Wanting to capture some old PAL VHS tapes using a Windows 10 high end desktop. The more expensive USB3HDCAP (USB3.0) does analogue capture and HDMI/Component capture and supports Directshow ( but not TWAIN) for 3rd party capture software. Its on special at Amazon for A$256 due to its own software being flash based (Flash no longer supported i.e you can't use its own software anymore ).
The cheaper $103 USB dongle (USB2.0) SVID2USB232 supports Directshow and also TWAIN.
StarTech Support said the analogue performance is similar on both devices.
I can use VirtualDub or vMix for capture.
Does anyone have any comments on using one or the other StarTech devices ? Is the lack of TWAIN a big issue on the more expensive one as it has a lot more future proof interfaces?
>>For background I want to capture in native 576i interlaced format (ideally lossless) and then use Topaz Video Enhance AI software to deinterlace, clean and upscale.
Note my best Akai I-HQ VHS player is composite out only, not S-VHS. My newer but lower quality player ( Samsung DVD Recorder/VHS combo - DVD no longer works) does have HDMI out but I've no idea how it deinterlaces and picture doesn't look that good but I have captured with a HDMI USB capture device and it works. I'm probably overthinking this but wanted to do it properly LOL <<.
Any real world advice , or suggest another solution ? I hear audio sync is often an issue anyway. Thanks .
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Maybe I have been living under a rock since the late 90's when I got involved with VHS capture yet I have NEVER come across the term TWAIN in this regard. I thought that was reserved for scanners.
Anyway. There are many topics on here that discuss the usb 3 device. And the one I just read appears to confirm that virtualdub will (should) work with it. I add 'should' since these topics are 3 or more years old and Win10 has been known to 'break' capture devices with their updates.
However, and I know you are not asking for this, but my opinion is that if you are only getting a device to VHS capture then the usb 3 is overkill.
The usb2 appears to be over-priced since there are well recommended, cheaper products from Hauppauge (usb-live2), IO-Data GVusb2 and others with recent topics to confirm that these will work.
I’ve ordered the SVID2USB232 from Amazon, it’s arriving Tuesday the 27th, I will report back later in the week. I will be using it to capture pal vhs.
TWAIN is an early 32 bit API library provided by a manufacturer to the end user that translates generic TWAIN commands into manufacturer specific commands for their device driver.
It was created so that high level application software could be written and sold only requiring a device with a TWAIN library, so they didn't have to worry about device drivers or hardware specifics.
In theory you could write a TWAIN library for a lamp post and use it with a TWAIN compliant piece of software like ADOBE Photoshop.
It was a great idea in theory, but in practice manufacturers implemented only some of the TWAIN commands and high level software developers lost patience with the random compliance of various TWAIN libraries and just gave up. Its mostly a relic of the 1990's now.
When Windows went 64 bit they hung on to TWAIN32 for a long time and promoted TWAIN64 but it confused the heck out of people and that's what ultimately killed the TWAIN standard.. you could end up mixing and matching a TWAIN32 library with a 32 bit or 64 bit high level software application, or vice versa with a TWAIN64 library. Explaining all these things to end users and being very unclear for marketing reasons from all sides just made it useless.
Microsoft introduced their own APIs for still photography and video, and when that got a mess with DirectX, they dumped them all and sponsored UVA and UVC, USB Audio and USB Video.. and stopped letting people install device drivers all together for security reasons. Apple followed suit and now both Windows and MacOS universally support UVA and UVC and not much else.
32 bit versions of Windows 8,7,XP and 32 bit versions of OSX 10.8, 10.6 are best for supporting old capture hardware and give the least fuss.
The SVID2USB232 is an EMPIA (formerly Crescent) based. Its not bad, but can be a bear to install.. particularly the audio capture driver. It will work on Windows or OSX. It will work with VirtualDub on Windows. It will work with VideoGlide on OSX (but comes with its own capture app - essentially a customized version of VideoGlide).
SVID2USB232 is pretty basic, it does not have a luma or chroma denoising filter, nor a tbc or frame synchronizer.. so it will be very sensitive to video frame drops or audio sample losses.. which tend to de-synchronize the video and audio. VirtualDub has some advanced configuration options for what to do when it comes up short of frames or samples.. it can try to re-sychronize, duplicate, or stretch things.. or leave them alone and just let them drift. This is kind of the norm for 422 raw capture, along with a lot of other oddities advanced capture artists have to learn to deal with.. its not a simple work flow.
