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  1. Member
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    Just what the title says. I know that devices such as the ATI 600 card and some of the WinTV series cards from Hauppauge work wonders on older mediums such as VHS, LaserDisc, etc., but thus far, I have had next to no luck with my WinTV-HVR 950, due to me being on Windows 10 and using an Nvidia graphics card, which I have been made well aware cause problems, if it isn't something else.

    Before anyone suggests to use a different Windows OS, I am going to make it very plain that this is pretty much impossible for me to do because my PC has not liked it when I've tried to install the Integral build of Windows XP, and I have had no luck installing Windows 7 for different reasons. I do not have any other capture-capable PCs, and I cannot build one either.

    With that out of the way, I would like to know which devices are the best to have, preferably under $150, and what the best in quality, both performance and longevity-wise, are available for that price. I would also like to know where to buy them if I can get them new. My goal is to digitize my collection of commercially available VHS tapes and LaserDiscs. I already have a VCR and LaserDisc player ready to go.

    I know that a lot of capture devices and programs out there may not be as good as they used to be, but if I can have something that does its job out of the box, I will be more than satisfied. I am not looking to do extensive restorations or the highest, top-of-the-line quality ripping, I just want something that can provide me with the best quality I can get for reasonable prices.

    Thank you.
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    I have had no issues at all with the IOData GV-USB2 on Windows 10. The quality is very very close to the Pinnacle 710USB (one of the best of the "oldies", allegedly).

    Instructions in the box are in Japanese but there are English versions on the Internet.

    https://iotku.pw/gvusb2-guide/

    I use it with Virtual Dub, AmarecTV and editing software, Movie Edit Pro.
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  3. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Irrespective of the capture device - I use a Hauppauge USB-Live2 and that is Win10 compatable - you could have serious issues trying to capture commercially available VHS. No doubt you will come across macrovision. The Hauppauge might ignore it (the legacy PCI WinTV cards did) but I can not guarantee that this device, or any other usb device for that matter, will. Then, if you still want to capture these you would require a full-frame TBC and these alone will take care of your budget.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Irrespective of the capture device - I use a Hauppauge USB-Live2 and that is Win10 compatable - you could have serious issues trying to capture commercially available VHS. No doubt you will come across macrovision. The Hauppauge might ignore it (the legacy PCI WinTV cards did) but I can not guarantee that this device, or any other usb device for that matter, will. Then, if you still want to capture these you would require a full-frame TBC and these alone will take care of your budget.

    While trying to capture with my crappy old ElGato Analog Video Capture, I encountered no issues with macrovision copy protection, though that could easily be a fluke. Thus far, even with the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 950 I've been testing, I've encountered no issues with copy protection, just really weird issues with jitter and frame ghosting, which is present no matter whether I'm using VDub or any other software that can pick up the device as a camera. I was able to get past this issue with an older PC, but due to its slowness and unreliability makes it nearly useless for capture purposes. I will proceed with caution.
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    I've just tried my GV-USB2 with a commercial VHS tape of Memphis Belle; no issues. The box doesn't mention that copy protection is implemented though.
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  6. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Not all VHS have copyright (macrovision) protection - it should say so on the box cover.


    Now I do believe a short while ago I tested the USB-Live with one UK release that was marked as protected and it passed. But I also tested it with a US release, also marked, and there were issues. Simply that mv was an evolving condition.


    Any user may never get issues but it is, IMO, necessary to mention it to avoid disappointment. The only gain these days in capturing commercial tapes is for those not released on later formats.
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  7. Copy protection in commercial tapes is wildly inconsistent: its a scattershot technology that evolved, regressed and mutated over many years. Typically it was applied in batches, varying between each batch, so your tape of a particular movie might have weak or no protection while your neighbors tape of the same title could be infested it with it to an extreme degree. In many cases it was applied at time of original release to chains like Blockbuster, but suspended a few years later when the title was re-released and re-printed at a low bargain price to discount chains like Target in holiday promotions. Severity of protection corruption also varied notably from studio to studio (some rarely used it, others used it on everything including promo reels and titles almost nobody was expected to buy).

    VHS protection should be understood as a relic of the 100% analog TV display era: CRT televisions were immensely more forgiving of VHS input flaws. The protection system relied specifically on this forgiveness of CRT televisions to do its dirty work: it corrupts the VHS signal just enough to ruin any attempt at VCR copying, while remaining just above the threshold where a CRT TV will still display the tape normally. Sometimes they really pushed it, to the point even the TV couldn't completely conceal the deliberate errors (you'd see periodic darkening at the top of the frame, and/or occasional flashes).

