Hello. I would like to transfer VHS tapes to digital files.
Here's my current situation:
Tapes: Mostly NTSC (clean and well)
VCR: JVC HR-V200 (which has only component inputs)
PC: Macbook Air with M1 chip (Big Sur 11.6)
Capture Card: BlackMagicDesign Intensity shuttle with USB 3.0 and ezcap159
BMD currently doesn't support Big Sur System so I tried it on a Windows PC. It works but the videos are flashing.I know this is because I don't have TBC.
With ezcap159, It works well when capturing from a LaserDisc Player, but it always gets gray images with RGB lines on VHS tapes (not all tapes, I tried these tapes on BMD one, the color is correct but videos flashing)
I don't need high quality and less cost is better.
Could you recommend any device or techniques?
I attempt to get canopus ADVC series instead of ezcap. Does it work well on Mac with M1 chip? (if anyone has tried)
Or if I add a DVD recorder as TBC, will it help when I capture with ezcap?
And does BMD Intensity shuttle with thunderbolt work on Mac with M1 chip?
I have read posts on the forum, but still confused.
Thank you in advance.
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Windows is the best OS for capture, so you should use your Windows PC if possible. I reckon you should just get an ATI 600 USB. It'll be cheaper than the ADVC you're thinking of buying and it will give you much better results. You can get them at the marketplace on digitalfaq:
Edit: If you're on Win10, get the Pinnacle cards from that same thread.
ezcap159 is a MacroSilicon UVC capture device.. anything UVC will work with M1.. but be very poor performance.
The UVC spec was written about the year 1998 or so and while its evolved, its pretty outdated.
Apple and Microsoft more or less outlawed third party device drivers around 2011 and gradually shut off the ability to override and wedge them into modern versions of their operating systems. The only loop hole is the ancient UVC spec.. its been in there so long they just forgot about it.. they will no doubt correct that when someone learns how to exploit it to install malware. So I wouldn't count on it long term.
Same thing with ADVC and any DV hardware compression bridge/device.. if those aren't blocked.. they will be as soon as they get around to it. DV is a 1995 technology that while simple to use prior to 2011.. has long over stayed its welcome.. there are better options.. "Even" in the oppressive times for standard def video capture like these.
Magewell went "both" directions and released native device drivers in spite of the edict, and a UVC firmware update for their XI100-USB device.. but they cost around $600 and they aren't really officially for sale any more.. they are also better at compressed capture than raw 422 because of bandwidth and USB 3.0 driver issues with the operating systems. The difference is which firmware version you choose to run on the device.. non-UVC mode firmware or UVC mode firmware.
the "better" low cost 422 capture devices, over USB are for windows 8.1 or lower.. windows 10 is just a hodge podge of patches which constantly block third party devices. XP has the most video capture hardware support, but its become an advanced topic for retro-gamers to install and run. Windows 7 has a lot of choices but as mentioned due to mechanical errors in the tape playback system various time base correctors are needed to maintain a capture lock complete a capture.. those are increasingly too expensive or hard to get.. they simply are not made anymore. Microsoft also launched a campaign to de-support Windows 7 on newer hardware to increase sales of Windows 10.. theory crafting conspiracy theories aside.. it is getting harder to install Windows 7 on anything other than a laptop that came preinstalled with Windows 7.
so its getting hard to video capture from tape these days
i tend to prefer "Stand alone" devices that perform hardware compression and complete the capture on internal memory cards, SSDs or upload the video to a local NAS .. these simply just work.. examples are Avermedia ER310 and ER330.. but they run about $200 new and a bit of patience in learning how to use.. up front their user manuals pelt you with "possibilities".. but their saving grace is the big RED Easy button on the front of each.. Press to start recording, Press to stop recording.. and your done. The ER330 is the best yet.. except it only takes HDMI or Composite Input.. and its not sold in the United States, only direct from Taiwan. For tape.. I'd partner that with an S-Video to HDMI converter.. monoprice made a decent one that I still use today.
"skip the whole.. Upload to your NAS video WiFi video capture.. thats a laughable pipe dream.... use a real Ethernet cable"
you have to have a frame sync device of some kind, or time base corrector to deal with difficult tapes.. that's bottom line. Japan made some of the best but restricted their export until only very recently on the resale market.. its not worth discussing specific models because they trade fast today.. even in Japan.
some DVD recorders will pass thru input signal, clean up, to their output connectors even when not recording, and that can stand in for a combo frame sync and time base corrector.. but only seek one out if you need it.. if the tapes are good enough.. its a hassle.
this reply is long enough.. and i grow weary of negative comments
there are "Perfect" solutions to your quest.. but they cost a lot of time and effort and cash
for example there are two DVD recorders among many that did have time base correctors and frame syncs and did a great job, but were ignored for over a decade.. they natively could upload recordings over the network to a pc or mac.. but they are very rare these days.. I see one or two go up for sale a year
Isobuster can turn literally hundreds of brands and models of DVD recorders into instant video capture systems, which you can offload to a pc or mac once captured.. but its over looked more often than not
and Dell made some of the last best, most fantastic.. dual YUV 422 and MPEG2 capture cards that sell for a pitiful amount today but i couldn't get people interested in them.. everyone wants USB or PCI-express.. the level of effort just isn't there..
so the ER310 and ER330 or a DVD recorder with Isobuster are probably the best options...