422 YUV raw capture, even with a lossless codec.. is very high bandwidth.. and demanding of a PC and its hard drives. It can be very frustrating to use.
The next level of grief is adding Software compression during the capture, to attempt to lighten the load on the hard drives.
Hardware compression with DV, MPEG2 or H.264 are usually easier and better.. but they are 411, 420 and can cost a bit. USB-DV was never a popular option outside of Pinnacle/AVID adapters. So DV usually requires a IEEE1394/Firewire option. PCI/AGP(a kind of PCI)/PCIe-MPEG2 was much more common approach, more so the PCI-MPEG2, although Dell did a really good job of making USB-MPEG2 capture devices near their end of 2009. PCIe/USB-MPEG4 was good up to about 2016 and really the most pleasant experience.. since by then ADV chips were being used to provide denoising and frame buffering in hardware.
Since 2016 all of the capture produces have skewed towards UVA and UVC, with a lot of custom Game Capture solutions.. which I don't think anyone really likes. Game Capture devices are price sensitive and stripped of any denoiser, tbc or frame synchronizing chips since they expect to be dealing with pristine digital or analog signals... not the wonky unstable output from a VCR.
My opinion is DV is fine for VHS, for SVHS you need MPEG2 or better. And for 720p or 1080i/p you have to be using H.264 or H.265 if your serious.
Raw 422 YUV.. real Raw 422 YUV.. is okay to play around with, then move on.. or outsource the project to specialist that deal with that format and will render down an MPEG2 or MPEG4 copy for you.. after they've worked their magic.
By the way.. I don't mean to beat up on DV and Firewire so much, but they were the go to solution for a long time near the turn of the century, and still work fine on Thunderbolt 1,2,3 ports on the MacBooks or HP laptops I've tried them on.. but that was a long time ago. Back then 4:3 aspect ratio was a lot more common, so the 411 luma and chroma subsampling wasn't as big of an issue. Coming off plain VHS the chroma is even worse than Broadcast.. so DV captures every bit of it there is to capture from VHS. SVHS has more to give however and that is when MPEG2 just makes a lot more sense. The Ultrahigh bandwidth and storage requirements for Raw 422 YUV even at 720x480.. just make me cringe.. for such poor signal qualities.. you can't get blood from a stone. (Shmaybe ??) SVHS could justify Raw 422 YUV if your planning to post process it alot with software.. i dunno.. seems like an awful lot of work.. for little gain.
On the other hand.. I do mean to warn against confusing a TV/DVR capture device with an Archive quality Capture device. In Japan for example, they make a clear distinction between a DVD capture device and a Broadcast TV capture device.. and the quality shows. A pure DVD capture device or (DVD maker) as they are sometimes called, have much better input circuitry and less inherent random noise from their Tuner add-on side normally found in a TV/DVR capture device. In North America and the further you get from Japan, its more and more common to find the "All in One" do-all capture device,.. jack of all trades, master of none.
The Last of the DVD recorders were probably the best of all, they performed MPEG2 capture, and by then had jettisoned Tuners from their chassis to avoid the coming digital apocalypse.. but suffered from their original design as DVD media burners. I often harp on extracting the video from DVD recorders as being the most efficient method of harvesting large quantities of quality captures.. but the supply of DVD recorders you can do this with is limited and requires a bit of technical skill.. so a good H.264 or H.265 hardware capture device that plugs in to a USB port is probably best for most people.
Last edited by jwillis84; 24th Apr 2021 at 10:15.
Some quick googling suggests it's an empia chip based card, maybe using a SAA7113 video decoder (if it's the one pictured in the amazon link), similar to the Dazzle DVC90/100 and some other older usb dongles, or a TVP5150 (used in e.g the ATI 600 USB) if it's the one named SVID2USB232 which seems to be the current model on their site. Either should give decent quality from a stable source. In any case it would probably be worth looking for a dvd-recorder (generally panasonic, later pioneer or sony and some others) that can help stabilize the video as discussed numerous times on these forums.
You may have some issues getting the card to work well in windows 10, many users here have reported on issues with similar dongles on win10. Startech seem to have somewhat decent support though, so it's possible they have managed to update the drivers for it to fix those things.
EDIT: They also make a SVID2USB232 where the description claims windows only, not sure what's inside that one... a bit confusing.