    Capture sticks are digital devices with little tolerance for unstable or damaged signals: some do a bit better than others on average, but a severely protected tape can choke most them enough to make an ugly transfer. Depending on your own tape collection, it may or may not be a big problem: if it afflicts just a few tapes, forget DIY transfer on those and just replace them with cheap commercial DVD or BluRay re-releases. If it affects a large number of tapes, you may need to re-consider your budget to add a TBC or other protection signal workaround, as DB83 mentioned.

    Just because a given user of a given capture stick hasn't experienced any issues using it with their specific tapes doesn't mean another user won't be stopped cold by it at some point. So don't assume DB83 is being a wet blanket: he is alerting you to potential issues that typically arise sooner or later. While some old internal PC capture cards totally ignored protection, few to none of the modern USB-connected capture sticks are 100% "immune" to the protection signal. Even for those that don't usually react to it in the "official" manner, it can still cause visible picture disturbances: "protection signal" is a Hollywood euphemism for "deliberately corrupted unstable video signal".
    Last edited by orsetto; 20th Apr 2021 at 11:45.
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    Thank you both for the information, I'll be on the lookout for any cassettes or otherwise that have copy protection implemented. I'm most likely going to go with the GV-USB2, just to give something that's not Hauppauge a whirl.

    For the record Alwyn, I do most of my video editing in Magix Vegas Pro 18, though I'm not sure if Movie Edit has any advantages I should know about, I see it's also Magix product, at least, after Magix acquired Vegas from Sony.
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Copy protection in commercial tapes is wildly inconsistent: its a scattershot technology that evolved, regressed and mutated over many years. Typically it was applied in batches, varying between each batch, so your tape of a particular movie might have weak or no protection while your neighbors tape of the same title could be infested it with it to an extreme degree. In many cases it was applied at time of original release to chains like Blockbuster, but suspended a few years later when the title was re-released and re-printed at a low bargain price to discount chains like Target in holiday promotions. Severity of protection corruption also varied notably from studio to studio (some rarely used it, others used it on everything including promo reels and titles almost nobody was expected to buy).

    VHS protection should be understood as a relic of the 100% analog TV display era: CRT televisions were immensely more forgiving of VHS input flaws. The protection system relied specifically on this forgiveness of CRT televisions to do its dirty work: it corrupts the VHS signal just enough to ruin any attempt at VCR copying, while remaining just above the threshold where a CRT TV will still display the tape normally. Sometimes they really pushed it, to the point even the TV couldn't completely conceal the deliberate errors (you'd see periodic darkening at the top of the frame, and/or occasional flashes).

    Capture sticks are digital devices with little tolerance for unstable or damaged signals: some do a bit better than others on average, but a severely protected tape can choke most them enough to make an ugly transfer. Depending on your own tape collection, it may or may not be a big problem: if it afflicts just a few tapes, forget DIY transfer on those and just replace them with cheap commercial DVD or BluRay re-releases. If it affects a large number of tapes, you may need to re-consider your budget to add a TBC or other protection signal workaround, as DB83 mentioned.

    Just because a given user of a given capture stick hasn't experienced any issues using it with their specific tapes doesn't mean another user won't be stopped cold by it at some point. So don't assume DB83 is being a wet blanket: he is alerting you to potential issues that typically arise sooner or later. While some old internal PC capture cards totally ignored protection, few to none of the modern USB-connected capture sticks are truly "immune" to the protection signal. Even for those few that don't usually react to it in the "official" manner, it can still cause visible disturbances: "protection signal" is a Hollywood euphemism for "deliberately, severely degraded video signal".
    Thanks again for this information, while I don't have the funds to acquire a full TBC, I'll most likely have to invest in one eventually. Until then I'll definitely look for alternatives to the media I'm capturing, if possible. Trust me, I'm not ignoring DB83's advice or yours, and I don't intend to make a really serious project out of this, my tapes aren't going anywhere anytime soon and I've slowly been acquiring Blu-ray and digital copies of most of my stuff to begin with, I'm mostly doing this for my personal enjoyment.
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  10. Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    Trust me, I'm not ignoring DB83's advice or yours, and I don't intend to make a really serious project out of this, my tapes aren't going anywhere anytime soon and I've slowly been acquiring Blu-ray and digital copies of most of my stuff to begin with, I'm mostly doing this for my personal enjoyment.
    Understood, of course: you seemed to be aware of possible issues in your original post. My comments were more of an "additional details" post for others who might find this thread a year or two down the road.

