think you need to add a disclaimer to your responses in this thread, informing people that you can not be trusted because you have a vested financial interest in keeping a 40+ year old technology alive.

    Let's be honest with ourselves, VHS was never a high quality media in the first place and over the years, like all magnetic media they deteriorate in quality over time with picture quality degrading substantially inside of 10 years.

    This guy comes here saying he wants to track down "old shows" on VHS, doesn't define what an "old show" is, are we talking the 50s, 60s, 70s, who knows, he wants to digitize them presumably "restore" them, make them "public" and become a "professional" at it!

    This is so stupid it's boggles the mind.

    Of course you're going to encourage him, you make money from digitizing VHS; I can understand with home movies, where the highest quality "master" is the original VHS tape that something was recorded on but for TV shows?

    Stop acting like what he is asking isn't idiotic.
    Thanks but I really didn't ask for your opinion about whether or not I should do this.But how I should go about doing it. Calling my project, "idiotic" is pretty out of line.
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  16. Originally Posted by Beyonder123 View Post
    Thanks but I really didn't ask for your opinion about whether or not I should do this.But how I should go about doing it. Calling my project, "idiotic" is pretty out of line.
    Having a hobby is not idiotic, your expressed desire, which you clearly still do not understand what you said you wanted to do, is idiotic. And the smurf acting like it's not, as if it's a perfectly reasonable goal, isn't doing you any favors.

    In fact, you still haven't received a decent response to your original question, other than the one I gave you and the fact that you do not realize it is sad.

    So you keep on believing that you will become a "professional" at the silly thing you outlined and keep believing that smurf and friends helped you.

    I'll just sit here chuckling to myself.
    Last edited by sophisticles; 11th Jun 2019 at 14:28.
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  17. I really didn't ask for your opinion about whether or not I should do this.But how I should go about doing it. Calling my project, "idiotic" is pretty out of line.
    I agree. There are already enough bullies on this board.
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  18. sophisticles - he is saving possibly unique content , why are you talking about VHS being old and all, that might evoke a chuckle itself, considering the topic, .... it might not be broadcasted, it might not be on BD and he might not have latest Nvidia card , ... and he revealed his content already
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    If not for hobbyists, who may eventually become true professionals, numerous videos would likely be lost or at least unseen. While YouTube is a less than ideal delivery medium, it sometimes encourages/reminds others to seek out better sources. And sometimes an OTA VHS recording IS the best source available. I'm not a Star Wars fan, but AFAIK, the infamous Christmas Special has never and likely will never be officially released.
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  20. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sophisticles View Post
    deteriorate in quality over time with picture quality degrading substantially inside of 10 years.
    This is a myth.

    The true longevity of magnetic consumer analog is in the 35-65 year range, if stored properly (not attic, basement, outdoors).

    The only problem I come across, in terms of "degrading affecting image" is some 80s BASF tapes where the oxide is flaking. I see it maybe twice per year, not often. I'm thinking moisture does it, based on the climates of the tape home.

    but for TV shows?
    Again, there is a market for it. Very niche.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 21st Jun 2019 at 12:28.
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  21. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Again, there is a market for it. Very niche.
    Evidently it's so "niche" that he doesn't know how to use Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/Cybersix-Complete-TV-Series/dp/B00L1WJGPG

    I just checked out his YouTube channel, he seems to have a thing for Cyber Six and he's willing to track down "old" VHS tapes (it's funny that he considers the year 2000 "old"), spend up to $200 to buy the equipment to try and digitize them then spend the money to "restore" them instead of spending 30 seconds checking Amazon to find that for $28 he can get the complete tv series on DVD.

    Listen, I get his desire, I am a huge fan of The Classic 39 Honeymooners, but I would never spend time and effort to track down old VHS tapes, digitize them, "restore" the, when I can go to Amazon and spend $29 and get the originals professionally scanned from the original film stock, and authored on Blu-Ray for $29 (which is exactly what I did by the way).

    Pro tip to anyone else that wants to take the path the OP is planning, go to Amazon first and make sure that the studios that own the rights to the content haven't already done what you want to do with much higher quality and at a price that is right.
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    This OP posting "lost" and "censored" content as well as commercials that are likely unavailable on commercial releases.

    I understand your dinging the him/her for the desire to go from almost nothing to a professional, but everyone's got start somewhere.
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  23. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sophisticles View Post
    Evidently it's so "niche" that he doesn't know how to use Amazon:
    https://www.amazon.com/Cybersix-Complete-TV-Series/dp/B00L1WJGPG
    I doubt that's what he refers to, probably just practice. You also fail to realize that older toons can be cut and censored, and some have WOC value. But this isn't what he's referring to anyway.

    I just checked out his YouTube channel, he seems to have a thing for Cyber Six
    Yes, and they look pretty terrible, lack of TBCs, as I mentioned above.

    and he's willing to track down "old" VHS tapes (it's funny that he considers the year 2000 "old"),
    At first glance, I find it funny as well ... but then realize it's 20 years ago. Our age is showing.

    spend up to $200 to buy the equipment to try and digitize them then spend the money to "restore" them instead of spending 30 seconds checking Amazon to find that for $28 he can get the complete tv series on DVD.
    Again, you're assuming that's what he wants to do. I don't think it is.

    Listen, I get his desire, I am a huge fan of The Classic 39 Honeymooners,
    That really is a great show, isn't it? I mostly a fan of toons and B&W era TV.

    but I would never spend time and effort to track down old VHS tapes, digitize them, "restore" the, when I can go to Amazon and spend $29 and get the originals professionally scanned from the original film stock, and authored on Blu-Ray for $29 (which is exactly what I did by the way).
    Pro tip to anyone else that wants to take the path the OP is planning, go to Amazon first and make sure that the studios that own the rights to the content haven't already done what you want to do with much higher quality and at a price that is right.
    If it is available, and unmolested, I fully agree.
    But if nothing else, those old recordings can make for good conversion practice.

    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    I understand your dinging the him/her for the desire to go from almost nothing to a professional, but everyone's got start somewhere.
    Beyonder123 has that deer-in-headlights curiosity, the sort of person that makes for a great student, at least from what I see so far. He probably can learn this, and go far, at least as a serious hobbyist.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 22nd Jun 2019 at 11:29.
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  24. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Beyonder123 has that deer-in-headlights curiosity, the sort of person that makes for a great student, at least from what I see so far. He probably can learn this, and go far, at least as a serious hobbyist.
    After all the attitude and snark directed at the OP in this thread, I am really glad to see this statement. As you very rightly point out, he's a "newbie" who's just trying to learn.
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    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Beyonder123 has that deer-in-headlights curiosity, the sort of person that makes for a great student, at least from what I see so far. He probably can learn this, and go far, at least as a serious hobbyist.
    After all the attitude and snark directed at the OP in this thread, I am really glad to see this statement. As you very rightly point out, he's a "newbie" who's just trying to learn.
    He/she has the critical ability to ask questions and be willing to learn, take advice and get the proper equipment.

    Unlike so many others who just say, I have ABC equipment and want to do XYZ, tell me everything I'm missing in between in one paragraph, no more!
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