Last edited by oln; 24th Apr 2021 at 11:41.
Yeah.. its an Empia.
The Empia started out as a USB bridge chip, to which they kept adding intellectual property to expand its capabilities. By the end of its evolution it could not only switch video from multiple inputs, but decode video and capture video, audio.
Earlier version of the Empia product line required additional external chips to at least decode the video, and to digitize the audio and provide the results on one of the serial I2C pins. Some dongles used the Empia chip and threw a TV Tuner on the opposite side of the card in the plastic thingy, controlled from the same serial I2C lines for channel switching. Those also needed a tiny external video input switch chip.. until the Empia "grew up" and acquired all those features internally.
Stuffing that plastic gumstick package of a dongle could also lead to a lot of heat, that sometimes melted the combo tv tuner/video capture dongles.. even with the passive heat vent holes cut in the plastic shell.
Its kind of funny how many brands used the Empia chip base to create their Frankenstein video capture monsters.. its almost easier to quote who did not, than who did.
Vidbox for example is a popular Raw 422 YUV capture box, a little bigger than a dongle, but with USB micro connectors and standard CVBS RCA connectors which also used advanced Empia chips. Their device drivers are better than the ones for the Startech SVID2USB232 in my opinion. They actually show up as two distinct devices in Windows, a video capture device and an audio capture device.. which makes it so much easier to use in VirtualDub. And they wrote their own Mac OSX video digitizer device driver for the Mac so it shows up as a distinct source you can use with native Mac applications... very uncommon. The Vidbox NW07 is the model I have the most experience with and its nice.
What matters most are the quality of the device drivers than anything else. Startech is pretty good at telling you the chips inside their stuff even if they import all of their products, putting together a nice brochure on their website and offering a driver disc. Usually with Startech however you have to have that disc for any software that is licensed.. like VideoGlide.. they won't make it generically downloadable.. but hey you can use VirtualDub so as long as you have the device driver your ok.
The Pinnacle/AVID Dazzle line from 80, 90, 130, 170, 101, 107 are a mixed bag and quite old now. The 80 is video only I believe. The 90 audio and video works on most newer things, windows or mac. The 130 and 170 are based around the WIS Go007SBC chip, which performs the DCT step of compression towards MPEG, MPEG2, MPEG4 but the rest of the steps have to be completed in software. The 130 and 170 do not offer Raw 422 capture output, only compressed. There are no 64 bit device drivers on Windows or Mac for the Go007SBC chipset.. except a beta for the ADS DVDXpress II which was never properly signed and is a bear to get to work under 64 bit Windows in test mode. The 101 and 107 are the "modern" version of the Dazzle that come in most Vista/Win7/Win8 bundled packages and they are plain vanilla advanced Empia do it all in one chip designs.
The ATI 600 gets a lot of attention being the name "ATI" and the Texas Instruments TVP chip.. which is a combo decoder and digitizer attached to a USB bridge chip.
Raw 422 YUV capture isn't really that hard anymore, its just a massive data stream flooding the USB port. The USB port has to be able to handle all the data or some of it has to get dropped if not picked up by the software upstream in the PC to make room for more data. The buffers serving a USB port aren't infinite and the alternative is to overflow them.. and thats the same thing as dropping data.. in which case the software upstream would probably abort the capture.
Compression at the point of capture (MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264 et.al.) to produce a greatly reduced data stream makes things much easier on the USB port and the hard drives storing the data and the CPU.
Its just crazy trying to keep up with a 720x480 422 capture running at 30 fps interlaced. Something has to give. In the olden days.. people would step down the capture size to 352x240 or frame rate or some combination just to keep up. Even with DV 35 GB/hr produced really large files.. Raw 422 YUV are even larger.
What gets lost in the shuffle is these dongles were made to be cheap, cost effective "Impulse" buys. And they don't address signal conditioning, nor the two most common signal types, broadcast (and) vcr.
Broadcast signals have problems with luma and chroma crosstalk during transmission and reception, that blurs the lines around objects in a video and produces reflection errors and ghosting. Correcting for those is completely different from correcting for vcr errors.
VCR errors have more sync loss errors and mechanical errors that skew the sync pulses making the top few lines curl or "flag" while the capture device is trying to figure out where the image field begins after each vertical retrace pulse. The tape also whips around the head and capstan in a tug oh war that shifts the start and end and length of various lines within the field producing a wavey texture that seems to cover the image field.