    You may get lucky and have most of your transfers go well. Depends a lot on the vintage: protection was most strongly and sloppily applied in the late 80s, got a little less awful in the 90s and began dropping off many tapes that were sold thru discount stores from late 90s thru the end of the VHS era. Paramount used it the least, Disney was rife with it, and Universal apparently employed brain damaged bonbos to apply the protection (i.e. they're the worst).

    As you may have noticed in researching this topic here and elsewhere, most of those offering advice tend to be purists: for them nothing less than perfection is acceptable. They are willing to spend quite a bit of money for the best VCRs and TBC boxes, and have little understanding or patience with those leaning more toward "quick-n-dirty" solutions. You won't find too many mid-level discussions: its either totally high end, or bare-bones cheapskates. So if you're aiming for somewhere between garbage results and great results, you're kind of on your own and will need to experiment until you hit a set of equipment that satisfies you.

    Too many variables in tapes, VCRs, capture devices and user skill makes it difficult to find any definitive assurances of success unless you bite the bullet and start out at the high end with the expensive gear. Trying for the middle ground with less of an outlay requires willingness to experiment and accept failure: a lot of tapes may come out OK, but if luck gives out and they don't you may need to wait until you can save up funds for better hardware. The TBC thing is a lightning rod of controversy, esp among those who truly cannot afford them (they seem crazy expensive to the layperson). You'll know fairly quickly whether you want/need a TBC: if your transfers look OK to you without one, and you aren't experiencing any lost frames or lost lipsync audio, you're good.

    If the transfers look really poor or you encounter technical problems, you may need one. Some with less-twitchy capture dongles feel they get by fine without TBC, or do very well with cheaper workarounds like passing the VCR signal thru the inputs/outputs of certain DVD recorder models en route to the capture device. Protected tapes are a special case: if they give you major problems, you'll need to try a different capture device or add a TBC for sure to rebuild the corrupted signal. Given the current second-hand cost of a good TBC runs $600- $1200, it may be more cost effective to slowly replace any protected tapes with commercial dvd/bluray re-issues. The quality is certainly much better than DIY: protected tapes can be a real pain to transfer nicely (esp using cheaper-than-TBC "filter" accessories like The Grex).
    Last edited by orsetto; 20th Apr 2021 at 13:03.
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    Trust me, I'm not ignoring DB83's advice or yours, and I don't intend to make a really serious project out of this, my tapes aren't going anywhere anytime soon and I've slowly been acquiring Blu-ray and digital copies of most of my stuff to begin with, I'm mostly doing this for my personal enjoyment.
    Understood, of course: you seemed to be aware of possible issues in your original post. My comments were more of an "additional details" post for others who might find this thread a year or two down the road.

    You may get lucky and have most of your transfers go well. Depends a lot on the vintage: protection was most strongly and sloppily applied in the late 80s, got a little less awful in the 90s and began dropping off many tapes that were sold thru discount stores from late 90s thru the end of the VHS era. Paramount used it the least, Disney was rife with it, and Universal apparently employed brain damaged bonbos to apply the protection (i.e. they're the worst).

    As you may have noticed in researching this topic here and elsewhere, most of those offering advice tend to be purists: for them nothing less than perfection is acceptable. They are willing to spend quite a bit of money for the best VCRs and TBC boxes, and have little understanding or patience with those leaning more toward "quick-n-dirty" solutions. You won't find too many mid-level discussions: its either totally high end, or bare-bones cheapskates. So if you're aiming for somewhere between garbage results and great results, you're kind of on your own and will need to experiment until you hit a set of equipment that satisfies you.

    Too many variables in tapes, VCRs, capture devices and user skill makes it difficult to find any definitive assurances of success unless you bite the bullet and start out at the high end with the expensive gear. Trying for the middle ground with less of an outlay requires willingness to experiment and accept failure: a lot of tapes may come out OK, but if luck gives out and they don't you may need to wait until you can save up funds for better hardware. The TBC thing is a lightning rod of controversy, esp among those who truly cannot afford them (they seem crazy expensive to the layperson). You'll know fairly quickly whether you want/need a TBC: if your transfers look OK to you without one, and you aren't experiencing any lost frames or lost lipsync audio, you're good.

