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  1. Member
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    Good morning everybody, I have to capture again a bunch of PAL S-VHS Tapes and I wanted to do it in the most lossless way. On the other hand I don't want to spend a fortune on it (actually, no more than 30€).
    Since I live in Italy, the best solution would be those scart rgb capture cards, but since they're expensive (100's), they're out of the list. Also, a decent scart to hdmi connector to use with my Avermedia would be too expensive.
    So, the best solution is to use the S-VIDEO on the VCR + rca AUDIO. I have no intention of using composite for video capture.

    Regarding this, I found on ebay for ~30€ some PINNACLE MiroVideo DC30+ PCI (the old one) cards. They seemed the most suitable ones for this job, but what is giving me a headache is wheather the 7MB/s MJPEG compression cap is enough. In megabits, for standard def, it has the same bitrate of ProRes422HQ, but it is not the same, is it?
    Also, I'm going to capture HuffYuv or similars, which generally take ~70Mb/s in 720x576p25, so I don't know. Is that compression limit enough for HuffYuv?
    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Tek03; 21st Jul 2021 at 10:03.
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  2. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    None of those HDMI and expensive gizmos will give you the quality you want, The best one happen to be the PCI route you chose, However you are not limited to a card with onboard compression chip, There are PCI cards that can capture lossless, just keep looking.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    None of those HDMI and expensive gizmos will give you the quality you want, The best one happen to be the PCI route you chose, However you are not limited to a card with onboard compression chip, There are PCI cards that can capture lossless, just keep looking.
    What about VIVO TV Tuners such as Ati All-In-Wonder Series? I have one ati 9000 Pro which I was going to return because it had a damn 8-pin MiniDIN S-Video IN, which I can't find the cable for.
    I couldn't find any info about its compression. Is it better than the pinnacle?

    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    There are PCI cards that can capture lossless, just keep looking.
    Do you know any of them?
    Last edited by Tek03; 21st Jul 2021 at 13:26. Reason: spelling
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  4. Member DB83's Avatar
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    To clarify. If that Pinnacle only allows for internal compression (in your case to mjpeg) you are limited to that. Lossless huffyuv is a non-starter.


    And if you took a chance with that pci card (or any older ones for that matter) you will come across another potential issue - drivers. So with any such card you really must establish that you can get a driver for Win10.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    To clarify. If that Pinnacle only allows for internal compression (in your case to mjpeg) you are limited to that. Lossless huffyuv is a non-starter.
    Most tapes are to be burnt on DVDs and stored on h264, so it hasn't got to be completely lossless, I was only wondering whether that internal compression were too much of a downer. I mean, if it's close to a ProRes it is good for me. I'm going to use huffyuv just not to further compress between the steps.


    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    And if you took a chance with that pci card (or any older ones for that matter) you will come across another potential issue - drivers. So with any such card you really must establish that you can get a driver for Win10.
    I Have an old athlon XP rig With Win 98/2K/Xp triple boot, so no problem for that.
    Last edited by Tek03; 21st Jul 2021 at 13:36. Reason: revision
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  6. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    When it comes to PCI capture cards, I would recommend a capture card based on the Philips SAA7134 decoder chip.


    Avoid all the Conexant bt878/bt848 based ones (even though you will often find recommendations for them in really ancient corners of the internet). I tried I think 3 or 4 different ones back in the day and they all suffered from extremely bad Y/C separation with Composite input and loads of other interferences on any input, including S-Video. The Philips SAA7134 is a huge improvement in comparison.


    Edit: Remember, if you capture straight off a VCR like this, there will be audio sync issues with this setup, I guarantee it (have been there). You need a TBC-like device inbetween such as a DVD-recorder in passthrough.
    Last edited by Skiller; 21st Jul 2021 at 13:54.
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  7. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Of course even with an old OS if you bought used, without the original driver CD, the manuf may not have the driver for download.


    I actually have a pretty old WinTV PCI card installed on my XP dual-boot (and no support beyond XP). It def captures lossless since I did just that the last time I used it. It's not actually connected up now and for the life of me can not remember if it has s-video.


    So older Hauppuages are a possibility for you.
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  8. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Maybe I should withdraw my above post since this card was BT878. Never had an issue with it though.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Edit: Remember, if you capture straight off a VCR like this, there will be audio sync issues with this setup, I guarantee it (have been there). You need a TBC-like device inbetween such as a DVD-recorder in passthrough.
    Here we go again. I was lent a blackmagic intensity shuttle some months ago, but I could never use it because I never had a TBC and frames dropped like hell. I can't have that issue again.

    BTW, what about the Ati 9000 Pro AIW? It's a VIVO TV tuner with s video in. Any good for my purpose?
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    So older Hauppuages are a possibility for you.
    I knew they were bad. Is it just the more recent PVR?
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  11. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I can only comment on my own experience.


    I just found the installation manual for the WinTV Express. No s-video on this card.
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  12. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of suggestions for cards that use the Philips SAA7134 chip:
    • Terratec Cinergy 400
    • Lifeview PCI TV
    • Medion branded ones that start with "MD" and a 4 digit number (for example "Medion MD 5044")



    Originally Posted by Tek03 View Post
    I can't have that issue again.
    I'm sorry but that's gonna happen with most capture devices if connected straight to a VCR. Maybe a MiniDV or Digital8 camcorder would be an option for you as well? It's not lossless, but still very good quality, and no audio sync issues there. It is quite straightforward, I recommend this route for beginners.