Time base Correctors can be designed to work on the individual lines in a field, or the edge of the entire field, but then data drop outs in the middle of a field can leave the video capture device with a half baked image that never ends and has to be tossed rather than sent incomplete to the USB port, to make room for the next incoming image field.
So a Time base Corrector could be designed specifically to fix things for a broadcast source or a vcr source.. but the errors are not the same type.. but the term "time base corrector" is used for both kinds of devices.. which basically "doctor up a signal source" before attempting to capture it.
Best Dollar Dongles.. generally don't come with any kind of tbc, let alone a tbc that can be configured for broadcast or vcr (they do exist).
The Japanese DVD video capture devices (wisely?) started including Panasonic and ADV all in one signal conditioner and time base corrector chips in their archival DVD "Maker" boxes and Unlike the Game Capture devices which also included a few of the same chips.. did not disable the time base correctors permanently. Outside Japan, Game capture considerations overrode capturing VCR signals to DVD and just about every other decision.. so Raw dongles actually were better than Game Capture devices for capturing footage.. but only with add-on external denoise filters, proc amps and time base corrector boxes optimized for VCR signals.
DVD recorders include a lot of those missing features since they were designed to work with VCR signals, and (if) they support pass-thru while not recording (taking the signal plugged into its input and passing it to its output automatically -after- cleaning it up) they can be a cheap time base corrector "Stand in" .. but they are not optimal.. there is no free lunch.. there are problems with this approach. For example.. a DVD recorder is honor bound to detect Copy Protection signals, like Macrovision or CGMS-A/D and to shutdown and block that signal if it sees one on its inputs.. and not pass it through. A standalone time base corrector usually isn't concerned with Copy protection and only worries about "fixing" a bad signal, and often collaterally wipes out copy protection signals. There are pros and cons to this too.. an external time base corrector may wipe out close captioning too, where a DVD recorder on pass-thru may not wipe out close captioning signals.
Last edited by jwillis84; 24th Apr 2021 at 14:53.
I may try and get my DVD/VHS recorder working again ( the DVD tray just comes out continually) . I bought it new just before they disappeared from the store shelves. Its a PAL Samsung version DVD-VR375 6-head model with analogue (analog) tuner and HDMI and composite output. At least if i use the DVD recording I wont lose the interlacing unlike the HDMI output.
If i wanted to use the composite output is there any PAL capture device that uses some smarts at the capture stage e.g luma or chroma denoising filter to at least help with the dot crawl thats better than the SVID2USB232? No one has mentioned the USB3HDCAP. Guess its still basic with HDMI added on ?
dot crawl is an inherent problem with Composite, it totally does not exist with separate Luma and Chroma channels like S-Video or YPbPr (SCART RGB)
dot crawl cannot not be eliminated with Composite, its a result of mashing the two channels of Luma and Chroma together and loosing resolution. the only thing that can be done is to "fuzz" up the picture to blur the lines, that's basically what all denoiser filters do.. they selectively "blur" the image and then fish out the parts it suspects are Luma and suspects are Chroma and places them on separate conveyor belts to the capture hardware. Because the problem is "lack" of missing information, cross talk is inevitable because they will interfere on a regular schedule and produce the expected "dot crawl" its a type of "beat" frequency regular signal.. if you eliminate it.. to wipe out more information and thus "blur" the result.
sharpening in analog space makes it worse, so don't do any sharpening
the best result would be to use something in the digital space "After" its been converted from analog to digital.. in that case some smart software algorithms can try to judge what is artifact from data crawl and blur only those portions of the image and leave the other parts alone.. but its data intensive.. its trying to "put back in" more information into something that has lost information .. digital upscalers can even try to trace borders and try to enhance edges, but it looks pretty "robotic" if you take it too far.. like false color image
all in all its best to start with S-Video or separate Luma from Chroma channels and not "synthesize" them, your trying to dig yourself out from a hole to start
VCRs were designed to capture color under signals, which means Luma Chroma, they knew they would be capturing signals from two different image resolutions, the Luma has the highest resolution, the Chroma the lowest resolution.. where they are overlayed and put back together they are bound to clash, producing dot crawl
I "guess" in theory...
If you turn off the Chroma in the VCR, put it in monochrome mode.. there will be "No" dot crawl in the combined Composite signal.. but then it would be monochrome.. but at the highest resolution!