    If the transfers look really poor or you encounter technical problems, you may need one. Some with less-twitchy capture dongles feel they get by fine without TBC, or do very well with cheaper workarounds like passing the VCR signal thru the inputs/outputs of certain DVD recorder models en route to the capture device. Protected tapes are a special case: if they give you major problems, you'll need to try a different capture device or add a TBC for sure to rebuild the corrupted signal. Given the current second-hand cost of a good TBC runs $600- $1200, it may be more cost effective to slowly replace any protected tapes with commercial dvd/bluray re-issues. The quality is certainly much better than DIY: protected tapes can be a real pain to transfer nicely (esp using cheaper-than-TBC "filter" accessories like The Grex).
    Thanks for being understanding in that I'm not an enthusiast (I would be, but I don't have the space or knowledge or money to afford to be one). I did invest in a relatively respectable VCR, the Victor HM-DHX1 (or the HM-DH40000U in the West) specifically for transferring, as I'd never had a VCR capable of S-Video and I wanted one that could go beyond that in case I needed it. That's about the extent of high end equipment I have other than my PC, my LaserDisc player is a standard Pioneer CLD-D504, there's no way I'd be able to afford a Hi-Vision model. I do have interest in preserving media, but I have other interests that I've invested a lot more time and money into, like my video game collection. I bought a Retrotink 2x Pro just to upscale the output of my systems to play on my 4K television, but I was told that this method would not look good for media like VHS and LaserDisc. Actually, before I go ahead and buy my next card, would you mind giving me input on that kind of setup, just as a means of basic transfer? Granted, this upscaler is meant for game consoles, and it's fed through HDMI, but since I'm not a serious media preservation mogul, and all I really want to do is capture what I have for private viewing and saving, I find it would be most cost effective to work with the equipment I have. That's just me being a "middle of the road" guy as you mentioned previously, I'm not a purist, though if you would really recommend that I go with either the Hauppauge USB Live 2 or the GV-USB2, then I'm pretty much ready to buy the GV-USB2.
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    When it comes to choosing between the two, it is my understanding that there is little difference. Both use a connexant chip. However Win10 does not allow you to determine the exact chip used which is possible with Win7.


    I can not comment on the GV's customer support. You will already know about Hauppauge's and for the USB-Live there are regular driver and software updates.


    The GV has only been marketed in Japan and wherever you order it from it will be sent to you from Japan. In fact the link that Alwyn posted takes you to Amazon's Australia site not the US site. The price quoted is thus in Australian Dollars
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    Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    Thanks for being understanding in that I'm not an enthusiast (I would be, but I don't have the space or knowledge or money to afford to be one). I did invest in a relatively respectable VCR, the Victor HM-DHX1 (or the HM-DH40000U in the West) specifically for transferring, as I'd never had a VCR capable of S-Video and I wanted one that could go beyond that in case I needed it. That's about the extent of high end equipment I have other than my PC,
    If MPEG-2 is good enough for you why don't you use the firewire output of the VCR to capture VHS tapes to hard drive using a firewire interface card?
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  14. Member DB83's Avatar
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    ^^ You have made me somewhat curious now.


    I understand that the D in 'DHX' stands for digital. But standard VHS is analog. Are you then saying that such a vcr performs A/D conversion and outputs mpeg2 over firewire ?


    I thought that was reserved for DV.


    Even then if it is mpeg2 there has to be a means of 'capturing' it.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    ^^ You have made me somewhat curious now.


    I understand that the D in 'DHX' stands for digital. But standard VHS is analog. Are you then saying that such a vcr performs A/D conversion and outputs mpeg2 over firewire ?


    I thought that was reserved for DV.


    Even then if it is mpeg2 there has to be a means of 'capturing' it.
    You both have good points, and to address your question, DB83, yes, the FireWire output does indeed capture the VHS signal. I will explain it thusly:

    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    Thanks for being understanding in that I'm not an enthusiast (I would be, but I don't have the space or knowledge or money to afford to be one). I did invest in a relatively respectable VCR, the Victor HM-DHX1 (or the HM-DH40000U in the West) specifically for transferring, as I'd never had a VCR capable of S-Video and I wanted one that could go beyond that in case I needed it. That's about the extent of high end equipment I have other than my PC,
    If MPEG-2 is good enough for you why don't you use the firewire output of the VCR to capture VHS tapes to hard drive using a firewire interface card?
    Mostly because when I said:

    "I've seen a couple of users state that capturing analog signals for digital transfer is ultimately inferior than just using digital, such as FireWire in my case, because all imperfections are preserved in analog."

    lordsmurf replied thusly:

    "Some users are also idiots. It is true that any problems (major or minor) are "baked in" once captured. Hence the reason to use good VCRs with line TBCs, external frame TBCs, sometimes even proc amps and detailers. Then you capture it.

    "Firewire" refers to DV transfer, and is an inferior 1990s capture method using DV in a way that was never intended. It's a hack, and a not-good one at that. This was mostly done by Canopus, and they often sold those devices with fearmongers and BS."

