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  1. Member
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    Hey all,

    I'm trying to capture some VHS tapes to PC using this cheap EasyCap USB device and my laptop. I know there are better solutions out there, but I don't want to invest a lot into this for a couple old tapes.

    Anyways, I have used this same adapter a couple years ago on my old laptop running windows 10, and it worked fine.
    I have since got a new laptop, dug the adapter out of storage, and I can't get it to display any video.

    In virtualdub2, it just shows a black screen. There are no options under Video Source, it says "no sources." I don't know what I'm doing wrong. It's connected to the VCR via standard composite cables. The picture and video works fine connected to a TV.

    The software on the disc it came with is called honestech TVR 2.5, and it doesn't show any video either. The instructions that came on the disc are rubbish and reference some other software that wasn't on the disc.

    The device seems to have installed properly according to Windows, it's listed as "USB2.0 PC Camera." Unless there's supposed to be another driver for it. That's all that was on the disc. I tried opening the Windows Camera program and choosing the device, no picture there either.

    Any ideas on what I could do to get this working?

    I'm using an HP Windows 10 64 bit system, Intel i3, 8 GB RAM
    el-cheapo "UVC" USB capture device connected via composite to a VCR.

    Thanks!
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  2. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    It's not about a "better" card existing.
    As you're experiencing, it's about working whatsoever.

    Win10 is especially brutal for capturing, an extremely hostile anti-video OS.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank Discs • Best TBCs • Best VCRs for capture • Restore VHS
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  3. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    In Vdub device list, what do you see?
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    In Vdub device list, what do you see?
    0. Microsoft WDM Image Capture (Win32) (VFW)
    1. HP TrueVision HD Camera (DirectShow)
    2. USB2.0 PC Camera (DirectShow)
    3. Screen Capture
    4. Video File (Emulation)

    #2 is the USB device, which I have selected. #1 is the built-in laptop webcam.
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  5. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    It looks like something wrong with the driver supplied, it should not show as camera, Try uninstalling the manufacturer driver and let windows install the default ones, If windows sees it as camera that means the chipset is not going to work as a capture device, This is one of the reasons why not bother with Chinese crap.
    Some of these low cost, low quality dongles have this type of chipset because they are used for old CCTV analog cameras, The apps they use require the chipset to be seen as a camera not a video acquisition device therefore it won't work with vdub to a certain extent, Did you try both overlay and preview?
    Last edited by dellsam34; 24th Dec 2020 at 09:28.
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    After much research into the chipsets, drivers, software, etc ... Plus trying it on 2 computers with no progress, I've officially concluded that this POS belongs in the garbage.

    You're right. I figured since it worked before, I could get it working again. I just couldn't find a way to force it to use a driver other than the Windows default.

    My next plan is to follow the idea presented here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC5Zr3NC2PY
    I already have a composite to HDMI converter for my N64, and I just ordered an HDMI to USB capture device from Amazon for $25. I'll try this method and see if it's any good, and post an update then.

    Thanks for the reply and Happy Holidays!
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  7. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Not trying to rain on your parade but that video has been discussed here numerous times and got a lot of negative feedback from the forum members, Someone may still have the link to the thread, I can't find it.

    Oh, there it is, I searched videohelp with the link string in google and it came up in the first hit:
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/393662-The-Best-Easy-Way-to-Capture-Analog-Video
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  8. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Phat J View Post
    My next plan is to follow the idea presented here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC5Zr3NC2PY
    I already have a composite to HDMI converter for my N64, and I just ordered an HDMI to USB capture device from Amazon for $25. I'll try this method and see if it's any good, and post an update then.
    That was a mistake. It will cause problems, quality will be significantly degraded.

    That Youtuber knows zilch about video. In his other video videos, he parrots myths (example: format wars being decided by porn), skewed understandings, and sometimes outright false facts.

    I've addressed this before: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/393662-The-Best-Easy-Way-to-Capture-Analog-Video#post2554768
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  9. Member
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    That's fair, I totally get it and I appreciate your insight and expertise. For the application I'm doing, I'm sure the result will be sufficient. The material I'm dealing with is not particularly valuable or dependent on great quality. I can also fix most of the glaring color issues in post production.

    I have been tasked with a few videos to transfer, and that's it. I'll probably not see another VHS tape for at least a few more years when I'm tasked to do it again. Thanks again.
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  10. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Phat J View Post
    That's fair, I totally get it and I appreciate your insight and expertise. For the application I'm doing, I'm sure the result will be sufficient. The material I'm dealing with is not particularly valuable or dependent on great quality. I can also fix most of the glaring color issues in post production.

    I have been tasked with a few videos to transfer, and that's it. I'll probably not see another VHS tape for at least a few more years when I'm tasked to do it again. Thanks again.
    You're still confused.

    Capturing is somewhat binary.
    - It totally doesn't work correctly (dropped frames, etc) + it doesn't look good at all (tracking errors, wrong colors, etc)
    - Or you get the right equipment, and all is well.

    This isn't a gradation of bad/poor/fair/decent/good/better/best/perfect. It's not CGC comic grading.
    It's good/bad, the end.

    That method is bad. The Youtuber is an idiot to even suggest it. It probably works "fine" for him capturing 10 seconds of a retail VHS tape to make his silly little Youtube videos. But it works like crap for trying to transfer and archive video.

    There is a large menu of "right equipment".

    For 20+ years I've been telling people what that gear is (and updating lists as needed, it's not 20-year-old advice).

    That small Chinese HDMI doodad is not what you want. BTW, those are mostly made so old video games can be attached to modern TVs. I have one for that purpose, and it works fine for it. But not at all to capture video. That guy made the video because the method sucked less (but still sucks) compared to worse methods he'd been using. He need to read, and maybe then he'd learn how to capture video correctly.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 24th Dec 2020 at 18:33.
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  11. Member
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    Here's an update, I got the device and it installed easily. I captured the tapes I have, some turned out quite well, some didn't.

    I used the same settings on each; 1280x720, 29.97 fps, MJPG lossless, wav audio. I found that capturing it at 720p made it slightly sharper than capturing at 480p. My final mp4's will be 640x480. In AVIDemux, I adjusted the color, cropped it, fixed the AR, resized, then encoded to MP4.

    Here are a few screen captures, each from different tapes:
    https://imgur.com/a/Cm9vPDn


    I'm pretty satisfied with the results, except that last screenshot.

    That pink hue appears horizontally about 1/3 of the way down on some of the tapes. It doesn't appear during playback connected directly to the TV, just through the capture process. Not sure what's causing that, as most of the tapes don't have that issue. I'll try a different video cable, play with the capture settings some more, unless anyone has suggestions? (Outside of using different capture equipment)

    One thing I'll say about the HDMI device, is that it captures audio very well. I expected it to be way overblown, but I hardly had to edit it at all, and nearly zero tape hiss.
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  12. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    The artifacts are expected when using the wrong way to capture, You don't have any control over the workflow when you are capturing 720p straight from the source, Any faults will be baked in and cannot be reversed later.
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