Hi! This is my first post. I've been lurking for long time and this forum always be helpful so this is the first place to ask for help.
I was looking for some USB Video Capture for digitalize VHS (most of them are PAL). I'm from South America, my region is PAL.
My PC have a i3 , Windows 7 (x64) and 16 GB of RAM. No dedicated videocard, just onboard. And a lot of HDD (some SATA, some USB).
I have 2 VCR: SANYO VHR-438Z (MONO) and NOBLEX "6 heads - Hi-Fi MTS Stereo" (STEREO).
I've been using a cheap EasyCap (clone, I mean) and I had a lot of issues in capturing VHS (strange kinda pink and green lines thru all the screen and B/W color to the video image behind), but I know this device was cheap so I'm just given up trying to making function decently.
So I've attemp to use a (cheap) AV2HDMI > HDMI>USB connection, but time to time this "crop" a down field portion of the image (although the quality was good, kinda overexposed but better than EasyCap).
I've been capturing with OBS and Honestech Software (a old-fashioned looking EasyCap software). I've tried VDub and AmarecTV but I don't want a lossless capturing, just a "same-quality-as-TV" VHS capturing. (I know about programming and PC configuration but I don't want to getting mad with all the configuration of this softwares - I know those are great for this task, though).
Both of this alternatives didn't revolve my problems so I bought a USB-Live2 from Hauppauge (very exprensive for my country's economic situation but I'm been reading a lot and thought this would be a solution).
The problem right now:
This is the first time I'm testing the USB-Live2 and I have a big issue capturing PAL VHS (kinda same as with EasyCap, but in this case is constant). Not sure if this issue have something to do with my PC since I've test NTSC VHS and the capture was right (this is the standard quality I'm looking for my capturings, indeed).
(I like the Hauppauge Capture software interface, so I'm using this, downloaded from their site today, same as the driver).
In my country there's no way to get a TBC or an VHS+DVD-Recorder Combo so I'm not (and I can't) use that - I know this decistion cause issues but this is my only setup aviable by now - But I don't think this have something to do with my issue capturing PAL VHS.
This is what I get when start the Hauppauge Capture software with PAL option:
[Attachment 57604 - Click to enlarge]
(With Honestech software I get just a freeze bugged screen.)
I've uploaded 2 video tests (.ts), both captured with the Hauppauge Capture sofware, video btr circa. 10 MB/s - Disabled internet connection, storage of video in second HDD; not the main-OS HDD.
Sorry about some much text and about my bad English.
Thanks in advance!
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For the USB-Live2 side:
Be sure that the Driver sets the right standard (PAL), sometime I had some trouble using the Hauppauge software with Secam tapes.
I use drivers version 126.96.36.199217, not the latest.
Also please consider using AmarecTV and HuffYUV for capturing. It is true that a normal vision do not show drammatic differences between
10Mbps and lossless, but if you need any "restoration" it is much easier and effective to work with a lossless capture.
It only takes 2 minutes to configure AmarecTV, and, in addition, you can open in parallel a Graph with GraphEdit and control/set the parameters
of the drivers in real time.
Attached a .ts PAL capture of mine, just as reference (Hauppauge Capture software, MPEG2-TS, 10Mbps).
Last edited by lollo; 3rd Mar 2021 at 05:05.
To the OP, It looks from the PAL sample that either you have a SECAM tape a.k.a SECAM-L which you can easily set in the capture software or a MESECAM tape in which case your capture card may or may not be able to capture.
When you say PAL do you mean commercial tapes or own recordings ? Also what country since 'South America' is too vague.
And are you certain your vcr can handle both PAL and NTSC ?
All the tapes I've tested yesterday was non-commercial PAL (~5 tapes) and one was NTSC, I'm pretty sure, not so common to use SECAM here (Argentina).
The driver version I'm use is 188.8.131.52075, so I will try to get a old version of it - In their site there no older versions but might I be able to access to this thru WaybackMachine.
If that don't resolve none of the issue, I will try AmarecTV, I know the configure and control over the capture is advance with this soft. Thanks!
The Hauppauge Capture sofware just let me to select PAL / NTSC / SECAM (I can't find the "Advance Settings" by now). If I select NTSC the software show nothing but sound and in SECAM shows video and sound, but the video is all in a intense-red color "filter". Posibly soon I upload a video sample of this for more details.