    You can read this whole thread here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/11585-audio-preview-firewire.html

    The long and short of this, as I've come to realize, is that I just should have stuck to doing that because it would have saved me a ton of headache and would have been good enough for me. Instead, I let myself be sucked into a rabbit hole about trying to get the best quality and etc. when I knew it was infeasible and I ultimately ended up buying the WinTV-HVR 950 I originally posted about from him.
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    Originally Posted by DB83
    When it comes to choosing between the two, it is my understanding that there is little difference. Both use a connexant chip. However Win10 does not allow you to determine the exact chip used which is possible with Win7.
    The innards of a GV-USB2. No mention of Connexant.

    https://ikidomarinosaki.fc2.net/blog-entry-61.html

    My August VBG-100 does have a Connexant chip because it says that in Virtual Dub. The GV-USB2 shows up as itself.

    Originally Posted by Marioguy
    I've seen a couple of users state that capturing analog signals for digital transfer is ultimately inferior than just using digital, such as FireWire in my case, because all imperfections are preserved in analog.
    Just to throw the cat amoungst the pidgeons, for a giggle, I compared a DV transfer with a S-Video capture using my GV-USB2 from my Sony TRV-110E. This was of a tape I had recorded in Digital 8 (DV) format. Both were identical! I honestly could not tell the difference.

    Originally Posted by DB83
    I can not comment on the GV's customer support. You will already know about Hauppauge's and for the USB-Live there are regular driver and software updates.
    I don't even know if there is any. I have never needed it, because it just worked "straight out of the box".
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    Originally Posted by Marioguy
    For the record Alwyn, I do most of my video editing in Magix Vegas Pro 18, though I'm not sure if Movie Edit has any advantages I should know about, I see it's also Magix product, at least, after Magix acquired Vegas from Sony.
    MEP is the equivalent of Vegas Movie Studio, so a lower end program compared to Vegas Pro. The two implementations (Magix and Sony) are quite different. Each probably has it's advantages. I like MEP because it is simple (if a video editor could be simple! ).
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    Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    Mostly because when I said:

    "I've seen a couple of users state that capturing analog signals for digital transfer is ultimately inferior than just using digital, such as FireWire in my case, because all imperfections are preserved in analog."

    lordsmurf replied thusly:

    "Some users are also idiots. It is true that any problems (major or minor) are "baked in" once captured. Hence the reason to use good VCRs with line TBCs, external frame TBCs, sometimes even proc amps and detailers. Then you capture it.

    "Firewire" refers to DV transfer, and is an inferior 1990s capture method using DV in a way that was never intended. It's a hack, and a not-good one at that. This was mostly done by Canopus, and they often sold those devices with fearmongers and BS."

    You can read this whole thread here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/11585-audio-preview-firewire.html

    The long and short of this, as I've come to realize, is that I just should have stuck to doing that because it would have saved me a ton of headache and would have been good enough for me. Instead, I let myself be sucked into a rabbit hole about trying to get the best quality and etc. when I knew it was infeasible and I ultimately ended up buying the WinTV-HVR 950 I originally posted about from him.
    You got this all wrong, First D-VHS deck captures VHS into MPEG-2 not DV, Second the line TBC and frame sync are still utilized when capturing VHS tapes, It's true that capturing lossless is better than MPEG-2 but from your posts you seem to be looking for trouble free with decent quality output which MPEG-2 fits the bill, See this thread:

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/391517-Capturing-VHS-With-D-VHS-Deck-MPEG-2
    Last edited by dellsam34; 20th Apr 2021 at 22:16.
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  19. Member DB83's Avatar
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    @Alwyn


    Maybe I confused those two cards you now mention. There has been a lot of discussion lately with certain cards not working for certain users (Blue/Green screen etc.) and it can be hard keeping up with usb devices.


    After all the 'GV' part, I have read, is credited to Grass Valley (Canopus) yet one would think that if they had anything to do with it they would make it more known to the world.
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    Cheers DB83.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    Mostly because when I said:

    "I've seen a couple of users state that capturing analog signals for digital transfer is ultimately inferior than just using digital, such as FireWire in my case, because all imperfections are preserved in analog."

    lordsmurf replied thusly:

    "Some users are also idiots. It is true that any problems (major or minor) are "baked in" once captured. Hence the reason to use good VCRs with line TBCs, external frame TBCs, sometimes even proc amps and detailers. Then you capture it.

    "Firewire" refers to DV transfer, and is an inferior 1990s capture method using DV in a way that was never intended. It's a hack, and a not-good one at that. This was mostly done by Canopus, and they often sold those devices with fearmongers and BS."