Since you are in a PAL region, you seriously might prefer to look for a DV capture box to simplify your work flow. The captured files will be large.. but the same rules as for NTSC do not apply to PAL when using DV capture equipment.
You will still have the dot crawl issues with Composite versus S-Video / YPbPr (SCART RGB) but at least it will be a lot more stable and easier to capture.
Theoretically.. and this would be an awful workflow.
You could capture twice, once with monochrome, once with chrome .. and combine the two images frame by frame.. and use the monochrome frames as a reliable filter to eliminate dot crawl.. but that sounds hideously overkill.
There have been a lot of snake-oil dot crawl filters over the years.. and denoisers are mostly just blurring or removing one channel or the other in an attempt and blocking the artifacts.. but the simplest, cheapest, most reliable method.. is don't use Composite (at all). It was really only because the human brain could "filter" the dot crawl on a CRT that it was ever acceptable.. but once your told about it.. you can't help but notice it. 3DNR is a brand/marketing term often meant to say "this device has a dot crawl filter.. it will treat dot crawl as noise and filter it out for you"
But if you use separate channels, like with S-Video.. then 3DNR means nothing and is never used.
The (idea) is sort of to use the same parts of different frames in 3D space as opposed to XY within the frame to make the decision of whether its a dot crawl artifact.. or the real thing. The Third dimension being "time" or the "D-iffernce" between one frame and the next frame separated by the "time dimension". The (D) letter also sounded like "Digital" and was all cool when they came up with it.. and since it was occurring "after" the analog to digital conversion.. it was occuring in "Digital" space. The 3DNR (3 dimensional, Digital Noise Reduction) feature only looks at finished completed frames coming out of the A/D converter.. and would never be used on separate Luma and Chroma images being scaled and put together inside the central processor.. in that case.. kind of the reverse is happening. Since the Chroma image is "upscaled" in digital to match the size of the Luma image.. and the results can be compared via anti-aliasing to basically prevent dot crawl.
One thing (that might work) that no one would want to try.. is capturing at 352x240 (or the PAL equivalent).
Intervideo and several other PVR software back in the day defaulted to a lower resolution for capture, since that matches the Chroma channel.
The higher frequency Luma channel could then be filtered and effectively downscaled to the same lower resolution image.. but when combined.. there should be no dot crawl.. that is any "possible" clash would occur in the higher frequency range required to regenerate the full resolution Luma signal and be "blocked" as true noise.
I "guess" this should work even with a YUV capture device, or a DVD recorder set to record at a speed that forces the capture to be made at a lower resolution. For a DVD recorder, the highest capture speeds, HQ, XP, SP were generally 720x480.. but when you went LP or EP they would have to step down to 352x240 to get the total bits for a longer program low enough to fit on the same size DVD.. even if it was only recorded to hard drive, if the DVD recorder had a hard drive.
So quixotically recording at a lower resolution (may) actually eliminate dot crawl.. I mean in theory.. I have never tried this.
The key "magic" incantation "here" being choosing to forego the absolute highest Luma resolution as a sacrifice to avoid any possible dot crawl with the lower resolution Chroma chanel.
Again.. I have not tried this.
But it might be particularly effective with Animations or Cartoons.. even if the "jaggies" might emerge.. just don't blow it up to a really high resolution on an HDTV without some sort of smart "upscaler" software or hardware.
.. at the bear minimum.. all the dot crawlies will shrink in size and be harder to see.. lol
but really.. just go S-Video and bid dot crawlies goodbye
Your only choices are Composite In, VHS Tape In, DV In and DVD out
What a choice.. Australia sure does have an abundance of troubles when it comes to saving programs.
You get the best equipment, locked down with the fewest save options.
Of those.. your best option is to get a compatible DV capture device.. though I don't know what will work with your particular model.
Maybe an ADVC-55 or something Canopus.. but they've been off the market for years and resale value is quite high.
PC capture, some of the best stuff I've seen recently use the GV-MDVD3 or D4 gear from Japan.. but you have to know Japanese, or how to edit the programs they use to insert English menus and buttons.
I don't know what to recommend given the choices.
Raw YUV capture without at least a DVD recorder with S-Video input and S-Video output to use as a Time Base Corrector is very doubtful.. maybe you'll have luck.. hopefully you don't have a lot to capture.
