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  1. Member
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    Jul 2004
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    United States
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    Hello all,

    I am looking to get myself setup to be able to capture VHS to PC, as well as just watch VHS videos on my PC. Most of these videos are copies / complitation videos, but some are Commercial released video tapes... I've been reading some of the posts on here and had some questions concerning setup of a proper system.

    1. Would it be better for me to use an older PC setup or a Newer PC Setup to install a capture card into to start the setup? I have a bunch of old PCs as well as new-ish PC to choose from. Reading posts on here, it seems like my Pentium 4 3.2 GHZ PC with a Gigabyte P4 Titan (GA-8IPE1000 Pro) board (with AGP and PCI) would be a better setup choice than my i7-4790 PC with a Gigabyte Z97X Motherboard (all PCI-e). Would that be a valid assumption?

    2. If using the newer PC, I'd need some recommendations on a Capture card. If going with the older PC setup, I have a bunch of options right now, but not sure if any would be recommended to get good captures. I have various PCI and AGP Cards
    - Hauppauge WinTV 44001 Rev B110 (PCI)
    - Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 (PCI)
    - ASUS PVR-416 Rev 1.05 (PCI)
    - ATI TV Wonder Pro (PCI)
    - ATI Tuner 550PRO (PCI)

    - Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800 (PCI-e)

    3. For Audio, I have a bunch of different Soundblaster Cards as well as some other things, one being a Digidesign AudioMedia III (PCI). Any of these work well for what I want to do?

    3. For the TBC, I will be looking to add one after the holidays. I know the Datavideo TBC-1000 is a really good unit as I had one but ended up selling it a few years ago to pay some bills. With those devices being pretty expensive, are there less expensive TBC Options that will still give me good captures to PC? Or should I search for another TBC-1000?

    Your recommendations are greatly appreciated as I try and get a system up and running again.....
    Last edited by Smack2k; 26th Nov 2019 at 20:48.
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  2. Member
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    Feb 2018
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    College Station, TX, USA
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    I think most would say they USB options have gotten better (if better understood).

    Several of the Pinnacle 500, 510, 700, 710 will work with VirtualDub and have a rudimentary sync lock if not TBC built in specifically for VCR signals. And they do work on Win7 or Win10. But you have to set the Source input, Composite or S-Video using a third party or external application like Crossbar Thing.. however you do it.. once set it tends to stay as long as you use VirtualDub.. using other programs inbetween tends to switch it back to its defaults. GraphEdit works fine with these.

    PCI cards (PCI, AGP, PCIx), AGP is still the best. PCI express cards are still dependent on "how compatible" your motherboard is with PCI express and whether it can run older operating systems so you can run the older drivers. AGP is simply easier.. if you can find that hardware. XPSP2 is still the easiest.. but you can't use that hardware for anything but capture.

    Compressed vs Uncompressed capture is still the question.

    If you can live with Compressed to DVD quality MPEG, last year IsoBuster gained 52 recorders it can now read and offload direct capture to hard drive to a PC.. that's new.. but the list is limited to Toshiba, Pioneer, Panasonics, RCA/Thompson, Magnavox models.. so work is going towards better PAL recorder support right now.. but the lack of interest is de-prioritizing it somewhat.

    There are a couple maybe three "Perfect" USB capture devices.. but they are very rare and hard to find. Mac video capture hasn't got any better, but a very few really nice options have emerged this year from old gear.

    If your okay with DV 4:1:1 capture under NTSC, then its as reliable and easy to get as ever. Canopus ADVC-300 still has the Linear TBC and its still prized and priced above all others. No other Canopus product has a documented TBC.

    The HD and SDI or higher gamer capture cards or USB HDMI capture options have not really gotten any better for SD capture. Basically a waste of time for SD capture. Epiphan and Hauppauge still have gamer options. Magewell, Maxtrox, AJA, Blackmagic Intensity those are still out there.. but pretty unstable when running into Macrovision or any CP signals.

    Stand alone TBC, like the Datavideo, Kramer or the Greenbox.. are much harder to find in the wild, you pretty much have to go a specialty Forum and be prepared to pay, and pay quickly to have a chance at getting one. People don't return them to the pool as much anymore.. they are eroding from the market place and not coming back. But they are more important than ever.

    Substituting a DVR as a TBC or Filter has become more popular, but people tend to think its a 1:1 swap.. and they are sorely disappointed. Its a last ditch effort and disappoints a lot of people.