Most PAL tapes I have are non-commercial and recorded from TV. The NTSC tape I've tested was official from Sony. In this VCR (Noblex brand) I watching the PAL and NTSC tapes normally, with correct colors in TV and other capture softwares I mentioned - same with the Sanyo VCR.
I will try to get a older version of the Hauppauge driver first, but too will try the AmarecTV if this could maybe resolver the issue. I've change the RCA cables too but it's all the same.
Maybe in one-two days I'll be back with some news, because work. Thanks for all the replies!
Does the VCR output normal PAL or PAL-N? The color carrier frequency of PAL-N is quite different from normal PAL so if it's trying to decode one as the other you will not get proper color at all. I don't know what VCRs in Argentina would normally do (the signal on tape is essentially the same in both formats, so it's up to how it's decoded by the vcr). The lines you got look a bit like decoding with wrong format, but not sure. Unless you've imported something from easter europe or the middle east I doubt it's MESECAM.
I do not think that AmarecTV will solve your problem, it just allows you to captures with a lossless codec.
I mentioned because you can open a Graph in parallel and have a full control of the Hauppage Module. You can also do it inside Amarec, but with the
Graph you have more options if I remember correctly.
[Attachment 57620 - Click to enlarge]
[Attachment 57621 - Click to enlarge]
Some example: the first is my "home made" capture software that I use sometime, the second is the real
AmarecTV graph. Select Hauppauge Cx23100 Crossbar and play with the options.
Changing the drivers is more a "hope" than a realistic solution. I remember that at driver installation something
is fixed forever, so before looking for the same driver that I use, reinstall your driver choosing PAL at the beginning
The best way is remove everything, execute the Hauppauge routine hcwclear.exe and install the drivers using
BTW, do the tape play fine on your TV?
Last edited by lollo; 3rd Mar 2021 at 11:17.
Although you do not want to go down this route, I do suggest that you install/run virtual dub.
Select the usb-live as the capture device. Select the 'Capture Filter' from the Video Menu and you should see a Video Decoder Tab. Change that to PAL-N and see if you now have a colour picture in preview. AFAIK the Hauppauge software only supports PAL B/G/I (this is similar to PAL-N except for the color sub-carrier 4.43 MHz as opposed to 3.58 in PAL-N)
And if you now get a picture I do believe there is other, simpler, capture software that supports PAL-N without going down the lossless route.
Thanks a lot for your sample, this is the kind of quality I'm looking!
Attached what you can get with a quick and simple and not optimized avisynth script (color correction, stab, denoise, dehalo and sharpen)
Making my aswer clear: in Argentina mostly (or all) VCR was bi-norm (PAL / NTSC), we didn't use SECAM/MESECAM never for what I know. All my VHS are recorded from argentinean TV or just standard commercial releases for my region (PAL).
And yes, I can see my VHS tapes correctly in my led TV or another capture softwares, always with the correct norm selected.
Thanks for your reply!
I did just discovered that the most probably issue is that the Hauppauge Capture software is default setting in PAL_B - and doesn't let me chose another PAL-standard. And don't know how to change that in the soft.
BTW, all my tapes plays fine in my (led) TV and even when I'm using others capture sofwares.
So, I've been testing right now with the Honestech software (.mpeg) and the OBS Studio (selected format: .mov). And I find out the default PAL-standar norm the Hauppauge software is using: the PAL_B.
About my new captures:
- [Honestech Software] 131638_0.mpg (18.46 MB) - Selected norm PAL_N, looks like the quality what I expect BUT this crop the down botton of the video screen and I can't solve it.
- [OBS] 2021-03-03 13-47-33.mov (16.57 MB) - Configurated OBS to capture 720x576 25fps, looks good BUT there's a bugged green bar on the bottom of the screen.
- [OBS - Norm Change] 2021-03-03 13-53-14.mov (33.37 MB) - Testing with OBS changing the norm from PAL_N to PAL_B. This resolve the color issue but generated the infamous bugged green bar on the bottom.
Someone here knows something about the Hauppauge Capture Software and how configurate the PAL-standar norm change?
Someone know if the WinTV software can solve this issue or give me the chance for select the specific norm-type?
(The USB-Live2 comes with the serial for this software but I thought it was for schudeling recording from live TV.)
Thanks you all for the help!!!
