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  1. Hello, a while back I started a thread on here asking about the process of converting VHS tapes to DVDs and spent much time working on my end to get to where I can do it on my own, but eventually got burned out and shoved the project to the side for a while. Reason being I couldn't get the technology right. I was thinking about it earlier today and thought I'd give this another shot. I have the equipment to convert tapes, but have had quality issues with the converted footage. When converted, the colors of the image will look desaturated or have some other random issue, and sometimes the sound will have deteriorated. I thought I'd start fresh and start over and ask here if anyone that converts frequently would like to share with me their methods of converting tapes. It'd be much easier than having me create my own, and will hopefully help me get to where I can convert tapes without trouble.
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  2. Member hydra3333's Avatar
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    just a thought, having done some with much less than optimal equipment (but affordable for low volume home video capture/conversion) ...
    if your source VHS is old and crappy and probably second generation copy or worse, and thus VERY noisy and wavy and colour-desaturated and with lots of artifacts and colour bleeding, then there is only so much you can do with it and it will never ever look as good as some of the conversion results posted here where the sources appear to be a lot cleaner - and I've tried, with great advice from the people here and elsewhere.

    i ended up going back from vapoursynth to avisynth x64 portable and using filters like
    deblock_qed (my capture equipment introduced bad blocking),
    MDegrain1/2/3/4 with pre-filtered motion clip
    cnr2 (an oldie but a goldie)
    Spotless
    a deinterlacer (not necessarily QTGMC although you could use that) for 25i to 50p (at end, down to 25p for DVD)
    RemoveDirtMC_SE to further denoise
    aWarpSharp2(clip, chroma=6, thresh=128, blur=FCBW_blur, type=1, depth=10) # reduce chroma bleed, using edge mask from the luma to warp the chroma channels only
    possibly ColorYUV to auto adjust

    cheers

    edit: care to post a sample un-processed input file ?
    Last edited by hydra3333; 18th Sep 2021 at 21:43.
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  3. Originally Posted by hydra3333 View Post
    just a thought, having done some with much less than optimal equipment (but affordable for low volume home video capture/conversion) ...
    if your source VHS is old and crappy and probably second generation copy or worse, and thus VERY noisy and wavy and colour-desaturated and with lots of artifacts and colour bleeding, then there is only so much you can do with it and it will never ever look as good as some of the conversion results posted here where the sources appear to be a lot cleaner - and I've tried, with great advice from the people here and elsewhere.

    i ended up going back from vapoursynth to avisynth x64 portable and using filters like
    deblock_qed (my capture equipment introduced bad blocking),
    MDegrain1/2/3/4 with pre-filtered motion clip
    cnr2 (an oldie but a goldie)
    Spotless
    a deinterlacer (not necessarily QTGMC although you could use that) for 25i to 50p (at end, down to 25p for DVD)
    RemoveDirtMC_SE to further denoise
    aWarpSharp2(clip, chroma=6, thresh=128, blur=FCBW_blur, type=1, depth=10) # reduce chroma bleed, using edge mask from the luma to warp the chroma channels only
    possibly ColorYUV to auto adjust

    cheers

    edit: care to post a sample un-processed input file ?
    The VHS tapes I use are usually of a decent quality. About as decent as an old tape can be. But the tapes are much better than how they look converted. When something looks desaturated, it didn't look desaturated at the source. Which software would you recommend the most for me to download? I'll try out those specifications.

    To get an idea of what I'm dealing with, check out post #94 at the link:
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/399840-VHS-to-DVD-quality-issue/page4

    Feel free to check out that whole thread if you'd like.
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  4. Originally Posted by cinemakyle01 View Post
    When something looks desaturated, it didn't look desaturated at the source.
    Then crank up the saturation in your capture device's proc amp settings. Or boost the saturation after capturing.

    before:after
    Image Attached Files
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  5. Member hydra3333's Avatar
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    Gee that is a really great source compared to every VHS tape I have !
    Good luck.
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  6. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cinemakyle01 View Post
    I thought I'd start fresh and start over and ask here if anyone that converts frequently would like to share with me their methods of converting tapes. It'd be much easier than having me create my own, and will hopefully help me get to where I can convert tapes without trouble.
    What hardware you have so far? and forget DVD if you want decent quality, Capture lossless, de-interlace and encode to h.264.
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  7. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by cinemakyle01 View Post
    When something looks desaturated, it didn't look desaturated at the source.
    Then crank up the saturation in your capture device's proc amp settings. Or boost the saturation after capturing.

    before:after
    I can boost saturation, but it's just that there are several other issues as well. Example: you can see behind the people on the wall, the color is flickering.
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  8. Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Originally Posted by cinemakyle01 View Post
    I thought I'd start fresh and start over and ask here if anyone that converts frequently would like to share with me their methods of converting tapes. It'd be much easier than having me create my own, and will hopefully help me get to where I can convert tapes without trouble.
    What hardware you have so far? and forget DVD if you want decent quality, Capture lossless, de-interlace and encode to h.264.
    I have a VHS/DVD combo with a dubbing function. I also have another set-up where I use a video capture device. It's the Elgato brand.

    I clicked on your YouTube page and saw your VHS footage uploads. What software do you use?
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  9. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cinemakyle01 View Post
    I clicked on your YouTube page and saw your VHS footage uploads. What software do you use?
    For capturing it doesn't really matter what software you use, they all pull the same AVI 4:2:2 from the capture device. I use BM MediaExpress in lossless mode that works with the pro gear I have, I de-interlace with QTGMC, crop and resize with Vdub2 and let youtube do the final encoding.
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  10. Member hydra3333's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cinemakyle01 View Post
    I have a VHS/DVD combo with a dubbing function.
    Snap. I have an LG-RC689D combo and use the highest quality dubbing available. It's still terrible.
    I am surprised at the good quality clip you posted.

    Re flickering (I haven't looked at your sample), I tried a few and ended up with ReduceFlicker in avisynth.
    Code:
    # strongest ReduceFlicker
    RF_strength = 3
    RF_aggressive = True
    clip.ReduceFlicker(strength=RF_strength,aggressive=RF_aggressive)
    For very bad clips, sometimes I'd run it twice or more.
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  11. Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Originally Posted by cinemakyle01 View Post
    I clicked on your YouTube page and saw your VHS footage uploads. What software do you use?
    For capturing it doesn't really matter what software you use, they all pull the same AVI 4:2:2 from the capture device. I use BM MediaExpress in lossless mode that works with the pro gear I have, I de-interlace with QTGMC, crop and resize with Vdub2 and let youtube do the final encoding.
    I'm going to try your method. Where can I download MediaExpress. Looked on BM's website and can't find a download link.

    Also, can you link me to QTGMC? I'm new to this. I already have Vdub though
    Last edited by cinemakyle01; 21st Sep 2021 at 11:53.
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  12. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    MediaExpress is part of the Desktop software they have in their website. The version before vdub2 works well for capturing. QTGMC is a script software and it has a learning curve, it is not easy to get going for the first time as it needs installing a lot of dependencies manually and sometimes fideling with the registry, so it is not a plug and play program.
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  13. Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    MediaExpress is part of the Desktop software they have in their website. The version before vdub2 works well for capturing. QTGMC is a script software and it has a learning curve, it is not easy to get going for the first time as it needs installing a lot of dependencies manually and sometimes fideling with the registry, so it is not a plug and play program.
    If it's not a problem, can you link me to the MediaExpress software on their website? I looked through it and couldn't find a download link.
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  14. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    Again it's part of the Desktop software, go to BM website and download the latest version of "Desktop".
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