DVD recorders have been getting very rare to find used, and very expensive since time base corrector prices have risen so much.
Last edited by jwillis84; 26th Apr 2021 at 03:57.
2. A question about my Samsung VHS/DVD recorder. Internally won't the luma and chroma circuitry be connected via "separate channels" from the VHS board to the MPEG2 encoder chipset ? Surely they wouldn't encode VHS back to composite to then encode to MPEG2 ? Or maybe they would to save 10c ?
3. I'm tending to think getting a working VHS/DVD recorder avoids most TBC issues and may avoid composite issues, and just record at the highest MPEG2 settings (I know it won't be I frame only like DV tho) , then rip to PC and do the digital deinterlacing and upscaling? The DVD will create an automatic backup as a free bonus.
4.I mentioned a few posts ago I still have a Sony upscaler home theatre amp with RGB/S-VHS/Composite inputs with a Faroudja cinema processor built in to deinterlace and upscale to HDMI 720p/1080p. This will have a lot of video smarts built in but unfortunately it only processes the video to the HDMI output so I'd have to capture the audio via a separate audio capture board or use an external audio RCA to HDMI inserter...
5. I think you suggested getting a DV capture device to plug in to my DVD recorder ? If thats what you meant , it doesn't add anything?? it will be PAL > DV Firewire > MPEG2 on DVD. Might as well just put the VHS tape in the DVD recorder and press record . You probably meant plug the firewire directly to my PC. Or are you saying the DV capture cards had some sexy filtering and processing to capture analogue video that would be better than the
VHS/DVD combo recorder?
what fun for crappy old VHS.......
Last edited by Palmplex; 26th Apr 2021 at 04:50.
I got the SVID2USB232 today, and I have exactly the same issue as I did with my Dazzle, I have come the conclusion that the Windows audio USB driver is causing the audio issue I am having. Windows will not let me install the device driver and keeps assigning the windows usbaudio.sys driver to it. Apparently this was an issue in version 1703 of windows 10 and an update should have fixed this, but it looks like another update has brought it back again. I will just have to wait and see if Microsoft fixes this issue.
1. The broadcast should have been recorded on to the tape as separate Luma and Chroma channels, what goes on the tape comes off the tape that way and gets mixed to make composite. S-VHS is very different from S-Video or Luma versus Chroma channels. S-VHS was an upgrade in the bandwidth of the amplifiers to preserve more of the broadcast signal. People often get S-VHS confused with S-Video and think they are the same thing. They are not.
2. Shoulda coulda woulda, just because that would make sense doesn't mean they would have done the straight forward thing. In theory it makes sense. But I have often heard that is not the case. The VHS portion of the recorder was generally a part sourced from a vendor that produced whatever was their production line default shoved into one box. Often it was a Quasi-SQPB tape recorder/player.. which was a VHS player capable of playing S-VHS on a VHS player by downgrading the signal and outputting Composite. There are no guarantees with all in one boxes.. for example its common to put some sort of copy protection remover or signal enhancer inbetween the VHS and Analog to Digital capture device.. you can't do that with an All in One box.. if it has copy protection your stuck.. if the signal is poor.. your stuck.
3. Not really, thats over generalizing, a seaparate TBC is usually better.. but defining what a TBC is can be a problem too.. its an over used term. A DVD recorder is in general "better" than nothing, but not the best.. but its also something you can still get.. perhaps for top dollar.. but its useful even if it won't burn DVDs or playback Tapes anymore.. if it will process the signal from its inputs to outputs.. even when it not playing back or recording.. not all units do.. so you have to do research to only buy one that does.
4. Mixed bag. A "Processor" might do what you want or might not.. I wouldn't invest money into one you don't already own. More often than not they have old power supplies and failing capacitors on the inputs and outputs that will beat up the signal and make it worse for the trip through it. Its best to minimize the things in the signal path to only those you need.
5. DV is an encoder and does a far better job with PAL than it does with NTSC, from what I understand. I'm not a PAL native person so I can't verify. Firewire or IEEE1394 is the interface most often used with DV encoders, be them DV camcorder with Composite and NTSC inputs or a straight up DV encoder like an ADVC. ADVC was the Canopus/Grass Valley brand name for them which were made with NEC chips inside, they had a long illustrious career as the go to DV units for more than a decade. But after Apple and Microsoft more or less abandoned OHCI (IEEE1394/DV combination) people had to start using PCI or USB capture cards or dongles and things got really unreliable and hard. The last of the ADVC was the ADVC300 or ADVC500 and command quite a high price today on the used market and included a TBC (but! the TBC is a vry poorly defined term and can add "processing" to the signal you may not like at all.. it kind of over corrects.. and give things a look many people don't like).