    You can read this whole thread here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/11585-audio-preview-firewire.html

    The long and short of this, as I've come to realize, is that I just should have stuck to doing that because it would have saved me a ton of headache and would have been good enough for me. Instead, I let myself be sucked into a rabbit hole about trying to get the best quality and etc. when I knew it was infeasible and I ultimately ended up buying the WinTV-HVR 950 I originally posted about from him.
    You got this all wrong, First D-VHS deck captures VHS into MPEG-2 not DV, Second the line TBC and frame sync are still utilized when capturing VHS tapes, It's true that capturing lossless is better than MPEG-2 but from your posts you seem to be looking for trouble free with decent quality output which MPEG-2 fits the bill, See this thread:

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/391517-Capturing-VHS-With-D-VHS-Deck-MPEG-2
    Thanks for your understanding. Yes, trouble free is probably the best description of what I'm trying to accomplish, I just so happened to fall into digitalfaq for advice and lost my way from my original intent. After all of this discussion in these threads, I am still inclined to invest in the GV-USB2 simply because I don't have a good way of capturing S-Video for my LaserDisc player, which I also inquired about when talking to Lordsmurf about the card he sold me.

    Anyway, it's been a long journey from about two months ago to when I first posted here a couple of days ago, and now I finally think I've got the info I need, so I appreciate everyone who has contributed to this thread and helping me find my way.
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    Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    just really weird issues with jitter and frame ghosting, which is present no matter
    This is a common issue with many cards in Win10. Some have proven more resilient, and have had some driver updates (either homebrew, or from manufacturers). But Win10 updates frequently, without much testing. That leaves you in a lurch if doing serious work. It's not just video capture, but many other areas as well. Win10 is tablet/Facebook OS, and is craptastic for longer-term serious tasks. I wish that wasn't the case, but it is.

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Copy protection in commercial tapes is wildly inconsistent: its a scattershot technology that evolved, regressed and mutated over many years. Typically it was applied in batches, varying between each batch, so your tape of a particular movie might have weak or no protection while your neighbors tape of the same title could be infested it with it to an extreme degree. In many cases it was applied at time of original release to chains like Blockbuster, but suspended a few years later when the title was re-released and re-printed at a low bargain price to discount chains like Target in holiday promotions. Severity of protection corruption also varied notably from studio to studio (some rarely used it, others used it on everything including promo reels and titles almost nobody was expected to buy).
    Good description.

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    most of those offering advice tend to be purists: for them nothing less than perfection is acceptable. They are willing to spend quite a bit of money for the best VCRs and TBC boxes, and have little understanding or patience with those leaning more toward "quick-n-dirty" solutions. You won't find too many mid-level discussions: its either totally high end, or bare-bones cheapskates. So if you're aiming for somewhere between garbage results and great results, you're kind of on your own
    You're definitely NOT referring to me here. I'm not a purist whatsoever. For example, I've long captured to MPEG, and various members here have poo-poo'd it for almost 20 years now. Of course, I also captures lossless. For HD, I usually record and capture H.264 (MP4 container). Don't confuse "required tools for the task" with "purist". Because that's just an excuse uttered by the stubborn, often stubborn AND cheapskate.

    I've read the "I don't need no stinkin' TBC!" more times than I can remember -- but what I do remember is when those same people finally approach me to get a TBC, because golly gee, I knew what I was talking about. "Who knew!?" I don't like buying these "fancy" VCRs or expensive/boring electronics boxes (TBCs) to sit on a desk, but it's the tool required for the task in which we have decided to partake (capture video). Unlike splurging on a sports car, there's nothing sexy about a TBC, so it's not something we get for bragging rights, or to impress. We're not self-described "audiophiles" that hear BS that isn't actually there (ie, placebo effect). But unlike a used car, TBCs at least hold value -- so buy it, use it, resell it. Capturing video is a rabbit hole, and it's neither easy nor dirt cheap. An investment of both time and funds is required, and part of that time is spent on the learning curve.

    That all said, there can be corner-cutting methods, that can work -- but there is a fail rate, some % of the tapes won't transfer well, or at all. That's where you get into the "TBC(ish)" items like ES10/15. And the lossy capture cards, mostly DV where you lose 50% of the color data. There are also worse items, and worse methods, and those should be avoided, as you'll spend more time trying to get it to cooperate than anything else AND have poor results (if any results).