I think that the different PAL options are not used for capture, every PAL should be ok.
Try to reinstall everything choosing PAL at the beginnig.
Nobody is using Hauppauge Capture Software. WinTV software is not for capture.
AmarecTV, with Lagarith, set some parameters and the capture was amazingly great!
So, thanks again for recommended the AmarecTV.
Still I don't know so much about Scan Mode and Deinterlacing - Which one do you guys use or which do you recommend? Thank you in advance!
Reppling about PAL-standard: I thought its all the same, since PAL is the norm name, but selecting another standard (_B or _N) this resolve the issue so I guess there's something more specific about that (although I can't change it from Hauppauge Capture software).
Do you know another codec that give me good compression with the 'kinda same' video quality? (I don't spect the same quality, but something smooth like that?) Love the quality in this capture (attached) but the file size obviously is huge.
Attempts with DivX codec give me ~2500 kbps so much pixelated images. And the soft tell me the YUY2 isn't installed (strange).
Thanks again and sorry about so much questions!!
The only difference standards wise with WinTV is that it has an option for PAL-60 (missing in Hauppauge Capture)
So are you now saying that you can now select PAL-N in other software and see a proper picture ?
BTW do not use OBS. Use anything except OBS.
Edit: Seems you can.
You really need a better VCR, S-VHS with a line TBC. This is the key element for better capture.
The only codec you want to use in capture is a lossless codec. Big file is the price to pay for quality. Eventually you can compress later to whatever you like.
Then you are entering in another domain (restoration). I do not know what you mean with "Scan Mode". About deinterlacing, I never do it, except when I
apply a progressive filter to interlaced material, but I use a lossless bobber (nnedi3) and I revert to interlaced at the end.
If you have specific questions better open a new topic in the right section of the forum, a lot of very experienced people will help you
And this is nonsense. There are subtle but important differences between PAL-B/G/I and PAL-N
That was a brain fart from me, for some reason I read South Africa instead of South America, Sorry.
AmarecTV and the capture was quite right - Making clear: under my desired parameters, I know there's no deep processing in my capture (which I attatched in my last reply).
BTW, in my Hauppauge Capture software there's no Video Menu options, just that:
[Attachment 57631 - Click to enlarge]
I'd like to use the Hauppauge Software bc I like the IU but - as I said before - I can't select the PAL_N norm. Could be a bad installation, but idk, there's no other options menu I could set for the Hauppauge driver/software.
I will research about deinterlacing, because I've read a lot about it but never applied anyway - and this is the first time I've get a good capture, using AmarecTV+Lagarith. Really thanks for the info and, yes, I know the size is all to do with the quality.
Thanks a lot for all your time and replies and info, really really apreciated.
I'll keep testing and, in any case, open a new thread about specific questions (if I don't find reply in the forum).
As an alternative capture software, there is DScaler which is fully compatable with the usb-live2. There are a lot of settings but, on the whole, is more intuitive than vdub.
For a 'giggle' I selected PAL-N and my picture kinda went. There another setting in this software called PAL-Ncombo which is quite intruiging. Methinks that has to do with the closeness of PAL-N with NTSC and some devices may be able to play both. That NTSC tape was played with the same vcr ????
VDub too, for sure. Some time ago I've tried but with another USB capture device and was impossible to configure. But now with the USB-Live2 probably I'll have more luck. Thanks!
AmarecTV - the only bad side is the file size with Lagarith codec, but finally I had a good looking capture, without audio desync and 'same-as-TV' quality.
And about what you said about the went out image in PAL-N and about the 'PAL-N Combo', it's really intruiging indeed - And caused possibly because the different PAL-standard in the UK, right?
BTW, I'll try to test with VDub and DScaler - at least to learn to use them!
And all the video samples I've shared in this thread was reproduced with the same VCR, brand "NOBLEX" - posibly a clone for another commercial model, but I don't know from what brand/model, but...
Just as a curiosity: In their website they say: "Our origins came from 1991, born as merge from Sansei S.A. (Argentinean brand) and Sanyo Electric Trading Co. (Japanese brand)" - So, I guess my NOBLEX VCR possibly a cheap-clone of some Sanyo model.
Thanks again for the advices, DB83! I'll keeping testing with this VCR and the other one and with the VDub and DScaler to see what happens
Last edited by mondocamp; 3rd Mar 2021 at 17:59.