A standalone DVD recorder with good pass-thru processing is usually better.. but the ADVC route is also.. so much easier than other paths, once people try it they rarely put up with the problems using any other capture device. OHCI also affords a wide selection of software capture methods, including VirtualDub.. and Apple or Microsoft options with their native video editors.
Your in a unique situation being a PAL person, NTSC people won't tolerate DV if they think they can get better. But your a PAL person.. so it definitely a path to explore. (Assuming you can find and get a DV encoder.. camcorder, ADVC, or one of the many other standalone DV encoders.. and Assuming you have a firewire/IEEE1394 input on your computer... the input type is not common on modern computers.. and almost impossible to add to a laptop).
One thing I'm not clear on is PAL-I, most people in the world think PAL is PAL-B and there are no other types.. it can matter a lot. I am not a PAL person.. so I can't guide you with anything better than wikipedia might say on the matter. If your PAL-I is not compatible with PAL-B then you have a very challenging path ahead.. only some devices with work with a non PAL-B system well.
Last edited by jwillis84; 26th Apr 2021 at 08:04.
In the Samsung-made sony dvd-recorder I got it seems the video chip does do a very good job at separating Y/C though, . The luminance bandwidth on VHS is low enough that there is actually very little overlap between the chroma and luma signal, especially for PAL, so a good Y/C filter will be able to get rid of most dot crawl. With a source that has more detail that is less true though, hence why SVHS and Hi8 players came with S-VIdeo output.
From what I've seen the samsungs do a pretty good job at keeping the signal stable, courtesy of the Philips/NXP video decoder ICs, but they don't correct horizontal wiggling much like the panasonic and NEC-based dvd-recorders (pioneer/later sony) do. The ones I've used also blank the screen if the input video signal gets bad or missing.
Anyhow, if capturing from one of the outputs of the dvd-recorder you will get basically the same output as if recording to a dvd on it, just without the compression. Hence why many people use them to simply send the signal through to utilize the much better video decoding circuitry in them compared to 99% of capture cards. Annoyingly the samsung does not have S-Video out, and it doesn't seem to support interlaced output over HDMI, it may do over component though if the hdmi capture card you used also has that option.
Maybe the cheapest/easiest option is probably to look for one of these other dvd-recorders that can do a bit more to pass the video through, they can often be found for pretty cheap. Most panasonic ones can do a very good job, the DMR-ES10 and ES15 is the most used one, but other DMR-ES (other than ES20), EH and EZ models usually work well too. (Though avoid the very late model blu-ray ones). Another alternative is a newer Pioneer or Sony one - Pioneer ones are labelled DVR-xxx, you want one where the second number is 3 or higher (e.g dvr-550, the one named LX-60 also works), for sony its rdr-hx-xx0 or rdr-gx-xx0, where you want the ones with second number 5 or higher (e.g rdr-hx870). Some toshiba ones used similar chips but they are a bit more tricky to pick out.
The DV devices are an option as noted, but they can be quite hard to find.
Difference between PAL-I and PAL-B is only relevant for over-the air broadcasts, i.e if using the rf antenna output of the device, which you don't want to be doing anyhow. The only PAL standards that do differ from PAL-B over composite/s-video are PAL-N and PAL-M used some south american countries, and the PAL60 output you get when playing NTSC tapes in PAL decks that support it.
PC capture, some of the best stuff I've seen recently use the GV-MDVD3 or D4 gear from Japan
Well I've already got 1TByte of DV from my miniDV camcorder transferred to disk so I am happy with PAL DV format and my Topaz Video Enhance software seems to play nicely with those files. I still have a Windows XP machine with Firewire. It may even have an old Matrox "Rainbox Runner" capture board in it thinking about it.....
Factoid: composite/S-Video to DV encoding - Unfortunately due to high import tax in europe on "Video recorders" most PAL camcorders of that era had their inputs removed or disabled to avoid the camcorder being taxed as a VCR device ! As I now live in paradise ( Australia ) most ebay gadgets seem to be found in Europe or USA if PAL compatible.