    The TBC thing is a lightning rod of controversy,
    Not really.

    esp among those who truly cannot afford them (they seem crazy expensive to the layperson).
    Cost is relative. Many people think nothing of buying a $1k cell phone (which I think is nuts), but whine about costs for video or photo gear. Some people have an annual Starbucks bill that rivals a desk full of TBCs/VCRs/etc. So you must take a macro view of things. You must approach video capture budgeting with an understanding of what's needed. Video isn't video. Your Netflix budget will not be the same as you video capture budget. And don't just knee-jerk buy some POS from Amazon, and then rant about it "not working". That's like being hungry, randomly buying something in the grocery store, and then complaining when it tastes bad. Do your homework, DD (due diligence), research carefully (ie READ!). In the end, you'll find the tried-and-true recipe: VCR > TBC > capture card. Not just any VCR/TBC/card, but models/brands known for quality, known for success. And sadly, pay attention to OS, it's a PITA these days.

    protected tapes can be a real pain to transfer nicely (esp using cheaper-than-TBC "filter" accessories like The Grex).
    Grex is junk, and screws with the color/brightness values -- EVEN ON NON-PROTECTED TAPES!!!

    Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    Thanks for being understanding in that I'm not an enthusiast
    No, you definitely are. Not having funds (yet) to buy what's needed does negate that. You do have a lot of video stuff that the general populace doesn't.

    would you mind giving me input on that kind of setup, just as a means of basic transfer?
    VCR > TBC > capture card
    - Ideally, at bare minimum, non-TBC JVC S-VHS deck
    - Some form of TBC is required, it's not optional. The ES10/15 is minimal, and there will be a fail rate (tapes not transferring well, or at all), but it's the least option (both in cost and effectiveness)
    - The capture card is where you're struggling. No HD, no "gamer" card. Find a good SD capture card with s-video in. Win10 is a problem for all captures cards, however, so it makes this harder.

    Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    The long and short of this, as I've come to realize, is that I just should have stuck to doing that because it would have saved me a ton of headache
    Not really. You'd just have different issues to contend with.

    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    , It's true that capturing lossless is better than MPEG-2 but from your posts you seem to be looking for trouble free with decent quality output which MPEG-2 fits the bill,
    I'm not sure that methods qualifies as "trouble-free", but it is a method.

    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    After all the 'GV' part, I have read, is credited to Grass Valley (Canopus) yet one would think that if they had anything to do with it they would make it more known to the world.
    Grass Valley isn't the attention whore that Canopus was. (If the GV-USB is Grass Valley, it's news to me. But I don't think it is.)

    Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    I am still inclined to invest in the GV-USB2 simply because I don't have a good way of capturing S-Video for my LaserDisc player, which I also inquired about when talking to Lordsmurf about the card he sold me.
    I'm curious if you'll have any better luck, due to Win10. I'm always trying to keep tabs on which cards stopped working in Win10, as well as those that started to work again. Not an easy task at times, lots of variables (but Nvidia is ALWAYS a primary variable).
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    @lordsmurf

    Sorry for going a bit out of order, but I'll try and respond to all of the quotes here.

    First, regarding the performance of the GV-USB2, I have had infinitely better luck with it than with the Hauppauge, I've had absolutely no ghosting or other problems as of yet.

    Second, since you insist on a TBC, I've been looking back through the posts about the Panasonic ES15, which you say is not a TBC at all, but is rather a TBC-ish device. I still have the same VCR, but no real TBC method. As I mentioned previously, I do have the GV-USB2, which has worked wonderfully. I do not have an SD capture device with S-Video in. With these factors in mind, is the Panasonic DMR-ES15 good enough for what I'm doing? By that, I mean in just doing transfers for my own personal collection and nothing else. If you insist I need something more, what is another device you recommend with a similar price point, if one exists? What SD capture devices would you recommend?

    Third, in relation to what you've said about me being an enthusiast and costs. If we're going by the literal definition, yes I am an enthusiast, I would love to have the best equipment for doing this kind of work, I don't deny that. I guess what I'm trying to say when I don't consider myself a true enthusiast in this area is that it's not a passion of mine like other things are. I have an extensive video game collection which I am highly invested in and knowledgeable about. I really am just digitizing my media as a personal project, I never intended to fall into this huge rabbit hole, but here I am.

