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  1. Hi all,

    Here is a sample I've captured from a S-VHS tape.
    I think the overall quality is pretty good (as a layman and starting videocapturer)

    But, you guys are the experts, what would you do with this sample to make it better or improve?
    I would love to hear your opinion

    Here are my tools used

    JVC HR-S9600 (Digital TBC on)
    Svideo
    Pinnacle Studio Deluxe Capture Card
    Captured in Studio7
    Win XP
    Image Attached Files
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  2. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Your aspect ratio is off causing the people to look wider.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  3. Member
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    Usually it's recommended to capture from analog using a lossless codec such as HuffyUV or UT codec,
    if it's possible
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  4. Good news, bad news.

    The capture looks quite good. It is a very stable picture; the left and right edges so no signs of time base errors; you have lots of detail; and you have very little noise.

    You do, however, have some pretty nasty dropped frames starting around frame 116. You should never have ANY dropped frames; even one is too many.

    No need to capture to lossless because that needlessly creates huge files and will very likely increase your dropped frame problem. If you want to get a little better quality, use an intermediate codec, like Cineform. It is visually lossless and is a joy to use for editing (which is what it was designed for). It used to cost $1,000, but you can get it for free now if you download the GoPro Studio software. However, I don't know if you'll be able to tell much difference from your DV codec: PAL DV can actually be pretty good. If it were me, I wouldn't bother to change codecs and instead would concentrate on your dropped frame problem. That is a BIG deal.

    I am not quite sure what is going on with the aspect ratio and also the field order. PAL SD should be TFF, but in my software, it only played correctly if I changed that flag to BFF (bottom field first).

    VLC insisted on playing the video widescreen, which is what other people have noted (i.e., it makes everyone look fat), but in my NLE (Vegas) is sensed the aspect ratio correctly. Something does not appear to be set correctly in your capture software. Go back and look carefully at ALL the Studio capture settings and make sure you have them set for PAL; 25 fps; interlaced; top field first; 4:3 aspect ratio.
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    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    I am not quite sure what is going on with the aspect ratio and also the field order. PAL SD should be TFF, but in my software, it only played correctly if I changed that flag to BFF (bottom field first).
    The file is PAL-DV and DV is always BFF (it cannot be TFF because there isn't even a flag for the field order in DV).
    The aspect ratio flag of that file is 16:9, which is obviously wrong, but the actual video itself is fine.

    The dropped frames are the only real issue I see.
    Next thing I'd do is find out if the dropped frames are caused by the capture card struggling with the video signal (HR-S9600 has a line-TBC that straightens vertical lines but it does not guarantee a stable output signal!), or if the dropped frames are caused by some problem on the PC side of things. To do that I'd connect something that is sure to output a 100% stable signal at all times, such as a DVD-player or TV set top box, capture some random footage off it and see if I still get dropped frames or if they suddenly stopped. In case this fixes it, it means you need some device inbetween the VCR and your capture card such as the often recommended Panasonic DVD-Recorders DMR-ES 10 or 15 and some others.
    Last edited by Skiller; 18th Jan 2021 at 21:40.
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  6. Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    I am not quite sure what is going on with the aspect ratio and also the field order. PAL SD should be TFF, but in my software, it only played correctly if I changed that flag to BFF (bottom field first).
    The file is PAL-DV and DV is always BFF (it cannot be TFF because there isn't even a flag for the field order in DV).
    Yes, you are correct. It's PAL D1 DV that is TFF.

    The reason that TFF is in my head is that years ago I developed software that let Vegas users automatically stabilize footage using Deshaker by simply pressing one button. It involved writing a script for Vegas, and also one for VirtualDub. The two scripts interacted to get the job done. My scripts had to keep track of the type of video being sent, and if the user decided to send the video from Vegas to VD via an uncompressed PAL file, I had to switch the calls in the script in order to avoid field reversal.

    So, for normal DV PAL 720x576 25 fps interlaced, the field order is BFF.
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  7. Hi all!

    Thanks for the replies!

    I know the pinnacle capturecard captures footage in a strange aspectratio (something with sar/dar?) but I can't for the life of me figure out how to change that in the Pinnacle studio settings!

    If you look at the screenshots (eventhough text is in Dutch) you can see its 720x576 25 frames a second in full DV quality. I just can't change it,
    Does anyone know if I can change this somewere in the install files? Or re-installing the software wil help?
    The Pinnacle card doesn't show up in virtualdub

    The framedrops was probably my fault, i was messing around with the computer whilst capturing, which i've learned is a big no-no.
    I've added a framedropless sample and will re-capture the tape without touching anything
    Image Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    Image Attached Files
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  8. I don't know pinnacle, but for just changing the DAR flag the captured .avi can be remuxed to .mkv the with MKVToolNix, setting the DAR as 4:3.
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  9. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    1. You require a frame TBC (at worst, ES10/15 as TBCish), otherwise dropped frames cannot be resolved.
    2. Stop using Studio, that is buggy crapware. Use VirtualDub (original, not 2 fork).

    Simple fix.
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  10. Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    2. Stop using Studio, that is buggy crapware. Use VirtualDub (original, not 2 fork).
    Simple fix.
    That's the problem, I've installed Virtualdub on XP but the card isnt recognized, it won't show up.
    Not with Pinnacle open, closed or whatever I do, it's not in the list. When I open pinnacle studio it works fine...

    Is there something I need to change in settings or files to let it show up in virtualdub? or is a pinnacle capturecard bound to pinnacle studio?
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    [QUOTE=sndr1384;2607930]
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    That's the problem, I've installed Virtualdub on XP but the card isnt recognized, it won't show up.
    Is this your capture device:
    Image
    [Attachment 56855 - Click to enlarge]

    ?