    Originally Posted by Tek03 View Post
    BTW, what about the Ati 9000 Pro AIW? It's a VIVO TV tuner with s video in. Any good for my purpose?
    It's actually a GPU (graphics card) with AGP interface and VIVO (video-in video-out) function, not a plain PCI capture card. It uses the Theatre 200 chip for analog video decoding which I am not familiar with. But according to this thread it should be good.
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    Originally Posted by Tek03 View Post
    I can't have that issue again.
    I'm sorry but that's gonna happen with most capture devices if connected straight to a VCR. Maybe a MiniDV or Digital8 camcorder would be an option for you as well? It's not lossless, but still very good quality, and no audio sync issues there. It is quite straightforward, I recommend this route for beginners.[/QUOTE]

    So a DVD Player between the vcr and the card might solve the problem?
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  14. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tek03 View Post
    So a DVD Player between the vcr and the card might solve the problem?
    Yes. Actually it needs to be a DVD-recorder since players do not have video inputs (so there would be no means of connecting the VCR). The DVD-recorder itself does not do any recording, it just passes the signal through and while doing so it gets stabilized.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Originally Posted by Tek03 View Post
    So a DVD Player between the vcr and the card might solve the problem?
    Yes.
    Perfect. Many thanks to all for the answers.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Here are a couple of suggestions for cards that use the Philips SAA7134 chip:
    • Terratec Cinergy 400
    Sorry, just one final question but I couldn't find any info online, does this card have hardware compression or I can capture straight rgb or huffyuv from it?
    The one I found on ebay has labelled "Real time MPEG2 encoding", is it just an option or the hardware compression?
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  17. Member DB83's Avatar
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    My guess, and it is only a guess, is that this card is on-chip/hardware encoding to mpeg. Quite a few Hauppauge cards do that as well.


    'Real time' is somewhat confusing since my Hauppauge USB-Live2 does that but it can also do lossless.


    I know this is slightly above your budget but why not ?
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    My guess, and it is only a guess, is that this card is on-chip/hardware encoding to mpeg. Quite a few Hauppauge cards do that as well.


    'Real time' is somewhat confusing since my Hauppauge USB-Live2 does that but it can also do lossless.


    I know this is slightly above your budget but why not ?
    The ebay seller doesn't even know what it means, but I found online a similar manual which shows a screenshot of the original software, which allows uncompressed recording. May that be a sign of the card allowing for lossless recording?
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  19. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Maybe a link to the Ebay item might help (many a seller has not a clue what they sell)
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Maybe a link to the Ebay item might help (many a seller has not a clue what they sell)
    There you go: https://www.ebay.it/itm/313473173615?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1...427c%7Ciid%3A1

    In fact he states he bought it almost for mistake and never used it.
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  21. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Well it appears to be a card that Skiller suggests. One with that Phillips chipset so, according to the wiki, no hardware encoding.


    Od course you will have to use your legacy rig for it.
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  22. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    Terratec Cinergy 400, like other SAA713x cards, uses software compression. The box is referring to software compression of MPEG-2. You can use other software to capture lossless, as Skiller said.

    I've used SAA713x cards up to Win7. Haven't tried later. DScaler should work well for PAL capture and offers extra options with its own built-in drivers. (For NTSC it can only do 30.0 fps capture which is bad.)
    (Formerly vaporeon800)
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    Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    Terratec Cinergy 400, like other SAA713x cards, uses software compression. The box is referring to software compression of MPEG-2. You can use other software to capture lossless, as Skiller said.

    I've used SAA713x cards up to Win7. Haven't tried later. DScaler should work well for PAL capture and offers extra options with its own built-in drivers. (For NTSC it can only do 30.0 fps capture which is bad.)
    Perfect, thanks
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  24. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    (For NTSC it can only do 30.0 fps capture which is bad.)
    Interesting, could be related to Dscaler however because I recorded hours of PAL60 captures with my Terratec Cinergy 400 at 29.97i in VirtualDub.

    Btw, if one installed driver Version 1.4 (which I use and recommend), the correct capture width is always 704, not 720 (aside from Dscaler which does it's own thing).
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  25. I used a terratec 250 pci for like +10 years. Pal, secam, ntsc, pal60 , caps with Virtualvcr (and fly2000tv aswell) on XP.Experimented a lot too (with dscaler etc..)
    Now i use an hdmi pci-e card (laziness and better compatibility). At least with the hdmi card i can preview while i record without glitches.

    The only software that worked fine for preview while recording was WinDR3 i recall (It recorded in "deinterlace mode" always and with limited bitrate ~8000 kbps max maybe) i did some good tv caps though, they simply could have been better.

    In any case pci or hdmi expect A/V desync.
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  26. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tek03 View Post
    BTW, what about the Ati 9000 Pro AIW? It's a VIVO TV tuner with s video in. Any good for my purpose?
    Excellent card, one of the best made.
    The DIN you mention is simply the standard purple breakout box, about $10 on eBay.
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank Discs • Best TBCs • Best VCRs for capture • Restore VHS
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  27. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    (For NTSC it can only do 30.0 fps capture which is bad.)
    Interesting, could be related to Dscaler however because I recorded hours of PAL60 captures with my Terratec Cinergy 400 at 29.97i in VirtualDub.
    Definitely; "it" in that sentence was supposed to mean DScaler.
    (Formerly vaporeon800)
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