    Sound choices and options are all over the map, but reality is most VHS is monophonic, not stereo.. or you have to devolve to mono to get a sound from the VHS you can live with. The one rule of Sound Fight Club is still.. "Never playback sound while capturing, set your levels, switch playback off and pray.. check the capture afterwards." And "anything" but use the onboard motherboard sound for capture. Don't mix PCI sound card with a PCI (true PCI) video capture card, they will compete for bandwith over the same PCI bus. Better use an AGP with a PCI (true PCI) or PCIx sound card. - AGP was "invented" to separate AGP video from the general PCI bus in the rest of the system.. exactly so they do not compete.
    Last edited by jwillis84; 27th Nov 2019 at 22:29.
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  3. mr. Eric-jan's Avatar
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    Try to find a combo recorder (VHS/DVD) like the Panasonic DMR-ES35V, then a good capture device with component in (YUV) the ES35V has output from the VHS deck on the component output, you can use a good OS that way.
    The ES35V gives a good stable video output signal on all outputs, no need for TBC, btw. it hasn't any internal TBC, and is a good starting point for any capture device,
    Using a capable pc with up to date OS and fast storage device for capture is something you always need.

    If hardware encoding is an option for you, go for it, but try to avoid re-encoding in that case, most of the time you are stuck with MPEG2, but you can still play this on any device/player.
    Don't go out of your roof hardware wise, we're talking about VHS resolution, and you're stuck with the quality recorded at that time.
    also... are all tapes recorded at normal speed ? tapes recorded at slow speeds will give you more agony.(or you can't capture those at all)

    There are still some ES35V machines for sale on the internet, the advantage recording over component in progressive mode is also, that the Macrovision on commercial tapes is defeated that way, no dot crawling, and is better than S-video output, S-video has almost no quality advantage over composite, enhancing image quality degrades video resolution, so if you can avoid that....

    Btw. you should look for your self seeing results, if capturing with a encoder that is using compression is an option for you, there are some encoders (software/hardware) which are doing that lossless or lossy, most of the time it will not affect on the VHS resolution.
    capturing compressed will have the advantage, you will have no dropped frames with slow HDD storage.

    i quote:
    "Substituting a DVR as a TBC or Filter has become more popular, but people tend to think its a 1:1 swap.. and they are sorely disappointed. Its a last ditch effort and disappoints a lot of people."

    What's the problem with this ? if it works and gives a steady picture, and is easy to do, which is an advantage if you have a lot of tapes to do... you can't baby care each vhs tape. Old capture devices and old OS's PC's are a pain to work wih.
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 30th Nov 2019 at 08:34.
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  4. Member
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    Sorry to be a broken record, but read these links which answers your questions:

    http://www.digitalfaq.com/editorials/digital-video/professional-analog-workflow.htm

    http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/1567-vcr-buying-guide.html

    For equipment, read this http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/marketplace/8057-sale-complete-workflow.html and contact lordsmurf for a guaranteed quality workflow. Trying to piece together your own workflow is hit and miss, especially today.
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  5. Member
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    Some professional /prosumers workflows and guides

    Digital migration tools and techniques
    http://videopreservation.conservation-us.org/dig_mig/index.html
    Image Attached Files
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  6. mr. Eric-jan's Avatar
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    Most FAQ's/guides available are pretty old, equipment/devices named in these are not available anymore, or are only for sale from the person who made de FAQ/guide
    Professional equipment, if in good state, (also exspensive) is also no safe bet, because you may need (professional) maintenance, old tapes may rub off onto the heads, and cassette mechanisms can also be faulty on cheap brands,(which may bring the vcr's mechanism out of alignment) most consumer VHS VCR's are just not good enough to use for capture,(indeed a hit and miss) what helps is a good stable (and powerfull) OS, and fast storage,
    preferably SSD, more important also if you want to capture uncompressed, for "good" quality, the use of "virtual lossless" encoding, like ProRes, can also help avoiding dropped frames, with slow storage media if needed, which you will notice soon enough.
    Most old USB capture devices are USB 2, which is not ideal, this forces you to work with old drivers and in turn also an old OS version, which is a downward spiral
    Best is to find a semi-professional capture device, with good driver and OS support, then you can use this on a recent OS, which also supports fast media storage and if needed, fast render times for clean-up when needed, the less you have to do in post, the quicker your work flow is, and also keeping the already low resolution in good shape.

    Tip: a recorder combo (VHS&DVD) is a good gamble, some have YUV component (RCA) output, before HDMI they used component video out, for LCD screens, or beamers. most semi-pro capture devices come at a reasonable price and have also component video input.

    The ES35V i have can even be switched to progressive mode (needed) for LCD screens) so that saves you de-interlacing, when you would do that, the ES35V shows no de-interlacing artefacts.
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 30th Nov 2019 at 17:42.
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  7. Member
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    I have all the old hardware needed as well as the good SVHS VCR......just gotta eventually grab a TBC when I get some cash and I can put the system together and get to work!
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