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  1. Member
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    I'm trying to capture some old (analog, 8mm camcorder) video tapes - and although it's technically working, the quality is terrible. Please help.

    Years ago, when I last did analog video capture, I had a dedicated capture card ... but that stopped working when I got my current machine, so for this job I just purchased a Pinnacle Dazzle box. I'm already regretting it, but that's what I have for now.

    The first attempt (using Pinnacle Studio) was a disaster, so then I switched to using VirtualDub - and that's is what's essentially working.

    However, the resulting quality of the video image is really pore, with lots of interlaced lines not lined up. I'm attaching a screen shot that shows what I mean.

    In virtualdub, I have tried to adjust the capture pin, but the only settings that seem to stick are NTSC_M, 29.97, YUY2, and a size of 720x416. (I see 720x480 in the pulldown, but even if I select that it resets back to 720x416).

    Can anyone suggest what I might be able to do, to try to improve the quality of this image? I understand it's analog, and will never be HD quality ... but I've done analog capture before, and this is worse than I'm used to. Is the problem the Pinnacle Dazzle, or can anyone suggest anything else to try?

    Thanks in advance.

    Image
    [Attachment 58278 - Click to enlarge]
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  2. Originally Posted by canopus27 View Post
    However, the resulting quality of the video image is really pore, with lots of interlaced lines not lined up.
    What does that mean? That you see interlacing? But you're supposed to see interlacing.

    And you should be capping 720x480. The fact that you're not means (maybe) that 4 pixels are being cropped somewhere, or that it's being resized somewhere. I don't know enough, though, to tell you where, or tell you how to fix it.
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    Apply one of the de-interlacing filters in VDub. That will get rid of the sawtooths. Pinnacle studio probably dealt with those automatically. As Manono said, you will always get interlacing for a raw capture for this sort of work.

    Can't help you with the resolution; I'm in PAL land. As a suggestion though, try the other NTSC options or go Video>Choose custom format and set 720x480.

    Maybe the Dazzle won't let you choose 480? Once again, I don't have one of those.
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  4. I have noticed the same odd behavior with VDub---where I set the size to 720x480 (NTSC) and VDub keeps saying that I have 720x416. The captures are still coming out at 720x480. So, I have no idea what that "416" thing is all about.

    I also have a question about the interlacing problem. Here are two images of the same frame of video, captured with two different devices. The left image was captured with a Dazzle USB, and the right was captured with a Hauppauge USB 610 ("Live2"). These image portions have been enlarged 3x, to highlight the differences. Note how the Hauppauge has really bad interlacing, even though it is supposedly a better unit:

    Image
    [Attachment 58287 - Click to enlarge]


    I am wondering if this might be a Line TBC issue. I have picked up a used Panasonic ES-15, to see if it cures this problem.
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    Last edited by anachronon; 7th Apr 2021 at 10:21.
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  5. Obviously, the original video was interlaced, and the Dazzle deinterlaces it on the fly during capturing, while the Hauppauge captured the source as interlaced and leaves it as interlaced. Of course the Hauupauge variant looks combed when you watch it on the progressive PC monitor without deinterlacing. This is as expected and not inferior. Upscaling interlaced video without prior deinterlacing gives a wrong impression anyway and damages the picture.

    I prefer interlaced lossless capturing (like with Hauppauge, using Huffyuv or a similar lossless codec), and make the deinterlacing afterwards using a good deinterlacer like QTGMC which will normally give a better final quality.
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  6. Actually, it was not upscaled. Both were captured lossless, at the standard 720x480. I merely zoomed the screen image to 300%, to better show the combing (using screen capture).

    I don't think that the Dazzle is deinterlacing. I can apply a deinterlace filter to the Dazzle copy, converting to 60fps (59.94), and see discreet steps in each of the new frames. So, both fields are being captured by the Dazzle.

    On a side note, does QTGMC do better deinterlacing than VDub?
    Last edited by anachronon; 7th Apr 2021 at 17:27.
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by anachronon View Post
    does QTGMC do better deinterlacing than VDub?
    Yes.

    Originally Posted by canopus27 View Post
    I just purchased a Pinnacle Dazzle box.
    That was a mistake. It has quality issues. Not the worst card (Easycap, ClearClick, etc), but far from good or best.

    The first attempt (using Pinnacle Studio) was a disaster
    This has always been horrible software.

    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    you're supposed to see interlacing.
    Correct.
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  8. Interlaced video contains two (half) pictures per frame. Deinterlaced video contains only one, unless it's deinterlaced properly.

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    [Attachment 58297 - Click to enlarge]
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  9. Member
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    Thanks for all the input.

    I spent the evening trying and failing to install QTGMC and all of it's dependencies (ugh), but I did finally manage to get StaxRip installed and working - and running that with it's embedded version of QTGMC certainly reduces the interlace artifacts in the video. It does add a bit of a stutter when there's movement, or the camera is panning -- but the overall picture quality is much improved, so I guess I'll just learn to live with the stutter.

    I'll keep working it from here - thanks again for the pointers.
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  10. Originally Posted by canopus27 View Post
    I did finally manage to get StaxRip installed and working - and running that with it's embedded version of QTGMC certainly reduces the interlace artifacts in the video. It does add a bit of a stutter when there's movement, or the camera is panning -- but the overall picture quality is much improved, so I guess I'll just learn to live with the stutter.
    No, you should have glassy smooth motion after QTGMC(). You probably have the field order wrong. Add AssumeTFF() before QTGMC(). Or AssumeBFF() if that doesn't work.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    No, you should have glassy smooth motion after QTGMC(). You probably have the field order wrong. Add AssumeTFF() before QTGMC(). Or AssumeBFF() if that doesn't work.
    Thanks; I will try and report back
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by canopus27 View Post
    I did finally manage to get StaxRip installed and working - and running that with it's embedded version of QTGMC certainly reduces the interlace artifacts in the video. It does add a bit of a stutter when there's movement, or the camera is panning -- but the overall picture quality is much improved, so I guess I'll just learn to live with the stutter.
    No, you should have glassy smooth motion after QTGMC(). You probably have the field order wrong. Add AssumeTFF() before QTGMC(). Or AssumeBFF() if that doesn't work.
    Adding AssumeTFF made a huge (and very positive) difference, and I'm super pleased with the result. The combination of AssumeTFF and QTGMC makes a night and day difference in the overall quality -- many many thanks to all the guidance and suggestions here.

    (Thanks also to whoever assembled StaxRip ... the pre-packaged collection of tools was easy to install & use, and was exactly what I needed)
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