Last edited by jwillis84; 26th Sep 2021 at 19:36.
Very well explained Jwillis, Yes using old school USB capture devices under current operating systems is getting harder and harder by the minute not only drivers problems but unstable captures that require $1500 TBC, As you said it is best to get a stand alone capture device that captures into a flash drive (usually the capture quality of these devices is not nat that great due to harsh compression) or a stand alone capture device that can output SD-SDI SMPTE 259M-C 270Mbit/s (though expensive but getting SDI into modern OS's is very easy and still cheaper than an analog TBC).
Toshiba RD-XS54, RD_XS55 (FTP) push
Magnavox MDR-867 (DLNA, VLC Plugin to OBS) pull
.. among others, but there are a lot of caveats, besides just getting one.. it would take a series of youtube videos to cover the ups and downs and ins and outs of configuring and keeping them in service. Mostly Japan had a lot of back doors in their recorders and openly discussed it in Japanese in the early 2000's .. conspiracy theories not withstanding.. if anyone in Hollywood really were watching they would have been horrified. - seriously.. there are faster, better choices for someone seeking a low effort way of capturing a lot of SD video
.. and there are probably others.. those are just off the top of my head I have actual experience with.
for YUV 422 capture I don't know of a DVD recorder that captures in that format, they all pretty much captured in compressed format to hard disk, but standalone capture devices there are a few, firewire a few, and lots of low end PCI and USB2.0 devices.. one thunderbolt on XP I know about.. but YUV422 is awfully cost, and equipment intensive.. not to mention producing enormously huge files to crunch down slowly later
these are non-deinterlaced solutions.. if your going to de-interlace and capture progressive anyway.. and don't care about signal problems or have issues with macrovision ect..ect.. then an H.264 standalone capture device is much better.. but there are all those caveats to consider.. again a long series of videos.. but from 2016 onwards probably good enough for a lot of young people.. not that they will be super impressed.. but they aren't collectors of ancient anime shows either
i'm still old fashioned.. but really don't care for H.265 and the new devices capturing in that format.. its way too early and the devices doing it are horrible.. just switch them back to h.264 and run away.. far far away
oh.. if your zero'ing in on the TBC aspects.. that would be the Toshibas.. they used NEC chips with on die TBC correction specifically for VHS and S-VHS signals by default.. but consider the rarity.. people also don't find them with working DVD burners.. and even then you can only get the video off at 4.7 GB per disc speeds.. unless you use Isobuster.. you can push the video over FTP to VRD on a PC or running on virtualbox on a Mac.. but its only at 100 Mbps and is slow. The specific input filter and compression chips are in the service manual, the NEC datasheets for the chips specifically call out the TBC function.. and trace all the way back to before the Canopus ADVC (DV video) codecs.. but they are like five generations more advanced and tuned for VHS signals.. there are more plus and minuses too..
They are rare because people couldn't figure out how to use them, the DVD burners weren't reliable.. when they were first imported the firmware had a pedestal or setup (IRE) problem.. that could be attributed to user error.. or simply miscommunication.. it started flame wars on boards.. so very controversial.. i won't touch those conversations with a ten foot pole. I got burned and gave up.
.. so its unobtanium for the most part.. and if you get one.. then .. there are hurtles to learning how to use them
.. just because its possible, doesn't mean its the right thing for you
on the plus side.. i believe some of the engineers made their way to Pioneer between 2006 and Pioneers demise in 2009 .. if that thought is correct.. Pioneer x50 and x60 got the benefits of the Toshibas but were never credited as so.. if you have ever seen the output of a Pioneer from those series.. you know they are impressive. Canada may have been the biggest benefactor of Toshibas exit from the market.
Last edited by jwillis84; 27th Sep 2021 at 11:06.
For example, ClearClick is garbage.
SDI has it's own caveats, limitations, and costs, and isn't better than a standard workflow (VCR>TBC>capture). It's just different, not necessarily for the better.
And it's just DVD, aka highly compressed MPEG. That may not be ideal.
My best experiences is with a combo vhs/dvd recorder so,(just as passthrough device) not a combo vhs dvd player ! most ideal would also if you have component video out (YUV) this is much better than composite or s-video is my experience, quality is visible, also, the signal is more stable, (no TBC needed) this is a better option if you use already the BMD Intensity Shuttle, the fine noise pattern is what you normaly not notice but you loose the after compression for the end result (post production) plus on a MAC laptop/pc you can use the ProRes 422 LT codec for a flawlessly capture, which is far above the vhs resolution quality.
With Davinci Resolve you also can use proxy files during editing, for smooth workflow.
Last edited by Eric-jan; 6th Oct 2021 at 08:12.