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  1. Hi,

    I am looking to copy my old VHS tapes to digital files.
    I got the suggestion of using a HDMI upscaler (got this:
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1080p-Composite-AV-CVBS-3RCA-to-HDMI-Converter-Video-Cable...r/401604708611 ) and then a capture box which turns out to be a Ezcap 280hb ( got this: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HDMI-Game-Capture-Card-HD-1080P-Video-Recording-to-USB-Fla...n/274000789726 )

    It works fine for displaying on my computer screen but the capture box doesn't want to record. I am not sure why as if I plug HDMI from computer directly into it, it records my computer just fine but it refuses to record video from the HDMI upscaler~VHR.

    Any idea why this may be?

    I also heard dvd recorders/PVRs are excellent for VHS recording. Is that true? Would something like the Pansonic DMR-BWT460GN or the Sony dr hxd890(much older) work or would it refuse to record from a VHS as it thinks I am recording movies illegally?

    Thanks,
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I'll start the discussion and others may then chip in.

    That suggestion of using a HDMI upscaler was pretty crass. Upscalers, as you find in dvd-players etc. require dedicated electronics and I am sure they will not be found in this box (reports in the page you linked to mention poor quality)

    One potential reason why that 'easycrap' will not record is that it detects HDCP. But then most game consoles also output HDCP which would render such a device useless if HDMI is the only input. Add to that it is not desirable to capture VHS as progressive.

    DVD-recorders can not be considered as 'excellent' for VHS recording. It is, at best, a quick 'n dirty method of doing it and you will most certainly capture all the inherent noise on the tape whether it is a home or commercial recording. They, however, would only refuse to record if the signal from the VCR was weak or the tape had macrovision protection.
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  3. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    The only thing I would add is return those fake toys while you can and start learning about the real analog video capturing, It is not as easy as you may think.
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    Don't mean to sound mean, but dellsam34 is right. You're going about this in one of the worst ways possible.

    Read this article thoroughly http://www.digitalfaq.com/editorials/digital-video/professional-analog-workflow.htm . Note that the requirements; recommended VCR, recommended capture device and time base corrector are the same for a quality home setup. The primary addition is more and backup VCRs and equipment for those really stubborn tapes. The author of the article, lordsmurf, has some complete setups available for sale and components for sale.

    Post what VCR(s) you have and others will be able to give you opinions on them.

    The alternative is to get a DVD recorder, which is far from the best quality, but is good quality and easy to use. The catches are, they're largely discontinued and finding a good working unit isn't cheap. Also, they won't work with pre-recorded commercial tapes because of the copy protection.

    The only other reasonable option is to have them professionally transferred by a quality service. The key words are professional and quality. Post where you're located and hopefully someone will be able to give you a recommendation.

    Don't mean to sound rude, but questions about any other combination of equipment has probably been asked and answered here and at Digitalfaq, hundreds of times, with the same result. Garbage In, Garbage Out. Some of the problems you'll encounter may possible to fix on your computer, but most of them can't.
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  5. Member
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    BTW, did you decide on your hardware combo because of this YouTube video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC5Zr3NC2PY If so, read this thread here: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/393662-The-Best-Easy-Way-to-Capture-Analog-Video and this thread at digitalfaq.com: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/news/9838-discovery-video-capture.html before posting anything about it. I don't mean to scare you away, most of the regulars here are really nice and helpful, but they've expressed their opinions on this these threads and it's probably best not to bring it up again.
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  6. Yeah someone suggested to watch that youtube video.

    The overall quality on the screen looked actually alright, it was a bit dark at times but about probably similar to when I would play these from the actual video camera or VHR on tv years ago(if I remember right).

    I've looked at what Lingyi sent and I need to read more into it on my days off when I have time but what am I looking at in terms of cost for a basic setup?
    I am just wanting to capture my old home VHSs before they get old and mouldy. Yes I want them in the best quality possible but this is a one off project and I need a setup that isn't over the top or overall unnecessary; these are just home videos and weren't probably in great quality compared to what you guys record.

    I want good quality in the most easy/basic setup possible. Could you suggest what is the most common devices usually people use in my situation?

    I got a VHR(in decent quality and the head looks clean) and all the cables. I will get a TBC if they aren't too expensive/hard to find.
    I also got the option of getting the Pansonic DMR-BWT460GN or the Sony dr hxd890(much older) in my area right now if they would be suitable for what I need. I am just thinking if I plug my VHR into them they won't record as they may have some sort of copy protection and think I am recording illegal movies when I am just wanting to record my old home videos.
    I'd prefer to record to HDD than DVD for now at least.