    Lastly, regarding the Hauppauge device, why exactly can't you just take it back and resell it? You talked to me about this previously and I decided to leave it alone because you stated you weren't in the greatest place due to anxiety and other matters.
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    From personal experience if an item sold and it is not defective I don't see a good reason for returning it, Shipping back and forth costs almost what you have paid for the device itself, Try to get it working, and at the same time try capturing from firewire off of your D-VHS deck and if you are happy with the results than maybe you can sell it yourself to another member or online.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    From personal experience if an item sold and it is not defective I don't see a good reason for returning it, Shipping back and forth costs almost what you have paid for the device itself, Try to get it working, and at the same time try capturing from firewire off of your D-VHS deck and if you are happy with the results than maybe you can sell it yourself to another member or online.
    I've already spent weeks trying to get it to work, it did not work correctly on my system upon arrival nor after any subsequent attempts, even as it was advertised to work well on Windows 10. I've tried it on multiple systems, all with varying degrees of issues. I've attempted installing both Windows XP Integral and Windows 7, which posed a boatload of problems, and after speaking with the main guy at Windows XP Integral, he suggested I give up on that and seek help here, and here I am. I paid $145 for the item itself and $10 shipping, if I need to ship it back at even a slight increase, say $20, that's still over $100 I'd be getting back, and I'm pretty much willing to eat the remaining money at this point.
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  26. Originally Posted by MarioGuy789 View Post
    With these factors in mind, is the Panasonic DMR-ES15 good enough for what I'm doing? By that, I mean in just doing transfers for my own personal collection and nothing else.
    The main thing where using ES15 and (other dvd-recorders with similar features) usually comes short is with copy-protected material as it tends to mess with the brightness of the resulting output (how bad can vary a bit though, due to the erratic nature of analog copy protection.). They were required to not record such material even if the hardware can handle it (many of the same chips were used in TVs as well.) Whoever made the drivers for many modern capture devices seem to have often not bothered adding restrictions to those on the other hand, but they also tend to not handle raw VCR input very well. Ideally hardware manufactures would make capture devices with the video stabilizing functionality found in dvd-recorders and TBCs built that's not the case for 99% of them.
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    Marioguy, I'm no expert but I do have both a ES-15 and a DVK-200 (frame-ish TBC).

    I have only a couple of tapes where the picture's a bit wobbly with bendy edges. The ES-15 helps there.

    If you have a nice, stable picture (no rolling, jumping, flashing) you probably don't need a separate TBC, but if do, go for an ES-15 (Sharc uses a EH-50).

    Originally Posted by Dellsam
    From personal experience if an item sold and it is not defective I don't see a good reason for returning it
    If a unit doesn't work as it is supposed to, it is defective. If it's an electronic gizmo, the seller should have a free return policy.
    Last edited by Alwyn; 16th May 2021 at 19:42.
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    Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Marioguy, I'm no expert but I do have both a ES-15 and a DVK-200 (frame-ish TBC).

    I have only a couple of tapes where the picture's a bit wobbly with bendy edges. The ES-15 helps there.

    If you have a nice, stable picture (no rolling, jumping, flashing) you probably don't need a separate TBC, but if do, go for an ES-15 (Sharc uses a EH-50).

    Originally Posted by Dellsam
    From personal experience if an item sold and it is not defective I don't see a good reason for returning it
    If a unit doesn't work as it is supposed to, it is defective. If it's an electronic gizmo, the seller should have a free return policy.

    Just a couple of things:

    First, thanks for your advice on TBCs. In regards to Lordsmurf, I don't disagree that having a TBC is fundamental part of this process (except, again, I don't really know that because I fell into this rabbit hole on a whim while researching). I will reserve my right to "complain" about the costs of video equipment because this whole shindig wasn't about "doing it right or wrong," it was about doing what would satisfy me. I honestly wonder if I would have been content just using the method I was already using if I had never gone this far. Although I do agree that spending over a thousand dollars on a phone is ridiculous.

    Second, sorry if this sounds mean, but I have brought up the issue of the device multiple times, here on this forum, on digitalFAQ and to Lordsmurf himself, my issues have never been resolved, and he advertised that the device worked well on Windows 10. Basically I did do research but ended up in the same position as the hypothetical POS Amazon device scenario, except this time I was sold the device personally instead of by a company, and still can't get a refund. I have asked why I can't just be given my money back and have not gotten a direct answer. I was offered to have a potential buyer forwarded to me instead.
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    I hope you get your issue resolved with LS, But the rule of thumb is never buy equipment all at once or at least if you do don't use them all at once. Starting with the VCR itself do test most of the tapes hooked up to a TV or a monitor directly from the VCR, once you know your VCR is working, hookup the capture card and get it working with a clean source first, such as a DVD player, a game console that has composite/S-Video out, Once you know the card is working and all the OS wrinkles are ironed out then move on to using the VCR with the capture card, If problems show up take samples post them here and ask for help you may need a line TBC, a better VCR a frame TBC and so on, This process is really a case by case scenario, There is no general rules and most importantly it is a rabbit hole.
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