    If yes, I had the Pinnacle 500 USB many years ago and it worked fine in VirtualDub. I just installed the drivers (NOT the software) and it was available as a capture device in VD to choose from.
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  12. [QUOTE=Skiller;2608022]
    Originally Posted by sndr1384 View Post
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    That's the problem, I've installed Virtualdub on XP but the card isnt recognized, it won't show up.
    Is this your capture device:
    Image
    [Attachment 56855 - Click to enlarge]

    ?
    No, its this device
    Image
    [Attachment 56856 - Click to enlarge]


    On another machine I have the pinnacle analog usb pro which works fine in virtualdub. But i want this card to work right.

    As far as the 'stretched images' goes. Can i use Avisynth to de-interlace and force it into the right aspect-ratio?
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  13. Originally Posted by sndr1384 View Post
    As far as the 'stretched images' goes. Can i use Avisynth to de-interlace and force it into the right aspect-ratio?
    Sure, with Avisynth (or vdub) you can deinterlace and then resize to the aspect ratio you prefer. I would bob-deinterlace ("double rate") in order to keep the motion fluidity.

    In Avisynth something like
    Code:
    DirectShowSource("VHSample2.avi") #or a source filter of your choice
    AssumeBFF()
    QTGMC()  #or a simpler bobber of your choice
    spline36resize(768,576)  #resizing as 4:3
    crop(12,4,-12,-10) #cut the crud off
    #addborders(12,6,12,8) #puts it back into a 4:3 overall frame, if needed
    Last edited by Sharc; 20th Jan 2021 at 06:43.
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  14. Originally Posted by Sharc View Post
    Originally Posted by sndr1384 View Post
    As far as the 'stretched images' goes. Can i use Avisynth to de-interlace and force it into the right aspect-ratio?
    Sure, with Avisynth (or vdub) you can deinterlace and then resize to the aspect ratio you prefer. I would bob-deinterlace ("double rate") in order to keep the motion fluidity.

    In Avisynth something like
    Code:
    DirectShowSource("VHSample2.avi") #or a source filter of your choice
    AssumeBFF()
    QTGMC()  #or a simpler bobber of your choice
    spline36resize(768,576)  #resizing as 4:3
    crop(12,4,-12,-10) #cut the crud off
    #addborders(12,6,12,8) #puts it back into a 4:3 overall frame, if needed
    Thanks man, i'm just dabbeling in AviSynth so any help is welcome!

    Back on-topic.
    I've put a sample trough AviSynth using this tutorial https://youtu.be/C4PyyQoz6eo

    Did a bit of cropping in Virtualdub and rescaling it back to 720x576 (good? Not good? how othewise?)
    and exported as mp4 using settings from tutoria.l

    And came up with the result in the attachment.

    Finished? Or can I improve something?

    End goal is to produce a 'best as possible' endresult what we can watch with the family
    Image Attached Files
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  15. It's anamorphic encoded now as 720x576. The player must force the playback as 4:3, otherwise you will see it as 5:4 i.e. slightly squeezed.
    When you encode it with x264 you should set the SAR 16:15 so players which read the flag will play it undistorted.

    What are your intended playback devices? You encoded with subsampling format 4:2:2. While this is fine for playback via PC/SW players, this format may be rejected by your TV for example. So I would consider encoding as 4:2:0 in order to support very most playback scenarios. It's a setting of the x264 encoder (Pixel format YUV420), or add converttoYV12() to your script.
    Last edited by Sharc; 21st Jan 2021 at 02:24. Reason: Note on subsampling
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  16. Plays fine in VLC on my computer.

    The whites might be a little hot.
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  17. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    The whites might be a little hot.
    Yes. An easy fix would be to add to the script
    Code:
    Tweak(cont=0.9,coring=false)
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  18. No, if the white are too hot, that MUST be fixed by adjusting the capture settings. You cannot fix blown out whites by using a script.
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  19. Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    No, if the white are too hot, that MUST be fixed by adjusting the capture settings. You cannot fix blown out whites by using a script.
    Not sure what you mean by 'too hot'. I found that the 'tweak(cont=0.9)' still made some improvement in flat areas unless the signal was truly hard clipped or clamped. It also reduced illegal RGB values when converting to RGB.
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  20. Originally Posted by Sharc View Post
    Not sure what you mean by 'too hot'.
    White levels beyond 100. It is possible that I did not map the video correctly when measuring, but regardless of the number, the whites don't appear to contain any detail.
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  21. And the black level may be a little high too. ColorYUV(off_y=-5) or Tweak(bright=-5, coring=false) gets both blacks and whites close to right. Check to make sure that works for the rest of the video.
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    Originally Posted by sndr1384 View Post
    As far as the 'stretched images' goes. Can i use Avisynth to de-interlace and force it into the right aspect-ratio?
    Yes, it's just the flag that is set to 16:9 (which only player software cares about, not AviSynth); the actual video inside is standard 720x576 without any aspect ratio issues.

    Originally Posted by sndr1384 View Post
    Did a bit of cropping in Virtualdub and rescaling it back to 720x576 (good? Not good? how othewise?)
    Not good, just crop, do not rescale. Cropping only needs to be mod2 for x264, so should be easy. In your encoding settings you should set a SAR of 12:11 which is the correct one for analog captured 4:3 PAL.
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  23. Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Not good, just crop, do not rescale. Cropping only needs to be mod2 for x264, so should be easy. In your encoding settings you should set a SAR of 12:11 which is the correct one for analog captured 4:3 PAL.
    Well yes, but it is not an absolute no-go to crop and resize to a standard frame size (or add borders) provided the SAR is adjusted accordingly. For the way the OP did the cropping and resizing to 720x576 a SAR of 16:15 seems to fit and fulfill the purpose as well.
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