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  1. I'd like to capture my aging Hi8 tapes to my PC. I had planned to use my old Hi8 TR81 camcorder and a Diamond USB capture device, but my camcorder bit the dust.

    I purchased a used Digital 8 TRV-740 on eBay to play the tapes instead. I expected dropouts, but what I'm finding is enormous motion artifacts -- like in a low-bandwidth Zoom call.

    They're plainly visible on the TRV-740's screen and also when I test via the Diamond USB capture and Adobe Premier Elements. (Yes, I know that I could probably use USB directly if what I was seeing on the camcorder was suitable.)

    Is this just what I ought to expect from old analog tapes, or is the eBay camcorder I bought a lemon? These are not subtle issues - every time someone moves they're heavily pixelated until they stop moving. Would I do better to source a proper Hi8 camcorder instead?

    Thanks!

    Charlie
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  2. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Sample clip required.

    Don't use NLEs (Premiere , etc) to capture.

    I bet you're mistaking interlace as artifacts.
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  3. Here's a tiny clip.

    The occasional dropout is no big deal, but I was really surprised by the image of the running child. I've only tried 2 tapes so far, but this seems quite consistent.

    For the moment I've been testing via composite video and the VC500. Either svideo or USB are easy options too.

    (What's a better and reasonably simple capture tool to use than Premier Elements?)

    Thanks!

    Charlie
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    This happens when you resize an interlaced clip vertically (change its height) without taking care of the interlacing (the fact that every second line displays a different point in time than the other one of a pair). In general, resizing vertically should be avoided completely if possible, or handled with some level of experience and background knowledge about the basics of video standards and history.

    Also quite irritating: The large green bar in the bottom. As if the video content was scaled upwards, but the frame size persisted.
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  5. Try capturing directly with firewire and see if you have any better luck. My Hi8/DV diagnostic skills are a bit rusty, but that green bar is reminiscent of a PAL/NTSC mismatch.
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  6. Sounds like I need to clarify my test setup a bit. All I did was connect composite video to a Diamond VC500, then capture via Adobe Premier with its default settings. I understand that this wasn't optimal, and I now see that the result is worse than what's visible on the tiny camcorder viewscreen.

    Here's the same sequence as captured by my iPhone 11 pointed at the view screen. It's not as bad, but there are still clearly lots of artifacts where the child is running. I'm suspecting that the Digital8 camcorder isn't really doing the job here, but I'd love to get the opinion of wiser heads than I.

    Firewire isn't an option with my older HP laptop. (Is the Digital8 digitizing the analog tape once, exporting it analog as composite, and then getting digitized a second time by the VC-500, or is the additional degradation that I'm seeing because I tried using a NLE to capture the video?)

    I'm not eager to buy a new computer to support Firewire. What are some better options going forward? I've got dozens of tapes, so sending them out for professional conversion isn't a great option either.

    Thanks all!
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  7. Why did you post in two places? I just wasted my time answering you in your identical thread.

    Capturing via 1394/Firewire will eliminate all problems.

    If you want to continue to capture using your analog setup, then all you need to do is set your capture equipment to 720x480, interlaced, 29.97 fps.
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  8. My apologies for any confusion I caused by cross-posting. (It occurred to me that the issue might not so much be a video conversion issue as a video playback issue.)

    Charlie
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  9. Thanks. I could use some guidance on what to capture with. I understand it shouldn't be Adobe Premier. It's not clear to me if the Cyberlink Powerdirector s/w packaged with the VC500 is a better choice, or if there's something else I should consider using for basic analog conversion.

    Charlie
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  10. I couldn't find the setup options:

    https://www.diamondmm.com/images/VC500/VC500CXT__Manual.pdf

    You want to make sure you are capturing at 720x480, 29.97, interlaced.
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  11. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    Capturing via 1394/Firewire will eliminate all problems.
    DV colorspace compression will add new problems.
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  12. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    Capturing via 1394/Firewire will eliminate all problems.
    DV colorspace compression will add new problems.
    Compared to the resized garbage he is producing now, the extremely minor color issues going from the highly compromised color on a consumer VHS tape to DV's 4:0:0 colorspace is going to be as important as a fly is to an elephant.

    The beauty of DV for a neophyte who is making huge mistakes (e.g., somehow re-sizing the video during capture) is that it eliminates almost all problems, and he will get a very usable result. I certainly would not recommend DV for commercial work, nor would I recommend it for anything originating from broadcast video, but once you are talking about VHS, trying to get someone to use a much more complicated capture workflow is simply "polishing the turd."
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  13. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    Compared to the resized garbage he is producing now, the extremely minor color issues going from the highly compromised color on a consumer VHS tape to DV's 4:0:0 colorspace is going to be as important as a fly is to an elephant.
    Perhaps. But again, DV introduces new/different problems, and isn't really a resolution. DV is 1990s tech, while lossless is 2000s (and 2000s is the most advanced that VHS conversion ever got). MPEG was also excellent in the 2000s, but hasn't aged as well (mostly referring to DVD-Video specs). The 2010s and now 2020s mostly added crap methods, cheap Easycaps/grabber USBs, and bad H.264 compression.

    And 4:1:1 (not 4:0:0), which reduces color by 50%, leaves tint issues, lots of graying and washed-out color problems -- and from a format (as you said) is already compromised color-wise. But you're harming the quality even further with DV.

    PAL 4:2:0 isn't as bad, acceptable, unlike NTSC 4:1:1, but still not ideal in some projects/workflows.

    This all said, I do MPEG 4:2:0 BR/broadcast spec MPEG for myself, for some things, but equally lossless (more actually) for others.
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