    Thanks,
    Last edited by John329385t98; 31st Oct 2019 at 19:58.
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    Looking up the DVD recorders you listed, you're in PAL country, which makes it a bit more complicated as most of the regulars here are used to NTSC equipment. Plus good PAL VCRs are usually a bit more expensive.

    Good/best quality and easy/basic/cheap are mutually exclusive. PM lordsmurf for recommendations and prices for what you need: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/marketplace/8057-sale-complete-workflow.html. His complete workflows start at $850 (less without the VCR, which you may be able to use yours or he'll help you find a known good PAL one). It's not cheap, but you can resell most/all of it after your project is completed. You MAY be able to find a good workflow for less, but it's a big IF as most of the equipment, especially VCRs are 20+ years old and people either don't know or outright lie about their condition.

    As for the DVD recorders, I'll leave it to others to speak about them.

    BTW, I have no connection to lordsmurf other than the respect I have for him as a longtime member of this forum and one of the administrators (possibly owner?) of digitalfaq.com. He's among the small handfuls of members here whom I truly respect for their proven knowledge.
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  8. Not sure if I want to buy $850(a lot more in AUD, over a 1000 AUD) - I have to wait around a month for it to arrive(when I want to start as soon as possible) and I already got stacks of stuff that I need to list on ebay to sell.
    I'll have a look at it of course but I'd prefer to not go down that road.

    I have been reading and looking around. Seems the Panasonic ES10 is one of the better DVD recorders going around and feature TBC like features.
    Would one of these be a decent way to record VHS? I notice it has no HDD which isn't an issue though I did want to back them up to hard drive as well/edit out parts with long black screen between records.

    There is a ES10 I can get and also a ES15. I can get one for around $80 USD, maybe lower. Should I be looking at these for a decent setup?
    Also I saw a video of the Sony dr hxd890 with its TBC like features at work and it really makes a difference. I wonder if it is as good as the Panasonic?

    Thanks,
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  9. Member DB83's Avatar
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    One thing I would add is that you do not get 'good' quality from the initial transfer.

    The quality invariably comes from post-capture work using avisynth.

    A comment from your post above. You originally refered to Australian links and as lingyi points out if the tapes were recorded in Australia then they are PAL. But now you are writing of $ USD so if these vcr/dvd-recorders are US sourced they will inevitably be NTSC machines and are unlikely able to play PAL tapes (whereas PAL machines can play NTSC tapes)

    So before one gets carried away it may be better to confirm your location AND where these tapes were originally recorded.
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  10. I'm from Australia. I just converted to USD so you knew how much I was talking about in US dollars. The tapes would be in PAL as they were all taped on a video camera bought in Australia in the 1980s
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  11. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Well not all of us are in the US.

    Just do not take it for granted that those tapes are PAL. That could well be a reason why that equipment will not record.
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  12. Is there a way I can check?
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  13. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Without investing in another capture device the only thing you can try is to see if the is a setting on your vcr "NTSC playback on PAL". If there is then set it to off and see what happens
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    Originally Posted by John329385t98 View Post
    Yeah someone suggested to watch that youtube video.,
    The person who made that Youtube video has zero video knowledge. It's quite evident in the video, obvious to any of us here. He knows less than you do. By simply joining VH, you've surpassed his knowledge. Congrats. Now it's time to learn actual video.

    Originally Posted by John329385t98 View Post
    Not sure if I want to buy
    Buy it, use it, resell it. It's not a forever purchase.

    Seems the Panasonic ES10 is one of the better DVD recorders going around and feature TBC like features.
    It's a half/50% TBC(ish), terrible image quality recorder. Use it for anti-tearing, or makeshift TBC, nothing more. Realize the ES10/15 has side effects, quality compromises. But better than nothing. It goes between the VCR and the actual capture device (even if the actual capture device is another DVD recorder that has good image quality).

    Also I saw a video of the Sony dr hxd890 with its TBC like features at work and it really makes a difference. I wonder if it is as good as the Panasonic?
    It is not. Not even close.

    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    He's among the small handfuls of members here whom I truly respect for their proven knowledge.
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  15. If you have a search through this forum you'll find quite a few examples of captures from various different devices and setups. I'd suggest that you maybe have a look at some of these to get some idea of what's achievable and some idea of what sort of equipment you would need. I know they wouldn't be using your tapes and, as you'll discover, every tape is different, but at least it may give you some realistic expectations and some idea of what equipment may give you results that you'd be happy with.

    You've taken your first step into a larger world. Admittedly it's a world full of frustration and research and experimentation . . . but when you start getting decent results it's incredibly satisfying! Have fun!
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  16. Thanks for that.

    Is there a list of decent VCR units people generally use here and look out for? I have no idea on how to find a decent VCR unit.
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    http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/1567-vcr-buying-guide.html

    As I posted above, it's hit and miss, likely more miss that you'll find a unit in good working condition unless you buy from a known reputable seller. What may seem to be a good working unit to your eyes may have issues that can't be resolved without major repair or replacement.

    Edit: Of course this is not a comprehensive list, but is based on decades of hands on experience by lordsmurf. The odds of someone recommending another VCR (based on their experience) AND finding a unit that works as well as theirs is extremely small.
    Last edited by lingyi; 4th Nov 2019 at 11:52.
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  18. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    If you can find any working S-VHS VCR with line TBC and DNR go for it without hesitation, But as said above working for some sellers means it just powers up so you have to be careful. I prefer JVC's but they are little pricier, Avoid anyone with Dynamic Drum written on the face plate, One more feature on JVC units you want to have is called "Active video calibration" it basically tests the tape formulation and compensate for during playback which yields better playback quality, In some high end JVC models it's called B.E.S.T.
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  19. Thanks for the help.

    I am looking for a decent capture card now. I see Lordsmurf recommends the ATI 600 capture card or a clone in USB((Tevion?).
    Any idea what the model of the usb version is so I can order one online? I only have a laptop so I can't use any PCI cards.

    If not any other well known usb capture cards that are worth using?

    Thanks
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    Hate to sound like a broken record, but lordsmurf has what you need: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/marketplace/8253-sale-ati-600-a.html. Probably more, especially with shipping than you could find locally, but guaranteed top quality.

    He may be a little slow in responding as he's set up a temporary PM link: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/news/10092-notice-temp-contact.html#post64652.

    Be patient and trustful. He didn't give a full explanation for the temp contact link other than he's be unavailable at his regular email for a while, but just over a month ago, he wasn't feeling well and left this message at digitalfaq.com: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/news/9996-hospital-update-released.html because he had pending orders to fulfill.

    This is probably TMI, but since he's been open about it at digitalfaq.com, just over six years we almost lost him to his then undiagnosed MS, which he still struggles with today. He was gone from digitalfaq and VH for a long while, just saying he was seriously ill during that time. Last year, he posted about what happened: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/news/9242-years.html. Again, I have no connection with lordsmurf other than the respect and appreciation I have for him gained through his postings. Just an assurance that he's one of, with all due respect to the other great members here, possibly, in my eyes the best member here and definitely at digitalfaq.com ! Love you, you old blue grouch!
    Last edited by lingyi; 10th Nov 2019 at 19:46.
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  21. Thanks for the link to the updated page. I did PM him here. Does he come on here often or should I try to message him on digitalfaq?

    Thanks,
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    Contact him through digitalfaq.com. Be sure to use the temp contact posted in the second link above.

    Also, ask him about recommendations finding a good PAL VCR in Australia. He may be able to help.
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  23. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    The pinnacle family USB capture devices is good, I've used the 500-USB and I can't complain, The only caveat like any other legacy capture device they only work on Win7 and earlier, some people reported getting them up and running on Win10. Use it with Vdub not Pinnacle software, Here is a link to the drivers:
    http://cdn.pinnaclesys.com/SupportFiles/Hardware_Installer/readmeHW10.htm

    There are few Pinnacle devices that are built in capture hardware, avoid those because you won't be able to capture lossless with those.

    The best among the ones that don't have the on board hardware capture chip are the ones with both USB and Firewire ports, Pinnacle came up with this design after the laptop manufacturers dropped the Firewire port and lot of people with Digital8 and miniDV camcorders don't have a way to transfer their digital tapes to computer, Such devices can connect to the camcorder via firewire and to computer via USB and transfer the tape 1:1 with the addition of controlling the camcorder playback from the DV app in the computer.
    Last edited by dellsam34; 10th Nov 2019 at 21:10.
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